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Critique EP lineup + suggest EPs

eyepieces
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#1 mikel3937

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 01:27 PM

My knowledgeable friends,

 

Please critique my EP lineup for my 130mm f/5 Celestron Newtonian. I want the best views of most DSOs and planets (Saturn, Jupiter especially) I can attain with my scope. Please also suggest additional pieces to cover any gaps you perceive given my viewing goals. 

 

Current lineup:

25mm Celestron basic EP that came with scope* 

15 mm TV plossle

12 mm Celestron x cel lx

10mm Celestron basic EP that came with scope*

5mm Astro-Tech Paradigm Dual ED (This EP has already produced pretty good views of Saturn and decent of Jupiter at 130x for my scope)

 

I am considering adding a 8mm, since I won't use the low-end 10mm much, and maybe something on high-end mag range like a 3.2 paradigm to give me 200x mag for even better views of planets. 

 

What do you folks think? I would like to stay around $100 or under for EPs. Thank you!


Edited by mikel3937, 01 August 2020 - 01:28 PM.


#2 aeajr

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 01:40 PM

Telescope Eyepieces
https://opticsaide.c...-for-telescope/

 

The above article explains a lot.

 

You don't say which Celestron 130 package you have.  So I can't tell what kind of Celestron eyepieces came with the package. 

 

If the included eyepieces, are Celestron Plossl eyepieces, those are pretty good.  Not as wide as the AT Paradigm or the Celestron X Cel LX, but petty good.  If they are Kellners, then they will work but provide a fairly narrow FOV.  I would replace them with a 24/25 mm Paradigm or X Cel as time and budget allows. 

 

I often recommend a 32 mm Plossl for low power wide view but some small low focal ratio scopes will show a shadow of the secondary mirror with a 32 mm Plossl.  I don't know yours so I can't say.   But the 25 mm, if it is a Plossl, or one of the 60 degree eyepieces can serve that purpose.  A 25 mm Paradigm would provide about a 2.3 degree FOV for star hopping, sky scanning and viewing wide DSOs.

 

The TV Plossl is an excellent Plossl, better than the Celestron but still around 50 degrees AFOV. (see the article for AFOV)

 

Assuming a limited budget, I suggest you build out your AT Paradigm or the Celestron X Cel LX eyepiece set.   Wherever you see a need, go to one of these series first.     

 

AT Paradigm line 60 degree AFOV.  

https://www.astronom...pieces_c52.aspx

 

Discussion about Paradigm eyepieces

https://www.cloudyni...s/#entry8229760

 

If the budget is higher, consider one of these.

 

Explore Scientific 68 degree and 82 degree line.  I have the ES82 14, 8.8, 6.7 and 4.7.  The ES 68 24 is a very popular low power wide view eyepiece.   Many reports compare these favorably with the premium eyepieces.
https://agenaastro.c...scientific.html

 

 

Eyepiece Designs -  This is the one I turn to when I am trying to understand or explain the differences between the various designs.  There are many different designs, Many are named for their original designer, such as Huyghens, Ramsden, Kellner, Plossl, Konig, Erfle, Branden and Nagler.
http://www.chuckhawk...ece_designs.htm


Edited by aeajr, 01 August 2020 - 03:22 PM.


#3 N3p

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 03:04 PM

It would not be good for Jupiter and Saturn but I would replace the 25mm basic EP with a 24mm Explore Scientific 68 degrees, that would be awesome for the low power observation with your telescope,Things like rich star fields and many DSOs. When I don't observe planets, mine is in the focuser very often, good price, well corrected for F5.

 

I use my ES 24mm it a lot along with my 12mm Xcel LX that you already have.

 

https://explorescien...roducts/68-24mm


Edited by N3p, 01 August 2020 - 03:05 PM.

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#4 SeattleScott

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 06:27 PM

The Xcel LX 25 is excellent and under $100 if you want to upgrade your 25mm. It just doesn’t have quite as wide of a view as the ES.

8mm is a good idea. Paradigm makes sense, if you like your 5mm.

3.2 or so is a good idea, just not the Paradigm. Good short FL eyepieces under $100 is tough. There are some great options but they tend to be expensive. On your budget I would look for a 3.8mm pseudo Masuyama. These used to be sold under various brands, and generally command $50-60 these days. Really sharp vintage Japanese eyepieces. Some rebrands have poor eye relief though so prioritize Parks Gold Series or Orion Ultrascopic varieties.

