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nmitsthefish
super member


Reged: 06/17/13

Loc: Northern Berkshires, MA
Eyepiece Madness
      #5926808 - 06/18/13 03:02 AM

Hey everyone

I am totally new to this forum and astronomy in general. I currently don't even know a single person who is also into astronomy and there are zero astronomy clubs or shops within like a 100 mile radius of me, which makes things very difficult such as choosing equipment because I can't even try any before I buy them.
EDIT: Apparently I did a poor job searching for astronomy clubs and it seems there are some relatively nearby!

I just picked up an Orion SkyQuest XT8 (f/5.9, 1200mm) and it came stock with a 25mm Plossl and a 2x Shorty Barlow. Something I need to start thinking about is starting my EP collection. And I read as a general rule start out with a high powered and a low powered piece. Since it comes stock with the low powered, I will be in the market for a nice, AFFORDABLE, high powered EP. I can't stress affordable enough. So I've been trying to read up on the subject but it gets confusing really fast. I thought maybe I can ask some pro's about my specific situation and see what you guys think! =)

In regards to focal length, I want something that would be excellent for planetary viewing specifically for my 8" dob, but not something that would be too powerful. And with my stock piece and barlow I currently have a 25mm and a 12.5mm. So i was thinking perhaps getting something around a 8mm - 10mm. Does that sounds like a decent choice for my first piece?

Next, I am trying to figure out what type of EP to get. I've read that Plossls are good all around and that Orthos are especially good for planetary viewing. I should also mention that I am especially interested in planetary viewing but I do not want to be limited to planetary viewing. Would an Ortho be good for other types of objects such as star clusters, double stars, nebulae, etc? I've found an Ortho that seems great but I really am unsure because of how inexperienced I am; the 10mm Badaar Classic Ortho (BCO). It seems high quality AND affordable. I've read a review but generally theres not much out there on this piece. The review seemed very positive but I'm also not sure, given the specs of my scope, if it would be a good match. There's also the option of the Paradigm 8mm, which got decent reviews for a cheaply priced EP. But I'm not sure if 8mm is to powerful for my xt8 also considering I have a 2x Barlow. Any thoughts? Any better suggestions for my specific scope?

Finally.. It's hard not to be attracted to EP starter sets for their crazy low price of like $100-$130. Which makes me question the quality of the EPs. And since I already have a 2x barlow and they usually come with one would that be worth it? Can you stack barlows? I don't know if it's a good idea but maybe there is a really excellent quality starter set out there for a good affordable price that I dont know about yet.

Thanks for your time guys, any help is greatly appreciated.

-Nick

Edited by nmitsthefish (06/20/13 03:53 AM)


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lamplight
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/18/12

Loc: western MA, U.S.
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: nmitsthefish]
      #5926924 - 06/18/13 07:28 AM

Hi

While opinions vary on the starter sets, I tried one and then I got rid of most of my plossls. Its not that they are bad at all,its that the higher the magnification the closer you have to put your eyeball, as well as it not being a very wide field of view. The baader and the at paradigms are both nice .. The AT's are smaller physically and cheaper. i have and use both brands but less use of my baader so im not extensively experienced comparing the two. People say you can expect 50x magnification per inch of aperture but I rarely can get anywhere near that where I live. More like 30x per inch. So that'd be about 10mm. BUT, you may be able to get more magnification on different nights, so you could consider say a 12mm or 14mm or 18mm with the idea that you can experiment with your Barlow. If you have the 25mm I'd consider something in 18mm range. Eyepiece preference is so personal, I'm still trying different kinds for months.. But I do like and use my at paradigms a lot.. (12 and 24) What's your budget specifically ?


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mac57
super member


Reged: 02/19/13

Loc: DeLand of Oz, Florida
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: nmitsthefish]
      #5926929 - 06/18/13 07:34 AM

