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Eyepieces for a 80-102 mm short focal length refractor

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#1 sojourneyer

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 07:11 PM

I am in the process of purchasing a starter refractor scope.

The aperture of the objective will be between 80 mm to 102 mm and it will be between f/5.5 to f6.7.

 

I am entertaining purchasing some upgrade eyepieces for the scope.

In particular Meade Instruments series 4000 Super Plossls

 

The intended mm of the eyepieces would be 25mm, 15mm, 9mm and  6.4 mm. I will purchase two to three of the four listed. Also am considering a 2X Barlow.   Total being circa $125.   The Meades are about $25 each so I wonder what their quality is.

 

I do not want to spend a lot initially until I am convinced that skywatching will be my bag.

 

Are these good first upgrade eyepieces?

 

Thanks


Edited by sojourneyer, 13 December 2019 - 10:27 AM.


#2 mac57

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 07:28 PM

The thing is, with Plossls, you need to stick your eyeball pretty close to the eyepiece, especially at higher powers.  Try the AstroTech Paradigms instead.  A larger field of view and better eye relief.  Just buy one at a time and see, personally I would try the 15 or 8mm for your scope.  Comfort at the eyepiece is so important, especially if you are on the fence.  Get some other opinions, though.  Mark


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#3 msl615

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 07:38 PM

First, it is great that you are getting into the hobby and I hope you have a fun time!

 

Assuming you are looking at focal lengths of maybe 450 to 650,  there could be an issue with field curvature (fc)....that is, the outside of the field of view is not at the same place as the on-axis central field of view. Depending on your eyes (astigmatism?) and age, the ability for them to compensate for fc could be good, or not so good. I am in the process of selling my short fl, fast refractors because my eyes just can't deal with that anymore. 

 

If you thinking about planets, or single items (e.g. double stars), then plossls are great as they work well on-axis. Not as well out towards the edges.  If you are thinking about wide-fields views (all of the Pleiades for example), the the plossls could be a problem. Try to avoid "ultra-wide, super-wide, etc). They are really tough on this type of scope for fc....something in the 60 degrees or less FOV (e.g. plossls) would be good. 

 

I am sure your message will generate a ton of advice and I will be watching this at the same time to see what suggestions come up.

 

Mike


Edited by msl615, 12 December 2019 - 07:39 PM.

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#4 tony_spina

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 07:45 PM

If you are sticking with Plossls skip focal lengths less than 10mm. To tight on eye relief.  In other words, your eye will be up against the eyepiece lens

 

You can get a 2x barlow to achieve the magnification/focal length you want

 

Also check ebay for the gold ring generic 66 degree eyepieces.   The 9mm and 6mm are very good cheap alternatives to consider.   The 15mm and 20mm don't perform as well 


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#5 sg6

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 08:33 PM

For potential CA issues and for field curvature I would think of the slower f numbers as in the 6.7 region rather then the 5.5.

 

Eyepieces are easier in use at the slower focal ratio's.

Plossl's will have little eye relief once you get to the 10mm region, also oddly at the 32mm region they can have too much and the head is left floating in space. Sometimes you cannot win.

 

If you wear glasses then you likely need to consider a plossl no shorter the 15mm.

Eye relief on a plossl is approximately 2/3 of the focal length ot 70% of it. Both are somewhat approximate but give a good guide to the resultant eye relief.

 

Unsure of the cost of the plossls you were considering but in some cases here plossls are around the same cost as the Paradigms. Which are likely a betetr and more comfortable eyepiece.



#6 vtornado

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 10:08 PM

I agree with tony, purchase a 2x barlow, then space your eyepieces so they do not overlap when you use the barlow.

I feel everyone should have a 32mm plossl to maximize your field of view, so now with the barlow you have a 32 and a 16.

If you get the f6.7 your high power eyepiece should be about 6mm.  So you can get a 12mm plossl.  That is a good range of

powers to start.

 

You can buy used plossls here to save money.  I think everyone has extras laying around.

 

Another excellent set of starter eyepieces are the lovingly reffered to as the fantastic plastic eyepiece.

They are sold on ebay as "aspheric" eyepieces.  There is a 23, 10, and a 4mm.   The sell for about $25.00 for the set.

Don't let the price fool you the 23 and 10 are very good.  The 4 is not so good unless you remove the built in barlow

which gives you a nice 8mm.  You can use a dinner fork to remove the lens.  (don't use your g.f.'s).

 

VT.


Edited by vtornado, 12 December 2019 - 10:28 PM.

