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What are 3 good eyepieces for DSOs?

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#1 Gdev

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 10:38 PM

Hello I’m Garrett. Im about to purchase an Orion 10” skyline dobsonian with a 1250mm focal length for my first scope. I am most interested in seeing DSOs but also have some interest in viewing planets, moon, etc. I am now trying to pick out eyepieces and am thinking of going with just 2 or 3 more expensive better quality eyepieces. I’ve been mainly looking at the Tele vue Nagler, Panoptic, and Delos as well as explore scientific 82 and 68 degree afov eyepieces. Looking for opinions on which 2 or 3 focal lengths and types out of these brands and lines would be best for viewing DSOs and possibly some planetary views too. I also live on the edge of a red zone as far as light pollution  have lots of green and yellow areas close by and can travel somewhat easily to blue areas but was wondering if there is any accessories that can help with light pollution. Thanks
 


Edited by Gdev, 31 March 2020 - 10:54 PM.


#2 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 10:55 PM

I think the best strategy is figure the focal lengths you want, plus a good barlow that will get you the magnifications you're after.

 

e.g., 30mm for low power finder, a 12.5 for medium power, and 8 for medium high. Add a 2x barlow to get 6.25 and 4. 

 

Then if you need to you can fill the 30 to 12.5 gap, and something around 250x between 6.25 and 4.

 

Once you have steps figured out, then figure good eyepieces to satisfy it.


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#3 eyeoftexas

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 10:58 PM

I have a 12” FL = 1500mm, so fairly similar to yours. I find myself mostly using my ES82 30mm, 14mm, and 8.8mm. These give me the range of magnification and TFOV needed to find and see most DSO’s. I think yours is a f4.9, like mine, and so you may consider a Paracorr to calm the coma. I leave mine in all of the time.
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#4 brentknight

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 11:03 PM

Hey Garrett...welcome to Cloudy Nights!

 

You can see from my signature that I'm a big TeleVue fan.  But I'm going to recommend the Baader Morpheus eyepieces to you - primarily because they are very good and also because they are on sale right now.

 

Eyepieces Etc (Morpheus)

 

Perhaps the 17.5mm for a good low/medium power, the 12.5mm for a solid medium power and the 6.5mm for your medium/high power.  Like the two previous posts, I can recommend something in the 30mm range too.  The 30mm makes a good "finder", but you will likely use the higher powers more often.  I think you can hold off on the Paracorr for a while...after you get your feet wet...


Edited by brentknight, 31 March 2020 - 11:18 PM.

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#5 25585

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 11:27 PM

My first 3 focal length eyepieces were 32mm, 20mm & 13mm, plus a 2x Barlow. They were fine with my 12" F5 Dobsonian. With the Barlow I had 16, 10 & 6.5mm. 

 

Later I added 5mm, 6mm & 10mm. 

 

I like DSO too. When I bought my first OIII filter, nebulae like M42 became a whole new area to find and look at. 


Edited by 25585, 31 March 2020 - 11:30 PM.

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#6 Glass Man

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 12:20 AM

Hi Garrett, welcome! I also highly recommend the Morpheus eyepieces. Optically they’re up there with the best imo, and at the current sale price they’re just a plain bargain. Brent added a good focal range to start with, but at the sale price maybe you could add in the 9mm too.

 

If budget allows a finder eyepiece, I highly recommend the APM UFF 30mm. It’s relatively lightweight for a 2” eyepiece so balancing shouldn’t be an issue. Another in the same weight class I recommend is the ES 68* 28mm. Good luck and have fun with your search, it’s certainly exiting (and can be mind boggling) buying new astro gear!

 

Best regards, Karl


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#7 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 12:33 AM

In that kind of light pollution, shoot for exit pupils of 1, 2, and 3mm.

 

Tele Vue is a good brand. Pick the models that appeal to you most based on other factors.