Congrats and welcome. Your situation sounds exactly like mine. First, stay away from those cheap EP bundles, because they contain the same EP's you are replacing. My first EP purchase was an 8mm Astro Tech Paradigm, and I am very happy with it. This line of eyepieces is a great value for the price. Explore Scientific 82 degree EP's are super nice for the money, but you usually have to wait for them to become available, but they are worth the wait. If you want to obwserve deep sky objects like nebulas, the Baader Orthos have a very narrow field of view, and at higher powers you won't see all of your object, which is why the ES 82's are so nice. You will find that even a high power EP does not dramatically increase the size of the object you are viewing, even with your Barlow, or not as much as you may imagine. Also, Barlows need decent seeing conditions, or you end up magnifying the bad with the good. I am not positive about stacking Barlows, but you have to watch how much weight you load onto the top of your Dob, because it will become top-heavy. Some people use ankle weights on the bottom of their tubes to counter-balance their Dobs. My 4.7mm ES 82 works very well for planets, because their moons are still in the field of view even at high power, and with a 2x Barlow puts me around the limit of practical magnification for my f/5. I don't think a 10mm will look much different than your 12.5mm, and I personally would go much smaller. Part of our problem (besides inexperience) is that there are hundreds of choices out there, but like me you need affordable EP's, so either the Paradigms or the ES82's are sure bets. Enjoy your Dob, I know I do, and clear skies to you.

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Illinois
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Reged: 12/18/06

Loc: near Dixon, Illinois USA
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: mac57]
      #5926935 - 06/18/13 07:39 AM

Welcome to CN! I like Explore Scientific 82 degree eyepieces! Good price!

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nmitsthefish
super member


Reged: 06/17/13

Loc: Northern Berkshires, MA
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: mac57]
      #5926945 - 06/18/13 07:47 AM

Thanks guys for the informative responses, I've been researching since I posted this and I found an EP that seems awesome so now I'm really torn lol. The Celestron X-Cel LX 7mm or 9mm. So I think it's gonna be either that one or a Paradigm

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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: nmitsthefish]
      #5926997 - 06/18/13 08:26 AM

In the long run, while a little more expensive, I'd go with the ES82s or ES68s. You won't regret the extra couple of bucks......and they'll be useable down the road in any other scope you get....

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SeattleScott
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/14/11

Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5927045 - 06/18/13 08:50 AM

An 8mm combined with your Barlow would be a good combo, depending on seeing conditions in your area. 7 to 9 range would work well too. Hard to beat the paradigm or excels. Zhummel Planetaries are another good option. The ES ones have a wider FOV so things stay in view longer, but they have less eye relief, which is a problem if you wear glasses.

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spencerj
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Reged: 11/17/04

Loc: Londonderry, NH
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: SeattleScott]
      #5927118 - 06/18/13 09:46 AM

Take a look at the TMB planetary eyepieces. I have owned a few of them over the years. They are pretty sharp eyepieces and are more comfortable and easier to use than a Plossl or Ortho at shorter focal lengths. Apparently they are available for $40 from Astronomics. That is a steal.

As for a focal length, a 7mm would be a very useful eyepiece for the XT8. It would give you around 170x which is enough magnification to see a fair amount of detail in the planets. Also great for globular clusters, double stars, the moon, planetary nebula. It is also a magnification that would be useful just about every night out. If seeing doesn't support 170x on a given night, the eyepieces in your case are the least of your problems.


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caheaton
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/26/09

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: spencerj]
      #5927310 - 06/18/13 11:28 AM

Given that you already have a 25mm plossl, I'd suggest sticking with plossls (at least for now). Later as you move to more expensive ep's with wider fields of view, you will likely keep those plossls as a handy base set of ep's (I feel everyone should have a set of ortho's or plossls on hand along with their other ep's).

Your existing ep is probably an Orion Sirius, so you could consider getting a 17mm Sirius. 15mm would be even more optimal, but that size isn't offered in that series, so you would need to consider other makes (Meade 4000, Celestron Omni, GSO are all good, economical choices). Here's a break down of what you have and what those focal lengths would offer:
fl magnification exit pupil (relative brightness)
25mm 48x 4.2mm
17mm 71x 2.8mm
12.5mm 96x 2.1mm (ideal for general deep sky)
8.5mm 141x 1.4mm (planets can show some detail at this magnification, even under less than ideal skies)

15mm 80x 2.5mm
7.5mm 160x 1.3mm (very usable power for planets, good for most sky conditions)

Hope this helps a bit... :-)


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Paco_Grande
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Reged: 07/14/12

Loc: Banana Republic of California
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: nmitsthefish]
      #5927368 - 06/18/13 11:51 AM

Quote:

Thanks guys for the informative responses, I've been researching since I posted this and I found an EP that seems awesome so now I'm really torn lol. The Celestron X-Cel LX 7mm or 9mm. So I think it's gonna be either that one or a Paradigm




If you're going to spend $75 on the X-Cel, might as well spend a bit more and go for the Explore Scientific 8.8mm. Or, get the Paradigm.

