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Saving for my first special eyepiece - What is best? (102mm ED Refractor f/6)

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#1 Jethro777

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 04:53 AM

I am saving for my first, really nice eyepiece.  

I would be happy with a 2", or a 1.25" as my refractor can take either (though I might get more bang for my buck with a 1.25", right?).

I have a 102mm ED f/6 refractor.  

My targets that I love to look at are 1.  DSO's, 2. Clusters

I will be using O-III, UHC, and H-Beta filters with it too.  I have a 2x Short Barlow (though it's a basic one). 

I am thinking a Televue, a Takahashi (LE?), a Pentax or something like that.  I'm not sure on the best focal length, but am thinking maybe 16-20? Then, with a Barlow, I would get 8-10.  So if it works great with a Barlow, bonus! 

I do wear glasses, but I don't care about taking them off when viewing, I like to do that anyway.  

It can't break the bank, I will buy second hand as I just can't afford too much.  

If you can PM me any links to specials that you think I should look up, extra grateful!  


Edited by Jethro777, 14 July 2019 - 04:56 AM.


#2 mrsjeff

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 07:05 AM

It might be good to give an idea of how much you are willing to spend, so people aren’t recommending eyepieces that are beyond your budget.

#3 HarryRik9

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 07:29 AM

Eyepieces are like the type and color of your car. They are mostly about personal tastes. In your case it sounds like you should consider some wide field Naglers to start with. But everyone has his own personal tastes regarding what he likes and how much money he has to spend. I suggest looking at the classifiedes section to see what eyepieces are available and the price ranges involved.

Edited by HarryRik9, 14 July 2019 - 08:18 AM.

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#4 25585

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 07:55 AM

A 2 inch eyepiece, the APM 30mm Ultra Flat Field, is not too expensive or too heavy, but will be great for DSOs. 



#5 sg6

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 08:00 AM

What have you got at the present time?

Additionally define "special". And then why "special".

 

I ask as a "Special" would be nice if you already had a good set to use and have the special for those occasions when it would add to the experience.

 

That implies that you can identify from the existing eyepieces that one that you have and use for those good occasions - either FoV or magnification.

 

So as the first point what have you and where in those would you like to have the extra performance.



#6 Jethro777

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 04:59 PM

Thanks for drawing me out everyone, 

I was looking at spending up to $200 or so, used - if nessesary. 

The APM 30mm Ultra Flat Field looks interesting, but they seem hard to find around here.

I am also thinking of a Russel Optics eyepiece, he has the 15mm and 18mm 1.25" (but no longer research grade), and a full range of 2" ones, but I have the issue that he doesn't ship over here...

I am thinking something around 16mm might be a sweet spot, as I can put in a barlow and get a very usable magnification.  I also have the opportunity of getting a Takahashi LE 7.5mm, 24mm or 30mm cheaply at the moment as well as a 2" 23mm Luminos.

Another option I can get that would be affordable is the Chinese made Vixen SLV 2.5/4/6/12/20mm eyepieces.

I could also save a little longer, and maybe get a Pentax XW16.  


Edited by Jethro777, 14 July 2019 - 05:26 PM.


#7 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 05:52 PM

Jethro:

 

Some thoughts and questions:

 

- Do you have a 2 inch Diagonal?  

 

- At F/6, you want some well corrected eyepieces.  The Russell eyepieces are not what I think of as "my first special" eyepiece. 

 

- For what you are doing, DSO's, I think you want something of very good quality with at least a ~65 degree AFoV, maybe more. 

 

-  I have experience with TeleVue, Explore Scientific and Meade widefield eyepieces.  I hear good things about others. Just about any TeleVue wide field would make a "first special eyepiece" but they are expensive and I think the Explore 68, 82 and 100 degree offer better value.  Maybe not quite the same perfection as TeleVue to experienced eye but very good and much more affordable. 

 

The Meade Series 5000 SWAs and UWAs are optically very similar to the ES's but I find the Meade bulbous twist up eye cups unusable.  On the used market, they seem to be less expensive than the ES's and can be a bargain.  I have the 24mm and 16mm Meade Series 5000 SWAs.  I had them for a year or two but rarely used them.  One day, I decided to remove the blubous eyecups.  From that day on, they became regulars...

 

I hear good things about the APM/Lunts and similar eyepieces but I have no personal experience.  

 

In your situation, with a 102mm F/6, I see some eyepieces I would consider.  

