Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Advice with choosing eyepieces and filters

  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#1 Pcbessa

Pcbessa

    Messenger

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 452
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2019
  • Loc: Forres, NE Scotland, UK

Posted 03 August 2020 - 12:59 PM

Hello, I need some feedback about my choices for a wideangle eyepiece, a planetary eyepiece, a filter for Mars, and a hydrogen beta filter

 

1) The 2" widefield eyepiece for seeing large nebula

My telescope is a fast (f4.7) 10" Dob, an Orion XT10.

 

My main choice for my first widefield eyepiece is a 2" ES68 34mm Maxvision.

This would allow me about 2 degree field (which is my wish) at an exit pupil 7mm.

I think the Maxvision has quite good quality for a fast scope and it is somewhat low prices, at around £120.

Please note that this is not the standard ES68 34mm but it's another version which is cheaper.

 

Do you guys think the Maxvision is good enough for a fast scope like mine?

 

The ideal one would be a ES82 30mm but that is much more pricey, at 2.5X the price.

I also found the Skywatcher Panaview 32mm eyepiece interesting, as well as the OVL Aero68 35mm. They are cheaper and provide a similar wide-field but I guess their images would show blurred stars, as compared to the Maxvision. Am I correct with this comparison?

 

 

2) The hydrogen beta filter I want to buy, is a 2" filter to be used with the eyepiece chosen above.

I found two cheap priced H-beta filters, the OVL 2" and the Explore Scientific 2". They cost significantly less than an Astronomik (the OVL costs £40,the ES costs £90 and the Astronomik costs around £200). I will use this filter mainly to see the Horsehead, the Cone, Barnards Loop, IC1318 in Cygnus, the Cocoon, the California, and a few faint sharpless nebula. Because I do not expect to use that often as my UHC Astronomik filter, I was opting for a cheaper H beta filter.

 

Does anyone here has experience with using the OVL h-beta filter or the ES H-beta filter?

 

 

3) Mars is coming into opposition, so I need to get an orange 1.25" filter (and maybe a blue one also). Antares offers a 4 filter set for just £40 (and it includes both of them). My other option is for ES orange filter, which is also cheap.

 

 

4) At last I need a planetary eyepiece. At the moment I just have the original Plossl 25mm and 12.5mm eyepieces that came with the Dob (that give me 48x and 96x). So I have been using Barlows on them (192x or 288x) for observing Jupiter, Saturn and Mars.

 

An ideal choice would be a Meade 5.5 UWA (for 218x) and despite the acceptable price (at £140) it makes my total cost of this purchase go quite high. Also that eyepiece wouldn't be barlowed (and 218x is less power on Saturn and Mars than my original 288x) so I was wondering if I wouldn't be better with a 6.7 or a 8.8mm eyepiece (which would give me 180x and 360x with the 6.7mm, and 140x and 280x with the 8.8mm). What is good also about these choices is that it provides a much better main eyepiece for observing galaxies, rather than my poor quality 12.5mm Plossl.

 

Not sure which one is best between the 6.7mm and the 8.8mm. I was thinking choosing from the ES82 range (which I know it has good quality) or other ranges like the OVL82 UWA Nirvana range, or the Vixen SLV range, or I could stick with an ES62 9mm or with even a Televue Plossl 8mm. All of these cost about £100 per eyepiece.

 

I could also stick with very low price eyepieces (£30 per eyepiece), that may actually be good enough, such as the Vixen NPL range (Plossl eyepieces), the Meade 4000 Super Plossl eyepieces. Any comments?

 

I am trying to fit these 4 choices in a budget of £200. Maybe I am choosing wrongly by sacrificing the quality of the planetary eyepiece rather than the wide-field eyepiece for nebula (maybe I should choose a cheaper wide-field eyepiece and invest on a better 8.8mm eyepiece). The other thing I am sacrificing a bit the quality is the hydrogen beta filter.


Edited by Pcbessa, 03 August 2020 - 01:04 PM.


#2 havasman

havasman

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11,637
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2013
  • Loc: Dallas, Texas

Posted 03 August 2020 - 01:41 PM

I have said for years that the ES82 30mm should just be packaged with the XT10 series scopes. That's based on 1st-hand experience with the pair. They're really well matched in quality and the resulting widefield performance is high quality. Take your time and monitor the secondary market where they pop up pretty regularly to minimize your cost.

