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Eyepiece questions

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#1 Anony

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 02:18 PM

A coupon just showed up in my email for ebay, and figure I might as well use it on something... so was curious as to the best way to approach this...

 

I just have my original MAs, of which I find the 9mm and 26mm acceptable. I'm sure fancier eyepieces would blow them away, but on the cheap side of things, I can't say they are bad... they seem fine to me most of the time. And I have a Celestron Mars kit barlow w/ color filters, barlow seems decent there.

 

I need a widefield eyepiece and have been waiting for the celestron/meade zoom to go on sale again for the lower/middle mag ranges. Little did I know that when the zoom was $60ish, that was already a sale price. But that can wait.

 

Anyway, going with the cheapskate route... which of these options look like the way to go:

 

32mm plossl -- going to eventually need something with a lower mag anyway for scanning. I could go with a used Celestron for about $30 or so, or a new SVBony at $20ish. How is the SVBONY SV131? Any owners here have it and like it? Does it compare to other brand names?

 

Any other cheaper plossls, from SVBony or other manufacturers worth looking for?

 

Aspheric eyepieces... 62 degrees, or the 66-68 degrees, gold/red lines ... most of these are pretty cheap, but I think the lowest mag they have is 23mm? And at 68 degrees it's 20mm?

 

I have a 6" f/8 dob and 4" f/6 refractor. So with these two scopes, better to go with the 32mm eyepiece I assume? Or do you think I'd prefer an expanse clone at 20mm/68 degrees? Or something else entirely?


Edited by Anony, 03 June 2020 - 02:20 PM.


#2 ratnamaravind

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 02:25 PM

The SVBony 32mm is not bad. I bought a pair to lend out.

With the two telescopes that you have, a decent choice would be the Astrotech Paradigms (also sold under other brands). An Astrotech 25mm + 8mm with 2x barlow should cover your basic set of needs for $150.    


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#3 spereira

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 02:36 PM

Moving to Eyepieces, for a better fit.

 

smp



#4 Anony

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 02:36 PM

The SVBony 32mm is not bad. I bought a pair to lend out.

With the two telescopes that you have, a decent choice would be the Astrotech Paradigms (also sold under other brands). An Astrotech 25mm + 8mm with 2x barlow should cover your basic set of needs for $150.    

 

I think the celestron barlow I have is decent, or at least assume it is. So don't really plan to upgrade that one.

 

I was thinking of going with the celestron/meade zoom for the 8-20mmish range (could always barlow it too), just that I need something like a 32mm or widefield for scanning. I feel that much more with my dob ... with my refractor, 26mm is fine... just that with my dob it's a pain sometimes to find targets with the 26mm, want a bit lower (or wider field).

 

I should also mention I am looking to go the cheapskate route. Don't want garbage, but not looking to spend $50-$100 per eyepiece either (well, besides the zoom I mentioned).

 

The cheapest new 32mm plossl I've seen is that SVbony... just not sure how it compares. Or if that is even the best 32mm model SVbony sells.


Edited by Anony, 03 June 2020 - 02:39 PM.


#5 JohnBear

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 03:21 PM

I have used/tested a half dozen Svbony 62* aspheric sets (I give them away with telescopes that i refurbish for beginners). The 23mm and 10mm EPs have been consistently "good", but the 4mm have problems like other cheap 4-5mm EPs (but they do make nice dust plugs).  The Svbony 23 and 10mm aspherics perform comparable to my Enhance EPs of similar size and they seem to be a but more "comfortable" to use.

 

I use the Svbony 23mms a lot on all of my telescopes, it isn't my best EP, but has proven to be a very handy performer with the 62* AFOV for setup and star finding.  I enjoy using it a lot. The 10mm is also not far behind, and I use it for locating objects at higher power before bringing out the expensive Big Gun EPs. 


Edited by JohnBear, 03 June 2020 - 03:21 PM.

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#6 Anony

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 03:34 PM

I have used/tested a half dozen Svbony 62* aspheric sets (I give them away with telescopes that i refurbish for beginners). The 23mm and 10mm EPs have been consistently "good", but the 4mm have problems like other cheap 4-5mm EPs (but they do make nice dust plugs).  The Svbony 23 and 10mm aspherics perform comparable to my Enhance EPs of similar size and they seem to be a but more "comfortable" to use.

