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First two eyepieces for a 10" f4.7 Orion XT10 dobsonian

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#1 ForTozs

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 01:35 AM

I just purchased my first Dobsonian scope, and it is quite the upgrade from my old Celestron 90 mm refractor. Let me start off by saying I am not very experienced in skywatching and the equipment involved. My Orion XT10 dobsonian came with the 25mm Orion Sirius Plossl eyepiece. First impression is that this eyepiece certainly finds alot of objects, but planets are a pretty small and DSOs don't resolve well in my relatively light-polluted neighborhood. Also, the field-of-view makes finding objects that aren't visible to my naked eye a bit tedious. I am yet to take it to dark skies, but I just got it yesterday. I will be spending most of my time with it in my backyard, but plan to take it to dark skies occasionally. As far as how I approach my purchases, I lean toward the "buy-once" mentality, although I do think a nicer scope may be in my future in a few years (perhaps a nice refractor).

 

With all this said, I am looking to purchase two fully-multicoated eyepieces to start off. I am looking for something good for planetary views as well as a wide 2" eyepiece to use as a finder and for viewing bigger DSOs. I don't want to go on the cheap, but at the same time, I don't feel I need anything that will far exceed the capabilites of my scope unless the price difference isn't that great. I'm hoping maybe in the ballpark of $600 for both eyepieces, but I can be flexible. If I can fully utilize my scope's optics for much cheaper all the better, but with a nice refractor potentially in my future, I could potentially spend more if they are truly "buy-once" eyepieces. Which eyepieces do you recommend? I'd prefer to stick with more recognizable brands, so I can research as many opinions as possible. But I'll try and keep an open mind.


Edited by ForTozs, 14 November 2020 - 02:39 AM.


#2 SeattleScott

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 01:55 AM

If you hurry you can still get a Meade 5.5mm UWA from Adorama or possibly others. This is a very highly regarded yet affordable eyepiece that was recently discontinued. It would be a good magnification for planetary viewing and give a wide view so objects don’t drift out too quickly. Note you will need good collimation to get sharp views at 200x+. Certainly there are other options. I really like my Takahashi 5LE but it’s narrower view might be better for a tracking mount like I have. The Pentax 5XW is excellent and on sale for $269. There are Televue options as well.

For medium power you really want something around 10-12mm with a wide AFOV. Lots of options. ES 11mm 82 is popular, although not the value proposition it once was. Baader Morpheus 12.5 is a great option. Pentax 10XW is also on sale.

Low power, stick with about 30mm max focal length. APM 30 UFF, ES 24 82, could even consider APM 20mm XWA but you really should get coma corrector for 100 AFOV.

Ok here is my suggestion. Low power APM 30 UFF for $230. Medium power Baader Morpheus 12.5mm for $240. High power Meade 5.5mm UWA for $130. I believe that gives you three outstanding eyepieces for $600.

Scott
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#3 ForTozs

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 02:18 AM

Thanks. It seems the Meade 5.5 mm is quite popular and in stock in some places. I didn't expect medium power to only be 12.5 mm. What would this eyepiece be best suited for? Also, that APM looks to have great TFOV for the price. I will definitely consider that one. Why do you say I would only want 30 mm max? 


Edited by ForTozs, 14 November 2020 - 02:18 AM.


#4 PKDfan

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 03:31 AM

Hi ForTozs! I believe that the 30mm will give you the max. exit pupil for you-eyepiece focal length divided by your telescopes focal ratio so 30/5=6mm exit pupil or about the largest size pupil an adult has. I am not sure of your telescopes focal ratio I think 4.7? So even bigger exit pupil! Hope that explains it.

Clear skies & Good seeing

Edited by PKDfan, 14 November 2020 - 03:31 AM.

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#5 Bill Jensen

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 08:07 AM

Congrats on the new scope. I have a 10 inch dob, and it is a great size, especially for viewing from your backyard. 

 

Given your preference to buy once, I would suggest looking at a nice barlow. I have a TeleVue Big Barlow, which is not as expensive as their Powermate line, yet it performs quite well. You don't have many eyepieces yet, and a barlow effectively doubles your eyepiece set right away, assuming you buy eyepieces that are not repeating the focal length using a barlow. 

 

I think buying used eyepieces makes sense, most folks do not abuse them. I like the Panoptic line as wider field line from Televue. The 27 Panoptic is a nice two inch eyepiece, a tad cheaper than their 35 mm offering, and more in line with what you have in terms of f ratio of your scope as PDKfan mentions. For a medium focal length offering, I would suggest something like the TeleVue 12 mm Nagler, as it has both a 2 inch and 1.25 inch barrel, so you could use it potentially on scopes that are limited to 1.25 inches. Putting it in a barlow would give you a 6mm focal length, or probably about 200 power. You could aim for something like a 7 or 9mm Nagler type 6 model, which would give you even more reach if you use a barlow. 

