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Eyeglasses and outreach...

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#1 amicus sidera

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 09:32 AM

A good percentage of the folks who step up to one of our telescopes are going to be wearing eyeglasses; whether the correction is needed for distance, astigmatism or both, it's probably safe to assume that many of these people are going to prefer keeping their glasses on while looking through the eyepiece.

Being an eyeglass wearer, I can well recall occasions in my early observing career where too-close familiarity with a "bare" ocular left marks on my spectacles. Thus, I take pains to assure that a similar fate does not befall my guest's eyewear.

In the time that I've been sharing views through my telescope with the public, one thing that I've always tried to do has been to use either an eyepiece with an integral eyeguard or one with an aftermarket eyecup attached. This greatly reduces the chance of any mishaps, and is one less thing to worry about during an event or an informal gathering. It's very easy for someone not acquainted with the specifics of a telescope's focuser to misjudge the distance between themselves and said focuser, especially in the dark; I'm sure that we've all seen our share of people inadvertantly striking the eyepiece when going in for a look. If a flexible eye guard isn't present when this occurs, eyeglass wearers might possibly damage either their eyeglasses, the eyepiece or both.

So, next time you invite the public to take a peek at the heavens through your instrument, please consider the eyeglass wearer if you aren't already doing so; it can help make the occasion a more pleasant one for all concerned.


#2 MikeBOKC


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Posted 04 September 2013 - 02:56 PM

At outreach events I always tell people wearing glasses to try it both ways, that many people who wear glasses don't need them at the eyepiece. And yes I always have an eyecup guarded eyepiece in place.

#3 Ira



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Posted 07 September 2013 - 10:26 PM

I always keep my glasses on when focusing for people at an outreach event. Most people are clueless about focusing and if you don't do it for them, they never will. I tell them to keep their glasses on, too.


#4 izar187



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Posted 08 September 2013 - 01:18 AM

Me too....wear mine and tell them to wear theirs.
Also use only ep's at out reach that have rubber tops, so no ones' glasses get scratched.
Mostly ones with long eye relief too.

I also encourage all guests at the scope to focus the image for their sharpest view.
Because it turns out peoples vision varies all over the place.
Young folks have generous visual accommodation, but often older folks do not.
Some peoples eyeglass prescriptions are not as up to par as they think they are either.
I was a few years into outreach before I became aware that not all my guests were getting their best in focus image possible.
After I started encouraging them to adjust the focus, the experience for many became better. More than I had realized.

#5 BigC



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Posted 08 September 2013 - 09:56 AM

As an eyeglass wearer,I advise those doing outreach to have in place that absolute largest actual lens eyepiece they can get.

Example the view in a cheap 32mm 2" Galileo is quite good and EASILY seen by myself with glasses on;almost as good the 25mm astroscopic.40mm 1.25" plossls are good too. Use a barlow to boost the magnification if needed.

But try to put my old glasses up to a 9mm plossl and the view is terribly vignetted and frustrating.Glasses off is fine but requires a large adjustment.

Make as certain as possible the public actually do see the objects and are not just being polite.And going away disappointed.

#6 Ira



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Posted 08 September 2013 - 05:09 PM

Many people have no idea how to focus or know what to look for when they focus, especially children and the elderly. This is especially true if you're using an SCT whose focus wheel works in a counter-intuitive way.


#7 Joe F Gafford

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 07:57 PM

I use my old Radians for outreach. They have an ocular distance adjustment sleeve on them. If wearing glasses, in; if not, out. I often say to the public to keep the glasses on. Some, however, wear those Varilux types which makes it difficult to find focus. Not much I can do with those.


#8 GeneT


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Posted 09 September 2013 - 04:33 PM

One factor that will help this situation is to use eyepieces with a lot of eye relief. I have found that a minimum of 17mm of eye relief is best for viewing while wearing eye glasses --19 or 20 is even better. Also, the type of glasses, how high up they ride on the nose, and other factors will affect whether or not someone can leave their eye glasses on while viewing.

#9 Ira



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Posted 09 September 2013 - 04:48 PM

I have progressive lenses and have no trouble focusing with them at all.

All of this is just one reason why I prefer to slap on my Mallincam and be done with it. I've actually never had anyone complain or say that it's like looking at pictures on the Internet. Because it's not.


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