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Sky-watcher stock eyepieces - what's the story


AlexB67
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I was wondering if sky watcher upped their game including stock eyepieces recently, or is it just that when you buy a bigger scope you get slightly better eyepieces ? See screenshot attached. The one on the left is different, heavier, included with the 250px flextube I bought recently.  As you can see the lens at the top is also wider.  I've not even tried to use it out in the field and compare as yet, Still  as new in the box. The one on the right is the eyepiece that came with the Heritage 130p, weighs less, I believe what is often referred to as the super MA.

At first I thought perhaps just the coatings or something very small is different, but upon inspection  from the outside of both, they are clearly somewhat different, the weight difference is quite noticeable too.  I wonder what others got with their sky-watcher scopes recently, more out of curiosity as much as anything else. I'll be trying it out for sure just to see at some point  :smiley:

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Edited by AlexB67
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Interesting!  My little mak 127 came with the one on the right - I think it's a pretty good little eyepiece, but then I have very limited experience of other eyepieces, so I'm only comparing it to the quality of view I get through the other standard eyepieces that my scope came with.  Be very interested to see how your view differs between the two...let us know when you've had a chance to test?!

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If this is the new included eyepiece its about time, but what about the 10mm thats the one that should be changed.  :smiley:

That is of that type as well like the 25mm super plossl, on the label it says so anyway, though I've not studied it closely to compare with the super MA with the heritage. What I can tell you is I actually tried the 10mm last week, I still found it not nearly as nice to use as the 8mm BST, and the views were a bit underwhelming (FOV differences aside ignored) .  Perhaps I should try it a bit more before criticising too soon, since I usually wear specs and got to take them off with the short eye relief that goes with the 10mm, this takes a little getting use to. In any case to work with such short eye relief is not something I am a big fan of, even without glasses.

Edited by AlexB67
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Well it looks like someone was taking notice at sky-watcher HQ. I've tried 2 of the supplied 10mm eyepieces and been disappointed with them I know we often hear that some people find them ok, and was beginning  to wonder if quality was up and down.

My view is that the 10mm ( the older one) should have not been supplied with faster newts and dobs as it does't show them in there best light.

Perhaps times are changing which has to be a good thing.  :smiley:

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My solid tube 250PX came with the Super MA 10 & 25mm rather than the plossls. Apart from eyerelief on the 10mm, I didn't find the Super MA's all that bad. What they did do, was to get me started and give me something to half decent look through while trying out other people's eyepieces to find out what suited my eyes and observing preferences. Certainly they did me fine for the first 6 months of observing before viewing through Mark at Beaufort's Panoptics (which I liked) and Naglers (which I didn't). I am now a much happier, but slightly poorer, man. 

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That's fair point, as much as the 10 mm gets a bit of a rough write up here at times, they do get you going and for sure at the beginning I was very happy with what I was seeing. I don't recall exactly when I upgraded, it was not a next day type thing and I used both the 10mm and the 25mm for a while, the 25mm for quite a bit actually, as I felt it was nicer to use compared to the 10mm. Since I wear specs, and while I am okay observing without them, the luxury of the longer eye relief upgrade for sure was a welcome one, and I find these days I take them off less, as it allows me to concentrate longer, but I take them off when I want to block out light as much as anything and settle on a target for a while, especially when it is a faint one. 

Once I got the upgrade to a 8mm BST though, and on my first night comparing it to the 10mm Super MA, it never came out of the box again as it was such an improvement for me, except to briefly try with that 10mm plossl that came with the 10 inch Dob to see how I would get on with it.

Edited by AlexB67
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I sometimes wonder if the rough ride the standard SW EPs get, is down to the fact that they are mostly used by owners new to astronomy, who have yet to get to grips with other issues that affect the quality of view.

I recall my first views through my 200p and how awful the 10mm looked, when it was the out of the box collimation that was to blame. In the 25mm, it was less obvious so it must have been a better EP right? Actually, it is, but as I bought other scopes along the way, I received more of the freebies. These ones coincided with, by then, finessed quality of collimation, patience in terms of scope cool down, flocking, light shields, etc, etc and you know what they weren't half as bad as I remember.