 

I still use a Thousand Oaks H-Beta which I chose as a lower cost option but still with a good narrowband profile.

 

The Meade 5.5mm has a great reputation if you have the conditions that will support that magnification.

 

I think sacrificing the quality of your widefield choice is basically an unrecoverable error.



#3 Pcbessa

Pcbessa

    Messenger

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 452
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2019
  • Loc: Forres, NE Scotland, UK

Posted 03 August 2020 - 05:50 PM

Thanks,

 

I have been following the second hand market but so far I have failed to find a ES82 30 at a good price. So I have been thinking going for the ES68 Maxvision 34mm as a wide field eyepiece. Do you think it has enough sharpness and good quality for my f4.7 scope? I would like to stay around £100 for this eyepiece, does not need to be top quality.

 

Other choices include the Skywatcher Aero68 35mm, and the William Optics 72 33mm.

 

About the hydrogen beta filter. I have been looking for something under £100. The Thousand Oaks filter is closer to £200. I will be using it just for a few nebula, so I do not mind going cheap with it.

 

For the 8mm or 6mm eyepieces, I am looking for something around £50. I think a 5.5mm is a bit too much power, I would like to stay at 150x-300x (with a 2x Barlow), so a 8mm or 8.8mm eyepiece would be ideal. I prefer sharpness of image rather than a wide angle. Any recommendations?


Edited by Pcbessa, 03 August 2020 - 05:51 PM.


#4 Voyager 3

Voyager 3

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 440
  • Joined: 20 Jul 2020
  • Loc: Near Bangalore, India

Posted 04 August 2020 - 08:12 AM

H-beta : I think based on your eyepiece choices you will be using 2 inch eyepieces ... So you are going to use 2inch filters ... And 2 inch filters are HARD to find new under 100GBP .
2 inch eyepiece : I think u will c a bit of coma if you are not going to use a cc in your scope .
High power eyepiece: I feel that u can go a bit higher power than the 8.8 . Something like 7mm nirvana?
Also I'm a newbie so take my advice as my 0.02$

Edited by Voyager 3, 04 August 2020 - 08:13 AM.


#5 Voyager 3

Voyager 3

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 440
  • Joined: 20 Jul 2020
  • Loc: Near Bangalore, India

Posted 04 August 2020 - 08:17 AM

Do you have a UHC or O-III filter ? If not first get one of those because H-beta can only be used on very few nebulaes that are best seen from dark sites . So if you are living in an urban environment and want to see popular targets (obviously nebulas) go with either a UHC or O-III.

Edited by Voyager 3, 04 August 2020 - 08:18 AM.

  • BlueMoon likes this

#6 BlueMoon

BlueMoon

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 734
  • Joined: 14 Jun 2007
  • Loc: South Central Idaho, USA

Posted 04 August 2020 - 09:13 AM

I agree with others, get a good UHC to start with. My recommendation is the Lumicon UHC Gen 3. Excellent filter for nebulae IMO. I've been using it on the North American and others in Cygnus and very happy with the performance in my 100ED.

 

Cheers.


  • Procyon and Voyager 3 like this

#7 BillP

BillP

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 20,505
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Spotsylvania, VA

Posted 04 August 2020 - 09:46 AM

3) Mars is coming into opposition, so I need to get an orange 1.25" filter (and maybe a blue one also). Antares offers a 4 filter set for just £40 (and it includes both of them). My other option is for ES orange filter, which is also cheap.

On Mars I found the orange and red filters of little use. 

 

The #12 Yellow did darken the maria nicely to bring them out more. 

 

The #30 Magenta darkened maria as well but lost edge detail on them.  It also brightened the polar caps, limb haze making them more distinctly visible.

 

The #58 brought out the seasonal Lowell Bands around the polar caps very nicely.

 

But frankly, the Baader Contrast Booster I found more benefitial on Mars than anything else.  So I keep that and the #58 for Mars as primary filters. 

 

And if you want to go inexpensive, then the Rosco #9 Pale Amber Gold get filter does as well on Mars as the Contrast Booster.  You will need to take a filter out of its existing 1.25" or 2" housing though and cut the gel filter with scissors to fit.  The gel filters are delicate, but a 4 square foot sheet is only $7 US!  https://www.adorama....urce=adl-gbase

 

Here are my test notes on the R9 on Mars -- Unexpectedly, this filter probably tied with the Contrast Booster for overall best single filter of all the other filters tested!  Maria were darkened nicely (not quite as dark as the Contrast Booster), polar cap and limb haze brightened to show very prominently, color shift was such that all the colors on Mars really looked great.  Excellent performer!

