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TheUKDave

Stay within eyepiece brand, or mix and match?

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Hiya, just getting started in my new hobby, and really enjoying it ... If not for the fact that the weather recently has been so consistently bad that I've not had much time playing with my toy since buying it!

I have purchased the Baader mkIII zoom (with Barlow) for my 100 ED DS Pro (f/9), with the goal of figuring out what I like to observe, at what focal lengths, and ultimately start a nice eyepiece collection. Ideally one that will suit me not just for this scope, but potential future scopes too. I've been looking at naglers, the explore scientific 68/82/100 ranges, and the skywatcher nirvana/myriad ranges too.

Anyway, my question is just this: is it common or beneficial for people to chose one particular range of eyepieces and purchase the focal lengths they require from that, or to have a mix of brands and ranges, possibly due to different items being on sale or available second hand when the time is right?

e.g. For me, I think I'm particularly interested in the myriad eyepieces, but I would really like a 12-14mm eyepiece. I then notice the ES 100 degree range includes a 14mm (and also an interesting 25mm!), so I wonder if I should just collect these instead? Or should I get the myriad, and just have the 14mm ES?

Any advice really appreciated!

Dave

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Sort out your budget and work from there, i you have deep pockets the Naglers are the way to go....

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I prefer having a melting-pot of EP's and scopes. Closest I've come to going 'brand-happy' is a set of Baader Hyperions, all except the 24mm. I was about to buy the 24mm, when I looked at the focuser on the scope I was using the previous night. There sat my 24mm TeleVue Panoptic.

I put the brakes on quick to my purchase.

Dave

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There are pros and cons of both approaches. I tend to have stuck with Tele Vue and Pentax but I've tried some fine eyepieces from other brands too so cherry picking from a wider field can make sense too.

When viewing at high power, having par focal eyepieces is nice because it minimises the need to touch the scope and with undriven mounts (like mine !) objects can drift out of the field of view quite quickly if you need to adjust the focus quite a bit after an eyepiece change.

I agree with developing a good quality and versatile eyepiece set though - it will serve many scopes for years to come  :smiley: 

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Hi, :)

If you want to re-use most of your eyepiece collection, you should consider telescopes of similar focal ratio. Depending on the different focal length of these telescopes, your eyepieces will give you different magnification, but similar exit pupils between the two telescopes.

For your F9, you don't need expensive eyepieces, because most of the telescope and eyepiece aberrations will be largely reduced at that focal ratio. Of course, high quality eyepieces will work nicely with fast telescope as well, so that can be a dual investment.

I would also stick with one brand, because as mentioned above eyepieces will be generally parfocal between them. On the other hand, I also like eyepiece sets with similar field of view, but this is a personal thing though.

My advice is to buy second hand and slowly, very slowly, unless you really know what you want. 

You should think about what type of objects an eyepiece you intend to buy is for. With this in mind, you can address the exit pupil, the magnification, and the field of view. Then you should decide the brand. Keep in mind that you don't need a large number of eyepieces. 3- 4 well chosen eyepieces will serve you for all. Some time ago, I wrote this mini guide: http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/251506-a-guide-for-choosing-a-sensible-eyepiece-collection-using-the-exit-pupil/. Maybe it can be of help.

Piero

Edited by Piero
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Hi  Dave, welcome,

Use your imagination and buy what you like. I have four 68° Maxvisions (great value, fine optics), a Nagler (really nice), a Nirvana (nicer still), two Delos (super optics), a Morpheus (magnificent), three TV barlows (very fond of them) and a bunch of TV Plössls that I can't part with. 

It's like with friends: they don't all have to go to the same pub, or come from the same town. What matters is that you know them well and love them all.

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Hi Dave

I have three makes in my "normal observig" case.

Vixen SLV's x2 - High Mag

Televue Delos x3 - Medium

ES 82° x2 - Low Mag

They form nice natural observing groups. I couldn't doing with constant changing of eyepiece types mid observing.

Truth be told, I would probably swap the ES's for 22 & 31mm Naglers or a 21mm Ethos if funds permitted.

Paul

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One other thing to have, which becomes evident through practice, is a sounding-board of end-users of the products you will need to aquire (or are driven to aquire). This can be invaluable as most reviews out there are sponsored by someone or place with a direct financial incentive involved. Hence why a forum such as this one are so important to maintain and treat as one would a garden.

So congratulations on wandering in. It's always good to see new folks taking practical advantage of this aspect of what SGL has to offer.

Have fun!

Dave

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I have certain brand preferences for some eyepieces and own a few different brands. Nice choice with the zoom! :smiley: I would include the Baader Morpheus on the list with Pentax and Delos.The ES are VG eyepieces and can be found on sale quite a bit and there are a lot of choices out there brand wise.

What kind of sky darkness and steadiness do you have?

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Hi Dave,

I have a mix, as I have a number of scopes, you have an excellent scope and you would not be dissappointed with any of the ep's that you have mentioned, I have a myriad 9mm, an axiom 10mm, nagler 13mm.. And spot on, I buy when the time is right and usually when one of the good folk on here have a shuffle around in their eyepiece case.

A friend has the 120 deg Es eps and swears by them!

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For me personally its all down to budget  :o , the reason I have a mixed bag.

But I do dream of owning all the Naglers.......one day Mark, one day :) 

Mark. 

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Wow, thanks for all the replies guys, some really useful information.

