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General Astronomy >> Beginners Forum

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Dave74
sage
*****

Reged: 10/23/12

Loc: Gelatinous, MA
Re: Orion XT8 questions...and more... new [Re: stargazer424]
      #5562475 - 12/09/12 01:38 PM

I think that's about 20 bucks cheaper than the regular price. Not a huge difference.

The price for apetura and Zhumell are pretty much the same.
8" ~$400
10" ~$500
12" ~$700


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kansas skies
sage


Reged: 12/02/12

Loc: Kansas, USA
Re: Orion XT8 questions...and more... new [Re: Dave74]
      #5562712 - 12/09/12 04:11 PM

Just a note on eyeglasses. I wear glasses for presbyopia and astigmatism. Focusing of the telescope is all that is required to correct for the farsightedness, but it does nothing for the astigmatism. What I basically see is the same as what you will see with pinched optics. Fortunately, this is only evident with longer focal length eyepieces having a larger exit pupil. I say fortunately because longer focal length eyepieces generally have plenty of eye relief to allow for wearing glasses. Shorter focal length eyepieces, at least in the standard plossls, tend to have a smaller exit pupil and are not much of a problem, so I am able to use them without wearing my glasses.

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tedbnh
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/14/07

Loc: New Hampshire
Re: Orion XT8 questions...and more... new [Re: kansas skies]
      #5563340 - 12/09/12 11:38 PM

Strap your XT8 (assembled) to a collapsible two-wheel luggage carrier and take it down the elevator in one piece. Your other hand holds your eyepiece case. Everything in one trip, unless you have to go back for your observing chair. (When will somebody design an observing chair that doubles as a collapsible scope cart with wheels...)

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BDS316
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/16/09

Loc: Sol 3
Re: Orion XT8 questions...and more... new [Re: stargazer424]
      #5563598 - 12/10/12 06:29 AM

I have an XT8 and I have also used just about every type and focal length of eyepiece in my scope at one time or another.

The 25mm sirius plossl that comes with the scope is a decent quality eyepiece with comfy eye relief and fine for outreach. Use it for a low power/finder eyepiece for now and get a better one after you take care of medium and high power.

When I got better eyepieces, the first priority was to get a medium power eyepiece of premium quality that had a 1.8-2.2mm exit pupil that could also be barlowed for a high power option. I got the TV 11mm Nagler T6 and this eyepiece spends a lot of time in the focuser natively at 109x with a pristine three quarter degree field and barlowed for about 200x. Granted Naglers are expensive but at that time there was no ES option. The 11mm ES N2 82 is VERY nice but not quite as nice as the Nagler. Few could tell the difference most nights.

So I suggest to you a minimalist approach of the 11mm ES and a good 2x Barlow. There is no gap between the low power eyepiece and the 11mm 82 because an 11mm eyepiece with an 82 degree field shows the same amount of sky as an 18mm plossl.

I have used many low power finder eyepieces in the XT8 and have come to the conclusion that if you have really dark skies and are very young, the gold standard is the 35mm Panoptic, and if not, the 27mm Panoptic. These are big bucks of course.

Less expensive alternatives would be compromises in some way, but look for a used Meade 28mm 68 degree which is pretty similar optically to the ES 28mm 68.

Less expensive than that but still nice would be the 2 inch Sterling plossls, the 30 or the 40mm.

You only need one 2-inch eyepiece with a 1200mm focal length scope and its purpose is to show more sky than can be seen with the widest 1.25 inch options which would be a 32mm Plossl or a 30-35mm Ultrascopic. If you want to stay with 1.25 inches these would be the way to go btw.

My 2 incher is a 30mm GSO SV which has its faults, but I can usually borrow something better from a club member because Im the president of the club.

With regard to the build a scope option, I would say, take a pass on it. It's not really a better deal for you; it's a better deal for Orion. It locks you into buying orion brand EP's and accessories, and identical products are available elsewhere for less money and free shipping, for example Agena, Owl and Scope Stuff.


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rick-SeMI
sage


Reged: 01/08/11

Loc: Michigan - USA
Re: Orion XT8 questions...and more... new [Re: BDS316]
      #5563727 - 12/10/12 08:40 AM

If you have trouble carrying the dob sections you could use a folding hand truck like this.





I would go with the supplied eyepieces and maybe a 2x barlow for now until you try a few others.

You can do that by joining an astronomy club if you have one in the area.

If you go with a non push-to like the XT8 or XT10 and observe in an area with light pollution you
may have difficulty star-hopping. Also, star hopping whether you are in a light dome or not takes some time and practice.

Finally, you have to think about service after the sale and I know for a fact that ORION has the best reputation for that!!


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stargazer424
sage


Reged: 10/03/05

Loc: Central NJ
Re: Orion XT8 questions...and more... new [Re: rick-SeMI]
      #5563915 - 12/10/12 10:45 AM

@Dave74: That's good to know. As long as it wont go up $100+ after the holidays. I wont rush to get it.