 

Note - all my tests are with a 4" Apo at about a 0.5mm exit pupil.


Edited by BillP, 04 August 2020 - 09:52 AM.

  • BlueMoon, Procyon and BFaucett like this

#8 MrJones

MrJones

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,657
  • Joined: 15 Sep 2010
  • Loc: Indiana

Posted 04 August 2020 - 10:08 AM

1) I have the ES68 34mm and it's one of my most used eyepieces. I keep trying to replace it and have failed. It's well enough corrected to be pretty good in my f/4.9 Z12 without a coma corrector. As well as being cheaper than the ES82 30mm it's also significantly lighter. Hard not to recommend.

 

2) There's a little information on the cheaper H-beta filters here. If you really want one I think I'd go for an Orion. The ES spectra have been all over the place and mostly bad. The OVL one looks a lot like other cheap ones that are barely functional. You can do better IMO.

 

4) Do you wear glasses? If you REALLY want an affordable planetary EP for that scope and don't mind the eye relief, the BCO 6mm should be an option and gives a perfect 200x in that scope. My first one was mediocre but the second one I tried and have kept is terrific.



#9 Starman1

Starman1

    Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 47,769
  • Joined: 23 Jun 2003
  • Loc: Los Angeles

Posted 04 August 2020 - 12:14 PM

H-ß filters compared and lab tested:

Astronomik: 12nm bandwidth 91.7% transmission

ES: 22nm bandwidth, 91.4% transmission

Lumicon 2009: 9nm bandwidth, 92.1% transmission

TeleVue (new): 10nm bandwidth, 97.6% transmission

Orion: 12nm bandwidth, 95.4% transmission

 

The ES filter is WAY too broad to be effective. and it performed poorly in the field.

The OVL site shows a sample graph that shows very low transmission at the necessary line.

 

But, in reality, an H-ß filter should be the 3rd or even 4th nebula filter you purchase behind a good narrowband (UHC-type), an O-III line filter, and a decent broadband.

See Voyager 3's comment in post #5.

 

Where planetary filters are concerned, trust BillP's comments.  He is a consummate planetary observer.

And skip filter sets--they never have the right filters in the kit.


  • BlueMoon, GeneT and BFaucett like this

#10 Pcbessa

Pcbessa

    Messenger

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 452
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2019
  • Loc: Forres, NE Scotland, UK

Posted 04 August 2020 - 02:05 PM

Much appreciation for your comments. Always welcomed.

 

OIII Filters: I forgot to say that I own an UHC 1.25" filter from Astronomik. With it, and because I live in dark skies, I have logged circa 80 nebula (many were faint obscure sharpless nebula and others were a bit better known but still faint like the Elephant Trunk, Heart and Soul, the Seagull, etc).

 

This is why I have been excited about trying now a H-beta filter( combined with a 2" wide-angle eyepiece) for those large and faint hydrogen nebula.  

 

Yes, I agree, I should buy now an OIII filter to get more contrasty views of some nebula.

- There is a white-brand cheap one here, costing only £60 for a 2" OIII filter.

- The ES OIII 2" filter costs £82, still an acceptable price, half of that from Astronomik.

And yes, they aren't as narrow as the better OIII filters, so images would be brighter.

Do you have band and transmission data for these, Starman?

 

Hydrogen beta filter: Orion h-beta 2" costs £120-£140 in the UK. That's a fair price and a narrower band than the ES. Thanks for the suggestionMrJones, and thanks for data on transmission, Starman.

 

Wide angle eyepiece: the ES Maxvision 34mm is unfortunately out of stock, and probably I do not think it will be easier to find one anytime soon. My choices remain these:

-ES68 34mm costs £200 and is of course a very good choice, albeit a bit pricey (but less than the ES82 30mm).

- Skywatcher Aero68 SWA 35mm, which costs half of the price, at £99. Could performance be acceptable? 

- How about the Televue Plossl 40mm? Its also a cheap one, but the eye pupil is 8.4mm.

