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thegremlin1999

Yet another eyepiece advice thread!

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Hi guys and girls

I've been reading through the forum quite a lot since I got my 'scope (A Skywatcher Heritage 130P) which I love.

As you might guess I've been looking to upgrade the standard 10mm and 25mm eyepieces.

Basically it appears I've two options:

1) I buy a kit like the Revelation Photo-Visual kit (which does appeal I have to say and appears to have a decent variety of eyepieces)

or

2) I buy 2/3 of the BST Explorer eyepieces (maybe a 18 and/or 25mm one and a shorter focal length of about 8mm)

I like to have a gander at all manner of things, but DSO's seem to be my favourite at the moment (mainly due to planets hiding behind trees from my normal viewing point in my back garden it has to be said)

I'm pretty much a n00b and I'm a fairly tight budget (hence looking at the kits).

Anyone have any advice? Or indeed other suggestions?

Thanks people!

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I would recommend quality over quantity any day. The eyepiece kits look like great value for money but I believe you don't need a lot of the things that are included. You would get a better viewing experience with 2-3 eyepieces of better quality /ease of use. I have not used the BST eyepieces myself but they have a good reputation as a first step up from the EPs supplied with the telescope.

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For the heritage, these cheaper solution work well 

Overview

a 30-32mm plössl under good conditions and a limited budget  = 

or 

a 20-24mm wide angle eyepiece under some light pollution (smaller exit pupil)

See http://blog.pixelgiraffe.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/fieldcompare.jpg

Seben 30mm (no eyecup, pipe isolation is one way to fix that, available via ebay or amazon as well)  http://shop.seben.com/sms/shop/index.php?p=b3JnYT1zZWJlbiZncm91cD0xJmxhbmc9MSZjdXJyPTE=&action=products&mode=view&id=161

http://shop.seben.com/sms/shop/index.php?p=b3JnYT1zZWJlbiZncm91cD0xJmxhbmc9MSZjdXJyPTE=&action=products&mode=view&id=197 I use this one more then the plössl in the city due to the smaller exit pupil, the 30mm 's exit pupil is a bit large for light polluted skies.

Or perhaps the 24mm BST/ TS ED, even Explore Scientific (though heavy) if you are not on a budget.

I have both the plössl and the wide angle eyepiece (different lable, looks identical judging by the 12mm wide angle I do have from seben.).   

For higher magnification the 6mm 

http://www.ebay.de/itm/wide-angle-eyepiece-1-25inches-66-degree-F-6mm-/140717462903

I was suprised that the quality was not much different then the HR Planetary, the sometimes reported kidney beaning of the 6mm was fine when I used the eyecup.

The upside of the 6mm is that you can change the distance to the bottom element with a old 35mm film can to test how good your heritage mirror is - http://blog.pixelgiraffe.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/WIN_20140527_223234-1024x576.jpg -prior to buying a 3-5mm for planetary use.(You may need to shorten the tube via flextube mechanism depending on the length )

Trust me, the positions of the planets will be better again, hang in there ;-)

Inbetween you could either use the KIT eyepieces or consider more of the 66degree eyepieces, or TS ED / BST Explorer, or just upgrade with erfle if you can live with the outer field being not perfect at f/5.

Stay away from sets, often just a bunch of overpriced plössl and never matching the telescope kit. Plus Plössl under 10mm have awefully short eye relief.  3 good eyepieces go a long way.

Edited by Schorhr
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Hi Gremlin, a warm welcome to the forum!  The BST Explorer/StarGuiders are excellent eyepieces to begin with, the focal lengths you suggest, 18mm, 25mm and 8mm would make good starters, the 25mm and the 18mm great for DSO's and the 8mm for planetary and Moon.  As Rik says, the kits look good to start with, but honestly, few people use the colour filters and you will only settle on one or two eyepieces, most people settle on the 32mm and nothing else, so it's not good value for only one eyepiece used.

Edited by rwilkey
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I agree with rwilkey the bst,s in those sizes are a great choice and at £49 won,t hurt the wallet to much as most things on here do

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http://www.firstlightoptics.com/celestron-eyepieces/celestron-x-cel-lx-eyepiece.html

These are very good .The 5mm will give you a

mag of 130.Great for the planets & moon.

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-eyepieces/skywatcher-uwa-planetary-eyepieces.html

These are very good as well, if you want

something cheaper.

Steve

Edited by Grotemobile

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Thanks for the swift replies folks! I might have to try and treat myself to some of the BST's over the next few months (and try and wrangle some as Xmas presents ;) )

And maybe look at purchasing a 32mm Plossl as a further upgrade after that ;)

Damn it, I'm supposed to be trying to save £££

Do we think a nebula/Light pollution filter (UHC or OIII ?) might be worth my time?  I don't live in the city, but it's still not exactly dark...

Thankyou again! :)

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I'm more into the DSO visual side of things myself and I've found the BST's that I have are great quality. I would say that rather than upgrade to an 18 and 25mm as you suggest, a 20 and 32mm combination might be worth considering as well. My 32mm gives some great views of some of the more prominent DSO's out there. Lower magnification will keep the image nice and bright in your EP. I've found a nice page that shows some useful info on what I mean  http://starizona.com/acb/basics/equip_magnification.aspx 

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I have a CLS filter, basically not as narrow banded as UHC. It's only useful with some nebulae, not galaxies.

I would suggest getting an eyepiece with 2-3x the aperture ratio, I use a 12mm Seben Erfle. Does not get as dark as the 8mm HR-Planetary, though it's the shortest of their Erfle series I would recommend.

I like the HR Planetary that are a bit similar to the BST, though the larger field of view is nice. 

