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Recommendations for just 2 eyepieces

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#1 zipzipskins

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 01:06 PM

Hello all,

 

Looking for recommendations for wider-angle views for my Orion XT8 Dobsonian. My question is: if I currently have a 25mm Sirius Plossl that came with the scope (as well as a 2x shorty Barlow), and I'm looking for a lower-power, wider-angle eyepiece that will give me good or acceptable views (I understand that the focal length makes Newtonians more sensitive to field-edge eyepiece correction than longer focal-length telescopes) that doesn't completely destroy my bank account in the process, what would be your recommendations? I'm specifically looking for an eyepiece that will give me beautiful views of larger extended objects like big open clusters and such.

 

Also, looking for recommendations for a higher-power eyepiece for the same telescope, with similar characteristics (good/acceptable optical quality, not bank-breaking) for the moon and planets and such.

 

Ideally, these two eyepieces would be the only ones I'd own for some time besides the 25mm that came with the scope. Working in education and having a newborn on the way doesn't leave me with much financial wiggle room!

 

I understand that these two questions are very open-ended and I'll get lots of recommendations. I love sorting and filtering through people's recommendations and thoughts; at this point, any narrowed focus from the overwhelming number of available eyepieces would be very welcome.

 

Thanks for your time,

 

Nate



#2 Hubbletrouble

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 01:18 PM

Look into the Baader Hyperion Mark IV 24mm-8mm Zoom.

I was really surprised at the quality views. 
Its great in my 10” Dobsonian.


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#3 SeattleScott

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 01:23 PM

A key question is whether your scope has a 2” focuser, and if you are interested in going that route. If so something like an APM 30mm UFF or ES 30mm 82 would be excellent without costing a fortune. There are cheaper options around $100 but personally I would rather have a very well corrected 1.25” 25mm HD-60/Xcel LX or 32mm Plossl than a poorly corrected 2” 32mm 70 AFOV eyepiece. The usable FOV will be similar and you don’t have to mess with 1.25” adapter. Basically the need for swapping the adapter in and out makes 2” format a little bit of a hassle. So you need to get something to make the hassle worth it. Like a wider view. But if the edge performance is bad and you can’t really use the outer portion of the view, then it isn’t much of a benefit. At least that’s how I see it. A 24mm ES 82 could be a good option if you have fairly serious light pollution.

As for a high power eyepiece, that is easier. The 6.5 HD-60/7mm Xcel LX is a great performer, or the Meade 5.5 UWA is a bargain if still on sale for $99. Either get you close to 200x.

Scott

Edited by SeattleScott, 02 June 2020 - 01:26 PM.

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#4 Tangerman

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 01:25 PM

My Dob came with a 30mm eyepiece that I've quite enjoyed. It's branded as Zhumell/Apertura/GSO 30mm Superview. You can find them used pretty regularly on this site right now, as many have purchased Zhumell/Apertura/GSO scopes and already have a better (and more expensive) eyepiece. 


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#5 SeattleScott

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 01:25 PM

Look into the Baader Hyperion Mark IV 24mm-8mm Zoom.
I was really surprised at the quality views.
Its great in my 10” Dobsonian.

However it won’t go wider than his 25mm plossl, not much higher than the presumptive 10mm that should have also come with his scope.

Scott
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#6 Starman1

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 01:26 PM

Low powers:

 

1.25":

50°: 32mm Plössl (under $100)

60°: 25mm Astrotech Paradigm/BST Starguider (under $100)

65°: APM Ultraflat field 24mm (~$190)

68°: Explore Scientific 24mm (~$160)

The 24mm would replace the 25mm, while at the same time yielding a larger TRUE field.

 

2.00":

52°: Explore Scientific 40mm (~$135)

62°: Explore Scientific 40mm (~210)

70°: APM 30mm Ultraflat field (~$230)

82°: 30mm Explore Scientific(~$370)

100°: APM XWA HDC 20mm (yes, I know it's higher power, but the true field is a LOT larger than the 25mm Plössl.  ~$300)

 

High powers:

(all 1.25"):

~60°: Astrotech Paradigm/BST Starguider ED 8mm and/or 5mm

~76°: Baader Morpheus 9mm and/or 6.5mm

~80°: Explore Scientific 82° 8.8mm and/or 6.7mm and/or 4.7mm

~100°: APM XWA 9mm and/or 4.7mm

 

I might have different suggestions if you must wear glasses to observe.


Edited by Starman1, 02 June 2020 - 01:32 PM.

