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Newbie with a Dobsonian looking for eyepiece help (+more)

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#1 Leaf

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 05:24 PM

Hi guys, I got a Celestron Sky Watcher Classic 200P (8" aperture, 1,200mm focal length) a few days ago, and just had my first look at the night sky through it last night. The moon looks more beautiful than I could've imagined close-up grin.gif  Managed to box Jupiter and Saturn as well but couldn't see them very clearly. I've spent the past couple days (and most of this morning) Googling up a storm about how I can squeeze a sharper image outta this scope.

 

Naturally I have a few questions... maybe more than a few :) So many options with these things it makes the head spin lol. What are some good eyepieces you guys would recommend for planetary viewing? Lunar viewing? How about nebulas, clusters, and galaxies? Should I use a Barlow or try to view things using just the eyepieces? The telescope supports 2" hardware natively, is that worth looking into? How about collimation? I have a laser collimator, but I've heard look-through collimators are more accurate. Will the laser be sufficient for this scope? I also found out about the star test today so I'll have to give that a go tonight. On that subject, would an artificial star be worth looking into?

 

Very much newbie questions I'm sure, but I gotta start somewhere after all grin.gif I'm reasonably technically-minded so don't be afraid to lay it on me. I'll mostly understand. Probably.

 

P.S. Anyone know any good local shops in the Victoria, B.C. region to buy telescope hardware at?


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#2 mac57

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 05:37 PM

I suggest wide field ep's, such as ES82's or Naglers.  If you have the loot, there are plenty of 100* ep's available as well.  If all you want to do are planets and lunar, you can use a 60 or 65 degree ep but you're gonna nudge the scope more.  Mark


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#3 ShaulaB

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 05:46 PM

Regarding collimation, use what you have and see what results you get. At 1200mm focal length (f6 focal ratio), your 8 inch Dob is much more forgiving of slight collimation misalignment than a faster f4.5 instrument will be.

Observe lots and develop an eye for detail, using what you have now. As you progress with observing skills, you will have a better idea about what you need. Eyepieces are very subjective, and what one person loves can disappoint someone else. If there is a local astro club near you, attending their viewing sessions might help you decide.
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#4 JamesDuffey

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 06:02 PM

What eyepieces do you have now? If they are halfway decent, use them to observe with before purchasing others. That way you can decide what you want to emphasize eyepiece wise, where shortcomings are with your current eyepieces and get an idea of what to replace them with. 

 

Learn how to collimate your scope. As others have said, collimation is not hard with simple tools, some of which you can make yourself. 

 

Join a local club to get more specific help locally.


Edited by JamesDuffey, 13 September 2021 - 06:02 PM.

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#5 Anony

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 06:18 PM

Is this what came with the scope?

 

25/10 Super (modified Kellner)

 

-- listed under the specs for that model

 

 

Being cheap, I'd lean towards the basics --  a 32mm plossl (or 2") for wide views, maybe an inexpensive 7-21 or 8-24 zoom for planets/moon.

 

Although you won't get super wide views with a zoom, it's kind of neat zooming in to get things just right.


Edited by Anony, 13 September 2021 - 06:18 PM.

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#6 greenstars3

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 06:20 PM

Leaf

 

Welcome to Cloudy Nights

A laser collimator is a great tool and to make sure it is working as it should, put it in the focuser and while watching the spot it sends to the primary mirror 

slowly rotate it around in a circle - if the dot stays in a very small spot it is aligned and will give you good results while you collimate your scope

Eyepieces range in price from cheap substandard stuff to enough to buy a used car.

I use mostly TeleVue eyepieces myself but other brands are also good to high quality

I do not own any but have heard good things about the Paradigms sold on Astronomics if you are on a budget 

Otherwise as in all things the best quality is in the upper price ranges but you will find that the difference gained from a $350 eyepiece to a $1000 eyepiece is subtle  

With my 8 inch f6 I found that a 32 Plossl in 1.25 is a great low power finder 

A 18 to 15 mm for mid power and a 11 to 8 as a high power 

Enjoy your new scope, it seems that the desire for new eyepieces once started is a long journey.

 

Robert


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#7 Leaf

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 06:28 PM

What eyepieces do you have now? If they are halfway decent, use them to observe with before purchasing others. That way you can decide what you want to emphasize eyepiece wise, where shortcomings are with your current eyepieces and get an idea of what to replace them with. 

 

Learn how to collimate your scope. As others have said, collimation is not hard with simple tools, some of which you can make yourself. 

 

Join a local club to get more specific help locally.

Collimation is definitely on the priority list. See below re: eyepieces.

 

Is this what came with the scope?