As always, the main problem with the ES line is they're so often not in stock. So snag them when they are in stock.


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nmitsthefish
super member


Reged: 06/17/13

Loc: Northern Berkshires, MA
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5927757 - 06/18/13 03:24 PM

Oh my, this thread has got my head spinning even more than before! Lol but that's very very good, and I'm happy because of it, you guys are dropping so much knowledge on me that by the time I do buy an EP which won't be for at least a month, ill be super prepared to make my decision. Also, what's ridiculous is that the XT8 I bought hasn't even arrived yet so I'm really jumping the gun by obsessing over a new EP without even a single night of observing. But I'm the type to want as much information as possible before I even start something so I can always have it in the back of my mind in practice to make better decisions later.

You guys got me loving the idea of the ES82, and it's so funny because when I was looking at the Celestron x-cel I thought "hey it's only $15 more than the paradigm" now I'm looking at the ES like "hey it's only $15 more than the x-cel". At this rate ill have a set of naglers in no time!

And for some reason I'm thinking of going pretty high powered with the ES 6.7mm instead of the 8.8mm but really I have to see the quality of the shorty Barlow that Orion sends me I think. Because I like the idea of, with the 6.7mm, having 179x without adding more glass to it, although barlowed that's 358x. Is that exceeding a practical and comfortable viewing mag? With the 8.8mm I'd get a 136x and barlowed 272x.

I've seen mixed feeling on using barlows at all; some people hate them. Which is why I'm a bit skeptical with relying on having one, especially a stock one from Orion. Anyone have experience with this Barlow? Will it perform better with better EPs? Should I try not to use it with high powered pieces less than 9mm and only use it for low and mid power pieces?


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ohioalfa64
sage


Reged: 08/16/12

Loc: Ohio (NW)
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: nmitsthefish]
      #5927784 - 06/18/13 03:38 PM

Yes you are right. It is Eyepiece madness here.

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Jarrod
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 01/20/13

Loc: SE USA
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: ohioalfa64]
      #5927812 - 06/18/13 03:53 PM

+1 on the 8.8mm ES 82. Great EP, and it would really complement your 25mm and barlow giving you 25, 12.5, 8.8, and 4.4mm focal lengths.

I have the same OTA as what you do and my 6.7mm is used more often then either the 8.8 or 4.7. It's good for planetary *and* DSOs and conditions allow for this magnifications on most nights I judge it worthwhile to drag the stuff outside. So I might go for the 6.7 first, then save for the 8.8 next. And that's how the madness begins.

Edited by Jarrod (06/18/13 04:01 PM)


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Allan...
sage


Reged: 10/24/12

Loc: Penticton B.C. Canada
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: ohioalfa64]
      #5927821 - 06/18/13 03:57 PM

Not sure where you're located, nmitsthefish, but I would personally suggest waiting to see how you make out with the stock 25mm plossl and 2x barlow before going to higher power eyepieces. You COULD be disappointed. I have seldom ever got below 7mm (barlowed 14mm) to be honest (in MY seeing conditions); tried a 6mm once or twice but no go unless looking at the moon. I have the same scope here as you will. I now find myself using LOWER power 2" eyepieces much more; for viewing galaxies and such. If you want high power, the ES8.8mm might be a good choice but I personally wouldn't go to anything much more powerful before you see how 12.5mm works out (your barlowed 25mm). I think there would be very few times where you could use a 6.7mm barlowed at 2x, though I could be wrong..lol. Allan
ps: Jarrod, just read your report on the 6.7mm; surprising but GOOD info. You must have really good seeing conditions there...or maybe I just have really BAD...lol. (am so often in the Jetstream here).

Edited by Allan... (06/18/13 04:01 PM)


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TexasRed
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/17/11

Loc: East Texas
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: ohioalfa64]
      #5927830 - 06/18/13 04:00 PM

There's nothing wrong with the Orion shorty Barlow. It's a great way to double your eyepiece collection and preserve the eye relief of longer focal length eyepieces. You'll very rarely be able to use 358x magnification or any exit pupil below about .7mm, so plan your eyepiece purchases to avoid ones you won't be able to use with your Barlow.

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Kevdog
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Reged: 07/11/12

Loc: Desert Hills, AZ
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: TexasRed]
      #5927845 - 06/18/13 04:09 PM

I have the ES 82 8.8mm eyepiece and it was great in my Meade LT8 with a 2000mm focal distance. But now it's practically useless since I upgraded to a C11. I'm thinking of selling it to get an ES82 -14 or 18 which would be much more useful in my C11. Definitely a good series.

