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SV80ST F/6 - Beginner EP Set

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#1 Cainmos

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 08:50 AM

Coming over to visual from starting out in astrophotography. I'm putting together a portable grab and go telescope pack to use as my primary setup for the foreseeable future which is centered around a Stellarvue SV80ST f/6 480mm.

 

I want to add in some visual capability and get a few EP's for it. I currently don't own any and have no experience with them aside from a little bit of research. Requesting a sanity check and suggestions to get 3 or 4 decent quality EP's for it and a 2x barlow. I would like to stick to 1.25" to keep portability high. I am debating either the 2" or 1.25" SV star diagonal to go along with it just to keep options open. If there is no large advantage to the 2" then I will get the 1.25" for portability.

 

$250ish budget which really dictates what I can get. I think this should be sufficient to get decent quality entry EP's considering I'm just starting out.  

 

My thoughts are:

 

  • 24mm - Low power wide angle for sweeping milky way views
  • 16mm - Medium power - nebula/stars
  • 6 or 5mm - High power for planets/moon

Trying to keep an eye out on classifieds but am not really sure what ones to look for. I don't care if they are not all the same brand/type as a set, I would prefer what is generally better for each task. I'm currently looking at something like the (1) Celestron X-Cel LX / (2) ES 52deg Series / (3) Takahashi Starbase.



#2 cookjaiii

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 09:20 AM

Our sponsor, Astronomics, sells Paradigm brand eyepieces.  At $60, you could get three or four with your budget.

 

I have some and I like them in fast scopes.


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#3 howardcano

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 03:47 PM

The XCel LX are very nice for the price.  I preferred them over the Paradigm, but they are also higher in price.  The XCel LX 2x and 3x Barlows are also quite good.

 

I would go immediately to a 2" diagonal unless you are trying to save every bit of weight; that way the diagonal (probably) won't be the limiting factor in vignetting, and you'll be ready if the very-wide-field bug bites.

 

If you buy used, the cost should be below your limit.


Edited by howardcano, 09 July 2020 - 03:52 PM.

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#4 Tropobob

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 07:25 PM

I have a scope with the same specs: 80mm F6.  I mainly use 3 EPs, being a 24mm panoptic, 15mm Delite & 5mm Delite.  I use an 1.25 diagonal, as I find that the scope already has a wide field with the 24mm and the 2" diagonal unbalances the scope, then I have to tighten things up on the mount and then it is not such a pleasure to use.  Nevertheless, many others think the 2" diagonal is great, so it depends on your style.  


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#5 Cainmos

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 07:38 PM

Thanks for the replies. While I am sensitive to the weight I think the best is to go 2" diagonal just in case I end up with a wide field at some point. Keeping an eye out for one or two better eyepieces I think in the 24, 15, 5 range.



#6 russell23

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 08:29 PM

Thanks for the replies. While I am sensitive to the weight I think the best is to go 2" diagonal just in case I end up with a wide field at some point. Keeping an eye out for one or two better eyepieces I think in the 24, 15, 5 range.

I would suggest eyepieces from two lines in particular:

 

Astrotech Paradigm/Agena Dual ED:

 

https://www.astronom...iece_series=478

 

https://agenaastro.c...na_dual_ed.html

 

and the BST UWA Planetary:

 

https://agenaastro.c..._planetary.html

 

I also would suggest rethinking the focal lengths.  Certainly the 25mm gives you a nice approximately 3 deg TFOV and a magnification of 19x.

 

However, a 16mm is only a jump from 19x to 30x.  I'd go for the 12mm Paradigm in your next slot for 40x magnification.  Then get something near a 1mm exit pupil so the 6mm BST UWA planetary would be a good choice (80x). 

 

Then I would also get something for a higher magnification for lunar/planetary.   The 4.5mm BST would give you 107x and the 4mm BST would give you 120x.  The 4mm would make a little more sense if you get the 6mm.

 

So that would be 25mm and 12mm Paradigms and then 6mm and 4mm BST UWA for a total cost of $230 plus any shipping.  You would be off a to a really good start with those. 
 


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#7 Cainmos

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Posted 17 July 2020 - 07:43 AM

I would suggest eyepieces from two lines in particular:

 

Astrotech Paradigm/Agena Dual ED:

 

https://www.astronom...iece_series=478

 

https://agenaastro.c...na_dual_ed.html

 

and the BST UWA Planetary:

 

https://agenaastro.c..._planetary.html

 

I also would suggest rethinking the focal lengths.  Certainly the 25mm gives you a nice approximately 3 deg TFOV and a magnification of 19x.