 

I use the Svbony 23mms a lot on all of my telescopes, it isn't my best EP, but has proven to be a very handy performer with the 62* AFOV for setup and star finding.  I enjoy using it a lot. The 10mm is also not far behind, and I use it for locating objects at higher power before bringing out the expensive Big Gun EPs. 

But would a 23mm 62degree or 20mm 68 degree be preferable over a 32mm 52 degree (assume that is what plossls typically are)?

 

Does SVbony make any 32mm eyepieces with a field of view over 52 deg?



#7 JohnBear

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 04:02 PM

 

But would a 23mm 62degree or 20mm 68 degree be preferable over a 32mm 52 degree (assume that is what plossls typically are)?

There is a lot of personal preference in this type of EP selection. You will get lots of answers, and some you may not agree with. So my best advice is to try them and see for yourself.  Best way to do this is ask around at a star party to just look for yourself.  Otherwise its sort of like asking a stranger which girl should you marry (some will say the prettiest girl with the biggest net worth), but you should at least kiss her on the cheek first. 

 

I have 32 and 40mm Plossls, but I just really like the eye relief and decently wide and crisp filed of view with the 23mm Svbonys when setting up a telescope and searching for an object.  I could spend 20X the price for TVs and such, but I doubt that my old eyes would really appreciate and enjoy the difference all that much. 


Edited by JohnBear, 03 June 2020 - 04:04 PM.

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#8 Anony

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 04:16 PM

There is a lot of personal preference in this type of EP selection. You will get lots of answers, and some you may not agree with. So my best advice is to try them and see for yourself.  Best way to do this is ask around at a star party to just look for yourself.  Otherwise its sort of like asking a stranger which girl should you marry (some will say the prettiest girl with the biggest net worth), but you should at least kiss her on the cheek first. 

 

I have 32 and 40mm Plossls, but I just really like the eye relief and decently wide and crisp filed of view with the 23mm Svbonys when setting up a telescope and searching for an object.  I could spend 20X the price for TVs and such, but I doubt that my old eyes would really appreciate and enjoy the difference all that much. 

Although meetings and  star parties, etc. sound  like a good answer, where I live it's not a particularly great idea due to the virus. I think it was just last week where we opened up at all ... not entirely sure any meetings like that are going on. And if they ever do, no clue when it'll be, or if personally I'd even feel safe going.

 

A bit curious in regard to the aspherics... I know svbony also have the expanse clones at 20mm 66-68 degrees. Now that will provide a higher mag, but wider field of view, so does that sort of all equal out to the view in the cheaper 23mm 62 degree eyepiece?

 

Although I'd appreciate the wider field of view with the 62-68 degree eyepieces, I'm a little concerned as far as my f/8 dob goes. Not sure if that is a low enough mag to really use as a 'look for stuff' eyepiece, especially since I'm new at this, live in a light polluted area, and really stink at finding targets. I sort of need all the help I can get.



#9 ratnamaravind

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 04:29 PM

You get what you pay for but as long as you can manage your expectations, there is a good solution at any price point.

 

Derek Wong threw in a couple of those aspherics with my first telescope, a Teeter 11", I was blown away by my first view of the Ring Nebula through the 10mm. I still remind myself that Galileo would have killed for that eyepiece.

 

The eyepieces mentioned above in this thread should give you some good views. Good luck.


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#10 JohnBear

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 05:30 PM

 

Although I'd appreciate the wider field of view with the 62-68 degree eyepieces, I'm a little concerned as far as my f/8 dob goes.

Surprisingly, I found the (23 * 10mm) 62* aspherics seem to work quite well down to F6. Your concerns won't be alleviated until you can "see for yourself". If you can't find some that you can borrow and use (without risk of infection) It will only cost you about $10-15 to find out if you order a 23mm aspheric on Ebay and compare to your existing 25/25mm.  Then you will know. 

 

BTW, FYI - I found the more expensive SvBony "72*" asperheic EPs (1.25") a bit disappointing with inconsistent eye relief, more CA, etc. (I have not yet checked out the 32mm 2" however). So I don't advise trying those.  IMHO the cheaper 62* 23/10mm aspherics are better.  

 

I am sure you will really like some $300 TV (etc) top end eyepieces, and you can buy them new with some confidence that they will meet you needs. Beyond that I found it is  a guessing game until you actually use them. 

