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Sensible upgrades for a casual beginner

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#1 BGF

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 07:50 AM

Hi all, I currently have two Meade eyepieces that came bundled with my scope. "Meade MA 9mm & 26mm" with Meade Infinity 70mm refractor. I've been happy with both the scope and the eyepieces so far but I definitely want to pick up a few different pieces, probably less than 9mm, and between 9 & 26mm. But a lot of the information is very overwhelming.

 

Does anyone have any suggestions for fairly straightforward 'upgrades'? I tend to observe the moon reasonably often, planets when possible, I enjoy hunting for Messiers (with varying success), separating double stars etc. so I think I do quite a varied batch of observing and wouldn't necessarily benefit from any eyepiece that was too specific to one given task.

 

I was looking at the 'Astro Essentials' Plossl eyepieces from FLO: https://www.firstlig...l-eyepiece.html
With maybe a 7.5 & 17 or 20mm. But I'm not averse to spending more on a more well known brand if it's going to be beneficial.



#2 trainsktg

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 08:12 AM

Something that comes to mind is one of the 8-24 zoom EPs out there. SVBony’s seems to get good reviews from those that have one, although there are several others out there too. I have a similar Lunt 7-21 zoom that I bought for my little 50mm solar scope, but it does dang good in my TV85 at night too. 

 

Keith


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#3 epee

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 08:42 AM

Plossls are good eyepieces, with few faults. But one of those faults is that the eye relief (the distance from the glass you must place your eye to see the entire field) is about 60% the focal length. This means as the magnification increases, you must get your eye closer and closer to the eyepiece. Many of us find that uncomfortable and/or inconvenient. For example, that 7.5mm your considering will have an eye relief of about 4mm.

The least expensive solution is a zoom as the above poster mentioned. Other, and better solutions certainly exist, but cost more and are less convenient, especially for a beginner.

#4 cookjaiii

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 08:44 AM

I was going to suggest a zoom too, plus a 2x Barlow.  If you do end up buying fixed focal length (fl) eyepieces, pay attention to eye relief.  I can't use anything less than 10mm.  Short fl Plossls are notorious for short eye relief.  Better to Barlow a longer focal length.

 

Good luck with your choice, and congrats on the new scope.



#5 *skyguy*

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 08:51 AM

Something that comes to mind is one of the 8-24 zoom EPs out there. SVBony’s seems to get good reviews from those that have one, although there are several others out there too. I have a similar Lunt 7-21 zoom that I bought for my little 50mm solar scope, but it does dang good in my TV85 at night too. 

 

Keith

+1 .... I use my inexpensive Celestron 8-24mm zoom eyepiece almost exclusively for white-light (filtered) and Halpha observing of the sun with a 70mm achromatic refractor. It let's me quickly zoom into the best magnification for the local seeing conditions. This eyepiece also has male t-threads under the rubber eye guard that can be used to attach a DSLR camera for day or night imaging. It's a versatile and fun eyepiece to use.

 

Here's a shot of a partial solar eclipse at sunset (pine tree in the foreground) using the 70mm scope and zoom eyepiece set at 10mm:

 

solar_eclipse_10mm_zoom.jpg


Edited by *skyguy*, 20 September 2020 - 08:56 AM.

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#6 SeattleScott

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 09:17 AM

The 17mm Orion Explorer II is supposed to be surprisingly good for the price. For less than 9mm the eye relief of a Plossl will be tight, so better to spend a little more and get a more complex eyepiece like the 5mm Paradigm.

Scott

#7 sg6

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 09:27 AM

BST Starguiders from I suppose FLO, Alan seems to have ceased really doing them since FLO sort of butted in.

On my 70mm I use the 8mm, 12mm and 25mm the most. Half suspect they would suit you also.

 

The set has a bit of a gap between the 5mm and the 8mm, I filled with an Altair 6mm that has the name Lightwave, oddly Altair seem to have 2 lines of eyepieces both called Lightwave. Mine is the lesser cost one. Got mine at Tring for the simple reason Tring and the other Altair retailers were selling at £45, whereas Altair themselves were asking £55 confused1.gif  Never made sense.

 

The BST's are good and for whatever reason often described as comfortable, they have around 16-17mm of eye relief. I ended up with the complete set, and a few more, so have about one and a half sets at present. The half set is for outreach use.


Edited by sg6, 20 September 2020 - 09:29 AM.


#8 Echolight

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 11:30 AM

Zoom and a 2x barlow.


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#9 Peter Besenbruch

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 04:45 PM

Hi all, I currently have two Meade eyepieces that came bundled with my scope. "Meade MA 9mm & 26mm" with Meade Infinity 70mm refractor. I've been happy with both the scope and the eyepieces so far but I definitely want to pick up a few different pieces, probably less than 9mm, and between 9 & 26mm. But a lot of the information is very overwhelming.

 

Does anyone have any suggestions for fairly straightforward 'upgrades'? I tend to observe the moon reasonably often, planets when possible, I enjoy hunting for Messiers (with varying success), separating double stars etc. so I think I do quite a varied batch of observing and wouldn't necessarily benefit from any eyepiece that was too specific to one given task.

 

I was looking at the 'Astro Essentials' Plossl eyepieces from FLO: https://www.firstlig...l-eyepiece.html
With maybe a 7.5 & 17 or 20mm. But I'm not averse to spending more on a more well known brand if it's going to be beneficial.

Nothing wrong with the Plössls, except for the shorter focal lengths. You may find your eye getting more intimate with the eyepiece than is comfortable. One option is purchasing a 2x Barlow lens and a 15mm to get the 7.5mm focal length. Also, purchase the 20mm. That would get you 20, 15, 10, and 7.5mm. FLO offers a good BST 3 element, short Barlow. Avoid the Baader Q Barlow. The Astro Essentials Barlow should be decent.


Edited by Peter Besenbruch, 21 September 2020 - 01:35 PM.


#10 escaner

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 01:59 AM

Another budget alternative to Plössl for shorter focal lengths are the TMB Planetary II eyepieces. They can be purchased for less than 25€ in Aliexpress if you don't mind to wait a few weeks. 58º field of view and a longer eye relief.




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