If I had to choose three eyepieces,

24mm ~68 degree

12-15mm TS ED / BST or 15mm 66deg uwa 

Astrozoom in the range ~4-6mm as those zoom's apparent field of view does not get smaller (astrozoom.de) or on a budget the 6mm 66deg uwa with the film can mod

But even with the cheaper eyepieces I'm having a lot of fun, I would say the step up to those would not be as great as to the ones I have compared to the kit eyepieces.  

Having more eyepieces can be nice, especially when seeing and light pollution conditions change. But usually, I just put three eyepieces in my jacket and take the Heritage outside. Covers 95,4% of all objects ;-)

As said, for deepsky a exit pupil around 2-3mm (10-15mm eypiece) will give a good contrast, dark sky background... But of course some smaller DSO just need a tad more magnification, under 1mm exit pupil it just gets dark though while only a little more detail is gained.

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Hi 'thegremlin1999' and welcome to SGL.

Personally I would go for your second option. Most eyepiece sets are purely just Plossl's. In many ways that is not a bad thing. Where as if you "pick'n'mix" individual eyepieces you will end up with a better set suited to your observing preferences.

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Robin Wilkey, third post down, has a very good site, and gives very good

advice about eyepieces, it's well worth reading, you will learn a lot, I certainly 

did, here's the link http://www.swindonstargazers.com/beginners/eyepieces.htm

I use the BST Starguiders and find them extremely good, and great value for money.

Robin always gives very good advice,  

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I would suggest the BST Starguiders, they are a reasonable cost and have a reasonable selection in focal lengths, the X-Cels have one or two more focal lengths but also are £64, the BST are £49. The 2 makes seem to perform almost identical.

In addition to plossl's and Schorhr's thoughts they are also more or less parfocal. Plossl's are not and a mix of eyepieces are not either, so there is less refocusing when you change eyepiece. Does not seem like much but things go quicker and smoother.

If you get the BST's and before you then add in a 32mm plossl the field of view from the 25mm BST will be almost identical to the 32mm Plossl. So adding in a 32mm plossl will not really give much advantage in the regards.

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I think a 15mm woulkd be better than a 18mm as the difference between 18 and 25 isnt so much.

Assuming using BST's I think that 58 degree is the eyepiece field of view and 25mm gives you x26 and a 2.3 tfov and an 18mm gives you x36 by 1.6 tfov (true field of view) Difference x 10 and - 0.7 tfov

A 15mm on the otherhand is x43 by 1.34 tfov and this is giving you a + magnification of x17 and tfov difference is minus almost a full degree which is still very good for DSO's.

lastly the 8mm which to me would be fine gives you x81 by tfov of 0.7 which is fine for planetary and moons. However I think your scope should manage X160 magnification so maybe a cheap barlow would be worthwhile considering. This also gives to a 12.5mm eyepiec when the stuck on the 25 and this fits well inbetween 15 and 8.

Hope that isn't too technical thegremlin1999, oh and welcome to sgl.  :smiley:

Steve/Baz

Edited by bomberbaz
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I think a 15mm woulkd be better than a 18mm as the difference between 18 and 25 isnt so much.

Assuming using BST's I think that 58 degree is the eyepiece field of view and 25mm gives you x26 and a 2.3 tfov and an 18mm gives you x36 by 1.6 tfov (true field of view) Difference x 10 and - 0.7 tfov

A 15mm on the otherhand is x43 by 1.34 tfov and this is giving you a + magnification of x17 and tfov difference is minus almost a full degree which is still very good for DSO's.

lastly the 8mm which to me would be fine gives you x81 by tfov of 0.7 which is fine for planetary and moons. However I think your scope should manage X160 magnification so maybe a cheap barlow would be worthwhile considering. This also gives to a 12.5mm eyepiec when the stuck on the 25 and this fits well inbetween 15 and 8.

Hope that isn't too technical thegremlin1999, oh and welcome to sgl.  :smiley:

Steve/Baz

Thankyou for this! :)

I might disregard a 32mm plossl judging by the previous post, and a barlow is an excellent idea.

I've actually read the post linked above whilst doing research before posting :)

I think I've decided on a 25mm BST, an 8mm BST and either a 15 or 18mm BST

Damn that's £150 I need to save! :)

Cheers again for the advice guys, much appreciated!

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If you decide on a barlow, no need to spend a fortune.

http://www.telescopehouse.com/acatalog/Telescope_House_Barlows.htm

Either thee bresser at £22.99 or for a slightly better and more functional option there is the revalation astro 2x option at £31.99.

Both should do the job for you without busting the bank.

Dont forget the 2nd hand option and search classified on here or at http://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/

good luck

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Hi and welcome to start with ,the bst are a great step up from what you have but do not expect to be blown away with them but a freind as some and they are great eps for the money trouble with eye pieces there such a personel choice and we all have young /middle /and old,eyes ,so it's hard to say this and that if cash was no object we would all like the five hundred pound ones

Go with the bst's

The photo visual kit is ok I had it brought me when I first brought my scope and I was happy with the eps for around a year then I started to save for other ones good look with your purchases

Keep looking up

Pat

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I was in a similar position a couple of months ago, having a Skywatcher 130 reflector myself. I opted for an X-Cel LX 9mm for the planets and a 25mm Vixen NPL for lower magnifications, to replace the stock Skywatcher eyepieces. Very pleased with these, they are on a different level of quality to the Skywatcher EPs with loads more eye relief and a more solid feel. Can't comment on the BSTs but noone seems to have mentioned the Vixen EPs yet, they are reasonably priced and I love mine!

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