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Stock eye pieces - what next ?

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Hi all, I have a Celestron AM 130eq with a 20mm and a 10mm eyepiece that came with it.

I was wondering if anybody has any experience with this scope that they could pass on ?

I understand it's an entry level scope but I was hoping to find out what eye pieces etc I could get

To improve my viewing, which at this time is limited to the moon, without spending to much.

In time I would like to go down the photography route and not sure if this scope is capable of any half

decent images.

Any advice would be welcome thx

Ohhhhh. Erm . . . . . What's a Barlow do ? (Feel like I've just asked a stupid question lol)

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Before spending too much money, take your time to get used to what you have. Usually these scopes are supplied with Plossl eyepieces. I have a 20mm often supplied with these for our kids' scope, and it is pretty decent, especially given its price tag. The 10mm is often a bit less good, and in particular less easy to use because you need to get your eye really close to the lens to see the whole field of view. The Barlow lens double the magnification of your telescope, equivalent to halving the focal length of your eyepieces, so your 20mm becomes another 10mm (might be worth a try), and your 10mm becomes a 5mm. 

I would try to use the 20mm to find some other objects than the moon, and increase the magnification to see what details you can spot. Jupiter, Mars and Saturn can take quite a bit of magnification (130x and a bit above on your scope). All three are fairly easy to find. Other objects, like open clusters and galaxies, require low magnification, and you 20mm should do well there.

Once you have gained some experience, you can make more sensible decisions on what you would like to improve or replace.

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Thanks Michael

I'm just trying to get my head around how to find different things.

I think I will get a Barlow and leave it at that for a while, again thanks for the advice.

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Some Barlows can be used either as 1.5x or as 2x. as a 2x Barlow gives you only 20, 10, and 5mm EPs effectively, a 1.5/2.0x is interesting, as it yields 20, 13.3, 10, 6.7, and 5 mm. Swapping Barlows can be a bit of a hassle, but it is a cost-effective way of expanding your EP collection.

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Hi, to answer your last question first a barlow effectively increases the focal length of the scope, by the amount shown. So a 2X barlow doubles the focal length and magnification of any eyepiece used. Magnification is scope focal length divided by eyepiece focal length. With an f5 scope I would look at a 32 mm plossl for low mag wide field use and then get a short focal length for viewing the planets/moon. Short focal length eyepieces can be awkward to use because of the poor eye relieve so something like a Celestron x-cel might be worth a look in 5 mm size. This would give you 130 × mag, I would not buy an eyepiece that gives more than around 160 x as it would not get much use. Your scope is not really suitable for long exposures/ deep sky photography but could be used for planetary/ moon imaging with either afocal or web cam methods. :smiley:



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So I can get a Barlow lens that does 1.5 and 2x. I've just been looking on fleabay and looked at the celestron EP kit but maybe

Learn to walk first, thx for the reply Michael.

Hi laurie

I'll take a look at the Celestron X-Cel, I might try the webcam method.

Thx guys, very gratefull.

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Probably the first question is what is your budget per eyepiece?

It makes a fair difference as (for whatever reasons) eyepiece seem to come in almost bands of cost.

Budget plossl can be £25 each, next is the not so budget plossls and some planetary's at around £35, next up is the BST STarguiders at £49, then X-Cels at £64, then ones like TV plossls at £75-80(ish). I will stop at the this as above that it's £100.

FLO have Celestron planetary's at something like £35, not heard too much about these, but FLO do seem to have an idea of what they are doing.

Many people have the BST Starguiders and are generally very pleased (I have 9 of them, and yes I do know there are only 6 in the set), similar results for the the X-Cels.

Many like the TV Plossls as they are good eyepieces.

From experience and others the BST are a very good option, simply I do not know enough about the Celestron Planetary's to be 100% sure to say grab them. So the next cost along is the BST's.

One hiccup of eyepiece's is that you usually have to buy one to find out if they work for you.

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Thanks for the price guide Ronin il keep all that in mind. My budget is limited as yet and my knowledge of astronomy is less so I'm gonna try and find out what the middle of the road Barlow is/costs and start there then work my way up.

Thanks Ronin.

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I would get something to collimate your scope with. Either make a home made collimation cap or buy one, next up is a Cheshire collimation tool these are more expensive. A correctly aligned scope will make the most of what you can see.

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My first scope was a Celestron 8" reflector. It came with 1 20mm eyepiece. This gave me lots and lots of views and was my main eyepiece for 2 or 3 years. However, at the time I didn't have a job or much astro advice to hand, so I purchased a cheap 3.6mm Modified Achromat, and a 9mm Kellner (I sold them on later as I upgraded). Whilst these are not considered the greatest of eyepieces, they gave me my first views of Saturn and Jupiter which will stick with me forever, as well as great views of the moon. So, yeah, get used to what you have - there is lots to see, even with stock eyepieces.

When I finally got a job, I purchased the GSO plossl eyepiece set, which came with 4 or 5 plossls and a barlow lens in a case. I added a 8mm planetary eyepiece, which has 5 or 6 elements and this still gets use, despite having 2" eyepieces now. So I have a lot of eyepieces now, but only 2 or 3 which see a lot of action. So the next step is, work out what you actually need and get 2 or 3 quality eyepieces and a good barlow - making sure not to duplicate any of the focal lengths if possible.

I love the GSO plossl set, as - at the time (2011) - it was about £110 delivered and provides all the focal lengths I need in 1.25" form for my little maksutov telescope. They give decent views as well. Although some might suggest getting 2 or 3 decent eyepieces - say BST Starguiders, or Vixen plossls.

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Hi Goose holla, great advice, thx. I'm in the process of working out how to find things so looking forward to seeing more than the moon .

First is a good (Ish) Barlow and maybe the ep's you mentioned, my scope is only 5" but when I'm ready for an upgrade I can still use the ep's, cheers.

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