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Eyepiece advice

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#1 meanster99

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 05:24 AM

Hi All,

 

Thanks for seeing me! Just joined the lounge and looking for some advice.

 

I am a few-weeks-old newbie, recently bought a Skywatcher Heritage 130P f/5 Dob (bought for my 8 year old but having too much fun with it myself!) and looking to upgrade the eyepieces that came with it (the generic Super 10mm and Super 25mm). I also bought a Celestron 2x Barlow and Celestron Omni 4mm Plossl within a few days of buying the scope.

 

I live in Sydney, Australia, in an area with quite bad light pollution and little visible sky (about 45 deg in the East/South East) - trees and houses block most of the sky from my balcony. However, I've been fortunate enough to have Jupiter, Saturn and Mars, and the moon visible from my balcony late at night/early morning for the last few weeks and have made the most of it! So much so, that I'm wanting to improve things as best I can with eyepieces, while also planning for the future when I have a bigger scope and better view (and even just taking my 130P out into the middle of nowhere on occasion).

 

I wear glasses and have astigmatism but tend to take my glasses off whenever I look through an eyepiece. Short eye relief doesn't seem to bother me, yet. Using the 10mm with my Barlow, or just the 4mm (or even just the 10mm) I can see the bands and GRS on Jupiter, I can almost make out the Cassini division on Saturn and the moon is obviously full of detail (Mars has no surface features visible - desperately waiting for the opposition in July!). I've probably been blessed with good seeing over a few nights of the last few weeks.

 

Anyway, I have about $500 AUD (Australian Dollars) that I could potentially spend on upgrading my eyepieces and wanted some advice (I know I could put this money towards a better scope, but I just want to get the most from my 130P right now, while keeping an eye on the future). From the limited research I've been able to do, I had come to the conclusion I should buy a high-end eyepiece for planetary viewing (maybe a 7mm Televue DeLite), a blue 80A filter and maybe even replace my current Celestron 2x Barlow with a TV 2x Barlow or maybe even one of their Powermates (or their 3x Barlow).

 

I can't seem to find many second-hand resources here in Oz, so am looking to buy new, unless something better is presented to me.

 

Given all the info above (happy to provide further details if required), what would you recommend?



#2 Asbytec

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 06:06 AM

"From the limited research I've been able to do, I had come to the conclusion I should buy a high-end eyepiece for planetary viewing (maybe a 7mm Televue DeLite), a blue 80A filter and maybe even replace my current Celestron 2x Barlow with a TV 2x Barlow or maybe even one of their Powermates (or their 3x Barlow)."

 

Eek! Hold up a moment. Whoa! :)

 

Those are great eyepieces, no question. But maybe not exactly what you need at f/5 focal ratio in this scope. Let other eyepiece  experts chime in. You can get a decent set for the cost and be happy until you're at least a month old newbie. (Kidding. :) )

 

But, I'd say to heck with the 80A blue filter, Jupiter is only very blue and any enhanced contrast is very minimal for a "few weeks old newbie." Even for me, I don't use filters. Some do, some don't. You don't need them. 

 

Shop around, try Celestron X Cel line with the same specs. You can buy all of them you'll every need and a Barlow for <$500. Something of this caliber will be just fine for most everything. Others will chime in with their preferences.

 

That's my advice. Get some advice. Give it a few days, you'll get some better advice. 


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#3 meanster99

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 06:25 AM

Thanks Asbytec, that's exactly the sound advice I need. I do realise how trigger happy we newbies can be when we have a reasonable budget, which is why I looked to the forums for proper advice rather than acting on my own conclusions!

 

I have looked at the Xcels - they stock them here in Oz - so it would be great to hear from anyone that owns a few and can confirm if they would be a good match for my scope (SW Heritage 130P). For my budget I would like at least one or two eps that will give me the best possible views of the planets and anything else that happens to pop up within my limited field of view (from my balcony). As I said, I'm hoping to upgrade my scope eventually (and my house - proper backyard with good all round views!) so would prefer to buy quality eps now, but at the same time don't want to go overboard for the scope I have (or my expectations!) and waste the quality of the eps when I could get more for my money elsewhere.

 

As ever, so much of this is subjective, but always grateful for sound advice.


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#4 sg6

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 06:48 AM

Anyway, I have about $500 AUD (Australian Dollars) that I could potentially spend on upgrading my eyepieces and wanted some advice (I know I could put this money towards a better scope, but I just want to get the most from my 130P right now, while keeping an eye on the future). From the limited research I've been able to do, I had come to the conclusion I should buy a high-end eyepiece for planetary viewing (maybe a 7mm Televue DeLite), a blue 80A filter and maybe even replace my current Celestron 2x Barlow with a TV 2x Barlow or maybe even one of their Powermates (or their 3x Barlow).

I certainly would not spend that money on one eyepiece for that scope, it very likely just is not worth it for the scope. Although nice, the scope is relatively just beginner item.

 

If you want good that will probably perform better then the scope then consider the BST Starguider - if they are available to you under one name or another - or the Meade 5000 HD series.

 

Guessing the BST's would be around $100Aus and the Meades around $130Aus. That is a total guess however, could be less.

 

The Meade has a possibly well suited 6.5mm, the BST's have a well regarded 8mm.

