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SW Mak 180 eyepieces ... Thoughts!

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#1 RadX

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 04:23 PM

Hello,

 

My SW mak 180 is on the way and it's my 1st scope. Now I'm trying to get 3 or 4 good eyepieces for moon/planetary and bright DSO. As you know it's 2700/f15. I know the TV and ES eyepieces are the best but I've read for such long FL no need for top quality eyepieces. And thats good news for me because I'm already in low budget. My cost range is $50 - $150 for each eyepiece. After long process of search I've narrowed my choices to 3 eyepieces :

 

Meade 5000 UWA 8.8mm Eyepiece $99 (for moon/planets)

 

Celestron Luminos 15mm Eyepiece $109 (for moon/planets)

 

Agena 2" SWA 38mm Eyepiece $95 (for bright DSO)

 

You think these eyepieces will be good with it ?

 

Do I need to cancel anyone of them? Or add any better choices in the same cost range?

 

The scope comes with Skywatcher LET 2" 28mm eyepiece. Do I need to add better one in 20 - 30 mm range? Or that one will be enough?

 

Do I need to add x2 barlow ? or zoom lens ?

 

Please advise

 

Thanks


Edited by RadX, 10 August 2020 - 04:31 PM.


#2 cst4

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 04:41 PM

The SW LET 28mm probably won't be bad and will suffice in that focal length for now.  The SWA 38mm is a good choice to maximize your field of view.  It is a decently heavy EP though so hopefully that isn't a problem.  Not a whole lot heavier than the others though.  The Meade 8.8mm is a nice option but it will be very high power at over 300x.  You might not get good enough seeing for this one too often... but when you do you would love it.  You might consider getting something closer to 250x first and if that gets a lot of use then maybe go for 300x.  I like the 15mm Luminos pretty well but it does have some edge of field brightening... You might consider the 14mm Meade UWA instead.  Hopefully you don't need glasses... all those UWA type EP's are typically pretty short on eye relief.  



#3 SeattleScott

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 04:41 PM

It’s F15 so you can pretty much throw whatever you want in it. The Agena 38 will work well for DSO assuming 2” diagonal. The Meade 8.8 is really sharp. The 10mm Luminos has some field curvature at low F ratios but goes away about F8. Still doesn’t seem quite as sharp as my premium eyepieces at F9.5. But at F16-17 it would probably be hard to tell a difference. And not a lot of affordable UWA alternatives that are any better at that focal length, so might stick with it. It is affordable if not ideal.

Scott

#4 Peter Besenbruch

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 02:26 PM

Hello,

 

My SW mak 180 is on the way and it's my 1st scope. Now I'm trying to get 3 or 4 good eyepieces for moon/planetary and bright DSO. As you know it's 2700/f15. I know the TV and ES eyepieces are the best but I've read for such long FL no need for top quality eyepieces. And thats good news for me because I'm already in low budget. My cost range is $50 - $150 for each eyepiece. After long process of search I've narrowed my choices to 3 eyepieces :

 

Meade 5000 UWA 8.8mm Eyepiece $99 (for moon/planets)

 

Celestron Luminos 15mm Eyepiece $109 (for moon/planets)

 

Agena 2" SWA 38mm Eyepiece $95 (for bright DSO)

 

You think these eyepieces will be good with it ?

 

Do I need to cancel anyone of them? Or add any better choices in the same cost range?

 

The scope comes with Skywatcher LET 2" 28mm eyepiece. Do I need to add better one in 20 - 30 mm range? Or that one will be enough?

 

Do I need to add x2 barlow ? or zoom lens ?

Do you need a Barlow? Not especially on an f15.

 

The supplied eyepiece is fine. My diagonal was out of alignment.

 

The 38mm SWA is your basic cheap eyepiece. At f15 it will work fine. Consider something longer, such as the GSO Superview 50mm or Celestron Omni 56mm. All of these eyepieces will vignette in your scope.

 

The Luminos is an uneven line, and is not considered a planetary eyepiece. At f15 it will work. Some focal lengths have issues with edge of field brightening. I don't know about the 15mm.

 

The Meade 8.8 is probably too short for planetary work, though lunar viewing would still be OK. The working planetary range of this scope is 18mm-12mm. It's decent, but there are eyepieces with better contrast.

