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Paul-F

£400 to kit out with range of eyepieces ...

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Hi .. first post here!

Scope: 5 year old 12" LX90 LNT

I currently have a Meade 26mm that came with my scope, a cheap 32mm celestron from ebay, Alder 38mm SWA 2" and a celestron barlow .. have enjoyed it so far but want to max out the potential of my scope.

I am now looking to get a few good eyepieces that don't break the bank and have even been slowly justifying at least one expensive wide field ep as well that is supposed to be the mutts nuts ... :)

So, given that I will probably go and buy one premium ep and have other middle of the road (or better) contenders to replace what I have now what size eyepieces would you get for realistic general visual observation and what brand would you get ? Would you include a barlow to increase magnification points ?

Eg, would a 20mm T5 Nagler with a couple of BST Explorers cover the bases for my scope, are there better options for a budget of lets say £400 ?

I am thinking that scaling magnification to 250x will do me sound with barlowed options to get to 300x and above on the rare occasion I ever see conditions that good again!

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Hi & welcome to SGL.

It's tough giving eyepiece advice as there are so many options.

Your LX90 is very forgiving on eyepieces due to it's long focal ratio, so you need not spend a fortune to get good views.

The 20mm T5 Nagler is a lovely bit of kit, but would take up most of your £400 budget, and is more suited to faster scopes

where it's wonderful edge correction is most needed.

You seem to have the low power sorted, so I'd go for a mid power plus a high power to give around 200x.

Depending on your observing conditions you may find that it's worth going higher, but I'd rather have a sharp 200x than a mushy

250 - 300x. I keep a barlow handy (Televue 2x) for those rare occasions when the atmosphere is steady enough.

There are lots of different and valid opinions on your choices, so I'd have a look around other forums and reviews before you spend your money.

All the best in your decisions, Ed.

Edited by NGC 1502

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It's expensive as all hell, but since you said you want one premium wide field, I'd take a serious look at a 21mm Ethos.. You'd get a very nice exit pupil with it, it would probably become a DSO workhorse.. I find it's worth it keeping things slower and getting premium one at a time. That way at least when I fill a magnification slot I know I won't have to consider anything with a similar magnification again.

Edited by newman

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Hi Paul and welcome to the stargazers lounge.

With a 12 inch f10 scope like yours and bearing in mind your aim to not bother with magnification much higher than 250x your highest EP will be no smaller than a 12mm (254x) I would think that a 12/13mm, a 15/16mm, 20/21 and a 30/32mm ought to cover it. I don't think you need Naglers or Ethos with your scope as its very forgiving these are more suited to Fast scopes like a big F5 dobsonian, I wouldn't get a premium Tele vue unless you are considering one of these for a second scope. Instead I echo the suggestion on Baader hyperion's very versatile low price EP's without stooping to the budget end. If you want to something in the mid-high price range ( and dont need the hyperions versatility) my preference is for Celestron Ultima LX's these are extreemly good optically and you should get all 4 for around £500; they are all you will ever need accept an Ultima Barlow (for when the seeing is exceptional). Celestrons mid and high ranges of EP's have often been under rated or ignored but look at their reviews from those who have stuck their neck out and tried them. I used a Nagler in my CPC 1100 which is a similar scope to yours and wasn't that impressed I found the Ultima was better! Don't get me wrong I am not saying Tele vue naglers / ethos etc are rubbish - they are excellent but they aren't made to be used in big SCT F10 scopes, but the Ultima is. I wouldn't bother with BST Explorers if you want low-mid price EP's take a look at the Celestron X-Cel LX Range, Meade series 5000 HD60's or the Baader hyperion's.

Edited by Flyingpig

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What about the 20mm Pentax XW as your premium eyepiece? Cheaper than the Nagler and would leave enough for 2 more ep's such as the Celestron X-Cel Lx range. The X-Cel Lx and the Meade HD 60 are reportedly the same eyepiece in a different set of clothes.

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Hi & welcome to SGL.

It's tough giving eyepiece advice as there are so many options.