 

I first got my Svbony 62* aspheric set on Ebay because the were cheap and I just wanted a couple eyepieces to complement the 2 Plossls that came with my OneSky. I really had no idea what I was getting at the time, and Boy, did I Luck Out!  The difference was immediate, obvious, and significant to me - It immediately taught me to appreciate eye relief and AFOV. What I learned just comparing these relatively simple eyepieces got me to dive deeper into eyepiece specs. What I learned from that little transaction was worth way more than the money that I spent.  

 

The EPs you currently have should do you quite well until the world becomes a safer place. They are by no means "bad" EPs. You should be able to do a lot of good visual observing with our current setup so just use and enjoy them;study them, and find out what you like and dislike about each and relate that to to their specs. Then when it is safe to get out, do some real eyeball comparisons to ensure you get the right upgrades.  Or just buy a set of TVs if you really don't want to wait.


Edited by JohnBear, 03 June 2020 - 05:38 PM.

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#11 Anony

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 05:45 PM

I first got my Svbony 62* aspheric set on Ebay because the were cheap and I just wanted a couple eyepieces to complement the 2 Plossls that came with my OneSky. I really had no idea what I was getting at the time, and Boy, did I Luck Out!  The difference was immediate, obvious, and significant to me - It immediately taught me to appreciate eye relief and AFOV. What I learned just comparing these relatively simple eyepieces got me to dive deeper into eyepiece specs. What I learned from that little transaction was worth way more than the money that I spent.  

 

The EPs you currently have should do you quite well until the world becomes a safer place. They are by no means "bad" EPs. You should be able to do a lot of good visual observing with our current setup so just use and enjoy them;study them, and find out what you like and dislike about each and relate that to to their specs. Then when it is safe to get out, do some real eyeball comparisons to ensure you get the right upgrades.  Or just buy a set of TVs if you really don't want to wait.

Well, I kind of have to June 9th until my ebay coupon ($10 off $20) expires. That assumes it even works to begin with. Knowing how things go, whatever I want may not be eligible with it.... I probably should do some test purchases to see if it works with eyepieces.

 

If it works, figured I might as well use it on some sort of cheap eyepiece, as otherwise I'll just forget about it and it'll go to waste... candidates so far are the 23mm + 10mm aspherics, 20mm expanse clone or 32 svbony plossl. And unlikely I can check any of them inperson. The aspherics have been commented about a decent amount here, just less info on the svbony plossl vs aspherics/expanses. I probably can't go wrong with whatever I choose as it should be supercheap, just curious how others who own them felt.


Edited by Anony, 03 June 2020 - 05:47 PM.


#12 JohnnyBGood

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 07:11 AM

I either own or have used nearly all of the eyepieces in questions, so let me try to share my opinions of each.

 

The 62-deg "aspherics" are remarkable eyepieces and perform better than anything that cheap should. I've bought a couple sets, and they're what my son primarily uses with his short tube refractor. They would make excellent medium power eyepieces and are a noticeable improvement over the MA26 and MA9 eyepieces you have (which also aren't bad, but the wider field of view is a nice enhancement of the overall telescope experience. I'm either lucky or have low standards (or both), but the 4mm really didn't seem that bad to me. I bought one set for $20 and the other et for $15, so if you make an offer to one of the sellers you can probably get all three for the same price as two.

 

I've been really happy with all of the generic Ploessl eyepieces I've ever purchased, with the exception of the "Series 500" ones (that are sharp but have a noticeably smaller field of view than other Ploessls). You can get a set of 32, 20, 12.5, 10, and 6.3mm Ploessl eyepieces plus a 2x Barlow for about $60 dollars or so. While the coatings don't appear to be quite as good as my more expensive Meade 4000 "yellow letter" Ploessls, they compare very favorably when actually looking through them. I've bought dozens of them to do with scopes I was giving away to people as upgrades over the stock eyepieces and they've all worked very well.

 

The Meade 8x24 zoom is nice. Really nice. It's also big and heavy which isn't a great combo with the Infinity 102 mount. However, it and a 2x Barlow cover everything you could ever need for the Infinity 102, which is a plus (I got one for my dad's scope). It won't solve your low power problem with the Dob, though, and at low power the field of view isn't much better than what you're already getting from the MA26. Certainly not as good as the 32mm Ploessl would be.

