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Thinking about a new eyepiece but confused over eyepiece types and prices

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#1 wxcloud

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 12:46 PM

Ok, first off, I'm more of an astrophotographer well, kind of, the weather and conditions have not been the best. So rather than the scopes sitting around in their boxes I thought I'd try some visual stuff, have a small William optics ZenithStar 61 tripod mounted for some quick grab and go, and perhaps a 10" dob (an old school orion 10") that needs a good mirror cleaning. My skies are junk, red white zone along with stray porch lights. So I'm pretty limited at what I can see.

Still, would like to give it a try. I loaded up astronomy tools, for reference I keyed in the ZenithStar 61 and started selecting some quality televue oculars. Popped in the moon since, well, let's face it, probably going to be about the only thing I can get a good view of.

I put in:
plossl 8mm (good price!)
Ethos 3.7mm (insane price I suppose for my conditions)
Delite (haven't priced it out yet)
Nagler type 5 (fair priced but getting up there)

All these gave a pretty similar view with my selected telescope? Why an ethos over the 8mm plossl?

I keyed in the type 6 2.5mm nagler it it gets me really close. It's probably too much power however for the little scope. The 3.5mm nagler a bit wider... reasonable price. Gets me way closer then the short list above. Even closer then the 8mm plossl.

Okay, so perhaps the 3.5mm nagler then? Well... If my atmosphere will handle it, if the lil telescope can actually crank out the magnification. I've forced in a 4.8mm older style nagler with cheap 2x barlow and got a dim low contrast view but was kind of usable.

Well, what else might I be able to use a 3.5mm nagler for? Planets way too small and the larger two are getting further into the muck at dark. I do plan on trying a little cell phone eyepiece photography with the cheapo clamp I got.

A few open clusters, perhaps a couple bright areas in Orion possible.

I'm actually going to try and grab a new WO diagonal for the scope, perhaps a slight upgrade from the Celestron one. It should take 2" eyepieces not that I can really make use of?

#2 db2005

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 01:31 PM

True, selecting eyepieces can be confusing. But maybe it gets a little simpler when we consider that the differences mainly boil down to the following key aspects: size of apparent field of view, large eye relief, good optical quality (including performance in fast scopes)

 

Pick none of the above: cheap.

Pick one of the above: affordable

Pick two of the above: more expensive

Pick three of the above: expensive.


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#3 f74265a

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 01:37 PM

I believe your scope has 360mm focal length. A significant factor in your eyepiece selection should be the average stability of your sky. Can you regularly use the roughly 100x that a 3.5-3.7 mm eyepiece provides or will the image be mushy? In the winter at my house under the jet stream,100x is often a bit past the atmospheric maximum and details start to wash out and the image gets wavy. 3.7 ethos is awesome but probably expensive overkill for your application. It’s also big and heavy as is the excellent 4.5 Delos. 4 delite is very good and not heavy for a relatively inexpensive by tv standards 90x. But fov is narrow compared to wide field eyepieces. My pick for you from the tv line up is the 5mm nagler t6. Small, light, sharp with a wide field and not ridiculously expensive. 72x with that would provide nice lunar views most nights. The 5t6 is optically a bit better than the 3.5mm t6. Or if you wanted to spend ethos money and get 2 items to have more flexibility, the 13t6 plus a 2.5 powermate would give you an excellent 13mm and effectively a 5 for $100 less than the cost of one 3.7E. If money were no object, that’s your best plan in my opinion. I own and use all of these eyepieces in a tv85
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#4 SeattleScott

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 01:40 PM

Give us a little more information about the Orion Dob. A buddy has one from the early 1990’s. Pretty much no way to accurately collimate the scope without making modifications. So not really a good high power scope. It is also F5.6, so somewhat more forgiving than the newer F4.7 models.

There are a lot of factors to consider with eyepieces but in a nutshell it boils down to this:

Premium quality (best contrast and edge correction): $
Wide AFOV (wide viewing angle, the wider, the more expensive): $
Long eye relief (to accommodate glasses or for more immersive experience): $

Wide AFOV + Long ER: $$
Wide AFOV + Premium quality:$$
Long ER + Premium quality: $$
Wide AFOV + Long ER + Premium quality: $$$
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#5 f74265a

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 01:59 PM

Good point to mention eye relief. If you observe with glasses skip the ethos and nagler t6s. A 12 Delos plus a 2.5pm is still less than a 3.7E and works for folks with glasses
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#6 wxcloud

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 01:59 PM

Probably should have listed things out a little more :)

Eyepieces on hand:
Nagler 4.8mm
Meade 2x 3x barlow
Orion 40mm highlight plossl (my finder eyepiece lol) also the 40mm Celestron that came with my edgeHD 8 (didn't mention it since it's not really grab and go or drop and plop). 25mm Meade (edit: nope it's a sirius also) plossl
10mm sirius plossl (thought it was a Meade)
24mm panoptic.

