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Lenses for skymax 127-skyscan


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Hi guys

Hope you don't mind me posting asking for some advice I have the skymax 127 skyscan as shown in the link below.  Link is from forum sponsor so I hope that does not break any rules

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/maksutov/skywatcher-skymax-127-synscan-az-goto.html

I got the standard super 25 and a super 10 with the scope and a 2 x barlow.  The super 25 gives me a nice clear view of of the sky and jupitor appears nice and clear.  The 10 brings jupiter closer but all I can make out ar a very faint outline of some clouds.  I bought a recommended skyatcher 66 ultrawide 6mm long relief eye piece but I don't like it at all. Yes it bring things closer but its nothing like the lovely nice wide 25mm view .  Just wondering what I am doing wrong and could someone advise how people get nice picture of jupiter with this same scope.

Thanks

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What do you mean by picture? If you mean photographs, this is done by taking thousands of blurry pictures and then processing them with software. In particular, the contrast and colors in planetary photographs have been boosted. The live view is more subtle - I have never seen the Red Spot as being anything more colorful than a pale salmon.

10mm should give you 150x magnification, which is a nice amount for jupiter. The skywatcher 10mm is not so good... You might want to buy a different eyepiece like the 9mm TS Planetary HR that I use. Or perhaps you might prefer the lower magnification of a 12mm or 13mm - this will make the planet look more sharp, and will also make the faint colors stronger. You might consider a hyperion 13mm, which is a nice planetary eyepiece, and you can even adjust it to give more magnification on those special nights of excellent seeing.

You must let your telescope cool down before using it - put it outside an hour before you use it. Also, try to observe when the planet is high in the sky and not over any buildings if possible.

On some nights the seeing is just bad, but on any night you have to observe for some time to pick out the details in the moments of clarity. Sketching what you see will help you to see more.

Edited by Ags
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If I recall the scope focal length is 1500mm so a 6mm will give 250x and that is generally too much magnification.

A reasonable 10mm should be good. giving 150x.

A lot depends on what you are happy to spend.

Your 25mm sounds as if it is OK, they usually are. The 10mm is generally not good and the same for the barlow.

Jupiter should be fine at 120x, so around 12mm, Saturn needs more so 150x-180x at a guess.

Assuming you bought the 6mm for that thing called magnification I would go no lower then an 8mm, giving 187x - and you may find yourself not using it all that often.

Options are (in rising price order)

Vixen NPL plossls, £35, 8mm, 10mm, 15mm

BST Starguiders, £49, 8mm, 12mm.

Celestron X-Cels, £64, 7mm or 9mm,  12mm.

The BST's fit best, to my thinking, not sure how much extra a 7mm will give over a 9mm, it could be worthwhile or it may just be too much again. I would guess the 8mm BST would be good at the high end.

Sorry but the only option is to spend money, as said it depends on how much.

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I find my 9mm X-cel LX, works well on Jupiter in a 127mak, It has good contrast enough to see the GRS & Jovian transits.

Still waiting for a still, clear night to have a go at Mars & Saturn.

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Thank you for your replies so far, money not really an issue so just did some googling on the hyperion 13mm is that a good lense? It looks masive.  What type of price whould you expect to pay in the uk as the prices I saw from us ect at around £100.00.  With the lenses that I have  viewing with I don't understand how anyone could see say the spot on jupiter the images are far away or too blury.  With this is mind am I doing something wrong with this scope, the only adjustment to the scope is the one to the right of the eye piece the one that brings the object into view.  There are no other ways to adjust the eye pieces ect are there. 

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Hi Kegnkiwi, welcome to SGL.  The Baader Hyperions should work well enough with your scope, the 13mm would be about the right focal length, giving you 115x.  However, in my opinion there is no better planetary eyepiece to use than the 12.5mm William Optics SPL giving you 120x and at a cheaper price than the Hyperions.   I use the 6mm on a regular basis but that would be too much mag for your scope, however, the 12.5mm is a superb and very easy ep to use with generous eye-relief.

You will never get a view like the photos you see, the camera is more sensitive than the human eye, especially to colour, however, you should see the 'brownish' bands on Jupiter.  When viewing make sure you do tiny adjustments on the focuser when near focus and spend time at it, you will then see more with steady patient viewing.

