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Eyepiece recommendations for urban viewing SkyWatcher 8" f/6 Dob?

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#1 juanbond

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 03:05 PM

I live in the Chicago suburbs (**** you light pollution) and somewhat rarely get out to darker sites with my scope.  I currently only have the 10mm and 25mm plossl EPs that came with the Skywatcher 8" collapsible dob. 

 

I mostly enjoy looking at the moon and planets, but would also love to improve DSO viewing if possible.  I'm fairly intrigued by the idea the spacewalk-like experience reports from these wide FOV EPs, but not sure if they make sense for my scope and polluted skies (though it's always possible I upgrade scope and/or move eventually). 

 

What first couple eyepieces would you recommend for my setup/situation?  Thanks in advance.



#2 wrnchhead

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 03:16 PM

I have those two eyepiecs, and they really are TERRIBLE. In exceptional conditions, they are ok, but with any kind of pollution or poor seeing, they are near to useless. One of the ones supplied with my GSO rebranded 8" was a 2" 30mm wide field one, and I still use it often. The edges of the field get a little smeary, but you have to spend 3-4x as much to start getting a flatter field. Early on I got a Meade 4000 series 8-24mm zoom, and it's still in my focuser often. Works really well on planets (and the sun in Ha) 

 

Also, you don't mention a budget, that's an important factor. 



#3 juanbond

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 03:35 PM

I have those two eyepiecs, and they really are TERRIBLE. In exceptional conditions, they are ok, but with any kind of pollution or poor seeing, they are near to useless. One of the ones supplied with my GSO rebranded 8" was a 2" 30mm wide field one, and I still use it often. The edges of the field get a little smeary, but you have to spend 3-4x as much to start getting a flatter field. Early on I got a Meade 4000 series 8-24mm zoom, and it's still in my focuser often. Works really well on planets (and the sun in Ha) 

 

Also, you don't mention a budget, that's an important factor. 

Thanks for the advice.  As far as budget, I'm open to anything.  I'd like to pick up 1-2 eyepieces and don't mind spending $1k or more for the pair.


Edited by juanbond, 13 August 2020 - 03:36 PM.


#4 ShaulaB

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 03:43 PM

The Baader Mark IV zoom 8 to 24mm is really nice. Much more expensive than the other zooms though.

 

Just buy one of the very-wide-field "spacewalk" eyepieces and use it a bit before getting more. Some people do not enjoy the gyrations of ones head required to take in all the view in such eyepieces. And some people love them. Your mileage may vary.


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#5 wrnchhead

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 04:05 PM

Agreed with Shaula. It's easy to dive in, but not knowing what you want. I haven't used anything near the capabilities of your budget, so I'll let some more experienced guys chime in . I love the field in something 30mm 2" format, wide of a field as possible. 

I've also never used a Baader zoom, they are reputed to be excellent. But I have found my Meade zoom outperforms other wider field eyepieces on solar system objects. 



#6 sickfish

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 04:28 PM

Just outside of Boston, 35mm 24mm and 14mm got used the most. 8.8mm got some good time in the focuser. Planets were limited to seeing, not too good in this area so my 5.5mm would see the moon most.

I got a 25mm plossl from Celestron with a scope I bought and it is pretty good. It has orange lettering.

Still use that one.

As for first couple, 24 and 14 maybe. I have no idea about zooms.

And then get a 35 Panlol.gif


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#7 gwlee

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 07:08 PM

I live in the Chicago suburbs (**** you light pollution) and somewhat rarely get out to darker sites with my scope.  I currently only have the 10mm and 25mm plossl EPs that came with the Skywatcher 8" collapsible dob. 

 

I mostly enjoy looking at the moon and planets, but would also love to improve DSO viewing if possible.  I'm fairly intrigued by the idea the spacewalk-like experience reports from these wide FOV EPs, but not sure if they make sense for my scope and polluted skies (though it's always possible I upgrade scope and/or move eventually). 