 

Don't go looking for high magnification initially. What happens is that things fall apart at high magnifications, so if you go for the top end you could end up with something that doesn't work. Really the 8mm BST would be good.

 

Cannot recall the Meade focal lengths but an 8mm, 12mm and 25mm BST should cover you well. Not sure of barlows as I prefer single eyepieces. If the idea is they "double" the effective number of eyepieces then consider the 3 I have mentioned:

8mm barlowed = 4mm and likely too much.

12mm barlowed = 6mm - possibly useful.

25mm barlowed = 12.5mm - forget it and use the 12mm.

You likely gain 1 possible focal length and I would say buy a 6mm eyepiece rather then the barlow.

 

Question is astro retailers around Sydney.

 

Why do you want a blue filter?

I have owned scopes for 20 years and so far not a filter in my kit. Why do you want to turn anything blue ?

 

BST's are fine with glasses - I am the same as you wear glasses and have some astigmatism (take glasses off most times). I assume the Meades are also.

 

Clubs around the Sydney area?I know there is one, will go search it or them out.

 

OK, clubs maybe:

http://www.clubsofaustralia.com.au/

Select NSW and then select Astronomy.

Can see about 5 in or around Sydney, others may be accessable but they don't state "Sydney".

 

Used Equipment, Aus:

http://www.astrobuysell.com/au/


Edited by sg6, 03 April 2018 - 07:10 AM.

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#5 HarryRik9

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 07:23 AM

The primary factor in the quality of the view is the seeing, which is variable. You already have the magnifications that are most useful covered by your current eyepieces and 2X Barlow. The main advantage for you in a more expensive eyepiece is wider field of view since your scope doesn't track. Before investing in any eyepieces, I would recommend buying a good pair of binoculars and some books to help you learn the constellations and the locations of some of the more accessible DSOs like Andromeda Galaxy and the Orion Nebula. 



#6 DLuders

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 07:34 AM

Be advised that, if Astronomics (the sponsor of this Cloudy Nights Forum) carries your desired eyepiece(s), you can get a significant discount from them upon checkout.  See the details here.  Astronomics carries these eyepiece brands:   https://www.astronom...pieces_c47.aspx

 

You could download the free Excel spreadsheet "2018 Buyer's Guide to Eyepieces" (linked from  https://www.cloudyni...e-buyers-guide/ ), enter your telescope's parameters, and see how the Exit Pupil and True Field of View (TFOV) varies with each eyepiece.   smile.gif       


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#7 Asbytec

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 07:42 AM

"BST Starguider - if they are available to you under one name or another - or the Meade 5000 HD series."

 

They look like the Astro Tech Paradigm series and worth considering. I have no first or second hand knowledge of them, but they look interesting. 

https://www.astronom...pieces_c52.aspx

https://www.astronom...arlows_c97.aspx

 

In my view, I think you'd want a 0.8mm exit pupil, a 1mm exit pupil, a 1.5mm exit pupil, and maybe a 2mm and 5mm exit pupil.  So, you can get 3 eyepieces and a barlow and cover a decent range of magnification (and exit pupils). 

 

Aperture is 130mm, so 160x may be good high magnification at 0.8mm exit pupil. That would be a 8mm eyepiece with 2x Barlow and 81x by itself, a decent high and medium power.  A 2mm exit pupil is about 65x and good low power with a 10mm eyepiece, Barlowed you would have 1mm exit pupil and 130x. This combo makes a nice medium and low power eyepiece/Barlow combination. For wider field, a 5mm exit pupil is good. That's about 26x with a 25mm eyepiece and 52x with a 2x Barlow. It's a great dual low power combo. 

 

So, three eyepieces: 8mm (81x), 10mm (65x), and 25mm (26x)

With a 2x Barlow: 8mm(162x), 10mm(130x), and 25mm (52x) 

Exit pupils: 0.8mm and 1mm (high power lunar/planetary), 1.6mm and 2mm (medium power DSO), 2.5mm and 5mm (low power wide field and DSO). 

 

Something like that...just show how you can get a range of magnifications using a Barlow and a few select eyepieces with common focal lengths and without duplicate magnifications. There is also a reasonable series of exit pupils for various objects. There's a gap between 2.5mm (52x) and 5mm (26x), but with those magnifications so close, no worries. Not gonna really need 40x. 

 

Total cost for the BST probably about $250 (quick conversion to dollars), about the same for the X Cel. Good eye relief, nice FOV. And these eyepieces can easily translate to another scope later. If you get a 10" f/5 later, for example, the 8mm and 2x Barlow will give 312x and the same 0.8mm exit pupil, etc.

 

Edit: Just noticed the BST/Paradigm supplies a 12mm for 54x (2.4mm exit pupil) and 108x Barlowed (1.2mm exit pupil). Close enough to the 10mm, but a duplicate magnification the 25mm Barlowed at 52x. So, run the math on the next eyepiece in the series at 18mm and see what it gives you. That's 36x (3.6mm exit pupil instead of 5mm) and 72x Barlowed (1.8mm exit pupil instead of 2mm), which is fine and no duplicate magnification.


Edited by Asbytec, 03 April 2018 - 08:48 AM.


#8 sg6

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 07:48 AM

Searched for retailers in Aus and BST, or Paradigms, simply do not appear to exist in Aus.

