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Eye pieces, who, what, why, and when?


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Hi, Im new star gazing and need some help,

I recently bought a sky watcher Bk 705 on eBay for £35 to show my little daughter the moon & planets. It came with a 25mm super ( I'm guessing that is a sky watcher SP?) and we had some great views of the moon but I would like to get some more EPs (nothing to costly) to explore the skies more. I have read wathogs post on EPs and done the maths and calculated that the best most common sized EPs for my f7 scope would be 6mm, 9mm, 15mm, and 20mm. The trouble is there are so many manufacters, some are right price but the wrong size some the right size but out of my budget and some just get condradicting opinions in the reviews. I was looking at the celeston omni , sky watcher sp's or uwa's or the vixen npl's which the reviews say are good but have poor build quality.

Any suggestions are most welcom?

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Vixen makes very good eyepieces - often underrated and ignored in a TeleVue-hungry world. Celestron EP's (eyepieces) are decent. And Skywatcher are decent as well. Have you considered a 8mm - 24mm Zoom EP? These can take the place of a fleet of lower-cost EP's and provide good views, and are great for children - they can pretend to be 'skydiving' on the Moon. So can adults!

Eyepieces often cost as much in initial layout as a telescope. It's good you checked in here first. There are some very cheap one's offered here & there that should be avoided, sticking with major labels offers protection against the too-good-to-be-true one's from Hong Kong or such we see on Amazon over here.

Don't spend your money on very high-end EP's, unless planning a major telescope purchase, and then only once you have found your way around up there and know what you are going to wish to seeing - planets and the occasional comet, deep-space-objects like galaxies and nebulae, double-stars, etc. A inexpensive Zoom-EP and a few Plossl's should be all you'll need for the scope you have - which you did very well on for £35 - assuming it's in good condition.

Clear skies to you both,

Dave

post-38438-0-35550000-1444487027.jpg

I'd say that, while a fantastic Zoom, the Baader Hyperion would be too much money to spend on this scope to start out with.

Edited by Dave In Vermont
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Hi,

what sort of budget are you looking at spending?

If its very tight there is a 9mm SPL eyepiece on Astroboot (telescope and astronomy stuff section) for £15. You could pair this with the 2x & 1.5x APO barlow also on Astroboot for £20.

This would in effect enable you to turn the 9mm eyepiece into a 6mm and turn the 25mm eyepiece into 16mm ish. (with apologies to all who contributed to the recent threads on how barlows work! :smiley:). This of course depends on how much you like the 25mm eyepiece.

You could also look at Astrobuysell for 2nd hand bargains. BST eyepieces are very highly recommended by those that use them and I've seen them come up for around £35 on Astrobuysell.

Good luck.

Graham.

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Hello and welcome to the forum :smiley:

The Hyperion zoom suggested above is a great eyepiece but it does cost 5x as much as you have invested in the scope so I could understand it if you were reluctant to spend that much.

My suggestion would be to stay with the 25mm eyepiece that came with the scope and look at the options that Graham has flagged up above on the Astroboot. The 9mm or 12mm plossl eyepiece plus a 2x barlow lens will give you a decent range of powers for the scope at a price which is more in keeping with your investment so far.

If you are still using a 45 degree prism with the scope (I think it comes with one ?) you will find that a 90 degree mirror diagonal provides better astronomical images and the Astroboot site has one of those for just £10 at the moment.

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Hi, I've bought this scope as a present for my daughter.  IMHO i think that for this scope, until you gain enough experience and for other reasons Dave mentioned either a middle quality range zoom EP or a 8mm, 13mm and a 20-25mm Plossl EP's will show you more than enough. Then and if you decide that you want "more" my personal suggestion is first to start with upgrading/change your telescope. I have many top quality EP's but I can assure you that there are enough times where I still use my cheap first Meade Plossl's ! 

Clear skies.    

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Really do need a budget to act as a guide.

People can have a hugely different idea on "nothing too costly", believe me I have read £25 to £250.

Least costly are really the Plossl's like GSO/Revelation, around the £30 area.

Vixen NPL's come in at £35 I think, good optically but people tend to dislike the casing as it feels "plastically, but you look through them.

Next are BST Starguiders at £49 each and in 5mm, 8mm, 12mm, 15mm, 18mm and 25mm (these are probably the best in terms of performance:cost, I have these)

Then Celestron X-Cels (around £60) and in 5mm, 7mm, 9mm, 12mm, 15mm, 25mm.

Now comes the "fuzzy" area.

TV plossls are from £70 to £100 area but very good.

Then come ES eyepieces (around the £150 amrk I believe) and above those in cost the TV Delos (£250 last I recall looking at them) and higher priced ones.

There are also an assortment of others, less well known, so less easy to comment on.

Where is "somewhere North of London", could be someone or a club near you to get more direct information from.

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Hi, Im new star gazing and need some help,

I recently bought a sky watcher Bk 705 on eBay for £35 to show my little daughter the moon & planets. It came with a 25mm super ( I'm guessing that is a sky watcher SP?) and we had some great views of the moon but I would like to get some more EPs (nothing to costly) to explore the skies more. I have read wathogs post on EPs and done the maths and calculated that the best most common sized EPs for my f7 scope would be 6mm, 9mm, 15mm, and 20mm. The trouble is there are so many manufacters, some are right price but the wrong size some the right size but out of my budget and some just get condradicting opinions in the reviews. I was looking at the celeston omni , sky watcher sp's or uwa's or the vixen npl's which the reviews say are good but have poor build quality.