 

What first couple eyepieces would you recommend for my setup/situation?  Thanks in advance.

Wide field eyepieces work just as well in the light dome of a major metro area they do in a dark country setting. They work are especially Suitable scope like yours that needs to be nudged frequently to keep an object in view.

 

A 24mm Panoptic, 13mm Nagler T6, and 7mm Nagler T6 are excellent wide field EPs for that scope if they have enough eye relief for you. I used them with an 8”f6 dob for many years until my eyeglass prescription changed enough that they didn’t provide enough ER for me. However, they are fairly expensive, but will work well with any scope that you might buy in the future. “Space walk experience” is an exaggeration though, so take that claim with a grain of salt.


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#8 japaoletti

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 11:30 PM

When I had an 8” f/6 dob living in Detroit suburbs my most used planetary eps were a 7mm and 5mm T6 Naglers.  The 7 was always useful at about 170x. The 5 on good night at 240x. I have Delites now which are much more comfortable with the long eye relief. 



#9 stevenrjanssens

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 11:47 PM

Wide field eyepieces work just as well in the light dome of a major metro area they do in a dark country setting. They work are especially Suitable scope like yours that needs to be nudged frequently to keep an object in view.

 

A 24mm Panoptic, 13mm Nagler T6, and 7mm Nagler T6 are excellent wide field EPs for that scope if they have enough eye relief for you. I used them with an 8”f6 dob for many years until my eyeglass prescription changed enough that they didn’t provide enough ER for me. However, they are fairly expensive, but will work well with any scope that you might buy in the future. “Space walk experience” is an exaggeration though, so take that claim with a grain of salt.

This is the exact set I use in my backyard with my F/5 scope (F/5.75 with Paracorr) and have no problem recommending them. The 24 Pan is as low power as I go in my Bortle 6 backyard, the 4mm exit pupil isn't too bright due to the light pollution. The 22mm Nagler T4 is also worth consideration, but the 24 Pan has 90% of its FOV and lets me stay in 1.25" mode. If this set is too much, I'd still aim for eyepieces near these focal lengths as they give you roughly 4mm, 2mm and 1mm exit pupils which cover a lot of ground.

 

The BHZ 24-8mm is also worth considering. It's a very good eyepiece. My only complaint is its narrow FOV which is why I got the Panoptic and Naglers, but it still sees lots of time in the focuser. Indeed I wouldn't call my experience with my TV eyepieces a "spacewalk", but the wide FOVs sure are absolutely wonderful, especially this time of year with the rich Milky Way fields up.



#10 AstroVPK

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 11:58 PM

I live in the Chicago suburbs (**** you light pollution) and somewhat rarely get out to darker sites with my scope. I currently only have the 10mm and 25mm plossl EPs that came with the Skywatcher 8" collapsible dob.

I mostly enjoy looking at the moon and planets, but would also love to improve DSO viewing if possible. I'm fairly intrigued by the idea the spacewalk-like experience reports from these wide FOV EPs, but not sure if they make sense for my scope and polluted skies (though it's always possible I upgrade scope and/or move eventually).

What first couple eyepieces would you recommend for my setup/situation? Thanks in advance.

I would try to improve my dark sky site options first. Let's say you'll be out there once a month on the night of the new moon. So it's totally ok to drive between 2 - 3 hours to get there and another 2 - 3 back. Search within that driving distance for a good site at https://www.lightpol...FFFFFTFFFFFFFFF with the World Atlas 2015 data.

Why am I suggesting this? You live near Chicago which is one of the major cities in this country. If you can't find a suitably dark sky, perhaps you should prioritize getting a good set of planetary EPs first given the upcoming Mars opposition. This will not be something that you want to be ill-prepared for since there next few oppositions (out into the 2030s) are not favorable for us in the North.

Edited by AstroVPK, 13 August 2020 - 11:58 PM.