 

25/10 Super (modified Kellner)

 

-- listed under the specs for that model

 

 

Being cheap, I'd lean towards the basics --  a 32mm plossl (or 2") for wide views, maybe an inexpensive 7-21 or 8-24 zoom for planets/moon.

 

Although you won't get super wide views with a zoom, it's kind of neat zooming in to get things just right.

That is indeed what it came with. I also have a 40mm Celestron Omni plossl. That should be noticeably clearer than the Kellners if I'm not mistaken, but the magnifications are so different it's hard to say. I'll do some more testing with the 2x Barlow I have tonight, see if I can get it closeish to apples to apples. What kind of advantages will a 2" bring to the table over a 1.25"? Any brands you'd recommend? I'm instinctively frugal as well so you're in good company grin.gif

 

A zoom setup was something I was thinking about as well. Seems you can get either a zoom Barlow or a zoom eyepiece. Maybe even use 'em together. I've heard the optical clarity is not that good however, and that's something I *do* value here - I don't wanna kneecap the scope with bad hardware! Thoughts?



#8 Bean614

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 06:32 PM

Leaf, you wrote: "How about collimation"    This should be Number ONE on your list!  Even with a set of the MOST expensive eyepieces and Barlows you can buy, the Smoothest Focuser on Earth, and every electronic aid known to man, they will not help you one little iota if your scope isn't perfectly collimated! 

   Your scope, when collimated,  should give you great views of Saturn at 300X---350X, in good 'Seeing.  But...... with ALL those things I mentioned above, if your scope ISN'T collimated, you're lucky to get 150X max.


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#9 Leaf

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 06:40 PM

Leaf

 

Welcome to Cloudy Nights

A laser collimator is a great tool and to make sure it is working as it should, put it in the focuser and while watching the spot it sends to the primary mirror 

slowly rotate it around in a circle - if the dot stays in a very small spot it is aligned and will give you good results while you collimate your scope

Eyepieces range in price from cheap substandard stuff to enough to buy a used car.

I use mostly TeleVue eyepieces myself but other brands are also good to high quality

I do not own any but have heard good things about the Paradigms sold on Astronomics if you are on a budget 

Otherwise as in all things the best quality is in the upper price ranges but you will find that the difference gained from a $350 eyepiece to a $1000 eyepiece is subtle  

With my 8 inch f6 I found that a 32 Plossl in 1.25 is a great low power finder 

A 18 to 15 mm for mid power and a 11 to 8 as a high power 

Enjoy your new scope, it seems that the desire for new eyepieces once started is a long journey.

 

Robert

That's good information, thanks. Especially the trick with turning the collimator.

 

Leaf, you wrote: "How about collimation"    This should be Number ONE on your list!  Even with a set of the MOST expensive eyepieces and Barlows you can buy, the Smoothest Focuser on Earth, and every electronic aid known to man, they will not help you one little iota if your scope isn't perfectly collimated! 

   Your scope, when collimated,  should give you great views of Saturn at 300X---350X, in good 'Seeing.  But...... with ALL those things I mentioned above, if your scope ISN'T collimated, you're lucky to get 150X max.

The only reason I didn't say it's number one is because a better collimating tool might just be the REAL number one grin.gif Good to know what I can expect from this scope and should be aiming for, thanks.



#10 Barlowbill

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 06:44 PM

2" eyepieces are generally used a lower magnification to get a wider field of view.  You will learn that a lot of observing is low and mid-range magnification.  Yes, high mag. is cool but you don't always need it nor will the atmosphere often allow it.  I good zoom eyepiece is very useful.  I have the Baader Mark IV and it is very nice.  It will fit in the 2" or the 1.25" focuser.  Spend your free time reading here on CN.  Everything you will ever need to know about eyepieces, telescopes, binoculars and more.  Good luck


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#11 sevenofnine

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 06:52 PM

Welcome to C/N! flowerred.gif You will get lots of good astronomy related information from our members. Sometimes TMI so keep that in mind...The scope you have is a Sky-Watcher Classic 200P right? Not Celestron. Usually the scope comes with 2 eyepieces, a semi-wide and a higher power. I'm guessing a 25mm and a 10mm. Those are good to start with. Your 40mm just mentioned is good for very wide views and finding objects in the night sky. The planets are not in a great position to observe detail right now. Upgrading eyepieces should be a careful process done slowly with thought to your overall budget for this hobby. You will get advice from members who have spent many thousands of dollars on this hobby. Consider your sources!

