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which eyepieces? (again)


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YIt's my birthday in just over a month, and I've been spending the last few days deciding what to get. After doing some research, I'm pretty sure I will be getting an 8mm BST and 12mm x-cel. I currently have an 8" skyliner, the 25 and 10mm eyepieces which came with it and a 28mm 68* maxvision.

Is there a better option than this - perhaps swap the xcel for a WO spl, or the BST for a baader classic?

Or do I get an 8 and 12mm BST second hand for £40 each, the find a cheapish Barlow.

I don't think I can ask for any more than £115. Any advice appreciated.

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I don't know the prices of eyepiece in the UK, but I recommend you swap the 12mm x-cel for a 11 or 13mm type 6 Televue Nagler.... It's a great eyepiece, sharp views and a apparent field of view of 82 degrees.... The x-cel is also a great eye piece but the 82 degrees field of view is awesome, especially when observing nebulae at high magnification.

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Not for £115 though.

Are you happy with the eye relief (how close you get to the eyepiece to see the field) of the 10mm that came with the scope?

If so then I'd not worry too much about wide fields at the minute for your budget.

Personally I have used a Televue Plossl 15mm to good effect and if you bought one used for say £50 you could also buy a used Televue 2x barlow (1.25") for the remainder of your budget. This would give excellent results and magnifications of 42x, 48x, 80x, 96x, 120x, 160x and 240x including your existing eyepieces. If you use the trick of unscrewing the barlow element off the end of the barlow and onto the eyepiece directly this creates a 1.6x barlow and you'd then also have 76x, 128x and 192x which is more than enough for almost everything.

The above would also apply to a BST but personally I'd choose a TV plossl every time for the same sort of budget.

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The televue Barlow seems to sell for £75 on astro buy and sell, which would mean I would need £125 in total. Although it's a bit out of my budget, I will probably be selling my Xbox and the games for it, which should easily make up for that difference.

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Why not the 8mm BST and the 12mm BST ?

Just you maintain more of the parfocal properties that way and still 12mm.

Because the xcels are a bit better than the BSTs. I suppose getting 2 BSTs would save me money.
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Because the xcels are a bit better than the BSTs. I suppose getting 2 BSTs would save me money.

I've used both and I thought the BST was better than the X-Cel LX.  The original X-Cel (non LX) is not that great to be honest.

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I've used both and I thought the BST was better than the X-Cel LX.  The original X-Cel (non LX) is not that great to be honest.

Really? Well that helps things a bit. So that means that I could get 2 second hand BSTs, and still have £35 left for perhaps a Barlow. Would the baader classic 2.25* be a good one?

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I have the WO SPL in 6mm. Its a great eyepiece. Matches my focal ratio and provides me with 200X power on my Skyliner. 

I would have bought the 6mm Starguider  if it were available back then? Still nothing wrong with the SPL6mm!

Revelation 'Astro' Plossl ( supposedly  GSO ) work very well too, if you can work with 52°afov!  0nly the 9mm and 12mm are available at Astroboot just now, but silly money for a good quality EP.

Eyepieces.......Its the most topical,subjective, argumentative, mine's-bigger-than-yours, Get a Nagler, buy a TV Plossl, get the Pentax,  buy this, buy that, and all for an eyepiece? 

Specifications are great and meaningful when, choosing eyepieces, but the comfort, feel and final image quality can only be decided by YOU and YOUR eyes alone.

Edited by Charic
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..... and all for an eyepiece? 

Most of the optical system before the light of the stars / planets hits your eye is "eyepiece".

Even a plossl has 8 glass surfaces that need to be correctly figured to cope with a wide variation of scope focal ratios, 4 that need to be invisibly cemented, 4 that need to be multicoated coated to minimise light loss. The glass elements need to be a correct match in terms of glass type, the elements of the eyepiece need to be accurately mounted with regards to each other and the optical axis, the internal surfaces of the eyepiece and it's barrel need to be blackened and to include baffles to control and eliminate light scatter and flare. 

And the light gathered by your objective or mirror needs to pass though all the above before it hits the back of your eye and you go "thats nice" :smiley:

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....exactly?

I Like the post-cake!

I love that post-cake!!!! Priceless. (For future reference to readers, when John had hit 30,000 posts on SGL, his avatar photo was a cake with five numerical candles: 30000 all lit in a row)

Joe, I'm really really sorry to veer off-topic! For what it's worth, I remain impressed with my 12mm BST after about 3 years. The 5mm is good too, and been used so many times on Jupiter I can't count!

Edited by Special K
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Thanks for all your replies!