Russell

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Fuelled by interesting discussion in this thread, I am going to give the new super plossls  a more serious go when I can. Weather has been so far and few between that testing eyepieces where I believe I have better options is a rare occurrence, observing has been a are occurrence full stop :(

Having observed a  lot more since I started and used the Super MAs in earnest, this thread has kind of sparked my interested in them. I'll see if I can do a spot the difference between these super MAs and the newer super plossls on DSOs, a few doubles and planets at some stage, an also put them back to back with BSTs. 

Edited by AlexB67
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My 10" solid tube came with the MAs, no matter though - they haven't even been opened!

I believe your eyepiece on the left is a proper plossl, where the one on the right is an MA, which actually has a surprisingly long eye relief. So long in fact, with my old glasses (which needed about 12mm eye relief minimum) I could use the 10mm MA, just. I estimated the eye relief at about 13mm-14mm, much more than a plossl in an equivalent focal length.

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I wonder if this is one of the differences between certain scopes like the 10 inch solid tube and flex. I know AndyWB Got the 10 inch recently (solid tube), I wonder what he got.  After all the flex is a £100 pounds more almost. You would think that is just down to having to pay extra for the flex design, but that is not the only difference since the solid tube comes with a straight through finder, whereas the flex come with a right angle finder.  Or may be I just got lucky and got a luxury eyepiece set :0)

Edited by AlexB67
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Just to clarify this a bit, since I bought my flextube 10 inch Dob from FLO. Whether you get the super plossl or super MA varies from scope to scope. If you look at the feature list on their site carefully I notice that it does use the designations, sp10, sp25 with some scopes, FLO under promoting  themselves a bit here. :smiley:  

On their site it says for the flextube 10 inch,The 10 inch version of the solid tube but there are two additional differences however

  • Right angle finder scope instead of straight through finder
  • Mine at least came shipped with the sp10 and sp25, but under the solid tube  it says super MA 10,25mm

No  big deal, more out of interest since the price difference is almost 100 pounds, but it works you out get a bit more than meets the eye at first besides just a flex tube version of this scope.

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My new Mak 127 arrived at home 3 days ago and the stock eyepieces  are like the one in the right ( the first post photo). and I also purchased a two skywatcher eyepieces , 32mm and a 12 mm super plossl like the one in the left.

The stock eyepieces seems to be less solid compared with the super plossl but  I dind´t have enough time to test the eyepieces because the weather is very bad now. cloudy and raining,

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Alex,

I bought the 180mm Mak a few months back and I got a 9mm and a 20mm but a different tpye, I gave them to my friend the telescope dealer and asked that they be given to someone starting out with a scope as a sweetener, so I didn't take too much notice of them. I think it is a bit pot-luck what you get as in the paperwork with my scope it tells you can can also get a 28mm instead of these two. I have a feeling it was the flat field eyepiece they do.

Alan

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My 150PL came the other week. The 10 and 25mm EP's supplied are same type as on the right of the picture. Though i got nothing to compare them with, ive been able to use all of them including the barlow with success. Which as a beginner is all i need to get started.

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I tested my new mak 127 after days of bad weather.

The suplied 20 mm EP is good but the 10 mm it´s not very good compared with a skywatcher 12,5 mm super plossl eyepiece that i purchased separately .

I supose that are good for beginners and allow use the scope inmediately withouth extra EP but i think that it´s a good idea replace the stock eyepieces with anothers with better quality.

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I tried the 10 mm super plossl on the double double the other night and some other targets, it is not that bad if you can put up with the tight eyerelief and constricted view, still I would not swap it with my 8mm BST in the world.

I would throw another idea into the pot of the 10mm versus 25 debates that do often turn up,  the magnification difference is substantial, so I think that  has also something to do with it to form that  initial impression ...  perhaps, especially when starting out new in the hobby.  More noise visible, stars more magnified and not as sharp and bright and so on give less crisp views.  

Personally after giving these SP SW stock eyepieces ( not the MAs) a run, in all honesty, for  the 10 versus 25 super plossls anyway,  I have no real valid reason to state one over the other as better, the 10mm SP is a very usable eyepiece to start with in any case. Off axis the 10mm was not great compared to my nearest mag 8mm BST, considering the latter has a smaller exit pupil and larger FOV but roughly bags a similar amount of sky.  The overall sharpness is just that  bit better in the BST, and the more off axis you go you notice it.  Overall the BST  is just much nicer to use due to the extra comfort in eye relief anyway, and my eye lashes were touching the 10mm top as well which was not the most pleasant thing. 

Edited by AlexB67
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