 

Before buying any equipment, I suggest getting a good astronomy guide book. One of the best is Terence Dickinson's "NightWatch" He explains basic astronomy and all the equipment used in this hobby. Lots of details about necessary and unnecessary accessories too. He also included seasonal star charts which are very handy to have next to your new scope. Best of luck to you and your decisions! waytogo.gif


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#12 Sincos

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 06:58 PM

Welcome Leaf , you have chosen the path less travelled , seeking advice before spending more money . Lots of good ideas presented above which will help. My .02$ worth is to make contact with the RASC Victoria Centre and ask them about local shops. Like many clubs they might even have loaner equipment you can try , to see if it does what you want or expect . Clear Skies


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#13 vtornado

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 06:59 PM

To view Jupiter and Saturn.

 

The atmosphere is the most important factor.

View the planets when they are due south.  That way you are minimizing the amount of atmosphere you are looking through.

Seeing is very import.  This is the stability of the atmosphere.   Maybe Victoria has great seeing because of the ocean???

Seeing is somewhat predicted by stable temperatures, stable barometer and no  to light winds.

The jet stream also plays an important rule.

 

Next is collimation.   Run a star test.   If it looks good there is nothing to do.   However... I normall find that my dobs need

a small touch up to the primary mirror each time I use them.

Use a barlow and your laser to get a more accurate and repeatible collimation.

http://www.smartavtweaks.com/RVBL.html

 

Next is cooling.   If the scope is significantly warmer or colder than outside the view will be fuzzy.

For an 8 inch mirror and 20 degree differential I would not try starting high power viewing until

45minutes - 1 hour.

 

Eyepeices the difference between a good plossl or ortho and a top shelf widefield eyepiece is small.

However buying 60 degree eyepieces are not expensive, and will give you a bit more eye relief too.

the Paradigm dual ed eyepieces are good planetary performers.

 

For your scope a 5 or 6mm eyepiece is a good place for planetary or lunar viewing.

 

Another consideration is a 7-21/8-24 zoom eyepiece.   with your 2x barlow that will completely cover

high and medium power viewing.

 

2 inch eyepieces are more meant for maximum field of view.    I do recommend getting a 30-40mm 2 inch

eyepiece.   they are not for planetary viewing.  Their purpose is the frame large objects like the pleiades,

searching for objects, or for scanning the milky way etc.


Edited by vtornado, 13 September 2021 - 07:06 PM.

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#14 Leaf

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 07:42 PM

2" eyepieces are generally used a lower magnification to get a wider field of view.  You will learn that a lot of observing is low and mid-range magnification.  Yes, high mag. is cool but you don't always need it nor will the atmosphere often allow it.  I good zoom eyepiece is very useful.  I have the Baader Mark IV and it is very nice.  It will fit in the 2" or the 1.25" focuser.  Spend your free time reading here on CN.  Everything you will ever need to know about eyepieces, telescopes, binoculars and more.  Good luck

The Baader's a little outta my price range for now. I have seen good things about that company however. Them, Tele Vue, and Explore Scientific seem to be the top dogs in eyepiece hardware.

 

Welcome to C/N! flowerred.gif You will get lots of good astronomy related information from our members. Sometimes TMI so keep that in mind...The scope you have is a Sky-Watcher Classic 200P right? Not Celestron. Usually the scope comes with 2 eyepieces, a semi-wide and a higher power. I'm guessing a 25mm and a 10mm. Those are good to start with. Your 40mm just mentioned is good for very wide views and finding objects in the night sky. The planets are not in a great position to observe detail right now. Upgrading eyepieces should be a careful process done slowly with thought to your overall budget for this hobby. You will get advice from members who have spent many thousands of dollars on this hobby. Consider your sources!

 

Before buying any equipment, I suggest getting a good astronomy guide book. One of the best is Terence Dickinson's "NightWatch" He explains basic astronomy and all the equipment used in this hobby. Lots of details about necessary and unnecessary accessories too. He also included seasonal star charts which are very handy to have next to your new scope. Best of luck to you and your decisions! waytogo.gif

Not a Celestron, true, dunno why I thought it was one, it doesn't say Celestron anywhere on it! Eyes no worky. It did come with the two you mentioned, they are quite blurry to look through however. I agree about slow and steady, I'll start out by maybe buying one or two eyepieces, maybe three depending on how much they end up costing. Definitely easy to spend lots of money on hobbies like these. Thanks for the book rec.

 

Welcome Leaf , you have chosen the path less travelled , seeking advice before spending more money . Lots of good ideas presented above which will help. My .02$ worth is to make contact with the RASC Victoria Centre and ask them about local shops. Like many clubs they might even have loaner equipment you can try , to see if it does what you want or expect . Clear Skies

Thanks for the rec, I'll check the lads out.

 

To view Jupiter and Saturn.

 

The atmosphere is the most important factor.