 

I have had good luck with the 18mm BCO, the 15mm UFF, and the 12mm WA. The 12mm WA is a gem. Another eyepiece I am liking for Planetary views is the Svbony 7-21mm zoom (also sold as the Orion E series). It's a remarkable eyepiece for the price. There are other 7-21mm zooms that are lower in quality (like the one sold by Agena Astro).


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#5 Gregory Gross

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 02:54 PM

When I got my first telescope, I remember ordering three other Plossls and a Barlow lens without even having looked through the scope. I ultimately found that to have been a mistaken way to go about doing it.

 

I would simply let your new telescope arrive and have a look through the eyepiece. The supplied 28mm eyepiece will give you 96x magnification. In my experience under most seeing conditions, I find that I can expect 35x magnification per inch of aperture (some say 50x, but I take a more conservative approach). And I find that no matter the scope, I top out at 200x. It's exceptional for me to be able to push magnification higher than this... and I rarely want to anyway no matter how good the seeing is.

 

In my C8, I rarely reach for eyepieces giving me magnification more than 165x or so.

 

After having used your scope once or twice with its supplied eyepiece, you may consider getting one or two eyepieces from the Astro-Tech Paradigm Dual ED line (sold by Astronomics, who hosts Cloudy Nights) or the identical Agena Starguider Dual ED line. These eyepieces perform great and, at $60 per eyepiece, represent incredible values that are really hard to beat.

 

If you were to get one additional eyepiece to supplement the 28mm EP that comes with your scope, I would suggest considering the 18mm eyepiece from either Astro-Tech or Agena as noted above. That would give you 150x magnification. Live with that pair for a while and you'll be in far better shape to make an informed and educated decision on future eyepiece purchases and what qualities to look for (eye relief, field of view, off-axis performance, etc.).


Edited by Gregory Gross, 11 August 2020 - 03:16 PM.


#6 Gregory Gross

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 03:02 PM

One other thought: I just had a quick look at various product info pages on various retailers' websites, I see that this scope comes with what looks like more of a low-end diagonal. You may find that upgrading to a better diagonal would give you far better performance especially for high-magnification observing and would thus become a higher priority at least in the short term than expanding your eyepiece collection is. I would look specifically for a well-made 2-inch dielectric diagonal.

 

For a long time, I used a low-end prism star diagonal with my 4-inch Mak (it was the diagonal that came with my C8). I was astounded how much adding a quality dielectric mirror diagonal improved the scope's performance for planetary observing.


Edited by Gregory Gross, 11 August 2020 - 03:16 PM.

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#7 RadX

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 06:56 PM

Do you need a Barlow? Not especially on an f15.

 

The supplied eyepiece is fine. My diagonal was out of alignment.

 

The 38mm SWA is your basic cheap eyepiece. At f15 it will work fine. Consider something longer, such as the GSO Superview 50mm or Celestron Omni 56mm. All of these eyepieces will vignette in your scope.

 

The Luminos is an uneven line, and is not considered a planetary eyepiece. At f15 it will work. Some focal lengths have issues with edge of field brightening. I don't know about the 15mm.

 

The Meade 8.8 is probably too short for planetary work, though lunar viewing would still be OK. The working planetary range of this scope is 18mm-12mm. It's decent, but there are eyepieces with better contrast.

 

I have had good luck with the 18mm BCO, the 15mm UFF, and the 12mm WA. The 12mm WA is a gem. Another eyepiece I am liking for Planetary views is the Svbony 7-21mm zoom (also sold as the Orion E series). It's a remarkable eyepiece for the price. There are other 7-21mm zooms that are lower in quality (like the one sold by Agena Astro).

If GSO 50mm  and omni 56mm will vignette why I need them ? to use them as a finder ?

 

Actually i need good EP specifically for the moon , you think meade 8.8 will be good for that ? do you recommend better option?

 

How about I cancel luminos 15 and get ES82 14 , mainly for planetary

 

I was thinking to buy zoom lens , how you compare the Svbony zoom to baader 8 - 24 zoom ?


Edited by RadX, 11 August 2020 - 07:41 PM.


#8 RadX

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 07:10 PM

When I got my first telescope, I remember ordering three other Plossls and a Barlow lens without even having looked through the scope. I ultimately found that to have been a mistaken way to go about doing it.