Scott
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#5 havasman

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 07:02 PM

When I had a 130mm f5 Dob I got great use of it with a 24mm ES68 and a 4.7mm ES82 for the entire eyepiece kit. Those 2 very good eyepieces left me wanting nothing else from the scope. I still think that's the best kit for what is essentially a top widefield observing tool that can do a credibly good job of planetary. I used it under dark skies and from my home white zone as well as for outreach with great success. I think 2 really top rank eyepieces beats the pants off a bag full of pretty good ones with it.


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#6 Tony Flanders

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 04:10 AM

I think you're pretty well covered for now; I would hold off on any extra purchases for the moment.

 

I agree that it would be nice to own an eyepiece that provides a wider field of view -- either a wide-field eyepiece with a focal length around 24 mm or a 32-mm Plossl. But your current 25-mm eyepiece will serve for now.

 

I also agree that you could probably use a shorter eyepiece than 5 mm for planetary observing, though 3.2 mm might be just a bit too short.


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#7 mikel3937

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 10:44 AM

Telescope Eyepieces
https://opticsaide.c...-for-telescope/

 

The above article explains a lot.

 

You don't say which Celestron 130 package you have.  So I can't tell what kind of Celestron eyepieces came with the package. 

 

If the included eyepieces, are Celestron Plossl eyepieces, those are pretty good.  Not as wide as the AT Paradigm or the Celestron X Cel LX, but petty good.  If they are Kellners, then they will work but provide a fairly narrow FOV.  I would replace them with a 24/25 mm Paradigm or X Cel as time and budget allows. 

 

I often recommend a 32 mm Plossl for low power wide view but some small low focal ratio scopes will show a shadow of the secondary mirror with a 32 mm Plossl.  I don't know yours so I can't say.   But the 25 mm, if it is a Plossl, or one of the 60 degree eyepieces can serve that purpose.  A 25 mm Paradigm would provide about a 2.3 degree FOV for star hopping, sky scanning and viewing wide DSOs.

 

The TV Plossl is an excellent Plossl, better than the Celestron but still around 50 degrees AFOV. (see the article for AFOV)

 

Assuming a limited budget, I suggest you build out your AT Paradigm or the Celestron X Cel LX eyepiece set.   Wherever you see a need, go to one of these series first.     

 

AT Paradigm line 60 degree AFOV.  

https://www.astronom...pieces_c52.aspx

 

Discussion about Paradigm eyepieces

https://www.cloudyni...s/#entry8229760

 

If the budget is higher, consider one of these.

 

Explore Scientific 68 degree and 82 degree line.  I have the ES82 14, 8.8, 6.7 and 4.7.  The ES 68 24 is a very popular low power wide view eyepiece.   Many reports compare these favorably with the premium eyepieces.
https://agenaastro.c...scientific.html

 

 

Eyepiece Designs -  This is the one I turn to when I am trying to understand or explain the differences between the various designs.  There are many different designs, Many are named for their original designer, such as Huyghens, Ramsden, Kellner, Plossl, Konig, Erfle, Branden and Nagler.
http://www.chuckhawk...ece_designs.htm

Great feedback--thank you. I was considering building out the Paradigm set myself..though those ES EPs with wider FOV are compelling..



#8 mikel3937

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 10:48 AM

I think you're pretty well covered for now; I would hold off on any extra purchases for the moment.

 

I agree that it would be nice to own an eyepiece that provides a wider field of view -- either a wide-field eyepiece with a focal length around 24 mm or a 32-mm Plossl. But your current 25-mm eyepiece will serve for now.

 

I also agree that you could probably use a shorter eyepiece than 5 mm for planetary observing, though 3.2 mm might be just a bit too short.

Sage advice..it is easy to get carried away buying EPs isn't it! Do you think replacing my stock Celestron 25mm eyepiece with a higher quality piece will be worth it anytime soon? I anticipate using this range of magnification a fair amount..for scanning and such..would an upgrade now be that beneficial to the novice?