View the planets when they are due south.  That way you are minimizing the amount of atmosphere you are looking through.

Seeing is very import.  This is the stability of the atmosphere.   Maybe Victoria has great seeing because of the ocean???

Seeing is somewhat predicted by stable temperatures, stable barometer and no  to light winds.

The jet stream also plays an important rule.

 

Next is collimation.   Run a star test.   If it looks good there is nothing to do.   However... I normall find that my dobs need

a small touch up to the primary mirror each time I use them.

Use a barlow and your laser to get a more accurate and repeatible collimation.

http://www.smartavtweaks.com/RVBL.html

 

Next is cooling.   If the scope is significantly warmer or colder than outside the view will be fuzzy.

For an 8 inch mirror and 20 degree differential I would not try starting high power viewing until

45minutes - 1 hour.

 

Eyepeices the difference between a good plossl or ortho and a top shelf widefield eyepiece is small.

However buying 60 degree eyepieces are not expensive, and will give you a bit more eye relief too.

the Paradigm dual ed eyepieces are good planetary performers.

 

For your scope a 5 or 6mm eyepiece is a good place for planetary or lunar viewing.

 

Another consideration is a 7-21/8-24 zoom eyepiece.   with your 2x barlow that will completely cover

high and medium power viewing.

 

2 inch eyepieces are more meant for maximum field of view.    I do recommend getting a 30-40mm 2 inch

eyepiece.   they are not for planetary viewing.  Their purpose is the frame large objects like the pleiades,

searching for objects, or for scanning the milky way etc.

Lots of good information here, thank you very much. The collimation trick with the Barlow is good to know. Cooling to. I actually live fairly close to the ocean so that could very well be helping here. However I am in a suburban-urban transitional area as far as light pollution goes so it's not all sunshine and roses. I wonder how badly that interferes with viewing the planets? We do what we can regardless grin.gif

 

I do like the idea of picking up a zoom eyepiece. Seems like it'd cut down on the number of lenses I have to buy by a lot. Good for the wallet and good for my sanity when I don't have to swap hardware every time I want to change magnification! Does anyone know how Svbony's zoom EPs are? Telescopes Canada sells 'em and the price is nice. They also have a basic Celestron 8-24mm (40 - 60°) on there priced similarly. I wonder if that would be better.

 

On the subject of Barlows, I'm thinking of maybe upgrading mine already. The one I've got now is a Celestron X-Cel LX, it's not bad but it's only three-element. I'm thinking I might return it and get the 2" Luminos 2.5x instead, since it's a four-element. Anyone know how the optical quality on that one is? Better, worse?

 

Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone grin.gif


Edited by Leaf, 13 September 2021 - 07:44 PM.

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#15 Echolight

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 08:03 PM

I now have three zoom eyepieces. I bought the Baader first. It’s terrific. I use it almost exclusively for high power lunar and planetary viewing. Mainly in a 2 inch 2.5x barlow in my big scopes, effectively giving me every option between 3.2mm and 9.6mm for every conceivable power between 125x and 375x in a 1200mm focal length scope, all in one eyepiece. Or you can go native 8-24 for 50x to 150x.

 

Then I got the other two zooms with used scopes I bought. One is a Vixen Lv. And the other is a no name. Or I didn’t notice a name. The difference just in mechanics between the Baader and these other two is night and day. The Baader is a quality piece. But I can see why some people don’t like zooms if they choose a cheaper model. I haven’t even bothered to look through them yet. They probably work alright, albeit with narrow fields of view. They’re just not as smooth as the Baader. They have a different feel.
But the Baader Mark IV is great. Not cheap. But I chose it because I didn’t know what or how many high power eyepieces I would need. The Baader zoom and a barlow covers all the high power bases in a single eyepiece. Fairly cost effective when you think about it like that. I understand that it’s not an easy purchase to make for a lot of people. And that’s fine. You don’t have to have expensive stuff to have a good time. In years past, I doubt I would have bought it. 


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#16 vtornado

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 08:12 PM

On the subject of Barlows, I'm thinking of maybe upgrading mine already. The one I've got now is a Celestron X-Cel LX, it's not bad but it's only three-element. I'm thinking I might return it and get the 2" Luminos 2.5x instead, since it's a four-element. Anyone know how the optical quality on that one is? Better, worse?

 

2" barlows serve a narrow purpose.   And I don't think  simple planetary  viewing is one of them.   (it  might be useful for dslr photography)  A quality 2 or 3 element barlow is fine for planetary.  The X-Cel-LX is is a fine barlow.



