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SpooPoker
sage
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Reged: 06/04/13

Loc: North Bay CA
Re: $24.99 refractor! new [Re: gnowellsct]
      #6124927 - 10/08/13 01:20 PM

Jon:

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your reply and your enthusiasm is infectious

You are totally correct, those 50's/60's and 70's 60mm f/12 - f/17 are definitely a cut above the 60mm offerings today (with possible exception of that ludicrously expensive Parks 60mm f/15 achro). There is something fascinating about these old 60 - 80mm achro's in various flavors - much has been written and said about the old skool Unitron's, Mayflower's, Vixen's, Jaegers and so on... Products where a lot of emphasis was placed on sound engineering and good objectives - it certainly feels that one is using a legitimate instrument versus a toy. Even Tasco, much derided today, offered pretty good gear way back then and these scopes are worth picking up at a flea market or thrift store.

My own experience with a 60mm = more challenging than a dob commonly available for under $400. One really needs that trained eye to pick up detail with the 60mm. I agree that a good 60mm scope (actually even a relatively modestly made one) will show a plethora of objects and should, in principle, be perfectly acceptable for would be astronomers. However, crucially, as you suggested, one needs an imagination and appreciation for the aesthetics of the sky. Rather than looking at a faint smudge and thinking "the Andromeda galaxy looks bad", a person really appreciating the scope and the object under investigation would probably think "I cannot believe I am seeing an object so far away that when that photon of light left it, the earth was covered with towering and ferocious beasts". My wife thinks like that, and thus is never dissapointed in what a telescope offers, big or small. Always excited at every object uncovered - it is an absolute pleasure to observe with her. My brother popped his eye through my 60mm and his reaction was more along the lines of "this is boring, I can hardly see it, lets look through a bigger scope".

You have a deep passion and interest in this hobby, I can easily envisage that if all you had was a pair of binoculars or an imitation scope of the one Galileo used, you would still be out there figuring things out and getting exited with every challenging object detected. However, when one has this passion in limited supply (a passion that can of course grow), a 60mm may be somewhat a disappointment. I personally view a 60mm scope as a perfectly viable instrument doing exactly what it is meant to be doing, challenging to use, perhaps yes (experience being a factor here), dissapointing, no.


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Pastor Collux
member


Reged: 09/26/13

Loc: Tampa, FL
Eyepieces for NG60-SM? new [Re: SpooPoker]
      #6127199 - 10/09/13 02:55 PM

Just ordered this scope for my wife. After looking through my 8" Dob, she expressed desire in having her own portable, lightweight scope she can use by herself, but without putting a huge investment into it should she lose interest. This scope seemed like a good place for her to start.

However, I did warn her that she may want to put a little money into upgrading from the stock eyepieces. I suggested Agena Astro's new Starguider (AT Paradigms) eyepieces that just came in stock. Seems like they are decent quality and she'll need good eye relief, eye lens opening (she doesn't like to squint through a tiny pinhole) and a wide field of view.

Do you think the Starguiders would be a good fit for that scope and if so, what focal lengths would be best if her budget can swing only two eyepieces? I was thinking the 18mm and the 5mm coupled with a GSO 2x achro Barlow might give a decent range of mags, but not sure. Also, would it be worth upgrading the star diagonal?

She'll basically be sticking to observing naked eye visible objects, moon, planets, stars and sweeping the sky for other interesting things to look at. Suggestions?


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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Eyepieces for NG60-SM? new [Re: Pastor Collux]
      #6127213 - 10/09/13 03:03 PM

WWhile a little more expensive, I'd look at the ES 68*s. Up thru the 24mm They are pretty light weight, so balance problems won't arise. They are also sharp to the edge and affordable....They'll also work in your other scopes......the problem is, you may not want to let her have them back.....

If on a budget, at f11.7, maybe try the Orion Expanse/clones (Agena Astro, Owl). These are 66* fov and come in 20, 15, 9 & 6mm. The 9 & 6 will even perform in a faster scope. As clones, you could probably get the whole set of 4 for around $150.