Bit gobsmacked at the cost of eyepieces: I see that Celestron XCel LX's are around $180 to $200 (<Sirius Optics), which is around £100+ each ($150 US or more). shocked.gif shocked.gif

 

Makes a difference I suppose. As suspect that means you only buy once, too expensive to try and sell on.

At that cost I could finance a trip to Aus by having a travel bag full of BST/Paradigms, and not even a large bag. lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif

 

If as DLuders half suggests will ship to Aus and if getting them through the Australian customs is not overly difficult then I would suggest you buy from them and get them imported.

 

As an example the X-Cel LX are $75 US there and are A$200 ($154 US) to you in Aus, so half price. That is somewhat extreme. Really I just do not get it. I really do not want to look up the TV Delite cost to you, the thought scares me.

 

Looks like Astro Anarchy are fairly big, up in Brisbane. I guess you used Bintel.

 

Really cannot now suggest anything. Costs seem somewhat high and selection is a bit limited.

Maybe the Saxon Superwides at A$129, Skywatcher 58 Ultra Wides at A$79.


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#9 epee

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 08:14 AM

Egad! A 4mm Plossl has less eye-relief than a monocle!

As stated above the Celestron X-cel line, the Meade 5000 HD-60, or the Astro-Tech Paradigm Dual ED (and clones) would be a nice step-up and give you a set of EPs to carry with you as you grow in the hobby. Keep in mind, you don't need to buy every one of them (even though that's fun).

You might consider a Plossl in 32 - 36mm in order to maximize your telescope's field of view.


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#10 jring

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 08:52 AM

Hi,

 

the prices for ES 68 and 82 deg series in Australia seem not too ridiculous as compared to europe (which also has 20% VAT included). The 16mm 68 deg and the 14mm 82 deg both are 259 AUD - in Germany they're 139 EUR(222 AUD) for the 16mm and 159 EUR (254 AUD) for the 14mm.

 

Comparing with US mail order prices is a bit misleading since these are ex sales tax (and usually it doesn't apply if sold out of state). No such thing in Europe (and Australia), the tax is included in the sales price (and might be deducted if the order is from outside Europe).

 

I would recommend not to spend huge amounts on EPs specifically for this scope - maybe the 16mm ES 68 or the 14mm ES 82 and a 2x barlow. This will give the o.p. 25mm, 16/14mm, 12.5mm, 10mm, 8/7mm and 5mm and will work in other scopes too.

 

PS: regarding Saxon EPs... don't know them... but the 30mm 2" Super Wide Angle (82 degree EP) looks a lot like the Maxvision 30mm 82 deg (aka Meade 5k UWA and nonidentical twin of the 30mm ES 82)... at 369 AUD or 230 EUR that would be a great deal... just not for the o.p. with a 1.25" focuser...

 

Joachim



#11 Riccardo_italy

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 09:19 AM

Here my suggestion.

 

Choose something which you will use on a larger scope.

 

Good news: if your larger scope will be f5 (like many dobsons), then the same eyepieces works well in both scopes. In fact, exit pupil = eyepiece focal lenght / telescope focal lenght.

 

Ideal rule for DSO viewing: an eyepiece close to, but not below 2mm exit pupil. For an f5 scope (a 250mm-300mm dobson), this means (and this is my suggestion) an ES11mm/82°. Instead, if you plan to buy a 200mm dobson (generally f6), then choose a Baader Morpheus 12.5mm.

Add a barlow: a good one is the telecentric ES 2x.

 

That's all. At the moment, you can't buy a low power wide field eyepiece, you don't have a 2" connection and your telescope has a secondary mirror which is not big enough. The 25mm plossl will suffice for the moment. In the future, with your new scope consider an ES 28mm/68°.


Edited by Riccardo_italy, 03 April 2018 - 09:20 AM.

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#12 havasman

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 12:26 PM

Eek! Hold up a moment. Whoa! smile.gif

 

But, I'd say to heck with the 80A blue filter, Jupiter is only very blue and any enhanced contrast is very minimal for a "few weeks old newbie." Even for me, I don't use filters. Some do, some don't. You don't need them. 

waytogo.gif 

 

Welcome to the forums!

 

That's a nice telescope. I had the same scope, sold in the US (only) as an AWB OneSky. I have a full kit of eyepieces and gear, mostly for other scopes. The very best use I got from that scope was with a 2 eyepiece kit: ES68 24mm for widefield (the scope's core strength) and either ES82 6.7 or 4.7mm for high power observing with the 6.7 being a safer bet. An even better high power option is the Meade Series 5000 82o 5.5mm eyepiece but I already had the others. The 24mm will give you the widest available field at good magnification for light polluted skies and will show your southern showpiece objects really well. The high power option is good for planetary, lunar and close inspection. Add a UHC filter like the Orion Ultrablock Narrowband UHC and you have a powerful instrument.

 

BTW, I'm heading for Sydney Friday night and will do quite a bit of observing from S of the Warrumbungles.


Edited by havasman, 03 April 2018 - 12:27 PM.

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#13 Adun

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 02:30 PM

Hello mate!

AUD$500 is around $380 according to Google.

That's quite a bit of cash for just "upgrades". Your scope is no slouch. Fast reflectors can do planetary. It's the fast achromats the ones that can't.