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Yeah the ZenithStar is 360mm not exactly built for magnification. It's definitely a wide field scope.

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The dob is an Orion sky quest xt10 deluxe. 1200mm at f/4.7 not sure on the date. It's probably about 15 years old...

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When I do observe I do like having my eye on the eyepiece cup (I know, bad practice), it helps block stray light and keeps my eye more centered.

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I skipped the eyepiece on this order and got a hopefully decent diagonal upgrade. Also tossed in an astronomik uhc visual filter. Probably goofed on that in multiple ways. Did this because I can still use my current eyepieces while I see if I can actually do visual stuff.

There is an AT80EDT in the pipeline also...

Edited by wxcloud, 20 October 2020 - 02:13 PM.


#7 f74265a

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 02:14 PM

And I’ll add that the 11 or 13 delite could be substituted for the 12 Delos to save cost and weight at the expense of field of view but minimal loss of optical quality
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#8 f74265a

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 02:24 PM

Since you own a 4.8mm and are looking for the 90-100x, 4 delite and 3.5 t6 are both good. The 4 delite is better with color and sharpness for planets and is cheaper. But the fov is much narrower. If you wanted to upgrade at 10mm, you could get 11mm delite and use existing 3x barlow to get that 100x range.
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#9 SeattleScott

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 02:33 PM

3.5mm XW could be an option if you aren’t a die hard TV guy. Or APM 3.7 XWA. Both around $300. The hyperwide would struggle in the Dob without a coma corrector but it sounds like this is more for the little apo. Seems to me like you have a huge gap between the 24 Panoptic and 4.8 Nagler but maybe you address that with your barlows.

Scott
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#10 f74265a

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 02:48 PM

I find planetary colors in the delites to be significantly better than the XWs. Overall the XWs (I own 10, 7, 5 and 3.5) are very good—especially the 10xw) but on multiple occasions I have seen the rosy red GRS with a 4mm delite but could not see it with 3.5 xw or 10xw with 2.5pm.
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#11 wxcloud

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 03:56 PM

Definitely don't have to do televue only, am willing to look at other options. I can't say I'm going to be a hard copy visual observer, the local light pollution will see to that :( More than likely it'll be the ZenithStar I reach for first unless I have time to actually set up and do and if that happens I'll likely opt to try imaging.

I can't even remember the last eyepiece I actually bought

#12 f74265a

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 05:09 PM

There are definitely non-tv options for you to consider. I’m recommending tv products in your case bc they are what have worked best for me in most cases in a quality small refractor. I prioritize sharpness, color and wider fov (since I use an undriven alt/az mount). As a result, my collection consists of a heavy dose of tv, Pentax, Nikon and a small number of vixen products. The single eyepiece that I own that I think most highly of is a 12.5 Nikon not a tv, but do not think it a good fit for most due to it being large, unreasonably expensive, and not part of a full line of compatible products. I won’t recommend any product that I haven’t tried out myself.
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#13 Echolight

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 07:54 PM

Baader zoom and a 2x and 2.5x barlows is my high power eyepieces. Details on the moon will be best in the big scope at well over 300x.

 

My 600mm focal length Evostar 80 frames the moon nicely with the APM XWA 20mm 100 degree eyepiece in a Luminos 2.5x barlow. About 2 moons wide.

The 28mm field stop on the barlow chokes the AFOV down to about 80 degrees. So 8mm 80 degree.

The native 20 Hyperwide eyepiece yields 3.3 degrees TFOV at 30x in the ED80. My cheap 40mm 70 degree gets around 4.5 degrees. Both of these are great for widefield views. Maybe some day I'll upgrade to an XW40. I here good things about the APM 30 UFF, and it'd be a good all-arounder for your three scopes without giving excessive exit pupil.

 

Pentax, Baader, and APM all are threaded for use in projection photography...if that's of any interest to you.


Edited by Echolight, 20 October 2020 - 08:02 PM.

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#14 wxcloud

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 09:47 PM

The threaded eyepieces could come in handy. Tried that long ago with an adapter for my 40mm highlight. Unfortunately lost part of it :(

Huh, I ran across a review which set me off on another slight tangent for a basic binoviewer but just sat it in the wishlist for now.

My even bigger question is, is this little scope even usable in my backyard besides on a handful of things? I'm not even sure if the UHC filter is going to do much? How about the 80mm with it's 480mm?

I am hoping to get a little moon peeping in before it gets too full :)

Oh, edited to add, I don't wear glasses.

Edited by wxcloud, 20 October 2020 - 09:50 PM.


#15 wxcloud

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 08:03 PM

Didn't get a chance to look into a few of the suggestions yet. I have been pondering the binoviewer set however. It's within the pricing of a decent eyepiece (so why not double down on a decent eyepiece?)

There was supposed to be a window open tonight where one batch of clouds moved out and another system moves in giving, according to the clear sky chart, a few hours. My weather app agreed for a while anyway and now as the sky darkens a mix of haze clouds high thin clouds and smoke have persisted.