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Before a nights observing with my 127mak, I let the scope scope cool down for at least an hour before use, otherwise you will get heat distortion, like you get on a road on a hot day, this is a problem with the mak as the light passes though the tube 3 times.

Cloud cover, hot nights, light pollution & if the object is close to the horizon, all these factors will cause distortion, no matter what eyepiece you use.

When focusing, you need to make fine adjustments & wait for the scope to settle, before re-focusing, alot of people use a clothes peg as a lever.

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Ah right so with the 10mm I can see the brownish bands just, I've just been through the site sponsors website and they have the 12.5mm William Optics SPL at a good price.  I also want to buy a camera adapter as I have a nice cannon eosm with a few good lenses sat here doing nothing.   Shame I cannot see jupiter as I expected maybe too, did I make the right choice buying the skymax 127 as the other choice was the skywatcher 200p but it just seemed far too big for the space i had available.

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The 127 will give you plenty of fine views of the planets. A bigger scope would give slightly better views of the planets, and much better views of nebulae, galaxies and star clusters, but as you say it would be much bigger.

If you want to do photography, the 127 is a much better choice than a 200 dob, because it can track your targets. While the 127 is not suited to long exposure photography, you can take good pictures of the moon and planets.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just an update guy got the williams 12.5m eyepiece and a t ring to match my canon eos-m to the mak127, but could someone please answer this for me.  Just had a very quick look and the t ring screws directly onto the base of the scope ok and that will connect direct to the camera but where does the cameras lense go and were how do the lenses fit into the equation? I knew something of an adapter but could not see one to buy.

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  • 1 year later...

well I thought I would raise this thread again as the weather may just be turning and my interest is starting to peak again. I've got the skywatch skyscan 127 with goto and a number of lenses, this scope is so under used and having two years I bet its not been out more than 5 times. I am looking for another lense but I think I want a zoom lense. I really should have bought one instead of the williams 12.5. As someone who is new to this scope I just seem to have lenses that are a certain magnification and the adjust on the lenses just brings them into focus instead of being able to zoom in, am I missing something here.

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The focal length of the scope is fixed - I believe your 127 is 1500mm. The size of eyepieces is also fixed (eg 25mm, 15mm, 10mm etc). What you need to do is work out the magnifications you desire and buy the appropriate eyepieces. Work out the magnification with Mag = FL / EP FL - calculate it all in millimeters for convenience. So a 10mm eyepiece in your 1500mm scope give a magnification of 150x (1500/10).

If you want to zoom in then you need a zoom eyepiece giving a range of field stops and magnifications (usually from 8mm to 24mm, but it can vary). When you put the eyepiece in the scope then all that's left to do is focus it all up. Generally the more glass you put in the light path the more the view deteriorates - this is why most folks have a range of fixed length eyepieces in their set. Some also have a barlow lens.

But a good quality zoom can be useful even though there are several lenses inside them, and good quality barlows are good for doubling or trebling the mag of a single eyepiece. I don't think you're missing anything at all. Hth :)

 

Edited by brantuk
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A zoom eyepiece, which should be marked for 8mm - 24mm, would give you 187.5X to 62.5X in the range of magnification. This is assuming your 127mm Maksutov has a FL of 1500mm - which is F/11.8. 187.5X is almost the limit for a 127mm telescope. And you'd need a night with very good 'seeing.' I would hesitate to get another eyepiece for a higher magnification. It would a 6mm if I were to as this would give the highest power possible - by most people's standards - which would give you 250X. And it would be very rarely used as it would require exceptional 'seeing' conditions.

I would be inclined to get a good wide-FOV eyepiece for employing the Mak for low-power, wide-angle views of such things as interesting starfields and asterisms such as Kemble's Cascade in Camelopardalis. Which means I'd be looking out for a good eyepiece of up to 40mm - for a magnification of 37.5X. Many would agree that 37.5X is about as low as you should go with a Maksutov, otherwise you'd be inviting too much coma. Maks seem to be happier at high-power observing compared to the more familiar Schmidt-Cassegrain.

