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Best 5-6mm eyepiece for a small dob

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#1 korman643

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 03:38 PM

Hi everyone, I've made more or less the same question few days ago without much luck, so I'm trying rephrasing it in a more direct way:

What is the BEST 5 or 6mm EP I can use with a small 130mm F5 dobs? I've a 6mm Gold Line Svbony but it's clearly not good enough for difficult targets requiring high magnification, difficult to focus and quite "muddy". For once I want to invest in something really good, but of course a great cost to quality ration would be welcome. Checking here oin the forum I've found glowing reviews of the 6mm TV Delos (wich I can buy here at 350€), but is there anything else comparable in quality, sharpness and brightness? Thanks in advance for any help you may give.

Edited by korman643, 03 June 2020 - 04:13 PM.


#2 bridgman

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 03:59 PM

My go-to in that range is an old TV Radian 5mm, but if I were buying today it would be a 5mm DeLite. The Radian was my first premium eyepiece and the only one for a lot of years - but spending $$ for good eye relief at a short FL seemed like a good investment at the time and still does today.

 

The DeLite has a bit less AFOV than the Delos (62 degrees vs 72) but is smaller and less $$ as well. Over the years I have learned that I have trouble making good use of much over 60 degree AFOV anyways.

 

The 7mm DeLite has about the same true FOV as a 6mm Delos, but I imagine you're choosing based more on getting a specific magnification than a specific FOV ?


Edited by bridgman, 03 June 2020 - 04:06 PM.

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#3 havasman

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 04:04 PM

6 Delos is hard to beat. I like the 6 Ethos. With completely different execution, design and purpose the 6mm Tak Abbe Ortho may best either if optics are the only consideration. Lots of folks like the 6.5mm Baader Morpheus a lot.

 

But when I had that scope the 5T6 Nagler was what I used in that range.


Edited by havasman, 03 June 2020 - 04:06 PM.

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#4 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 04:10 PM

Well, the term "best" is in there. And I see you have a 10" scope, so I'd be interested in something that is nice in both.

 

In the 6mm range I have tried 6 Ethos, 6 Takahashi Abbe, 6 University optics ortho, Leica zoom + extender (maxes at 4.9mm), and 5mm XW. 

 

Of that pile, the two that stand out at the Ethos and the Leica + extender. The Leica gets more use for me b/c of the zoom function and greater comfort levels.

 

I'd tend to avoid the orthos for dobs that do not have tracking as I find the 40 degree field too small to tolerate for long periods of planetary observing. But if you have tracking or find you can tolerate it, then they may give a tiny bit more detail than the other options.


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#5 cookjaiii

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 04:12 PM

I use a 5mm T6 Nagler with my 130mm f/5.  The 82* FOV is nice for planets because I don't need to move the scope as much while manually tracking.  I also have a 4.7mm Explore Scientific with 82* FOV, but I don't use it much.


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#6 SeattleScott

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 05:35 PM

I like my 5mm Tak LE. Narrow AFOV but very sharp.

If you want a wider view, there are a lot of options from the Meade 5.5mm UWA to Pentax 5XW to the APM/Lunt 5mm 110 AFOV (might cause balance issues with small scopes.

If you want a budget friendly option, the 5mm pseudo-masayumas are very sharp and typically sell for $50-60. Only available used, other than the Tak LE. Sold under a variety of brands, Celestron Ultima, Orion Ultrascopic, Parks Gold Series, Baader Eudiascopic, Antares Elite, I think that may be it. They have narrow Plossl like AFOV but good high contrast planetary eyepieces.

A 6mm Baader Classic Ortho is another lower cost option with Plossl like AFOV.

Basically if you want high contrast views and can live with a narrow AFOV, you can save a lot of money compared to a $300 XW or whatever.

ALL THAT SAID, based on what you describe, if you REALLY want to sharpen up your high power views, I would recommend this: https://www.telescop...tor&siteCode=US

I mean I know the Goldline isn’t premium, but I have a hard time believing it is that bad.

