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Recommendations for beginner with Astroscan?

Eyepieces Planet Observing Beginner
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#1 Ryanocalypse

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 01:34 PM

Edit: I realize now this probably would have been better suited in the Beginner's forum, so I apologize!

 

Hello everybody!

 

A couple of months ago I was able to pick up an Edmund Astroscan 2001 with 3 eyepieces (RKE 8mm, 15mm, and 28mm). Everything is in immaculate condition, I paid $50. I know I am incredibly lucky and fortunate to have been given this telescope with the eyepieces for such an amazing price, I'm truly grateful. This scope is perfect for me while I learn the sky and gain some experience. I do have a couple of questions for whomever feels like they want to provide some advice! Also, excuse any ignorance you may see on my part, I'm still learning!

 

Some specs and information to start out.

Focal ratio: 4.25", f/4.2

Focal length: 432mm

- I'm living in the South so the skies can be fairly light polluted, even in the rural areas (~1 hour from Nashville). I am moving to northern Montana (Kalispell) in the next couple of months, so my situation here is not permanent.

- I know I can look for astronomy clubs but we are moving soon, causing me to rethink the situation. I also feel like a fraud going in and just looking through eyepieces without getting to know the people!

 

I understand most deep sky objects are likely out of my grasp at the moment, but I am really enjoying the moon, Orion Nebula, and star clusters like Pleiades. More recently, Saturn and Jupiter have been coming into my view from the early morning sky. I am able to see Jupiter and its moons as well as Saturn and its rings. However, the image is longing for more. I can barely see Saturn's rings, as the resolution is not great and produces a blurry image. I had to use my 8mm eyepiece to see the rings at all, bringing me to a magnification of x54. I am lacking in magnification and resolution for planetary viewing, the double dose of being almost there! So I have a couple of pertinent questions as well as a general question that I will ask below.

 

Questions:

1. I am looking for a planetary eyepiece (I know, how original!) with quality specs for around $100-150. I'm thinking my best bet would be in the Tele Vue Plossl line. Does anybody concur or have thoughts of other options? I'm not necessarily looking for a zoom lens, unless somebody can put up a good argument.

2. Since my magnification is low, I should look at getting a Barlow lens as well. I would like to future-proof this as much as I can, so I'm willing to settle for around $200, with wiggle room on each side. I'm thinking the Tele Vue Powermates (I don't think this is a true Barlow but people seem to like them), either the 2.5x or 5x, depending on recommended eyepieces above. 

3. I'm more curious about the planetary eyepiece but figured I would ask a general question regarding the rest of the sky. If I were to add another low-power eyepiece to my collection, what would you guys recommend? My RKE eyepieces work great for what I'm doing now, I just want to keep my eyes open for anything that pops up. I'm open to a variety of suggestions regarding brand and type of eyepiece. Again my RKE eyepieces are good, so I would want to look for something that is really good or great if I decide to buy. My budget for this would be around $200 (obviously less if possible) but again with some wiggle room. Field of view is important but it's definitely not a deal breaker. If, in the much distant future, I decide to focus on FOV I would go all out on a Nagler or Ethos on a different scope. I'm also not accustomed to eye-relief because of lack of experience, so again this is not much of a deal breaker for me. I would be looking at an eyepiece that can provide a clear image to get the most out of my amazing beginner scope.

 

Thank you so much to anybody that reads this or wants to comment to help me out!

 

- Ryan


Edited by Ryanocalypse, 09 April 2021 - 03:03 PM.

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#2 SeattleScott

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 01:43 PM

TV Plossl won’t help much. Shortest focal length is 8mm, same as your RKE. You would be looking for something like a 5mm Paradigm to get more magnification for planetary. A vintage 3.8mm could be a nice higher power planetary eyepiece.

The RKEs are pretty sharp. They just aren’t wide. Anything wide will suffer from coma. You probably want to stick to around 60-65 AFOV or less. So you could go significantly wider than the RKEs, like Paradigm or Celestron Xcel LX. Or maybe TV Delite if you want top quality.

Scott

Edited by SeattleScott, 09 April 2021 - 01:48 PM.

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#3 Ryanocalypse

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 01:51 PM

TV Plossl won’t help much. Shortest focal length is 8mm, same as your RKE. You would be looking for something like a 5mm Paradigm to get more magnification for planetary. A vintage 3.8mm could be a nice higher power planetary eyepiece.

