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Eyepiece advice requested for 60mm F10 scope

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#1 rbish237

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 07:36 AM

I am mostly an imager, and do very little visual other than quick views with binoculars.  But last night I did a quick setup of my small mount and Tak FS-60Q and really enjoyed the views of Jupiter, Saturn, and the moon.  I used the 10mm Celestron Luminos eyepiece that I have, and didn't even bother turning on tracking on the mount - just used the manual fine adjustments to keep things in view.  Little scope did great - could clearly see bands/moons for Jupiter, ring of Saturn.  No camera, computer or batteries - was nice.  Who knew :)  

 

This made me realize that I haven't thought much about eyepieces since I went down the imaging rabbit hole years ago, and that for times like last night i probably should have a couple of nice eyepieces on hand that make the most of the capabilities of the scope.  Need 1.25", reasonably lightweight (no hand grenades), and would like to keep budget for each <$400 (willing to pay up to that if the views are worth it, but very happy to spend less, and prefer "buy once buy right").  Will mostly be used on the FS-60Q, but might occasionally re-purpose my TSA-102 for visual as well.  Would want sufficient eye relief for comfortable viewing for all (glasses, no glasses).   

 

I was thinking 2 eyepieces would probably suffice (but open to feedback):

 

1.  Something in the 20mm range for wider-field viewing - looks like the Televue Panoptic gets pretty good marks in this range, but very open to recommendations

 

2.  Something to give the best contrast lunar and planetary views at the high end of magnification my little scope can comfortably handle.  My usual seeing conditions aren't great.  Thinking 100x is maybe a good range to aim for, so maybe 6mm but maybe too small exit pupil?

 

Any recommendations/guidance much appreciated!       



#2 russell23

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 08:54 AM

I would look at the 18.2mm TV DeLite.  It would give you 33x and almost 2.0 deg TFOV.   The 18.2mm DeLite has been excellent in 60mm f/6, 72mm f/6 and 80mm f/7 APOs so it should be just fine in your 60mm f/10 as well.

 

For the higher magnification I found the 3.4mm Vixen HR was a little dim (108x) with a 60mm f/6 APO for planetary observations.   You might look at a 7mm DeLite (86x).

 

I can't think of any specific light weight 6mm eyepieces with long eye relief.  The 6mm Delos is much heavier than the DeLite.   Maybe the Vixen SLV, but I have never used any eyepieces from that line.   There is also the BST UWA planetary which comes in a 6mm FL. 



#3 Simcal

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 09:15 AM

Delites get very good reviews here, as do the Tak LEs.  Light weight and compact.  All are parfocal (group b, same as most Naglers, Delos and Plossls).  All weigh about the same.  62° AFOV.  20mm ER.  High quality at a very reasonable price used. Very good at cutting stray light with the adjustable barrel.  I went down to 7mm.

 

Then for the high mags I found a nice used Nagler zoom. 50° AFOV.   10mm ER.  Doesn't get used much, but have it just in case.  More pricey, but 4 eyepieces in one.  Nice to be able to leave it in and click up/down a power as seeing changes. About the same weight and size as the Delites. Close, but not parfocal.  I realize a multi-tool is never as good as a dedicated one, but not much compromise.

 

I use these with my FOA-60Q.  A nice tidy package.  No hassles with rebalancing or adapters.  It just works.



#4 lee14

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 09:22 AM

There's a very nice 6mm orthoscopic for sale here from a very reliable seller. (not me) Orthos have a narrower FOV, but they're excellent for planetary and lunar viewing where this is unimportant.  https://www.cloudyni...-ortho-6mm-125/  

 

Lee



#5 kklei940

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 09:23 AM

I was going to suggest the DeLites as well. I use my 18.2mm in my son's 60mm f/11.7 Meade refractor and it works great! You could pick up a 5 or 7 for your higher power. You could also consider a used Radian (there's one for sale in the classifieds right now for $140). That would give you exactly 100X. It's light, has great eye relief and a 60 degree FOV as well. I've used that eyepiece and liked it very much.


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#6 howardcano

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 10:17 AM

DeLites would be an excellent choice.  The 18mm and 9/11mm would do the trick, or just the 18mm with a 2x Barlow if you want to save money for something else.

 

Also, get a decent 32mm Plossl to max out field and exit pupil.  There are plenty of choices here with reasonable prices.


Edited by howardcano, 05 August 2020 - 10:17 AM.