So your first choice is whether you want something that is appropriate for the cost of your scope (meaning budget but noticeable improvement), or whether you want something that "will last a lifetime" (meaning eyepieces you'll still use even if you later get a $5000 scope)

Scenario A, Budget upgrades:

Since you are in Australia, and you enjoy very quick shipping times from China (or so I've heard). you'd get the best back per buck shopping some nice budget eyepieces from AliExpress:

 

 

These planetaries ($37 each) come in 4mm and 6mm FLs and will give you long eye relief (15mm) and big eye lens (21mm), which translates: good views with much better ergonomics, even for wearing glasses if you prefer.

 

These widefields increase the field of view to 66º. On your fast F5 scope the outer part of the field of view will suffer a bit (from astigmatism), but the wider field is nice to have, specially for DSOs. They also have blackened barrels for less glare with bright objects (Jupiter, Saturn, Moon). The 9mm is the best, followed by the 6mm. The 20mm, while not the best of the lot, would frame the whole pleiades in your telescope, and provide you nicer views of star clusters and big nebula than your current super 25mm (although it's a rather minor upgrade)

 

Another good option for planetary would be a Celestron Zoom ($60). You barlow it, and it allows you to get the best magnification for each target (Saturn often takes more mag than Jupiter, for example) and for each night (when seeing conditions allow) and for your scope (when you've collimated it well, and when you haven't)

 

 

Scenario B, keepers for good:

 

"the best possible views" of "anything that happens to pop up"? What about "takes your breath away"? for 118x on the planets (or 236x barlowed when seing conditions allow), an 82º Meade UWA 5.5mm is about the best value for money on high power eyepieces right now. USD$109, guaranteed regret-free.

 

 

Edit: Actually, you might regret the UWA 5.5, it could get you hooked into 82º heroin and make you purchase it's siblings. Theres a support group/thread here in CN for those addicted.

 

Also, let me add: If you observe from a city, this $20 UHC filter would be very useful for observing nebula. Someone in these forums got it tested by Lumicon, and the specified transmission curve is accurate. I use it, and it makes a noticeable difference for several targets.

 

Have you seen Carina? The best time to observe it is almost passing... you have to try it from a dark site. It's beautiful. I also highly recommend my favorite open cluster: NGC3532 "the whishing well".

 

If you don't have maps, skySafari is a nice app for learning where everything is, but if you want to protect your night vision this map is great for  your latitude.

 

Finally, this is the thread devoted to your particular scope.


Edited by Adun, 04 April 2018 - 12:19 AM.

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#14 Ohmless

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 04:16 PM

If you don't already have one, I would recommend a celestron collimation eyepiece.  Think I got mine for roughly 35$US.  As for finding a dual ED eyepiece, try ebay if you haven't already.  I like them.  I second the idea of getting a celestron zoom eyepiece.



#15 meanster99

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 07:39 PM

I certainly would not spend that money on one eyepiece for that scope, it very likely just is not worth it for the scope. Although nice, the scope is relatively just beginner item.

 

If you want good that will probably perform better then the scope then consider the BST Starguider - if they are available to you under one name or another - or the Meade 5000 HD series.

 

Guessing the BST's would be around $100Aus and the Meades around $130Aus. That is a total guess however, could be less.

 

The Meade has a possibly well suited 6.5mm, the BST's have a well regarded 8mm.

 

Don't go looking for high magnification initially. What happens is that things fall apart at high magnifications, so if you go for the top end you could end up with something that doesn't work. Really the 8mm BST would be good.

 

Cannot recall the Meade focal lengths but an 8mm, 12mm and 25mm BST should cover you well. Not sure of barlows as I prefer single eyepieces. If the idea is they "double" the effective number of eyepieces then consider the 3 I have mentioned:

8mm barlowed = 4mm and likely too much.

12mm barlowed = 6mm - possibly useful.

25mm barlowed = 12.5mm - forget it and use the 12mm.

You likely gain 1 possible focal length and I would say buy a 6mm eyepiece rather then the barlow.

 

Question is astro retailers around Sydney.

 

Why do you want a blue filter?

I have owned scopes for 20 years and so far not a filter in my kit. Why do you want to turn anything blue ?

 

BST's are fine with glasses - I am the same as you wear glasses and have some astigmatism (take glasses off most times). I assume the Meades are also.

 

Clubs around the Sydney area?I know there is one, will go search it or them out.

 

OK, clubs maybe:

http://www.clubsofaustralia.com.au/

Select NSW and then select Astronomy.

Can see about 5 in or around Sydney, others may be accessable but they don't state "Sydney".

 

Used Equipment, Aus:

http://www.astrobuysell.com/au/

Many thanks for the detailed advice, sg6. Here in Oz, we have very limited range of eps brands and they seem to be way more expensive than in Europe and the US, but I am able to find Meades, and are around $180 AUD each (although so far I can only find a full-set for A$995 or a MEADE SERIES 5000 4.5MM HD 60 for A$179).

 

Have been thinking about buying overseas and paying import tax and duties etc, as may make it cheaper and give me better range of eps, although unless I'm saving significant amounts I might stick with the limited options I have here in Oz.