 

I also bought two sets of the 68-deg "red line" Svbony "Expanse" clones, one for me and one for my father's scope. They work really well with my scopes that are above f/6. With my f/5 Polaris 130 they're utterly intolerable, even with my incredibly high patience level / low standards. With my other scopes, though, they're awesome as mid and high power eyepieces, since the eye relief is generous. They work okay with the Infinity 102, though stars at the edge of the field of view may not be quite as in focus as the ones in the center. Compared with the MA eyepieces the field of view is pretty jaw dropping. Given the choice between all of the eyepieces above, my dad usually chooses to use them with his Infinity 102 (over an expanded set of MAs similar to your own and the 8-24 zoom). They're a little picky with eye placement and when looking at bright things (objects in the daylight or the moon) where your pupil constricts they tend to have blackout spots if your eye isn't in just the right spot. It doesn't bother me looking at other targets at night, though, but in the day it's really noticeable.

 

I tend to be pretty torn, myself, and with my ETX and the SCT I tend to fluctuate between using a set of 32mm-26mm-20mm-15mm Ploessls (with 3x Barlow) and using the 20mm-15mm-9mm-6mm "red lines" along with a 32mm Ploessl because for low power the 20mm 68-deg eyepiece just doesn't quite do it for me. For finding things I greatly appreciate the wider actual field of view of the 32mm Ploessl.

 

If you like the magnifications your existing eyepieces provide, I'd suggest picking up a generic set of Ploessls: Make an offer and you might be able to get it a few bucks cheaper.

 

Otherwise, I'd pick up the 32mm Ploessl and whichever of the others calls to you. None of them are bad eyepieces, so I doubt you'll have any complaints with them.

 

Edit: link disappeared. Let's try this again: https://www.ebay.com...vUAAOSwhQhY1Lme


Edited by JohnnyBGood, 04 June 2020 - 07:16 AM.

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#13 JohnBear

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 10:29 AM

 

The 62-deg "aspherics" are remarkable eyepieces and perform better than anything that cheap should. 

Your description of, and experience with, the Svbony aspherics and Expanse EPs is very well stated, and it mirrors my experiences exactly. Your comment about the 4mm aspheric is probably better than mine - they are "just okay" and about the same as any other 4-5 mm EP that costs under $50, which means it very seldom gets used because a lower power 9-15mm EP simply gives a noticeably better view. 


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#14 Anony

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 01:15 PM


 

If you like the magnifications your existing eyepieces provide, I'd suggest picking up a generic set of Ploessls: Make an offer and you might be able to get it a few bucks cheaper.

 

Otherwise, I'd pick up the 32mm Ploessl and whichever of the others calls to you. None of them are bad eyepieces, so I doubt you'll have any complaints with them.

 

Edit: link disappeared. Let's try this again: https://www.ebay.com...vUAAOSwhQhY1Lme

Great reply, thanks.

 

Basically answered my main question, whether a 20mm/23mm 62-68 degree eyepiece would be optimal as a 'finder' eyepiece, or would the 32mm plossl be better. So I'll see if I can find any sellers for the 32mm.... although not entirely sure if there is any real difference between a SVbony 32 plossl and say something like a Meade or Celestron.

 

Ideally I'd like to avoid duplicating mags, at least to start with, so just didn't want to do something like get the aspherics or expanse clone, not find them so great as 'finders', get the plossl, then get the zoom, then get some mid-range plossls, then end up with half of my eyepieces just duplicating the same mags as the other ones.

 

Figure I'll hunt down a 32mm plossl now, then eventually go for the zoom or aspheric/expanse clones. But probably one or the other for the latter choices.

 

When comparing the aspherics vs expanse clones (which strangely seem to come in 66 gold or 68 red flavors) I assume you and your dad prefer the expanse clones over the aspherics so long as the scope is over f6? Major difference between aspherics and expanse clones or just sort of a minor improvement? Sort of surprised your dad likes them over the zoom though, at least at the lower settings, as I think the zoom has a decent wide field at higher mags... lower mag of the zoom may feel cramped though.

 

It's unlikely I'd use the zoom with my infinity anyway, it can't handle the weight of a feather unless I tighten it like a madman using a wrench before most viewings. I mostly use my dob nowadays. Unfortunately my Infinity which would ideally be used for roaming about the skies with a widefield is absolutely terrible at it due to the mount.


Edited by Anony, 04 June 2020 - 01:59 PM.


