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Budget high power EP for 12" f/5

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20 replies to this topic

#1 drneilmb

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 11:06 PM

I am making progress on a 12" f/5 reflector build, and I'm ready to consider the impact on my eyepiece needs. I bought a 2-inch 32mm Agena SWA for the low-power end, and with my current scopes (4.5f8, 8f6) I am content with a GSO 32mm plossl and Celestron 8-24mm zoom.

With the larger exit pupils from the f/5, I'm interested in another eyepiece around 5mm focal length to give 300x and 1mm exit pupil. In case you couldn't tell from my other eyepiece choices, I have limited funds and would like to keep the budget comfortably under $100.

Some possibilities I've looked at are

BST 5mm UWA which they swear isn't a TMB clone: http://agenaastro.co...epiece-5mm.html

Agena Starguider Dual ED 5mm: http://agenaastro.co...epiece-5mm.html

And the Celestron X-cel LX 5mm (the one for sale here on CN got me started thinking about this): http://agenaastro.co...iece-93421.html

What inexpensive eyepieces would you suggest around 5mm for a 300/1500 reflector?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you can offer.

-Neil
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#2 havasman

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 11:43 PM

I think those Agena Starguider Dual ED eyepieces are really nice. They're better in longer focal ratios but that will likely be true of all your chosen options. Given that potential relatively minor qualification, they are quite nice.



#3 Usquebae

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 01:24 AM

The Sky-Watcher brand version of the 5mm BST ships with their very popular refractors.  There are probably a lot of them lying around unused.  Maybe trying posting a want add for $35.  I like mine.  That said, one of the best bargains out there is the 5.5mm Meade UWA.  The extra FoV comes in handy at high powers on a manual dob.


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#4 Ernest_SPB

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 01:40 AM

Consider 4.5 mm HD60/Meade and 4 mm NLV/Vixen

I use on the same scope 4.7 mm from 82° Explore Scientific and quite happy with it


Edited by Ernest_SPB, 14 September 2017 - 01:41 AM.


#5 sec4aa

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 07:43 AM

5.5mm Meade UWA is probably the best deal around 100...


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#6 aeajr

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 04:50 PM

Why not just barlow the Celestron 8-24 zoom?    I do.



#7 tony_spina

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 05:11 PM

5.5mm Meade UWA is probably the best deal around 100...

I agree.  Check Amazon. It usually sells for $109. Great eyepiece!  82 degree field of helps when you have a manual mount with no tracking to keep the object longer in view before nudging the scope 



#8 NOLAMusEd

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 05:13 PM

+1 on the Meade 5.5 UWA

#9 aeajr

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 05:30 PM

I also have the Meade UWA 5.5 and like it very much.

 

I have the Meade HD60 but have not been particularly pleased with it.


Edited by aeajr, 15 September 2017 - 05:32 PM.


#10 vtornado

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 09:46 PM

Do you have a 2x barlow?

 

If so, or not even if so, I would get a good 10mm plossl and a reasonable barlow.

 

I do lots of planet and lunar viewing at high power.  This combo gives me the most detailed view.

 

This is in my 10 inch f/5 dob.



#11 aeajr

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 10:40 PM

I am making progress on a 12" f/5 reflector build, and I'm ready to consider the impact on my eyepiece needs. I bought a 2-inch 32mm Agena SWA for the low-power end, and with my current scopes (4.5f8, 8f6) I am content with a GSO 32mm plossl and Celestron 8-24mm zoom.

With the larger exit pupils from the f/5, I'm interested in another eyepiece around 5mm focal length to give 300x and 1mm exit pupil. In case you couldn't tell from my other eyepiece choices, I have limited funds and would like to keep the budget comfortably under $100.

