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Recommended Eyepiece

Eyepieces Celestron
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#1 Willem Voigt

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 01:04 PM

Hello everyone.

 

I have always been interested in astronomy and only decided to buy a telescope about a month ago and I soon realized how little I know about telescopes. The Celestron 70AZ fit well in my budget and the overall reviews seem to indicate it is a good beginner's telescope. I have heard that the 2 eyepieces and the barlow lens that come with it is not that good, but the telescope itself is.

 

What lens or lens kit would you recommend that is preferably less than the telescope. Also, can any branded lens fit any telescope?

 

NOTE: My wife, daughter and I live in the suburbs, so we have a lot of light pollution. I tried looking at the moon a few nights ago, but I couldn't make out any detail. We will be going up to the Drakensberg (South Africa) later the year and there are some excellent viewing sites.

 

Thank you in advance.


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#2 Hexley

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 01:09 PM

The Celestron 8-24 zoom eyepiece is really flexible, and frequently show up on the classifieds for ~$65... covers a lot of ground for not much $$. It's not planetary season, but if you add a gold line 6mm 66º eyepiece for about $30 when Jupiter/Saturn come out to play, you'll be well setup!

 

People can and do spend a fortune on eyepieces, but everything in perspective, $2000 in glass on a $500 scope is generally foolish, unless they also belong to a $12,000 scope.


Edited by Hexley, 01 March 2021 - 01:09 PM.


#3 SeattleScott

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 01:15 PM

You should be able to see plenty of detail on the Moon. My uncle has that scope. It isn’t awesome but it is fine for the Moon. I suspect you were not reaching focus. You might need to have the prism diagonal in to reach focus. That scope will show an abundance of craters on the Moon. If that isn’t happening, something is wrong.

Scott

#4 DouglasPaul

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 01:16 PM

You should be able to make out detail on the moon, even with the eyepieces supplied with the telescope. The moon is the easiest object to view in the sky. So something is amiss.

 

As Hexley pointed out a zoom is a great all purpose eyepiece to have and there are a couple for sale used here right now.  https://www.cloudyni...umell-zoom-eps/



#5 photomagica

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 01:18 PM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights and congratulations on your telescope purchase. 

I would recommend sticking with the eyepieces that you have until you are more familiar with the telescope and have used it a few times. The eyepieces that Celestron supplies are good and will let you see a lot. I believe this telescope comes with an erect image star diagonal. This is fine for daytime use but does degrade stellar images. Your best immediate upgrade would be to add an astronomical star diagonal. In one of these the image will still be right side up but reversed left to right. This is a small trade off for a clearer image - especially at higher powers.

 

In the city, use your telescope to look at the Moon when it is not full - the detail is washed out at Full Moon. The Moon will be terrific in your telescope around first and last quarter or when it is a crescent. Also, get a guidebook or an app that will show you the best things to look at. There are a number of bright star clusters and double stars that are just fine for city viewing, even with all the light pollution. After doing some city viewing, you will find it easier and more enjoyable to find things and manage the telescope when you get to dark skies.

 

When you have used your telescope a half-dozen times or so, that's when to think about another eyepiece. For this particular telescope you may find that the Celestron Zoom is a good choice for both day and night viewing.

 

Let us know how it goes when you have used the telescope a bit more.

Bill


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#6 DLuders

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 01:45 PM

You can enter your telescope's Specifications into the Stelvision Telescope Simulator, to see how various sky objects appear with your telescope+eyepiece combination.  Be sure to click on the "Detailed Simulation -- Choose Your Eyepieces" wording to take full advantage of that website.  smile.gif



#7 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 01:57 PM

A 7-21mm or an 8-24mm zoom eyepiece would be a good choice.  An Astro-Tech Paradigm Dual ED/Agena Starguider Dual ED /BST Starguider Dual ED eyepiece would be a good upgrade in the fixed focal length eyepiece category.



#8 Willem Voigt

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 02:24 PM

Wow. Thank you all for the feedback. I didn't expect to get so much information so quickly. I'm glad I chose to be a member of this forum.

The night I looked at the moon from South Africa was the night that Perseverance landed. It was a crescent moon. I have much to learn, but looking forward to it.

Edited by Willem Voigt, 01 March 2021 - 02:24 PM.

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#9 Second Time Around

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 05:09 PM

I recently bought the 70mm version of the Starsense Explorer that, depending on the model 70AX you have, I believe has the same eyepieces and accessories.  It was an Xmas present for two of the grandkids, and after testing it out beforehand I bought the following for them.

 

1)  A 32mm Plossl.  This gives the maximum field of view possible with these scopes, about 2.25 degrees or about 4.5x the diameter of the full moon.  This will be great for starfields, plus large objects such as M.45 (the Pleiades or Seven Sisters).

 

2)  A zoom eyepiece, in my case a 9-27mm Hyperflex.

 

3)  A  Celestron 90 degree star diagonal.  The diagonal the scope comes with is designed for low power terrestrial use.  Additionally, it'll almost certainly show a bright spike on bright objects like Jupiter.  Astro star diagonals give a right way up image but mirror reversed.  However, they'll be better corrected.