 

- ES or Meade 1.25 inch 24mm 68 degree.  In my mind this is the best bang for the buck in terms of a 1.25 inch Widefield.  It might not be quite the 24mm Panoptic but it sure does a good imitation. And these eyepieces provide the widest TFoV in a 1.25 inch Widefield.  They provide a reasonably wide 2.53 deg field in your scope.  

 

The APM 30mm Flatfield:  I have not used this eyepiece.  It has a 38mm field stop which would provide a generous 3.56 degree TFoV in your scope at 20x with a 5mm exit pupil.  Maybe Don Pensack can comment on the quality of the correction but if it is quite good at F/6, then this could be a life time keeper.

 

https://www.eyepiece..._p/17102030.htm

 

- Used there are a number of eyepieces but I don't know anything about the Australian market.  A 34mm ES 68 degree would be a nice fit as a low power wide field.

 

Jon



#8 Jethro777

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 06:09 PM

Thank you Jon,

I do have a 2" Diagonal.  

One offer I have which is really interesting to me is the opportunity to get a Vixen 20mm LV and a 6mm SLV for very little.  

I have a nice TAL 2x Barlow that would do well, and a cheaper 3x Barlow that I think would give me a great range of magnifications for very little outlay.  

They seem to be really nice - what do you think?



#9 Mike W

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 06:40 PM

A 19 Panoptic used would be a great addition!

 

http://televue.com/e...Tab=EP_EPO-19.0


Edited by Mike W, 14 July 2019 - 07:19 PM.


#10 eros312

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 07:11 PM

A 17.5mm Morpheus would be a good choice for your first "special" eyepiece. A little beyond your budget but worth it in my opinion. The SLV's are ok, but only 50°



#11 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 07:20 PM

At F6 and "special eyepiece", your most used is typically about 2x your focal ratio . . . 

 

So I'd be looking for something in the 12-14mm range.

 

Used, a Morpheus 12.5 would fit the bill nicely.



#12 Jethro777

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 09:53 PM

The Morpheus sounds great, if you know where I can get one at a good price, or a special somewhere please PM me!

#13 SeattleScott

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Posted Yesterday, 12:46 AM

Wow, am I the only one who observes most DSO at 100-120x? You are getting a lot of great recommendations for eyepieces that will frame the Double Clusters nicely, and not much else.

Once again the 2mm rule. Yes supposedly the eye works best at 2mm but that doesn’t mean Saturn will look best at 50x. You always want to use the right magnification to frame the target, or match seeing conditions. If it happens to be at 2mm exit pupil, great! But saying you should observe everything at 50x because that is the best exit pupil for the eye is like saying you should always drive 50mph because that is where your car gets the best fuel economy. Try explaining that to the cop who pulled you over in a school zone.

Personally I was thinking a 5-6mm for a workhorse DSO eyepiece and then barlow it for planetary. Lots of options. 5mm XW, I’m sure there is a Delos or Delite in that range, a Meade 5.5 UWA would be great, and leave you some funds left over for a 2” wide field eyepiece.

Scott

#14 Kevin Barker

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Posted Yesterday, 01:21 AM

I personally avoid 2 inch eyepieces. Most dso s are well framed with 1.25" IMHO.
Personally I reckon tried and tested eyepieces like the 19 or 24 mm Panoptics are pretty impressive. The 24 will deliver more than 2.5 degrees, the 19 mm around 2 degrees. A 13 mm type 6 Nagler will also deliver a wide sharp image around 1.5 odd degrees.
I own all 3 of these eyepieces

and are never disappointed with the views obtained.


Edited by Kevin Barker, Yesterday, 01:24 AM.


#15 clearwaterdave

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Posted Yesterday, 03:20 AM

My most used ep in my 102 is an ES82*/14mm.,just right for me for scanning/starhopping/and viewing most stuff.,ymmv.,



#16 Nebula27

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Posted Yesterday, 05:33 AM

+1 on the explore scientific 14mm 82° and 24mm 68°. Both are good eyepieces at a decent price. Although they aren't as sharp as the eyepieces from televue, they come very close for a lot less money.

If buying used, you can get what you payed for most of the times, so if you don't like the eyepiece you can just sell it with almost no loss.

In the used market, the televue delites are just about $200, and they offer enough eye relief to observe with glasses, they are very sharp even at the edges and they have very good contrast. For $150-$160, you can find a televue radian on the used market, which is the almost the same as the delites, but with a tad less contrast and sharpness across the fov.