#15 epee

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 08:50 AM

I have an Infinity 102 myself, and it's absolutely wonderful for widefield, deep sky viewing; as well as being quite portable. It really deserves a better mount. When I'm serious about using mine I use an Explore Scientific Twilight 1. Our sponsor, Astronomics, has their own version of this mount at a better price. https://www.astronom...muth-mount.html  You won't believe the difference a nice mount can make in the use of a scope.

 

Pipe mounts are another way to improve over "beginner" mounts for less cost than a factory-made mount. https://www.cloudyni...nt#entry7973061

 

BTW, have you discovered that your Infinity 102 can use 2" eyepieces? These really open up the field of view.


Edited by epee, 05 June 2020 - 09:58 AM.

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#16 JohnnyBGood

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 09:33 AM

"Finder" eyepiece really depends on the telescope. For a "finder" I prefer something between 20x and 30x magnification, and for the Infinity 102 the 20mm "red line" works fine, with a fairly comfortable 30x magnification (but with the higher apparent field of the the true field of view is probably similar to a 26mm Ploessl). But for longer focal length scopes like the ETX and the LX-10 it puts out 62.5x and 100x (63x with the f.6.3 focal reducer) which is just too hard for me to use.Granted, the 32mm Ploessl is still right at 40x but it's a little more manageable and is the widest true field of view obtainable from a 1.25" eyepiece anyway.

 

And yes, I prefer the 68 degree eyepieces over the 62 degree ones, but some of that is just due to the focal lengths available. If someone starting making those aspherics in 15mm and 6mm sizes I'd be ll over them. Some of it is subjective and psychological, too. The 68 degree ones have a nice tactile feel to them and since I "know" they're my "best" eyepieces I tend to choose them over the aspherics. But I do use my Ploessls just as often. The Ploessls still have a noticeably better field of view compared with the MAs and they're not quite as picky with eye placement.

 

The low power field of view on the zoom is not bad at all if you're used to the MA eyepieces the scope came with but there's a huge difference between its 40-degree field of view and the 68-degree field of view. All other things being equal, if you have the option of a wider view it's hard to go back to a smaller one unless there's another concern, like magnification.

 

Regarding the Infinity 102's mount, I think the problem can be fixed if you could come up with a way to rig up a counterweight. I've seen pictures of older versions of that style mount and they did indeed have a counterweight bar in front. I tried taking a metal strap, bending it into an L, and attaching it between the telescope and the mount head (and adding a nut and bolt and a bunch of washers on the end of it). It helped, but wasn't very rigid so created additional vibrations when you bumped the scope. I'm pretty vibration-tolerant so that wasn't so bad. The problem was that with the extra spacing it was hard to get the mounting bolt to get enough "bite" into the Infinity 102 dovetail. The next to last straw that made my pull the trigger on the StarPro 102 was when the Infinity 102 fell off the mount onto the ground one night when we were looking at the stars (the very last straw was when I realized the StarPro102 was getting increasingly hard to come by).

 

Now that I have the scope and mount at home full time I'm thinking about disassembling the mount head and reversing the piece the panhandle threads into (so the panhandle faced forwards) and buying a piece of threaded rod to try to bend into an L to replace the panhandle and sticking some sort of weight on the end, either a stack of large washers again or something more creative. I could live without the panhandle for maneuvering the scope if it was better balanced. I could also break down and get a metal fabricator to make me something like this: https://www.cloudyni...t-az-mount-r394

 

Or this: https://www.instruct...-3-altazimuth-/

 

I'm considering something like this as well:

https://astromart.co...-for-az3-mounts

 

A pricier option I've also debated would be to order a Twilight Nano mount (for around $100). Looks like it would solve the balance problems but it loses the slow motion controls. On the other hand, it would also work with my son's 70mm short tube scope better than either of the mounts I have for it, too. By the time you add up all the money I'll end up spending on jury-rigging solutions I probably might as well have bought it to begin with. Then again, I'm one of those people who like to tinker with things and have a habit of spending $150 to fix something I could have just replaced for $100.

 

Looks like you could also pick up a StarPro 70 for $130 or so and just swap mounts with the Infinity 102. It looks like all the StarPro mounts are the same. The StarPro mount uses a dovetail connection that'll fit the Infinity 102.