@tedbnh & rick-SeMI: Great idea! While I don't have to worry about an elevator (I live on the ground floor of a 2 story apartment) moving it around would be easier with a hand truck.

I was thinking about the idea of putting locking castors on the mount so it can be rolled around. Has anyone done this?
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100199256/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalog...

@BDS316: So, if I go with the Z8 (with the 2" 30mm and 1.25" 9mm) would you suggest that the 2" 30mm should be the only 2" I should get (for now) and any additional starter EPs (like a 11 or 12mm) should be 1.25"?

I kind of wish both eyepieces were the same size so that I could use one Barlow for both and then have the combination of 40x/80x and 133x/266x magnification with a 2X Barlow. Or can I if I get a 2" Barlow and put it in the focuser first. So it would go 2" Focuser - 2" Barlow - 2" to 1.25" adapter - 1.25" EP? Where would a filter go? I don't quite get the sequence of putting it all together.


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Saneless
member


Reged: 12/03/12

Re: Orion XT8 questions...and more... new [Re: stargazer424]
      #5563967 - 12/10/12 11:11 AM

Quote:


@BDS316: So, if I go with the Z8 (with the 2" 30mm and 1.25" 9mm) would you suggest that the 2" 30mm should be the only 2" I should get (for now) and any additional starter EPs (like a 11 or 12mm) should be 1.25"?

I kind of wish both eyepieces were the same size so that I could use one Barlow for both and then have the combination of 40x/80x and 133x/266x magnification with a 2X Barlow. Or can I if I get a 2" Barlow and put it in the focuser first. So it would go 2" Focuser - 2" Barlow - 2" to 1.25" adapter - 1.25" EP? Where would a filter go? I don't quite get the sequence of putting it all together.



I like the 30mm 2" that came with the AD8 but I know there's better ones out there. Problem is, am I willing to spend $250 to replace it with something that is a bit better quality and larger FOV? Probably not. Not now, anyway.

As far as the barlow goes, I know GSO makes a 2" barlow that has a 1.25 adapter. I'm not sure if you can drop in the 2" barlow, then drop in the 1.25" adapter, then the 1.25 eyepiece. Never done it or thought about it until now

I already have a decent range of 1.25" eyepieces and instead of worrying about a 2" barlow to get the 30mm to 15mm, I'm just going to buy a very good quality 1.25" 14-16mm very wide view piece instead.

I'd say stick with the 30mm 2" and then just fill out some of the mid/lower range. The only other 2" ones you can get are as low as 24" (I think, maybe 18mm for 100 degree) and up to 50mm. I think 30mm at 68 degrees is enough to see bigger open clusters and that should be fine, for now. You will find out as you use it what you're lacking on the lower-powered end.

You'll probably be ok to get a 12-14mm and a barlow. 14mm is a great zone for this scope (gets it around 85-100x) and a barlow would get it to around 170-200x. Then the 9mm would take care of 133 and 266 if the conditions are right for it.

That's if you just want to add the minimum amount of extra eyepieces. Be sure to get a barlow that lets you remove the end piece to get you 1.5x. Then maybe you could think about getting something like a 24mm and you can go 24/12/15 and with the existing 9 you would do 9/4.5/6.

Again, that's a little more mucking around with unscrewing things and screwing them into other eyepieces a lot but it gives you a lot of versatility.

From there you can just get a good feel for what you like without wasting too much money on pieces you'll never use. And when you feel like upgrading your pieces you'll know that you like xmm better or plan to use ymm all the time.

TLDR Version:
Get a 12 or 24mm 1.25" piece and a barlow to complement your 2" 30mm until you get a better idea what more you want.

Edited by Saneless (12/10/12 11:12 AM)


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BDS316
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/16/09

Loc: Sol 3
Re: Orion XT8 questions...and more... new [Re: stargazer424]
      #5564021 - 12/10/12 11:50 AM

Quote:


BDS316: So, if I go with the Z8 (with the 2" 30mm and 1.25" 9mm) would you suggest that the 2" 30mm should be the only 2" I should get (for now) and any additional starter EPs (like a 11 or 12mm) should be 1.25"?





I would suggest a GSO rather than Orion (Synta). lower cost, better features and accessories, better mount, etc

The 30mm 2-incher is the same as the one I am using. At f/6 its not bad. This eyepiece you will not use barlowed. A 2 inch Barlow with a 2 inch eyepiece causes significant balance issues for small dobs.

You don't need a 15mm (30mm with 2x barlow) eyepiece with a 68 degree fov if you have an 11mm eyepiece with an 82 degree fov. The 11mm would show you almost the same amount of sky but with higher magnification, darker background, more contrast and a more favorable exit pupil for a medium power eyepiece option.