A lot of people are saying BSTs, but after a few nights thinking about it I realised after a few years I would get bored of not getting any new EPs and would end up replacing them for slightly better eyepieces. So to save money and time, I decided I would slowly build up a collection of £100 ish eyepieces. I think the first focal length I would be looking for is a 15mm. The options I came up with are:

Es82* 14mm - a bit out of budget but if they're nearly naglers then it will be worth it

Celestron luminous - looks tempting with the 82* fov but is it as good as the es?

Skywatcher swa - I read Johns review and he said they were good but not outstanding

I have the 8" skyliner so I need EPs that will work with f6.

Any advice appreciated

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The BSTs work fine at f/6. A lot of folk are saying BST for a good reason, they do a  very good job.

If you keep getting bored, and have the  need to keep buying, then get the best right now, save the waiting, save the boredom, but what happens when  you reach Pentax or Tele Vue  optics with nothing better to buy! change hobby maybe? I doubt it!

I won't get bored with my BSTs,  they offer exactly what I need for my eyes, pretty much flat to the edge, plus I  track smoothly on axis to get the best, no matter what the edge provides,  and I think 60° afov is about right for my needs.

Spending more will get me wider views, but as our Guru pointed out recently, the 'Planet' during one test, remained the same size, despite the differing afov's so only the surrounding space was bigger! A bucket full of extra cash for a little extra field of view, and a tiny Planet? not for me! (so far).

Also I  have a 70° EP, this makes the the Moon look so small, but this EP was bought  solely to see M31, just like my 6mmSPL is soley to achieve 200x power and my 3.2mm just for the Moon?

I am investing in  some  Plossl's as we speak,  just playing around with them, when the weather gets better? Then I will have two typed of oculars. The 60° ED's  and a set of Plossl's.  The least favourite Plossl's will move on, I will possibly even go back and try the two Tele Vue Plossl EP's which on my first test, I did not agree with them, but I know more now, maybe a little wiser, and hopefully I will establish a brand design that I will like. the others   will probably move on? My initial choice of ocular was  the Meade 4000 series. They ( the JAPAN variants ) are now available to me, whereas they were not when I first started out?

You  also mention the ES 82....nearly a Nagler! I don't think so?  If you want a Nagler, then the ES82 is not the one to buy, you will soon get bored with it? 

Don't let temptation lead you either, that Celestron may not be as good as you say.....but still won't beat your Nagler!

Which leaves the SWA, and compared to some of the classy EPs that John tests, not outstanding, but then John ( no disrespect ) may not like the Revelation 9mm Plossl I own, yet I think its a good EP compared to........... ?

You will eventually find and approve a certain eyepiece, that fits all your desires and requirements? This may take some time!

For what its worth I'm after an 8mm and 12mm Delos and a 24mm Panoptic, but that's another story?

Edited by Charic
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.... as our Guru pointed out recently, the 'Planet' during one test, remained the same size, despite the differing afov's so only the surrounding space was bigger! A bucket full of extra cash for a little extra field of view, and a tiny Planet? not for me! (so far)....

I don't know whether this was one of mine or not but a planet (or any other object for that matter) does not get any smaller with a wider field eyepiece of the same focal length used in the same scope. There is a certain view simulator that suggests it does though, which is an innacurate simulation.

Other than that I can't argue with your choices if they suit you :smiley:

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When I said 'get bored of not getting any new eyepieces', I meant that if i bought lots of cheapish EPs to make a set as soon as possible, I will have nothing to spend my money on other than replacing the cheap EPs.

What I was really asking was 'which of the 3 EPs I suggested in my last post would be better value for my scope?'

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There is an 11mm ES on ABS at the moment for £90. It's not mine - I'm keeping mine :smiley:

I have the same scope.

My first upgrade was the 11mm ES. I highly recommend it. I use mine with a 2x barlow and get good resuts.

I use the 6.7mm ES with and without the barlow for the moon & planets. It's great for letting your eye wander over the moon's surface.

Regarding the argument of not needing a wide FOV for the moon and planets - it's a personal feeling - that's why it's good to buy used or join a local club if you can as you will save money by trying other's equipment or selling something on for little loss.

Personally I like the wide FOV in an undriven dob as it makes tracking easier and it makes it easier to show family members what I am looking at.

If you are looking for something around the 14mm - 15mm range have you thought of a Skywatcher Nirvana 16mm?

It has shorter eye relief that the ES range but it's in the same price range at opticstar.com (£120 + £5 postage) - you could then do as suggested by Moonshane in post #3.

There are lots of options - good luck with your choices!

Graham.

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You  also mention the ES 82....nearly a Nagler! I don't think so?  If you want a Nagler, then the ES82 is not the one to buy, you will soon get bored with it? 

Have you compared them?

I would be interested to read your conclusions. 

Maybe you would be so kind as to post your findings on another thread as I feel it would be of interest to a lot of members. :)

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