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Upgrading Eyepieces?


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Hi all,

Was wondering if you helpful people could give me some advice on upgrading my eyepieces that came with my scope.

I have a Super 10mm & 25mm and 2x Barlow lens.

I recently brought a Vixen NPL 30mm which is so much clearer than they above. I'm not sure if thats because its a lower zoom or if its because its better than the standard lens or are they just dirty?

Anyway should I go for the same make as the 30mm or should i try something different?

Thanks

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Your Vixen is a better EP in quality and performance over the standard supplied EP.  EP sets are not always a good idea as a single purchase, but slowly sets are built. If you like and favour a brand stick with it.

There are so many EPs to choose from. Only you will know what's best at the end of the Day,  but keep studying their design and  performance qualities, paying attention to eye relief, and field of view if you want something comfortable. I'm just in the process of getting some Plossl EPs from Astroboot, just to see how they  fare. I tried a TeleVue 8mm  Plossl but the field of view was too tight  for my use at the time, but many favour that,  however, I'm not expecting any improvement there with the Revelation EPs,  I just want to revisit the potential of the Plossl.   ( Revelation Astro -  supposedly by GSO ? ) 

Next I would recommend having a look at the BST Starguider range and reading some of the reviews.  I'm with most folk who would suggest that TeleVue are the  market leaders,  design, quality control, but having only tried their 8mm. I've lots to learn about their range. Also they are very expensive. That said, TV owners will advise, pay premium prices for long term quality, and if need be, TeleView hold their prices well, should  you need/want to sell later. So maybe start on the second hand market. Good luck in your search

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The Skymax has quite a high focal ratio (f11/f12), so it isn't really designed for low power wide field views. Instead, it will excell at relatively high power work with the Moon, planets, double stars etc. If you play to the scope's strengths you will avoid unnecessary disappointment and perhaps spending money where it isn't necessary.

To my mind, the 30mm offers you a degree of field and to be honest, with 1.25" eyepieces you can't expect much more. That is, I see little sense trying to aim for wider fields that the scope simply isn't designed for. The next jump would be looking at mid range and high power eyepieces for the scope, for that is where its main strengths lie. Perhaps a 15 mm, 12 mm, 8 mm and 6 mm for exceptional nights of seeing.

Of course with your Barlow, the 30mm doubles as your 15mm and your 25mm as the 12.5mm  :grin:. The 10mm will give you nice 150x, but if you feel the stock eyepiece isn't up to much, you may just want to look at purchasing an 8mm.

When it comes to brands, the first compromise is budget, or what you are willing to spend. With a long focal length 'planetary busting' telescope, I'd be looking into Orthos or Plossls, for they will perform exceptionally well in your scope, will reveal a wealth of detail on the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn etc and as eyepieces go, are relatively cheap. However, you may find these uncomfortable in terms of eye-relief.

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Your scope has a massive focal length so you can use much longer focal length eyepieces which will keep the eye relief pretty open which is a good thing. Max magnification is normally about x200 so any eyepiece that gives you less than that will be good news.

Your focal length is 1500 so a 7mm EP would be as small as you would want go go whixh would give you a mag of x214

I would suggest a decent 10mm, the vixen NPL should be ok and would return around 10mm eye relief. Smaller than 7mm will result in too much magnification for UK skies as a general rule.

Another advantage of the Skymax is with its massive focal length almost anything will work well in it. At F11 whixh is what your scope is almost any eyepiece will present clean views if the EP is of reasonable quality and you will be unafected by edge errors caused by fast scopes optics.

On the downside your field of view is quite narrow so super wide angle views are impossible but there are only a few objects that need very wide angle views anyway.

Hope thats some help.

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I use NPLs with my Skymax 127 and find them very good. On a clear, still night the 8mm is great on Jupiter and Saturn. I often find myself using the 10mm when the air is a little less stable though. A good EP in this focal range will really let this scope excel at planets and double stars.

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I was thinking of going for the 10mm & 25mm Vixen NPL. What are your thoughts? Also should upgrade my Barlow and if so can anyone suggest a good one?

Do you wear glasses in observing? 10mm NPL will have about 7mm to 7.5mm eye relief - all plossls has eye relief 0.7x to 0.75x focal length, not suitable for spectacles.

If you don't wear glasses, I'd think 10mm BCO and 18mm BCO plus the 2.25x Q barlow is a better alternatives than the 10mm & 25mm NPL, ortho has a little longer eye relief (0.8x focal length). these two BCOs have got very good reviews (I'm very pleased with them), such as this one

http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/219151-5-years-of-reviews-and-reports/#entry2354015

You have 30NPL for low power work, 18mm BCO will be your work horse EP, the 2.25x barlow can be used in 1.3x too, you'll get a very good range of different magnifications with this combination, and FLO has quite good price too:

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/baader-planetarium/baader-classic-ortho-bco-eyepiece.html

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I would look into local astronomy groups in your area, and going to one of their outdoor gatherings. Tell the people what you're doing and ask for their advice. This will, undoubtedly, give you a chance to sample different EP's. Then make a decision on what you like most. Other than that - good advice above!

Clear Skies,

Dave

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The Vixen NPL's are a fine range of EP's. They are much better then the Skywatcher stock ep's. I personally love the NPL range. I have an 8mm,15mm and 30mm. 

If you are happy with the 30mm, there is no reason why you should not continue to buy other NPL's. In truth, most people really only need 3 ep's......................high mag (6-8mm),medium mag (12-15mm) and low mag (25-30mm).

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another great thread about eyepieces even if i don't have a clue what half the jargon means.

i have just ordered an 8mm BST starguider and also bought a celestron xcel lx 18mm from someone on ebay to try with my skywatcher explorer 130m so heres hoping for some clear skies this week.

will these be a good combination for my scope?

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The 8mm BST is a nice EP. Just be aware that the eye-guard should rise upon rotation? Some are just a little tight during manufacture, whereby during rotation , the rubber just rotates on the body, rather than rises with the body, so a slightly harder grip is required, but once released, it  wont stick again?

The BSTs are a great step up compared to the skywatcher MA EPs. Enjoy your new EPs

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The 8mm BST is a nice EP. Just be aware that the eye-guard should rise upon rotation? Some are just a little tight during manufacture, whereby during rotation , the rubber just rotates on the body, rather than rises with the body, so a slightly harder grip is required, but once released, it  wont stick again?

By coincidence I've just had some BSTs arrive today, and that's exactly what I found - all seems well now, but it's nice to have some confirmation that it's not abnormal for these.

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