 

I would simply let your new telescope arrive and have a look through the eyepiece. The supplied 28mm eyepiece will give you 96x magnification. In my experience under most seeing conditions, I find that I can expect 35x magnification per inch of aperture (some say 50x, but I take a more conservative approach). And I find that no matter the scope, I top out at 200x. It's exceptional for me to be able to push magnification higher than this... and I rarely want to anyway no matter how good the seeing is.

 

In my C8, I rarely reach for eyepieces giving me magnification more than 165x or so.

 

After having used your scope once or twice with its supplied eyepiece, you may consider getting one or two eyepieces from the Astro-Tech Paradigm Dual ED line (sold by Astronomics, who hosts Cloudy Nights) or the identical Agena Starguider Dual ED line. These eyepieces perform great and, at $60 per eyepiece, represent incredible values that are really hard to beat.

 

If you were to get one additional eyepiece to supplement the 28mm EP that comes with your scope, I would suggest considering the 18mm eyepiece from either Astro-Tech or Agena as noted above. That would give you 150x magnification. Live with that pair for a while and you'll be in far better shape to make an informed and educated decision on future eyepiece purchases and what qualities to look for (eye relief, field of view, off-axis performance, etc.).

Every EP i buy it will stuck with me forever , because I'm from Saudi Arabia and here we don't have good market for selling used EPs. That's why I'm trying to get the best for my budget.

I really like you idea for holding on EPs for now. Maybe I get one zoom lens , agena 38mm , and save my money to buy good EPs like ES82 and ES68 later. 



#9 Peter Besenbruch

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 07:50 PM

If GSO 50mm  and omni 56mm will vignette why I need them ? to use them as a finder ?

The 38mm vignettes, too. The longer focal lengths work better with filters. Think milder O-III filters for the 50mm, or a more severe one for the 56mm. The 50mm might do better for the more restrictive UHC filters, too.

 

 

Actually i need good EP specifically for the moon , you think meade 8.8 will be good for that ? do you recommend better option?

How about I cancel luminos 15 and get ES82 14 , mainly for planetary


I was thinking to buy zoom lens , how you compare the Svbony to celestron 8 - 24 zoom ?

Neither the Luminos or the ES82 series are what I would call planetary eyepieces. You can view planets with them, but they do better for views where you want a wide field of view. Planetary eyepieces are ones like the Televue Delite 15mm, the Brandon 16mm, or at a lower price, the Televue 15mm Plössl.

 

By all accounts the Svbony is better. You don't get a wide field, but you get exceptional light control and contrast (those tend to go together). That one eyepiece would give you all your lunar and planetary viewing range.



#10 luxo II

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 11:00 PM

Having had the same scope a while back... at f/15 these scopes play nicely with most eyepieces and you don't have to spend a lot to find a good one. You can also try AM and CN classifieds, or even iceinspace for something nice secondhand. mMany budget eyepieces are overlooked for the simple reason they are cheap, or lack green letters on the side.

 

Low power - the 38mm SWA is fine (I've had one for years and use it);

 

Medium power - the SW180mm maks have a real sweet spot for eyepieces around 12-13-14mm. You could look for a used Vixen LVW 13mm, or the Hyperion equivalent; or alternatively a good orthoscopic, plossl would do. 

 

High-power - the shortest you'll ever need in your scope is 8mm, and Vixen made a very good 8mm LVW (now discontinued).

 

One aspect of the LVW's is that they have dual 1.25/2" barrels so you can use these and the SWA38 in a 2" diagonal without having to swap adapter rings in.

 

There are several zooms that cover 8-24mm and one of these could be a good option or alternatively, a set of Edmund RKE's (they span 8-28mm).


Edited by luxo II, 11 August 2020 - 11:04 PM.


#11 RadX

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 10:56 AM

The 38mm vignettes, too. The longer focal lengths work better with filters. Think milder O-III filters for the 50mm, or a more severe one for the 56mm. The 50mm might do better for the more restrictive UHC filters, too.

 

Neither the Luminos or the ES82 series are what I would call planetary eyepieces. You can view planets with them, but they do better for views where you want a wide field of view. Planetary eyepieces are ones like the Televue Delite 15mm, the Brandon 16mm, or at a lower price, the Televue 15mm Plössl.

 

By all accounts the Svbony is better. You don't get a wide field, but you get exceptional light control and contrast (those tend to go together). That one eyepiece would give you all your lunar and planetary viewing range.