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#7 sojourneyer

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 10:03 AM

If you are sticking with Plossls skip focal lengths less than 10mm. To tight on eye relief.  In other words, your eye will be up against the eyepiece lens

 

You can get a 2x barlow to achieve the magnification/focal length you want

 

Also check ebay for the gold ring generic 66 degree eyepieces.   The 9mm and 6mm are very good cheap alternatives to consider.   The 15mm and 20mm don't perform as well 

Thank you again Tony. I am getting a diversity of polar opinions. Some say wide angle some say no to that. Ditto for Plossls. 

OMG!


Edited by sojourneyer, 13 December 2019 - 10:08 AM.


#8 Myk Rian

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 12:12 PM

Get an 8x24 zoom and a 2x barlow.



#9 clearwaterdave

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 12:24 PM

It's your choice's that are causing the diversity.,Plossl's are not the best choice for the scope's you are looking at.,nor are cheaper wide field ep's..,Plossl's are not really an "upgrade" in the first place.,they are at the bottom of the modern day eyepiece food chain.,The asperic ep's referred to above are better than plossl's.,the 23mm and 10mm are great for their price.,

  If you get your scope then we can better help with ep suggestions.,80-102mm.,f/5.5-6.7 is kinda vauge on what acc's will work well.,

  Get a scope.,use it for a bit.,then you will have a better idea of what questions you need answered.,cheers,.


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#10 sojourneyer

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 12:31 PM

I agree with tony, purchase a 2x barlow, then space your eyepieces so they do not overlap when you use the barlow.

I feel everyone should have a 32mm plossl to maximize your field of view, so now with the barlow you have a 32 and a 16.

If you get the f6.7 your high power eyepiece should be about 6mm.  So you can get a 12mm plossl.  That is a good range of

powers to start.

 

You can buy used plossls here to save money.  I think everyone has extras laying around.

 

Another excellent set of starter eyepieces are the lovingly reffered to as the fantastic plastic eyepiece.

They are sold on ebay as "aspheric" eyepieces.  There is a 23, 10, and a 4mm.   The sell for about $25.00 for the set.

Don't let the price fool you the 23 and 10 are very good.  The 4 is not so good unless you remove the built in barlow

which gives you a nice 8mm.  You can use a dinner fork to remove the lens.  (don't use your g.f.'s).

 

VT.

Thanks for the info VT but I will get multi-coated glass optics. Have a great weekend



#11 epee

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 12:40 PM

For a full spectrum use of a short refractor, without breaking the bank, a 2x Barlow and Plossls from https://www.astronomics.com (our sponsor) and buy the 32mm, 20mm, 15mm, & 9mm in the Astro-Tech Value Line series. Mention you're a Cloudy Nights member at checkout and they'll give you a discount.

 

Happy StarGazing!


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#12 clearwaterdave

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 12:53 PM

I agree with tony, purchase a 2x barlow, then space your eyepieces so they do not overlap when you use the barlow.

I feel everyone should have a 32mm plossl to maximize your field of view, so now with the barlow you have a 32 and a 16.

If you get the f6.7 your high power eyepiece should be about 6mm.  So you can get a 12mm plossl.  That is a good range of

powers to start.

 

You can buy used plossls here to save money.  I think everyone has extras laying around.

 

Another excellent set of starter eyepieces are the lovingly reffered to as the fantastic plastic eyepiece.

They are sold on ebay as "aspheric" eyepieces.  There is a 23, 10, and a 4mm.   The sell for about $25.00 for the set.

Don't let the price fool you the 23 and 10 are very good.  The 4 is not so good unless you remove the built in barlow

which gives you a nice 8mm.  You can use a dinner fork to remove the lens.  (don't use your g.f.'s).

 

VT.

It seems the OP has his mind made up.,here.,and in his "which scope" thread.,I'm not sure why he is asking for advise.,I'm done trying to help.,lol.,



#13 sojourneyer

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 01:34 PM

It seems the OP has his mind made up.,here.,and in his "which scope" thread.,I'm not sure why he is asking for advise.,I'm done trying to help.,lol.,

Thanks dave and vt for all your input..  I guess OP means original poster.....

have a merry christmas! 



#14 aeajr

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 03:06 PM

Meade plossl eyepieces are great economical eyepieces. I have several though they are not my main eyepieces.

As stated earlier, I would not go shorter than 10 mm due to short eye relief. Use the 2x Barlow to create your shorter FL high power eyepieces.

If you have a bit higher budget, I would recommend the AT Paradigm, especially for anything shorter than 12mm FL. The greater eye relief and wider field of view will be appreciated.

Edited by aeajr, 14 December 2019 - 03:08 PM.

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#15 sojourneyer

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 03:37 PM

Meade plossl eyepieces are great economical eyepieces. I have several though they are not my main eyepieces.

As stated earlier, I would not go shorter than 10 mm due to short eye relief. Use the 2x Barlow to create your shorter FL high power eyepieces.