Scott
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#7 jaraxx

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 09:32 PM

I have three eyepieces that cover that space. The first is the Meade 5.5 UWA and I find it to be an excellent eyepiece that just happens to work very well in spite of the fact that it's relatively inexpensive. The second is the 6.5mm Morpheus and it has the same characteristics as the rest of the Morpheus line: well corrected, excellent eye relief, very immersive and easy to use. I've four of the Morphi - I would warn that they are pretty addictive. (There is a 4.5 Morpheus, but I have no experience with it.) These two I use primarily for DSOs.
The third is the Baader Hyperion Zoom and the dedicated 2.5X Barlow that goes with it. I've been using it a lot lately for double stars and its been a rewarding experience. Find the star in the finder and go to the zoom or use a "finder eyepiece" (in my case the ES 24mm 68°), center the target and go to the zoom. While either of the other eyepieces are "better" than the BHZ (better in this case being a bit more immersive due to the larger FOV and a bit better eye relief) they are only good at 5.5 and 6.5mm respectively. The BHZ gives a very nice window from 8mm to 24mm and with the addition of the Barlow extends that nice window to about 3.6mm (with pretty much any Barlow - the BHZ does well with Barlows). That adds a lot of versatility to an optical system.

I've also been using the BHZ the last several nights on the Moon. I don't usually spend much time with Luna but it's been bright lately and out of curiosity I took a peek. I've discovered its very nice being able to dial the magnification in to look at features clearly then dial back out to take a wider view. I may spend some more time here in the future.

That exhausts my knowledge of this area except to criticize the other advise you've gotten. So let me say it's difficult to go wrong when presented with a choice between an Ethos, Delos, Delite, or Nagler.


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#8 SeattleScott

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 11:39 PM

Are you criticizing me for recommending vintage Celestron Ultimas instead of high end TV stuff? He did say he was also interested in something with a great price/performance ratio. Everyone else was covering the high end TV stuff but no one was giving any lower cost options. Not saying an Ultima is as good as a Nagler. But if you can live with the narrow FOV it will produce similarly sharp views for much less money. Probably not the direction he wants to go but I thought I would at least put it out there.

But I stand by my opinion that what he described really sounded like a poorly collimated scope. When someone has an 18” Obsession I assume they know all about collimation. But an entry level 5” reflector? Maybe they are a collimation pro, but maybe not. Maybe the Goldlines really are that bad. But I would hate for him to spend $60 or $360 on a first premium eyepiece only to have the view still be crap, because his scope isn’t collimated. Certainly something to consider. I have four local observing buddies with reflectors. Only one of them collimates at least annually. So maybe I am just a little jaded that way, thinking that soft views through a newt might be from lack of collimation instead of lack of a premium eyepiece.

Scott
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#9 stevenrjanssens

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 12:10 AM

But I stand by my opinion that what he described really sounded like a poorly collimated scope. When someone has an 18” Obsession I assume they know all about collimation. But an entry level 5” reflector? Maybe they are a collimation pro, but maybe not. Maybe the Goldlines really are that bad. But I would hate for him to spend $60 or $360 on a first premium eyepiece only to have the view still be crap, because his scope isn’t collimated. Certainly something to consider. I have four local observing buddies with reflectors. Only one of them collimates at least annually. So maybe I am just a little jaded that way, thinking that soft views through a newt might be from lack of collimation instead of lack of a premium eyepiece.

In the other thread OP started, he stated he was observing from inside his apartment due to quarantine restrictions.


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#10 SeattleScott

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 01:00 AM

In the other thread OP started, he stated he was observing from inside his apartment due to quarantine restrictions.

Ah now that would explain it!

Just to be clear, I’m not saying he shouldn’t get a 5T6 if he really wants to. But whatever he gets, I want him to get his moneys worth out of it.

Scott
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#11 korman643

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 01:50 AM

Wow, plenty of great answers! I'll reply to everyone, but first there's one thing I want to clarify

 

ALL THAT SAID, based on what you describe, if you REALLY want to sharpen up your high power views, I would recommend this: https://www.telescop...tor&siteCode=US

I mean I know the Goldline isn’t premium, but I have a hard time believing it is that bad.

Scott

 

Thank for the comment, but the collimation of both my scopes is checked before every viewing session, with collimation cap AND laser collimator. I'm a bit obsessive about this kind of details. 