#17 Leaf

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 08:25 PM

I now have three zoom eyepieces. I bought the Baader first. It’s terrific. I use it almost exclusively for high power lunar and planetary viewing. Mainly in a 2 inch 2.5x barlow in my big scopes, effectively giving me every option between 3.2mm and 9.6mm for every conceivable power between 125x and 375x in a 1200mm focal length scope, all in one eyepiece. Or you can go native 8-24 for 50x to 150x.

 

Then I got the other two zooms with used scopes I bought. One is a Vixen Lv. And the other is a no name. Or I didn’t notice a name. The difference just in mechanics between the Baader and these other two is night and day. The Baader is a quality piece. But I can see why some people don’t like zooms if they choose a cheaper model. I haven’t even bothered to look through them yet. They probably work alright, albeit with narrow fields of view. They’re just not as smooth as the Baader. They have a different feel.
But the Baader Mark IV is great. Not cheap. But I chose it because I didn’t know what or how many high power eyepieces I would need. The Baader zoom and a barlow covers all the high power bases in a single eyepiece. Fairly cost effective when you think about it like that. I understand that it’s not an easy purchase to make for a lot of people. And that’s fine. You don’t have to have expensive stuff to have a good time. In years past, I doubt I would have bought it. 

The frugal side of me balks at the $350 price tag, but I also know from experience that a little more money spent upfront can mean a lot less money spent later... the budget I allocated myself for hardware for now is $200. That's not too far in excess, honestly, for the role it fills. We'll see. Would it really be that much better than a Celestron or a Svbony to the point that they just aren't worth buying in this category?

 

Sounds like the Barlow you have might be the same one I was looking at, the Celestron Luminos. Not many 2" 2.5x Barlows out there. I take it that means it's good, if so!

 

On the subject of Barlows, I'm thinking of maybe upgrading mine already. The one I've got now is a Celestron X-Cel LX, it's not bad but it's only three-element. I'm thinking I might return it and get the 2" Luminos 2.5x instead, since it's a four-element. Anyone know how the optical quality on that one is? Better, worse?

 

2" barlows serve a narrow purpose.   And I don't think  simple planetary  viewing is one of them.   (it  might be useful for dslr photography)  A quality 2 or 3 element barlow is fine for planetary.  The X-Cel-LX is is a fine barlow.

Way I see it, the price premium over the one I've got now is only $40. It doesn't take too much of an image quality difference to justify that in my eyes, just enough to be noticeable. If so, it'd be worth it to me just on that merit alone, the fact that it's a native 2" piece and has +0.5x magnification is icing on the cake grin.gif


Edited by Leaf, 13 September 2021 - 08:27 PM.


#18 Anony

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 08:35 PM

Collimation is definitely on the priority list. See below re: eyepieces.

 

That is indeed what it came with. I also have a 40mm Celestron Omni plossl. That should be noticeably clearer than the Kellners if I'm not mistaken, but the magnifications are so different it's hard to say. I'll do some more testing with the 2x Barlow I have tonight, see if I can get it closeish to apples to apples. What kind of advantages will a 2" bring to the table over a 1.25"? Any brands you'd recommend? I'm instinctively frugal as well so you're in good company grin.gif

 

A zoom setup was something I was thinking about as well. Seems you can get either a zoom Barlow or a zoom eyepiece. Maybe even use 'em together. I've heard the optical clarity is not that good however, and that's something I *do* value here - I don't wanna kneecap the scope with bad hardware! Thoughts?

2" will provide a wider view... can't say if it's worth it or not. Although I haven't updated my signature, I have a similar 8" dob (got a good deal on one from craigslist), and it came with a 2" eyepiece. But to be honest, I barely have used it yet so can't comment much on it.

 

As for zooms, they are fine (unless you get some no-name brand off of ebay). I have a svbony 7-21 zoom -- I think it was less than $50. And it's comparable to plossls in overall quality (just w/ a wider view). So clarity is perfectly fine. I know others here have also gone with meade/celestron 8-24 zooms, and I think most liked them in general.


Edited by Anony, 13 September 2021 - 08:35 PM.

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#19 Echolight

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 09:03 PM

Used to be, you could get the Meade 5000 UWA 5.5 and 8.8 for about a hundred dollars each. But no more.

The Baader is cheaper at Agena and High Point.

https://agenaastro.c...epiece-2454826/

and tax free for me.
It is the Luminos. It only has 28mm clear aperture. But works well with my 20mm 100 degree eyepiece (34mm field stop), as well as my 28mm 82 degree (39mm field stop). But vignettes badly with the 40mm 70 degree eyepiece (46.5mm field stop).

Although I mainly use it with the Baader zoom, which itself has a 2 inch compatible barrel. I like the way it fits in the 2 inch better than in a 1.25 inch barlow.