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#7 rkelley8493

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 11:30 AM

For a 20-something mm eyepiece, you can't go wrong with the 24 Panoptic, but idk how they are on eye relief. The 17.5 Morpheus is an excellent performer with very immersive views, long eye relief & wide FOV, and it's relatively small & lightweight. 

At 10mm & under, the Pentax XW's give very bright, high contrast views of the moon & planets. They are smaller & lighter than the Delos' at similar focal lengths, but they are larger than the DeLite's. 



#8 rbish237

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 06:42 PM

Thanks all!  Your advice much appreciated.

 

Looking now at the 18.2mm DeLite, which seems to be a consensus favorite.   Looks like one sold recently on a-mart (to someone else named Robert as well - just my luck). 

 

Think I would rather get the other eyepiece from a different manufacturer than I get the first one from, to get a feel for the differences and maybe a better idea of what I like. Probably splitting hairs at this point, but anything besides price to recommend between: 

   - Pentax XW 7mm

   - Morpheus 6.5mm

   - Something from Tak in the 6-8mm range (perhaps an ED LE, or an Abbe).  Not a lot of these in stock, seemingly. 

 

Like the idea of adding a 30mm at some point as well, but can wait on that one. 



#9 Tropobob

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 07:15 PM

...

 

Think I would rather get the other eyepiece from a different manufacturer than I get the first one from, to get a feel for the differences and maybe a better idea of what I like. Probably splitting hairs at this point, but anything besides price to recommend between: 

   - Pentax XW 7mm

   - Morpheus 6.5mm

   - Something from Tak in the 6-8mm range (perhaps an ED LE, or an Abbe).  Not a lot of these in stock, seemingly. 

 

Like the idea of adding a 30mm at some point as well, but can wait on that one. 

 

 

If U go for the Tak EPs, then a Vixen 30mm EP is parfocal with these and is a good EP in its own right.  I owned a Tak 30mm LE EP, but sold it because the Vixen is as good IMO and nice and light, so no re-balancing when changing EPs.  All 4 EPs picutred are parfocal with each other.   I owned a Tak 7.5mm LE EP, which was also parfocal with the Tak orthos.  However, I thought the orthos were superior on fine details, so I also sold it. 

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Edited by Tropobob, 05 August 2020 - 07:16 PM.

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#10 213Cobra

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 02:20 AM

I have an FS60Q as a companion to the FOA60Q. I love them both at the same aperture, for different reasons, so I keep them both.

 

The 18.2mm DeLite is a great place to start. So would the 24mm Panoptic or a used 22mm Panoptic (one of my favorites, which I still own 30 years later). But for a short focal length, consider (saving for) the not-inexpensive Takahashi UW 5.7mm. It's designed for flat field scopes, which the FS60Q is. It's right by the 6mm lazy-person's target. It has a roomy 90° AFOV and it's optically incisive for 105X. In the event you find a night of exceptional seeing where you can grind out more useful magnification, with the 5.7mm UW eyepiece you can get 210X with a 2X Barlow, or ~89X per inch, which is entirely within the competence of the FS60Q when seeing permits.

 

Further, a 1.5X Barlow would yield ~160X, for a very comfortable in-between.

 

Of course you have DeLite and Nagler alternatives at 5mm & 7mm, and Delos at 8mm. But the Tak UWs are stellar! None of this is difficult to get a great result from.

 

Phil



#11 rbish237

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 10:55 AM

Thx Phil and all - really appreciate you sharing your experience and recommendations.

 

Thx to this group, I now have an 18.2mm DeLite on the way - looking forward to the views!  I also have a couple of Televue barlows (2x, 3x) sitting around from my brief forays into planetary imaging.  Think I'm going to play around with these for a bit and see if that helps me firm up my thinking on the higher magnification eyepiece.  Those Tak UWs sure look nice, but that price! 

 

Rob 


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#12 rbish237

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 05:51 AM

DeLite came in last night, but haven't had a chance to use it.  May be a few days, with rain in the forecast.

 

Over the weekend, was able to get in a few sessions with the 10mm, including playing with the 2x barlow.  Based on this, think I can go to 4-5mm for the high magnification eyepiece, which gets me close to the 4mm Tak TOE.  Still thinking about what makes the most sense for hi-mag on this scope.    