Having just acquired a 150mm Skywatcher F/12 Maksutov-Cassegrain, I'm getting a few low-power, wide-field eyepieces myself. I'm taking a look at this site:

http://russell-optics.com/index.html

Unfortunately they don't ship outside the 48 states. Not even to Alaska or Hawaii. But this place will ship anywhere:

http://www.universityoptics.com/

Worth a look for future reference.

I hope you all get some good weather with clear skies. We're in the same boat (or needing a boat) as you - clouds, clouds, and more clouds.

Yuk!

Dave

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I just ordered another of these:

WS 70 Degree 2" Oculars

From here:

http://www.universityoptics.com/2inch.html#WS70

I have the 32mm, and can't recommend anything better for the money. You could hunt about over there for one. They've been sold under various names by different outfits. University Optics does ship international if needed. Their Orthoscopics are always excellent. I now have the 38mm coming in. It would appear that I like these! :eek: :D

Truly a keeper.

Dave

 

 

Edited by Dave In Vermont
sp.
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A 6mm will be too short for the 127 Mak.  I barlowed my 15mm (to 7.5mm) once but usually I had my best high power seeing with a 9mm EP.

I ended up with 3EPs that I used to use with the Mak: a TS 9mm, a 15mm plossl and a Baader Hyperion 24mm.

Andrew

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1 minute ago, Linda said:

I bought a 15mm eyepiece and an 8 mm planetary. I use both, the 15mm very often en the 8mm on e.g. Jupiter. I am considering buying an extra 12mm.

I loved my Vixen 15mm plossl (and wont sell it even though I don't use it at the moment).

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I have the Mak 127 as a grab and go. I found that the Baader 8-24mm works very well with it. But a 32 mm plossle would be a good addition for getting the wider field views such as can be given by a long focal length tube.

I did try Jupiter with the 7mm Delite I have and it was just a little too much under UK skies.

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Thank you all for your replies.

So as someone who is a very occasional user and the reason occasional is because it seems hard work. Lets say I have 8mm lens in the scope and I look at the moon (this is just theory) and I have a nice clear view of the surface but I want to bring the image closer to look lets say into the crators. I cannot zoom I have to change the lens to a stronger 13mm, but what I find is that that lens may be too strong for what I need and its just blurrey. On top of this I never set the tracking up on the scope so by the time I have fumbled about in the dark changing lens and trying to save my night vision I pop the next lens in and the moons buggered off out of view :)

If I was to get a 8 - 24m zoom lens and set the tracking up would I be a whole lot happier.

 

Thanks.

Edited by kegnkiwi
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8 minutes ago, kegnkiwi said:

So as someone who is a very occasional user and the reason occasional is because it seems hard work

:icon_biggrin: Nobody said it was going to be easy, but it does get easier, well maybe you get better at doing it so it seems easier:icon_biggrin:, the thing is not to give up, stick at it all the hard work will pay off in the end,
to me trying different things, eyepieces, setup and the like is all part of the learning process, Yes it can be frustrating, but its equally rewarding, Unfortunately the weather in this country is the only factor we can't do anything about other than move to another country
with better climate,

I have found this thread quite interesting as I have just purchased a mak 127 and was wondering about eyepieces.

Regards
James

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Thanks guys, but instead of me buying lots of different lenses would something like a Celestron 8 -24mm zoom eyepiece 1.25" suite me for quick grab and view sessions or am I wasting my time again. Are these lenses variable or do they click for each lense like 8m 12m 16m?  

Now to find any easy way to get this scope to track the sky, I wonder if there is an easy way other than aligning it up with certain stars.

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1 hour ago, kegnkiwi said:

Thanks guys, but instead of me buying lots of different lenses would something like a Celestron 8 -24mm zoom eyepiece 1.25" suite me for quick grab and view sessions or am I wasting my time again. Are these lenses variable or do they click for each lense like 8m 12m 16m?  

Now to find any easy way to get this scope to track the sky, I wonder if there is an easy way other than aligning it up with certain stars.

From experience with both the Celestron and Baader zooms they are variable and the Baader does click to a setting but are not parfocal, you need to make an slight adjustment to your focus. The field of view varies too.

But that said they are pretty good.

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