 

4)  A  better Barlow lens.  I chose a dual 1.5/2x Barlow as this is more flexible.  The 1.5x is likely to get more use than the 2x, unless the atmosphere is nice and steady.  Not all 2x Barlows allow this, but the ones that do so don't cost any more.  These ones allow the black lens cell to be unscrewed from the body of the Barlow and then screwed into the filter thread at the bottom of an eyepiece.  Very often this won't be in the blurb, but Agena Astro says so in the specifications of their Barlows.

 

Good luck with your new hobby, and do tell us how you get on.


Edited by Second Time Around, 01 March 2021 - 06:14 PM.

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#10 JohnnyBGood

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 10:01 AM

Which model Celestron 70az is it?

 

The scope will probably benefit from upgraded eyepieces. You don't have to worry about brands, eyepieces are pretty universal. They come in three sizes: 0.965", 1.25", and 2". Your scope most likely uses 1.25" eyepieces, which are the most common and come in a wide variety of designs. Generic Ploessl eyepieces from China work fine and are an inexpensive initial upgrade. Depending on budget there are fancier options, but they're probably overkill for the scope.



#11 radiofm74

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 11:22 AM

Hello everyone.

 

I have always been interested in astronomy and only decided to buy a telescope about a month ago and I soon realized how little I know about telescopes. The Celestron 70AZ fit well in my budget and the overall reviews seem to indicate it is a good beginner's telescope. I have heard that the 2 eyepieces and the barlow lens that come with it is not that good, but the telescope itself is.

 

What lens or lens kit would you recommend that is preferably less than the telescope. Also, can any branded lens fit any telescope?

 

NOTE: My wife, daughter and I live in the suburbs, so we have a lot of light pollution. I tried looking at the moon a few nights ago, but I couldn't make out any detail. We will be going up to the Drakensberg (South Africa) later the year and there are some excellent viewing sites.

 

Thank you in advance.

Welcome Willem!

 

I went on honeymoon in South Africa and left a good piece of my heart there. We've been around a lot, from Cape Town and surroundings (ah, the Winelands) up the Garden Route, and then all the way up to the Kruger. Some of the best memories of my life. We could only glimpse the Drakensberg from afar but I bet it will be wonderful! And the Southern skies! How jealous I am!

 

To your questions…

 

From what I read, "detail" and high magnification is not the forte of a small refractor. Plus we don't know what eyepieces were provided with yours… I'll bet a 25mm and something shorter for higher magnification? Be that as it may: a great deal of lunar detail should be visible from anywhere – including Times Square – through a scope like yours.

 

Unless there's something wrong with your scope, I'd chalk it up to:

- Bad seeing conditions when you were looking. Turbulence can limit the amount of detail visible on any object. This includes also cases where you were looking over hot rooftops, or perhaps from within your apartment. Go to a meteo service like MeteoBlue, and they'll also give you "seeing conditions". If you don't know the difference between "seeing" and "transparency", go to the thread on the Beginner's best of How-tos.

- Operator error. After a couple months in the hobby I realized that you just have to spend time at the eyepiece to acquire the skills needed to operate the scope, point it, and observe.

- Not knowing exactly where to look or what to look for. The Moon is so full of features that you can just get lost and overlook the interesting bits. A good rule is to look along the "terminator" for the more dramatic features. But my key suggestion would be: get a good book to get you started (especially if you don't know what the terminator is). Not Kindle, not PDFs… a physical book you can take in the field. I have "Turn Left at Orion" and I love it. Its lunar chapter is as wonderful as the rest of the book. Let the authors introduce you to the Apennines, Mount Pico, Sinus Iridium, crater Longrenus, Tycho, the Straight Wall & Co!

 

As you're buying the book, and you're about to go to dark places (jealous, again) buy a red flashlight. When you're looking at the moon, getting dark adapted is not so crucial. It is, however, when you're going for fainter objects like clusters, nebulae and galaxies… which you WILL want to do. The last thing you want to do is to stare at a computer screen to look up a chart!

 

PS: there were two more questions that I did not address.

-- Brands are not important when it comes to fitting eyepieces to telescopes: it's a matter of format. Eyepieces have to fit into the focuser or star diagonal, and come in basically two formats: 1.25 inches and 2 inches. Check on the manual of your scope what format you have – I presume 1.25 – and shop accordingly. BUT

-- Before buying eyepieces, I'd use what you have for a few months. I assume that they are adequate eyepieces. I'd rather focus on skills and knowledge. Other accessories might also come in handy: a moon filter (or sunglasses), an observation chair…

 

In any case, it's likely that, if you post pics of the eyepieces and Barlow, the good folks on the forum will be able to tell you exactly what you have and how good they are. 


Edited by radiofm74, 02 March 2021 - 11:50 AM.


#12 Willem Voigt

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 12:30 PM

Thanks. The 70az PowerSeeker came with 20mm, 4mm and a 3x Barlow. I definitely need more practice.

We actually have a small observatory at a school I used to teach at. I am still a teacher, but moved to a different school. If time allows, I'll be joining the Durban Astronomical Society, then I can have access to the Galileo Observatory. It's very small, but it should be fun.