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#7 zipzipskins

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 01:37 PM

However it won’t go wider than his 25mm plossl, not much higher than the presumptive 10mm that should have also come with his scope.

Scott

The 25mm is actually the only eyepiece that Orion ships with the XT8 right now.

 

Lots of great recommendations here. I don't wear glasses, so eye relief is less critical to me. I'm also really looking for eyepieces in the under-$150 range if possible. It's just difficult for my current financial situation to justify spending 50-75% of the cost of my entire telescope on a single eyepiece right now. I understand my thoughts on that are likely to change in the future!

 

Thanks so much for all your thoughts so far,

 

Nate

 

EDIT: I'm willing to consider pushing up to about $200 on an eyepiece if the views are dramatically better, but too much over that budget is really difficult for me at the moment.


Edited by zipzipskins, 02 June 2020 - 01:40 PM.

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#8 jallbery

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 01:53 PM

For wider--

 

If you are sticking to 1.25",  a 32mm plossl gives you about as much field as you can get out of a 1.25" focuser.   

 

If you can go 2",  you could consider a 32mm Orion Q70/Agena SWA.  The Agena is $90, new, and can sometimes be found for $60-ish used.  You could also try the 38mm for wider still, but the exit pupil is pushing things for an F/6 scope (I'd personally avoid the 40mm ES68  for similar reasons).   At F/6, the Q70 will show some definite edge distortion, but many people find it acceptable.   If you want better edge correction, the 34mm Explore Scientific 68 will deliver, but at more than double the cost of the Q70.

 

Decent 82-degree AFOV or wider eyepieces in longer focal lengths are really expensive:  an 30mm ES82 will max out your scope's field of view with very usable exit pupil, but it will run you 4X the price of the 32mm Agena SWA.  And it's the "affordable" alternative to a Nagler.

 

For high-power--

With a tracking mount, I actually prefer narrower fields of view for planetary (a little subject looks bigger in a smaller field), but on a dob, you'll probably want a wider field of view to allow longer viewing time between nudges. 

 

The 6.7mm ES68 would be a good pick, but pretty pricey.   The Meade 5000 82-degree eyepieces are more affordable.   They have a 5.5mm that I believe you can find on sale for $100-ish.   They also have an 8.8mm that is pretty highly regarded (and not just for the money).   I'd want a bit more magnification than that, though.  But you could always add a barlow.

 

If a 60-degee AFOV is enough,  the Meade HD60, Agena Starguider, Astrotech Paradigm are similar lines that are a good bang for the buck.   Look for something around 6mm for a high-power eyepiece that will be good most nights.


Edited by jallbery, 02 June 2020 - 01:56 PM.

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#9 Starman1

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 01:55 PM

Under $150 and 30-40mm:

52°: Explore Scientific 40mm (~$135) 2"

52°: Explore Scientific 30mm (~$110) 1.25"

50°: 32mm Plössl 1.25"

Decent widefields in those focal lengths are going to exceed your budget.

 

At the high power end, there are lots of sub-$150 choices.


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#10 zipzipskins

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 02:15 PM

Say I spring for the 62° ES 40mm- am I going to notice a drastic difference in the slice of sky I can view versus my current eyepiece? That's one I'm considering spending up for at this moment.

 

Nate



#11 Starman1

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 02:23 PM

Say I spring for the 62° ES 40mm- am I going to notice a drastic difference in the slice of sky I can view versus my current eyepiece? That's one I'm considering spending up for at this moment.

 

Nate

Yes.

A typical 25mm Plössl has about a 24.1mm wide field.

The 40mm 62° ES eyepiece has a 42.2mm wide field, or 75% wider!

I think you'd notice that.grin.gif


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#12 zipzipskins

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 02:30 PM

Thanks so much, you've been so helpful!

 

Nate



#13 sg6

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 03:02 PM

As wide as is common in 1.25" is the 24mm 68 degree from ES. In a way get one as that is the most and you may as well have it. ES are pretty good also

 

Other end, I assume the scope is f/6, so 1200mm focal length.

A 10mm would give 120x, and an 8mm 150x. An 8mm sounds nice but I would expect the use to be limited. 150x may not be often used. 120x more so.

 

Difficult in a way, but I suppose at f/6 the 8mm should work. However the field will be down at 0.5 degree. That is 0.25 center to egde and things will move fast.

 

Additionally it seems that 60x to 80x is common with a dobsonian. Which means 18mm to 15mm. What gives me concern is the imminent arrival of Saturn, and my best on that was 125x (10mm eyepiece for you). Just looked and how about an 8.8mm ED 82 for 136x. Still bothered by the resultant field you get.


