When I had my XT8i, my friend had an XT 10. We used to swap eyepieces and views all the time. Really nice scope.
He has since added an Orion XX14i and I have upgraded to an Aperatura AD12
What eyepieces do you have? That will be your next biggest investment.
Telrad is a good idea.
I use an AZ scale and an angle gauge to find my targets.
Using an angle gauge to help find targets
Printable Setting circles
These ar emy low power wide view 2" Eyepieces
38 mm 2” - I have the Agena Astro SWA, same as the Orion Q70 series. I used the 38 mm 70 degree AFOV in my XT8i and now in the AD12. Happy with it but it does show some outer edge distortion in my F5 scope. I consider it acceptable for the price. Worked well in my friend's XT10 too.
20 mm 2” - I also have the Meade 20 mn 82 degree as my second 2” low power wide view that performs well for me in my F5 scope.
My 1.25" single focal length eyepieces
Meade 82 degree - I have the 20 (above) and the 5.5 I consider them comparable to my much more expensive ES 82s.
Explore Scientific 82 degree line. I have the 14, 8.8, 6.7 and the 4.7 and really like them. Many reports compare these favorably with the premium eyepieces.
THE ZOOM EYEPIECE INSTEAD OF SINGLE FOCAL LENGTH EYEPIECES – This is my favorite eyepiece.
The zoom is single eyepiece that effectively replaces a range of eyepieces. Works like the zoom lens on a camera.
The zoom sounds great, but there is a trade-off. The field of view of the zoom runs from a narrower AFOV at the 24 mm range to a wider FOV at the 8 mm range. So, like any approach, the zoom is a compromise. I find that compromise quite acceptable when weighed against the benefits listed below. I have a string of 82 degree eyepoieces but I tend to use the zoom much more often.
I use the Baader Hyperion Zoom 8-24 mm in my 8” (now sold) and now my 12” Dobs. Usually this is the only eyepiece that I use in the midrange even though I have others. In the 8” Dob usually used it with a 1.5X barlow lens attached to give me 75x-225X which was an excellent match for that scope as I frequently topped out around 200X at my location. You would have the same range in the XT10.
In my AD12 12” Dob I use the BH zoom for the midrange, up to 190X and then go to single FL 82 degree eyepieces. At the low end, as I have a low power wide view 20 mm eyepiece I tend to use the zoom mostly in the 18 mm to 8 mm range.
Lower cost zoom – Celestron 8-24 – This was my first zoom.
Works well at the price and a good way to test your interest in zooms. $66
Higher priced Zoom – Baader Hyperion 8-24 mm – My main eyepiece in my Orion XT8i – $290
- I never expected the zoom eyepiece to become my primary eyepiece, but it has.
- With a zoom, the eyepiece seems to disappear as you just move in and out at will, no swapping, no thinking about eyepiece changes
- The Celestron 8-24 zoom is good and comparable to my Plossl eyepieces
- The Baader Hyperion is great and comparable to my Explore Scientific eyepieces
- Watching doubles split as I rotate the barrel is wonderful
- One filter serves over a wide range of magnifications, no screwing and unscrewing to try other eyepieces
- Moving smoothly between small changes in magnification helps when seeing is not the best
- I am always working at the optimum magnification for this target.
- Sharing the view with others is easier, especially in my manual tracking Dob - I hand it over at low mag so it stays in the view longer. They zoom back in to whatever magnification works best for them.
- My eyepiece case has been greatly simplified
- Kids love the zoom
When I observe, 90% of the time, in all of my scopes, I use one or two low power, then the zoom for the midrange. Then I barlow the zoom for the high range if I need it, and that is all I use. I have single FL eyepieces in my kit, but they are rarely used.
Edited by aeajr, 23 May 2020 - 11:40 PM.