Ok plan changed , I will get the Svbony zoom and one EP for low magnification , and I'll cancel the rest of EPs for now

Is there any better option than the Agena 38 ?

How about ES 62 40mm ? The FOV almost same as agena but maybe better optically ?


Edited by RadX, 12 August 2020 - 10:59 AM.


#12 SeattleScott

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 11:45 AM

They are both 5 elements so I doubt one will be significantly better than the other. Especially at F15 it will be hard to tell a difference. I used the 38mm in my Mak with about a 33-34mm baffle tube and the vignetting was not a problem. I don’t know the size of the baffle tube on the 180. It used to be 27mm to minimize CO and maximize contrast, but that might have changed now.

Scott
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#13 Peter Besenbruch

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 11:58 AM

Ok plan changed , I will get the Svbony zoom and one EP for low magnification , and I'll cancel the rest of EPs for now

Is there any better option than the Agena 38 ?

How about ES 62 40mm ? The FOV almost same as agena but maybe better optically ?

The ES62 40mm is by all accounts better than the SWA on most scopes because it uses a more aggressive field stop to limit its field of view. Yours is not most scopes, however. It's f15. You have "eyepiece freedom." The 38mm SWA will be fine.



#14 RadX

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 12:31 PM

The ES62 40mm is by all accounts better than the SWA on most scopes because it uses a more aggressive field stop to limit its field of view. Yours is not most scopes, however. It's f15. You have "eyepiece freedom." The 38mm SWA will be fine.

In the near future I'm planning to get SW 120 ED mainly for DSO obsevation and astrophotography (with focal reducer) . So I want to make sure all the EPs will be good on both scopes.



#15 SeattleScott

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 01:32 PM

Then you want something with six or more elements.

#16 cst4

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 03:10 PM

In the near future I'm planning to get SW 120 ED mainly for DSO obsevation and astrophotography (with focal reducer) . So I want to make sure all the EPs will be good on both scopes.

 

I liked my 38mm SWA a lot in my Vixen VMC200L and 6" SCT, both at F/10.  I didn't care for it much at all in my 4" F/7 refractor so I decided to "upgrade" to something a lot more expensive.  Yes, my 42mm LVW has the better quality view overall but I realize now it was a pointless upgrade as I never use that long of a focal length in the refractor.  I prefer my low power piece to be something closer to the 25mm to 30mm range.  So what I'm getting at is your lowest power piece in your mak might not be something you ever use in a SW 120 ED anyway, so this is one focal length you might be ok going the cheaper route on.  Your mak won't care... it will make anything look good.  The 10mm to 24mm range of eyepieces will be your biggest overlap between the two and where I suggest to put the most money towards quality.  

 

Side note, I owned the 38mm SWA and a 42mm Superview at the same time.  The Superview has a narrower field of view at around 60 degrees but I thought it was quite a bit better optically and I greatly preferred it in my 4" F/7 frac over the SWA.  Just throwing out another good cheap low power option.  It's quite a bit lighter than the 38mm SWA if that matters.


Edited by cst4, 12 August 2020 - 03:12 PM.


#17 Peter Besenbruch

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 03:17 PM

In the near future I'm planning to get SW 120 ED mainly for DSO obsevation and astrophotography (with focal reducer) . So I want to make sure all the EPs will be good on both scopes.

The SW120ED is a wonderful scope. I own it. It will do a better job with deepsky objects like the Pleiades, Praesepe, North America. It will do marginally better on the Double Cluster. On all else the 180mm will have a significant edge. Indeed, so much so that I don't use the refractor much anymore.

 

As far as astrophotography is concerned, most of the people I know purchase and use 80mm and smaller refractors.



#18 Illinois

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 06:18 AM

I have 180 Mak Cass and it’s F15. I rare use eyepiece lower than 8mm because too much power for better view! Around 200 power is sweet spot for most night. If Mars look good at 193X and 245X (14mm and 11mm eyepieces) then I go for 8.8mm eyepiece for 307X. More than 300 power is rare for me on most night.  Planetary for me between 150 and 280 power. 



#19 RadX

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 08:55 AM

I was planning to order only zoom lens and the ES62 40mm

I got 10% discount coupon for ES , so ordered the ES82 14mm too , because I thought someday I will need good 14mm EP

I hope this will be enough as a start 



#20 Peter Besenbruch

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 10:17 PM

Enjoy your eyepieces.




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