I've heard about the fact that long f-ratio scope owners don't to be as concerned about optical quality of eyepieces as much as short f-ratio, and I also kinda understand why.  I figure at f9, mine is mid-range?  

So perhaps I'm looking at eyepieces that are unnecessarily expensive (which, if I'm honest with myself, is kinda just ...  me  :laugh: ), but also as I said at the start, I am trying to think longer term, and I do plan to have other scopes in the future.  Perhaps those scopes will wind up being f20's, but perhaps not.  And in an attempt to future-proof myself, when I bought my scope, I went perhaps slightly overkill on the mount, I got the HEQ5 Pro Synscan.  So hopefully that'll suit me for a 8-incher or perhaps even bigger?

So I guess I'm keen to not buy only-halfway-decent eyepieces now, and wind up having to replace them all with better quality ones if I get a f5 scope in the future.  But then, perhaps it's not the end of the world if I do, and I could save a lot of money in the short term - plus, it seems a lot of people shuffle their eyepieces around anyway, I guess everyone just likes buying new eyepieces!

I guess the immediate problem is that I love the idea of the 100 degree eyepeices, I really want to use/have one.  And assuming I love it as much as I think I will, I'll want to work towards the set.  So the question becomes, which brand/range of 100 degree pieces should I start with, assuming I'm likely to want them all?  I should I just not bother with 100 degrees anyhow, since I have a driven mount?

Cheers again!

Dave

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Welcome to SGL

I have various EP's and some are good with a particular scope and some are not. It depends on the make and type. By experience you get to know what works well.

I too have the Baader zoom and it is a brilliant eye piece, but it does have restrictions. Works well on my 12'' dob and 9.25SCT  down to 12mm, and down to 8mm on my PST, and ED70.

EP's are quite personnal pieces of kit. I bought some Takahashi's in Japan only to sell them on as they did not work for me.

Edited by baggywrinkle

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I have a collection of Tele-Vue Naglers and a Delos, two Pentax XWs, from Vixen the LVW 42mm, Ortho 25mm and SLV 5mm, a MaxVision 24mm 68 deg, a William Optics Zoom. I might get a Baader Morpheus 14mm, so I do not mind mixing

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Do you wear glasses when observing ?

If so then many 82 degree and 100 degree eyepieces will be tricky to view through because their eye relief tends to be on the short side making if difficult to see the whole field of view when wearing glasses.

Just thought I ought to ask !

You ED100 at F/9 is pretty easy on eyepieces but you are right that F/5, if that is in your future, is much tougher. The issues start in the outer parts of the field of view as the scopes get faster (ie: their focal ratio drops) but of course having invested in wide field eyepieces you want that field of view to be as useable as possible.

The used market is a great way to try eyepieces and then move them on if they are either not for you or your scope changes. With some care you can buy, own and then sell on only loosing the postage costs.

This site is great for buying and selling:

http://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/

Beware of developing a taste for the widest and best corrected eyepieces though - just one of them can cost as much as your scope has :shocked:

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Hi John,

No, I don't wear glasses.  I have an astigmatism in my left eye, but don't even wear my specs on a normal day since I'm right eye dominant anyway, and that one's fine :)  So I'm not too concerned about eye relief.

I'll certainly check out that site.  Thanks a lot.

Yeah, I'm basically torn between buying some cheaper eyepieces, and only getting the fancy ones if I decide I still really want to try them.  But I figure I probably WILL still want to try them regardless, and then I'll just be losing money on the cheaper ones I already bought.  I guess I can just wait for a nice 100 degree example to come up on the second hand market.

Cheers,

Dave

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I would qualify the comment that slower focal ratio telescopes are ok with lesser quality eyepieces. All telescopes benefit from good quality eyepieces, slow telescopes require less sophisticated designs for good performance not lesser quality.  :smiley:

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Cherry Picking is my choices. You have an excellent first upgrade with Baader Zoom, which allow you to experiment to your scope(s) to find suitable fixed focal eyepieces- if that is what you want. :smiley:

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Hi there. Buy for your needs now?

You mention eyepieces, being very expensive, and they are for good reasons?

Some have wider fields of view, some have more exotic glass, and others have better eyerelief, some have it all?

Having a premium eyepiece may last a lifetime, and possibly a better purchase, but at the expense of one premium eyepiece, you could do just aswell buying several eyepieces more suited to the focal ratio in use.

Also an eyepiece needs to feel comfortable in use, over branding alone.

If you buy a Nagler and like it, chances are you will buy more. That goes for any brand.

Enjoy your search, and welcome to SGL.

Edited by Charic

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Mix and match for sure, I had a 10mm teleview ethos eyepiece, never really worked for me, might be my eyes, don't think so though. my teleview 10mm plossl out performs it by a long shot. I suppose everyone's eyes are different, that's what makes us human I suppose. Try before you buy is a great idea, although I have spent copious amounts of money on eyepieces recommended by others, only to find they just don't do it ft or me. I don't think the eyepieces I love would be perfect for everyone else. Wouldn't it be great to buy 10 ep's and return the ones that don't do it for you ? I own 36 eyepieces and my absolute favourite is my skywatcher 2 inch Ed 25mm by a long shot. Moonshane makes a great point, used ep's along with research is probably the way to go. I have always avoided eyepiece sets and zooms and have been quite happy with my choices, or subsequently eBay sales. Good luck to you, hope you find your perfect optics.

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