 

Planetary eyepiece: I have a long list of options, all relatively cheap. I do not ear glasses. I would like to have high quality sharp views of the planets. And also of galaxies (when watching those faint Abell clusters).

 

Anything between 8mm and 10mm seems perfect for fainter galaxies, and when Barlowed, gives good power for planets. My options include:

- Skywatcher UWA 9mm 58degree £39

- Vixen NPL series 8mm 50degree £45 

- OVL Nirvana 7mm 82degree £70

- OVL Hyperflex zoom £85

- Televue Plossl 8mm 50degree £90 (not sure about eye relief)

- Vixen SLV series 9mm 50degree £100 (sacrificing field of view for quality)

- Celestron luminos 7 or 10mm 82degree £110

- ES82 8.8mm£120

- Takahashi Ortho 9mm 44degree £135 (sacrificing field of view for quality)

 

Because Jupiter, Saturn and Mars are out there, I feel I should buy the planetary eyepiece as soon as possible.

 

Any other recommendations for Mars filters?


Edited by Pcbessa, 04 August 2020 - 02:16 PM.


#11 Starman1

Starman1

    Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 47,769
  • Joined: 23 Jun 2003
  • Loc: Los Angeles

Posted 04 August 2020 - 02:13 PM

The comments make that out to be a SkyWatcher O-III, which has about a 15nm bandwidth, not too bad for a low-priced filter.

The Orion H-ß is an unusually good filter at its price point.

Skip the 40° 40mm TeleVue Plössl.  It's too narrow, even if you could use 40mm.

Look at the 30mm APM UFF eyepiece or the Altair equivalent.  Much better than the price indicates.

On the other end, I think you'd like the 7mm OVL Nirvana.  It's sold under many labels but it's about the same as the ES equivalent.



#12 gnowellsct

gnowellsct

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 18,190
  • Joined: 24 Jun 2009

Posted 04 August 2020 - 02:25 PM

As a general point optimizing for planet viewing makes sense for the next few months, but not for the medium and long term.  Planets are only around half the year (roughly) and they are only high enough to view half the time that they are seasonally available.  So a high power planet eyepiece should be lowest priority unless you absolutely gotta have it for this season.

 

The more generally useful eyepiece in a 10" dob is the one that gives you a good wide field view.  Look for 2" format in the 30mm range.

 

The best planet filter I've used on Mars (& Jupiter) is the Baader neodymium.  I don't know if that is the same one as the "contrast booster" which Bill P recommends.

 

Greg N



#13 Starman1

Starman1

    Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 47,769
  • Joined: 23 Jun 2003
  • Loc: Los Angeles

Posted 04 August 2020 - 02:37 PM

As a general point optimizing for planet viewing makes sense for the next few months, but not for the medium and long term.  Planets are only around half the year (roughly) and they are only high enough to view half the time that they are seasonally available.  So a high power planet eyepiece should be lowest priority unless you absolutely gotta have it for this season.

 

The more generally useful eyepiece in a 10" dob is the one that gives you a good wide field view.  Look for 2" format in the 30mm range.

 

The best planet filter I've used on Mars (& Jupiter) is the Baader neodymium.  I don't know if that is the same one as the "contrast booster" which Bill P recommends.

 

Greg N

Baader uses neodymium-doped glass in several filters.

The two most appropriate for planetary viewing are the Moon & Sky Glow filter, which has no blue or violet cut, and the Contrast Booster, which adds a violet/deep blue cutoff to act as a minus violet filter in doublet refractors.

I prefer the M&SG for Jupiter, though I think Bill Paolini preferred the CB.  The CB is awesome on Mars, though, giving a very natural look and great contrast for details.

On Saturn, it's the CB for the disc, hands-down, but the M&SG also works great on the rings without yellowing them.



#14 Pcbessa

Pcbessa

    Messenger

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 452
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2019
  • Loc: Forres, NE Scotland, UK

Posted 04 August 2020 - 03:14 PM

Planetary filter:

 

I am unsure about the Baader filter:

The Contrast Booster: https://www.firstlig...ter-filter.html

Or the Neodymium Filter: https://www.firstlig...ium-filter.html

 

Both cost about the same and seem to fit the same purpose, but they are clearly different filters.

And do these filters provide still sharp images at 300x (exit pupils 0.8-1mm)?

And am I going to see a significant difference between a filtered planet and unfiltered planet, akin to the use of a UHC or OIII on nebula like the Veil?