 

Re the blue filter; a well-known UK astronomy channel on youtube advised 'if you buy any filter, buy a blue filter', as it can apparently improve or enhance either the contrast, definition of boundaries and/or surface features of the moon, Jupiter, Saturn and even Venus and Mars. I've also been recommended to buy either a UHC filter or OIII filter, which sound promising for my light polluted skies here. Each to their own I guess, but I'll happily spend a few extra dollars on a filter if it improves my viewing of the planets slightly.

 

Many thanks for the links to club and used equipment - very handy! I have already joined an Oz based forum, but still waiting for them to approve me before I can post there.



#16 meanster99

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 07:44 PM

The primary factor in the quality of the view is the seeing, which is variable. You already have the magnifications that are most useful covered by your current eyepieces and 2X Barlow. The main advantage for you in a more expensive eyepiece is wider field of view since your scope doesn't track. Before investing in any eyepieces, I would recommend buying a good pair of binoculars and some books to help you learn the constellations and the locations of some of the more accessible DSOs like Andromeda Galaxy and the Orion Nebula. 

Thanks HarryRik, I'm not actually a complete newbie - I'm a 42 year old with a lifelong interest in Astronomy, but have only had a couple of scopes over the years and only ever got immersed in them for a few months at a time, and never upgraded from the equipment that came with them, so I know my way around the skies, have plenty of books and a pair of bins, but am a newbie when it comes to understanding and purchasing optical equipment. 



#17 Asbytec

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 07:45 PM

I've also been recommended to buy either a UHC filter or OIII filter, which sound promising for my light polluted skies here.

 

In this case, a broadband and narrowband light pollution filter might be in order. But, there is so much to know about them, such as they are not effective on all objects due to their limited bandwidth. They are effective for planetary nebula due to the nature of their emission lines, and the Orion nebula. Broadband emission of galaxies, not so much. They tend to operate best at lower magnifications due to their dimming effect. Too much to go into here, there is plenty of information to study in CN articles, eyepieces and equipment forums. 



#18 meanster99

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 08:49 PM

Be advised that, if Astronomics (the sponsor of this Cloudy Nights Forum) carries your desired eyepiece(s), you can get a significant discount from them upon checkout.  See the details here.  Astronomics carries these eyepiece brands:   https://www.astronom...pieces_c47.aspx

 

You could download the free Excel spreadsheet "2018 Buyer's Guide to Eyepieces" (linked from  https://www.cloudyni...e-buyers-guide/ ), enter your telescope's parameters, and see how the Exit Pupil and True Field of View (TFOV) varies with each eyepiece.   smile.gif       

Do Astronomics deliver to Australia? Thanks for the buyers eps resource.

 

"BST Starguider - if they are available to you under one name or another - or the Meade 5000 HD series."

 

They look like the Astro Tech Paradigm series and worth considering. I have no first or second hand knowledge of them, but they look interesting. 

https://www.astronom...pieces_c52.aspx

https://www.astronom...arlows_c97.aspx

 

In my view, I think you'd want a 0.8mm exit pupil, a 1mm exit pupil, a 1.5mm exit pupil, and maybe a 2mm and 5mm exit pupil.  So, you can get 3 eyepieces and a barlow and cover a decent range of magnification (and exit pupils). 

 

Aperture is 130mm, so 160x may be good high magnification at 0.8mm exit pupil. That would be a 8mm eyepiece with 2x Barlow and 81x by itself, a decent high and medium power.  A 2mm exit pupil is about 65x and good low power with a 10mm eyepiece, Barlowed you would have 1mm exit pupil and 130x. This combo makes a nice medium and low power eyepiece/Barlow combination. For wider field, a 5mm exit pupil is good. That's about 26x with a 25mm eyepiece and 52x with a 2x Barlow. It's a great dual low power combo. 

 

So, three eyepieces: 8mm (81x), 10mm (65x), and 25mm (26x)

With a 2x Barlow: 8mm(162x), 10mm(130x), and 25mm (52x) 

Exit pupils: 0.8mm and 1mm (high power lunar/planetary), 1.6mm and 2mm (medium power DSO), 2.5mm and 5mm (low power wide field and DSO). 

 

Something like that...just show how you can get a range of magnifications using a Barlow and a few select eyepieces with common focal lengths and without duplicate magnifications. There is also a reasonable series of exit pupils for various objects. There's a gap between 2.5mm (52x) and 5mm (26x), but with those magnifications so close, no worries. Not gonna really need 40x. 

 

Total cost for the BST probably about $250 (quick conversion to dollars), about the same for the X Cel. Good eye relief, nice FOV. And these eyepieces can easily translate to another scope later. If you get a 10" f/5 later, for example, the 8mm and 2x Barlow will give 312x and the same 0.8mm exit pupil, etc.

 

Edit: Just noticed the BST/Paradigm supplies a 12mm for 54x (2.4mm exit pupil) and 108x Barlowed (1.2mm exit pupil). Close enough to the 10mm, but a duplicate magnification the 25mm Barlowed at 52x. So, run the math on the next eyepiece in the series at 18mm and see what it gives you. That's 36x (3.6mm exit pupil instead of 5mm) and 72x Barlowed (1.8mm exit pupil instead of 2mm), which is fine and no duplicate magnification.

Thanks for the highly detailed response. Very helpful. We don't have BST over here, but can find some Meade 5000s. Around A$150-$200 each. We do have the Xcel around the same price, so well worth looking at those you think?



