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Eye Pieces


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Hi All,

I have finally come to a decision on my first telescope purchase of a skywatcher 150pl on eq3-2 mount, but after reading a few threads on here I am now unsure about the supplied eye pieces and barlow.

Are they useable for a while or do I need to buy new eye pieces and barlows from the outset.

Thanks

Tim

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They usually come with a 25mm and a 10mm, sometimes with a barlow. The 25mm seems fair the other 2 bits get poor reviews. Try the supplied one first and get used to the scope and using it.

Assuming that the 10mm is OK to look through then fine, I wouldn't use the barlow and 10mm together since errors tend to compound each other and what you see, or don't, could put you off. Having said that give the pairing a try, you may have ended up with a pair that work. No harm in trying.

Usually people want MAGNIFICATION!!!!

Assuming the same then consider a 7mm or 8mm planetary eyepiece. Simply put an eyepiece the same f number as the scope gives a magnification equal to the diameter. So I am thinking of about 150x, which should be enough for 95% of general observation.

Skys the limit do a decent range at about £35-40.

After that perhaps a 10mm if the supplied one is really poor, and a 12mm. I have eyepieces in 1mm increments for the lower end, but 8, 10, 12 should be fine. Could go for 15mm in place of the 12mm.

First heed this warning: This could easily be the start of an ever expanding eyepiece collection. I speak from experience, and LOTS of eyepieces.

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The supplied Ep's might not be good but they are useable, I had some quite acceptable views of Jupiter with the 10mm + x2 barlow when I first got my 150p.

I've bought some eyepieces from Skys the Limit and they are a great improvement on the supplied ones.

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I agree with Dai. The supplied EPs will keep you happy for a while and I would not invest until you've decided on priorities. Are you going to be a planet person or a DSO person? EPs can be incredibly expensive so its worth taking your time.

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Hi Tim,

As ronin says, I'd be tempted not to buy anything for now and just use what came with the 'scope. With eyepiece time under your belt you'll know what needs replacing, or if there's a gap that needs filling.

For the ins 'n' outs of choosing EPs, you might find these posts : "Eyepieces - the very least you need" and "Understanding and choosing eyepieces" a help in guiding you through the basics.

HTH :)

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I am in the same wife boat.

I have preempted the proposed astro spend by letting her go on a budhist retreat for a week and a weeks yoga course.

With any luck this will cost more than my first scope, Hurrah!

Years of experience have shown that its best to have this kind of credit banked BEFORE spending yourself.

I also recommend substituting the word spending for the word shopping in the phrases.

My wife went shopping today

Are you going shopping in Bayonne tomorrow?

When are you going shopping with Marie?

As usual, everything I say my be rubbish

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i recently got 2 BST Explorer ED eyepieces from Alan at Sky's the Limit

really happy with them. about 40 quid each and way way better than the supplied eps. so much clearer and brighter

that said, the eps you get will get you going so don't jump straight in till you've had a look

if you do look at others, give Alan (Sky's the limit) a ring. he gives great advice and wont push you into anything

stick

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Better eyepieces will improve that scope immensely - couldn't believe the difference when I had my 150P EQ3-2. Everything was so much crisper. sharper, and much more viewable.

However - the supplied ones provide a reasonable start and the scope will be useable out of the box. My advice is not to jump in untill you learn a bit about eyepieces. They are a highly personal thing to you and your eyes and what suits you is totally different to the next person.

Best thing to do is join a local astro soc or observing group and ask advice. Most folks will be only too happy to loan you an eyepiece to try out during a meeting. Then when you know what you want will be the time to consider upgrading.

You can get some great bargains buying second hand - I rarely buy new any more :)

Edited by brantuk
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I would second brantuck's advice about trying before you buy. When I went to my first star party, I was surprised by how many eyepieces observers owned and it struck me then, that the purchase of the 'right' eyepiece can become a bit of a voyage of exploration and where the boarding pass can work out expensive!. Stick with what you got, try before you buy and when you do, by the best you can afford because you might change your scope or your mount, but decent eyepieces will last a lifetime.

James

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I got the 150P on the same mount in February, and have only just taken the plunge on EP's. I'm really glad I have waited though, as otherwise I would have got the completely wrong thing as when I brought the scope I thought I would be most interested in DSO's. While I do think this will be my long term interest, I made the descision to get a TMB planetary EP as I (and I'm guessing I'm not alone!) seem to have become slightly obsessed with Saturn recently. It'll be interesting to see what the ISS will look like through it as well. With the supplied 10mm EP some detail can be made out (solar panels, Shuttle at the right time) if trackinng was good, but the detail was never crisp. Don't get me wrong, I'm not expecting miracles from a £40 EP of flea bay, but from the reviews that I've read the difference should easily be noticeable.

Definatley wait a few months before upgrading though, it would be a shame to have spent a small fortune on completely the wrong thing.

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Use the supplied ones for some time so you will get more appretiation once you've swapped them for better eps :)

In the meantime join a local astro club and read, read and read even more.

Edited by tom33pr
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I got the same scope and have had some fantastic results from 25mm with barlow but 10mm with the barlow is not so good. A good quality 8mm will take you up to max mag on the 150pl, using a x2 barlow. MY 3 yr old hid my barlow last week and i still haven't found it yet so i think i'll have to buy one so i will get a better quality one.

good luck and enjoy.

Adamski

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Tim,

I also have a 150PL and agree that the 10mm and 25mm are more than usable, the barlow isn't that bad either. I remember my first view of Saturn with the 10mm and it was brilliant. If I was starting again, the first thing I would buy would be a Telrad and a good book / map.

Happy hunting

Paul

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Also bear in mind that the "seeing" conditions will affect the view very significantly even with good quality eye pieces.

Learning about the seeing is essential cos an inferior eyepiece may seem acceptable on a good clear night, and a good eyepiece may seem poor in bad seeing.

Magnification too may enlarge the object, but it will also magnify the atmospheric conditions giving a wrong impression. Temperature of the scope is another factor - it needs to be cooled to ambient temperature to work effectively with all heat currents dissipated.

Viewing over houses will affect the view cos they give off heat and cause an atmospheric effect on the view. And watch out for clouds and dew - they too can distort what you're seeing when judging eyepieces.

Once you have all that correct, then you have to work out focal ratios, field of view, exit pupil, focal lengths, etc for your particular scope/eyepiece combination. Then decide on which make and quality to go for.

Simples! :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for all the advise,

Think I will stick with supplied eye pieces for now. I need to learn a lot before spending more cash, brantuk your last post has bamboozled me, working out focal ratios, fov, exit pupil?? you could be speaking swaheelie for all I know. Much to learn Im off to stick head in my books.

Tim

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Sorry Tim - I'm not Swaheelie lol - here's the link you need to a primer that tells practically everything you need to know about eyepieces. It's fairly long but well written and easy to follow a section at a time:

http://stargazerslounge.com/primers-tutorials/63184-primer-understanding-choosing-eyepieces.html

You only need to work out the numbers for your one scope and a lot of it boils down to some very obvious, common sense, stuff really. Hope it doesn't bamboozle you too much more lol :D

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A small number of good EPs beats a large number of bad ones - and it also beats a medium number of medium ones. In our big telescope I would be perfectly happy with precisely two eyepieces - but they would not be cheap!!!

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
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