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Budget upgrades for a beginer

Accessories Beginner Eyepieces Equipment Filters
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#1 NintendoGamer

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 12:32 PM

Hi everyone.

I was thinking of buying a few accessories for my Skywatcher starquest 130p telescope. WIth it came a red dot finder and a 25mm and 10mm eyepieces. What would be the best accessories to buy? I have already put on the top of the list a 2x barlow. I  should clarify that I am a newbie and don't want to spend much money on stuff. Now I was thinking of eithier an eyepiece or a filter (a cheap UHC=almost a broadband). I have only enough money for on of those. Perhaps a 32mm eyepiece? I heard that svbony makes good budget stuff so if  someone recommends anything from them(I'll get their barlow).

Feel free to tell me anything that I didn't mention.

 

Edit: Forgot to metion I live in the suburbs of a city (Bortle 7) and we go often on an island which is Bortle 3-4. I don't do photography and I guess I like nebulas. My budget would be 40$ max.


Edited by NintendoGamer, 20 April 2021 - 12:34 PM.


#2 Barlowbill

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 01:00 PM

I would say go ahead and get a Svbony 2X Barlow.....except,  That takes your 25mm to a 12.5mm, which is too close to your 10mm.  Kind of a waste.  As for a 10mm being Barlowed to a 5mm, that might be a bit much magnification on occasion.

You might think about an eyepiece around 15-18mm.


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#3 WadeH237

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 01:13 PM

What do you want to do with your scope that it's not doing now?  That would be a good place to start, in determining what would be a useful accessory.

 

My question would be about how you are finding your targets?  Are you using paper charts, or something electronic?  If you are using paper charts, but have a smart phone, you could consider something like Sky Safari to use as your planetarium and object catalog.  If you are already using an electronic planetarium, it probably has the ability to generate overlays for a Telrad finder.  A Telrad would be a huge upgrade from your current red dot.

 

Given your scopes focal length and current eyepieces, you're going to get a maximum 65x with the 10mm.  I agree that more power would be useful.  That said, there are two things about this.  First, don't go nuts on the power.  I spend most of my time at around 100x.  I do go over that for specialized circumstances, like viewing Jupiter or Saturn, going after the central star in a planetary nebula, or splitting tight double stars.  Second, I would be wary of any eyepieces or Barlows that fit your $40 budget.  Eyepieces are a bit like camera lenses.  Just like camera lenses tend to far outlast the camera body, eyepieces tend to far outlast telescopes.  Investing in quality eyepieces will benefit you now, and when you upgrade the scope in the future.  It doesn't make a lot of sense to go super cheap with them.



#4 Polyphemos

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 01:15 PM

I’m a beginner, and the upgrade I’ve gotten the most enjoyment and use out of is a Svbony 7-21mm zoom.  I used my GSO Barlow exactly once, and it’s been its case ever since.  But that zoom is in constant use.


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#5 darkskychaser

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 01:17 PM

Not sure if they are running this promotion in Europe now but Amazon has now Gosky UHC filter on sale for 30USD.

 

Seems to be having decent reviews. I have purchased other products from Gosky and so far had a good experience.

 

https://www.amazon.c...customerReviews

 

UHC filter is what I would get if I was looking at nebulas (or nebulae). I do have one.

Also, light pollution filter might be useful. Also have one but use it less and less because do less and less deep sky observing from my backyard.

 

My filters are Baader and I like them but they are bit pricey.

 

Clear skies.



#6 NintendoGamer

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 01:36 PM

Currently I use a few apps on my phone to find objects in the sky and they have worked very well. I can't find here in Southeastern Europe a Telrad finder.

For myself I have been thinking of 3 options: 1.UHC filter (for nebulae)  2. 32mm  4 part eyepiece (for brighter views of galaxies)  3. Variable polarizing filter(for the moon)

32mm eyepiece doesn't seem to give very different  views than my current 25mm one. I find the moon way too bright when looking at it when it's almost full so that's why I am considering the CPL filter.

I know that I shouldn't underspend at stuff but I also don't want to spend too much as I am still very much a beginner.

 

My no.1 priority is that svbony zoom eyepiece but it will have to wait a couple of months.

 

Sorry but I couldn't fin that UHC filter anywhere.

 

I should note I don't do very much galaxy/nebule at the city since I have a hard time adapting to the dark.



#7 darkskychaser

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 01:38 PM

My question would be about how you are finding your targets?  Are you using paper charts, or something electronic?  If you are using paper charts, but have a smart phone, you could consider something like Sky Safari to use as your planetarium and object catalog. 

SkySafari only provides free basic version. All others cost money.

I use SkyPortal by Celestron quite a bit on Android. It is free and not that bad.

There might be others out there, Google's Sky Map included, but SkyPortal gets most use by me on the phone.

 

Clear skies.



#8 havasman

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 01:40 PM

Take a dark t-shirt along. Pull the neck over your head and make a hood to cover your face and the focuser as you observe. It will help block external light and can help seemingly darken your observing conditions. I use a hood all the time. 

With minimal tools (hammer, saw, nails) and even scrap lumber you can build yourself a very effective observing chair with variable height seat. It will stabilize your body and your eye will remain properly placed. You will see more. Google DENVER CHAIR and you will find easy to follow plans on-line.