Some possibilities I've looked at are

BST 5mm UWA which they swear isn't a TMB clone: http://agenaastro.co...epiece-5mm.html

Agena Starguider Dual ED 5mm: http://agenaastro.co...epiece-5mm.html

And the Celestron X-cel LX 5mm (the one for sale here on CN got me started thinking about this): http://agenaastro.co...iece-93421.html

What inexpensive eyepieces would you suggest around 5mm for a 300/1500 reflector?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you can offer.

-Neil

Sometimes I need to go back to the original question and ask why. 

 

Each of the eyepieces you have listed have fairly good reputations at their price points. In an F5 scope they are not going to be as good around the edges as say an Explore Scientific 68 degree but they should work.  I don't own any of them but you would probably do fine with any of them. 

 

However, I have to wonder why you are buying an eyepiece for 300X.  That seems an odd priority magnification to focus upon. If you are like so many here on CN, you will spend most of your time topped out below 250X based on limitations imposed by seeing and transparency.  I have a 4.5 mm eyepiece, 266X that is rarely ever used.  I don't even list it as an active eyepiece.   I barlow my zoom for high power so I can tune in for the best mag that night.

 

If you are a budget minded person, a 2X barlow would be my suggested next purchase, not an eyepiece for 300X  that is likely to be rarely used.    Your zoom, with a 2X barlow will take you to 375X.     You can get a 2X barlow for $35 o $60 that will work well with your zoom.  GSO, Antares barlows have good reputations. I have a 2" GSO barlow so I can barlow my two 2" eyepieces as well as my 1.25 eyepieces and my zooms.

http://agenaastro.co...-extenders.html

 

Using the zoom in the barlow you can learn what you typical useable high power will be. Then you can start to fill in with eyepieces that will give you the best views at magnifications that you will use often.

 

 

Is FOV a concern?  At 300X that zoom eyepiece will be operating at about 50 to 52 degrees, similar to a Plossl.  The eyepieces you are looking at are only 58 to 60 degrees, not that much wider.  So you are not gaining that much FOV over the zoom.

 

So, why 300X?  I am just curious.  


Edited by aeajr, 16 September 2017 - 01:48 PM.


#12 Tank

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 05:30 AM

5.5 meade UWA 

or

4.7 ES 82


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#13 russell23

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 06:00 AM

The 5.5mm Meade UWA is excellent.  That was my first thought.

 

But the 5mm BST is also good - just doesn't have the wide FOV for high magnification manual tracking.


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#14 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 08:05 AM

I read, "comfortably under $100."  

 

So what qualifies?

 

- A 2x Barlow for the Celestron zoom.  Probably a workable combination though I suspect the Celestron zoom loses something at F/5. A decent 2x Barlow is something everyone ought to have.

 

- The BST is reputely very similar in performance to the TMB Planetary series.  They're reasonable performers at F/5. I have a set of the TMBs, they're not T-6 Naglers but they do a good job and I often use them in my 10 inch F/5 instead of the T-6, they don't give up that much.

 

- I don't know about the Starguiders and such, there's others out there.

 

- 300x, in Iowa there's probably not a lot of nights when 300x is useful for planetary but in a 12 inch, it's a 1mm exit pupil and that's useful for DSOs even if the seeing is so-so.

 

Jon


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#15 csrlice12

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 12:18 PM

Maybe a used 4.8T1 Nagler.  Tight eye relief, but nice views...it's also a small eyepiece, so no size/weight problem.  Probably find a used one for $100ish.



#16 REC

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 01:14 PM

I am making progress on a 12" f/5 reflector build, and I'm ready to consider the impact on my eyepiece needs. I bought a 2-inch 32mm Agena SWA for the low-power end, and with my current scopes (4.5f8, 8f6) I am content with a GSO 32mm plossl and Celestron 8-24mm zoom.

With the larger exit pupils from the f/5, I'm interested in another eyepiece around 5mm focal length to give 300x and 1mm exit pupil. In case you couldn't tell from my other eyepiece choices, I have limited funds and would like to keep the budget comfortably under $100.

