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Anyone else truly happy with there EP collection?


Mike73
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As I said, my "box" hasn't changed much over the years other than........

The purchase of the Pentax Zoom.

I tried many others, Moonfish, Meade, even TV but the Pentax blows them all away.

If you don't love it, I'll give you your money back!!!

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I should imagine a good zoom would work very well with your scopes Jules.....The Pentax has a very good reputation aswell.....When was the last time you treated yourself??  :evil::)

t one time i might have leaped at this, like you say treating myself..........but at present i feel im on the other slope, reducing kit rather than adding to it. I find a strong appeal to own just one decent refractor, with a nice single zoom ep, kinda back to basics

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t one time i might have leaped at this, like you say treating myself..........but at present i feel im on the other slope, reducing kit rather than adding to it. I find a strong appeal to own just one decent refractor, with a nice single zoom ep, kinda back to basics

This is exactly how I feel and just what I've done, one thing I've learnt about astronomy equipment is that you always have to compromise in some way but its just a case of using equipment that you are happy with and enjoy using.

At times I've felt like I'm 'chasing my tail', always wondering would scope A be better than scope B or would this EP be better than that one but at the end of the day none of the gear is actually that important!

In buying a decent zoom you will actually be reducing kit, you'll find you don't actually need all those fixed focal length EP's anymore and may be able to sell some to free up some money.

I'm down to two fixed focal length EP's and one decent quality zoom for two scopes, I certainly don't feel like I've missing out on anything intact its completely the opposite. :)

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We are gonna have to refer to you as "Zen Master" from here on in Mike. I like your thinking though. The constant search for kit perfection is a bit of distraction from the point of it all.

Being relaxed at the EP back fires sometimes though Alan, I once feel asleep at the EP and only woke up when I head butted the UTA.  :grin:

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I'm down to two fixed focal length EP's and one decent quality zoom for two scopes, I certainly don't feel like I've missing out on anything intact its completely the opposite. :)

Not yet :evil:

But Dobfest II is coming mwahahaha :evil:

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Funny enough, I thought I am sorted with my 2 wide field eps plus barlow, but some how it is more of a fun factor to grab a hand full of orthos and plossl, so I build up a line of these and rarely take the big guns out.

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t one time i might have leaped at this, like you say treating myself..........but at present i feel im on the other slope, reducing kit rather than adding to it. I find a strong appeal to own just one decent refractor, with a nice single zoom ep, kinda back to basics

Jules, a man after my own heart! :p ..I can only speak for myself but for my scope (and bear in mind it's got a focal length of 1905mm (F15)), the Leica Vario zoom gives between c. x86 at 22mm and x224 at 7.3mm. So far (limited use) I love it. It has a little kidney beaning at the lowest power but from around 19mm down to 7.3mm the field just gets wider as you go higher, I think it tops out at 68 degrees..and the clarity of image is excellent.

On the high side of that I have an old 6mm ortho 0.965"  which will take me over x300 (x317 to be precise) on those very rare exceptional  nights (l'm tempted to upgrade to a Hutech (BGO) ortho while they are on offer at FLO), and on the lower side of mag I have a really nice Meade SWA 24.5mm and a Skies the limit 32mm plossl (don't laugh, it's very sharp - mind you a coke bottle bottom would look sharp at 1905mm focal length ! :grin: ). Oh, and a nice x2 barlow which in theory could take the Leica up to x448!

I've heard good things about the Pentax zoom. I actually tried to buy one recently but the dealer told me that there is a quality problem in the short term and they won't be available again until early July or so. Bear in mind there are two Pentax zooms: the one I was after is the 8-24 SMC zoom, sometimes called the XW zoom...it's the premium one (around £350+ new :eek:  :eek: ). I did buy the XF zoom used a couple of years ago but couldn't get on with it..in my scope at the time (Intes M603) it showed horrid CA, I have no idea why, and I quickly sold it on..other users love it.

I saw the Leica for sale for some weeks and read up all I could about it - after all they are not a recognised astro brand  - but in the end I pulled the trigger and I am pleased that I did. I'll post a write up on this separately when I've evaluated it more.

But the concept of simplicity of equipment is suddenly very appealing. All I need are some blooming clear, calm nights with no jetstream!!

Dave

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Thanks a lot for the estimation, Dave, it is an excellent reminder for everyone who wants to upgrade their EPs step by step.

No problem, YKSE. I think, above all other advice I could give, I'd say go for the best eyepieces (by reputation, not cost!) you can afford, and don't buy too many. Three well chosen eyepieces are enough, in truth, and will mean you spend more time observing than getting bits of equipment out and putting them away again!. I'd suggest (and the actual focal length will depend on the focal length of your scope) eyepieces that will give you low power (x30-x50), medium power (x50-x100) and high power (x100-x180). It's not often in the UK anyway that you can go much higher than x200 in the average  4"-8" scope.

Hope that helps.

Dave

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Three scope limit Shane......... ;)

Me thinks this has kinda......window, gone out of yes :grin:

At least Shane isn't on 8 :rolleyes:.