I guess what I'm asking is: entry level binoviewer or midrange eyepiece?

Edited by wxcloud, 21 October 2020 - 08:26 PM.


#16 wxcloud

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 11:44 PM

So, I sort of threw a wrench into the mix. I did order a binoviewer kit (wow, looking at the moon is getting exotically expensive lol :p). Box came in today but haven't had the chance to get to it or my upgraded diagonal. Stuff I'm not even sure is going to work.

The 3.5mm delos looks like it'll frame the full moon pretty good, but for $350 or $700 for a binoviewer set up? Ugh what was I thinking.

Biggest issue is I'm basically using a wide field telescope for objects that need some great magnification.

Probably should stick with plossls for the lunar / bino stuff?

#17 luxo II

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Posted 28 October 2020 - 12:26 AM

"Thinking about a new eyepiece but confused over eyepiece types and prices"

 

The scopes you have are unremarkable and basically any eyepiece will play reasonably nice.

 

You have tried a few and realised all is good - so buy what you like and don't fall into the trap of agonising over the fear, uncertainly and doubt spread by many here - this serves no purpose other than to impoverish you, and line the pockets of vendors ever keen to sell you the latest snake-oil eyepiece.

 

And there are modest eyepieces that outperform ones costing 10X as much.


Edited by luxo II, 28 October 2020 - 12:28 AM.


#18 wxcloud

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 12:31 PM

For some reason I still have the 8mm TV plossl in my sights. Perhaps along side the chonky Meade 55mm to go along side it. I can't say I'm visual enough yet to go after the higher end premium oculars right now.

The Meade and wider fov the eye relief kind of worries me where I get blackout from not having my eye in the correct spot and I move around. I like to have my eye on the eyepiece cup or as close as possible. Still thinking little refractor here as I haven't gotten my dob back in the rotation yet. Still needs some maintenance.

#19 Spartinix

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 01:12 PM

One or more high power Delite(s) for the Moon 🌝.

#20 wxcloud

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 02:01 PM

Pulled some info up on the 3mm delite. Seems doable for sure, astronomy tools has the magnification at 120x which definitely gets me close, infact the moon don't fit in the fov. Price is decent too but the magnification is probably going to be too much for the little scope?

It definitely gets me much closer then the 8mm plossl though.

#21 Spartinix

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 02:31 PM

Keep in mind though that for binoviewing a slightly smaller magnification is recommended to see just as much.
This depends also on wether you will be using some kind of corrector/amplifier with your binoviewer.

You will likely use at least a 1.xx glasspath-like lens to correct for spherochromatism.

What's the kit you ordered like?

 

If you dig binocular viewing, you will be hooked on that, at least for solar system objects.
You have a dob too? It's highly likely that one will require a corrector to compensate for the backfocus issue with most dobs.

 

I would await that kit (especially if it comes with eyepieces), and go from there regarding further eyepiece choices.


Edited by Spartinix, 03 November 2020 - 02:32 PM.


#22 wxcloud

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 02:51 PM

The binoviewer kit is the William optics one with the 20mm plossls. I've just dipped my pinky toe into those waters. Also got an edgeHD 8 to try them on. I'm not sure the binoviewer tangent is going to work yet.

I've pulled the max magnification for the ZenithStar and it's 122x. The 3mm delite puts it right to the ceiling and with the less then great seeing here, might be too much for at least the little doublet.

I'm not too worried about a matched set of new premium oculars right now because I'm sure the kit I got will get me going if I can find something it works on and I can figure out the merging.

The delites have piqued my interest however.

#23 wxcloud

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 09:01 PM

So if I'm not really digging my 4.8mm nagler would I like either the 4mm 3mm or 5mm delites? The nagler seems to not have great contrast and like looking through a straw. I mean it's usable but it's definitely not a top grab (only to zoom in closer).

Edit:
Doing some out loud thinking. Seems the delites have a longer eye relief then the nagler. Closer to the panoptic which I find pretty comfortable. Tinkering around on the astronomy tools site and if I go single digits on the eyepiece it's basically planetary and more likely lunar. Possibly globular clusters too but I don't expect resolving power here.

Edited by wxcloud, 03 November 2020 - 11:54 PM.


#24 Spartinix

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 12:30 AM

I had the 4.8mm Nagler and I know what you mean. Any Delite is way more comfortable..as you say; like Panoptics.

Edited by Spartinix, 04 November 2020 - 12:30 AM.


#25 wxcloud

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 03:33 PM

I might have narrowed things down just a bit, or tossed a monkey into the wrench... The 4mm delite for some high magnification stuff. Not sure how much planetary viewing I'll get in. I've also been looking at the pans since so far I like the 24 and this is kind of where the wrench comes in. It's a bit early to tell but I might have gotten my dob in working order. At least so far I can get the laser to return home instead of my ceiling.

So, probably going to put the ocular(s) order on hold for a wee bit longer, but I've thought about either a 35 or even 41mm panoptic.


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