 

I don't own any of the newer Televue Delos or Ethos eyepieces. I am sure they are worth considering, although they are $$ even on the used market. I have kept my Naglers for quite some time (more than a decade for certain) and I purchased all of them used. My most used eyepieces are the 22 panoptic, the 17 and 12 Nagler, and more recently, with Mars, the 3-6 mm Nagler zoom. The seeing rarely gives me a chance at my location to exceed 200x magnification very often, but when it does, I am "ready". 

 

Good luck with your decision, and don't overlook a good plossl with a barlow as an intermediate chance to build your collection. You can always use a budget plossl now, and when something you want pops up used, snag it. The budget plossl is a good eyepiece to use when we start to return to star parties and public viewing. It is better to use something cheaper when you do go to public viewing events, both for security (I had an expensive ep stolen once) and for the kid or even adult who puts their finger right on the lens itself, accidentally . 

 

Have fun with your scope!


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#6 SeattleScott

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 10:07 AM

Thanks. It seems the Meade 5.5 mm is quite popular and in stock in some places. I didn't expect medium power to only be 12.5 mm. What would this eyepiece be best suited for? Also, that APM looks to have great TFOV for the price. I will definitely consider that one. Why do you say I would only want 30 mm max?

For a 10” scope, 100-120x is a good moderate power that will do justice to a variety of DSO. Many open clusters, it’s a good exit pupil for galaxies, and good for some nebulae like Lagoon or Swan or Orion. It will also split a number of doubles and show many planetary nebulae well, although some prefer more magnification for these targets.

The question about 30mm was already answered well so nothing to add there, other than light pollution makes it even more important to control the exit pupil.

Scott
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#7 csrlice12

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 11:09 AM

The one eyepiece I still kind of regret ever selling was the ES82 24mm.....50X in the XT10 and an excellent large nebula eyepiece...M8 is jaw dropping on a night of good transparency....works better in town than the 30mm, and is really, really good at a dark site.


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#8 ForTozs

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 11:31 AM

Thanks PKDfan and Scott, those are good explanations. That's not a bad approach Bill.... getting the two Televues and using a barlow for my high-power viewing. That way I can get two nicer eyepieces to start, and I can always add a high-power eyepiece later when I want to step up from the barlow. Starting with two eyepieces was my original thought. I'm glad y'all explained exit pupil though, because I was under the impression that the lower the magnification the better for wide views. Televue is one of the brands I have been looking at, and certainly has a great reputation. I will consider used, as you suggested, and see if a pair of Televues fits my budget. Very helpful, guys!


Edited by ForTozs, 14 November 2020 - 02:04 PM.

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#9 sportsmed

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 01:43 PM

Congrats on the scope I have a 10" Dob myself and love it, still portable but enough of a light bucket to get some great views especially in dark skies. I would say at high mag you would want more FOV because of drift time in the eyepiece since your Dob is manual. I have the Meade UWA 5.5 and it is a great eyepiece but really alot of magnification on some nights and I would opt for something that is alittle more usable. You could look at the ES 82 6.7mm - 8.8mm those would be great at higher mag but yea I would stay with an eyepiece thats 68-82o FOV also since you have the 25mm you could get something in between like in the 14-18mm range. Again ES 82 is an option but I know alot of people talk highly of the Delite, Pentax XW, and Morpheus  series EP's so you could look at them.


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#10 SeattleScott

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 06:27 PM

If looking specifically at TV, for low power you are looking at 31 Nagler (might be affordable used) or 27 Panoptic. Given the used price of the Nagler, you are probably looking at the Panoptic. A 2” barlow would give you 13.5mm. You could add a 9mm or so, maybe Nagler or Delite, and barlow it for high power.

Scott
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#11 ForTozs

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 07:00 PM

Thanks guys. A lot to think about here. I will consider all the suggestions. I'm not specifically looking for Televues, but I am familiar with them enough to expect that those would be close to top of the line and a "buy once" kind of purchase. I had actually originally thought about Televues, but it seemed some suggested they were not recommended for a fast 10" Dob. I may have misinterpretted someone suggesting that >30 mm Televue would be a waste of money though. If my XT10 can do the <30 mm Televues justice, then a purchase like that might make good sense. I am still relatively young (early 40s), and it seems I may be able to find some nice Televues within my budget. And if I jump for a nice refractor one day, I'll already have optics that do it justice. I'm not dead-set on getting Televues, but having a better idea of what will work with my scope makes it seem like they are definitely still on the table.