Scott

Thank you for reply and recommendations Scott! Would you still not recommend the Tele Vue 8 mm Plossl with say a 2.5x or 5x Tele Vue Powermate, since I planned to get a Barlow anyway? This would bring my total magnification to x135 or x270 respectively.

 

Thanks again for your input!

 

Edit: I know the telescope mirror quality would be a limiting factor as well, but a nice eyepiece and Barlow would have to increase resolution as well as future proofing the eyepiece/Barlow, right?

 

- Ryan


Edited by Ryanocalypse, 09 April 2021 - 01:54 PM.


#4 Mitrovarr

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 01:54 PM

I don't think I would spend hundreds of dollars on fancy eyepieces for planetary use in an Astroscan. It's never going to be good at it. Even if the optics are up to it (hard to say, the optics on that scope vary a bit), you can't collimate it precisely, the focuser isn't up to the task, and the tracking isn't really good enough. Everything in that scope is designed for low power use.

 

And while you do save eyepieces for use in future scopes, they might easily not be the best choices for it. Like, I just bought a 5mm Pentax. It's a great eyepiece in my refractors. In my dobs, it's kind of starting to get very high power. In my SCTs, it is uselessly high power. In an Astroscan, it's not even high enough power!

 

Plus, for the $300 or so you talk about spending, you could get a 6 inch dobsonian that would absolutely obliterate the Astroscan on planets.

 

That being said, I'll also answer your question as asked.

 

Planetary eyepiece? For an Astroscan, because you don't have motorized tracking and the scope is so fast, you need something well corrected (you'll need to look at things as they drift across the field, so it's important the edges of the field are sharp, as it gives you more drift time). It's also going to have to be really, really low focal length to get any kind of meaningful magnification (yes, even with the barlow). Don't get a Plossl of any kind, it won't have enough eye relief in the focal length you need. Plossls are miserable to use below about 8mm. I might recommend something like the Astro-tech Paradigm series.

 

Barlow lens? I wouldn't try to future proof it. The barlow your future scope will want may not be the barlow the Astroscan can use (you might really want a 2" one, for instance). I'd get something decent but not top end. Tele-vue sells a 2" barlow lens (not powermate) that is a lot cheaper than the powermate. There are also various companies that sell 'apochromatic' or three element barlows. Those are pretty good.

 

Finally, if I was going to get another low power eyepiece for an Astroscan, I would get a 20mm or 24mm ES68. I think the 20mm ES68 is even on sale right now. When I use my Astroscan, I start with a Meade SWA 20mm which is basically similar (and no longer available).


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#5 sg6

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 02:06 PM

I would suggest you consider the ES52 range.

You at least have a 6.5mm and 4.5mm, not sure how useful the 3mm would turn out to be.



#6 Ryanocalypse

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 02:18 PM

I don't think I would spend hundreds of dollars on fancy eyepieces for planetary use in an Astroscan. It's never going to be good at it. Even if the optics are up to it (hard to say, the optics on that scope vary a bit), you can't collimate it precisely, the focuser isn't up to the task, and the tracking isn't really good enough. Everything in that scope is designed for low power use.

 

And while you do save eyepieces for use in future scopes, they might easily not be the best choices for it. Like, I just bought a 5mm Pentax. It's a great eyepiece in my refractors. In my dobs, it's kind of starting to get very high power. In my SCTs, it is uselessly high power. In an Astroscan, it's not even high enough power!

 

Plus, for the $300 or so you talk about spending, you could get a 6 inch dobsonian that would absolutely obliterate the Astroscan on planets.

 

That being said, I'll also answer your question as asked.

 

Planetary eyepiece? For an Astroscan, because you don't have motorized tracking and the scope is so fast, you need something well corrected (you'll need to look at things as they drift across the field, so it's important the edges of the field are sharp, as it gives you more drift time). It's also going to have to be really, really low focal length to get any kind of meaningful magnification (yes, even with the barlow). Don't get a Plossl of any kind, it won't have enough eye relief in the focal length you need. Plossls are miserable to use below about 8mm. I might recommend something like the Astro-tech Paradigm series.

 

Barlow lens? I wouldn't try to future proof it. The barlow your future scope will want may not be the barlow the Astroscan can use (you might really want a 2" one, for instance). I'd get something decent but not top end. Tele-vue sells a 2" barlow lens (not powermate) that is a lot cheaper than the powermate. There are also various companies that sell 'apochromatic' or three element barlows. Those are pretty good.