Getting back to the original post, I'm happy with my set but do often feel like adding some if only to have complete lines :evil:. However unnecessary it may be.

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I think i have already talked myself out of getting the zoom, and to be honest the weather/seeing /work situation need to improve before i spend any more money on astro, though i have spotted a cheap 60mm f15 OTA that i may be getting,  but this will be beer money!

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For our twenty inch F4.1 Dob I want, quite honestly, two EPs. 26 Nagler and 13 Ethos. That's it. What else would I want? I don't have the Ethos yet but I've just bought Moonshane's and I know how good they are in the scope. I've used several in it.

I'll use these in the TEC140 as well, when it isn't imaging. For the TEC on the planets I have a 4mm Radian. So there you go; with those three EPs I can do the lot. Of course I have quite a few others because we have a solar scope, a small apo used for wildlife and widefield astro, etc but for my own use I'd stick to those three TVs. They will do the lot to my satisfaction.

Olly

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I just ordered a Pentax zoom, not the model Dave mentioned above but the 6.5mm to 19.5mm - http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/language/en/info/p1623_Pentax-XF-Zoom---6-5mm-to-19-5mm---ideal-for-binoviewers.html

I bought it with the idea of buying two for use with my binoviewers on the 4" APO frac and the 180mm Mak/Cass. Hopefully, I will receive it early next week so I can test it out. If it is OK then I will buy another. Then I might be able to reduce some of my EP collection. However, I am keeping the 21mm and 13mm Ethos whatever happens.

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In 2" form, I am not happy. Would love a 13 - 11mm wide angle eyepiece to add to the options now I have a 2" barlow. In 1.25" inch, I am happy. My 8mm, 6mm and 5mm all give cracking planetary views, and my plossls are a nice set of 9, 12, 15, 20, 32. Alhough perhaps a 25/26mm would go nicely in there. I would also like, a 7/7.5 for those times when 6 is too much and 8 not quite enough. But, both or these are covered by my 2" collection.

I am sure in the future my GSO plossls will go, and I'll want to upgrade from TMB to something else, but to be honest, at the moment, I am happy with what I have and not planning a mass upgrade anytime soon.

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I'm happy with what I have; MV 40mm and 16mm 68° and Skies the Limit 3xED barlow. This is but the beginning though the final goal is to complete the set of MV 68° before they go and complement them with the 3 shortest ES 82° and a 2" 2x ES/Meade/Bresser telextender (the 3x barlow will go to my son for his heritage 76). This will give from 2.3mm through to 40mm; a high quality, comprehensive set that will be more than a match to any 'scope I am likely to own.

Sent from my LG-D802 using Tapatalk

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Being relaxed at the EP back fires sometimes though Alan, I once feel asleep at the EP and only woke up when I head butted the UTA. :grin:

Perhaps you were subconsciously manually tracking? One of the mystical abilities you get on reaching eyepiece nirvana :-)

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As I said, my "box" hasn't changed much over the years other than........

The purchase of the Pentax Zoom.

I tried many others, Moonfish, Meade, even TV but the Pentax blows them all away.

If you don't love it, I'll give you your money back!!!

I considered the Pentax XF zoom, but it has an eye relief smaller than 15mm, which is a huge no-no for me

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Mark, i wait your comments about pentax zoom with binoviewer.

Pentax zoom haven't click stops... That's why i have not buy the second...

Yes I guess that might be a problem. I will certainly test the single zoom in various scopes starting with the PST Ha. I suppose you could attach some sticky tape with markings so as to indicate the same position on both zooms but time will tell.

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I'm fairly happy with my primary set as it does everything needed and works for a variety of scopes.  The bino selection though I'd like to improve some...

Pentax XWs -- 40, 30, 20, 14, 10, 7, 5, 3.5

Planetary EP -- 12, 10, 8 AP-SPL; 6 ZAO-II, 5 XO, 4 TMB Supermono

Bino Pairs -- 20 Meade RG Wide Field; 20, 17, 12.5 Sterling Plossls

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I'm fairly happy with my primary set as it does everything needed and works for a variety of scopes.  The bino selection though I'd like to improve some...

Pentax XWs -- 40, 30, 20, 14, 10, 7, 5, 3.5

Planetary EP -- 12, 10, 8 AP-SPL; 6 ZAO-II, 5 XO, 4 TMB Supermono

Bino Pairs -- 20 Meade RG Wide Field; 20, 17, 12.5 Sterling Plossls

You say "fairly happy" Bill but I'd be interested to see how you might improve on your Planetary set ?  :smiley:

It seems to me to include the "creme de la creme" already !

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Nice planetary EP's Bill. Only have 5mm XO out of your list :D

My set up:

Planetary:full set of BGO and full set of Meade Research grade ortho and erfles and Pentax xo 5mm.

Wide field: 13mm ethos,20mm ES and 9mm ES in 100 degs and 30mm es in 82 degs.

Edited by Dude_with_the_tube
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