#9 mikel3937

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 10:51 AM

It would not be good for Jupiter and Saturn but I would replace the 25mm basic EP with a 24mm Explore Scientific 68 degrees, that would be awesome for the low power observation with your telescope,Things like rich star fields and many DSOs. When I don't observe planets, mine is in the focuser very often, good price, well corrected for F5.

 

I use my ES 24mm it a lot along with my 12mm Xcel LX that you already have.

 

https://explorescien...roducts/68-24mm

The 24mm ES 68 is at the top of my list...I have heard great things!


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#10 SeattleScott

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 11:49 AM

The 3.2 isn’t too much magnification if the scope is cooled and collimated. Although it might be a little much if planets are low or seeing is below average. The challenge is finding a good 3-4mm for under $100. There are some great ones out there but they might cost as much as your scope.

#11 aeajr

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 02:06 PM

Was the caution about the Paradigm 3.2 about too much mag or a concern about the eyepiece?  I went through some of the other discussions aobut Paradigm and don't find any negative reports on this eyepiece.

 

Just curious.

 

While 203X is kinda high on this scope, under good conditions it may be able to reach it on bright objects like planets.   

 

It is well within the 2X aperture guideline.  But my 8" often topped out at 180X under my NYC area sky.  However there were nights when 300X and more could be reached on that 203 mm Dob.

 

This is where a good 2X Barlow can come in handy.  You can use that to test higher mags to see what can be achieved on a regular basis before committing to actual eyepieces. A GSO 2X is about $30.



#12 BPoletti

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 08:17 PM

The 24mm ES 68 is at the top of my list...I have heard great things!

 

The ES 68 degree 24mm is the eyepiece I use to start every viewing session.  It has a crisp, detailed view, snaps into focus, comfortable eye relief, wide field. 

 

Explore Scientific has a lifetime warranty on their eyepieces as long as they are registered with ES.  



#13 PPPPPP42

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 10:22 PM

Use this to compare what you will actually see with any given eyepiece on your scope (I couldn't find several of the ones you have however so you may have to manually enter focal length and FOV):

https://astronomy.to.../field_of_view/

 

I am very firmly in the school of wider is better, not in focal length but in FOV.

If you go wide enough you can often replace two current eyepieces with a single eyepiece that has the higher magnification of one and the wider field of view of the other.

Wide is heavy and expensive and beyond a certain point requires a 2" barrel to mount them.

 

Occasionally I will use the higher numerical focal length of my ES 20mm 100 degree eyepiece to get a brighter view of things (larger exit pupil) like clusters even if they would fit comfortably into my ES 9mm 120 degree though sky glow tends to mess that up (no contrast) and so it really only works best with darker skies.

 

Another huge advantage to having wider FOV is the ease of finding targets. I only use a basic red dot finder on my manual mounted refractor and I can easily find things in even the 5.5mm if I start star hopping around.  Often the view is so wide I can just point the dot at about where the target should be (for dimmer than naked eye targets) and pick it up in the eyepiece somewhere.

 

Price wise I consider eyepieces to be long term investments so if you were looking at ES I would consider the more expensive but still reasonable (unlike my 100's and 120) 82 degree series though unfortunately it stops at 4.7mm.  If you want higher magnification they only have skinny view eyepieces in those (something I hope they address eventually).

If I could have a bucket of crap eyepieces or a very few good ones I know which one would give me better views so start putting the money into quality now instead of down the road.

 

Also when shopping for eyepieces some focal lengths in a series are sometimes better designs than others in the same series.  Brands like Televue tend to be consistently higher quality over a whole series but that's not the price range we are talking about.


Edited by PPPPPP42, 02 August 2020 - 10:28 PM.

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#14 mikel3937

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Posted 03 August 2020 - 07:56 AM

Was the caution about the Paradigm 3.2 about too much mag or a concern about the eyepiece?  I went through some of the other discussions aobut Paradigm and don't find any negative reports on this eyepiece.

 

Just curious.

 

While 203X is kinda high on this scope, under good conditions it may be able to reach it on bright objects like planets.   

 

It is well within the 2X aperture guideline.  But my 8" often topped out at 180X under my NYC area sky.  However there were nights when 300X and more could be reached on that 203 mm Dob.

 

This is where a good 2X Barlow can come in handy.  You can use that to test higher mags to see what can be achieved on a regular basis before committing to actual eyepieces. A GSO 2X is about $30.