 

I don't really know what's going on with the Goldline, but it's, at best, a disappointment. With the 10 inch Orion my first reaction was  "ok, it's the bad seeing" (it was high summer), but then the views were not great even with perfect still atmosphere. I've come to the point that I've better views with the XCel LX 9mm + 2x Barlow than with the 6mm Goldline! I've cleaned it and rechecked it to see if there was something bad with my particular specimen, but no. I can't really understand this, everybody seems to say it's a great EP


Edited by korman643, 04 June 2020 - 07:34 AM.


#12 Hesiod

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 02:29 AM

If your 5" Dob is the AWV/Heritage, beware of heavy eyepieces as may lead the focuser to flex (beside forcing you to rebalance the telescope every time).
IME BST Explorers are as big as I want to go; Vixen SSWs gave roughly the same size/weight, but I find hard to justify a 300$ EP in such telescope.

Orthos may be just too light: I found rather nasty to use them in my Heritage.
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#13 fate187

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 03:00 AM

DeLites are light and of magnificant quality with good fov and eye relief. Morpheus are heavier, larger fov with a nice eye lens. 

On the "budget" site look at Vixen SLVs. Very good ergonomics, small and light.


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#14 CeleNoptic

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 04:24 AM

Wow, plenty of great answers! I'll reply to everyone, but first there's one thing I want to clarify

 

 

Thank for the comment, but both the collimation of both my scopes is checked before every viewing session, with collimation cap AND laser collimator. I'm a bit obsessive about this kind of details. 

 

I don't really know what's going on with the Goldline, but it's, at best, a disappointment. With the 10 inch Orion my first reaction was  "ok, it's the bad seeing" (it was high summer), but then the views were not great even with perfect still atmosphere. I've come to the point that I've better views with the XCel LX 9mm + 2x Barlow than with the 6mm Goldline! I've cleaned it and rechecked it to see if there was something bad with my particular specimen, but no. I can't really understand this, everybody seems to say it's a great EP

 

No surprise, the Celestron X-Cel LXs, especially the 7 (actually 6.5mm) and 9mm are optically better than Expanse/Goldlines. Bench tests showed the 5mm (=4.5mm) X-Cel LX not as good as these two, therefore your combination of the 9mm + Barlow should work fine, IMO.


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#15 25585

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 04:41 AM

Vixen SLV range, both 5mm and 6mm  https://astronomynow...-slv-eyepieces/


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#16 korman643

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 05:18 AM

Vixen SLV range, both 5mm and 6mm  https://astronomynow...-slv-eyepieces/

Thanks!  see lot of people are voting for Vixen SLV, but are they really better than Celestron X-Cels? As I've said before I'm rather happy with my X-Cel 9mm + 2x Barlow combination, but here I really wanted to raise the bar a bit with this high power EP.


Edited by korman643, 04 June 2020 - 05:35 AM.


#17 korman643

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 05:24 AM

No surprise, the Celestron X-Cel LXs, especially the 7 (actually 6.5mm) and 9mm are optically better than Expanse/Goldlines. Bench tests showed the 5mm (=4.5mm) X-Cel LX not as good as these two, therefore your combination of the 9mm + Barlow should work fine, IMO.

Thank for clarifying this, as It seemed to me like I was (literally) seeing thing! lol.gif

 

I'm happy with the 9m + barlow combination, but I wanted to have a dedicated, top notch EP for that FL. The X-Cel 5mm was the natural choice but as you've pointed out it seems like the ugly duckling of the series, and I really wanted to raise the bar a bit



#18 korman643

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 05:26 AM

 

The 7mm DeLite has about the same true FOV as a 6mm Delos, but I imagine you're choosing based more on getting a specific magnification than a specific FOV ?

 Thank you! Yes, for this EP i want the best optics for that magnification, regardless of the FOV


Edited by korman643, 04 June 2020 - 05:35 AM.


#19 korman643

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 05:34 AM

6 Delos is hard to beat. I like the 6 Ethos. With completely different execution, design and purpose the 6mm Tak Abbe Ortho may best either if optics are the only consideration. Lots of folks like the 6.5mm Baader Morpheus a lot.

 

But when I had that scope the 5T6 Nagler was what I used in that range.