Some possibilities I've looked at are

BST 5mm UWA which they swear isn't a TMB clone: http://agenaastro.co...epiece-5mm.html

Agena Starguider Dual ED 5mm: http://agenaastro.co...epiece-5mm.html

And the Celestron X-cel LX 5mm (the one for sale here on CN got me started thinking about this): http://agenaastro.co...iece-93421.html

What inexpensive eyepieces would you suggest around 5mm for a 300/1500 reflector?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you can offer.

-Neil

I had the Dual ED 5mm, nice eyepiece, but sold it as I could hardly ever use it....too much power in my scopes. You really need some good skies and good seeing conditions to support that much power. That would be around 300x in that 12" scope?



#17 sec4aa

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 02:30 PM

You can gather a lot of light on a 12" reflector but the /f5 will make it hard on EPs. You can definitely get down to 1mm for the exit pupil and that will work on DSO and sometimes on the planets (seeing conditions, jetstream, transparency, etc).

Yes, you can barlow 2x down from a very good plossl...I do that sometimes with my 10.5mm TV smoothie.

I cannot do the same with my 12mm Paradigm  without having some problems. The 12mm Paradigm gives me the magic 2mm exit pupil and the EP is great on its own, but I don't like it barlowed. I do barlow a lot with my ES 68 16mm down to 8mm and it looks great...as you can see it is a mixed bag.

The Meade 5k UWA 5.5mm is my favorite high power but the Jetstream interfere 50% of the time and the views of Saturn won't always calm down...then I switch to globular clusters.


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#18 Mike W.

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 06:25 AM

under a $100,,,,,, I see very often on the classifieds here ES 4.7 & 6.7 82°for $110.

or double your budget and get a Williams Optics 5mm100°



#19 Syzlak817

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 11:03 AM

Another vote for the 5.5mm Meade UWA.  When your seeing allows it use, the extra FOV is nice to have on a manually tracking scope.

Not to mention its extremely comfortable to use unlike most budget and for that matter many premium eyepieces.


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#20 drneilmb

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 10:54 PM

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I'll think about the Nagler or ES82 if it's worth it, but I agree with everyone that I'll rarely be using 300x in Iowa, so it's hard to justify too much spending on a rarely used item. 

 

Ed, I haven't had a great experience  with the Celestron zoom barlowed, especially at the highest magnifications. I have a 2x barlow (an old Criterion) although I haven't been as successful as I hoped with it. It's possible that my homemade scopes don't have enough in-focus to get there with the barlowed zoom. It's also possible that I need to check my collimation more rigorously.

 

The reason for 300x was to have something at a 1mm exit pupil, which for me has been my practical lower limit. I know some people say 50x per inch but I'm more comfortable with 25x per inch = 1mm exit pupil = magnification equal to aperture in mm [magnification = FL/epFL = D*f/epFL = D/(exit pupil)]

 

As I build this bigger, faster scope, I have an interest in being able to access its full capabilities, even if they are only rarely used in observing. It's also my impression that high magnifications around 1mm exit pupil are necessary for seeing the diffraction rings used in star testing (but I might be wrong, I don't know that I've ever been able to see diffraction rings yet). 


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#21 aeajr

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Posted Yesterday, 02:33 AM

If you have the Celestron zoom and the barlow then you have what I was suggesting.   Clearly the next step is to go to single FL eyepieces or to upgrade the zoom.   .   

 

The Celestron was good and useful but I did find I wanted better high power options.  So I accumulated 2 ES 82s, 8.8 and 6.7  and the Meade 5000 82 5.5 and the Meade HD60 4.5.  

 

Now that I have the Baader zoom, I rarely go to them anymore.   I like the Baader Zoom a lot.  It is better and wider than the Celestron.  And in my 2" GSO barlow it works very well.   I also barlow my 2" eyepieces from time to time.  

 

That is just my experience.   Clearly you may prefer the single FL eyepiece approach.  The joy is we have choices.




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