#11 SeattleScott

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 01:26 AM

Meade 5.5mm UWA is a good lower cost alternative to the 5mm Nagler, although it sounds like cost might not be an issue. 10-12mm is a good medium power for that scope, so your options include ES 11mm 82, 12.5 Morpheus, 10 Ethos, all quite wide.

Scott
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#12 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 02:49 AM

I have those two eyepiecs, and they really are TERRIBLE. In exceptional conditions, they are ok, but with any kind of pollution or poor seeing, they are near to useless.

 

 

-  I've owned several Synta/Skywatcher stock 25 mm and 10 mm Plossls and I've found them to be just good quality, basic Plossls. Like any 10 mm Plossl, the 10 mm is short on eye relief but they're sharp on axis and not bad off axis.

 

Terrible, that might be the Celestron Hygenians that ship with the Powerseekers, 2 elements and at least one is plastic.

 

- My own experience: I do a lot of urban backyard astronomy along with a lot of dark sky stuff.

 

I just about always use my Naglers, Ethos and Panoptics under dark skies. From my backyard, they're still fine eyepiece's but I'm happy with simpler eyepieces and use them more frequently.

 

A $60, 60° eyepiece is a real step up from a Plossl.. more eye relief in the medium and shorter focal lengths, a wider field of view..

 

Jon


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#13 Voyager 3

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 08:07 AM

 

 

Terrible, that might be the Celestron Hygenians that ship with the Powerseekers, 2 elements and at least one is plastic.

 

Are you still talking about 2020 ..... If yes I sure have to check my eyes whether you posted "Huygenians" . I still can't believe what I read . But... you also mentioned powerseeker , so I could just  sit back and believe my eyes are pretty good smile.gif



#14 SeattleScott

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 08:31 AM

Seems like some department store telescopes still come with Huygens. Which are indeed terrible. I think it is a matter of perspective. The base plossls are not bad for narrow AFOV, tight ER eyepieces. But if you are used to modern complex designs, they do seem rather bad.

Scott
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#15 Voyager 3

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Posted 15 August 2020 - 08:56 AM

I agree with you that plössls are actually not that bad . They are pretty good for their light transmission and sharpness on axis ( well most eyepieces are now good on axis ) . But as you say their narrow fov and short ER especially at short focal lengths are the deal breakers for most . But I can't agree that Huygens are good . I can even accept kellners but Huygens are too outdated today.

#16 SeattleScott

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Posted 15 August 2020 - 08:58 AM

I think the consensus is Huygens are awful.
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#17 Peter Besenbruch

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Posted 15 August 2020 - 04:12 PM

I live in the Chicago suburbs (**** you light pollution) and somewhat rarely get out to darker sites with my scope.  I currently only have the 10mm and 25mm plossl EPs that came with the Skywatcher 8" collapsible dob. 

 

I mostly enjoy looking at the moon and planets, but would also love to improve DSO viewing if possible.  I'm fairly intrigued by the idea the spacewalk-like experience reports from these wide FOV EPs, but not sure if they make sense for my scope and polluted skies (though it's always possible I upgrade scope and/or move eventually). 

 

What first couple eyepieces would you recommend for my setup/situation?  Thanks in advance.

To view the brighter deepsky objects, I would consider contrast. To get the sky background dark enough in a suburban setting, I would not go much beyond 3mm of exit pupil (18-20mm). Your low power eyepiece provides just over 4mm. The next step up would be about 2mm of exit pupil (12-13mm). For deepsky, you also want a wider field in an eyepiece that can handle f6.

 

For the longer focal length, I would recommend the Hyperian 17mm, the ES68 20mm, the Delite 18mm, and the Panoptic 19mm. They are listed by increasing price.

 

For the shorter, I would recommend the Starguider ED/Paradigm 12mm, the BST Flat Field 12mm, and the Delite 13mm. Again in order of increasing price.

 

None of these are super wide angles, but they are wide, comfortable, and at least somewhat reasonable. Even the cheaper ones mentioned will work well at f6.


Edited by Peter Besenbruch, 15 August 2020 - 04:13 PM.



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