I could use some advice on focal lengths.
I have an AT102ED (102 mm aperture, 714mm focal length, f/7).
I also have a 32mm GSO plossl, a 25mm Astro-Tech Value Line plossl, an 8mm Paradigm Dual ED, and a 2x barlow. And I plan to pick up a 12mm Paradigm when those are back in stock -- hopefully in a week or two.
I started off with just the 25mm and the 8mm, barlowing them to extend my range. I recently acquired the 32mm, and it has replaced the 25mm as my finder eyepiece. Once I get the 12mm Paradigm, I will no longer need to barlow the 25mm either. (In fact, I decided to order the 12mm because I spent so much time barlowing the 25mm, but loved the view through the 8mm Paradigm.)
So...I'm thinking the 25mm will soon be redundant, and I should probably retire it to make room in my eyepiece tray.
But I was recently observing M81 and M82, and actually spent the most time with the 25mm, which allowed me to get both objects in the field of view at once with better contrast than the 32mm.
As a result, I am now confused. (Well, I'm usually confused; maybe *more* confused would be more accurate.)
Should I sit tight and hang onto the 25mm for those occasions when it comes in handy? Or should I replace it with something like a 20mm plossl, which will fit better within my range of focal lengths, especially with the barlow thrown in? (I figure I could barlow a 20mm to fit neatly between the 12mm and 8mm Paradigms. I also figure it would work better than an 18mm eyepiece, which would barlow pretty close to the 8mm.)
Since I already plan to buy the 12mm, I'm looking to keep my costs down; so I'm really just considering another decent, inexpensive plossl (e.g., $30 or so) as a potential replacement for the 25mm. And I think I'll shy away from one of the inexpensive wide-angle eyepieces at this point, since I'd prefer to have a nice sharp image all the way to the edge.
Any advice would be most appreciated!