The problem with eyepieces is there are soooooo many choices.

THe Orion Epic II ED's were also listed as great planetary eyepieces for not much money and they are on sale now. $60 for the 15mm here:
http://www.telescope.com/Accessories/Telescope-Eyepieces/15mm-Orion-Epic-II-E...

They are not as wide as the ES82s at "only" 60 degrees, but I read they were good for planets so it's been sitting in my list while I try and figure out whether to spend $60 for a 15mm 60deg or $100 for a 14mm 82 deg or $150 for a 18mm 82 deg 2" eyepiece! OR just be happy with what I have (yeah right)!

But my most used eyepiece now is my Williams Optic 40mm 2" SWAN. Wide field and big exit pupil for viewing the DSOs.


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Thomas Karpf
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/09/09

Loc: Newington, CT
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: nmitsthefish]
      #5927852 - 06/18/13 04:13 PM

Quote:

You guys got me loving the idea of the ES82, and it's so funny because when I was looking at the Celestron x-cel I thought "hey it's only $15 more than the paradigm" now I'm looking at the ES like "hey it's only $15 more than the x-cel". At this rate ill have a set of naglers in no time!





Yeah, you've gotta' love those incremental increases. With me, it's computers, cell phones, etc. 'For an additional $100 I can double the RAM, for another $50 I can increase the hard drive size 25%' and pretty soon the only 'reasonable' PC is at double or triple the original budget for the 'basic PC' you were looking for.


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spencerj
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Reged: 11/17/04

Loc: Londonderry, NH
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: Jarrod]
      #5927874 - 06/18/13 04:24 PM

On a budget, I understand the logic of using a barlow to "double" your eyepiece collection. On paper it looks great, but you need to be sure you are happy with the barlow--and using a barlow in general. I have used the 2x shorty from Orion (not the shorty plus which is essentially the Celestion Ultima barlow and much better). I found it to be just ok. I think it would be fine for barlowing the 25mm, but using it on an 8.8mm eyepeice? I would not recommend that as your primary planetary setup. 270x is likely going to be too much magnification for a lot of seeing conditions and targets.

At that magnification, every imperfection is magnified. The moon and Saturn would be fine some of the time (though always a bit fuzzy), but Mars and Jupiter . . . not so much. Mars and Jupiter's low-contrast detail will get washed out. And what else are you going to view at 270x? That leaves you with your highest useful magnification of about 135x. That is fine for a lot of double stars and globular clusters would look great, but that is not enough magnification for your primary lunar and planetary eyepiece. It will leave you short of the potential of your scope.

Anyway, that is just my experience/opinion. If I were in your position, I would spend my money (whatever you are comfortable with) on the eyepiece that I plan use the most: a 7mm or if it has to be an ES the 6.7mm. If that eyepiece barlows well then it is a bonus, but I would not compromise and get stuck at an in-between magnification, because the barlowed focal length of a certain eyepiece looks better on paper.


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sg6
professor emeritus


Reged: 02/14/10

Loc: Norfolk, UK.
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: spencerj]
      #5927949 - 06/18/13 05:11 PM

For what was described I would consider the Astro-Tech Paradigms at $60. They are a very good performer for the cost, of course it depends on the budget you have in mind.

The 8mm fits the requirements, performs well at f/5 so on the Orion should handle the f/5.9 quiet easily and they have a wider view and better eye relief then a plossl.

As has been mentioned a barlow can be a good item if the barlow performs well enough that it does not degrade what you see and that can mean paying a fair amount for a good barlow.


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pftarch
professor emeritus


Reged: 09/21/07

Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: nmitsthefish]
      #5927964 - 06/18/13 05:21 PM

Quote:

.....looking at the Celestron x-cel I thought "hey it's only $15 more than the paradigm" now I'm looking at the ES like "hey it's only $15 more than the x-cel". At this rate ill have a set of naglers in no time! ....





Your statement above indicates that although you are a beginner, you have already mastered the finer points of astronomy.

Happy Viewing!

Peter T


ps. hey, the Ethos is only a "little" more than the Naglers.


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nmitsthefish
super member


Reged: 06/17/13

Loc: Northern Berkshires, MA
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: sg6]
      #5927996 - 06/18/13 05:46 PM

Quote:


The 8mm fits the requirements, performs well at f/5 so on the Orion should handle the f/5.9 quiet easily and they have a wider view and better eye relief then a plossl.
.