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#17 Anony

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 12:12 PM

I have an Infinity 102 myself, and it's absolutely wonderful for widefield, deep sky viewing; as well as being quite portable. It really deserves a better mount. When I'm serious about using mine I use an Explore Scientific Twilight 1. Our sponsor, Astronomics, has their own version of this mount at a better price. https://www.astronom...muth-mount.html  You won't believe the difference a nice mount can make in the use of a scope.

 

Pipe mounts are another way to improve over "beginner" mounts for less cost than a factory-made mount. https://www.cloudyni...nt#entry7973061

 

BTW, have you discovered that your Infinity 102 can use 2" eyepieces? These really open up the field of view.

I like the scope, but my mount has some serious problems. I haven't even considered 2" eyepieces on it, as I am sure the weight would collapse the thing. My 1.25" eyepieces collapse my scope once I hit like 60 degrees or so ... collapse as in I can get a target lined up, eye about to look in the eyepiece, and the scope just flops backwards.



#18 Anony

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 12:22 PM

 

Looks like you could also pick up a StarPro 70 for $130 or so and just swap mounts with the Infinity 102. It looks like all the StarPro mounts are the same. The StarPro mount uses a dovetail connection that'll fit the Infinity 102.

 

As for the zooms, I'd think at the higher mags the field of views compared to the aspheric/red lines would be more or less the same? At 8mm I see it's listed at 60 degrees... so would think in the 8-15mmish range there wouldn't be that big a difference? But at 15-24mm I could see how it might feel cramped.

 

For my Infinity, I'm actually fine using a 26mm for a finder. It's my dob at f/8 where it's not as great.

 

Interesting about the Starpro 70... might have to consider something like that. I know of course I could simply buy a $200 mount and problem solved, but it feels weird (and expensive) to spend more on the mount than what the scope cost originally.

 

My plan was to wait it out on craigslist, hope I find some super cheap scope there and just swap out the mounts.  With the virus stuff, that's sort of put on hold. Longterm, this Infinity mount simply won't do ... either I replace the mount or just sell the scope and get something else.



#19 epee

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 01:17 PM

I share your hatred of that mount.

 

Cobble up a pipe mount to go on top of the tripod the Infinity came on. 

 

Check out the link I posted above about pipe mounts; simple, inexpensive. You don't really need slow-motion controls with the Infinity anyway.


Edited by epee, 05 June 2020 - 01:18 PM.

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#20 Udderly Abducted

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 04:09 PM

Hey, I just sent you a PM. I might be able to help you out.
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#21 Anony

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Posted 11 June 2020 - 03:04 PM

 

I tend to be pretty torn, myself, and with my ETX and the SCT I tend to fluctuate between using a set of 32mm-26mm-20mm-15mm Ploessls (with 3x Barlow) and using the 20mm-15mm-9mm-6mm "red lines" along with a 32mm Ploessl because for low power the 20mm 68-deg eyepiece just doesn't quite do it for me. For finding things I greatly appreciate the wider actual field of view of the 32mm Ploessl.

 

Udder helped me out with a nice deal on a pile of eyepieces (updated info in signature) just got them today, so haven't really had a chance to test them on real targets just yet. So far, testing on a neighbor's tree, they seem nice to me (and I realize a tree isn't exactly an ideal target).

 

Since you own a 20mm redline as well as a 26mm plossl, I was curious if you think it's worthwhile for me to hunt down the 20mm red/goldline? It's a combo I can't compare to one another, since I don't have the 20mm eyepiece, it's the one out of the group I am missing. However I now have a 25mm plossl ... so just wondering if the views would be so similar as to not really be worth it?

 

I have a 32mm plossl slowly floating here from China, so that should handle my wide views, so covered there (assuming it gets here). I think I have most mags covered now, just again, unsure if that missing 20mm is worth hunting down.


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#22 JohnnyBGood

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Posted 12 June 2020 - 07:45 AM

Awesome! You're in good shape now.

 

Worth getting the 20mm, given the other things you now have? Probably not. Honestly, usually having 3-5 eyepiece magnification options is enough for me. I want something low power, something medium power, and then I usually like having at least two or three high power options so I can tailor the max magnification to the conditions. A zoom actually is pretty handy for that, though they do come with their drawbacks as well. Most of the eyepieces I keep in the bag with a scope are there for combining with the Barlow to give me more high power options and don't get used without the Barlow much.