Edited by ForTozs, 14 November 2020 - 08:20 PM.


#12 Echolight

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 10:50 PM

I don't think anyone would say TV's weren't suited for fast dobs. Because their design philosophy is based on building wide angle eyepieces for fast scopes.
 

They're just heavy and expensive. 

 

A 31 Nagler would be considered the ultimate low power eyepiece for your scope if you don't mind using counterweights for balance or the $700 price tag.


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#13 BillP

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 11:42 PM

Ok here is my suggestion. Low power APM 30 UFF for $230. Medium power Baader Morpheus 12.5mm for $240. High power Meade 5.5mm UWA for $130. I believe that gives you three outstanding eyepieces for $600.

This is a great suggestion IMO.  I have the XT10 also.  For low power and wide TFOV, a 40mm gives a overly large exit pupil and you actually lose much of the light gathering of the scope as a result, so even bright nebula like M42 are lackluster.  So 30mm is a little better giving you a 30mm/f4.7=6.4mm exit pupil and about 1.75 degree TFOV.  FWIW though, when the XT10 was my primary scope I did use 2" capability but usually only once in a while, when I viewed really large objects like M45.  So in general it was an infrequently used thing so for me would have been a waste of money really to get an uber premium 30mm like a 31T5 or something.  Instead, since a less used eyepiece for me, I would go with a 28mm ES68 which will give 28/4.7=6mm exit pupil and 1,6 deg TFOV.  Plus if you do not have a coma corrector, then does not matter how premium the eyepiece is, it will not show good star points in the outer half of the FOV anyway so not like you will get any advantage from the extra cost without a Paracorr in place.  The heavy weight of many of the premium 30 or 35mm eyepieces made them really inconvenient to use as like loading a brick onto the focuser.  So be careful to see some of those 30mm class wide fields before you buy and feel if their size and weight is off-putting for you or not.

 

The 12.5mm Morpheus is also a great suggestion...or a 12 Delos if you want to spend $100+ more for less AFOV.  Ergonomics are superb and contrast phenomenal.  This eyepiece will give you an exit pupil between 2-3mm, which I find actually perfect for nebula and galaxies.  It is an exit pupil range that gives great contrast to the view keeping a bright view for the target and nice dark background sky.  Also a perfect exit pupil range if you use a UHC or similar nebula filter.

 

For planetary anything in the 7mm-5mm range will be fine.  For me with the XT10 a 6mm was my most used high power eyepiece as the exit pupil was still bright (1.3mm), the magnification was sufficiently high for the planets and many tight doubles (200x), and my local seeing allowed 200x often whereas the 250-300x was not so often.  So got more mileage from a 6mm than a 5mm.  In this range you have a lot of nice wide field options such as a 5.5 Meade UWA, Nagler 5T6 or 7T6, 7XW, 6.5 Morpheus, 6 Delos.  Another option would be to get 2x Barlow to get the 12mm eyepiece to the 6mm range.

 

As a side, before you haul off and get a 100 degree eyepiece, if you are considering, try to use one in the field first to make sure you are comfortable with their larger form factor and weight, and if it is easy to use as for some folks while the 100 degree AFOV is impressive, it also requires more eyeball gymnastics to peer around all the edges so tends to feel like more work and less fun as the 70-82 degree eyepieces are.

 

So to start, my recommendation would be something like the 30 UFF, a 12mm Delos or 12.5mm Morpheus or 13T6 Nagler, and a TV 2x 1.25" Barlow.

 

28 ES68* - $240

13T6 - $260

TV 2x - $130 -or- 5.5mm Meade UWA for $130

------

$630

 

* NOTE - a a 24mm ES82 for $330 is IMO the most ideal here as it gives a much better 5mm exit pupil and the same TFOV as the 28 ES68.  The Entire Sword of Orion with M42 in center would be killer with this eyepiece!  It will set you back though another $100 but then your three focal lengths will all be an 82 degree space walk :-).


Edited by BillP, 15 November 2020 - 12:18 AM.

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#14 CN_102NE

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 11:46 PM

I have the Orion 10xt also.  Did yours not come with a 9x50 finder scope?  I really like that scope.  I also put a telrad on.  Wouldn't go out without it for finding things.  Of course it has the hand computer but I prefer the telrad.  I use a standard 30mm celestron plossl, the 18mm morpheus, and I just picked up an ES 9mm 62 degree I want to try on galaxies.  I've never tried the Meade 5.5  but I`d guess it would be sweet for Jupiter and Saturn.