So you think I should eliminate the 6.7mm or 7mm options? How do I determine how well they would perform given my specs? Because I was leaning towards Jarrods advice and starting with the 6.7 then go for the 8.8 later. I'm talking about if I spent the extra money on the ES. But if I do decide to just go with the paradigm I would definitely go 8mm opposed to 5mm.


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nmitsthefish
super member


Reged: 06/17/13

Loc: Northern Berkshires, MA
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: nmitsthefish]
      #5928238 - 06/18/13 08:47 PM

So super exciting news! My order tracking says my scope *should* arrive tomorrow! And the weather forecast says clear skies for the evening, so I may have my first session =) secondly, in my original post it says I have no astronomy clubs within a hundred mile radius? Well apparently there is a "star party" held by Amherst college up on the tallest peak in Massachusetts, and that happens to be basically right in my backyard, ten minute drive! I may get to make some friends after all. Lol sorry I know it's irrelevant, I'm just excited

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kfiscus
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: nmitsthefish]
      #5928265 - 06/18/13 09:10 PM

I would encourage you to buy used EPs from well-rated sellers here and Astromart. You will be able to find EPs that are as good as new and put them through their paces. Take very good care of them. Sell them for what you paid if they're not right for you. I've been at this awhile and now have Naglers- none bought new. Keep your mind and eyes open, the madness comes and goes...

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cliffy54
professor emeritus
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Reged: 03/14/10

Loc: ma
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5928740 - 06/19/13 07:21 AM

I agree with kfiscus buy used and pay attention to the sellers ratings. I ended up selling about a dozen eyepieces because I just never used them they were like brand new maybe used once or twice of course I sold them at a loss.

I'm pass the eyepiece thing now I have four eyepieces for all my scopes and they get used regularly. If I was ever in the market for an eyepiece I would definitely buy used.


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lamplight
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/18/12

Loc: western MA, U.S.
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: nmitsthefish]
      #5929125 - 06/19/13 12:24 PM

Quote:

Well apparently there is a "star party" held by Amherst college up on the tallest peak in Massachusetts, and that happens to be basically right in my backyard, ten minute drive! I may get to make some friends after all. Lol sorry I know it's irrelevant, I'm just excited




Can you post some info on that I hadn't heard of it! There's a star party in Plainfield ma I'm going to in August, rockland astronomy club.

I really think you won't get to use the 6.7 much due to atmospheric conditions, but its hard to say.. I haven't observed in the berkshires but I do know we have way more humidity here in the pioneer valley and am closer to larger cities light pollution, so who knows..

What you'll see if the atmosphere isn't supporting a certain magnification : stars start getting soft and fuzzy.. If you Barlow to 12mm.. See what it looks like.. (as already mentioned). and remember thats just that night.. it can vary throughout a single night and night to night (seeing conditions) . Personally I'd go for something in 10-8mm . I have the ES 6.7 and don't get to use it much.

Otoh it is one of the rare ES 82° eyepieces that are in stock. I also second the astro tech paradigm pieces I use them a lot still even though I have other more expensive pieces.

Edited by lamplight (06/19/13 12:43 PM)


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Kevdog
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/11/12

Loc: Desert Hills, AZ
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: lamplight]
      #5929147 - 06/19/13 12:37 PM

Quote:

For what was described I would consider the Astro-Tech Paradigms at $60.




Quote:

I also second the astro tech paradigm pieces I use them a lot still even though I have other more expensive pieces.




Also note that the Orion Epic IIs are the same eyepiece as teh astro tech Paradigms and are on sale (making them the same price, funny enough).

http://www.telescope.com/Accessories/Telescope-Eyepieces/15mm-Orion-Epic-II-E...

When I went searching for planetary eyepieces these came up highly regarded for not much $$$. Still don't have one yet though!


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nmitsthefish
super member


Reged: 06/17/13

Loc: Northern Berkshires, MA
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: Kevdog]
      #5929770 - 06/19/13 05:49 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

It came today guys! I'm so excited!!!!! My XT8 is here! I already took it out during the day to align the EZ Finder which worked absolutely perfectly btw, I know people have trouble with it sometimes. But I cant wait for the clear skies tonight! until I have to go to work at 11:30pm =(

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nmitsthefish
super member


Reged: 06/17/13

Loc: Northern Berkshires, MA
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: Kevdog]
      #5929796 - 06/19/13 06:00 PM

Quote:


Also note that the Orion Epic IIs are the same eyepiece as teh astro tech Paradigms and are on sale (making them the same price, funny enough).