#19 meanster99

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 08:50 PM

Searched for retailers in Aus and BST, or Paradigms, simply do not appear to exist in Aus.

Bit gobsmacked at the cost of eyepieces: I see that Celestron XCel LX's are around $180 to $200 (<Sirius Optics), which is around £100+ each ($150 US or more). shocked.gif shocked.gif

 

Makes a difference I suppose. As suspect that means you only buy once, too expensive to try and sell on.

At that cost I could finance a trip to Aus by having a travel bag full of BST/Paradigms, and not even a large bag. lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif

 

If as DLuders half suggests will ship to Aus and if getting them through the Australian customs is not overly difficult then I would suggest you buy from them and get them imported.

 

As an example the X-Cel LX are $75 US there and are A$200 ($154 US) to you in Aus, so half price. That is somewhat extreme. Really I just do not get it. I really do not want to look up the TV Delite cost to you, the thought scares me.

 

Looks like Astro Anarchy are fairly big, up in Brisbane. I guess you used Bintel.

 

Really cannot now suggest anything. Costs seem somewhat high and selection is a bit limited.

Maybe the Saxon Superwides at A$129, Skywatcher 58 Ultra Wides at A$79.

Yes, this is a large part of my problem - have read so much from so many forums over the last few weeks, and very few of the mentioned eps are available here in Oz and any that are seem to be much more expensive. The TV delites are A$379 each - my A$500 budget gets eaten up very quickly over here! Yes, Bintel are the big players here, along with Ozscopes, Opticscentral and Sirius-Optics from what I can tell. Bintel are the only stockists of TVs.

 

Egad! A 4mm Plossl has less eye-relief than a monocle!

As stated above the Celestron X-cel line, the Meade 5000 HD-60, or the Astro-Tech Paradigm Dual ED (and clones) would be a nice step-up and give you a set of EPs to carry with you as you grow in the hobby. Keep in mind, you don't need to buy every one of them (even though that's fun).

You might consider a Plossl in 32 - 36mm in order to maximize your telescope's field of view.

I actually haven't minded the 4mm plossl. I guess I'm not used to high eye relief and wide fov eps so haven't realised what I'm missing! I will be looking at the Xcels and Meade 5000s now, as half the price of the TVs.


Edited by meanster99, 03 April 2018 - 09:09 PM.


#20 meanster99

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 08:52 PM

Hi,

 

the prices for ES 68 and 82 deg series in Australia seem not too ridiculous as compared to europe (which also has 20% VAT included). The 16mm 68 deg and the 14mm 82 deg both are 259 AUD - in Germany they're 139 EUR(222 AUD) for the 16mm and 159 EUR (254 AUD) for the 14mm.

 

Comparing with US mail order prices is a bit misleading since these are ex sales tax (and usually it doesn't apply if sold out of state). No such thing in Europe (and Australia), the tax is included in the sales price (and might be deducted if the order is from outside Europe).

 

I would recommend not to spend huge amounts on EPs specifically for this scope - maybe the 16mm ES 68 or the 14mm ES 82 and a 2x barlow. This will give the o.p. 25mm, 16/14mm, 12.5mm, 10mm, 8/7mm and 5mm and will work in other scopes too.

 

PS: regarding Saxon EPs... don't know them... but the 30mm 2" Super Wide Angle (82 degree EP) looks a lot like the Maxvision 30mm 82 deg (aka Meade 5k UWA and nonidentical twin of the 30mm ES 82)... at 369 AUD or 230 EUR that would be a great deal... just not for the o.p. with a 1.25" focuser...

 

Joachim

I don't mind spending a bit more on quality eps, as although my current scope may not warrant them, they will be keepers for when I upgrade the scope (well actually buy another scope. I think I'll always keep this little gem - the Heritage 130P). I guess with taxes then the differences may not be quite as large, but as you pointed out Australia is still more expensive.

 

Here my suggestion.

 

Choose something which you will use on a larger scope.

 

Good news: if your larger scope will be f5 (like many dobsons), then the same eyepieces works well in both scopes. In fact, exit pupil = eyepiece focal lenght / telescope focal lenght.

 

Ideal rule for DSO viewing: an eyepiece close to, but not below 2mm exit pupil. For an f5 scope (a 250mm-300mm dobson), this means (and this is my suggestion) an ES11mm/82°. Instead, if you plan to buy a 200mm dobson (generally f6), then choose a Baader Morpheus 12.5mm.

Add a barlow: a good one is the telecentric ES 2x.

 

That's all. At the moment, you can't buy a low power wide field eyepiece, you don't have a 2" connection and your telescope has a secondary mirror which is not big enough. The 25mm plossl will suffice for the moment. In the future, with your new scope consider an ES 28mm/68°.

I like this advice as it was what I was thinking. I can get Baader eps here in Oz also.

 

waytogo.gif 

 

Welcome to the forums!

 

That's a nice telescope. I had the same scope, sold in the US (only) as an AWB OneSky. I have a full kit of eyepieces and gear, mostly for other scopes. The very best use I got from that scope was with a 2 eyepiece kit: ES68 24mm for widefield (the scope's core strength) and either ES82 6.7 or 4.7mm for high power observing with the 6.7 being a safer bet. An even better high power option is the Meade Series 5000 82o 5.5mm eyepiece but I already had the others. The 24mm will give you the widest available field at good magnification for light polluted skies and will show your southern showpiece objects really well. The high power option is good for planetary, lunar and close inspection. Add a UHC filter like the Orion Ultrablock Narrowband UHC and you have a powerful instrument.