Thanks for the comment. I'm REALLY tempted with the Abbe Ortho, as a reseller here in Italy is giving it away at 143€ shipping included. But I'm being told the eye relief is just too hard for comfortable viewing. I'm not wearing glasses (for now) but I'm getting old and this may be the case soon.



#20 jaraxx

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 07:57 AM

Are you criticizing me for recommending vintage Celestron Ultimas instead of high end TV stuff? He did say he was also interested in something with a great price/performance ratio. Everyone else was covering the high end TV stuff but no one was giving any lower cost options. Not saying an Ultima is as good as a Nagler. But if you can live with the narrow FOV it will produce similarly sharp views for much less money. Probably not the direction he wants to go but I thought I would at least put it out there.

Scott

Scott - If you were addressing me I wasn't criticizing your post at all - I'm pretty sure that I didn't read your post because I was writing mine when you posted. In any case, I was just trying to end with a small shot of humor about the high end TV stuff - one shouldn't agonize too much over choices between those eyepieces as they are all excellent (and expensive). 

Please note that I didn't recommend the high end TV stuff myself, 'cause I don't own any of it. I just described how I solved the problem as presented. I'm sure there are lots of solutions; the Meade 5.5, Morpheus 6.5, and the BHZ + Barlow (all bought on sale or used) are mine. I know nothing of the Ultimas eyepieces and so can't say much about them, critical or otherwise. I'd be willing to look thru one if anybody offered - especially if attached to their big DOB. (Snobbery is difficult when you have no TV eyepieces and your largest scope is a 5 inch Mak.)

 

(And least anyone else gets offended, I was not criticizing the TV stuff, I acknowledge that they are great eyepieces. It was just a little dig at The Hegemony.)

 

Oh, and if you weren't addressing me, in the immortal words of Roseanna Roseannadanna, "Never Mind".


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#21 SeattleScott

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 09:09 AM

Thank for clarifying this, as It seemed to me like I was (literally) seeing thing! lol.gif

I'm happy with the 9m + barlow combination, but I wanted to have a dedicated, top notch EP for that FL. The X-Cel 5mm was the natural choice but as you've pointed out it seems like the ugly duckling of the series, and I really wanted to raise the bar a bit

Here’s the problem. The 25, 9 and 7 Xcel LX are REALLY good for the price. For example I have a $230 Vixen LVW eyepiece that just edges out a Panoptic for edge correction at F4. My 25mm HD-60 (Xcel LX) is about 95% as good as the LVW in terms of field correction. Granted the LVW is wider, 65 AFOV not 60. But people have compared especially these three Xcel focal lengths and found them to be about as good as TV Radians. Apparently the newer Delites do pull ahead a bit for high power planetary viewing. So you have to spend $256 to see any noticeable improvement, and only on planetary viewing on nights of good seeing. Now granted you are barlowing your Xcel compared to using something natively, so you might be losing a little contrast with the barlow. But in general, if you don’t mind the hassle of dealing with the barlow, you probably won’t see much improvement unless you go wide. Especially barlowing the Xcel, you just aren’t going to find anything that is significantly better corrected at the edge. If you spend a lot of money you might get a slight improvement in on axis sharpness. But if you really want to raise the bar, I feel like you have to go wide. Think 5mm Nagler, 5.5mm Meade UWA, etc. 5-6mm really isn’t extreme magnification for a 5” Dob, so the wider FOV can be useful for framing DSO as well as longer drift time for planets.

Scott

#22 vdog

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 09:16 AM

+1 for the price-to-performance ratio recommendation of the Meade UWA 5.5mm (still available for $99 and a steal at that price).


Edited by vdog, 04 June 2020 - 09:18 AM.

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#23 csrlice12

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 10:31 AM

+2 for the Meade 5.5mm 82*


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#24 StarDust1

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 10:39 AM

+1 for the price-to-performance ratio recommendation of the Meade UWA 5.5mm (still available for $99 and a steal at that price).

In Europe they go for 199 Euro ($225).



#25 vdog

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 10:47 AM

In Europe they go for 199 Euro ($225).

Wow.  Is the OP in Europe?  I didn't catch that.

 

Still might be cheaper to pay for the international shipping and fees.  If not, at that price point, I'd start looking at a Morpheus or used Televue.




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