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Brief BST Starguider 8 & 12mm 1.25" review.

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#1 Rocklobster

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Posted 30 December 2019 - 10:44 PM

Before reading this, I should say that I'm pretty new to this hobby and have no experience with any eyepieces other than those I mention below.

My lovely wife gave me a 8mm and 12mm BST Starguiders for Xmas and although I have only had a chance to use them for a few hours since I got them, my impression so far is very positive. 

Pre BST, my only EPs were the 25mm that came with my XT8, a £10 10mm from Amazon and a baader classic ortho 10mm.

To  be honest, I did not get on with the BCO at all. Yes it was sharp enough, but I never liked the narrow FOV and always felt it didn't barlow well.

Just peering throught the 12mm BST for the first time was a great experience. I know it's only a 60deg view but it felt so much more, is luxurious the right word? Much more immersive than the BCO and plossi are.  

It's possible that the outside edge stars suffered a bit of blur, but I can't be sure. The skies were not that great. 


I can state that M42 looked absolutely wonderful through them, and when paired with my Astronomik UHC filter, the view was better than I had ever experienced so far. 

I then pointed the scope almost straight up and after initially struggling to spot them, had a lovely view of Cassiopeia's double open cluster, the detail increasing rapidly the longer I looked. 

The only time I really used the 8mm more was when I looked at Uranus before heading indoors for the night. I used the 2* barlow as well and even though the view was moving a fair amount as the wind had picked up a lot by then, I could tell that the planets disc was pretty darn sharp, even through the less than 100% clear skies.

All in all, I'm super happy with them so far. For me they are a big step up from what I had and frankly, for the price they go for, I'm amazed at the quality.

I can't wait to use them at a dark site. Hopefully that will happen very soon.


Thanks for reading.



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#2 Peter Besenbruch

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Posted 31 December 2019 - 01:24 AM

No, the BCOs do not Barlow well, but they're not all bad. They suffer less from internal reflections, and are slightly better in contrast than the ED eyepieces. The ED eyepieces do better with eye relief in short focal lengths.


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#3 Rocklobster

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Posted 31 December 2019 - 10:18 PM

No, the BCOs do not Barlow well, but they're not all bad. They suffer less from internal reflections, and are slightly better in contrast than the ED eyepieces. The ED eyepieces do better with eye relief in short focal lengths.

I thought it was maybe because I was using a shorty 2x Barlow. But since getting the BSTs, I know that it's not that, since they barlow fine.

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#4 SeattleScott

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Posted 31 December 2019 - 10:37 PM

The BCO is really optimized as a lunar/planetary eyepiece. But 10mm is more of a DSO magnification for your scope. It would seem a poor match for the scope, particularly if it doesn’t barlow well.

The BST should perform fine at F6. They are not as optimized for contrast as the BCO but they have a wider view for DSO, and probably more comfortable eye relief.

Scott
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#5 Peter Besenbruch

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 03:28 PM

I thought it was maybe because I was using a shorty 2x Barlow. But since getting the BSTs, I know that it's not that, since they barlow fine.

Some Barlows do better than others with the BCOs. The worst I have used is the Baader Q Barlow. The best is the Celestron X-Cel LX. All, however, vignette the series to some extent. No, don't expect to Barlow the BCOs, but they can make very nice "solo" eyepieces when you are looking for a relatively inexpensive, high contrast view.



#6 Rocklobster

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 06:09 PM

No, the BCOs do not Barlow well, but they're not all bad. They suffer less from internal reflections, and are slightly better in contrast than the ED eyepieces. The ED eyepieces do better with eye relief in short focal lengths.

Interesting. Thanks for posting that.



#7 Rocklobster

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 06:13 PM

The BCO is really optimized as a lunar/planetary eyepiece. But 10mm is more of a DSO magnification for your scope. It would seem a poor match for the scope, particularly if it doesn’t barlow well.

The BST should perform fine at F6. They are not as optimized for contrast as the BCO but they have a wider view for DSO, and probably more comfortable eye relief.

Scott

To be fair, I didn't really do any of the telescope aperture/eyepiece maths to find the ideal choice. I have since found out that it seems 12mm and 8mm are well suited for an 8" dobsonian. Maybe the 10mm BCO was just a bad choice on my part. But hey, its all part of the learning curve. And at least I still have it for the time when I DO want to use it.

 

Cheers



#8 N3p

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 06:44 PM

To be fair, I didn't really do any of the telescope aperture/eyepiece maths to find the ideal choice. I have since found out that it seems 12mm and 8mm are well suited for an 8" dobsonian. Maybe the 10mm BCO was just a bad choice on my part. But hey, its all part of the learning curve. And at least I still have it for the time when I DO want to use it.

 

Cheers

You might appreciate the BCO later in time.

 

When I use my orthoscopics they are "heavy" to use for the first minutes because of their narrow FOV and short ER but once I am adapted and concentrated, the difference of quality is obvious, nothing else in my case can match their level of quality, contrast. I can see more faint details with the orthos almost all the time.

 

In my opinion, It's much easier to appreciate a narrow AFOV orthoscopic eyepiece with a mount that has tracking. 


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#9 Rocklobster

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 06:53 PM

You might appreciate the BCO later in time.

 

When I use my orthoscopics they are "heavy" to use for the first minutes because of their narrow FOV and short ER but once I am adapted and concentrated, the difference of quality is obvious, nothing else in my case can match their level of quality, contrast. I can see more faint details with the orthos almost all the time.

 

In my opinion, It's much easier to appreciate a narrow AFOV orthoscopic eyepiece with a mount that has tracking. 

I definitely have not abandoned it...

