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Everything posted by kev100

  1. Hiya, I went from a 130P to a 10-inch and haven't looked back. If you have the budget for a 10 go for it. It has more light gathering power than an 8, and you won't be plagued by 'what if' thoughts. Yes, EP choice needs care, but there's plenty of advice here on that front. The 8 is a good scope, and easier on EPs, but DSOs will be noticeably brighter in a 10, and the difference between a 10 and your current scope will be very, very noticeable ... Kev
  2. All I'd recommend for now is a decent app on your phone/tablet (stellarium or Sky Safari) to help you find things, and a drum stool/observing chair to make observing comfortable. I find the stock finder scope adequate, but I know several who recommend RACI or Telrad finders. You might want to make up a dew shield for both the scope and finder using camping mat/foam. Those, and a decent low power EP for scanning the sky, and a medium power EP for close ups and you'd be good to go. Kev
  3. Just chipping in again. On the subject of your 3mm eyepiece, I'd say that's really far too much magnification of use with 'normal' skies. Generally, the maximum I use is x240 (5mm EP) on really good nights or x200 (6mm EP) for planets, planetary nebulae, etc. I see someone has recommended BST Starguiders. whilst they are excellent quality, and value for money, they do suffer from pin-cushioning at longer focal lengths in a fast scope like yours. You do have to be careful choosing EPs when you get below f5 focal ratio. Personally, I'd also avoid zoom EPs, as they tend not to be good in fast scopes, and give a reduced field of view ... For what it's worth (and everyone will have a different take on this), I tend to use my 8.8mm EP (x136 mag) and my 20mm (x60 mag) the vast majority of the time. Kev
  4. Hiya, I have the same scope. The answer to your question "If I buy another 10 or 25 piece is it really that much better than the boxed pieces?" is yes. The glass itself will be better, producing a better, 'cleaner', sharper and more contrasty image, and the field of view will be larger, depending on the eyepiece you go for. Personally, I like to have a range of eyepieces, from higher power, through medium, and low power, and I also like a fairly large field of view, so I'd recommend something in the 5-6mm focal length, then somewhere between 12-16mm, and finally, 24-32mm, all with a field of view of at least 68 degrees. One issue which will limit your choice of eyepiece is the 'fast' focal ratio of your scope. At f4.7, it can be a bit too much for some EPs, producing pin-cushioning of the view, especially noticeable in longer focal length eyepieces. Something from the Explore scientific 68-82 degree ranges, perhaps? They sometimes come up for sale on the secondhand market. Kev
  5. I have the 6mm SPL and I'd say that, on average, it gets more use in my 10-inch than the 5mm Starguider ...
  6. Really surprised to hear that there isn't a bst 6mm. From conversations I've had over the years I was convinced there was. Still, there are other 6mm EPs out there for x200 mag. Kev
  7. Hiya. To get the right EP for you, it's definitely worth holding off until you get a chance to look though a variety of scopes and EPs. Having said that, if you went for a 5 or 6mm BST, I doubt you'd ever regret it. They're great EPs, and will definitely get used. There's no right answer in this. What works for one will be wrong for someone else, and the learning process always involves trial and error (and what you want to get out of the hobby will change over time too). Right now the planets are pretty well positioned, and higher mag for the planets, double stars, the moon and globular clusters is definitely the order of the day. Later in the year, when jupiter, Saturn and Mars have gone, it'll be time for big open clusters and galaxies, and that's when you'll want lower mag and wide fov. Jupiter and Saturn in the 5mm will be amazing, in the 6mm also amazing, but just slightly sharper on all but the best nights. Kev
  8. Hi Chris, The 6mm (x200) would definitely be good on planets, and the difference between it and the 5mm, in terms of mag, would be minimal. You have to bear in mind that the more you magnify the target, the more you magnify any atmospheric humidity, moisture, haze, pollution and whatever else there is in between you and the planet. Lower magnification often results in crisper views, albeit smaller ones. Higher magnifications on all but the crispest, clearest night can be disappointing. Having said all that, I often bung in the 5mm for the hell of it, just for a look, though more often than not I'll back off a bit because the view's better. My most used EPs, on planets, the moon, clusters, nebulae and galaxies are the 8.8mm and the 20mm. I could easily get by with just those two. Of course, it's personal preference. Before you spend any money, are you able to have a look through another scope, at a club or other event? Going along to a star party (like the upcoming Astrocamp) is priceless, in that you get to try out all sorts of EPs and scopes, and really get a good idea of where you want to put your money ... and why. Kev
  9. Hi Chris, The 5mm BST will give you 240 times mag, which is at the top end of what's useable (at that mag things start to get a little fuzzy). It'll be very useful on the moon, double stars, globulars, etc. I have one and I like it a lot, but often I find that my 6mm EP (giving x200) gets more use and the views are crisper. Kev
  10. Hi Chris, depending on the particular nebulae you might want to consider an OIII filter, and/or a UHC filter (either 1.25in or 2in, depending what EPs you choose). Neither will be in a filter kit. Big clusters, like the Plieades and the Beehive will need low mag, wide FOV, as Stephan has suggested. 'Smaller', denser clusters (globulars, or M46 & 47, or 36, 37 & 38, for example) will need higher magnification for you to be able to resolve individual stars. As for galaxies, the two main EPs I use for these are my 20mm Myriad (2in) giving x60, and, for more detail, my Explore Scientific 8.8 (giving x136). You don't need hi mag for galaxies or nebula. Kev
  11. Hi there. Do you have a particular 34mm EP in mind? As for the barlow idea, again personally speaking, I'd hold off on that for a while. With your scope (assuming it's a 1200mm FL) the max useable magnification in the UK will be around 200-240 times, so something like a 5 or 6mm eyepiece (Something from the BST starguider range, for example). I'd then go for a decent mid range eyepiece, something in the 12-16mm range (maybe an Explore Scientific 82 degree, or again a BST), and finally a low mag EP, 24-32mm (again, BST/Explore Scientific are well regarded). As for field of view, anything from 68 degrees and up will blow your current EPs out of the water, and you'll get a couple of years use before itching to upgrade. I don't use a barlow, and with a decent spread of EPs, feel a barlow is unecessary... Just my 2 cents Kev
  12. Hiya, Personally speaking, I'd recommend staying with what you've got for now. As you use them you'll start to identify their shortcomings, and get a better view of the sort of features you want in an eyepiece (field of view, magnification, eye relief, etc). They you can research particular eyepieces, and start building up your own set. I've never seen a EP and filter set I was impressed with ... Kev
  13. Hi, It's a close one, for me, between my 8.8, 82 degree Explore Scientific, and the 20mm Myriad. Very different beasts, but both can end up staying in the scope for whole evening sessions ... Kev
  14. Hiya. I was on the Dorset coast, just to the west of Swanage. Seeing wasn't the best, and the horizon was a bit hazy, but definitely got it. Kev
  15. I recently bagged the last one on my list (M83, the southern pinwheel). Even with a southerly sea horizon it was tricky (took me a few years to get it!). Kev
  16. Hi there, Turn left at orion is a great book, don't get me wrong, but I wouldn't rush out to buy anything just yet. Get the (free) computer programme Stellarium, and do a little exploring with that. You can even set it up with your scope and eyepieces details and get a fairly realistic impression of what you can expect see. Next up I'd research polar aligning that mount. Knowing how to do this will make a big difference to the experience. Then make sure your finder is properly aligned. Definitely start with the moon, so you get used to setting up the scope and finding objects. Once you can actually set up and use the scope, then you can think about buying a guide like 'turn left ...' Kev
  17. Hi Don, Yes, a plastic tarp held in place with bungy cords or similar would be fine. Alternatively, 'toilet tents' are often used. Kev
  18. Fantastic. It does look like a fab site, with amazing southern views
  19. Awesome. It looks like a fab site, and one recommended by fellow SGL-er @Demonperformer
  20. Hi there, With the bank holiday weekend looking, and the moon and weather looking favourable, I was thinking about an observing session on the Isle of Purbeck on Sunday night (near Creech/Steeple). Anyone up for joining me? Kev
  21. Hi Gert, I prefer to just use a collimation cap when collimating my 250PX. I do have a Baader laser collimator, but when I set up the scope with it, and then look through the collimation cap, I don't see all the primary mirror clips equally. A quick tweak of the primary again, using the cap, and all's well. I believe that, if, when viewed through the cap, the secondary looks round, all primary clips are visible, and the center spot is bang on you're good to go. You don't need to do anything else. Kev.
  22. Maybe not. I believe the ES versions are better corrected for fast scopes than the MaxVision variety.
  23. To be fair, I didn't notice it to begin with either (is yours the MaxVision type?). It took a couple of years before I got to the point that I always saw it and struggled to not see it. Maybe I'll start noticing it more with the Myriad after a while...
  24. FWIW, I don't use a paracor with my f4.7 scope, and I doubt I'll bother. The 20mm Myriad does show a tiny amount of coma at the extreme edge of the FOV, but it's so much less than, for example, my previous low power EP (a 24mm MaxVision). You really have to seek it out. Kev
  25. Hi Neil, I can definitely recommend the Myriad 20mm (or its equivalents) in a 250PX. It's my most used EP, and quite often gets fitted at the start of the night and just stays there. Second fave is the ES 82 deg 8.8mm. I'm currently looking for something in between (to replace my 16mm, 68 deg MaxVision which has quite tight eye relief and relatively small fov). Don't yet have the funds for that one yet Kev
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