It would be mostly for planets! I was concerned if it would provide enough of a better view of say Jupiter or Saturn to be worth the purchase. I was also concerned with how often conditions would permit me going to 200x. I live in Iowa with pretty dark skies a few minutes drive away--maybe I would be able to go to 200x often/relatively easily? 


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#15 aeajr

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Posted 03 August 2020 - 10:58 AM

It would be mostly for planets! I was concerned if it would provide enough of a better view of say Jupiter or Saturn to be worth the purchase. I was also concerned with how often conditions would permit me going to 200x. I live in Iowa with pretty dark skies a few minutes drive away--maybe I would be able to go to 200x often/relatively easily? 

One of the best ways to test high mag is with a Barlow lens.  A simple 2X, 2.5 or 3X  for $30 to $50 will let you explore high mags to see what will work.  If you find you can hit 200X often, with good results, then having an eyepiece at that mag might be well justified.   If, on the other hand, it seems a poor mag for you most of the time, well at least the 2X will let you hit it on those rare occasions when you can.

 

With my XT8 I had a 4.5 that gave me 266X.  But it was so rare I could use it I sold it and let the barlow cover everything above 225X.  However during the passing of Jupiter several years ago I had a series of nights were conditions were spectacular and I was observing Jupiter at 300X every night.  I think I got 4 or 5 sessions like that.   But that was an isolated situation.  180X was often as high as I could go before the image started to break down.  And 225X was only used on really good nights.

 

300X was possible on the moon but poor seeing would pretty much ruin the image. So even on the Moon I rarely went above 225X

 

With the addition of a 12" Dob I found I was hitting 300X fairly often so I added a 4.7X for 323.   Can't use it every night but I could reach this often enough, with the barlow, that it justified the expense.  anything above this is done with the Barlow lens.

 

Below is a list of eyepieces and magnifications for my various scopes.  They are all using the same eyepieces and I use all of the eyepieces some of the time.  But the bolded ones are the ones I use most in each scope.   Keep in mind that I have an array of scopes so I don't use the little ones for high power very often anymore as I use the bigger ones for that.  But when all I had was the 80 mm ETX 80, my first scope, I pushed it to 130-150X on planets quite often using a 3X barlow.   

 

Before I had filled out my eyepiece set I used the Barlow lenses a LOT.  Today the 3X barlow isn't even kept in the eyepiece case.  1.5X is kept there for the 12".  8" has been sold.  2.5X is used in the smaller scopes.  But the 3X got a lot of use at one time.  Glad I had it.  

 

Apertura AD12 12”/305 mm Dobsonian/Newtonian, 1520 mm FL F5 FR

Resolving power -   .4 arc seconds
AA         38 mm/70                    40X and   1.75 degrees FOV   EP 7.6 mm  2”
Meade  20 mm/82                    76X and   1.07 degrees            EP 4.0         2”

ES          14 mm/82                   108X and    .75 degrees             EP 2.8
ES          8.8 mm/82                  172X and    .47 degrees             EP 1.7
ES          6.7 mm/82                  226X and    .36 degrees             EP 1.3
Meade   5.5 mm/82                 276X and   .29 degrees              EP 1.1
ES          4.7 mm/82                 323x and    .25 degrees              EP   .94

ES          8.8+2XB                     344X and    .24 degrees
ES          6.7+2XB                     452X and    .18 degrees
Meade   5.5+2XB                     552X and    .15 degrees
Baader Hyperion 8-24  zoom    63X to 190X and .79 to .35 degrees
Baader Hyperion 8-24+1.5XB   94X to 285X


ETX 80 F5  Goto refractor - 400 mm FL
GSkyer 80 F5, manual refractor - 400 mm FL

Resolving power -   1.5 arc seconds
Celestron 32 mm/50   12.6X and 4 degrees FOV     EP 6.4
Meade     26 mm/52    15.3X and 3.4 degrees        EP 5.2