Edited by csrlice12 (10/09/13 03:07 PM)


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Pastor Collux
member


Reged: 09/26/13

Loc: Tampa, FL
Re: Eyepieces for NG60-SM? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #6127234 - 10/09/13 03:12 PM

While I agree that the ES 68s are probably a great choice (I have the ES 11mm 82 for my Dob) I'm sure she'll balk at the $100-$119 price each (especially for a $25 scope). Also, Agena has only two focal lengths in the 68s in stock (16mm and 24mm) so not much magnification to choose from at the moment.

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Gert K A
sage


Reged: 07/16/12

Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark
Re: Eyepieces for NG60-SM? new [Re: Pastor Collux]
      #6127630 - 10/09/13 06:41 PM

I agree with you both on price and size the Paradigms are a good choice
I got the set and like every one of them, they work well and are relatively small and easy to handle
they have a good eyerelief plus a semi wide view they are a good all-round deal.
You get a lot for your money and I’m sure your wife will not be disappointed.

The GSO Barlow is great but since you are getting that anyway, why not opt for the 8mm eyepiece instead of the 5mm
The 8mm I personally use a lot it is a more versatile and pleasing power
and she would be able to barlow it on those rare occasions where the weather cooperates


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Eyepieces for NG60-SM? new [Re: Pastor Collux]
      #6127774 - 10/09/13 08:03 PM

Quote:

While I agree that the ES 68s are probably a great choice (I have the ES 11mm 82 for my Dob) I'm sure she'll balk at the $100-$119 price each (especially for a $25 scope). Also, Agena has only two focal lengths in the 68s in stock (16mm and 24mm) so not much magnification to choose from at the moment.




Some stuff to think about:

These scopes are 60mm F/11.7's, edge correction is simply not an issue. Eyepieces like Erfles, Konigs, the Synta 66degree EWAs (15mm and 20mm Orion Expanses etc.) are quite amazing in slow focal ratio refractor like these, they are very clean and sharp off-axis, they compliment the scopes.

Slow focal ratios are very gentle with the light, barely bending it at all, these simpler eyepieces compliment that gentleness, they don't have to work overtime to get the light where it belongs, it's already there.

The one thing I would closely inspect is the diagonal. In my experience, it's one place that department store refractors like this cut corners. With a prism diagonal, the prism will be seriously undersized with the result that with a better quality eyepiece like a 25mm or 32mm Plossl, there is serious vignetting. With a mirror diagonal, the mirror can be undersized and/or of poor quality.

Jon


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Pastor Collux
member


Reged: 09/26/13

Loc: Tampa, FL
Re: Eyepieces for NG60-SM? new [Re: Gert K A]
      #6127801 - 10/09/13 08:17 PM

Gert-

Thanks for the tip. I was thinking 5mm would be a bit too much for that scope. 140x is good, but she'd probably never be able to Barlow that puppy. 8mm seems a lot more sensible, as she'd be able to Barlow it and still get a respectable 175x. I'm shying away from the Starguider 25mm only because it did not receive favorable comments on a previous review here on CN (or was it the Paradigm version?) Do you think 18mm is low enough (38x) or should we look at something in the 6, 9, 15, and 20mm range in the Agena EWA series (those are the Orion Expanse clones I believe csrlice12 was referring to). He makes a great point in that they have wider aFOV at 66*, comfy eye relief 13-18mm and are very affordable. They just don't have the ED glass and rubberized barrel.

Hmmm...


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Eyepieces for NG60-SM? new [Re: Pastor Collux]
      #6127838 - 10/09/13 08:35 PM

Quote:

They just don't have the ED glass and rubberized barrel.




ED glass is great for refractors, it more advertising that anything in eyepieces.. Pentax and TeleVue don't go around advertising ED glass in their eyepieces.

Jon


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Gert K A
sage


Reged: 07/16/12

Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark
Re: Eyepieces for NG60-SM? new [Re: Pastor Collux]
      #6127893 - 10/09/13 09:15 PM

First off you should listen to Jon he really know his stuff, I am very sure a diagonal upgrade would do wonders.