I find it pretty strange that so many companies release the same exact pieces as different names as their own(and apparently different prices too!) what a bunch of corporate malarkey..


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Allan...
sage


Reged: 10/24/12

Loc: Penticton B.C. Canada
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: nmitsthefish]
      #5929847 - 06/19/13 06:34 PM

Wow...it didn't take you long to unpack it and put it together. Looks great! Hope you get some nice clear skies tonight. Nothing like that where I am; cloudy and rainy, darn it all anyways..lol.

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nmitsthefish
super member


Reged: 06/17/13

Loc: Northern Berkshires, MA
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: Allan...]
      #5929863 - 06/19/13 06:48 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

Quote:

Wow...it didn't take you long to unpack it and put it together. Looks great! Hope you get some nice clear skies tonight. Nothing like that where I am; cloudy and rainy, darn it all anyways..lol.




It took me about 45 minutes I'd say to put it together, not bad. And here is my local weather and seeing forecasts for my first night of observing (no idea how to read a clear sky chart though! so I dont even know if its good, I just know it exists lol)

Edited by nmitsthefish (06/19/13 06:55 PM)


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panhard
It's All Good
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Reged: 01/20/08

Loc: Markham Ontario Canada
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: nmitsthefish]
      #5929894 - 06/19/13 07:07 PM

Let me say that it doesn't get much better than that.

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WaterMasterAdministrator
Moat Keeper
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Reged: 02/17/10

Loc: Southeast Idaho, USA
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: panhard]
      #5929936 - 06/19/13 07:43 PM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights! You're going to love your new scope, it will show you enough to keep you busy for a lifetime.

A quick word about eyepieces. I'd recommend something in the 15mm range, which would fit in well with your 25mm and barlow. I'd recommend the AT Paradigms as well - they're quite capable and the price is right (and our sponsor gives discounts to Cloudy Nights members).

You can visit the cleardarksky home page for more information on how to read the chart, but basically, the darker the blue, the better the view.


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Mad_Stars
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Reged: 04/21/13

Loc: Canada
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: WaterMaster]
      #5930439 - 06/20/13 12:42 AM

Thats a great scope from what ive heard. Have fun with it. From what ive read a 9mm Nagler would suit your setup well.

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billywho
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Reged: 01/30/12

Loc: San Diego, CA
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: nmitsthefish]
      #5930492 - 06/20/13 01:15 AM

[




So you think I should eliminate the 6.7mm or 7mm options? How do I determine how well they would perform given my specs? Because I was leaning towards Jarrods advice and starting with the 6.7 then go for the 8.8 later. I'm talking about if I spent the extra money on the ES. But if I do decide to just go with the paradigm I would definitely go 8mm opposed to 5mm.




I have the entire ES 82 degree line. My XT10 is 1200mm. The 8.8 (136x) is always crisp in the scope. unless you have good seeing conditions the 6.7 (179x) and 4.7mm (255x) can be hit or miss. They are great when the seeing allows that much magnification.

The 8.8 in my opinion though is a little too much magnification when star hopping or searching. I go minimally down to the 11mm (109x) for that.

If your going to get two, I would recommend something higher quality in the 11-14mm for searching the sky, you can Barlow that to get a high mag if seeing allows. Get the ES 8.8, its a great eyepiece (my most used high mag piece).

At some point you'll probably want to get a quality low power eyepiece.

Goodluck


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nmitsthefish
super member


Reged: 06/17/13

Loc: Northern Berkshires, MA
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: WaterMaster]
      #5930496 - 06/20/13 01:19 AM Attachment (12 downloads)

So I have a couple things to mention. First, my first night every observing went pretty great!!! I was all alone with my scope, my maps, my red light, and sometimes cheated a little with my stellarium app (hehe), but I think considering that I did pretty well. I only got to observe from about 9-11 and it didnt get really dark until after 9:30 maybe closer to 10. The first thing I looked at was the moon because it was out the earliest, and wow even just that it so amazing. But I then got to Saturn which was awesome and a personal life goal for me lol, and then managed to find both M13 and the Ring Nebula! I really dont know if thats a good day for most people but I'm pretty excited about it.