I always go right from low power to the 11mm Nagler, My 16mm Konig sees little use natively although it is useful when barlowed


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stargazer424
sage


Reged: 10/03/05

Loc: Central NJ
Re: Orion XT8 questions...and more... new [Re: Saneless]
      #5564082 - 12/10/12 12:31 PM

Quote:

Again, that's a little more mucking around with unscrewing things and screwing them into other eyepieces a lot but it gives you a lot of versatility.



Ha! Yeah...I don't think I would be comfortable taking apart a lens. Chances are I would A. Scratch it. B. Not be able to put it back together the same way.


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Dave74
sage
*****

Reged: 10/23/12

Loc: Gelatinous, MA
Re: Orion XT8 questions...and more... new [Re: stargazer424]
      #5564100 - 12/10/12 12:45 PM

I use the a GSO 2 inch 2x barlow all the time. They're around $60. Comes with a 1.25 adapter. Pretty simple and easy to use even in the dark. The view from the 30mm in the barlow is one of my favorites. It's true, you might need to counter balance your scope, though.

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Saneless
member


Reged: 12/03/12

Re: Orion XT8 questions...and more... new [Re: stargazer424]
      #5564211 - 12/10/12 01:40 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Again, that's a little more mucking around with unscrewing things and screwing them into other eyepieces a lot but it gives you a lot of versatility.



Ha! Yeah...I don't think I would be comfortable taking apart a lens. Chances are I would A. Scratch it. B. Not be able to put it back together the same way.



It's not really taking apart a lens. Have you ever seen an eyepiece filter? That's basically what the bottom cell of the barlow is. It's just a 1/2" or so ring screwed into the bottom of a longer tube. If you screw that piece into an eyepiece (like a filter) then you get 1.5x. If you leave it as is and drop the eyepiece into the longer tube part, you get 2x.

The reason I bring it up is on some nights using a barlow on the 9mm might not work out so well viewing jupiter (266x), but at 1.5x it's at a usually always good 200x (meaning this scope can do 200x even on rough nights up above).


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stargazer424
sage


Reged: 10/03/05

Loc: Central NJ
Re: Orion XT8 questions...and more... new [Re: Saneless]
      #5564856 - 12/10/12 08:36 PM

Oh boy! I just saw this on another post that the Z8 has ! I have been looking at the Z8 too. I wasn't going to get it just yet, but will the price ever be lower? I hate making rash decisions...

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nploop102
member


Reged: 12/06/12

Loc: Austin, TX
Re: Orion XT8 questions...and more... new [Re: stargazer424]
      #5564939 - 12/10/12 09:31 PM

I just ordered the Z8 and with the extra 25 bucks off, free shipping and no taxes, it's really a great deal.

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stargazer424
sage


Reged: 10/03/05

Loc: Central NJ
Re: Orion XT8 questions...and more... new [Re: nploop102]
      #5564960 - 12/10/12 09:42 PM

Peer pressure!!

Did you order any accessories with it?


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stargazer424
sage


Reged: 10/03/05

Loc: Central NJ
Re: Orion XT8 questions...and more... new [Re: stargazer424]
      #5564978 - 12/10/12 09:59 PM

Ok, So I guess back to the Barlow question...

Zhumell 2in. 2x ED Barlow

Vs.

Astro-Tech AT22XB

Vs.

Any other Barlows?


Also 2" Barlowvs 1.25" Barlow?


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kfiscus
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA
Re: Orion XT8 questions...and more... new [Re: stargazer424]
      #5564984 - 12/10/12 10:05 PM

I'd wait on the barlows. You won't use them as much as you'd think...

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nploop102
member


Reged: 12/06/12

Loc: Austin, TX
Re: Orion XT8 questions...and more... new [Re: stargazer424]
      #5564989 - 12/10/12 10:09 PM

Quote:

Peer pressure!!

Did you order any accessories with it?




LOL. Peer pressure indeed.
No accessories. Just the scope.


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Dave74
sage
*****

Reged: 10/23/12

Loc: Gelatinous, MA
Re: Orion XT8 questions...and more... new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5564990 - 12/10/12 10:09 PM

They're the same.

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stargazer424
sage


Reged: 10/03/05

Loc: Central NJ
Re: Orion XT8 questions...and more... new [Re: Dave74]
      #5565014 - 12/10/12 10:23 PM

Quote:

I'd wait on the barlows. You won't use them as much as you'd think...



Really? Even with only 2 EPs?


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Dave74
sage
*****

Reged: 10/23/12

Loc: Gelatinous, MA
Re: Orion XT8 questions...and more... new [Re: stargazer424]
      #5565026 - 12/10/12 10:29 PM

I have a 2 inch barlow. It's great with the 30mm. I don't use it much with the 9mm. Things are mushy, and fly through the FOV. You can wait to buy it though. For sure. It's not a must have. A good chair would be a better accessory.

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