#17 SeattleScott

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Posted Yesterday, 08:11 AM

Thank you Jon,
I do have a 2" Diagonal.
One offer I have which is really interesting to me is the opportunity to get a Vixen 20mm LV and a 6mm SLV for very little.
I have a nice TAL 2x Barlow that would do well, and a cheaper 3x Barlow that I think would give me a great range of magnifications for very little outlay.
They seem to be really nice - what do you think?

The SLVs have a good reputation. Remember they are specifically designed as long eye relief eyepieces for eyeglass wearers. If you don’t wear glasses you may want a wider angle lens instead. Especially if your mount doesn’t track.

Scott

#18 Jon Isaacs

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Posted Yesterday, 08:33 AM

Wow, am I the only one who observes most DSO at 100-120x? You are getting a lot of great recommendations for eyepieces that will frame the Double Clusters nicely, and not much else.

Once again the 2mm rule. Yes supposedly the eye works best at 2mm but that doesn’t mean Saturn will look best at 50x. You always want to use the right magnification to frame the target, or match seeing conditions. If it happens to be at 2mm exit pupil, great! But saying you should observe everything at 50x because that is the best exit pupil for the eye is like saying you should always drive 50mph because that is where your car gets the best fuel economy. Try explaining that to the cop who pulled you over in a school zone.

Personally I was thinking a 5-6mm for a workhorse DSO eyepiece and then barlow it for planetary. Lots of options. 5mm XW, I’m sure there is a Delos or Delite in that range, a Meade 5.5 UWA would be great, and leave you some funds left over for a 2” wide field eyepiece.

Scott

Scott:

 

I view DSOs at all magnifications, from under to 10x to over a 1000x.  But my thinking goes like this:

 

- What are the special views that a 102mm F/6 ED provides?  That where a special eyepiece begins. 

 

- Jethro's favorite objects are DSOs and Clusters. No mention of the planets. He mentions using O-III, UHC, and H-Beta filters. These are best with larger exit pupils. In a 4 inch, what are the impressive clusters and nebulae?   

 

-  You are suggesting an exit pupil less than 1mm, that is certainly not my choice for viewing most DSOs and nebulae in a 4 inch. If he had wanted to view them at 120x, this is the wrong scope for that, an 8 inch Dob would have been better.  

 

-  I don't know what you look at with your 4 inch, I spend a lot of time at low powers and there is way more to see than just the double cluster.  Wandering around the Milky Way with a low power widefield, that is a treat that is definitely worth the price of admission.  Big clusters, big nebulae.. yeah, they're not necessarily on the Messier list but then Charles Messier didn't have access to wide field eyepieces.. 

 

- My own experience is that the very special views in a 4 inch are the low power, wide fields, the entire Veil, the North American, the California, the Pleiades, the double cluster and Stock 1. Of course, these are what we might view. 

 

Jethro is in Australia.. He has some magnificent objects, the great Magellan Clouds, Eta Carinae nebulae, 47 Tucanae.. For me, I would want an eyepiece that would show these in their fullest. Ideally, that would be something like the 31mm Nagler.  

 

Jon


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#19 SeattleScott

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Posted Yesterday, 08:55 AM

I certainly do look at those objects with my 4” scopes, as well as a lot more including planets. It just feels like he is getting a lot of advice for tweener eyepieces. Not low power enough to give the 2” ultra wide field perspective, but not high enough for most of my DSO viewing. I suppose with a barlow it could have more utility for DSO but I wouldn’t want to have to use a barlow all the time to get to low-medium power. I realize you are the one person who did really push for a 2” wide FOV eyepiece, which would be a fine choice. And I realize he is asking for a 16mm-ish, which is driving a lot of these suggestions. To me it just reminds me of my buddy who insisted he didn’t need anything shorter than his 8.8mm for his 100ED. Until I spent an evening with him and my 5LVW.

Scott

#20 Jon Isaacs

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Posted Yesterday, 09:08 AM

I certainly do look at those objects with my 4” scopes, as well as a lot more including planets. It just feels like he is getting a lot of advice for tweener eyepieces. Not low power enough to give the 2” ultra wide field perspective, but not high enough for most of my DSO viewing. I suppose with a barlow it could have more utility for DSO but I wouldn’t want to have to use a barlow all the time to get to low-medium power. I realize you are the one person who did really push for a 2” wide FOV eyepiece, which would be a fine choice. And I realize he is asking for a 16mm-ish, which is driving a lot of these suggestions. To me it just reminds me of my buddy who insisted he didn’t need anything shorter than his 8.8mm for his 100ED. Until I spent an evening with him and my 5LVW.

Scott

Scott:

 

One certainly needs a full range of eyepieces.  In my 4 inch, I use from 13x to 308x.  I am really concentrating on that special eyepiece that provides the special views that are only possible with a 4 inch refractor like Jethro's.  

 

My own experience is that getting special is more difficult at longer focal lengths and that affordable shorter focal length eyepiece like the TMB Planetary's actually do quite well in an F/6 refractor.

 

Jon


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#21 russell23

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Posted Yesterday, 09:35 AM

There are so many good eyepieces out there that the answer really depends upon preferences.
One eyepiece I really love that works well with barlows is the TV 18.2mm DeLite. I use mine with two barlows and a 1” extension tube to give me 5 magnifications with my AT 102mm f/7 ED:

No Barlow: 39x
1.6x Barlow: 63x
1.6x Barlow/1” extension: 73x
3x Barlow: 120x
3x Barlow w/1” extension: 143x

Then for lower magnification wider FOV I use the 30mm APM UFF. That gives 24x and a 3.0 deg TFOV.
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#22 25585

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Posted Yesterday, 04:05 PM

My special eyepieces are my 12 & 17mm ES92s, no question. They give awesome views whether in a 1600mm or 600mm FL scope.    

 

Heavy, but I balance for those, and compensate for lesser lighter eyepieces as appropriate, the 92s and a 35 Panoptic make a heavy bag but are my team supreme. 

 

A 48mm Brandon is "special" too. Viewing stars with it feels like being there among them.



#23 areyoukiddingme

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Posted Yesterday, 04:39 PM

Wow, am I the only one who observes most DSO at 100-120x? You are getting a lot of great recommendations for eyepieces that will frame the Double Clusters nicely, and not much else.

Once again the 2mm rule. Yes supposedly the eye works best at 2mm but that doesn’t mean Saturn will look best at 50x. You always want to use the right magnification to frame the target, or match seeing conditions. If it happens to be at 2mm exit pupil, great! But saying you should observe everything at 50x because that is the best exit pupil for the eye is like saying you should always drive 50mph because that is where your car gets the best fuel economy. Try explaining that to the cop who pulled you over in a school zone.

Personally I was thinking a 5-6mm for a workhorse DSO eyepiece and then barlow it for planetary. Lots of options. 5mm XW, I’m sure there is a Delos or Delite in that range, a Meade 5.5 UWA would be great, and leave you some funds left over for a 2” wide field eyepiece.

Scott

 

Seems to me that the recommendation should reflect the interests and scope of the poster.

 

He says he is looking for his first special eyepiece for his 4" refractor for viewing DSOs and clusters, and that he has a 2x barlow. He did not mention Saturn.

 

It seems to me that there's two kinds of recommendation that fit here, and would get a lot of use. 

 

The lowest power like a 31 Nagler would get a lot of use, as would something in the sweet spot for resolution of ~2x focal ratio.

 

That's why I suggested 12.5mm, With the 2x barlow to 6.25mm. Both of those will get a lot of use, and I'd bet more than the super-low, wide view.

 

So something like the 12.5 Morpheus (should be found for $170 used) followed by a 5.5 Meade UWA (can be found for $80 new on sales) would be great, especially with barlow.



#24 SuperSirLink

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Posted Yesterday, 05:08 PM

There are so many good eyepieces out there that the answer really depends upon preferences.
One eyepiece I really love that works well with barlows is the TV 18.2mm DeLite. I use mine with two barlows and a 1” extension tube to give me 5 magnifications with my AT 102mm f/7 ED:

No Barlow: 39x
1.6x Barlow: 63x
1.6x Barlow/1” extension: 73x
3x Barlow: 120x
3x Barlow w/1” extension: 143x

Then for lower magnification wider FOV I use the 30mm APM UFF. That gives 24x and a 3.0 deg TFOV.

Never thought of using an extension... I find a 2x Barlow is too much, is your 1.6x a 1.25" or 2"?



#25 russell23

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Posted Yesterday, 05:55 PM

Never thought of using an extension... I find a 2x Barlow is too much, is your 1.6x a 1.25" or 2"?


The 1.6x is a 1.25” ... the Nikon EIC16.

I use it with refractors of 900mm and shorter FL so I can also make use of the 3x TV Barlow.
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