..... snip ....

There are lots of different and valid opinions on your choices, so I'd have a look around other forums and reviews before you spend your money.

All the best in your decisions, Ed.

Good comment ..

Been looking on this for a few days now .... I think I have seen much balanced (and unbalanced!) opinion and have eyed up a few contenders so I posted this as a sanity check, and I see that I have probably been borderline certifiable in some of my 'fancies' lol :)

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It's expensive as all hell, but since you said you want one premium wide field, I'd take a serious look at a 21mm Ethos.. You'd get a very nice exit pupil with it, it would probably become a DSO workhorse.. I find it's worth it keeping things slower and getting premium one at a time. That way at least when I fill a magnification slot I know I won't have to consider anything with a similar magnification again.

Interesting option - I'd be afraid to use it at that price, at least for a few minutes :) The really wide field stuff interests me but I have to try before I buy one of those, and save up a bit more! However, there seem to be alternatives so I will give that stream some more thought as a one off ep in my collection.

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Hi Paul and welcome to the stargazers lounge.

With a 12 inch f10 scope like yours and bearing in mind your aim to not bother with magnification much higher than 250x your highest EP will be no smaller than a 12mm (254x) I would think that a 12/13mm, a 15/16mm, 20/21 and a 30/32mm ought to cover it. I don't think you need Naglers or Ethos with your scope as its very forgiving these are more suited to Fast scopes like a big F5 dobsonian, I wouldn't get a premium Tele vue unless you are considering one of these for a second scope. Instead I echo the suggestion on Baader hyperion's very versatile low price EP's without stooping to the budget end. If you want to something in the mid-high price range ( and dont need the hyperions versatility) my preference is for Celestron Ultima LX's these are extreemly good optically and you should get all 4 for around £500; they are all you will ever need accept an Ultima Barlow (for when the seeing is exceptional). Celestrons mid and high ranges of EP's have often been under rated or ignored but look at their reviews from those who have stuck their neck out and tried them. I used a Nagler in my CPC 1100 which is a similar scope to yours and wasn't that impressed I found the Ultima was better! Don't get me wrong I am not saying Tele vue naglers / ethos etc are rubbish - they are excellent but they aren't made to be used in big SCT F10 scopes, but the Ultima is. I wouldn't bother with BST Explorers if you want low-mid price EP's take a look at the Celestron X-Cel LX Range, Meade series 5000 HD60's or the Baader hyperion's.

I hear what you say - specially with regards to my slower scope which I have followed up on. The Baaders are looking good from reviews I have read ...

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For a touch more than the hyperion you can buy a speer-waler 17mm - 82 degrees FOV and very nice performance.

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What about the 20mm Pentax XW as your premium eyepiece? Cheaper than the Nagler and would leave enough for 2 more ep's such as the Celestron X-Cel Lx range. The X-Cel Lx and the Meade HD 60 are reportedly the same eyepiece in a different set of clothes.

I looked at the Pentax XW range last night as it happens ... and the X-Cel ... things are becoming clearer for me !

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Can't comment how they would be at f/10, but in my f/4.7 Dob the Pentax XW20 is fantastic.

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... things are becoming clearer for me !

Was that a bad pun Paul or is it just my twisted mind? :)

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I ordered some eyepieces today - I got Baader Hyperion 21, 17 & 13 mm ... cost was a bit more than I though to spend originally on the main set but with a few more pennies put in the bottle after the pub a 'special' ep won't be too far away ...

Ta for the advice!

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You can get fine tuning rings to change the focal length of the hyperions you bought. For example I have the Hyp 17mm, and with the fine tuning rings I can use it as a13mm, 11mm, and 9mm EP! It would be good to get the FTRs, especially with Mars coming up, which needs a lot of magnification, and given that they are so cheap :-)

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I agree with Ags. Both FTRs come in at just under £16 and give you another three focal lengths per eyepiece :)

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You can get fine tuning rings to change the focal length of the hyperions you bought. For example I have the Hyp 17mm, and with the fine tuning rings I can use it as a13mm, 11mm, and 9mm EP! It would be good to get the FTRs, especially with Mars coming up, which needs a lot of magnification, and given that they are so cheap :-)

Interesting option - however, are there any benefits using the rings over a decent barlow? Have I bought 1 ep too many!