 

However, a 16mm is only a jump from 19x to 30x.  I'd go for the 12mm Paradigm in your next slot for 40x magnification.  Then get something near a 1mm exit pupil so the 6mm BST UWA planetary would be a good choice (80x). 

 

Then I would also get something for a higher magnification for lunar/planetary.   The 4.5mm BST would give you 107x and the 4mm BST would give you 120x.  The 4mm would make a little more sense if you get the 6mm.

 

So that would be 25mm and 12mm Paradigms and then 6mm and 4mm BST UWA for a total cost of $230 plus any shipping.  You would be off a to a really good start with those. 
 

Thank you for the additional input. I really appreciate it. Definitely some more to consider. I was thinking of trying to piecemeal a set with a few better EP's from the classifieds but it wouldn't necessarily be a smooth set to use  between each one. I'm thinking this is the better option to get up and going until I have more experience and decide what I like in an EP before spending a ton of money.


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#8 russell23

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Posted 17 July 2020 - 08:49 AM

Thank you for the additional input. I really appreciate it. Definitely some more to consider. I was thinking of trying to piecemeal a set with a few better EP's from the classifieds but it wouldn't necessarily be a smooth set to use  between each one. I'm thinking this is the better option to get up and going until I have more experience and decide what I like in an EP before spending a ton of money.

The Astrotech Paradigm and BST UWA planetary are really good eyepieces.  I enjoyed them when I had them.  The transmission of the Paradigm's is excellent and the BST UWA are very sharp.   A couple other eyepieces you could consider that cost about twice the above:

 

The 8.5mm Pentax XF for $129:

 

https://agenaastro.c...-8-5-70531.html

 

  It is another 60 deg AFOV eyepiece but you are getting an eyepiece that is really a "premium" grade eyepiece.  I have a 72mm f/6 Astrotech APO arriving today.  I will check out my 8.5mm XF in it and let you know how it does at the edges. 

 

If you want to check out what an 82 deg AFOV is like then you might consider the 5.5mm Meade UWA for $129:

 

https://agenaastro.c...f-eyepiece.html

 

What makes this eyepiece special vs other focal lengths in the Meade UWA/ES82 lines is that it is a newer focal length redesigned with a larger eye lens.  That makes it more comfortable than the other focal lengths.  And it provides really excellent views for all types of observations.

 

Finally, if you wanted to try a zoom eyepiece I would recommend the Orion 7-21mm zoom ($60):

 

https://www.telescop...60/p/132267.uts

 

I've never been interested in a zoom but I decided to give this one a shot because it has enough eye relief for use with my glasses.  I have been extremely impressed with it:

 

https://www.cloudyni...yepiece-thread/

 

The AFOV of this zoom is 40 deg at 21mm to 57 deg at 7mm.   So the eyepieces listed above give you more AFOV, but the image quality will be very similar and the zoom will likely do a better job with scattered light, ghosting, glare.

 

I think what you said is correct:  Don't spend a fortune until you have a good idea of what you like/want.   There will always be a more expensive eyepiece you could consider.  But the reality is that today the low cost eyepieces (at least from the lines I indicated) are so good that the more expensive eyepieces are not really going to show you any more details.  The expensive eyepieces typically just show you a sharp to the edge view over a wider AFOV.

 

For example, I compared that $60 zoom at the 8mm setting to my $590 8mm Ethos.  In terms of details seen I really could not see any difference in my 102mm f/7 APO.  The Ethos obviously has a staggering large AFOV that helps explain the big difference in cost.


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#9 Cainmos

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Posted 17 July 2020 - 12:09 PM

Oh choices abound. I do quite like the idea of the zoom (and cost) for keeping things light and simple. Also, with your review the price/performance of it sounds unbeatable.

 

On the other hand I think I would rather like some wider fields of view after looking at the simulator in Stellarium. 

 

At the moment I'm seriously considering the Orion zoom with either the Pentax 8.5mm or the Meade 5.5 82deg. That would give some variety but a large magnification range. I do plan to get a 2x barlow eventually. I should say I do appreciate the larger eye relief as sometimes I do wear glasses and would also like to share views with people that wear glasses.



#10 Cainmos

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Posted 22 July 2020 - 05:12 PM

Well after lots of deliberating I ended up with a GSO 2" diagonal to allow for any future EP's, the Orion 7-21 zoom and an ES 3x barlow for maximum zoom range. In the end I think this will serve the best low cost and simple get up and go with visual for this scope.  I think the next I will try to add is a quality wide field low power for getting lost in sweeping views.

 

Thank you all for the input. 


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