#13 rbish237

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 06:26 PM

Haven't had many clear nights lately, and I have been trying some lunar and planetary imaging on the few I have had.  Hoping to try out the 18mm DeLite in the next few days.  I also decided to try a 6mm Brandon as my higher mag option - it should be here in time for clear skies this weekend.  Hoping my F10 scope is a good match for this eyepiece, which I understand isn't optimal for faster scopes.  I might have gone for the Tak Abbe instead but stock outs seem to be the norm right now on a lot of items.  Interesting in seeing how the viewing experience compares between the DeLite and the Brandon - plan on trying the DeLite on a 3x barlow at some point to get it to equivalent 6mm.    



#14 rbish237

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 07:06 AM

Finally had a few minutes last night to try out both the DeLite and the Brandon on Jupiter and Saturn in the FS60Q with 1.25" Tak diagonal.  Seeing was about 1.5 per Good to Stargaze.  

 

I am not an experienced visual observer, and don't have much basis for comparison w/ other eyepieces that might work just was well or even better.  Quick first impressions is really all I had time for, so here are my first impressions:

 

18.2mm DeLite:  initially felt like a lot of glass for my little scope - the top element looks huge, but did not seem out of place or out of balance (anymore than the FS60 is already back-heavy).  Vey sharp - it was easy to find focus - both Jupiter+moons and Saturn were very bright and very crisp (sharp and noticeably well-defined) against a nice black background.   The planets were not large in the FOV, but I was impressed with the detail I could see on Jupiter's surface and on Saturn's rings given my small aperture scope.  The view seemed neutral color-wise and I did not see any false color.  With the planet centered in the view, everything looked very sharp to the edge of the field, which felt expansive and caught a good number of surrounding stars.  I did not try moving things around the view to check off-axis performance, but my F10 scope shouldn't be much challenge for it.  Viewing experience was very comfortable and immersive.  Overall first impression:  really like it and look forward to using it again.  As recommended above, a great pairing with this scope.  I expect it will be the eyepiece I reach for first to start most of my (infrequent) visual sessions with this scope.  

 

6mm Brandon - It is tiny and light with a very small opening on top (particularly when compared with the large glass on the DeLite).  It looks more like an endcap for the diagonal than a "proper eyepiece" like the DeLite.  I was a little worried about whether I would like this one - small exit pupil with my scope, small eye relief, small FOV, etc.  And Brandon seems to be a polarizing brand.  With Jupiter centered in the FOV of the DeLite, I swapped eyepieces.  They are not parfocal, so had to readjust focus.  First thought as it came to focus:  Wow! Noticeably dimmer view than the DeLite, but super sharp and great contrast with a jet black background.  The FOV felt tiny after the expansive views of the DeLite, but this worked well for planetary.  I was a bit surprised that I did not have any problems with eye relief or finding a comfortable view (I don't wear glasses).  I really enjoyed soaking in the view, trying to see how much detail the seeing, my small aperture scope, and my inexperienced and aging eyes would allow me to resolve.  As my targets last night were both planetary I ended up spending a lot more of my limited time with the Brandon.  Overall first impression:  Keeper. The views of both Jupiter and Saturn put a smile on my face and made me want to be a better visual observer.  Please note that when I say "keeper" I am not saying that the Brandon beats all competition in this focal length - I haven't compared and wouldn't know.  Just saying that the initial views and viewing experience with my little F10 scope left this novice viewer happy and not "wanting more".  YMMV.  At some point will try the DeLite with a 3x Barlow and compare, but that will be a lot more size/weight vs the tiny Brandon.

 

Really appreciate the help from this forum!  Thx all for sharing your knowledge and experience.                            



#15 russell23

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 08:25 AM

Hi,

 

The biggest reason the 6mm Brandon was dimmer is because it the exit pupil is smaller.  There are a couple ways you can calculate exit pupil.  The easiest is to divide the focal length of the eyepiece by the focal ratio of the telescope.  With an f/10 scope that is obviously super-easy:

 

18.2mm/10 = 1.8mm exit pupil

 

6mm/10 = 0.6mm exit pupil

 

As exit pupil gets smaller the image gets dimmer.  And it does not matter the scope size for that.  The difference is that a larger aperture telescope will provide a given exit pupil at a higher magnification.  The reason is that you can also calculate the exit pupil by dividing the aperture of the telescope by the magnification the eyepiece gives in that telescope.

 

Dave


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#16 rbish237

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 08:54 AM

Thx Dave.  I understood this calc going in and expected the 6mm to be dimmer than the 18.2mm, but realize my "review" wasn't clear on this point.  I appreciate you clarifying this.    


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