After reading older forum posts and continuing to confuse myself even more I believe the Advanced VX with the EdgeHD would be the best fit for what my 9-year-old and I plan on using as our next scope. I live in a light polluted subdivision, but my parents have a rural farm in Central Louisiana we can occasionally get to every couple of weeks, so portability is a factor as well. We have a refractor now and understandably upgrading to a better refractor would be an easier next step but I fear light conditions would not be optimal for regular viewing and I would get more benefit from the larger 8” .. now to eyepieces and recommendations .. there are a TON of recommendations going back on previous threads and I have decided a good set of ES pieces would be a good starter and still fit within a reasonable budget. These are the ep's I have priced out just looking recommendations/additions anyone would have that I could add (my wife's tolerance would be 400-500 more) I am looking for something that would give us a good combination of DSO and planetary viewing and be a decent starting point.
ES 82* 6.7mm
ES 82* 11mm
ES 68* 16mm
ES 68* 24mm
Baader 2” clicklock
I have the same scope and am also a beginner.
I purchased a Baader Zoom and that is my only EP for higher power at this time. It is wonderful. Other members here have compared them to expensive single EPs here and not seen a huge difference. Is that what you mean by the Baader Clicklock? If so, you may want to hold off on higher power EPs until you see how that performs at the 16, 12, and 8mm focal lengths.
I recently got the ES 82 degree 24mm and 30mm and I LOVE them. I have to REALLY strain to see the edge of the eyepiece with the 24. I can see it more easily with the 30. I carefully compared the ES 82 24 to the zoom 24, and aside from the field of view, they appear to perform the same.
I LOVE the field of view with the 30, I could fit the double cluster easily with room to spare, whereas with the 40mm plossl that came with the scope, it was crowded.
So my collection now consists of the zoom, the ES 82 24, and the ES 82 30. I had thought I would want another lower power like the ES 68 40 but I really do not think it is needed right now considering the FOV I have with the 30.
Looking at your list, I would recommend something in the 30 to 40mm range. With the 82 series, the 30 is fine, with the 68 series, I would look at maybe the 34 or the 40. I really enjoy the wider views of some of the DSOs. Be warned though - they are HUGE EPs. I decided to rebalance my scope with the 2" diagonal and just do my slewing with no EP in place or with just the relatively lightweight zoom in place so as to not worry about the extra weight of the 2" EPs.
Anyway, that's my thoughts. I do believe I am done shopping for EPs for now, I think my collection is good with the range I have.
Good luck with your decision.
amzking basically wrote my reply for me.
EX 82 30 and the Baader Hyperion Zoom would be my recommendations. If, after a while you feel the need for the ES 82 24 or something else, you can add it later, but Alice seems happy with hers.
The 8" EdgeHD FL will be 2032 mm
the 30 mm 82 will give you 67X and 1.22 degree FOV for your low power wide field.
A 24 mm 82 would give you 85X and .98 degree FOV Some would say that is too close but if you do a lot of large DSO viewing you may want this.
The Zoom will give you 85X to 255X, but you will likely use it mostly in the 112 to 255 range. That is where I spend the most time with my BHZ.
So, with the 30 mm and the Zoom, 2 eyepieces, you would have 67X wide view and everything from 85X to 255X.
If you want to expand later you can, but this gives you full coverage now. Consider the 24 for the future and maybe a 2X barlow or the ES 2.25X if you like. ES has a 2.25X barlow that offer a removable optical cell that can give you 1.3X for a more usable range up to 331X with the barlow element screwed onto the zoom.
I have both the Celestron 24 to 8 and the Baader Hyperion 24-8 zooms.
If you are on a tight budget, get the Celestron
If you have a richer budget get the Baader Hyperion Mark IV
- With a zoom, the eyepiece seems to disappear as you just move in and out at will, no swapping, no thinking about eyepiece changes
- I never expected the zoom eyepiece to become my primary eyepiece, but it has.
- The Celestron 8-24 zoom is good and comparable to my Plossl eyepieces ($65)
- The Baader Hyperion is great and comparable to my Explore Scientific eyepieces ( $289)
- Watching doubles split as I rotate the barrel is wonderful
- One filter serves over a wide range of magnifications, no screwing and unscrewing to try other eyepieces
- Moving smoothly from and between small changes in magnification helps when seeing is not the best
- I am always working at the optimum magnification for this target.
- Sharing the view with others is easier, especially in my manual tracking Dob - I hand it over at low mag so it stays in the view longer. They zoom back in to whatever magnification works best for them.
- My eyepiece case has been greatly simplified
- Kids love the zoom
Transparency and Seeing - Note that atmospheric conditions, rather than your telescope, will often be the limiting factor on practical magnification for any given observing session. When the atmosphere is turbulent, poor “seeing” conditions, you may find that the image breaks down too much above a certain magnification regardless of the size of your telescope. Transparency is also a factor that can be affected by humidity, air pollution and thin clouds that you may not be able to see. My 8”/203 mm often tops out around 180X due to “seeing” and transparency issues. However, under exceptional conditions I have been able to go 300X or higher.
Baader Hyperian Mark III Clickstop zoom review – About $280
I have an older model Baader Hyperion, but I find the review accurately reflects my experience.
The current model is the Mark IV.
From the review at the above link:
The mechnical and optical quality of the Baader Planetarium Hyperion Zoom 8-24mm Mark III Eyepiece are excellent. The ease of changing magnifications without needing to swap eyepieces or generally change focus really makes using a high quality zoom eyepiece a joy. It is a necessity if you frequently allow others to look through your telescope.
The OPT product page for the Hyperion Zoom 8-24mm Mark III Eyepiece has a lot of additional information about the eyepiece, including specifications, so check that out if you want to learn more.
This zoom eyepiece will get used a lot in the observatory, especially when I have visitors. And it will be a tremendous asset for use at star parties.
Edge HD review
Edited by aeajr, 11 January 2018 - 01:21 PM.