However ED or not these eyepieces really hold up and is loved by a lot of owners here on CN.
That said 18mm is not really low power wide field especially in a f/11 acro
If you are aiming at a mid-range I would recommend the 15mm Paradigm at 46x that is a gem that surprises me every time I use it
If for wide field you could choose a 32mm Plössl to max TFOV it has sufficient eyerelief (13mm) and that is a great eyepiece too and even cheaper.
I would still stay with the Paradigm for the 8mm, higher power Plössl’s are not pleasant.

I have not tried the EWA series.. they might be great I wouldn’t know


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Pastor Collux
member


Reged: 09/26/13

Loc: Tampa, FL
Re: Eyepieces for NG60-SM? new [Re: Gert K A]
      #6127990 - 10/09/13 10:12 PM

Jon-

Thanks for the keen insight. Will have to consider a better diagonal. Will a dielectric help here or just go with an erect image of better quality than the stock diagonal? Any particular brand I should consider that is in the budget-friendly range (around $50)? Seeing how the diagonal is probably never going to leave the focuser, perhaps I should invest a little more here?

Gert and Jon-

Your input is valuable. So far I'm keen on the GSO 32mm Plossl as a low power piece, as you suggested. I'm liking the Agena EWAs as well, price and performance are hitting a sweet spot. But of the four available FLs (6, 9, 15, 20mm) not sure what to get. I figure as long as I get her the 32mm Plossl, there's probably no need for the 20mm or 15mm EWAs due to redundancy from a Barlow (at least in the 15mm FL) , so that leaves the 9mm and the 6mm for higher power work. What do you think?

I'm also still looking at the 8mm Starguider. I'm also of the opinion that 8mm (Barlowed) is about as short a FL that this scope can handle, agreed?

Gert- I just read through your last post and see you have some good recommendations there. Thanks!

Edited by Pastor Collux (10/09/13 10:16 PM)


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Gert K A
sage


Reged: 07/16/12

Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark
Re: Eyepieces for NG60-SM? new [Re: Pastor Collux]
      #6128035 - 10/09/13 10:42 PM

For night sky diagonal a 90° is essential it does not have to be a high end dielectric or quarts just something reasonable

As an example my grab and go box has got 3 eyepieces and a GSO 2.5x Barlow
(My scope is f/6.6 so your needs are different)
a 32mm Meade plössel (I really don’t think brand matters here)
and those two Paradigms 8mm and 15mm
-You could change the 15mm to 12mm to accommodate a 2x Barlow and avoid redundancies

Besides these I have a 8-24 zoom it used to be the cheap but sufficient Celestron
but has since been upgraded to the better but much more expensive Baader Mark III
A zoom is a nice to have item but not at all needed


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Pastor Collux
member


Reged: 09/26/13

Loc: Tampa, FL
Re: $24.99 refractor! new [Re: SpooPoker]
      #6128075 - 10/09/13 11:08 PM

Quote:

Jon:

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your reply and your enthusiasm is infectious

You are totally correct, those 50's/60's and 70's 60mm f/12 - f/17 are definitely a cut above the 60mm offerings today (with possible exception of that ludicrously expensive Parks 60mm f/15 achro). There is something fascinating about these old 60 - 80mm achro's in various flavors - much has been written and said about the old skool Unitron's, Mayflower's, Vixen's, Jaegers and so on... Products where a lot of emphasis was placed on sound engineering and good objectives - it certainly feels that one is using a legitimate instrument versus a toy. Even Tasco, much derided today, offered pretty good gear way back then and these scopes are worth picking up at a flea market or thrift store.

My own experience with a 60mm = more challenging than a dob commonly available for under $400. One really needs that trained eye to pick up detail with the 60mm. I agree that a good 60mm scope (actually even a relatively modestly made one) will show a plethora of objects and should, in principle, be perfectly acceptable for would be astronomers. However, crucially, as you suggested, one needs an imagination and appreciation for the aesthetics of the sky. Rather than looking at a faint smudge and thinking "the Andromeda galaxy looks bad", a person really appreciating the scope and the object under investigation would probably think "I cannot believe I am seeing an object so far away that when that photon of light left it, the earth was covered with towering and ferocious beasts". My wife thinks like that, and thus is never dissapointed in what a telescope offers, big or small. Always excited at every object uncovered - it is an absolute pleasure to observe with her. My brother popped his eye through my 60mm and his reaction was more along the lines of "this is boring, I can hardly see it, lets look through a bigger scope".