I will probably bring it out its box again next spring/summer when Jup and Sat are visible from the  SE of the UK again

 

Cheers



#10 organge

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 05:34 PM

I just came in from observing the Moon and I barlowed 10mm BCO with Baader 2.25x zoom and the view was perfect.

Just to add some balance to some posts that say differently....@Peter Besenbruch

 

You might appreciate the BCO later in time.

 

When I use my orthoscopics they are "heavy" to use for the first minutes because of their narrow FOV and short ER but once I am adapted and concentrated, the difference of quality is obvious, nothing else in my case can match their level of quality, contrast. I can see more faint details with the orthos almost all the time.

 

In my opinion, It's much easier to appreciate a narrow AFOV orthoscopic eyepiece with a mount that has tracking. 

 

I came to the same conclusion.



#11 SeattleScott

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 07:42 PM

Barlowing the BCO is a good solution, because then you can hit the high powers you want for high contrast planetary viewing. No one is saying the BST is sharper.

Scott

#12 Rocklobster

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 09:52 PM

To be honest, I never thought that everyone or even anyone would agree with me 100% regarding my opinion on the BCO I own.

It didn't work well for me when I used it a lot last summer, but I appreciate that for others, it did/does.

In fact, some of the replies in this thread have definitely convinced me to give it another shot with regards to planetary and lunar viewing.

New as I am to this hobby, I get the distinct impression that EP choice is a very personal thing.

Cheers

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#13 SeattleScott

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Posted 04 January 2020 - 12:57 PM

Yes, eyepiece preference is very personal. But it is also situational. Someone with a 20” manual Dob, reasonably dark skies and normally steady seeing can simply use more magnification than someone with a 8” SCT in the city. That much power with a manual scope tends to push one towards ultrawide or hyperwide eyepieces. But for the guy in the city with a midsize scope on a GoTo mount, they cannot achieve the same magnifications to need the extra AFOV for framing M13 at 400x. Also objects won’t drift out of view for them, so they don’t need the extra AFOV to reduce nudging. And two ES 20/100’s are really heavy for their binoviewer. So yes, the scope matters, the light pollution matters, the eyepiece size/weight matters, planetary or DSO matters, etc. I mostly have ultrawide and superwide but when it gets down to my short FL eyepieces for planetary, it shifts to 42-52 AFOV. I just sold a Tak 18LE, a very sharp eyepiece, because it is a narrow AFOV for DSO. For my scopes, 18mm is a DSO magnification, not a planetary magnification. But it would be an awesome planetary eyepiece for someone with a C11 or 7” F15 Mak. Likewise your BCO is optimized for planetary, not DSO, but in your scope it is a DSO magnification. Using a barlow could allow you to use it as a planetary eyepiece, if it barlows well.

Scott

#14 Rocklobster

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Posted 04 January 2020 - 10:24 PM

Yes, eyepiece preference is very personal. But it is also situational. Someone with a 20” manual Dob, reasonably dark skies and normally steady seeing can simply use more magnification than someone with a 8” SCT in the city. That much power with a manual scope tends to push one towards ultrawide or hyperwide eyepieces. But for the guy in the city with a midsize scope on a GoTo mount, they cannot achieve the same magnifications to need the extra AFOV for framing M13 at 400x. Also objects won’t drift out of view for them, so they don’t need the extra AFOV to reduce nudging. And two ES 20/100’s are really heavy for their binoviewer. So yes, the scope matters, the light pollution matters, the eyepiece size/weight matters, planetary or DSO matters, etc. I mostly have ultrawide and superwide but when it gets down to my short FL eyepieces for planetary, it shifts to 42-52 AFOV. I just sold a Tak 18LE, a very sharp eyepiece, because it is a narrow AFOV for DSO. For my scopes, 18mm is a DSO magnification, not a planetary magnification. But it would be an awesome planetary eyepiece for someone with a C11 or 7” F15 Mak. Likewise your BCO is optimized for planetary, not DSO, but in your scope it is a DSO magnification. Using a barlow could allow you to use it as a planetary eyepiece, if it barlows well.

Scott

I understand what you are saying. But with regards to my BCO, I understood when I got it that it was better suited for planetary and lunar, but sharp as the views were (not barlowed), I just never found it comfortable to peer through. I will admit, to be fair, that my failures in getting it to Barlow could very well have been due to the fact that I was observing Jupiter and Saturn when they were fairly low in the sky (sadly the best we will get for a while in the UK) and I had to look over a rooftop.

I just love my BSTs...maybe being unduly hard on my BCO. Haha

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#15 dark_night

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 03:40 AM

I am late on this one but wanted to add my experience with bco. 18 mm and 10 mm are realy perfect for me, sharp, high contrast and comfortable to use. Even in light polluted skies the background is dark and views are great. Have not had a chance to use them on planets yet, in addition t the moon, I use them frequently on star clusters as well. And both 10 and 18 are great on them. 6mm is also nice but hard to use, my eye lashes keep touching the top.
They did not like the 1.5x/2x GSO shorty barlow at all. Was hard to get them to focus and there were bright light streaks visible. Then i go the baader Q barlow and both 10 and 18 work very well with it. Have not tried it Q barlow on 6mm. Would recommend the q barlow with bco.

#16 Starman1

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 02:11 PM

To be fair, I didn't really do any of the telescope aperture/eyepiece maths to find the ideal choice. I have since found out that it seems 12mm and 8mm are well suited for an 8" dobsonian. Maybe the 10mm BCO was just a bad choice on my part. But hey, its all part of the learning curve. And at least I still have it for the time when I DO want to use it.

 

Cheers

12mm and 8mm are great.

Add a 24mm and a 6mm and you cover 90% of all observing.

For double stars and small objects in superb seeing, add a 4.7mm

But, with a good 2x Barlow, you only need a 24mm and the set is complete, yielding 24, 12, 8, 6, and 4mm


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