Thanks for your comment. A few things have really become apparent, and clearly depart from my current observing strategies:
Firstly, that much more magnification than I would have anticipated can be required/advisable for many objects, I have been far too conservative with magnification, always trying to maximise exit pupil, that I need to change.
Secondly, something I have never tried and hadn't occurred to me, trying to tease out detail from different parts of the object by using different magnifications. As a newcomer you try to observe the object as a unit and as a whole, it is starting to become clear to me that it is not the best approach. So much that I want to put into practice as soon as I can get under clear skies!
Thanks again for all the excellent input, I am really glad I started this thread, learning tons..
When Seeing supports it, I think of deep sky objects like galaxies and planetaries as I think about the Moon in my 12.5":
100x--whole object visible, not much detail, but impressive. Shape easily seen. Lanes and spiral arms on large galaxies seen and H-II regions as small bright knots. Planetary nebulae outline shapes seen.
200x--whole object visible, lots of details seen, shape seen and some internal details. Medium size galaxies (Virgo Cluster) look great, H-II clouds and star clusters seen in some local group galaxies.
300x--whole or partial object seen, lots of tiny details seen, object beginning to resemble a photograph. Spiral arms seen in many galaxies, central stars in most planetaries and some outer shells.
400x--whole or partial object seen, lots of tiny details seen, object resembles a photograph, small faint extensions and outer features seen. Planetaries resemble photos, galaxies have internal details and small companions seen.
500x--whole or partial object seen, internal details incredible, photographic presentation, small faint extensions and knots and features seen. Galaxies have become fainter, but planetaries are incredible, with shells, internal details, central stars and more.
If I were thinking about the Moon, those same magnifications would be for:
100x--whole Moon, maybe Earthshine.
200x--generally good view of entire moon and larger craters. Details show up in maria.
300x--great view of craters, cracks, walls, fissures, rilles. Best view over all, but smaller craters have details just beyond reach.
400x--crater details begin to resemble photos and small peaks begin to take on shapes, revealing their elevations.
500x--stupendous views, albeit getting dim. Crater floors are incredible. Plato has multiple craterlets, the Alpen Valley rille is seen, you're almost in orbit. The view from 500 miles above the Moon.
Edited by Starman1, 07 April 2021 - 04:38 PM.