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Planning to buy a NexStar 8SE (First telescope)

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#26 Peter9

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 02:00 PM

[/quote]

Thanks for the criticism though! [/quote]

Hi Zoeff, I don't for one moment think that Tel was trying to be critical, just trying to give advise to the best of his ability, which is, in my option, considerable. It is difficult where eyepieces are concerned as, in the end, it down to personal choice as Tel pointed out. Owning the 6se as against the 8se I can not comment on the merits of the 8mm eyepiece for that scope. I am in the 8mm - 24mm zoom eyepiece camp. Mine is the most used eyepice I have.
Well done on buying the 8se and good luck.

Peter

#27 Skip

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 02:07 PM

Good on ya, Bob! Actually, I try to avoid giving any eyepiece advice - it is just too personal. But if a newbie asks, I always say to stick with the one what brung ya - the one that came with the scope - until you have a chance to try out several EPs at star parties, etc.

I have 13mm and 24mm Hyperions. A friend of mine just HAD to have a 13mm Nagler because he had heard all the rave reviews. So he saved and bought it (don't recall the price, but WAY more than my Hyperion). One night at our dark sky site, I told him to bring it over so I could try it in my 6SE (f/10). Frankly, I couldn't see the hundreds of dollars difference in the two - and neither could he. It just so happened I also had my XT10 (f/4.7) setup and we tried it there. OK, now I was seeing a difference but still not enough to justify (for me) the extra bucks. He was ecstatic over the difference. Until I reminded him that he had a 8" SCT (f/10). But whatever, he was still happy with his Nagler, so I let it go.

Value, as well as beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. :grin:

BTW, I'm also one of those guys that sees a car as only a mode of transportation. I'm sure you, Bob, have a much different opinion.

#28 ibase

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 02:41 PM

So true, eyepieces are so personal, but we have to share our experience with the eyepieces we use and the varied views (pardon the pun) are really to the benefit of the OP because it gives him a wide perspective in what works and what doesn't, but I have to stay my course also that since Zoeffe has decided on the Hyp 8mm's, I say it's not an un-wise decision at all (it's not gonna be his last EP after all). I think the 8mm borders on the limit of useful power on the C8; even the grand old dad of Televue and owner, Uncle Al Nagler of the famous Nagler line recommends 9mm's and 12mm's (now replaced by Ethos 10mm) specifically for the 8" SCT:

http://www.televue.c...page.asp?ID=222

and the 8mm is just a hairline below the 9mm so it's up there; anyway in my scope, the 8mm gets much use especially for bright objects like the moon, Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, bight nebula like Orion's M42, bright stars like Alpha Centauri to split etc. which are pretty much down a neophyte's line to start with. I am even able to use a 7mm Meade Research Grade ortho on Saturn and it gives a superbly clear view. YMMV (your mileage may vary) or your viewing site may vary too, only the OP can really say what suits his eyes and his observing site. Just my 2 cents. Clear skies.

Best,

#29 brianb11213

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 03:00 PM

You may be surprised just how useful (actually NOT SO USEFUL) an 8 MM EP can be...

It's the extreme top end of what might be useful in a f/10 scope. Personally I've used 9mm a few times but nothing stronger. It's rare for me to go shorter than 12.5mm. And I hardly ever use a barlow (visually).

#30 Midnight Dan

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 03:03 PM

Zoeff:

I think the 8mm Hyperion is a good choice. Using the 25mm with a 2x barlow gets you a 12.5mm, so the 13mm isn't needed right away. And I get a reasonable amount of use out of my 8mm for planetary observation, although I DO use the 13mm more.

For a starter set, I think you have the bases covered pretty well. The 8mm will also give you a look through a pretty decent eyepiece to see how that compares to the Plossls. My guess is that, as time and money allows, you'll migrate to a more complete set of the Hyperions or some similar type of eyepiece.

But for now, this set gives pretty good coverage without breaking the bank! Just my opinion.

-Dan

#31 Midnight Dan

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 03:09 PM

You may be surprised just how useful (actually NOT SO USEFUL) an 8 MM EP can be...