 

Finally, if I was going to get another low power eyepiece for an Astroscan, I would get a 20mm or 24mm ES68. I think the 20mm ES68 is even on sale right now. When I use my Astroscan, I start with a Meade SWA 20mm which is basically similar (and no longer available).

Thank you for your detailed comment, this helps a lot! I'm trying to process everything so I'll be a bit slow. The focuser on the Astroscan is so frustrating so I'm glad it's not just me.

 

Scott, the poster above you, also mentioned the Paradigm series, I will look into these. I looked at the Tele Vue 1.25" Barlow lenses for around $130 and the 2" Barlow for $220. The 1.25" Powermates go for $220 and the 2" Powermates for $330. I know all these numbers are kind of useless but I don't know if it helps, so I added them! If I plan to get a Powermate in the future, should I even settle with paying $130 for a Tele Vue Barlow, rather than a cheaper one elsewhere? Anyway, I'm not getting the most expensive things right now so I'll either settle with the cheaper Tele Vue Barlows or hold off for now. Off topic question if you don't mind answering, would you only really focus on buying 2" Barlows with an adapter for your setup? The reason I ask is because if you use an adapter and they're worth it, it's something I would think about in the distant future (not for the Astroscan). 

 

Thanks again for all of the information, it's given me a lot to think about!

 

- Ryan



#7 Ryanocalypse

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 02:26 PM

I would suggest you consider the ES52 range.

You at least have a 6.5mm and 4.5mm, not sure how useful the 3mm would turn out to be.

Thank you for the information, the other poster also recommended similar eyepieces but for lower powers. I'm assuming you wouldn't even recommend a Barlow with the 3 mm or the 4.5 mm. Would you recommend a Barlow for the 6.5 mm and if so, what brand would have me consider? I'll have to look at the eyepieces and Barlows to figure out which power to eventually buy, but I could always start out with a brand to look for!

 

Thanks again for your help.

 

- Ryan



#8 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 02:35 PM

I also think that spending large amounts on eyepieces and a Barlow lens or Powermate for your Astroscan will not be cost effective and would be better spent on a larger aperture telescope. 

 

There are a number of Barlow lenses on the market that perform well and aren't terribly expensive. 

https://www.astronom...arlows.html?p=2

I think that a 5mm Paradigm Dual ED eyepiece and a 2x Barlow lens is going to yield excessively high magnification considering an Astroscan's capabilities.  Perhaps a 3.2mm Paradigm used alone will produce more than enough magnification and will be less taxing on the focuser.  However, a 3.2mm eyepiece may not be all that useful with a future telescope, a 1200mm focal length Newtonian, for instance.

https://www.astronom...iece_series=478


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#9 Ryanocalypse

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 02:41 PM

I also think that spending large amounts on eyepieces and a Barlow lens for your Astroscan will not be cost effective and would be better spent on a larger aperture telescope.  There are a number of Barlow lenses on the market that perform well and aren't terribly expensive.  I think that purchasing a 5mm Paradigm Dual ED eyepiece and a 2x Barlow lens is going to produce more than enough magnification considering an Astroscan's capabilities.

Thanks for your message, Dave. My thoughts of spending more money upfront to future proof is starting to sound like it's not the best idea right now. I want to eventually get a larger telescope but am planning on using the Astroscan for a while longer. Do you have a specific brand or brands that you think I should check out for cheaper Barlows? I appreciate you backing up the Paradigm eyepiece option, as this seems to be a recommended alternative to my intended Plossls.

 

Thanks again!

 

- Ryan



#10 Mitrovarr

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 02:42 PM

Thank you for your detailed comment, this helps a lot! I'm trying to process everything so I'll be a bit slow. The focuser on the Astroscan is so frustrating so I'm glad it's not just me.

Nah, it's not just you. And as someone who already has the decent accessories like you're talking about getting, let me tell you - you will never make the Astroscan a particularly good planetary instrument. I have one with particularly good optics and collimation that isn't bad at all (I took it apart and fixed the collimation). Even if you can get past those hurdles, which are quite high (many Astroscans have mediocre optics, and they're a giant pain to collimate, requiring total disassembly), everything else on the scope will fight you on that. I can get acceptable images out of mine but honestly it's so annoying to use that way I would never do it as anything but an experiment to prove I can.

 

Keep it for its strengths as a nice portable wide field sweeper, but you are honestly better off just getting another scope for planets. Almost anything else would be better.