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#14 zipzipskins

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 03:08 PM

I'm not super bothered by things drifting very quickly across my field of view- I knew what I was signing up for by acquiring this telescope with no motor. The nudges and bumps are all part of the experience to me, and I almost find them to be enjoyable at this point!

 

Nate



#15 SeattleScott

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 03:23 PM

Under $150 and 30-40mm:
52°: Explore Scientific 40mm (~$135) 2"
52°: Explore Scientific 30mm (~$110) 1.25"
50°: 32mm Plössl 1.25"
Decent widefields in those focal lengths are going to exceed your budget.

At the high power end, there are lots of sub-$150 choices.

Yep. Just pick up a 32 Plossl for now. Spend your money on a good high power eyepiece. Maybe a 12mm Paradigm and 6.5 HD-60. This would give you low, medium and high power for under $200.

Scott
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#16 Starman1

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 05:25 PM

As wide as is common in 1.25" is the 24mm 68 degree from ES. In a way get one as that is the most and you may as well have it. ES are pretty good also

 

Other end, I assume the scope is f/6, so 1200mm focal length.

A 10mm would give 120x, and an 8mm 150x. An 8mm sounds nice but I would expect the use to be limited. 150x may not be often used. 120x more so.

 

Difficult in a way, but I suppose at f/6 the 8mm should work. However the field will be down at 0.5 degree. That is 0.25 center to egde and things will move fast.

 

Additionally it seems that 60x to 80x is common with a dobsonian. Which means 18mm to 15mm. What gives me concern is the imminent arrival of Saturn, and my best on that was 125x (10mm eyepiece for you). Just looked and how about an 8.8mm ED 82 for 136x. Still bothered by the resultant field you get.

You must have poor seeing, for which I commiserate.  I owned an 8" for 11 years and used magnifications from 150-200x every single night I used the scope.

It wasn't until I got well past 250x that the seeing often got in the way.  My workhorse eyepiece (used a lot) yielded 102x.

A half a degree field is the size of the full moon.  It takes a deep sky object 2 minutes to go from edge to edge, meaning you can nudge it about once a minute or a little more.

That's a long time.  Hold your breath that long to see.grin.gif  


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#17 zipzipskins

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 05:54 PM

An 8-inch Dobsonian or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Nudge

 

I'm thinking about starting with higher power eyepieces and then saving up for a nicer wide-field one down the line after all. It seems like it will get me more bang for my buck, especially with the planets being better and better viewing as the summer goes on.

 

Nate



#18 Starman1

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 06:01 PM

Don't forget the moon!



#19 SeattleScott

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 06:22 PM

An 8-inch Dobsonian or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Nudge

I'm thinking about starting with higher power eyepieces and then saving up for a nicer wide-field one down the line after all. It seems like it will get me more bang for my buck, especially with the planets being better and better viewing as the summer goes on.

Nate

It’s not just planets. You only have a 25mm now right? You need more power for many DSO. I suppose you could barlow the 25mm but I wouldn’t want to mess with that all the time, plus it is narrow AFOV and will likely vignette in the barlow (24mm field stop versus 20mm clear aperture for a typical shorty barlow).

Scott

#20 zipzipskins

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 08:54 PM

Yeah, I definitely notice vignetting when I use the Barlow, but that's my go-to for when I want higher power on DSOs right now. 

 

And I definitely want a decent higher powered eyepiece for the Moon as well. What an incredible thing to observe! I am blown away by it through the eyepiece I have and the Barlow. It was the first thing I looked at with this telescope and it really knocked my socks off.

 

Best,

 

Nate



#21 Jethro7

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 09:22 PM

Hello Nate

If I had to narrow my Eyepieces to two only. I would choose my TV 10mm Ethos 100° and my TV 31mm Nagler type 5 82° I dont know how your finances are, together your looking at $1200 .00 if this is too steep I would go with Expore Scietific's  8.5mm 82° and 28mm 68° eyepieces they will run you about $ 400.00 for the pair.

 

HAPPY SKIES AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro



#22 SeattleScott

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 09:34 PM

He said under $200. For both from what I understand.

Scott

#23 zipzipskins

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 09:46 PM

I would be willing to spend $200 on one eyepiece if it were really worth the investment.

$1200 for two eyepieces is an absolute no go.