It's the extreme top end of what might be useful in a f/10 scope. Personally I've used 9mm a few times but nothing stronger. It's rare for me to go shorter than 12.5mm. And I hardly ever use a barlow (visually).


Hi Brian:

I've had a couple of nights where I've actually used a 4mm (8mm barlowed x2) with good success viewing Saturn. So, even though those nights are very rare, I guess I'd call that the extreme top end. I'm able to use the 8mm pretty regularly for planetary viewing - probably a little more than 50% of the nights I view. It probably depends a lot on the normal atmospheric conditions in your local viewing area.

Another thing it will depend on is good collimation. I'm definitely not able to go beyond 8mm unless the scope is really dialed in for accurate collimation.

-Dan

#32 Zoeff

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 10:52 PM

Thanks for the criticism though!


Hi Zoeff, I don't for one moment think that Tel was trying to be critical, just trying to give advise to the best of his ability, which is, in my option, considerable. It is difficult where eyepieces are concerned as, in the end, it down to personal choice as Tel pointed out. Owning the 6se as against the 8se I can not comment on the merits of the 8mm eyepiece for that scope. I am in the 8mm - 24mm zoom eyepiece camp. Mine is the most used eyepice I have.
Well done on buying the 8se and good luck.

Peter


It was a compliment, not sarcasm. :)

As for the EPs, it's indeed meant as a starters set. I even plan on trying out the 8mm one with the barlow just so I can see how badly it'll look. :)

#33 Tom Andrews

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 11:56 PM

As for the EPs, it's indeed meant as a starters set. I even plan on trying out the 8mm one with the barlow just so I can see how badly it'll look. :)


It all depends on where you live and the seeing. My most used eyepiece is my TMB 9mm, then my Celestron 6mm and 4mm in that order. I have been able to use the 6mm barlowed on Saturn for more than a month now. Some nights are better than others, of course. And this is all with my 8SE.

#34 ibase

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 12:06 AM

You may be surprised just how useful (actually NOT SO USEFUL) an 8 MM EP can be...

It's the extreme top end of what might be useful in a f/10 scope. Personally I've used 9mm a few times but nothing stronger. It's rare for me to go shorter than 12.5mm. And I hardly ever use a barlow (visually).


Hi Brian:

I've had a couple of nights where I've actually used a 4mm (8mm barlowed x2) with good success viewing Saturn. So, even though those nights are very rare, I guess I'd call that the extreme top end. I'm able to use the 8mm pretty regularly for planetary viewing - probably a little more than 50% of the nights I view. It probably depends a lot on the normal atmospheric conditions in your local viewing area.

Another thing it will depend on is good collimation. I'm definitely not able to go beyond 8mm unless the scope is really dialed in for accurate collimation.

-Dan


Bingo! Collimation has to be spot on and there'll be no problems ramping up magnification to 254x using an 8mm on the C8. While we're at it, a set of Bob's Knobs will make collimation a breeze, eliminating the need of fumbling with a Phillips screwdriver in the dark.

Zoeffe, increasing the magnification until it turns ugly is a rite of passage for most new C8 owners, you just have to see for yourself what it's like so barlowing the Hyp 8 is a good plan.

Best,

#35 senske

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 02:34 AM

Congratulations on your purchase! I'm sure you're going to enjoy your new telescope.

Perhaps I missed this from the other posts, but I'd really recommend a 8x50 or 9x50 finder. I just outfitted my new 8 SE with a GSO 8x50 RACI finder which makes finding objects a lot easier. The red dot finder is very useful, but for me it's not enough. I kept the red dot finder and moved it from the right side of the telescope to the left side.

Have fun!

#36 brianb11213

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 02:46 AM

I've had a couple of nights where I've actually used a 4mm (8mm barlowed x2) with good success viewing Saturn. So, even though those nights are very rare, I guess I'd call that the extreme top end. I'm able to use the 8mm pretty regularly for planetary viewing - probably a little more than 50% of the nights I view. It probably depends a lot on the normal atmospheric conditions in your local viewing area.