 

BTW, I'm heading for Sydney Friday night and will do quite a bit of observing from S of the Warrumbungles.

Thanks, it is a nice scope. I was very surprised at the quality of it for a 130mm at that price-point. This is very helpful advice from an owner of the same scope, thanks. I am now looking at UHC filters and the Meade 5000 series.
Good luck with the seeing on Friday, fingers crossed for clear skies! Should be some awesome observing - so much to see right now, you'll be spoiled for choice!



#21 meanster99

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 08:55 PM

Hello mate!

AUD$500 is around $380 according to Google.

That's quite a bit of cash for just "upgrades". Your scope is no slouch. Fast reflectors can do planetary. It's the fast achromats the ones that can't.

So your first choice is whether you want something that is appropriate for the cost of your scope (meaning budget but noticeable improvement), or whether you want something that "will last a lifetime" (meaning eyepieces you'll still use even if you later get a $5000 scope)

Scenario A, Budget upgrades:

Since you are in Australia, and you enjoy very quick shipping times from China (or so I've heard). you'd get the best back per buck shopping some nice budget eyepieces from AliExpress:

 

 

These planetaries ($37 each) come in 4mm and 6mm FLs and will give you long eye relief (15mm) and big eye lens (21mm), which translates: good views with much better ergonomics, even for wearing glasses if you prefer.

 

These widefields increase the field of view to 66º. On your fast F5 scope the outer part of the field of view will suffer a bit (from astigmatism), but the wider field is nice to have, specially for DSOs. They also have blackened barrels for less glare with bright objects (Jupiter, Saturn, Moon). The 9mm is the best, followed by the 6mm. The 20mm, while not the best of the lot, would frame the whole pleiades in your telescope, and provide you nicer views of star clusters and big nebula than your current super 25mm (although it's a rather minor upgrade)

 

Another good option for planetary would be a Celestron Zoom ($60). You barlow it, and it allows you to get the best magnification for each target (Saturn often takes more mag than Jupiter, for example) and for each night (when seeing conditions allow) and for your scope (when you've collimated it well, and when you haven't)

 

 

Scenario B, keepers for good:

 

"the best possible views" of "anything that happens to pop up"? What about "takes your breath away"? for 118x on the planets (or 236x barlowed when seing conditions allow), an 82º Meade UWA 5.5mm is about the best value for money on high power eyepieces tright now. USD$109, guaranteed regret-free.

 

 

Edit: Actually, you might regret the UWA 5.5, it could get you hooked into 82º heroin and make you purchase it's siblings. Theres a support group/thread here in CN for those addicted.

 

Also, let me add: If you observe from a city, this $20 UHC filter would be very useful for observing nebula. Someone in these forums got it tested by Lumicon, and the specified transmission curve is accurate. I use it, and it makes a noticeable difference for several targets.

 

Have you seen Carina? The best time to observe it is almost passing... you have to try it from a dark site. It's beautiful. I also highly recommend my favorite open cluster: NGC3532 "the whishing well".

 

If you don't have maps, skySafari is a nice app for learning where everything is, but if you want to protect your night vision this map is great for  your latitude.

 

Finally, this is the thread devoted to your particular scope.

Thanks mate, this is great advice and covers both options nicely. Not sure I can find the Meade UWA 5.5mm here though. Have found the 8.8mm - here - A$300! We do have the Celestron Luminos 82º here - A$200 each. Are they considered quality?

 

Again, with your UHC filter advice I am looking at them now, especially that one on AliExpress.

 

No, not seen Carina yet (are you referring to Eta Carinae/Homunculus Nebulae?). Not sure I'll be able to make a dark site within time. Will look out for the Wishing Well - haven't seen it before...it looks incredible from the pics on the web...full of red giants...beautiful. I do have a couple of night sky map apps on my phone that display in red light, so seem to be ideal. Still getting to grips with the SH skies - I'm originally from the UK but have lived in Oz for 5 years now but barely get out enough to appreciate the night skies here. Spent a few nights in the middle of nowhere in New Zealand a few months back and the night skies were stunning - I'd forgotten how incredible a decent dark night could be - unfortunately, I only had the 'Mark I' to view with so couldn't make the very most of it.

 

Thanks for the dedicated thread for my scope - will definitely lap it all up!

 

If you don't already have one, I would recommend a celestron collimation eyepiece.  Think I got mine for roughly 35$US.  As for finding a dual ED eyepiece, try ebay if you haven't already.  I like them.  I second the idea of getting a celestron zoom eyepiece.

I made my own collimation cap from my Barlow cap, although I'm not entirely convinced my collimation is spot on yet - I know I need to get to grips with it sooner rather than later though. Was wondering whether I should buy an eyepiece for it.

 

Are the zoom eps any good? I know some people recommend to stay away from them, but they do seem appealing for the convenience of not having to change eps. I did look at the Baader Hyperion Mark IV 8-24mm Clickstop Zoom Eyepiece - A$420 - (although think it was only 2" and not 1.25"?) and the Orion Zoom Eyepiece 7.2mm-21.5mm - A$299.00 - but thought it may not be the best spend of my budget, and could be too heavy for my focuser?

