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  1. Hey everyone I have a Celestron Starsense Explorer DX 102AZ on the way. https://www.celestron.com/products/starsense-explorer-dx-102az 660mm F6.5 I was wondering if someone could please recommend which size EP to buy for viewing planets and the moon? https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-eyepieces/skywatcher-uwa-planetary-eyepieces.html#faq Sky watcher ULA Planetary (my budget is £40) I've read on another thread that sometimes 9mm can outperform a 4mm with a fast telescope as more magnification can make the viewing duller? I was hoping for the best magnification that is also crisp. Thank you for your help.
  2. I've been on the lookout for a good planetary EP for some time now, I really enjoy the views through my X-Cel's but didn't have anything in the 4mm range, I'm not a fan of 'barlowing' things to within an inch of their lives, so I went looking for a modest 4mm EP. I deliberately set myself a budget limit of £50 which is a real challenge for my F4.7 scope. The X-Cel's are wonderful through it and pin sharp to the edges but they were out of my price range. After endless trawling like you do when you look for a new piece of kit, I arrived at TMB Planetary EP's from skies the limit or some BST's. I randomly had a browse of FLO's website and saw the 'new Skywatcher Planetary' Ep's being advertised. I decided to buy the 4mm as an alternative to aforementioned brands and see how it stood up. FLO were great with dispatch and it arrived yesterday 1st Class, coming in at £39 I wasn't expecting stellar results and so kept my expectations in check. Last night it was lovely and clear for the ISS passes so I thought I'd give the EP a run for it's money. The closest EP I have for comparison is the 7mm X-Cel Lx, so please take my comments with some consideration that I could be totally speaking out of my backside! The 4mm SW has a metallic/plastic feel to it, it feels solid enough, but imo it's not very pretty and feels cheap to hold. It definitely feels an improvement over the standard kit EP's, but very lacking compared to the X-Cel Lx's (which are roughly double the price). My first view was on the moon, the seeing was quite stable and the scope had cooled for a good 90 mins, I will go back and do a full in-depth test when I have more time. So this is more a first impression verdict. In short I found the EP 'passable/average' in my F4.7 scope. I found my optics evidently pushed the EP quite hard and there was a slight softness to the overall image not present in the X-Cel Lx's. It's nothing severe but I was slightly disappointed as I've heard great things about planetary EP's, but I reminded myself for £39 I should expect some optical defects. There was a slight hint of yellow tinge it felt throughout the whole FOV, I attribute that to loss of contrast at that mag (300x) but no doubt others will clarify what I was seeing. The view was pleasing enough but it just wasn't the experience I've had with the X-Cel Lx's. The FOV is wide enough (58*) and didn't feel overly tight. Next I moved onto Jupiter. it looked quite good and certainly the closest view I've had without a barlow. It was crisp, but it wasn't 'that' crisp I'm afraid to say. The planetary disc still looked a little washed out and almost overexposed. I tried a #88 Moon filter to reduce glare which brought out more cloud band detail and presented a better view. It was relatively sharp all the way to the edge of the FOV, letting Jupiter drift across the FOV demonstrated this, Killer question: Would I recommend this EP? Economically my head says yes I would, it's a modest upgrade for the beginner user, under the caveat they own a scope below F5, maybe even F6. In my heart though I can't help but wonder what those TMB or BST's would've given me. For people with fast scopes, no I wouldn't recommend it. It's not a terrible view by any means, it will happily satisfy a gap in your EP range for close up planetary and double star work, but I wouldn't consider it a 'workhorse' EP. Maybe I've been spoiled by the X-Cel Lx's but I felt a little deflated and ever so slightly annoyed I didn't put the money aside and go for an X Cel Lx or equivalent next month. With observing you 'gets whats you pays', and for £39 in an F4.7 I was pushing my luck, it seems I've found where the limit is. I'm sure some people will get on great with this range of EP's, they're priced just right, a credible alternative to other similarly priced EP's. I suppose we'll await to see what more people think. Link - http://www.firstligh...-eyepieces.html
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