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#11 Ryanocalypse

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 02:56 PM

Nah, it's not just you. And as someone who already has the decent accessories like you're talking about getting, let me tell you - you will never make the Astroscan a particularly good planetary instrument. I have one with particularly good optics and collimation that isn't bad at all (I took it apart and fixed the collimation). Even if you can get past those hurdles, which are quite high (many Astroscans have mediocre optics, and they're a giant pain to collimate, requiring total disassembly), everything else on the scope will fight you on that. I can get acceptable images out of mine but honestly it's so annoying to use that way I would never do it as anything but an experiment to prove I can.

 

Keep it for its strengths as a nice portable wide field sweeper, but you are honestly better off just getting another scope for planets. Almost anything else would be better.

Thanks for this reply. I do have a couple more questions if you're willing to answer, since I have you here? If planets become something that makes me want to get another scope sooner rather than later, would you recommend a budget refractor over a Dobsonian, such as the Orion ED80? Obviously I would have to factor in the cost for a mount as well. I was under the impression that APOs can get better resolution on planets, whereas Dobsonians will capture more deep-sky, low power objects.

 

Also, have you found any way to increase fine tuning of the Astroscan focuser? Maybe a lubricant or something different?

 

I really appreciate your input!

 

- Ryan



#12 Mitrovarr

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 03:29 PM

I haven't had very good luck improving the focuser. Because it relies on the friction of rubber on metal, lubricants are tricky as if they get in the wrong place they cause huge issues. Besides, the big problem the focuser has is that at F/4 it desperately needs a microfocuser and there is no feasible way to add one.

Comparing a dobsonian to an apochromatic refractor on planets is tricky. The dobsonian has a lot more potential (on everything including planets) because it is bigger, but the refractor has better odds of realizing the potential it has because it is higher quality and has fewer issues one must resolve.

Between an 80mm refractor and a 6" dob I would probably go for the dob as it has so much more potential due to the larger aperture and the 6" has a longer focal ratio than other dobs which tends to make them a little more reliably optically decent. But either would be nice. And you could always go larger on either. At 8" dobs come with much better focusers (usually 2 speed metal ones) and going from 80mm to 100mm is a huge deal to refractors.
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#13 izar187

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 03:49 PM

I'll add a vote for a 3.2 mm Paradigm.

An easy to look through 3mm is a good thing to have with a short focal length scope like this. IMHO

 

As this scope is ball mounted, heavy ep with barlow combinations will work poorly, as soon as there is dew.

The 8mm RKE is among the lightest weight 8mm's ever made, and will barlow well.

My fav with it was the 2.8x Klee, if you can find one used.

But there are easier things to look thru.

 

I also second the vote for not buying an 8mm TeleVue plossl...  not when you have an 8mm RKE. IMHO+E



#14 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 03:54 PM

Thanks for this reply. I do have a couple more questions if you're willing to answer, since I have you here? If planets become something that makes me want to get another scope sooner rather than later, would you recommend a budget refractor over a Dobsonian, such as the Orion ED80? Obviously I would have to factor in the cost for a mount as well. I was under the impression that APOs can get better resolution on planets, whereas Dobsonians will capture more deep-sky, low power objects.

 

Also, have you found any way to increase fine tuning of the Astroscan focuser? Maybe a lubricant or something different?

 

I really appreciate your input!

 

- Ryan

This wasn't addressed to me but resolution is a function of aperture.  Given roughly equivalent optical quality a larger telescope will reveal more.  One of my telescopes is a 101mm f/5.4 Tele Vue apochromatic refractor.  It's a great telescope, capable of both extremely wide fields of view and high magnifications relative to its aperture, but I prefer the planetary views in my old 6" f/8 Orion SkyQuest XT6 Dob, not to mention those produced by my larger Dobs.

Refractors can certainly produce very pleasing aesthetic images but I would recommend a 127mm Maksutov-Cassegrain, a 6" SCT, or an 8" Dob over an 80mm ED refractor for planetary observing.



#15 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 04:00 PM

By the way, the Astronomical Society of Harrisburg has a vintage Astroscan that I use every once in while for wide-field observing.

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#16 SeattleScott

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 04:13 PM

I felt like my Chinese 6” Mak was as good or a hair better on the Moon than my 4” Japanese Apo, so aperture matters. That being said, cooldown is more of an issue with the Mak, and it can’t go as wide. With a Dob you have collimation to consider. So if you control for cooling and collimation, a 6” Dob should best a 80mm Apo for planets. There are just more factors to control to make it perform at its best.

Scott
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#17 noisejammer

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 04:24 PM

My experience is that small aperture scopes - even apo refractors - are a bit disappointing on the planets. Even if you have superb optics, you can't get around the {lack of} aperture.