The very best accessory for any new telescope is more time spent carefully observing from as good a location as can be accessed. That builds observing skill and observing skill will improve your views like nothing else.

A good reputable supplier like Skywatcher delivers scope packages that work. What you got in the original box will be capable of showing you more than you yet likely know how to see. I'd like to recommend you use what you have for now and maybe save a couple of Euros toward the purchase of an eyepiece or two a bit further down the road.

Yes, Sybony has built a good reputation by supplying favorably reviewed lower cost optics. But a Barlow is a specialized bit of kit , not a universal requirement or cure. As above, it has limited value to your current set. A 32mm eyepiece will not be particularly useful from your less dark home site.


Edited by havasman, 20 April 2021 - 01:43 PM.

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#9 darkskychaser

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 01:47 PM

I find the moon way too bright when looking at it when it's almost full so that's why I am considering the CPL filter.

I know that I shouldn't underspend at stuff but I also don't want to spend too much as I am still very much a beginner.

 

My no.1 priority is that svbony zoom eyepiece but it will have to wait a couple of months.

 

Sorry but I couldn't fin that UHC filter anywhere.

 

I should note I don't do very much galaxy/nebule at the city since I have a hard time adapting to the dark.

If you can find Svbony UHC filter for a decent price you can give it a try.

CPL filter is not a bad idea at all with your scope. I have one that came with the Celestron set but do not use it that much anymore since now I am mostly doing high magnification views of Moon.

 

Maybe you can find some CN members near you who could lend you some filters to try and decide.

If you lived near me I would not mind lending you some filters try out.

 

Clear skies.



#10 NintendoGamer

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 02:24 PM

Thank you very much for your response and help. I will be getting a uhc filter and a barlow.



#11 WadeH237

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 05:55 PM

SkySafari only provides free basic version. All others cost money.

I never said it was free.  He has a $40 budget.  That would cover it.



#12 Second Time Around

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Posted 21 April 2021 - 03:34 PM

I'd also recommend the Svbony 7-21mm zoom that you're saving up for.  One zoom eyepiece will cover multiple focal lengths and so is really excellent value for money. 

 

Despite having high quality fixed focal length eyepieces, I use my zooms a lot more often.  The zoom plus a Barlow lens and a low power, wide field eyepiece is often all I use the whole evening.  For the time being your 25mm eyepiece can fulfil this low power role.  You've probably already found it's sharper than your 10mm.

 

Fixed focal length eyepieces may be slightly better corrected when compared with a zoom at the same magnification.   But that's not always a fair comparison as that magnification may not be the optimum for a given object.  This is because one of the many advantages of a zoom is to be able to dial in precisely the best focal length.  For instance, this may be 13mm or even 13.1mm, which may actually show more detail than shorter or longer fixed focal length eyepieces - even better quality ones. 

 

I particularly like the ability to increase the magnification to make use of brief moments of good seeing (a steady atmosphere).  It takes more time to swap out an eyepiece, and the opportunity may then be missed.  You can't see anything if you haven't got an eyepiece in the focusser!

 

Zooms also enable the field of view to be varied to frame an object to get the prettiest view.  For this reason I particularly like them for clusters.

 

They're also handy when you're using filters.  You don't have to unscrew and then replace the filter when you change magnifications.

 

Many of those who post here and advocate fixed focal lengths are experienced observers.  It's so easy to forget what it was like as a beginner!  A zoom eyepiece enables beginners to easily learn what difference a change of magnification makes on all the various classes of object.  It also shows them what focal lengths would be most useful to their eyes, their telescope, and their observing conditions.  They then have the option of buying/not buying the most appropriate fixed focal length eyepieces for them.  For these reasons I'd always recommend that beginners buy a zoom as their first eyepiece.

 

I'd supplement the zoom with a Barlow lens - I wouldn't be without mine (in fact I own 3 of varying powers).

 

Especially with your fast f/5 scope the Barlow will almost certainly improve the sharpness of your views.

 

The multiplication factor varies, but 2x is most common.  Some of these 2x Barlows can also be used at 1.5x, although it's not always mentioned in the blurb, and it's one of these I'd recommend.  These dual 1.5x/2x Barlows 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 to give approx 1.5x.   

 

The exact amplification varies from eyepiece to eyepiece depending on where the field stop is located.  2x amplification with a 7-21 mm zoom will give you magnifications of approx 62-186x.  I don't know what the seeing (atmospheric turbulence) is like in Croatia, but here in the UK it would mean you wouldn't be able to use more than 186x very often.  Additionally, your equatorial mounting is very lightweight and so may shake a bit with high powers.

 

However, you'd get more use from the approx 46-139x that 1.5x amplification will give you.  Additionally, at a given magnification the field of view will be bigger with 1.5x amplification.  This is because the vast majority of zooms have a wider field of view at the high power end.

 

Most would recommend that filters come after a basic range of eyepieces.  So I agree with your plan to buy the 7-21mm zoom first, then the Barlow. 


Edited by Second Time Around, 22 April 2021 - 04:57 AM.

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#13 Spile

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Posted 22 April 2021 - 11:16 AM

I would ask what would you like to do that you cannot do currently? The only default upgrade I would recommend on that basis is a copy of Turn Left at Orion. Otherwise some tips on the link below may be of help...


Edited by Spile, 22 April 2021 - 11:17 AM.



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