Any suggestions are most welcom?

Hi Duncan, 

Welcome. 

I've done a bit of research for EPs and if you are after those EPs listed in your post, have a look at this one:

http://www.telescopehouse.com/acatalog/info_BC116.html

I've seen very positive reviews of it and it is a reasonable starter's kit. 

Once you get to know your EPs and your scope a bit more, keep an eye on Astroboot and AstroBuySell for good value second-hand high quality/wide angle EPs. You don't need many of them, perhaps two or three will suffice for most of your observing needs. 

Hope that helps :)

Mia

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For starting out Duncan I'd recommend a couple of extra Plossl's plus a quality Barlow. You will then have 6 different magnifications with the eyepiece you already have. Even if you bought 1 extra eyepiece and a nice Barlow, that's 4 different magnifications. I'd stay above 10mm.

I still go back to my old faithful Plossl's and they seems to be good all-rounders for me. There are some very cheap ones around online but get one's that are branded with good eye relief.

Edited by Aussie Dave
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I still go back to my old faithful Plossl's and they seems to be good all-rounders for me. There are some very cheap ones around online but get one's that are branded with good eye relief.

As you are new to the hobby a quick explanation.

Simply put eye relief is the distance behind the eyepiece where the image is formed, this is where your eye needs to be. Plossls are good eyepieces and tend to have eye relief about equal to two thirds of their focal length. This is fine for the longer focal lengths but becomes tricky at shorter focal lengths. This is particularly relevant if the user wears glasses.

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Thank you all for your advice it is most appreciated. I had a look on astroboot (thanks Graham, what a great site, particularly if you find what you are looking for) and I found a Meade 8 - 24mm zoom lens, sw 90 degree prism , sw 2x barlow and moon filter all for £55. My thoughts are that this equipment will get me started finding objects that are slightly harder to find than the moon and as Dave said when I start to know my way around up there I will upgrade my kit as I go. Next on my list will be a couple of plossls and who knows maybe a new scope but I'll leave asking what one to get for a future post.

Thank you all again,

Duncan.

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I'm always a bit lost in these multiple eyepiece debates. I don't, myself, use many eyepieces. Quite honestly I mainly use two with occasional appearances by a third. I can't get excited about the difference between EP focal lengths of a few mm. Rather than pull out an 8mm and put in a 10mm, then put the 8mm back in again, then try a 12mm, I'd far rather look carefully and for a protracted period of time, through any one of them. And, if in doubt, make that the shortest of the focal lengths available. There is nothing more pointless than too much magnification.

In a nutshell I think the idea is to look at the object, not at the effects of the eyepiece.

But when it comes to quality then I'm in favour of it!

Olly

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By far the "Eyepiece Collections" offered by most major telescope-retailers - Celestron, Meade, Revelation, etc. - are inadvisable. Many of the EP's (eyepieces) are duplicated with the addition of the Barlow-lens. The 'colour-filters' invariably wind up sitting, undisturbed, in their case after one try on planets as they are intended for use upon, and the Barlow is generally of low-quality, giving dim and somewhat blurry results, and join the colour-filter collection. They may look like a bargain regards the cost, but only if you would be purchasing everything in the case anyways. And, after you "got your feet wet" with the telescope and eyepieces you would already have, you wouldn't want much of it in the first place. As many newcomers take a look at all the shiny kit in it's shiny box and are magnetically drawn to these, they buy these 'collections.' Only to find out later that this was a mistake. Though a popular mistake to make, and enough people make it, so these 'collections' have been marketed for decades!

You have something already that none of these people had when the made their purchase: A forum of experienced observer's who have gone before you to advise you. Many other people wish they had a forum in the first place. So my advice is to take your time and learn more before spending your money. For instance, a Barlow-lens by itself is worth a whole thread to discuss the pro & con of these devices, and which one's to consider before you "pull the trigger."

The £55-deal sounds like a very good plan. It should make you a happy camper for awhile - and help you find your way to the stars!

Clear skies -

Dave

PS: The SW Barlow will be decent enough to start, but you may end up selling it later on if you wish to upgrade. No worries for now.

Edited by Dave In Vermont
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I must admit when I first started looking for extra kit to improve what I can see the revelation, celestron and other kits alike looked very appealing (if I'm not sure what to get then get it all, all in one box). Having more stumbled into stargazing rather than grown up with it or having people around me into it, this looked to be a good option and for many this may be a good solution. Unfortunately or fortunately depending on which way you look at it I did not have the funds to instantly get one of these kits which gave me time and allowed me to do some more research and find this place. I found all the advice really useful and helped me come to the conclusion that I should buy individually a few EPs second hand or the best I can afford and take it from there. Astroboot seems a great place for this as I picked up some of the kit as recommended in previous posts at a fraction of there normal cost rather than diving in head first into what can be an expensive past time. I will let you know how I get on with my purchases as I think this discussion will be really useful for anyone starting out and like Duncan. unsure as to what to get. Thank you all again, Duncan

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What ever you decide Duncan it sounds like you research before hand before buying which is the best thing to do and when you do get them I'm sure you'll get many nights enjoyment from them and perhaps many years enjoyment.

My old set of Plossl's I can't even remember what scope they came with originally but they are my favorites and I always go back to them, maybe to compare them with other, slightly more expensive eyepiece purchases. They are never too far away in one of my cases and it's always nice to have a bit of a selection.

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