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#15 SeattleScott

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 12:41 AM

Or the Moon, globular clusters, maybe planetary nebulae. I love zooming in on the filaments in Veil at 200x or so.

I met a guy with a 10” Dob who used a 2” 35mm and a 17mm LVW almost exclusively. Said atmosphere rarely supports better. I have the same atmosphere. I suspect his collimation rarely supports better.

Scott
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#16 Echolight

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 12:58 AM

I have the Orion 10xt also.  Did yours not come with a 9x50 finder scope?  I really like that scope.  I also put a telrad on.  Wouldn't go out without it for finding things.  Of course it has the hand computer but I prefer the telrad.  I use a standard 30mm celestron plossl, the 18mm morpheus, and I just picked up an ES 9mm 62 degree I want to try on galaxies.  I've never tried the Meade 5.5  but I`d guess it would be sweet for Jupiter and Saturn.

Only the "i" comes with the 9x50 RACI


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#17 PKDfan

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 01:45 AM

Hi there ForTozs! Everyone has given you superlative recommendations on eyepieces so will chime in on some intangibles: powers on extreme either side rarely get used much. I find I use just over 2mm exit pupil the most(makes best use of eyes resolving power)which is 45x and 1 3/4 degree field with my 20mm Nagler. In an apo the experience is an unforgetable visual thrill(EVERYTIME) when scanning the summer milkyway the experience is surreal. I do also like my largest(surveyor) eyepiece[38mm] which does 2.9° and 23.7x(4.2mm exit pupil) but find a little more power is better and my light pollution makes the view grey anyways so its a dark sky eyepiece. I will use it more often when I get an OIII filter. If you truly love exquisite views I would think a coma corrector a 'must' buy but only if your picky and the coma is interfering and a bit of wrangling to improve and enlarge your corrected image plane size f.o.v. pays dividends always: quality never hurts anything(except wallet)! Also the reverse is true your sky will limit you on most nights to less than say 200x usually 150x or less is more common IME. For better penetration of image scale I just love my Baader 8-24 zoom. Just perfect for 36x-105x views(of moon especially). I decided that one final piece of the puzzle was needed-I decided I needed an 'enhanced' resolution EP so got Baader Morpheus 6.5mm for about 135x and a .74mm exit pupil, for my seeing I decided against a slightly higher 150x and a slightly dimmer image. For us 4inch refractorholics we have to find the 'sweet' spot exit pupil size for majority use purposes. If you love optics and like to do some legwork homework I will suggest the website astro-talks.ru which has tons of lens and telescope tests done on an optical bench(use chrome for google translate). I found my Morpheus that way and why I totally drool over the TV Delos 4.5mm but its just alot of magnification and ALOT of dough for a too little lack of use to cost of purchase purchase LOL. One last thought too to get out there is you dont need grade A optics all around consider carefully where to put your hard earned money for those always used eyelens. Also its a thought to stick with one brand of eyepieces for parfocality-little or no need to refocus when switching out oculars.
Consider a quality barlow also though watch out you dont duplicate powers! Most sincere wish for a long and happy astronomical life with the ones you love ForTozs!!

CS & GS

Edited by PKDfan, 15 November 2020 - 01:55 AM.

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#18 jakecru

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 10:41 AM

I think a 30 APM UFF, 12.5 Morpheus, and 5.5 UWA would be a good start, but another interesting option could be to take advantage of the XW sale. The 10 XW for example will give you a nice medium 120x and close to a 2mm exit pupil. The 30 APM UFF, 10 XW, and 5.5 UWA could also make an excellent starter set. You could then later add a 7 XW and have a nice scale up of 120, to 170x to 220x with 170 and 220 both being useful high power magbifications for most nights.
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#19 SeattleScott

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 11:46 AM

I think a 30 APM UFF, 12.5 Morpheus, and 5.5 UWA would be a good start, but another interesting option could be to take advantage of the XW sale. The 10 XW for example will give you a nice medium 120x and close to a 2mm exit pupil. The 30 APM UFF, 10 XW, and 5.5 UWA could also make an excellent starter set. You could then later add a 7 XW and have a nice scale up of 120, to 170x to 220x with 170 and 220 both being useful high power magbifications for most nights.

Absolutely a consideration. I thought about this but I wanted the total price to match the $600 the OP set as a target budget, and even on sale the XW is $30 more than Morpheus. But the OP did suggest there is some flexibility on price so this approach certainly has merit.

Scott
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#20 cimar

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 11:59 AM

Hi,

it is helpful to have a plan for an entire eyepiece set and then to choose the two most relevant to start buying with. Ith is beneficial to decide for one line of eyepieces with similar properties and focal positions. Delos or Morpheus are great and affordable lines of eyepieces.