You have a deep passion and interest in this hobby, I can easily envisage that if all you had was a pair of binoculars or an imitation scope of the one Galileo used, you would still be out there figuring things out and getting exited with every challenging object detected. However, when one has this passion in limited supply (a passion that can of course grow), a 60mm may be somewhat a disappointment. I personally view a 60mm scope as a perfectly viable instrument doing exactly what it is meant to be doing, challenging to use, perhaps yes (experience being a factor here), dissapointing, no.




SpooPoker-

Well spoken. I have one of those 70's Japanese 60mm refractors still, a Sears Discoverer (Towa) F/15. My first scope. The EQ mount and tripod are long gone, along with all the eyepieces and accessories (except for the 22mm Kellner) which were tossed in between moves many years ago. But I saved the OTA (with unique 10x flip-finder), which is still in good shape and built like a tank.

I'd considered refurbishing the old 60mm and finding a mount and tripod for it for my wife to use, when I came across this Meade scope. I may still do that, but for now, she's really excited to get this scope. I hear what you're saying regarding high expectations viewing through this type of scope. That's why I'll be out there with her with my 8" Dob alongside. If she discovers something interesting, but is disappointed in the view through her 60mm, I can swing the Dob over and give her a better look, so as to keep her interest.


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Pastor Collux
member


Reged: 09/26/13

Loc: Tampa, FL
Re: Eyepieces for NG60-SM? new [Re: Gert K A]
      #6128112 - 10/09/13 11:31 PM

Quote:

For night sky diagonal a 90° is essential it does not have to be a high end dielectric or quarts just something reasonable




Gert-

LOL. I have that same diagonal bookmarked. Great minds think alike, yes?


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AngryHandyman
sage


Reged: 06/28/13

Loc: Nanaimo, BC
Re: Eyepieces for NG60-SM? new [Re: Pastor Collux]
      #6128149 - 10/09/13 11:51 PM

The Agena Astro EWA will perform very well for you in the f11 scope, I have all 4 and like them a lot in my f10 SCT and f7.5 C80ED, but the 20mm suffers in my f5 dob as does the 15mm to a lesser extent. I also use my 32mm plossl all the time. Great views in slower scopes for a very modest investment.

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Pastor Collux
member


Reged: 09/26/13

Loc: Tampa, FL
Re: Eyepieces for NG60-SM? new [Re: AngryHandyman]
      #6128200 - 10/10/13 12:22 AM

Quote:

The Agena Astro EWA will perform very well for you in the f11 scope, I have all 4 and like them a lot in my f10 SCT and f7.5 C80ED, but the 20mm suffers in my f5 dob as does the 15mm to a lesser extent. I also use my 32mm plossl all the time. Great views in slower scopes for a very modest investment.




Thanks for the feedback. I'm narrowing down choices and all that has been suggested is extremely helpful.


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Eyepieces for NG60-SM? new [Re: Pastor Collux]
      #6128244 - 10/10/13 01:04 AM

Quote:

Jon-

Thanks for the keen insight. Will have to consider a better diagonal. Will a dielectric help here or just go with an erect image of better quality than the stock diagonal? Any particular brand I should consider that is in the budget-friendly range (around $50)? Seeing how the diagonal is probably never going to leave the focuser, perhaps I should invest a little more here?




I find the basic Celestron/Orion prism diagonals are very good with scopes like these. Used, they are around for about $20, new, AgenaAstro has them for about $33.

Prism diagonals are fine in slower scopes and have the advantage that the surface is glass so it can be cleaned like a lens rather than a first-surface mirror.

I use a pretty basic prism diagonal in my 60mm F/13.3 Asahi-Pentax.. it's an amazing performer, if the diagonal were affecting the view, I couldn't do the things I do with it.