I really appreciate the help. I'll give that book a look.
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#13 Tank

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 05:57 PM

For beginners the best cost effective eyepiece is a zoom with a barlow
Get all your FLs pretty much
What zoom well most generic Celestron or Meade are about $50
If you want to step it up get a Baader zoom

#14 DouglasPaul

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 07:43 PM

Thanks. The 70az PowerSeeker came with 20mm, 4mm and a 3x Barlow. I definitely need more practice.

We actually have a small observatory at a school I used to teach at. I am still a teacher, but moved to a different school. If time allows, I'll be joining the Durban Astronomical Society, then I can have access to the Galileo Observatory. It's very small, but it should be fun.


I really appreciate the help. I'll give that book a look.

My guess is that barlow is, well, not very good. (I'm trying to be kind) Ditto the 4 mm. I could be wrong but that has been my experience. The 20 mm should be ok and you should get a good view if the moon with it. Not hovering over the surface good but a pleasing view with good focus. 

 

I don't know how cheap you want to go, I have an Svbony 2X barlow and am happy with it. Ebay has it for $13.99  https://www.ebay.com...4IAAOSwcddfskin

 

Plus they have the whole lineup there..https://www.ebay.com...4/bn_7116852904



#15 SDAngler

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 12:03 AM

I am very new to astronomy too.  I also have the Celestron Astromaster 70AZ and bought a Celestron 8-24 Zoom, this diagonal https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1, and a mobile phone holder.

 
IMG 3933
 

Took this photos of a recent full moon

 

I also recommend Turn Left at Orion


Edited by SDAngler, 03 March 2021 - 12:23 AM.


#16 JohnnyBGood

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 08:45 AM

I think you'll be surprised at what a different even a minor upgrade makes. You scope comes with H20 and SR4 eyepieces. The H20 should be reasonably sharp but the SR4 is really too much magnification to be useful most of the time (175x). This is probably only really useful for looking at the moon on rare, perfect nights when the atmosphere is incredibly stable with no humidity or dust in the air. A more practical maximum magnification would be around 120-140x, which will be useful more nights out of the year. Basically, higher the power the fewer nights it'll be useful, so a lower maximum power (below 140) isn't a bad thing.

 

The 3x Barlow is only going to be useful with the H20 eyepiece, giving you 700mm / 20mm * 3 = 105x magnification, which is okay for high power views but doesn't leave you with anything in between. The 3x Barlow is functional, but pretty low end and is long and unwieldy.

 

For that size scope I personally like to use a 25-26mm Ploesll, a 10-12.5mm Ploessl, and either a compact "shorty" 2x Barlow (to use with the 10-12.5mm eyepiece) or a 6-6.5mm eyepiece. That gives good low (27-28x), medium (56-70x), and high (112-140x) power viewing options, which is usually enough to get an optimal view of anything in the sky. Total cost somewhere in the $40-$60 range for generic eyepieces. Ploessl eyepieces have some advantages over the ones you have: they should be slightly sharper and more importantly they have a larger apparent field of view, which means the "circle" you see when you look through them physically looks bigger, like looking through a bigger diameter straw or a bigger window. That makes the overall experience much more enjoyable-indeed it'll hardly seem like the same scope.

 

Zoom eyepieces can be a good alternative but are usually more expensive. The 8-24 zooms would work well, but with your scope they would max out at about 88x magnification which to me would seem like not quite enough and would need a 2x Barlow. The 8-24 zooms are also surprisingly big and heavy, and may overload your mount. You can tighten the screws holding the scope in the yoke to compensate, but that makes it a bit jerkier to move around, especially at higher powers. A 7-21 zoom is usually a little smaller and combined with a low power Ploessl could be a good option (since all but the most expensive zooms have smaller fields of view at low power than a Ploessl would), but again you miss out on some of the high power capability of your scope for viewing the moon and planets.

 

Turn Left at Orion is the single most useful telescope accessory I've ever bought. In addition to showing you how to find hundreds of interesting things to see it also has a fun night-by-night "moon tour" walking you through many interesting features on the moon that will be visible with your scope at high power.



#17 ponybird

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 09:48 AM

I have a Vixen 'Space Eye' 70mm, f/10 I bought on clearance for $50 last year that came with 20 & 10mm plossl's and a shaky alt/az tripod. Using the 20mm that little scope suprised me a bit using my cell phone to snap a few moon pics. Focus was better directly through the eyepiece.

20210202_014857.jpg



#18 Bigal1817

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 10:39 AM

A 70mm telescope is a good starter telescope. It's small, portable, and will give you good views of the moon, Jupiter, Saturn, and more. If you enjoy the views and decide you like this hobby, you may choose to consider buying a 2nd telescope. Any eyepieces you purchase now can be used with future telescopes. It's pretty common for someone to purchase a beginner telescope and then question the price of eyepieces, I know I did!  Unfortunately, that's the reality of stargazing.  I recommend a low-power, wide-field Plossl for your telescope, a 24mm or 26mm will do nicely.  Feel free to buy used on CN classifieds to save some money, this has worked for many including myself. You will also want to buy a moon filter if you don't already have one.




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