 

I suspect the 25mm Ploessl would give a pretty similar true field of view to the 20mm but with a smaller apparent field of view. In other words, I think you'd see close to the same stuff in the circle, only it would be a smaller circle. The only reasons I can see to get the 20mm are if you like the framed view the 25mm Ploessl provides but you've gotten used to seeing the larger "circle" that the 6, 9,and 15 provide and the 25mm feels cramped or if (like me) you have some sort of collector's OCD and simply feel compelled to own the whole set.Otherwise you'll probably end up just using the 32mm Ploessl most of the time, and the Barlowed 20mm is close enough to the 9mm as to be superfluous.

 

On the other hand, it does depend on the scope. Having access to a couple 32mm Ploessls I tend to use the red line 20mm with the Infinity 102 because the 32mm feels like too low of a magnification to me. Yet with longer focal length scopes like the ETX-90 and the LX-10 it's the opposite. It gets back to the idea that if you find the 25mm Ploessl to give you a preferable view to both the 32mm and the 15mm Expanse clone for whatever reason then the 20mm might be worth tracking down. It really depends on personal tastes, I think.

 

After you've played with them a while I think you'll develop a feeling for whether it's worth it to you or not.


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#23 Anony

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Posted 12 June 2020 - 01:40 PM


 

After you've played with them a while I think you'll develop a feeling for whether it's worth it to you or not.

 

That's what I figure, I'll need to try them myself with each scope, see how they perform on each. That's kind of why I got the 10mm plossl as well ... basically duplicating mags there with the 9mm expanse, but it's more like kidney bean insurance in case the 9mm doesn't play so nice with my faster scope. No way for me to know until I test firsthand. And if I don't find a use for it, buying cheap used means I probably can just sell what I don't like at about the same cost.

 

Checking an older thread I see you mentioned a Cassini 26mm erfle and stating you liked it a lot? How does that one compare to the 32mm plossl as a finder?

 

Just wondering if it's like an expanse clone, just in a 26mm size.



#24 JohnnyBGood

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Posted 15 June 2020 - 07:28 AM

No, the 26mm Erfle is definitely different from the Expanse clones. It played very well with my f/5 Polaris 130 and has been my most loved and most used eyepiece by far. I've used it so much the lettering has completely worn off. However, it just doesn't quite provide as wide a field as the 32mm Ploessl. It comes down to personal tastes, but for my shorter focal length scopes I feel like the 32mm is too low of a magnification and a 25-26mm feels more "right" to me. For those scopes I like the 26mm Erfle better than a 26mm Ploessl, though there's not *that* much difference.


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#25 Anony

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 02:27 PM

No, the 26mm Erfle is definitely different from the Expanse clones. It played very well with my f/5 Polaris 130 and has been my most loved and most used eyepiece by far. I've used it so much the lettering has completely worn off. However, it just doesn't quite provide as wide a field as the 32mm Ploessl. It comes down to personal tastes, but for my shorter focal length scopes I feel like the 32mm is too low of a magnification and a 25-26mm feels more "right" to me. For those scopes I like the 26mm Erfle better than a 26mm Ploessl, though there's not *that* much difference.

Makes sense. Assuming my 32mm ever gets here, I'll see how I like it with my refractor. I could very well prefer the 25mm plossl in that scope too.

 

Overall I am liking my eyepieces so far. Tested them out on the planets, a couple of clusters, etc ... the 9mm does seem like the best of the bunch. It provides such a wider fov compared to my older 9mm MA or 10mm plossl. It's like my eyes have been freed up from a cramped eyeball prison.

 

6mm is also nice, but I'm getting some Jupiter glare from it. I was warned ahead of time that this was likely with brighter targets ... I may look into flocking it or something. 15mm is also fine, although it's sort of an oddball size... seems fine to me though, no complaints. I may try barlowing or half barlowing that one, see how it compares to the 9mm and 6mm ... maybe it'll become a 7.5mm without the glare.

 

The 25mm plossl is also nice, minor upgrade over my 26mm MA, but at the price I paid it was worthwhile. 10mm plossl is also fine, just probably wasn't needed... duplicating mags... got it for kidney bean insurance, but don't think it was really needed. Strangely I may be getting more kidney bean/blackouts/or whatever it's called from my 25mm plossl than the 9mm expanse clone... not a big deal, I just need to keep my eye positioned correctly.


Edited by Anony, 16 June 2020 - 02:29 PM.

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