 

Like others, I'd be inclined to go for an 8" Dobsonian - they take a little learning but they are do-everthing-well scopes. Your Astroscan will provide you with wide fields but the truth is very few objects are bigger than 1° and these will fit into the field of an 8".

 

In the fullness of time, you may be attracted by a high end refractor - I recommend you cross that bridge - very gingerly - if you come to it.



#18 Mitrovarr

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 04:33 PM

My experience is that small aperture scopes - even apo refractors - are a bit disappointing on the planets. Even if you have superb optics, you can't get around the {lack of} aperture.

Yep. I have an 80mm ED refractor. I really like it. But it just doesn't have the "juice" for serious planetary observing.



#19 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 05:13 PM

Thanks for your message, Dave. My thoughts of spending more money upfront to future proof is starting to sound like it's not the best idea right now. I want to eventually get a larger telescope but am planning on using the Astroscan for a while longer. Do you have a specific brand or brands that you think I should check out for cheaper Barlows? I appreciate you backing up the Paradigm eyepiece option, as this seems to be a recommended alternative to my intended Plossls.

 

Thanks again!

 

- Ryan

I meant to mention that Astronomics, the sponsor of Cloudy Nights, offers a small discount for CN members.

https://www.cloudyni...y_discount.html

 

Of the less expensive Barlow lenses that Astronomics offers, you might want to consider the 2x Celestron Omni, which can also be used at approximately 1.5x by unscrewing the bottom lens and attaching it to a threaded eyepiece.

https://www.astronom...s.html?___SID=U

There's a review of a number of Barlow lenses of widely varying costs posted at https://telescopesch...hy-id-buy-them/



#20 Ryanocalypse

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 05:42 PM

I haven't had very good luck improving the focuser. Because it relies on the friction of rubber on metal, lubricants are tricky as if they get in the wrong place they cause huge issues. Besides, the big problem the focuser has is that at F/4 it desperately needs a microfocuser and there is no feasible way to add one.

Comparing a dobsonian to an apochromatic refractor on planets is tricky. The dobsonian has a lot more potential (on everything including planets) because it is bigger, but the refractor has better odds of realizing the potential it has because it is higher quality and has fewer issues one must resolve.

Between an 80mm refractor and a 6" dob I would probably go for the dob as it has so much more potential due to the larger aperture and the 6" has a longer focal ratio than other dobs which tends to make them a little more reliably optically decent. But either would be nice. And you could always go larger on either. At 8" dobs come with much better focusers (usually 2 speed metal ones) and going from 80mm to 100mm is a huge deal to refractors.

Thanks for your post! That's unfortunate there is no simple solution to the focuser. I noticed it's so finicky and "sticks" just barely out of focus, especially noticeable at higher powers when trying to view the planets. Since refractors take more accessories to get going as well as initial price, I will probably look toward a Dobsonian for my next scope in the future. I originally planned on getting the Orion SkyQuest XT8 before coming across this Astroscan. 

 

I know this is getting further from the original question, but what type of eyepiece would you recommend for planetary features on an XT8, if I decide to go that route? This would probably be around the time I start looking for higher-end eyepieces but not Naglers or Ethos yet. I'd prefer to go with 2" eyepieces eventually, but I'm sure it's probably a waste when viewing planets. I also understand I wouldn't need high FOV eyepieces either. Thank you so much for your help!

 

- Ryan



#21 Ryanocalypse

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 05:50 PM

I'll add a vote for a 3.2 mm Paradigm.

An easy to look through 3mm is a good thing to have with a short focal length scope like this. IMHO

 

As this scope is ball mounted, heavy ep with barlow combinations will work poorly, as soon as there is dew.

The 8mm RKE is among the lightest weight 8mm's ever made, and will barlow well.

My fav with it was the 2.8x Klee, if you can find one used.

But there are easier things to look thru.

 

I also second the vote for not buying an 8mm TeleVue plossl...  not when you have an 8mm RKE. IMHO+E

Thanks for your comment! It looks like I will be looking for a Paradigm eyepiece here soon, and potentially a cheaper Barlow. I know this is an amateur question and fairly subjective, but do you notice a large difference in quality between these 8mm RKE eyepieces compared to say, an 8mm Tele Vue Plossl? I'm not going to get a Plossl, I'm just curious how much of the quality is due to the build of the telescope vs. the eyepieces. Thank you for your help!