If you have a bit higher budget, I would recommend the AT Paradigm, especially for anything shorter than 12mm FL. The greater eye relief and wider field of view will be appreciated.

My thoughts were to first proceed one level above the standard Kellners that come with starter scopes.  Thus the ultra Plossls not the Plossls.  Then if my interest grew to move up the eyepiece ladder.

Thanks so much for the input


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#16 SeattleScott

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 03:40 PM

Agree, use a barlow to go below 10mm due to short ER in Plossl. Or buy a Paradigm or something with more ER under 10mm. Most likely a 6-8mm will pretty much max out your useful magnification.

Scott
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#17 sojourneyer

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 03:47 PM

Agree, use a barlow to go below 10mm due to short ER in Plossl. Or buy a Paradigm or something with more ER under 10mm. Most likely a 6-8mm will pretty much max out your useful magnification.

Scott

Scott, a 10 mm will give 50X on the scope. What is the difference between a Plossl and a Super Plossl?

thanks



#18 kathyastro

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 03:50 PM

If you are planning to get a scope in the f/5.5 - f/6.7 range, you should also consider an eyepiece or two in the 30-35mm range.  Low magnification gives you the brightest image, often a good way to find dim DSOs.


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#19 vtornado

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 04:02 PM

What is the difference between a Plossl and a Super Plossl?  -- marketing department

 

There was  a now defunct line of 5 element plossl's made by meade called super plossl's.  These are no longer produced.

 

I have had all brands of plossl's orion, meade, celestron, hightpoint, gso ...

They are all  optically the same.  There is some variance but I would guess that there is more "batch" variance then

difference in the labels.

 

Televue plossl's are a step above, but much more expensive.

smart astronomy/ sterling plossls are a step above too, and just a little more money, but they are harder to find.



#20 tony_spina

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 04:38 PM

Buying used is another option 

 

https://www.cloudyni...00-starter-set/



#21 SeattleScott

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 04:57 PM

Yeah all $30ish plossls are basically the same. There are cheaper ones that are noticeably inferior.

The issue for high power kind of comes down to which is cheaper, a good shorty barlow or a 6-8mm eyepiece. There is a highly regarded Celestron 7mm Xcel LX on fleabay right now for about $18 plus shipping and tax. I’m sure it will be higher when the auction ends tomorrow, but still, under $50 total is a good deal. Cost new is about $70-80.

Scott

#22 sojourneyer

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 06:21 PM

If you are planning to get a scope in the f/5.5 - f/6.7 range, you should also consider an eyepiece or two in the 30-35mm range.  Low magnification gives you the brightest image, often a good way to find dim DSOs.

Thanks Kathy.  35 mm would provide about 14X magnification.  25 mm about 20X.  I know I should get a larger eyepiece but think  35 mm would be to large.



#23 sojourneyer

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 06:24 PM

What is the difference between a Plossl and a Super Plossl?  -- marketing department

 

There was  a now defunct line of 5 element plossl's made by meade called super plossl's.  These are no longer produced.

 

I have had all brands of plossl's orion, meade, celestron, hightpoint, gso ...

They are all  optically the same.  There is some variance but I would guess that there is more "batch" variance then

difference in the labels.

 

Televue plossl's are a step above, but much more expensive.

smart astronomy/ sterling plossls are a step above too, and just a little more money, but they are harder to find.

So I guess I was getting a defunct line of super plossls made by a soon to be defunct Meade?

LOL



#24 sojourneyer

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 06:27 PM

Yeah all $30ish plossls are basically the same. There are cheaper ones that are noticeably inferior.

The issue for high power kind of comes down to which is cheaper, a good shorty barlow or a 6-8mm eyepiece. There is a highly regarded Celestron 7mm Xcel LX on fleabay right now for about $18 plus shipping and tax. I’m sure it will be higher when the auction ends tomorrow, but still, under $50 total is a good deal. Cost new is about $70-80.

Scott

Scott, I definitely am getting a 2X barlow and was thinking of the SVBONY SV118 Barlow Lens as my initial choice



#25 sojourneyer

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 07:04 PM

Meade plossl eyepieces are great economical eyepieces. I have several though they are not my main eyepieces.

As stated earlier, I would not go shorter than 10 mm due to short eye relief. Use the 2x Barlow to create your shorter FL high power eyepieces.

If you have a bit higher budget, I would recommend the AT Paradigm, especially for anything shorter than 12mm FL. The greater eye relief and wider field of view will be appreciated.

Ed, I just read  and enjoyed your article Best Telescope Eyepieces 2019 (TOP 7 Reviews) – Buyer’s Guide

https://telescopicwa...cope-eyepieces/




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