Seeing & collimation are certainly factors but, once over at most 30x per inch of aperture (which comes to 8mm with an f/10 scope) the lower light level causes you to be able to see less fine detail than you can at a lower power. Low contrast detail like that on Saturn's globe suffers most. People's eyes do differ, I find 30x per inch is too high for me in perfect seeing, with a perfectly collimated scope except for very close double stars.

Resources like books have been stressing the avoidance of overmagnification for ages, it's a very common (and understandable) error by beginners to shove the magnification up too high - this is where the effectiveness of the "x500" boast of chain store cr*pescopes comes from - the more experience I get, the lower the maximum power I use, and the more I see.

Trust me, if you're seeing Saturn sharp at x500 in a 8" scope, drop to x250 and compare the detail you see on the globe. Jupiter stands magnification even less well, x200 is too much on Jupiter in an 8" scope.

#37 Tom Andrews

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 11:00 PM

As for the EPs, it's indeed meant as a starters set. I even plan on trying out the 8mm one with the barlow just so I can see how badly it'll look. :)


It all depends on where you live and the seeing. My most used eyepiece is my TMB 9mm, then my Celestron 6mm and 4mm in that order. I have been able to use the 6mm barlowed on Saturn for more than a month now. Some nights are better than others, of course. And this is all with my 8SE.


I just realized that my info was not complete. I use a 6.3 focal reducer 100% of the time and forget about it since it's always on there. That makes a big difference in calculating the power these eyepieces are creating.

#38 Zoeff

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 10:17 PM

As for the EPs, it's indeed meant as a starters set. I even plan on trying out the 8mm one with the barlow just so I can see how badly it'll look. :)


It all depends on where you live and the seeing. My most used eyepiece is my TMB 9mm, then my Celestron 6mm and 4mm in that order. I have been able to use the 6mm barlowed on Saturn for more than a month now. Some nights are better than others, of course. And this is all with my 8SE.


I just realized that my info was not complete. I use a 6.3 focal reducer 100% of the time and forget about it since it's always on there. That makes a big difference in calculating the power these eyepieces are creating.


Hmm interesting. So a focal reducer is the opposite of a barlow?

Also a quick update on the delivery, it'll be a few weeks before I actually get it. The 40mm Plössl is also out of stock, perhaps it would be a better idea to get a 32mm Plössl? That probably has a better afov anyway...

#39 Tel

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 04:29 AM

As for the EPs, it's indeed meant as a starters set. I even plan on trying out the 8mm one with the barlow just so I can see how badly it'll look. :)



It all depends on where you live and the seeing. My most used eyepiece is my TMB 9mm, then my Celestron 6mm and 4mm in that order. I have been able to use the 6mm barlowed on Saturn for more than a month now. Some nights are better than others, of course. And this is all with my 8SE.


I just realized that my info was not complete. I use a 6.3 focal reducer 100% of the time and forget about it since it's always on there. That makes a big difference in calculating the power these eyepieces are creating.


Hmm interesting. So a focal reducer is the opposite of a barlow?

Also a quick update on the delivery, it'll be a few weeks before I actually get it. The 40mm Plössl is also out of stock, perhaps it would be a better idea to get a 32mm Plössl? That probably has a better afov anyway...


Hi Zoeff,

Yes, a focal reducer does act in the opposite way to a Barlow lens in effectively reducing the focal length of the 'scope, and, in the case of the Celestron 6.3 and the Meade 3.3, also assist in flattening field curvature inherent in these SCTs which gives rise to stars not being pin point towards the edge of the FOV.

In attaching either of these therefore, the magnification available from any given EP is reduced but the FOV is increased and flattened towards its edge. (Note that the Meade 3.3 focal reducer and field flattener can only be used for astrophotography purposes and that other focal reducers can be purchased which may not necessarily be field flatteners).

As an aside, I still think you'll be better off with that 32mm Ploessl ! :lol:

Best regards,
Tel

#40 Peter9

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 06:17 AM

Hi Zoeff, Sorry to hear they are running late with your 8se. Bet you can't wait to get your hands on it.
With regards to focal reducers, one other possibility is a 0.5 reducer. They reducer the focal length of the scope by around 40% but do not, as far as I am aware, flatten the field curvature. They are however, cheaper to buy than the 6.3. Our friend Tel has, and uses one so will be able to correct me if wrong. I have tried twice to obtain a 0.5 reducer and each time it has been out of stock.
Hope your 8se arrives soon.