#22 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 06:06 PM

Some other Barlow lens reviews can be seen at the following URLs:

 

https://theoptics.or...-barlow-lenses/

 

https://www.astronom...-barlow-lenses/

 

https://littleastron...-barlow-lenses/



#23 Ryanocalypse

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 06:11 PM

This wasn't addressed to me but resolution is a function of aperture.  Given roughly equivalent optical quality a larger telescope will reveal more.  One of my telescopes is a 101mm f/5.4 Tele Vue apochromatic refractor.  It's a great telescope, capable of both extremely wide fields of view and high magnifications relative to its aperture, but I prefer the planetary views in my old 6" f/8 Orion SkyQuest XT6 Dob, not to mention those produced by my larger Dobs.

Refractors can certainly produce very pleasing aesthetic images but I would recommend a 127mm Maksutov-Cassegrain, a 6" SCT, or an 8" Dob over an 80mm ED refractor for planetary observing.

Hey Dave, thank you for another comment! I mentioned to another poster that I originally planned on getting the Orion SkyQuest XT8 before coming across this Astroscan. It looks like I will still likely get it sometime in the future. I'm glad you as well as others have been steering me away from APOs for the meantime, I'll look more into these in the distant future. I will likely go with a 3.2 mm paradigm and possibly a 2" Barlow that you linked in another comment, if viewing conditions with the Astroscan and paradigm are decent. 

 

I know I've been asking a lot about the types of eyepieces but I'm curious to see the varieties that people recommend. I'm not looking to buy any right now but just for future reference, if I decide to go with an XT8, what types of planetary eyepieces would you look at? I would eventually like to go 2" but believe it would be a waste just to buy one for planetary viewing. However, if in the very distant future I decide to buy a Nagler or Ethos, is it smarter to go with a Nagler/Ethos and a couple of Barlows rather than a dedicated planetary eyepiece? To rephrase, hypothetically, if I already had a Nagler or Ethos, should I look at getting a couple of high end Barlows or a dedicated 1.25" low power planetary eyepiece? I already asked kind of this same question to another poster so sorry if it's redundant asking you. 

 

Thank you!

 

- Ryan



#24 Ryanocalypse

Ryanocalypse

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 06:21 PM

I felt like my Chinese 6” Mak was as good or a hair better on the Moon than my 4” Japanese Apo, so aperture matters. That being said, cooldown is more of an issue with the Mak, and it can’t go as wide. With a Dob you have collimation to consider. So if you control for cooling and collimation, a 6” Dob should best a 80mm Apo for planets. There are just more factors to control to make it perform at its best.

Scott

Hey Scott, thank you for the information! I think for the next scope I would look at, if I decide to get another any time soon, would be an 8" Dobsonian. In the future I'll look at APOs and Maksutovs but that'll be when I'm more comfortable with the sky and willing to spend some good money on quality telescopes. Is your Japanese APO a Takahashi? In your experience, is it worth it to save up and get a high end APO rather than maybe an Orion ED80? I guess do you personally believe that the price difference signifies a noticeable higher level of quality to the non-trained eye?

 

Thank you again, I'm appreciating all of the advice from you and everybody else!

 

- Ryan



#25 Ryanocalypse

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 06:32 PM

My experience is that small aperture scopes - even apo refractors - are a bit disappointing on the planets. Even if you have superb optics, you can't get around the {lack of} aperture.

 

Like others, I'd be inclined to go for an 8" Dobsonian - they take a little learning but they are do-everthing-well scopes. Your Astroscan will provide you with wide fields but the truth is very few objects are bigger than 1° and these will fit into the field of an 8".

 

In the fullness of time, you may be attracted by a high end refractor - I recommend you cross that bridge - very gingerly - if you come to it.

Thank you for the information on APOs! I've been asking questions to everybody wildly but I am appreciating all of the opinions and advice. So I figured I would ask you as well haha! When you say high end refractor, I'm assuming you're likely talking about companies like Takahashi right? How do you personally feel about the lower priced APOs like the Orion ED80? For example, if I ever decide to buy an APO, I'm curious if it would be wise to save up for a higher end model or settle with a lower end model. I guess if I were to eventually get an APO, I would start with a lower end model and work my way up, feeling the situation as it develops.

 

For right now I'll probably be looking at getting a 3.2mm Paradigm eyepiece for my Astroscan and maybe a cheaper Barlow depending on viewing conditions. If I decide to upgrade, I would likely go with an Orion SkyQuest XT8 paired with a higher end eyepiece.

 

Thank you!

 

- Ryan




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