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#8 Hesiod

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 12:50 AM

Personally would pick first an eyepiece whose focal is roughly twice the focal ratio of the telescope (e.g. 10-12mm): this gives IME a good balance between magnification and brightness.
Then I use the most eyepieces whose focals are between 1 and 1.5 times the focal ratio of the telescope: many objects are fairly small and observing them at higher power makes easier to appreciate details (even if, sometimes, a little practice is needed to circumvent the effects of loss of brightness).
Due to your telescope's focal ratio I would opt for 80° or 100° models (e.g. Nagler 7 and 11; with the Ethos I would pick the 13 and 8 mm, but there would be merits even in the 10 and 6 mm couple)
Third, an eyepiwce giving the widest field: since yours is a f/5 telescope, I see strong arguments for a 30mm/80° such as the Nagler 31.
Add a Barlow or Powermate and are basically set for everything.
Besides eyepieces, I suggest to get also good nebular filters: at least an uhc-type, and if have the money an oIII, both in the 2" format.
If get both, a filterslide may be a worth purchase as well (it allows you to switch quickly between filters)
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#9 chrysalis

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 03:27 AM

Lots of good advice already. Be careful of less expensive wider field EPs as they likely will not perform well at ~f/5.

 

Explore 82° do work well - I have 14, 11, 8.8, 6.7, and 4.7 mm FLs. A good cost-effective wider field EP.

 

The Explore 100° work well and are a good alternative to Ethos for the cost - I have 20, 14, 9, and 5.5 mm. You really can move your head around as if looking through a porthole and see stars to the edges.

 

If cost is a consideration, the Orion Stratus series (68°) do well. I have (or have had) the 21, 13, and 5 mm FLs. Or even the Orion Expanse 66° at 9 mm and 6 mm (but NOT the 20 mm!; and I have not tried the 15 mm).

 

CAUTION: Once you get used to the 100° EPs, it is really hard to go to less wide AFOV EPs ;) .


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#10 25585

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 05:53 AM

Hi Garrett, welcome! I also highly recommend the Morpheus eyepieces. Optically they’re up there with the best imo, and at the current sale price they’re just a plain bargain. Brent added a good focal range to start with, but at the sale price maybe you could add in the 9mm too.

 

If budget allows a finder eyepiece, I highly recommend the APM UFF 30mm. It’s relatively lightweight for a 2” eyepiece so balancing shouldn’t be an issue. Another in the same weight class I recommend is the ES 68* 28mm. Good luck and have fun with your search, it’s certainly exiting (and can be mind boggling) buying new astro gear!

 

Best regards, Karl

+1 /\  waytogo.gif


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#11 Gdev

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 07:40 AM

Wow thanks everyone this has been super helpful. I didn’t expect so many responses so quickly. Seems like a great forum.


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#12 BradFran

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 08:57 AM

I'm going to agree with Karl: 30mm UFF and 9mm Morpheus would be at the top of my list if I were starting over. Other great options would be TeleVue 27mm Panoptic and 10mm Delos or 11mm Delite. You can also pair the 24mm Panoptic with a Delite/Delos, they are parfocal and 1.25", no messing with the 2" adapter.

 

I enjoy an OIII filter to bring out certain nebulae. That or a UHC (ultra high contract) would be my first thoughts to bring out more detail under light polluted skies. I've had less fun with broadband light pollution filters, but some find them useful.


Edited by BradFran, 01 April 2020 - 09:07 AM.

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#13 Gdev

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 09:26 AM

So I guess my scope is coming with a 30mm erfle and 9mm Plossl. Do I get a much better 30mm or 40mm like the ES82 and then a a good medium and higher power or should I just use the erfle as my finder for now and get 3 good wife field eyepieces that are medium and high power. If I replace the erfle I’m thinking I’d get 30mm, 12 or 10mm, and 8 or 6mm. Or if I use the erfle as a finder piece I could get something in the 22-17mm range with maybe 12 and 8. I’m a beginner so I have no idea what the erfle will be like. Looking at ES82, Baader Morpheus, televue Nagler, and Delos for all EPs



#14 grzesznypl

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 10:38 AM

30mm erfle cannot compete with Nagler, Panoptic, Delos or ES 82  but it is a very decent eyepiece you will find useful to scan wider areas of the sky. I would leave it alone for time being and filled lower power needs. Try add something 16-19mm then 14-12mm and around 8mm range, using 1.6x progression works well. So Delos 17.3mm, 12mm and 8mm (eye pupil 3.6, 2.4, 1.6 respectively) is a good choice and sell that 9mm that comes with telescope. Later on you could add even more power with 6mm and/or 4.5mm but depending where you live, those very high power pieces you may not use very often. Another option for high power, ES 82 6.7mm, 4.7mm sells for $110-130 on use market and those are excellent pieces I can vouch for. Have you consider zoom to start with???


