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damp owl

Help me choose an EP......

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I have decided that my stock 10mm EP needs replacing. Have read through a lot of the posts here I decided that a 8mm BST explorer would be a good substitute without needing to sell a kidney, greater FoV, eye relief etc. So it was decision made, until I checked just once more - bad mistake, and read that the Celestron X-Cel EPs' are extremely good for mid-range cost.

I want this EP for both DSO and planetary viewing......

So, I guess it boils down to one question... are the celestrons X-cel Ep's worth the extra cash, or will a BST explorer do just a good a job?

Thanks in advance for advice.

Adam.

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I got the 12mm BST and spent all Sunday night with it... Simply stunning for the money! :)

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You will most likely need 2 different sizes EP's.............

One for planets (8-9mm is great)

And

you will need something as bit bigger (less magnification) for DSO's. Something in the 15mm range.

I personally find the Vixen NPL brilliant (as do many others) and they are pretty affordable

First Light Optics - Vixen NPL eyepieces

Edited by LukeSkywatcher

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The performance gain with the X-Cel LX (different eyepiece from the X-Cel's so make sure you know which you are looking at) is subtle but it's there. That's the way it tends to go with eyepieces - the performance gains are smaller, the more you pay.

Very difficult to put a value in £'s on that though - I guess we all want the best performance we can afford so the question of whether it's worth it is one that is personal.

The BST's have many satisfied owners though so I doubt you would be unhappy with one.

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you will need something as bit bigger (less magnification) for DSO's. Something in the 15mm range.

Excuse my ignorance and if this is a stupid question, but is that due to the reduction in light through a higher mag EP? Surely a higher mag EP will magnify better DSO resulting in better viewing?????

Will take a look at the Vixen EP.

Adam.

Edited by damp owl

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I have three BST Explorers (see below). The 8mm is great for the planets, but the 18mm and the 25mm better for the larger DSO's. So far I am extremely happy with these EP's, but need a better nigth to test them properly.

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Excuse my ignorance and if this is a stupid question, but is that due to the reduction in light through a higher mag EP? Surely a higher mag EP will get you in closer to a DSO?????

Will take a look at the Vixen EP.

Adam.

Don't work that way!! DSO's take up a surprisingly large area of sky compared to a planet, so you need a lens to take in that larger area. EP's are not like camera lenses where the higher the number the larger the image appears, but the with EP's the larger the number the bigger the area you can see. I think that makes sense!!

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It's worth having a range of magnifications for viewing deep sky objects because they vary hugely in their apparent size. Objects like The Andromeda Galaxy and the Veil Nebula are pretty large and benefit from low power, wide field eyepieces. Some of the planetary nebulae however are very small and need over 100x or more to discern their nature. So there is no such thing as a single deep sky object eyepiece really.

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Just to update - I went with the 12mm Celestron X-Cel and use it nearly exclusively now, amazing eyepiece, excellent eye relief and clarity across the entire fov. I have one small gripe with it, the cap that goes over the rubber eye cap is so tight it starts to tear off the rubber after only a few uses. I made a small cut in the vertical piece of the cap which releases the pressure and still keeps the dust off.

Adam.

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Adam, great that you made the choice, the X-Cel's are highly regarded here so it's great to get your report, what objects have you looked at?

Edited by rwilkey

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I went with the 12mm Celestron X-Cel...amazing eyepiece, excellent eye relief and clarity across the entire fov. I have one small gripe with it, the cap that goes over the rubber eye cap is so tight it starts to tear off the rubber after only a few uses.

They are great EPs and I think well worth the money (prefer mine over the Hyperions I was able to experiment with). With my OTA, the 18mm is the sweet spot for DSOs and the 7mm for lunar and planetary work. I have heard complaints about the dust caps being tight. I have never found this, so I imagine it's a feature with given batches rather than the LX series themselves. Maybe giving them a gentle twist as you pull upwards will release the caps a little easier?

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I love my 8mm BST, Truly great ep for the money. I use mine exclusively for planets and it barlows great too. I have the 18mm too and cant fault either.....brilliant.

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Hi, I have just bought my first decent ep after asking virtually the same question here on SGL. I ended up getting the Celestron X-Cel LX in 18mm. After having it for about 3 weeks, I fiinally got outside last night to use it and it was a vast improvement over my stock eps. I was only looking at Saturn, but I saw the shadow of the rings on the planet and the planets shadow on the rings. I also believe I saw the cassini division. I had barlowed it up with a 2.5x Revelation Astro.

At the end of the day it is just a leap of faith as to whether you choose this one or that one of anything. Unless you can get somewhere and try both out, or borrow one of each from someone and try them in your scope.

I think which ever you decide to buy you will not be disappointed.

Bryan

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