E1362165-003D-487C-9B58-661020A987CF.jpeg

1.25 inch barlow.

04A54F20-308E-41AF-94E5-8F6FCA1F4F27.jpeg

 

By all means, expensive eyepieces are not a necessity. But nice to look through and use. 
 

I think the SVBony eyepiece is probably pretty sharp. But the field of view is very narrow for a manually guided scope at 2 and 300x.

The Astrotech Paradigms seem to have a strong following for less expensive fixed power eyepieces. I think that aberrations in star images start to show up more in low power wide apparent field of view eyepieces that aren’t built with the same design as the higher grade eyepieces. But not as much in shorter focal lengths with narrower field of view.


Edited by Echolight, 13 September 2021 - 09:21 PM.

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#20 Nick Dangerr

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 09:12 PM

You have touched on a sensitive area here. The Celestron and Svbony zooms are good eyepieces, but the Baader is just so much nicer. It isn't very expensive when you consider what you will save versus individual eyepieces. 

 

You will frequently read the saying: "Buy nice or buy twice". I think that applies here. Save up for a couple of weeks or a month and buy nice. Keep your eyes open for a used Baader Mk IV Zoom here on CN - they sell fast.

 

The frugal side of me balks at the $350 price tag, but I also know from experience that a little more money spent upfront can mean a lot less money spent later... the budget I allocated myself for hardware for now is $200. That's not too far in excess, honestly, for the role it fills. We'll see. Would it really be that much better than a Celestron or a Svbony to the point that they just aren't worth buying in this category?

 

 


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#21 Leaf

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 09:27 PM

2" will provide a wider view... can't say if it's worth it or not. Although I haven't updated my signature, I have a similar 8" dob (got a good deal on one from craigslist), and it came with a 2" eyepiece. But to be honest, I barely have used it yet so can't comment much on it.

 

As for zooms, they are fine (unless you get some no-name brand off of ebay). I have a svbony 7-21 zoom -- I think it was less than $50. And it's comparable to plossls in overall quality (just w/ a wider view). So clarity is perfectly fine. I know others here have also gone with meade/celestron 8-24 zooms, and I think most liked them in general.

Give 'er a go next time you're stargazing and keep me posted. Good to hear the less expensive zooms are good too. I'll do some more research and pick one out.

 

Used to be, you could get the Meade 5000 UWA 5.5 and 8.8 for about a hundred dollars each. But no more.

The Baader is cheaper at Agena and High Point.

https://agenaastro.c...epiece-2454826/

and tax free for me.
It is the Luminos. It only has 28mm clear aperture. But works well with my 20mm 100 degree eyepiece (34mm field stop), as well as my 28mm 82 degree (39mm field stop). But vignettes badly with the 40mm 70 degree eyepiece (46.5mm field stop).

Although I mainly use it with the Baader zoom, which itself has a 2 inch compatible barrel. I like the way it fits in the 2 inch better than in a 1.25 inch barlow.

attachicon.gifE1362165-003D-487C-9B58-661020A987CF.jpeg

1.25 inch barlow.

attachicon.gif04A54F20-308E-41AF-94E5-8F6FCA1F4F27.jpeg

That's 300 American dollars brother, converts to $380 CAD. Plus shipping over the border. I appreciate the thought but that's gonna be a swing and a miss. I, too, miss when our money had parity grin.gif

Looks good, I agree. Pleasing fit. I think the Luminos with a zoom is gonna be the way to go for me. Baader comes later maybe.

 

Do you think I should look at upgrading my finder scope? I can't help but feel some kind of variable zoom on that would be useful for dialing in on leetle dots. Or is that something that's not necessary?

Also, I've noticed a suspicious lack of talk about DSOs, so I gotta ask... is that can of worms really that bad? Am I gonna run into real trouble looking at such things with my Dob given the light pollution here? What could I expect to be visible?

 

Gonna haul out the telescope now and let it start cooling off. Sun's just dipped below the horizon. Gonna be a beautiful clear night tonight waytogo.gif



#22 Echolight

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 09:46 PM

Give 'er a go next time you're stargazing and keep me posted. Good to hear the less expensive zooms are good too. I'll do some more research and pick one out.

 

That's 300 American dollars brother, converts to $380 CAD. Plus shipping over the border. I appreciate the thought but that's gonna be a swing and a miss. I, too, miss when our money had parity grin.gif

Looks good, I agree. Pleasing fit. I think the Luminos with a zoom is gonna be the way to go for me. Baader comes later maybe.

 

Do you think I should look at upgrading my finder scope? I can't help but feel some kind of variable zoom on that would be useful for dialing in on leetle dots. Or is that something that's not necessary?