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#15 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 10:46 AM

So I guess my scope is coming with a 30mm erfle and 9mm Plossl. Do I get a much better 30mm or 40mm like the ES82 and then a a good medium and higher power or should I just use the erfle as my finder for now and get 3 good wife field eyepieces that are medium and high power. If I replace the erfle I’m thinking I’d get 30mm, 12 or 10mm, and 8 or 6mm. Or if I use the erfle as a finder piece I could get something in the 22-17mm range with maybe 12 and 8. I’m a beginner so I have no idea what the erfle will be like. Looking at ES82, Baader Morpheus, televue Nagler, and Delos for all EPs

Gdev:

 

My 2 cents:

 

The short story:

 

For now, I would keep the 30mm GSO SuperView as you finder and use your money to invest in good quality, shorter focal length eyepieces.

 

The long story:

 

I love to star hop and over the years I have built up a set of some very nice eyepieces.  My low power "finder" eyepieces are the 41mm and 35mm Panoptics, the 31mm Nagler and the 21mm Ethos. These are as good as it gets.  

 

About 2 months ago, I bought a used 30mm GSO SuperView.  I really had two reasons.  First, I like to keep myself grounded, keep in mind that one does not need optically perfect views in order to enjoy the night sky.  The second reason was to remind myself exactly what this eyepiece is so I could help people such as yourself.  I'd had one before for much the same reasons but in 10 years, memories weaken. 

 

I have been using the 30mm GSO Superview as my primary low power finder, wide field viewing eyepiece for about 15 nights, a few under dark skies with my 16 and 22 inch scopes but most in the backyard with various scopes including several with my 10 inch GSO Dob, it's the 2002 version of the Skyline Dob you are getting. (It's been a very good scope for me)

 

As a finder, the Superview makes a good finder.  The field is wide and the center is reasonably sharp, near the edge, not so much.  There is no field stop so estimating the true field of view is not so easy but I measured the AFoV at about 65 degrees which translates to a 1.6 degree TFoV, plenty wide for star hopping. 

 

For use as a finder, I thought I would be giving up quite a bit compared to the 31mm Nagler because of the off-axis sharpness but I really wasn't giving up too much.  The field of view is narrower but the Superview is still generous by my standards. Some tiny, faint fuzzies at the edge might be missed but this seems less of a concern than I remember. 

 

Optically, it is some sort of a modified Erfle or some such and the stars at the edge of the field are definitely not pinpoint sharp, far from it.  This is primarily an aesthetic issue, sharp stars at the edge are an expensive proposition.  To achieve the ultimate sharpness in F/5 Dob, there's the coma corrector, the fancy eyepieces.. The 31mm Nagler and the Paracorr 2, I have that and it's essentially perfect but it's also over $1000 and weighs over 3 pounds..  

 

But one does not have to have aesthetically perfect views to enjoy the night sky.  In my mind, this is essentially an attitude question.  With a cup half full attitude, even for a picky old codger like me, the 30mm GSO SuperView provides enjoyable views, despite the imperfections.

 

For a beginner, it'll take a while before such imperfections become bothersome, they may never, you are too busy, too awestruck, by the wonders you are seeing in the eyepiece.  There may come a time when you want to invest in a better quality finder, low power eyepiece but in my mind, you would gain more by investing in shorter focal length eyepieces because that is where you will be doing most of your more critical observing.

 

Exactly which focal lengths I would recommend, hard to say, eventually you will want more than 2 or 3.  

 

Jon


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#16 brentknight

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 10:58 AM

I would recommend getting the three eyepieces to complement the two you will be getting with the scope and grabbing a super-wide in the future.  The Morpheus 17.5mm will give you 71x with a true field of about 1°.  The 30mm Erfle that comes with the scope will give you 41x with a true field of about 1.5° (assuming an apparent FOV of 65°).  TeleVue or ES 30's will give you closer to 2° with better edges and brighter images, but at a significant cost difference.  Your actual RACI finder will give you around 5° at very low power which is plenty good to get the Erfle in the correct field.

 

Delos are great eyepieces and so are the ES 82°, but the Morpheus are very good too and are priced to sell right now.  You could probably afford to get 4 Morpheus for the price of 3 Delos right now...

 

If you go that route, I would definitely consider adding the 9mm Morphie to the other three I recommended above.

 

Enjoy the hunt...it never ends


Edited by brentknight, 01 April 2020 - 11:05 AM.