 

Planetary eyepiece:

 

The OVL82 Nirvana 7mm  provides me with 170x and 340x (with a 2x Barlow).

Clearly 170x is a bit low on planets (for my 10" Dob) but 340x is a bit on the high side.

 

Usually I observed Saturn at 300x, by Barlowing 3x my 12.5mm Plossl.

Maybe 340x is still acceptable, as compared to 300x.

 

For galaxies (which I observe a lot), I usually use 100x (with my 12.5mm Plossl) and sometimes at 200x if they are very faint. So the 170x would be heaven.

 

And now I am comparing with the Skywatcher Hyperflex 7.2mm-21.5mm Zoom Eyepiece, which costs the same. But my priority is a top quality image so that I can have crystal clear images of planets and fainter galaxies.

 

 

Wideangle eyepiece

Thanks for your recommendation about the APM UFF 30mm. The price looks good. Does it perform well at f4.7?

Do you know how is the quality of the Aero ED SWA 2" 30mm and 35mm?


Edited by Pcbessa, 04 August 2020 - 03:30 PM.


#15 AstroVPK

AstroVPK

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 426
  • Joined: 12 May 2019
  • Loc: Sunnyvale, CA

Posted 04 August 2020 - 03:29 PM

Planetary filter:

I am unsure about the Baader filter:
The Contrast Booster: https://www.firstlig...ter-filter.html
Or the Neodymium Filter: https://www.firstlig...ium-filter.html

Both cost about the same and seem to fit the same purpose, but they are clearly different filters.
And do these filters provide still sharp images at 300x (exit pupils 0.8-1mm)?

Planetary eyepiece:

The OVL82 Nirvana 7mm provides me with 170x and 340x (with a 2x Barlow).
Clearly 170x is a bit low on planets (for my 10" Dob) but 340x is a bit on the high side.

Usually I observed Saturn at 300x, by Barlowing 3x my 12.5mm Plossl.
Maybe 340x is still acceptable, as compared to 300x.

For galaxies (which I observe a lot), I usually use 100x (with my 12.5mm Plossl) and sometimes at 200x if they are very faint. So the 170x would be heaven.

And now I am comparing with the Skywatcher Hyperflex 7.2mm-21.5mm Zoom Eyepiece, which costs the same. But my priority is a top quality image so that I can have crystal clear images of planets and fainter galaxies.


Wideangle eyepiece
Thanks for your recommendation about the APM UFF 30mm. The price looks good. Does it perform well at f4.7?
Do you know how is the quality of the Aero ED SWA 2" 30mm and 35mm?

The Baader filters are very well made and although I can't attest to the quality with an actual measurements, I've used them a couple of times now (just got them both a few days ago from Starman1) at 255X and 324X without seeing any degradation in observable detail on Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn. I found that, like Starman1, the MSG filter is slightly better on Jupiter while the CB is amazing on Mars. I'll be using them at 350X over the next few nights and I'll post on here if I notice anything going wrong with them.

Edited by AstroVPK, 04 August 2020 - 03:31 PM.


#16 Starman1

Starman1

    Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 47,769
  • Joined: 23 Jun 2003
  • Loc: Los Angeles

Posted 04 August 2020 - 03:35 PM

Planetary filter:

 

I am unsure about the Baader filter:

The Contrast Booster: https://www.firstlig...ter-filter.html

Or the Neodymium Filter: https://www.firstlig...ium-filter.html

 

Both cost about the same and seem to fit the same purpose, but they are clearly different filters.

And do these filters provide still sharp images at 300x (exit pupils 0.8-1mm)?

 

IF YOU CAN ONLY AFFORD ONE, GET THE CONTRAST BOOSTER.

 

Planetary eyepiece:

 

The OVL82 Nirvana 7mm  provides me with 170x and 340x (with a 2x Barlow).

Clearly 170x is a bit low on planets (for my 10" Dob) but 340x is a bit on the high side.

 

Usually I observed Saturn at 300x, by Barlowing 3x my 12.5mm Plossl.

Maybe 340x is still acceptable, as compared to 300x.

 

For galaxies (which I observe a lot), I usually use 100x (with my 12.5mm Plossl) and sometimes at 200x if they are very faint. So the 170x would be heaven.

 

ANYWHERE IN THE 130X-170X RANGE WOULD BE EXCELLENT.