 

Thanks to everyone for all the advice and sorry for the multiple posts - CN only lets me multi-reply to a limited number of posts at a time.

 

As is often the case when getting advice from several people, I have even more to think about than when I started, but it's all good! I will update the thread when looking for advice on specific eps that I narrow down...


Edited by meanster99, 03 April 2018 - 09:13 PM.

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#22 meanster99

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 09:06 PM

In this case, a broadband and narrowband light pollution filter might be in order. But, there is so much to know about them, such as they are not effective on all objects due to their limited bandwidth. They are effective for planetary nebula due to the nature of their emission lines, and the Orion nebula. Broadband emission of galaxies, not so much. They tend to operate best at lower magnifications due to their dimming effect. Too much to go into here, there is plenty of information to study in CN articles, eyepieces and equipment forums. 

Thanks for the extra detail. As you may have seen, Adun recommended one from AliExpress - only costs US $21.32, so may be worth a punt even if it only works for a few objects. The others I've seen in Australia (Astronomik, Celestron, Baader) were retailing for around A$110-$150.



#23 havasman

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 10:22 PM

The general opinion of the Meade 5000 82o ep's is that the really good one isi the 5.5mm and that the rest are considerably less capable.

The most critical ep is the widefield and the ES68 24 is a real winner.



#24 Adun

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 07:23 AM

The general opinion of the Meade 5000 82o ep's is that the really good one isi the 5.5mm and that the rest are considerably less capable.

 
To be more precise: The old (non waterproof) Meade UWAs were from the same JOC factory and had the same specs as the ES82 and differed mostly in the barrel and eye cap. The newer Meade UWAs which are the ones available new, are made by Kunming Optical, can be distinguished by being waterproof and only come in 5.5mm, 8.8mm, 14mm and 20mm focal lengths
 
The 5.5mm is exceptionally good and considered by many to be quite better (specially in ergonomics) than the ES82s (4.7mm, 6.7mm).
 
The 8.8mm is considered to be "just as good" as it's ES82 peer. I can vouch from personal experience that it's a great eyepiece to have, and at the current sale ($99 from Amazon) it is IMHO superb value.
 
The 14mm is said to be the worst of the lot, with notorious field curvature. I haven't used it.
 
Finally, about the 20mm there are differing claims of it having a little field curvature: some say it does but it's "cleaned with a coma corrector", some say it doesn't. I've learned that unless you observe with a triplet APO with field flattener, you cannot claim to determine whether an eyepiece has or doesn't have field curvature, all you can claim is how much it cancels (or reinforces) the field curvature inherent in the design of your particular scope (reflectors, SCTs and refractors all have field curvature inherent to the design, regardless of manufacturing flaws). I own the 20mm and really like it. I searched for the alleged field curvature but couldn't find it: snap focus edge to edge, with or without coma corrector. It could just be that my eyes are still flexible (so I can't see FC but an older person could) or that the curvature in the 20mm UWA cancels that on my F4.7 mirror. Whatever the case, it see no fault on my 20mm UWA and I quite like it.

 

Thanks for the extra detail. As you may have seen, Adun recommended one from AliExpress - only costs US $21.32, so may be worth a punt even if it only works for a few objects. The others I've seen in Australia (Astronomik, Celestron, Baader) were retailing for around A$110-$150.

 
You can find more info about that filter (including the transmission test) here.
 
 

We do have the Celestron Luminos 82º here - A$200 each. Are they considered quality?

 
I've read from people who really like theirs, specially in F8+ scopes (SCTs and Maks), but I've also read from a lot of people complaining about "edge of field brightening" in their Luminos. I can't say from actual use how true or bad that is, but I read that often enough that it scared me and I skipped the Luminos in my search for a good value, well corrected 82°.


Edited by Adun, 04 April 2018 - 10:59 AM.


#25 BillP

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 09:00 AM

I had a Celestron 130mm f/5 scope once.  It was a solid tube.  Once collimated well the views were simply outstanding!  So yes the mechanicals on these scopes are often a challenge, but once you get around that the optics put up quite wonderful views worthy of any class of eyepiece.

 

If I had the scope you have and lived in very light polluted location, then I would not get filters as they are oftem too target specific and are more of a chore then a pleasure.  I find the best way to combat bright sky issues is through proper exit pupils.  So getting an eyepiece that with your scope produces an exit pupil of 3mm or less will make the background sky nicely dark so views "pop" nicely.  With your scope, 5mm, 8mm, and 15mm BST Starguiders Would be a great series for most observing needs.  They would give you:

 

15mm BST = 43x, 1.38 TFOV, 3mm Exit Pupil ($60)

8mm BST = 81x ($60)

5mm BST = 130x ($60)

 

Another option if you wanted to go with a much wider AFOV eyepiece would be:

 

14mm ES 82 = 46x, 1.77 TFOV, 2.8mm Exit Pupil ($130)

8.8mm ES 82 = 74x ($160)

2x Barlow to get you to 92x and 148x ($40-$130 depending on brand)


Edited by BillP, 04 April 2018 - 09:06 AM.



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