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#17 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 11:21 AM

I have already added my 2 cents so I want to add 2 more cents... 4 cents total:

 

One does not have to spend hundreds of dollars to get good quality eyepieces with a comfortable amount of eye relief and a wider field of view with reasonable edge sharpness.  TeleVue eyepieces are very nice and my main eyepieces are all TeleVue.  But much as I described my experiences with the 30mm GSO Superview, I also often view, mostly from my backyard, with simpler, much more affordable eyepieces.  Currently I have been using the 25mm, 18mm, 12mm and 8mm Astro-Tech Paradigms along with a 2x Celestron Shorty "GSO" Barlow.  

 

These eyepieces have 60 degree AFoV, a comfortable amount of eye relief.  At F/5, the 25mm shows some off-axis astigmatism, the 18mm some but less and the 12mm and 8 mm are very well corrected.  With the narrower field of view comes less coma so a coma corrector is not as important.  I have been using them in my 10 inch F/5 without a coma corrector.  

 

In my mind, the important thing to understand is that eyepieces like these will show very nearly everything visible in a more expensive eyepiece, the differences in performance, seeing a faint galaxy, resolving a globular cluster, seeing detail on a planet, the differences between eyepieces like the Paradigms and eyepieces costing hundreds of dollars is subtle at best.  

 

I could be happy if a Set of Paradigms and a decent 2 inch eyepiece or two were what I had.  The wider field of eyepieces like the Naglers, Panoptics, Ethos's are nice but not necessary for effective observing.

 

Jon


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#18 25585

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 11:44 AM

So I guess my scope is coming with a 30mm erfle and 9mm Plossl. Do I get a much better 30mm or 40mm like the ES82 and then a a good medium and higher power or should I just use the erfle as my finder for now and get 3 good wife field eyepieces that are medium and high power. If I replace the erfle I’m thinking I’d get 30mm, 12 or 10mm, and 8 or 6mm. Or if I use the erfle as a finder piece I could get something in the 22-17mm range with maybe 12 and 8. I’m a beginner so I have no idea what the erfle will be like. Looking at ES82, Baader Morpheus, televue Nagler, and Delos for all EPs

ES30mm, like the Nagler, Luminos & any other 80° long focal length will be in a class if its own for heaviness, same as 20mm & longer 100° eyepieces will be.

 

An ES68 34mm or TV 35mm Panoptic will be less heavy & would bridge the 30 to 40mm range. 

 

If you may wish to add a coma corrector sooner or later, a less heavy eyepiece on its own will keep the total weight down. 

 

But if 30mm is fine, the APM UFF 30mm, ES68 28mm or a Pentax XW 30mm will all give wide views, none being too heavy.  


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#19 SeattleScott

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 11:56 AM

As mentioned 10-12mm is kind of a sweet spot for medium power DSO viewing, and maybe 7-8mm for medium high power, before jumping into high power planetary work. The ES 11mm 82 is very popular with 10” Dob owners for this reason. The TV 11 Nagler is discontinued, and the Apollo 11 costs a fortune, so TV doesn’t really have a direct competitor to the ES 11mm. You could get an 11 Delite or 10 Delos but you are giving up AFOV and paying for eye relief you may not need. Morpheus brackets the range with a 9mm and a 12.5, which might be close enough. An Ethos 10 would be optimal but pricey.

For medium high you could consider a 7 Nagler, 6.7 ES 82, Morpheus again brackets the range with a 9 and 6.5.

Scott
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#20 grzesznypl

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 12:24 PM

ES30mm, like the Nagler, Luminos & any other 80° long focal length will be in a class if its own for heaviness, same as 20mm & longer 100° eyepieces will be.

 

An ES68 34mm or TV 35mm Panoptic will be less heavy & would bridge the 30 to 40mm range. 

 

If you may wish to add a coma corrector sooner or later, a less heavy eyepiece on its own will keep the total weight down. 

 

But if 30mm is fine, the APM UFF 30mm, ES68 28mm or a Pentax XW 30mm will all give wide views, none being too heavy.  

With 1250mm focal length and f/5 and 35mm eyepiece, the eye pupil will be over 7 ... 7.11 to be exact so that's waste of light even if assuming that his pupils are fully dilated, assuming is a key word. For his telescope 31-30 mm eyepiece would be maximum IMHO. As mention before by me and Jon his low power ep is fine if not good. Hi has much more urgent need getting mid, mid-hi and hi power eyepieces. 