 

And now I am comparing with the Skywatcher Hyperflex 7.2mm-21.5mm Zoom Eyepiece, which costs the same. But my priority is a top quality image so that I can have crystal clear images of planets and fainter galaxies.

 

 

Wideangle eyepiece

Thanks for your recommendation about the APM UFF 30mm. The price looks good. Does it perform well at f4.7?

 

YES.

 

Do you know how is the quality of the Aero ED SWA 2" 30mm and 35mm?

 

SAME AS SKYWATCHER AERO ED AND TELESCOPE SERVICE UFL.  I HAVE HAD NO EXPERIENCE WITH THEM.



#17 MrJones

MrJones

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,657
  • Joined: 15 Sep 2010
  • Loc: Indiana

Posted 04 August 2020 - 04:16 PM

Planetary filter:

 

Don't forget there are are some cheap Neodymium glass filters that perform pretty much the same as the Baaders for much less. They lack the UV/IR coatings. I have the Svbony that cost $14 and they are even cheaper now. I also have the Baader Contrast Booster and the main difference is a slight violet tint with the Svbony. Look for this spectrum to confirm they are the Neodymium filters.

https://www.svbony.c...29955903617.jpg

 

Hydrogen beta filter:

 

The OVL kind of looks like the Castell ones formerly sold in UK/Europe. If they are really 70% transmission though that's not good. Anyway the only cheaper H-beta that I've used that was ok was an Orion.

 

Planetary eyepiece:

 

If you want 7mm instead of 6mm you could consider the Orion E-Series 7-21mm zoom that is $60 here with the Svbony version $50. It's a surprisingly good performer for the price and the 7mm end is pretty good. There are a couple reports on it here.

 

Wideangle eyepiece:

 

Do you know how is the quality of the Aero ED SWA 2" 30mm and 35mm?

 

I've had both of these. They were terrible at f/4.9.



#18 Pcbessa

Pcbessa

    Messenger

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 452
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2019
  • Loc: Forres, NE Scotland, UK

Posted 04 August 2020 - 07:19 PM

So far my basket is with these options:

- APM UFF 30mm £180 as wide-angle 2" eyepiece. I think I made my mind on it.

- OIII filter 2" from OVL £60

- H-beta filter 2" from Orion £130. 

- Baader Contrast Booster as planetary filter £60 (unsure if I should really get this for Mars contrast). And isn't the Svbony alternative just a UHC filter?

 

- Planetary eyepiece: this is where I am undecided. Up to now I only have the two original Plossl 25mm and 12.5mm that came with the scope.

 

I have 3 options for how to solve this problem and have also a good planetary eyepiece:

- Option 1: I get for £70 a OVL Nirvana 7mm for 170-340x (I am assuming it has quality comparable to the ES82 6.7mm) but then I need to buy also a 16mm eyepiece, because I am also lacking a good mid-range eyepiece (for 75-150x range). This one could be a Vixen NPL 15mm for £40 or another OVL Nirvana 15mm for £80, which would replace my poor quality 12.5mm Plossl.

- Option 2: I get the OVL 7-21mm zoom eyepiece for £80 (or even better the Orion 7-21mm zoom eyepiece for £60 only) and these cover all power between 60x until 340x (with a 2x Barlow), but then I am sacrificing the wider fields and the top quality for planetary observation

- I get just the ES82 8.8mm for £130 and that provides me with a better range of 130x, 260x (and 390x with a 3x Barlow)

 

Most likely I think I will choose the two OVL Nirvana eyepieces, but I don't see many reviews on them. Are they good on fast scopes and are their images crisp enough for planetary observation? Or I choose the ES82 8.8 as my only next eyepiece.


Edited by Pcbessa, 04 August 2020 - 07:28 PM.


#19 Pcbessa

Pcbessa

    Messenger

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 452
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2019
  • Loc: Forres, NE Scotland, UK

Posted 05 August 2020 - 06:26 AM

The long search for eyepieces continues! I hope to get decided today and order them!

 

Mid-range and planetary eyepiece

I am looking for some cheaper alternatives to the ES82 series in the range 8.8-10mm.

 

The OVL Nirvana series would have been great for the price but it is only available in 7mm (170x/340x which does not hit the sweet spot for planets at 240-300x).