As for the eyepieces (this IS an eyepiece thread after all), and this is just generally speaking as someone whos never used a real telescope before, I found it pretty hard to get used to looking through them. Especially with the barlow attached you gotta kind of move your eye around and in an out to get rid of like black spots and to get the image as clear as possible, and I thought it was as simple as just looking into it lol. But it is definitely a skill that needs to be learned. Towards the end I found ways of making things clearer by like looking away from the object a little bit or even just sort of mentally honing in on the object. It was especially tough for both M13 and the Ring Nebula, I was having trouble seeing more that just smudges but eventually saw both pretty clearly (able to resolve many individual stars in m13 and a clear ring shape of the nebula) with both the 25mm by itself and barlowed. Oh and I saw a tiny pin point go whizzing by my view about 3 times while i was out tonight, are those satellites? But I just thought it was weird to happen to see multiple in such a small view, I was even able to manually track one for a pretty good distance which I was proud of ;] One went by as I had M13 perfectly in focus and it was glorious, it was like seeing a shooting star while already witnessing something spectacular. SO, once I got acclimated to looking through an eyepiece, I decided that I really enjoyed looking through the 25mm Sirius Plossl. It had amazing detail of the moon, and the fact that I was able to see individual stars in M13 blew my mind. The barlow on the other hand, was very hard to use. When I had my eye perfect things looked pretty good but that was super hard. Most of the time I got like black around the edges and I've heard the term kidney bean somewhere before and I don't know what that is but I definitely had a lot of black spots shaped like kidney beans while trying to view through it. This could all just be a matter of getting used to, and it could be great, I just dont have the experience or anything to compare it to. WHICH brings me to my next topic.

A certain extremely generous CN member PM'd me after reading this thread and offered to just send me his TMB Planetary 9mm to borrow for several weeks, so that I could actually try another eyepiece out and therefore make a way better decision on what I want to eventually get. The fact that this member is doing this for me, a complete stranger, is absolutely incredible and it says a lot about this community and I am so happy to now be a part of it. I just wanted to publicly thank this member and share with the rest of you that story. I'd also like to thank EVERYBODY for all of your great information and time and patience with me!

Also here's a quick snapshot I took of the moon really early in the evening with my iPhone lol


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lamplight
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/18/12

Loc: western MA, U.S.
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: nmitsthefish]
      #5930576 - 06/20/13 03:17 AM

This is really your first night? Holy cows. GREAT JOB!!!

The thing with barlows is they narrow the point where you have to place your eye to see the image.. (Focal plane? forget) anyhow.. Yes, Its annoying.. Which is why some people mentioned.. Will you like using a Barlow or not. But its good that you can see what 12mm shows at least. Awesome night.. Got your PM, respond tomorrow .. I might try to get to one of the mt greylock parties that sounds incredible


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nmitsthefish
super member


Reged: 06/17/13

Loc: Northern Berkshires, MA
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: lamplight]
      #5930587 - 06/20/13 03:45 AM

Thanks!

I mean I'll just have to practice with the Barlow and see how it goes, I just cant wait to try the TMB 9mm that I'm so lucky to get to borrow. And then trying to barlow that i'm sure is going to be a nightmare for me lol

The issue with the star party is that it currently forecasted to be isolate t-storms =( but only a 30% chance of rain? we'll see how that plays out


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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: nmitsthefish]
      #5930784 - 06/20/13 08:25 AM

Well, this is an eyepiece forum, the condition you're describing is one all too common to dob users; it's called "lack of Field of View (FOV)". There are cures, but they'll cost you a bit more then plossels.

Welcome to the Nudge Club! That's an 8" f6 scope and will show you tons of stuff. At the lower end you'll find the Expanses, Paradigms, a step up would be the Hyperions, a small (but totally worth it) move up from there would be the Explore Scientific (ES) 68* and 82* and 100* series; after that you get into the higher end Televues, Pentax, Zeiss. At f6 the Hyperions would probably work pretty well, The ES will have you jumping up and down with joy, but the premium lines will all leave you drop jawed in awe. Are the differences worth the price, that will depend on you.......

I now return you to your regularly scheduled forum.....


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lamplight
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/18/12

Loc: western MA, U.S.
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5931171 - 06/20/13 12:05 PM

Got this from Kevin regarding Saturdays potential star party ( I asked about camping as I was considering testing out all my new camping gear sat night in a darker zone anyhow... He says regarding all this:
Hi Matt,

Quote:

"... to give the public enough notice I will be making the GO / NO-GO call by 1 PM on Saturday....at which point I will update the website http://www.mtgreylockstarparty.org with the decision and contact the Mt. Greylock Visitor Center so they have an answer when people call in wondering. Please check the website or call the Visitor Center AFTER 1 PM Saturday at 413-499-4262 for the status.