#24 BillP

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 10:03 PM

And I definitely want a decent higher powered eyepiece for the Moon as well. What an incredible thing to observe! I am blown away by it through the eyepiece I have and the Barlow. It was the first thing I looked at with this telescope and it really knocked my socks off.

PM Sent.


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#25 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 10:22 PM

My Dob came with a 30mm eyepiece that I've quite enjoyed. It's branded as Zhumell/Apertura/GSO 30mm Superview. You can find them used pretty regularly on this site right now, as many have purchased Zhumell/Apertura/GSO scopes and already have a better (and more expensive) eyepiece.

 

For wider--

 

If you are sticking to 1.25",  a 32mm plossl gives you about as much field as you can get out of a 1.25" focuser.   

 

If you can go 2",  you could consider a 32mm Orion Q70/Agena SWA.  The Agena is $90, new, and can sometimes be found for $60-ish used.  You could also try the 38mm for wider still, but the exit pupil is pushing things for an F/6 scope (I'd personally avoid the 40mm ES68  for similar reasons).   At F/6, the Q70 will show some definite edge distortion, but many people find it acceptable.   If you want better edge correction, the 34mm Explore Scientific 68 will deliver, but at more than double the cost of the Q70.

 

Decent 82-degree AFOV or wider eyepieces in longer focal lengths are really expensive:  an 30mm ES82 will max out your scope's field of view with very usable exit pupil, but it will run you 4X the price of the 32mm Agena SWA.  And it's the "affordable" alternative to a Nagler.

 

For high-power--

With a tracking mount, I actually prefer narrower fields of view for planetary (a little subject looks bigger in a smaller field), but on a dob, you'll probably want a wider field of view to allow longer viewing time between nudges. 

 

The 6.7mm ES68 would be a good pick, but pretty pricey.   The Meade 5000 82-degree eyepieces are more affordable.   They have a 5.5mm that I believe you can find on sale for $100-ish.   They also have an 8.8mm that is pretty highly regarded (and not just for the money).   I'd want a bit more magnification than that, though.  But you could always add a barlow.

 

If a 60-degee AFOV is enough,  the Meade HD60, Agena Starguider, Astrotech Paradigm are similar lines that are a good bang for the buck.   Look for something around 6mm for a high-power eyepiece that will be good most nights.

 

Nate:

 

I like what Tangerman and Jailbery are saying. 

 

I have been involved with amateur astronomy for a number of years and like many, I have quite an assortment of equipment including a set of about 20 TeleVue Panoptics, Naglers and Ethos eyepieces. These are very nice eyepieces. And there are others.  But it wasn't always that way, it's only been the last 15-20 years or so where I could afford such eyepieces and it was a slow gradual thing.  My scopes are generally quite fast, F/4-F/7 with my Dobs at F/5.5 or faster.

 

But recently, I have been looking back at my earlier days and using eyepieces that while not anywhere near as perfect as the premium eyepieces, are affordable and taken with the right attitude, that is, a cup half full, what can this eyepiece do?, they are not only effective but enjoyable, even for a picky old codger like myself. 

 

In this quest, I purchased both the 30mm GSO SuperView 65 degree and the 32mm 70 degree Q70 clone.  If looked at with a critical eye, they are definitely flawed eyepieces, the off-axis astigmatism means the stars are not tight round dots across the field.  On the other hand, I paid $60 used for the Q70 clone and as a finder, low power eyepiece, I have been surprised how effective it is, despite it's shortcomings.  

 

For higher magnifications, I purchased several of the Astro-Tech Paradigm eyepieces.  These are $60, 60 degree eyepieces.  For me, the eye relief is comfortable, the 60 degree field of view is sufficient to feel unrestricted, not 100 degrees, but enough. The 25mm and the 18mm are not sharp across the field in a faster scope, the 12mm, 8mm, 5mm and 3.2mm are reasonably sharp.  Again, they're not as perfect or as wide as the more expensive eyepieces but for me, as critical as I can be, I find they provide very enjoyable views.  

 

Last month, I spent the night under dark skies with my 16 inch and the Q70-Paradigm set.  The TeleVues were ready and waiting but I never felt the need, what I was seeing was plenty good enough.  

 

Basically what I am saying is this:  You have a very good telescope, it's simple but capable, it can show you a lot.  It's nice to have the expensive eyepieces but the eyepieces like the Paradigms and Q-70s will allow you to see most everything you would see with the expensive eyepieces.  You are at the beginning of a marvelous journey, there's a lot to learn, a lot to see.  At this point, just enjoy the views, imperfections and all.  No need to spend money you don't have on eyepieces...

 

Jon


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