Peter.

#41 Zoeff

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 11:01 AM

As for the EPs, it's indeed meant as a starters set. I even plan on trying out the 8mm one with the barlow just so I can see how badly it'll look. :)



It all depends on where you live and the seeing. My most used eyepiece is my TMB 9mm, then my Celestron 6mm and 4mm in that order. I have been able to use the 6mm barlowed on Saturn for more than a month now. Some nights are better than others, of course. And this is all with my 8SE.


I just realized that my info was not complete. I use a 6.3 focal reducer 100% of the time and forget about it since it's always on there. That makes a big difference in calculating the power these eyepieces are creating.


Hmm interesting. So a focal reducer is the opposite of a barlow?

Also a quick update on the delivery, it'll be a few weeks before I actually get it. The 40mm Plössl is also out of stock, perhaps it would be a better idea to get a 32mm Plössl? That probably has a better afov anyway...


Hi Zoeff,

Yes, a focal reducer does act in the opposite way to a Barlow lens in effectively reducing the focal length of the 'scope, and, in the case of the Celestron 6.3 and the Meade 3.3, also assist in flattening field curvature inherent in these SCTs which gives rise to stars not being pin point towards the edge of the FOV.

In attaching either of these therefore, the magnification available from any given EP is reduced but the FOV is increased and flattened towards its edge. (Note that the Meade 3.3 focal reducer and field flattener can only be used for astrophotography purposes and that other focal reducers can be purchased which may not necessarily be field flatteners).

As an aside, I still think you'll be better off with that 32mm Ploessl ! :lol:

Best regards,
Tel

I've replaced the 40mm Vixen with a 32mm GSO Plössl in the order. They do have that one in stock, and has an afov of 52 degrees which is probably more then the 40mm Vixen. :)

#42 Arthur Dent

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 12:52 PM

Don't it look pretty when there are quotes in qoutes in quotes in ...

Art

#43 Zoeff

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 05:14 AM

It arrived! Ironically, just 24 hours after the Galileoscope.

I've only been able to point towards some trees outside my window. However, I don't expect to be able to do much tonight as.....yep you guessed it - It's even more cloudy now compared to yesterday. Even the wind decided to show up.

#44 Peter9

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 06:37 AM

Pleased to hear your 8se has arrived. Have fun.

Peter.

#45 Zoeff

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 08:16 AM

Has any NexStar owner tried to connect the RS-232 plug to a USB port using a converter? I'd rather not buy one only to find out that NexStars won't work with a USB converter..

#46 Peter9

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 08:32 AM

I think you need the official Celestron converter. Some member have bought third party one's which have caused problems. I am sure other members will post to either confirm or correct me. Good luck

Peter.

#47 Midnight Dan

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 08:42 AM

Hi Zoeff:

Yes, you can use a USB to serial converter. I've used the Keyspan model and it works well.

-Dan

#48 Zoeff

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 09:04 AM

Hi Zoeff:

Yes, you can use a USB to serial converter. I've used the Keyspan model and it works well.

-Dan


Looks like I should add that to my list of future accessories as well then. :)

#49 Arthur Dent

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 10:22 AM

It arrived! Ironically, just 24 hours after the Galileoscope.

I've only been able to point towards some trees outside my window. However, I don't expect to be able to do much tonight as.....yep you guessed it - It's even more cloudy now compared to yesterday. Even the wind decided to show up.

New telescope curse - what more can I say :cloudy:

Enjoy the new scope when the clouds clear - and don't forget the first light report!

Art

#50 Zoeff

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 12:18 PM

I just took it out for some spying on n... I mean to look at some birds. I didn't expect to be able to look at something closeup that's relatively close by.

Barlowing the 8mm Hyperion was astonishing. A window... I mean bird on a distant tower block filled the entire eyepiece! Looking around a bit I could see dirt on a water drainage pipe, and (if google maps is to be believed) that was over 200m/1000f away! :jump:


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