I currently only have the 25mm eyepiece that came out of the box. My budget is ~$200
Now that we have debated single FL vs. zoom, each having its advantages, it comes down to short term and long term goals.
You have a scope that should be quite useable to 200X almost any night, perhaps 300X on the Moon. And there will be nights of great seeing where you will be able to go higher. So, how do you cover the full range of your scope as quickly as possible, staying as close to your budget as possible. That is how I see it.
Trying to stay within your budget and giving you a good initial spread - you need 1 eyepiece and a Barlow. That could be a Paradigm, a Celestron LX, ES 68 or ES82. Your choice, but pick the one that is your low cost starter or pick the series that you plan to build over time. Personally I lean toward the ES. I am standardized on the ES and Meade 82s.
Low power wide view - Assuming you stay with the standard 1.25" diagonal for now, that would be a 32 mm Plossl. You can get pretty good ones for 30 to $50. Celestron, Orion, Meade, GSO are all about the same and are all good.
2032 / 32 = 63X and about .78 degree FOV That is about as wide as you can go in a 1.25" in that scope.
Your 25 mm will give you 81X - over time this will likely be phased out.
18 mm = 113X
32 in 2X = 126X
25 in 2X 162X
18 in 2X 224X
Based on Paradigm and GSO Barlow, 35+ 60+ 35 = $130 And you have a workable spread. You won't have super wide views but you will have enough to get started on a minimum budget. Sub in higher priced if you wish. I am just laying out a strategy.
Use a 2.5X Barlow (GSO about $55) instead of a 2X Barlow and spread the mags a little differently. Lots of ways to play the Barlow game.
Same 32 mm Plossl
Zoom 8-24 84X to 254X and everything in between. This is the configuration you would use 90% of the time. No Barlow required.
Add a GSO 1.5X/2X Barlow for $35 and you shift the zoom range upward 1.5X or 2X, but you don't need it to start.
Celestron Zoom, about $80 Baader Zoom, $290 (My recommendation) There is also the SVBony 7-21. I just got this one but have not had a chance to put it through its paces.
You can stir the soup any way you like, but these are some options to help you get started. Personally, for a new person, I like the Plossl +zoom option, especially with a GoTo scope that tracks. Super wide is nice but more important to a manually tracked scope than a GoTo scope.
Over time you will likely add some higher priced wide view single FL eyepieces but the zoom will always be there to fill in the gaps or those quick sessions when you don't want to pull out the whole eyepiece set. Grab the 32 Plossl and the zoom and you are set for the night.
Edited by aeajr, 25 February 2021 - 09:58 AM.