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The FTRs are a better option than a barlow as they do not add more glass to the optical train. They are also cheaper.

It is good to have both the 17 and 13mm hypes as it is not easy to change the FTRs in the field.

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Hi Paul,

I ordered some eyepieces today - I got Baader Hyperion 21, 17 & 13 mm

I see you followed my advice great choice very versatile, and yes since you went with a 13mm (rather than 12mm) then the 17mm is probably better spaced out than the 15/16mm that I suggested would have been.

The FTRs are a better option than a barlow as they do not add more glass to the optical train. They are also cheaper.

It is good to have both the 17 and 13mm hypes as it is not easy to change the FTRs in the field.

I echo this, more glass potentially adds more chromatic aberration and you will also loose a degree of the light transmitted (tele vew Powermates are better here than Barlows and do the same job - their optical quality and design means the light transmitted is vertually lossless) fine tuning rings are the way to go and means you should get the 12mm (254x magnification) which is about the usual seeing limit and higher still when you can; but a 2x powermate would be a fine aquirement (when you have another £200 spare) as its easier to change in the field.

but with a few more pennies put in the bottle after the pub a 'special' ep won't be too far away ...

After the pub??? If it were me I'd usually end up spending more money rather than finding a few more pennies...

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Hi Paul,

I see you followed my advice great choice very versatile, and yes since you went with a 13mm (rather than 12mm) then the 17mm is probably better spaced out than the 15/16mm that I suggested would have been.

I echo this, more glass potentially adds more chromatic aberration and you will also loose a degree of the light transmitted (tele vew Powermates are better here than Barlows and do the same job - their optical quality and design means the light transmitted is vertually lossless) fine tuning rings are the way to go and means you should get the 12mm (254x magnification) which is about the usual seeing limit and higher still when you can; but a 2x powermate would be a fine aquirement (when you have another £200 spare) as its easier to change in the field.

After the pub??? If it were me I'd usually end up spending more money rather than finding a few more pennies...

Guys - I ordered the rings too, should cover my bases.

The bottle refers to my 'spare' change bottle that I empty my pockets (which invairably have lots of coins!) into after the pub ... will take a few months but it will build up again :)

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The Baader Hyperions have now arrived in my possession - I have had a quick look at them and compared to my basic plossels they are indeed appearing to up the ante! Lets hope so too!

All I need now is a decent evening - I have been waiting since Tuesday last week to collimate the scope after I put bobs knobs on it ...

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If I had a 12" SCT and £400 I think I would spend the money on one good eyepiece and a medium easier-to-set-up telescope that could be 'thrown out' on those nights of iffy weather. Such a scope would cool down much more quickly than the 12" and be ready for action within 30 minutes.

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If I had a 12" SCT and £400 I think I would spend the money on one good eyepiece and a medium easier-to-set-up telescope that could be 'thrown out' on those nights of iffy weather. Such a scope would cool down much more quickly than the 12" and be ready for action within 30 minutes.

Fair comment - My scope lives in my garage which aint exactly warm so cool down don't take long at all - from the house it takes well over an hour to cool down! It also takes me less than 10 mins to go from scope in garage to aligned and ready - I can live with that. Having said that, I am keeping an eye out for a refractor that I can easily take on the family hols and to whip out when I feel like it.

TBH, having only basic eyepieces for 10 years (had a 200mm F5 newt before this one) I am happy with getting the 21mm & 13mm Hyperion and now thinking that the 17mm is possibly not a necessary purchase as I also got the rings (which were an afterthought). I may flog it if I don't use it - but I tend to hoard stuff so maybe not!

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The Nagler 17mm in my 1100 is wonderful....... (and expensive!)

Each to their own I suppose :icon_salut:

Steve

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