One last thought.. this scope is a $30 scope.. It hardly makes sense to invest a lot into this scope, better to begin with a better scope. But it does make sense to buy accessories/eyepieces that might be used in the future with other scopes.

Jon


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Gert K A
sage


Reged: 07/16/12

Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark
Re: Eyepieces for NG60-SM? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6128467 - 10/10/13 07:32 AM

My thoughts according to diagonals, mirror vs. prisms are this:
Some time ago I got myself a right angle finder from Orion it is a very nice device and works well.
But the prism in this have got some nasty air bubbles. I am aware that bubbles do not affect the view
(that is until they do lol) but they do take light away.
While this might not be a too big deal in a finder I would certainly not be happy loosing light in my main view.
Because of this my preference lean toward mirrors although they require more gentle handling.
I do like the classic concept of prisms and they are definitely easy to maintain.
But for cheap diagonals, I would be aware and atleast make sure to inspect it thoroughly on arrival.


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Pastor Collux
member


Reged: 09/26/13

Loc: Tampa, FL
Re: Eyepieces for NG60-SM? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6128604 - 10/10/13 09:19 AM

Quote:


One last thought.. this scope is a $30 scope.. It hardly makes sense to invest a lot into this scope, better to begin with a better scope. But it does make sense to buy accessories/eyepieces that might be used in the future with other scopes.

Jon




Agreed. My original intention was to get her a more expensive scope for her to start with. I suggested the Meade ETX 80 to her. 80mm, Goto, portable. Perfect. But the initial cost of $240 didn't sit well with her, and I think she was a bit intimidated by the computer controller. She is not very computer savvy and knows even less about the night sky (other than things look cool through a telescope).

Even though I assured her that I'd be right there to help her with setup and use of the ETX, she still didn't want to invest that much into something she might not like, or be able to understand on her own. That's when I went back to the drawing board and came across this 60mm Meade. A very simple refractor for $25 put her mind at ease.

I of course warned her to temper her expectations in such a scope, and that there would be some upgrades required to make the experience acceptable. I also told her that this scope would probably be outgrown quickly once she gets comfortable using it and that she'd likely be interested in something better down the road. She's okay with that. Small steps are required for outreach such as this.

The good thing is that she will have pride of ownership of her very own instrument that she's never really had before, for very little risk or cost. And as you said, the eyepieces I'm looking at for her scope will easily transfer over to my Dob (or another scope in the future) in the case that the little Meade 60mm become nothing more than an interesting conversation piece in the corner of the living room.


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Gert K A
sage


Reged: 07/16/12

Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark
Re: Eyepieces for NG60-SM? new [Re: Pastor Collux]
      #6128708 - 10/10/13 10:10 AM

To be honest I am not sure where a ETX 80 would fit in, but it would be somewhere around here:

It is a wide angle fast scope, it have got a lot of CA, the mechanics are ok but takes some handling,
the goto works sometimes and when it does it’s fun, the focuser is fiddly bordering annoying.
It does not cater for quick point and see astronomy it is very much tied up to the electronics
I think that if Meade had, beside all the ETX’s gimmicks, put on a finder and a handle for manual guiding,
would have gotten closer to that mark of a scope capable of it all. And then it is just a very short acro.

It is not by a long shoot a beginner scope, it has good optics for what it is it is,
it is a packet that wants to do it all, but just to make it do some, takes knowledge.

I think it is a toy but a toy for the advanced beginner.

I really don’t want to come across negative and sure the ETX80 has got something, there is for sure something about it,
it’s almost there but not.. shame

I think the orion st80 is a no nonsense little refractor that is a much better bid for this kind of scope
It is a straight forward wide angle scope that fits in a bag and on any kind of mount.

But I am side tracking, you already decided around this and I really think that that is allright


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esd726
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/30/04

Loc: Rochester, IN
Re: Eyepieces for NG60-SM? new [Re: Gert K A]
      #6128734 - 10/10/13 10:29 AM

Just tried my 24 ES 68° and my kids Celestron 8-24 Zoom in their NG60-SM and both were too heavy for it.

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