Also, I've noticed a suspicious lack of talk about DSOs, so I gotta ask... is that can of worms really that bad? Am I gonna run into real trouble looking at such things with my Dob given the light pollution here? What could I expect to be visible?

 

Gonna haul out the telescope now and let it start cooling off. Sun's just dipped below the horizon. Gonna be a beautiful clear night tonight waytogo.gif

Too bad you’re so far away. I’d give you a good deal on one of the used zooms that tagged along with the two used scopes I bought.

 

Check the classifieds here. You might stumble on a Celestron for a good price. 
 

I don’t think I’d be wholly against just rolling with a 7 and 10 along with a 2x barlow for high power though. That’d give you a nice spread of 3.5mm, 5mm, 7mm, and 10mm, for 340x (for the moon), 240x (Saturn), 170x (Jupiter), and 120x (general DSO).

But it’s really nice to dial the zoom in the highest res for a razor sharp Cassini or 6 stars in the Trapezium.


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#23 dnrmilspec

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 09:59 PM

On the subject of Barlows, I'm thinking of maybe upgrading mine already. The one I've got now is a Celestron X-Cel LX, it's not bad but it's only three-element. I'm thinking I might return it and get the 2" Luminos 2.5x instead, since it's a four-element. Anyone know how the optical quality on that one is? Better, worse?

 

Hi,

 

I mean this in all kindness.

 

This is your conscience speaking.  You are drifting inexorably toward the "sin" of gearheadedness.shocked.gif  Remember the first commandment of newby-ism.  "Cast thine eye not upon the god Nagler, lest ye fall into the fiery pit of debt from whence few return."

 

I am the voice for inexpensive gear and slow going.  Let's recap.  By the time you read this you will have exactly two brief viewing sessions worth of experience with your new scope..  Take your time.  To really explore even the eps you have now will take at least a night apiece.  And that is after you learn to find a few things to try them on. 

 

You have asked whether you should upgrade your Barlow.  The answer is NO.  Your Barlow, to the extent you will actually use it is fine.  In fact.  You may never need to upgrade it.  I am still using my Ultima Barlow after about 20 years.  I have a 2" Televue Barlow which I rarely, if ever, use.  You have a nice Barlow.  And as you may have figured out tonight, using it with your 40mm Plossl gives you 20mm and you already have a 25.  Little difference.  Using it with your 25 will give you 12.5mm which you might have discovered tonight is a pretty good place to be for some things.   My guess is that it was your best view of the evening on the planets you concentrated on.   Using it with your 10 will give you 240X and that will be a handful until you are more comfortable nudging your scope.  And that is on nights when seeing will allow it 240X to be used at all.  

 

I am going to assume that you carefully collimated your scope today using the laser.  I hope so.  If you did not, and did not carefully confirm that it is spot on using a star it would be wise not to make judgments about the quality of any of your optics.  Collimate and try it again tomorrow night.

 

But here is the schmaltzy part.  There are many kinds of folks that post here.  Some get great joy from the night sky.  These are the ones who talk about what they saw.  You did it.  You spoke of the beauty of the moon.  I hope you just came in from spending the majority of your time just looking at it and enjoying it.  Risking a long post, I just came in from "testing" my 7" Mak.  As you put it I "boxed" Jupiter (beautiful), Saturn (beautiful) and moon (mesmerizing).  I mean even after 60 years of looking I just couldn't look away.  I spent a solid hour just touring it.  At 180X (through a scope that is pretty much at idle at that power) me and the CGEM just drove around the surface looking into craters, enjoying the shadows of mountains and crater walls and imagining the peace that must exist there. 

 

I cannot wait until you tell us about how your 8" dazzed you with a fine open cluster.  We will all enjoy with you the wonder of a great globular, Andromeda with your 40mm ep and, in time, the great Orion Nebula. 

 

So how about this.  Take two months to just use what you have.  Learn where stuff is and, as you look at it, learn what it is.  Fall in love with the notion that the photons from the nearest galaxy to earth took 2.5 million years to fall through your 40mm eyepiece and on to your eyeball.  Just yours.  

 

I forget which of the posters here said it but I am going to blatantly steal it.  "Some people use their equipment to explore and understand the universe.  Some use the universe to understand their equipment".  I hope you will be the former.  Take time to fall in love with the night sky.  If you don't do that all of Al Nagler's best will be a real waste of money. 

 

Oh.  And just so you know.  What you have right now, with no additions, is far nicer and more capable than what the vast majority of us had when we  started.  Relax and enjoy.


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#24 rhetfield

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 10:01 PM

The Celestron x-cel series is the next step up from the paradigms recommended by others for only a little more money. Your f6 scope will be a bit more forgiving than my f5 scope. Atmosphere may be your limiting factor. Many people can't get much above 150-200x due to atmosphere.
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#25 Leaf

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 10:41 PM

Hi,

 

I mean this in all kindness.

 

This is your conscience speaking.  You are drifting inexorably toward the "sin" of gearheadedness.shocked.gif  Remember the first commandment of newby-ism.  "Cast thine eye not upon the god Nagler, lest ye fall into the fiery pit of debt from whence few return."

 

I am the voice for inexpensive gear and slow going.  Let's recap.  By the time you read this you will have exactly two brief viewing sessions worth of experience with your new scope..  Take your time.  To really explore even the eps you have now will take at least a night apiece.  And that is after you learn to find a few things to try them on. 

 

You have asked whether you should upgrade your Barlow.  The answer is NO.  Your Barlow, to the extent you will actually use it is fine.  In fact.  You may never need to upgrade it.  I am still using my Ultima Barlow after about 20 years.  I have a 2" Televue Barlow which I rarely, if ever, use.  You have a nice Barlow.  And as you may have figured out tonight, using it with your 40mm Plossl gives you 20mm and you already have a 25.  Little difference.  Using it with your 25 will give you 12.5mm which you might have discovered tonight is a pretty good place to be for some things.   My guess is that it was your best view of the evening on the planets you concentrated on.   Using it with your 10 will give you 240X and that will be a handful until you are more comfortable nudging your scope.  And that is on nights when seeing will allow it 240X to be used at all.  

 

I am going to assume that you carefully collimated your scope today using the laser.  I hope so.  If you did not, and did not carefully confirm that it is spot on using a star it would be wise not to make judgments about the quality of any of your optics.  Collimate and try it again tomorrow night.

 

But here is the schmaltzy part.  There are many kinds of folks that post here.  Some get great joy from the night sky.  These are the ones who talk about what they saw.  You did it.  You spoke of the beauty of the moon.  I hope you just came in from spending the majority of your time just looking at it and enjoying it.  Risking a long post, I just came in from "testing" my 7" Mak.  As you put it I "boxed" Jupiter (beautiful), Saturn (beautiful) and moon (mesmerizing).  I mean even after 60 years of looking I just couldn't look away.  I spent a solid hour just touring it.  At 180X (through a scope that is pretty much at idle at that power) me and the CGEM just drove around the surface looking into craters, enjoying the shadows of mountains and crater walls and imagining the peace that must exist there. 

 

I cannot wait until you tell us about how your 8" dazzed you with a fine open cluster.  We will all enjoy with you the wonder of a great globular, Andromeda with your 40mm ep and, in time, the great Orion Nebula. 

 

So how about this.  Take two months to just use what you have.  Learn where stuff is and, as you look at it, learn what it is.  Fall in love with the notion that the photons from the nearest galaxy to earth took 2.5 million years to fall through your 40mm eyepiece and on to your eyeball.  Just yours.  

 

I forget which of the posters here said it but I am going to blatantly steal it.  "Some people use their equipment to explore and understand the universe.  Some use the universe to understand their equipment".  I hope you will be the former.  Take time to fall in love with the night sky.  If you don't do that all of Al Nagler's best will be a real waste of money. 

 

Oh.  And just so you know.  What you have right now, with no additions, is far nicer and more capable than what the vast majority of us had when we  started.  Relax and enjoy.

Now that's a man's post grin.gif I got some time yet before it's proper dark, why not.

At the risk of sounding blunt, I think you're overthinking me a bit. It's just a bit of money. Two parts I wanna grab. All stuff I've already budgeted for. And well, I've been a hardware guy for my whole life, too, so no surprise I'm into that. Ultimately it'll be fun, and for me it'll make stargazing more comfortable. It's a hobby after all, fun's what we're all here for isn't it?

 

Beautiful cat btw (I assume it's yours, at least). Give 'em scritches.

 

The Celestron x-cel series is the next step up from the paradigms recommended by others for only a little more money. Your f6 scope will be a bit more forgiving than my f5 scope. Atmosphere may be your limiting factor. Many people can't get much above 150-200x due to atmosphere.

It's not bad at all, no. But doing some preliminary early twilight testing, I noticed I lose some of the 40mm's wonderful clarity and sharpness when I pair it with the Barlow looking at the moon. Maybe part of that is the fault of slightly off collimation, or it was just too bright, even with the front cover installed. Astronomical twilight just started so I'm about to find out. Either way no skin off my back to exchange it for the Luminos.


Edited by Leaf, 13 September 2021 - 10:42 PM.



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