 

I think a 8.8-10mm 82degrees would be perfect, because with it I could serve two purposes:

- Use it as a mid-range eyepiece, at 120-135x (replacing my poor 10mm Plossl) for DSO

- Use it, barlowed, for top quality planetary observation, for reaching 240-270x

 

The AFM UFF 10mm, WO Swan 9mm, and the Meade 5000 HD60 9mm would be great options at cheaper prices but have much less wide fields. Would they perform well enough giving sharp images? I wonder if these eyepieces, as well as the ES82 8.8 are not that good for sharp planetary observation, because of the number of lens involved (especially with a Barlow involved).

 

So I am wondering are there other good quality and slightly cheaper alternatives to the ES82 8.8mm?

 

Wide-field low power eyepiece

I think I will postpone buying the APM UFF 30mm until I save some more.

In the meantime I could buy a cheap 35mm eyepiece just to see what it feels and to use it as finder eyepiece.

I could pay a bit for a Panaview 32mm or an Aero68 30mm or a Bresser 32mm or a ES70 30mm (all around £90). Or I could go very cheap Vixen Super Plossl 40mm or a Meade 4000 Super Plossl  40mm or a Celestron Omni 40mm (all around £40)



#20 Pcbessa

Pcbessa

    Messenger

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 452
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2019
  • Loc: Forres, NE Scotland, UK

Posted 20 September 2020 - 05:57 PM

In the end I ordered:

- OVL Nirvana 7mm (for DSO and planetary observations). Mars is waiting!

- Aero 35mm (as a cheap wideangle - if I don't like it I can always sell it and go for the APM UFF 30mm) 

- OVL OIII 2" filter (I can always sell it later and go for a better one) I also only have a UHC 1.25" so I guess I am making a few beginner mistakes along the way..

 

I also need to get the H beta 2" one of these days...

The trouble with the Orion is that it's only available in the US at the moment. I might consider buying it, but with the import tax, I might look for another brand.

 

I should report on my first light on all of these, in the next few days.


Edited by Pcbessa, 20 September 2020 - 06:00 PM.


#21 Starman1

Starman1

    Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 47,769
  • Joined: 23 Jun 2003
  • Loc: Los Angeles

Posted 20 September 2020 - 06:53 PM

If the graph with the filter on the OVL site is actual, then the only thing less than top end about the filter is its lower transmission at the 495.9 and 500.7nm O-III lines.

Otherwise, bandwidth looks good.

What I'm afraid of is that the quite pointed response curve may vary from filter to filter enough to really cut one of the O-III lines by a large %.

It will be interesting to hear your remarks.


Edited by Starman1, 20 September 2020 - 06:53 PM.


#22 Pcbessa

Pcbessa

    Messenger

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 452
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2019
  • Loc: Forres, NE Scotland, UK

Posted 23 September 2020 - 07:55 PM

I had the first light with these eyepieces and filter.

 

The Aero 35mm is soberb as a 2" eyepiece for a wide field. Quite sharp views and now I get my nebula, such as North America or the Veil, framed in a much wider field, as compared to the 25mm Plossl that came with the scope. It's also lightweight and nothing to complain about it. I rate it as 9 out of 10.

 

The Nirvana 7mm is also quite a good eyepiece. I tested in some faint targets (such as the faint mag 16 stars in NGC206 in M31) and it seems to allow me about 0.5 magnitudes more than a comparable Plossl. I saw some globular clusters in M31 in a easier way (so the eyepiece goes deeper). It gave also a fantastic view with Mars, with sharp details at 357x, when Barlowed. That's a very good sign. With galaxies I did not noticed a big difference, but the views were fine. Brighter galaxies like M33 looked better but when I tested in a fainter Abell cluster, I did not noticed much difference (maybe I need to wait to a darker night). NGC891 in Andromeda also looked similar, with no improvement compared to a Plossl. Of course I do not own Explore Scientific or Televue eyepieces to compare with. But for the price, it serves its purpose. I rate it as a 7 out of 10.

 

To the OVL 2" OIII filter I definitively give a negative review. I test it in the Veil as first target, and guess what, I have more brightness, contrast and darker field (and a little better view), with my Astronymik UHC filter than with the OVL OIII filter. I tested in other nebula, and all looked better in the UHC filter. Conclusion, the OVL filter lets pass too much light, and the field is not darkened enough. I will try to sell it if I cannot return it to supplier. I rate it as 2 out of 10.




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics