Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Where to go from here

  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 MonkeyWrench76

MonkeyWrench76

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: 12 Nov 2019

Posted 12 November 2019 - 08:46 PM

I purchased a celestron Evo8 about 9 months ago (came with the celestron 1.25 lens kit) and my kids and I have been having a great time looking at planets, the moon and some star cluster in our fairly light polluted backyard in San Jose.  We also get some viewing time in the sierras where the skys are much darker.  We also learned how to collimate the scope which greatly improved our planetary viewing.

 

For reference i also have

  • ZWO 224mc camera
  • Baader moon-glow and light pollution filter

 

I am looking to upgrade my setup a little and i am looking for advice on what the next step would be from here.  I am torn between the following.  I figure i have a few 100$ budget for Christmas

 

  • Baader Zoom so i don't have the swap eye pieces as often and give the kids the wow factor of  zooming in a splitting stars and zooming in on moon features and the planets.  Is this zoom image quality better than the kit eyepieces i got with the scope?
  • Celestron Starsense.  I feel i waste a lot of time aligning the scope with the Skysafari app and having it fail.  the red dot pointer is mostly useless in my opinion
  • a dielectric Diagonal with a clicklock?  I dont like the feel of the current diagonal and optical back.  I feel like things are going to fall off
  • A better barlow (for imaging planets).  the kit one seems to lose a lot of light and also blur out the images a bit.  my kids like imaging but i feel the optics are holding us back a little.  (i will post further info and some pics in the imaging forum on this question)
  • Anything else people recommend?

Thanks in advance you your advice.

 

Chris

 



#2 Lukes1040

Lukes1040

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 248
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2016
  • Loc: Ohio, USA

Posted 12 November 2019 - 09:06 PM

I have a baader zoom and like it a lot. I know there are varying opinions on zooms since the field of view is typically smaller than good eyepieces, but it will be as good or better field of view than the Celestron kit. I have a dobsonian telescope, so changing eyepieces almost always pushes what I am looking at out of the field of view. That is my main reason for using the baader zoom a lot.

Red dot finders are bad. If you are looking to replace the finder, a telrad or a Rigel are your best bet. Only about $45 for either, and they both are far better than red dots.

I cannot comment on the Star sense or the diagonal since I use a manual dob. I’m sure others will chime in.

#3 coopman

coopman

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5,606
  • Joined: 23 Apr 2006
  • Loc: South Louisiana

Posted 12 November 2019 - 09:10 PM

I picked up a used Starsense unit a while back and I love it. I just ask it to perform the alignment & in about 2 minutes it says "alignment successful" and I am off & running.

#4 Gary Z

Gary Z

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,483
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2012
  • Loc: New Mexico

Posted 12 November 2019 - 10:19 PM

The Baader Zoom will help alot.  It's a great lens!

Instead of the Red dot finder, I use a telrad.  Been using the telrad for a few years now and don't intend to look back.

 

SS....you can easily do without it.  Honestly.  I use the HC with no tablets.  I start off with carefully levelling the tripod, then put the mount head on the tripod.  I then install the telescope with all accessors and balance the scope with what I intend to use on it. Then I do a sky align.  To help with alignment, I use a lighted double crossbar eyepiece.  Makes alignments accurate and I don't introduce more light than needed.  Granted this might makes things a bit duller, but it is easier.  For imaging the planets, I use the 224 camera as you have, and a 2.5x Televue Barlow.  I'm attaching an image of Saturn taken last summer:

Saturn 71418

 

 

Gary



#5 tjschultz2011

tjschultz2011

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • Posts: 25
  • Joined: 02 Feb 2019
  • Loc: Central WI

Posted 12 November 2019 - 10:55 PM

I started out with an Orion XT8 dobsonian scope and a cheap Orion EP kit but when I finally made the jump to a couple of more expensive eyepieces it made a huge difference in the views and the enjoyment that using the scope brought me. My first quality eyepieces were a 27mm Televue Panoptic and a 10mm Pentax XW. I especially loved the pan and I can't say enough about the quality of Televue EPs in general as I'm sure you will hear from many people on this site. They just feel very comfortable to use and are crisp and sharp all the way to the edges. The field-of-view jump from 50 degree plossls to something in the 68-70 degree range or even the Naglers at 82 degrees is very noticeable and makes a big difference. Check out some used ones in the classifieds for good deals. I've bought many EPs from there and you can often save a lot of money on high end ones. Also Televue has a 10% sale going on right now if you check them out on Astronomics. I've never used the Baader zooms before but many people like them. I've been thinking about getting a Televue Nagler zoom 3-5mm soon for high power planetary viewing with my 17.5" dob. 

 

-TJ


  • AstroVPK likes this

#6 Astro-Master

Astro-Master

    Viking 1

  • ****-
  • Posts: 593
  • Joined: 09 May 2016
  • Loc: San Diego County,Ca.

Posted 12 November 2019 - 11:12 PM

You can't go wrong with the Baader Zoom, the kids are going to love zooming in on the moon and planets, and its a better quality eyepiece than the ones in the kit IMHO.

 

I never used a Starsense.

 

Telrad's are great for star hoping, I use them on most all of my scopes.

 

The Baader Clicklock 2" back is the bomb, it will hold the heavy eyepieces without the diagonal twisting upside down.

 

If you don't have a dew shield and dew heater, you can use a hair drier, but its a PITA.

 

As for the barlow, if you plan to stay with the hobby [obsession}, for a long time get a better barlow.  I use the Astro-Physics convertible 2" barlow on my Obsession 18, but I want the best, and you can get nice barlow for much less.  You can buy good used barlows and eyepieces on CN and save a bundle.

 

Welcome to Cloudy Nights, and may the life long adventure for you and your family begin.


Edited by Astro-Master, 13 November 2019 - 12:33 AM.


#7 treadmarks

treadmarks

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 983
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2016
  • Loc: Boston MA

Posted 12 November 2019 - 11:13 PM

You might want to look into a focal reducer, especially since you have a camera. The Celestron F6.3 is well-regarded. It will help you max out your FOV for visual observing, while also correcting your field and speeding up exposures all at the same time.



#8 aeajr

aeajr

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 12,879
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Long Island, New York, USA

Posted 12 November 2019 - 11:31 PM

I really enjoy my Baader Zoom but I don't have an EVO or an SCT.  But I do use it in my F15 Mak.

 

I don't see the value of a Telrad on a GoTo scope, a RDF seems all you need in my opinion. 

 

As for anything related to AP, that is outside the scope of this forum.  I would ask that question in the AP/Imaging forums. 


Edited by aeajr, 13 November 2019 - 08:29 AM.


#9 AstroVPK

AstroVPK

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 72
  • Joined: 12 May 2019
  • Loc: Sunnyvale, CA

Posted 13 November 2019 - 12:38 AM

I purchased a celestron Evo8 about 9 months ago (came with the celestron 1.25 lens kit) and my kids and I have been having a great time looking at planets, the moon and some star cluster in our fairly light polluted backyard in San Jose.  We also get some viewing time in the sierras where the skys are much darker.  We also learned how to collimate the scope which greatly improved our planetary viewing.

 

For reference i also have

  • ZWO 224mc camera
  • Baader moon-glow and light pollution filter

 

I am looking to upgrade my setup a little and i am looking for advice on what the next step would be from here.  I am torn between the following.  I figure i have a few 100$ budget for Christmas

 

  • Baader Zoom so i don't have the swap eye pieces as often and give the kids the wow factor of  zooming in a splitting stars and zooming in on moon features and the planets.  Is this zoom image quality better than the kit eyepieces i got with the scope?
  • Celestron Starsense.  I feel i waste a lot of time aligning the scope with the Skysafari app and having it fail.  the red dot pointer is mostly useless in my opinion
  • a dielectric Diagonal with a clicklock?  I dont like the feel of the current diagonal and optical back.  I feel like things are going to fall off
  • A better barlow (for imaging planets).  the kit one seems to lose a lot of light and also blur out the images a bit.  my kids like imaging but i feel the optics are holding us back a little.  (i will post further info and some pics in the imaging forum on this question)
  • Anything else people recommend?

Thanks in advance you your advice.

 

Chris

 

Look at the Tele Vue Panoptic and DeLite/Delos lines of eyepieces. You can also consider eyepieces from the Explore Scientific lines. There are other good manufacturers as well. Look at the eyepiece lines carried by Don Pensack (Starman1 on this forum) at https://www.eyepiece...com/Default.asp You can ask him for opinions on gear and I've always found him to give sound, candid advice.

 

A lot depends on what you want to observe. Do you guys want to do more planetary stuff? Does the Deep Sky interest you guys?



#10 SeaBee1

SeaBee1

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,913
  • Joined: 19 Mar 2015
  • Loc: Under the DFW light barrier

Posted 13 November 2019 - 08:59 AM

My opinions in post and in red:

 

I purchased a celestron Evo8 about 9 months ago (came with the celestron 1.25 lens kit) and my kids and I have been having a great time looking at planets, the moon and some star cluster in our fairly light polluted backyard in San Jose.  We also get some viewing time in the sierras where the skys are much darker.  We also learned how to collimate the scope which greatly improved our planetary viewing. Spot on Chris! This is the best thing to do first and the easiest to achieve. And your scope should hold collimation well.

 

For reference i also have

  • ZWO 224mc camera
  • Baader moon-glow and light pollution filter

 

I am looking to upgrade my setup a little and i am looking for advice on what the next step would be from here.  I am torn between the following.  I figure i have a few 100$ budget for Christmas

 

  • Baader Zoom so i don't have the swap eye pieces as often and give the kids the wow factor of  zooming in a splitting stars and zooming in on moon features and the planets.  Is this zoom image quality better than the kit eyepieces i got with the scope? Kit eyepieces tend to be inexpensive, but that doesn't mean they are BAD... they just aren't as good as a premium eyepiece. I have no experience with a zoom eyepiece, but I have heard enough good things about the Baader to feel comfortable recommending it. And as you mention, it eliminates the eyepiece dance. I have also heard that when using it on doubles, the zoom in splitting is really cool... makes me want one...
  • Celestron Starsense.  I feel i waste a lot of time aligning the scope with the Skysafari app and having it fail.  the red dot pointer is mostly useless in my opinion For me, the Starsense is a really expensive add on that may be nice, but I have no issues using the HC for the alignment routine, even in my light polluted back yard. It doesn't take that long to do and costs nothing but a small amount of time. Once I have alignment, I then connect SkySafari for scope control. Works flawlessly this way.
  • a dielectric Diagonal with a clicklock?  I dont like the feel of the current diagonal and optical back.  I feel like things are going to fall off I am also looking into a clicklock diagonal. It's a definite upgrade. I am looking at the 2" one from Orion.
  • A better barlow (for imaging planets).  the kit one seems to lose a lot of light and also blur out the images a bit.  my kids like imaging but i feel the optics are holding us back a little.  (i will post further info and some pics in the imaging forum on this question) I am just not into barlows. I like to keep some things simple, and a barlow is just another piece of unnecessary gear. IMHO... YMMV...
  • Anything else people recommend? Yes... the second most important thing... a good adjustable height observers seat if you don't already have one. You will observe more and better if your upper body is stable... not bobbing around... and a good seat mitigates that bobbing around...

Thanks in advance you your advice. You're welcome!

 

Chris

 

Good hunting!

 

CB



#11 rhetfield

rhetfield

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 98
  • Joined: 14 Aug 2019

Posted 13 November 2019 - 11:46 AM

I would go for the following:

 

1.  Smaller, cheaper celestron verson of telrad finder.  Upgrade from what you have now: https://www.celestro...starpointer-pro

 

2.  On your scope, anything smaller than a 10mm will start to loose resolution (because it is an F/10 scope).  bright planets might look good down to 7-8 mm on a good night.  The moon might be good down to 5mm.  Less than that and things will look like dim fuzzy blobs.  That is just the physics of optics and your eye.  I would not use a barlow for high mag.  Really good eyepieces are the way to go.

 

I would look at eyepieces in the 7-10mm range from celestron's x-cel series or the explore scientific lines.  The field of view on explore scientific eyepieces gets wider as the price goes up.  Baader and Televue are a bit nicer, but much more expensive.

 

3.  I would look at UHC filters for nebula.  They help a lot in the light pollution (and also a bit in the dark skies).  I like the 1000 oaks LP-2.  The broadband light pollution filters are designed to help with galaxies and clusters in light pollution, but with the advent of LED lighting, they can be very much hit and miss.

 

4.  This one is free - look into the procedure for collimating using a star if you haven't done so yet.  Doing this at the highest mag your atmosphere will allow will fine tune it better than the tools will. 



#12 vtornado

vtornado

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,159
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2016
  • Loc: Northern Illinois

Posted 13 November 2019 - 01:30 PM

Hello Chris and welcome to cloudy nights.

 

You have a tracking mount, so  having narrow field eyepeices is not as much of a hinderence than if your scope is manual.  Planetary can benefit from a zoom because seeing changes in seconds, and being able to match your mag with  seeing is important.

 

Are you letting your scope thermally acclimate to outdoor temps?

 

Other things I don't see on your list, that I find helpful.

How is dew/frost on your scope?  Dew shield, or heater?

 

A narrowband nebula filter will allow you to view a few bright nebula from your backyard better, and

will enhance them in the dark sky too.

 

Im not sure your barlow is as bad as you think.  You are doubling your power your image will dim,

and also it will not be as sharp with the barlow due to the 2x mag.  The real test is to compare the barlow and eyepiece with an  equivalent f/l stand alone eyepiece.  Even my low cost GSO barlow is fairly indectetible in my scope when

compared to the equivalent standalone eyepiece.



#13 MonkeyWrench76

MonkeyWrench76

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: 12 Nov 2019

Posted 14 November 2019 - 04:25 AM

Thanks for all the feedback. I forgot to mention that I already have a few shield and have had no problems with few issues so far.

I think I will go for the Baader zoom and possibly the click lock diagonal. That will likely kill the budget for now.

Chris

#14 AstroVPK

AstroVPK

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 72
  • Joined: 12 May 2019
  • Loc: Sunnyvale, CA

Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:55 AM

Clearly your phone is not an amateur astronomer & has never had to deal with dew issues!!! lol.gif

 

Thanks for all the feedback. I forgot to mention that I already have a few shield and have had no problems with few issues so far.

I think I will go for the Baader zoom and possibly the click lock diagonal. That will likely kill the budget for now.

Chris




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics