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Eyepiece manufacturers and Quality


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I have a pretty good understanding on the different lenses in EPs, but now my question for buying quality, new or used, and a few other things that have been floating through my head. :icon_salut:

I have the Orion Starblast 4.5 (f4.0, 450mmFL, 113mm Dia.) It is my first telescope:rolleyes:. And after a few weeks now of looking through its wide field 6mm eyepiece and then having a go finally at the 15mm it comes with. I feel I want a little something less powerful to scan the sky or locate certain messier or other DSOs.

I understand that my scope is considered a fast scope, though its quality is beginner range, I read the EP tutorial and by its guidelines the faster scopes benefit from higher end EPs over cheaper ones. So I thought well, maybe I can pick something up used for my first EP purchasing experience, is this a good idea?

Looking mainly at DSOs/Planets/Nebula, i have concluded to go with a plossl lens, is there something that is better for One or the other? Say I am on a DSOs hunt that night and NOT planets and nebula?

A few types pop up I see a lot of used. Meade lenses(series 4000s?), I found one called Astrola Plossl, a few zhumell super plossl at different lengths. All prices ranging from $18-35(£11-22 my british friends :)) slightly used-new condition. Should I pop on such deals? are these eyepieces decent for my setup?

Also, what about celestron eyepieces? they seem cheapy looking. are they a good value?

Thanks for reading, I have been trying to figure out how to ask this, if its confusing, just let me know and I can clarify! :eek:

Edited by CamoCustom
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Yes, it's a good idea to buy used as you can save a lot of money.

I think TeleVue plossls are one of the only brands guaranteed to work very well at f/4, but I'll probably be shot down for that statement! :)

To be honest I don't really know which specific eyepieces are good that fast, but be prepared to either pay a lot, or stick to narrow fields of view.

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I agree the Televue plossls probably your best bet in such a fast scope. The meade 4000 series are very good as well although no idea how they would perform at f4. Also the eye relief at higher powers is tight. I have started using orthoscopics lately and find them very sharp indeed. University Optics and Baader are both well regarded. The trade off is the narrow field of view at around 40-42 degrees. The Burgess TMB Planetarys are excellent value new or used. They have a 58 degree field of view and are really comfortable to use compared with standard plossl's. Again not sure how they will perform at f4 but should be a step up in quality to what you are using.

Edited by Damo636
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I agree the Televue plossls probably your best bet in such a fast scope. The meade 4000 series are very good as well although no idea how they would perform at f4. Also the eye relief at higher powers is tight. The Burgess TMB Planetarys are excellent value new or used. They have a 58 degree field of view and are really comfortable to use compared with standard plossl's. Again not sure how they will perform at f4 but should be a step up in quality to what you are using.

I changed the title of the thread to fast scopes, so maybe other fast scope users will chime in too.

I did think about what you said though, anything really should still be a step up in quality from the "freebie" EPs, Just dont want to spend more than I really should you know? I do need the lower power EP so, Trying to figure which should be the first guinea pig.

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In our big f4 Dob TeleVues and some other premium EPs really are worth the extra and second hand they are a bearable price. Just!! For comparison, the Meade series 3000 I have looks pretty poor with lots of coma off axis.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
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+1 Televue Plossl

Well all the televue plossls are actually tested for performance at f/4 and slower so perhaps this is something to consider. They have great performance across the field with second hand prices being fantastic for what you get.

Just try to get ones in original boxes and caps because they hardly loose money if you decided to sell them on. I just bought an 8mm and had the best views of Saturn last night I have ever had.

HTH

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+1 Televue Plossl

Just try to get ones in original boxes and caps because they hardly loose money if you decided to sell them on. I just bought an 8mm and had the best views of Saturn last night I have ever had.

HTH

LOL I saw some of those prices at New :), Should I reserve these EPs for the high power end or the med-low power, IE-would it be better to buy the Televues for say 5-8mm or a televue in the range of 15-25mm?

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Hi Camo

I haven't used the series 4000 plossl's so can't give much advice on them. Sorry:(

I have got some series 4000 SWA versions though and they are not that good, it has to be admitted at f/4.5.

IMO stay well away from the Meade QX 26mm it's shockingly awful.

Regards Steve

Edited by swamp thing
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Well you have a fast scope so if you want views that it is designed to deliver, you need to spend a certain amount of money on eyepieces with good correction.

The televues can be as little as 30-50 quid second hand? I would stick to the medium to wider focal lengths. For the short, people generally prefer either TMB's or orthoscopics from what I have researched.

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Well you have a fast scope so if you want views that it is designed to deliver, you need to spend a certain amount of money on eyepieces with good correction.

The televues can be as little as 30-50 quid second hand? I would stick to the medium to wider focal lengths. For the short, people generally prefer either TMB's or orthoscopics from what I have researched.

Ok, That makes total sense to me. Why oh why couldnt I have been given a slower scope! its still fun and a blast looking at the sky, I am in heaven either way!

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That's interesting Olly what focal length is it?

I have one 3000 plossl the 9.5mm and it works pretty well in both my f/4.5 Dobs

It's the 26 (I think?) that comes with LX200s etc as standard. TBH I don't even know where it is at the moment because we just have a good set of TeleVues in the nightly box. I would expect the shorter ones to be better but with just over 2 metres of FL narrow FOV high power EPs are not much fun in Sir Isaac, the 20 inch.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
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Hi CC, I'll echo the above :

For your fast, f/4, 'scope it really will be worth the expense of getting TeleVue Plössls at med/long focal lengths and Orthoscopics at the shorter ones, all 2nd hand and thus affordable.

The hidden advantage of this is that you'll be buying EPs with an eye to the future. They will work in any 'scope you buy... full stop. They'll become the core of an EP set that will last a lifetime, with care. Staying with you as 'scopes come and go.

The medium FoV of the Plössls (~50º) and the narrow Fov of the Orthos (~40º-45º) will be mitigated, in part, by the short fL of your Starblast. Quality wide field EPs (very expensive !) can come later, when you've grown into the hobby.

How does a GSO New in box 20mm super plossl for $33 sound?

Well, in a med/slow 'scope (say f/7 upwards) not bad at all, but for an f/4 'scope it'll be awful.

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How does a GSO New in box 20mm super plossl for $33 sound?

I like the GSO plossls, and they're fine in my F/6 dob. How that will do in your scope is open to some debate. However, that price is low enough to give it a go and use it as a benchmark. If it works okay then great, and if it doesn't, you can sell it and chalk it up to experience.

Win : Win :)

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It's the 26 (I think?) that comes with LX200s etc as standard. TBH I don't even know where it is at the moment because we just have a good set of TeleVues in the nightly box. I would expect the shorter ones to be better but with just over 2 metres of FL narrow FOV high power EPs are not much fun in Sir Isaac, the 20 inch.

Olly

I thought it might be one of the longer f/l ones.

Must admit I seldom use mine in the 16" for the same reason. Once you use Naglers it's hard to go back to looking down drinking straws.

Regards Steve

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I was thinking about giving the GSO a go. What doesn't look so nice to one's eyes, could look good or really good in anothers. I figure, either way they would still be an upgrade, and sure I could re-sell them if I find they do not work out. I will try to locate a gently used Televue as I have been reading about them :)

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The GSO will show a lot of astigmatism in the edge-of-field. I recommend you do not get this for an F4 telescope.

ok, other than the $150+ Televue, what would be the best option to expand my small set, I do need something a little lower power to scan, as my 2 basic EPs are 6mm and 15mm

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A 2nd hand 32mm TeleView Plössl would be a good place to start.

In your 'scope (113mm D, 450mm fL, f/4) it would give a True Field of View of ~3.57º at 14x magnification.

I got most of my TV Plössls 2nd hand for between 40 -50 pounds sterling, around $65 - $80.

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