For your scope eyepieces with focal length of  about 30, 17, 10, 6 and 3.5mm would be great.


Edited by cimar, 15 November 2020 - 12:00 PM.

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#21 SeattleScott

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 12:11 PM

Hi,
it is helpful to have a plan for an entire eyepiece set and then to choose the two most relevant to start buying with. Ith is beneficial to decide for one line of eyepieces with similar properties and focal positions. Delos or Morpheus are great and affordable lines of eyepieces.
For your scope eyepieces with focal length of about 30, 17, 10, 6 and 3.5mm would be great.

True, although the 30mm will be a different brand and not parfocal, and the 17.5 Morpheus and 17.3 Delos are not parfocal with the rest of the series. So he could get a 30 UFF, 17.5 Morpheus and 10 & 7 XWs and get the same parfocal benefits as a 30 UFF with 17.3, 10 and 6 Delos.

Honestly if you have to refocus going from 30 to 17 and from 17 to higher power, there really isn’t a big advantage to parfocal eyepieces. Certainly it is helpful for high power observing when you are swapping around eyepieces trying to get the best view. And having a consistent set means consistent eye placement and presentation, so it isn’t just about parfocal. So there is some benefits and I have a main set that I use a lot. But it isn’t a dealbreaker for me.

Scott
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#22 ForTozs

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Posted 16 November 2020 - 12:45 AM

More great suggestions. Much to sort through here. As far as a finder, I have the red dot sight that it came with. I actually find it to be very useable, but a nice apo finder is something that may come in time. I hadn't even considered that many eyepieces wouldn't be parfocal with others. That is definitely a consideration. I definitely plan on nerding out on that astro-talks.ru site. I'd love to know the physics behind the differences in eyepieces. I could take my time in terms of picking them out, as I'm still getting views that are better than I'm used to. But as some of you mentioned, this is a great time to get some on sale, so hopefully I can make up my mind soon. Thanks for all the great information.



#23 Adam Long

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Posted 16 November 2020 - 10:55 AM

I've got a 10" f/4.7.

 

I like the ES 34/68 for max tfov. I have the APM 30mm also which is a good bit lighter and perhaps a little better at the very edge but the ES is a significantly bigger view and plenty sharp enough.

 

For mid-range I have the ES 8.8/82 and Nagler T6 13mm. Both are very good, the Nagler is sharper at the edge but the ES was 40% of the cost. As others have said, around 9mm you get a 2mm exit pupil which delivers the best combination of pinpoint stars and high contrast black sky.

 

For high mags I've got the Meade 5.5 and Nirvana 4mm. I can't really fault the 5.5 for the price, it is as sharp as the Nagler but a bit bulky. There aren't many options at 4mm and the Nirvana performs well but isn't quite as contrasty as the others.

 

One thing to consider is getting steps which aren't double so a decent 2x barlow will increase your options.


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#24 ForTozs

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 07:59 PM

Great point about not doubling the steps. I'm hearing multiple recommendations for a 12–13 mm Nagler, so I will have to take that very strongly into consideration. Also another +1 for the 5.5 mm Meade. At this point, I am leaning to a Televue 27 mm Panoptic and the 5.5 mm Meade, but I've been a bit busy this week, so I haven't had time to look at the optical performance of each on that Russian site. I can get a Barlow that will hit that 13 mm range in the short term, and consider a different focal length Nagler as a future purchase. Much to think about!



#25 PKDfan

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 12:05 AM

Hi ForTozs; a nice barlow is a great tool but need not be expensive, mine is wonderful and used cost 60cdn. Be warned that site has quite a few but not 'every' eyepiece made is reviewed but still very very many. Another very budget ep. is the TMB Planetary II clones very good ep. I have SWs version that came with my scope 5mm(180X) excellent ep. My best recommendation is to take your time with purchases and get the best exit pupils when you do buy. Both of those eyepieces are worthy optically but be warned about the grease under the shroud on the 5.5mm that can be an issue and is why I'm glad there was a fubar situation when my 5.5 went missing after I purchased it so actually very glad because I got a better 6.5mm Morpheus instead remember to do your homework reverbetated throughout my head for a long time afterward and is how I discovered astro-talks.ru and by the way there is a link to the DPAC interferometry testing done downstairs from where the forum meets in person. My scope tests very well! And in real world performance well its even better!! Hubble like image for a few blessed moments on Mars transiting a few days past opposition... oh so sweet!!!

CS & GS
EDIT: clarity

Edited by PKDfan, 18 November 2020 - 12:12 AM.

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