You are correct, there is only walk-in camping at the Sperry Road campground on the mountain.... "




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nmitsthefish
super member


Reged: 06/17/13

Loc: Northern Berkshires, MA
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: lamplight]
      #5931196 - 06/20/13 12:23 PM

Oh so there is camping. Nice!

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kfiscus
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: billywho]
      #5931262 - 06/20/13 01:06 PM

Agreed about the 8.8. You've either got to be cocky or good to star hop / search with that high of magnification in most instances.

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Haas
sage


Reged: 11/22/12

Loc: Wis., USA
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5931886 - 06/20/13 07:18 PM

How did you get such a decent picture of the moon with an I-phone? I'm not attempting astro photography, but I did try to take a pic with my android phone, and it was nothing but a blurry white light. Yours is pretty good. I can't seem to get my camera to focus in on the image through the eyepiece.

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nmitsthefish
super member


Reged: 06/17/13

Loc: Northern Berkshires, MA
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: Haas]
      #5935853 - 06/23/13 03:52 AM Attachment (11 downloads)

Sorry Haas, I meant to respond to this and then thought I did BECAUSE I knew I meant to. Bad memory here. Anyway, it's definitely difficult to line up the iPhone to the iPiece (see what I did there?) but once its in view you also gotta make sure it focuses and adjusts itself, thus reducing the brightness automatically. Sometimes when it doesnt do it you just have to tap the screen to get it to focus and adjust to your target. Here is an example picture my friend took with his android through my scope, although its not as good as mine but potentially could take comparable images as my iPhone. (Also keep in mind when it comes to android, there are some really low quality phones out there but at the same time theres really amazing phones, so I'm not sure if it has anything to do with that as I dont know which model you have.)

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nmitsthefish
super member


Reged: 06/17/13

Loc: Northern Berkshires, MA
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: nmitsthefish]
      #5936036 - 06/23/13 09:06 AM

Sooooo, still not even a week into my astronomy adventure and I already have another amazing story about the astronomy community.

Last night was the Amherst Astronomy Club's event at the top of Mt. Greylock, MA. Unfortunately, it was very cloudy, and I only got a few peeks at the moon and saturn. But on a positive note I got to meet some great people. Had a great conversation about eyepieces, and one very experienced astronomer insisted that the only way to decide which eyepieces you like is just try them yourself. Everybody is different and so what matters is what you like. Having said this, if it was nice out, he would have let me try out a bunch of different eyepieces to help me decide. And since the night was coming to an end with no real observing, he said, "ya know what, I'm going to let you borrow a couple so you can test them out yourself on a good night" I was immediately blown away because that is the second time this week someone has been so generous towards me. So he brought me to his truck and took out some eyepieces for me. The ones he let me borrow are as follows: a 40mm TeleVue Plossl, 26mm TeleVue Plossl, a 19mm TeleVue Panoptic, and a 2.5mm Vixen LV Lanthanum.

Now with all of these borrowed pieces plus own and my Barlow I'm going to be able to try the following focal lengths side by side:
...FL.......POWER..AFOV..TFOV
40mm.......30x......43.....1.43
26mm.......46x......50**.1.08**
25mm.......48x......52.....1.08
20mm*.....60x......43.....0.72
19mm.......63x......68.....1.08
14mm*.....92x......50**..0.54**
12.5mm*..96x......52.....0.54
9mm........133x.....58.....0.44
4.5mm*...267x.....58.....0.22
2.5mm.....480x.....45.....0.09
1.25mm*.960x.....45.....0.05 (lololol)

*Indicates Barlowed focal length
**The TeleVue 26mm plossl is apparently super old and I can't find an AFOV for it, but I'm assuming it's the same as their regular Plossl line.

I have so much to do! And of course the weather forecast says rain for the next 39420354 days.


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lamplight
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/18/12

Loc: western MA, U.S.
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: nmitsthefish]
      #5937056 - 06/23/13 08:22 PM

Nice to meet you Nick!!

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nmitsthefish
super member


Reged: 06/17/13

Loc: Northern Berkshires, MA
Re: Eyepiece Madness new [Re: lamplight]
      #5937073 - 06/23/13 08:32 PM

Good to meet you too Matt, even though observing conditions were less than optimal, it was still a good time and I feel like I learned a lot

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