ES            14 mm/82     28.5X and  2.8 degrees        EP 2.8
ES            8.8 mm/82    45X and    1.8 degrees         EP 1.7
ES            6.7 mm/82    60X and    1.3 degrees         EP 1.3
Meade     5.5 mm/82    73X and    1.1 degrees          EP 1.1
ES 82       4.7 mm/82     85X and      .96 degrees      EP  .94
ES 82       8.8+2XB /82   90X and      .9 degrees
ES 82       6.7+2XB /82 120X             .6 degrees
Meade     5.5+2XB /82  146X             .5 degrees
ES            4.7_2XB/82  170X            .46 degrees
Celestron 8-24 zoom      16.6X to 50X and 2.4 to 1.2 degrees
Celestron 8-24 +2.5XB    41.5 to 125X


SkyScanner 100 F4 manual tabletop Dob Newtonian– 400 mm FL
Resolving power -   1.2 arc Seconds.
Meade        26 mm/52      15.3X and   3.4 degrees        EP 6.5
ES               14 mm/82        28.5X and   2.8 degrees        EP 3.5
ES                 8.8 mm/82     45X and      1.8 degrees        EP 2.2
ES                 6.7 mm/82     60X and      1.3 degrees        EP 1.6
Meade          5.5 mm/82     73X and       1.1 degrees        EP 1.3
ES                 4.7 mm/82     85X and       .96 degrees       EP 1.2
ES                 8.8+2XB /82   90X and       .9 degrees
ES                 6.7+2XB /82  120X             .6 degrees
Meade          5.5+2XB /82  146X             .5 degrees
Celestron 8-24 zoom          16.6X to 50X and 2.4 to 1.2 degrees
Celestron 8-24 +2.5XB        41.5 to 125X


Meade 127 mm Mak  - 1900 mm FL, F15  Mak on ES Twilight 1 Mount. 
Resolving power -  .9 arc seconds.
Sometimes on GoTo and sometimes on manual mount
Celestron   32 mm/50       59X  and  .84 degrees FOV     EP 2.1
Meade         26 mm/52       73X  and  .71 degrees              EP 1.7
ES              14 mm/82      135X and     .6 degrees              EP  .93
ES                8.8 mm/82    215X and     .38X degrees          EP  .58
ES                6.7 mm/82    283X and     .28 degrees            EP  .44
Celestron    8-24 zoom    79X to 237X and .5 to .25 degrees
Baader        8-24 Zoom     79X to 237X and .6 to .28 degrees


Meade LX200 14”/357 mm  3556 FL  F10  Advance Coma Free SCT  
Resolving power –  .3 arc seconds
Agena Astro    38 mm/70              93.5X and .74 degrees FOV    EP 3.8 mm    2”
Meade              20 mm/82             177X and   .46 degrees            EP 2.0 mm   2”

ES                    14 mm/82              254X and   .32 degrees             EP 1.4 mm
Meade              20 mm/82 2XB      354X and   .23 degrees             EP 1    mm
ES                     8.8 mm/82           404X and    .2 degrees               EP   .9
ES                     6.7 mm/82           530X and    .15 degrees             EP   .7
Baader Zoom    8-24 zoom           148X to 444X and .33 to .15 degrees


Orion XT8i – 8”/203 mm manual Dob Newtonian, 1200 mm FL F5.9
Resolving power -  .6 arc Seconds
AA  70            38 mm                31.5 and    2.2 degrees  FOV   2”
Meade 82      20 mm                60X  and  1.37 degrees   2”          

ES 82             8.8 mm              136X and    .6 degrees         
ES 82             6.7 mm              179X and    .45 degrees         
Meade 82      5.5 mm              218X and   .37 degrees 
ES 82             8.8+2XB             272X and    .3 degrees
ES 82             6.7+2XB             358X and    .22 degrees
Meade 82      5.5+2XB            436X and    .18 degrees
Baader Hyperion 8-24  zoom    50X to 150X
Baader Hyperion 8-24+1.5XB  75X to 225X (My most used 1.25” eyepiece in this scope)


Edited by aeajr, 03 August 2020 - 12:29 PM.


#16 rhetfield

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Posted 03 August 2020 - 12:22 PM

I would get a 2x barlow that the element can be removed from and added to an eyepiece to make 1,5x.  That will go with the 10 to make a 7.5, with the 5 to make a 3.3, and with the 12 to make a 6.

 

I would also look into the William Optics Swan 20mm 70 deg as a wide angle option.

 

Go to https://astronomy.to.../field_of_view/ to see what different combinations look like.  On wide angle, note that your scope will vignette on any wide angle TFOV larger than 2.4 degrees.




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