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#21 BillP

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 01:33 PM

In my mind, the important thing to understand is that eyepieces like these will show very nearly everything visible in a more expensive eyepiece, the differences in performance, seeing a faint galaxy, resolving a globular cluster, seeing detail on a planet, the differences between eyepieces like the Paradigms and eyepieces costing hundreds of dollars is subtle at best.  

 

I could be happy if a Set of Paradigms and a decent 2 inch eyepiece or two were what I had.  The wider field of eyepieces like the Naglers, Panoptics, Ethos's are nice but not necessary for effective observing.

 

These extra 2 cents from Jon are golden.  There are so many aspects of eyepiece ergonomics (both optical and physical) that finding exactly the set of characteristics you will end up really liking can take some time.  So if you haul off and get top line premiums, after a while you might find that the premiums you got are bothering you and you need another premium.  Or when you get them then you may be thinking why is the off-axis not so hot then realize you really need a Paracorr to fix that so it might be a priority before figuring out which premium suits you best!  So Pentax, TeleVue, Baader, Nikon, Tak, etc., they are all uber expensive and better to really figure out what your tastes are in eyepieces first before taking such a huge dollar plunge.

 

The AT Paradigms / Agena BTS Starguiders are simple, effective, perform very well, have a nicely large AFOV of 60 degrees, have good ergonomics, and are not expensive.  So way better than Plossls at about the same price.  For your scope, would recommend you keep the 2" 30mm Superview eyepiece it comes with for now as Jon says, then get:

 

24mm ES/68 ($150) or 24 Panoptic ($320) as the max TFOV 1.25" eyepiece and 50x magnification.  Both excellent performers and very close to each other in their views.  I consider these "anchor" eyepieces most everyone should have as they give largest TFOV in 1.25" barrel and a nice wide 68 degree AFOV.

 

Then:

12mm Paradigm/Starguider for 100x @ $60

8mm Paradigm/Starguider for 150x @ $60

5mm Paradigm/Starguider for 250x @ $60

 

If you want to fill that 200x slot and also go higher for the Moon, then just get something like a TeleVue 2x Barlow so with those 3 eyepieces you can get 200x, 300x, 500x.
 


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#22 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 02:09 PM

Wow thanks everyone this has been super helpful. I didn’t expect so many responses so quickly. Seems like a great forum.

lol.gif

 

Ask 10 different amateur astronomers for opinions on eyepieces and you will very quickly get 12 different opinions.


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#23 grzesznypl

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 02:10 PM

Here comes best advice of the thread smile.gif. I cannot believe no one have suggested it. 

Instead of buying eyepieces right away, join local club or go to local hotspot where astronomers gather for one or 2 sessions, I am sure someone there will have 10" GSO dob, and will allow you to use different eyepieces. There is no substitute for trying eyepieces in field. It is far superior then the best advise you get on this forum as all of us are different, have different eyes, habits, preferences, experience, goals, aspirations, financial constrains and observe from different locations.


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#24 bjkaras

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 02:46 PM

For low power get something that will maximize your exit pupil, probably a 30-32mm. For medium power get something in the range of 12-15mm, and for higher power something around 8 or 9mm.  You can boost those with a 2-2.5x barlow. My personal preference is anything from TeleVue, but there are other pretty good brands out there. Three or four eyepieces and a good barlow will set you up pretty well.

 

Brian



#25 Gdev

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Posted 01 April 2020 - 02:56 PM

So after taking everyone’s useful advice into consideration I decided to stick with the 30mm that will be coming with the scope and I found ES82 14mm, 11mm, and 8.8 mm as they were on sale for 135$ each brand new. Seemed like a good deal and I think I will be able to afford a replacement for the 30mm Erfle and another one or two eyepieces to fill in the the low to medium power range very soon. I have definitely considered and looked into local astronomy clubs but with everything going on with Coronavirus there seems to be nothing still scheduled and also seems like not the best idea at this time and who knows when it will be. When the time comes I will probably replace my 30mm with a 31mm Nagler or ES82 30mm. I definitely still hope to check out the Baader Morpheus line as well as medium power Nagler and Delos and see what works best for me but I think I found a good setup to start with. Thanks for all the advice


Edited by Gdev, 01 April 2020 - 03:00 PM.

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