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Hello everyone,

I am relatively new to astonormy. I have a celestron Astro master 130eq with a focal length of 650mm. I have been able to enjoying viewing some of the planets and star clusters so far. I was considering purchasing one of the celestron x-cel LX eye pieces for getting an enhanced view of the planets such as Jupiter and Saturn Has anyone used these eyepieces and if so what would you recommend? Any help would be much appreciated.

 

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I used to have an X-cel LX and it was a good eyepiece, much better than the ones you would have got with your scope. Given that your scope is f5 I would recommend choosing the 5mm for planetary observations. You might also want to consider the 5mm BST Starguider. The performance of the two ranges is very similar with the Starguiders being a bit cheaper. 

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They are good eyepieces, well better add "for the cost" just for when someone points out that their Ethos are better. The general balance seems to be they perform the same as the BST Starguiders, the difference being the selection of focal lengths. For planets the Celestrons are the "better" choice in my opoinion as you have 5mm, 7mm, 9mm and 12mm. So a reasonable close selection to pick from when outside.

Just in case you buy from eBay or similar make sure they are the "LX" variants. They came out in a previous incarnation as X-Cel and they were poor, Celestron then upgraded them to the LX version and they are fine. Just the 2 version are other then LX on the side more or less identical and people have been known to sell the non-LX's as if they were LX's.

For Jupiter 80x will be adaquate so either 7mm or 9mm, for Saturn when it appears you will find 120x-125x is better so 7mm or 5mm. I am a little wary of f/5 scope and 5mm eyepieces, just when reading both those situations are where a bit of luck could be required for a decent image. F/5 asre where scope are getting fast, and 5mm is where eyepieces are getting short. If you decided on a 6mm thy the Altair Lightwave 6mm at about £55. Only say as it is the one I have for when the 5mm doesn't quite make it.

Edited by ronin
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I have an 'early' X-cel 8mm and it's not that great. It performs poorly in a f5 scope but is okay at f10. But I did not pay much for it. I still use it on double stars.

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Hello and a warm welcome to the SGL. I use the 5,7 and 9 mm X-cels in a F5 telescope and they all perform well. I would recommend the 5 mm.

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For the record, I would like to remind those first starting out in the pastime that it is not necessary to choose the same brand of eyepieces as the brand of the telescope kit itself.  Any and all brands of eyepieces and accessories will work with any and all brands of telescopes, generally. 

Edited by Alan64
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I have the 7mm which I use in my f/4.7 reflector. I must say it is very good, remarkably so in contrast to the old 8mm I had before, so I second the comment above and would probably avoid the old 8mm. (Un)fortunately it doesn't get as much use as it did before I stumped up the cash for a couple of ES 82 degree range eyepieces, but when seeing allows me to go up to using my 7mm it does perform well for it's price

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I briefly had a 9mm and a 12mm and was pretty impressed with them as it happens. I was thinking of possibly using them in binoviewers but decided in the end to revert to plossl/ortho types as they allow more nose room.

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Hello,

thanks to everyone for your input this will help me with my decision!

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I bought a Celestron 18mm Xcel recently and was delighted with the quality. Bought it for £59 new inc P&P.

I could have save £10 by buying more generic BST Starguiders or similar but I figured that the Xcel's would hold their value more if I ever came to sell it.

Kept the box it came in!

 

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4 minutes ago, Mark Foster said:

I bought a Celestron 18mm Xcel recently and was delighted with the quality. Bought it for £59 new inc P&P.

I could have save £10 by buying more generic BST Starguiders or similar but I figured that the Xcel's would hold their value more if I ever came to sell it.

Kept the box it came in!

 

Hi mark, where abouts did you buy it from if you don't mind sharing? Thanks 

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HI it was Wex Photography a couple of weeks ago. It must have been a special offer as they're now £74. The best price currently seems to be £69

My thinking was that I only need 3 eyepieces and a x2 Barlow (to get x6 different magnifications which is more than enough).  

So I decided it's worth buying x3 reasonable quality eyepieces   The Xcel seemed to be the best midranged ones  I could save on cheaper own brand ones but I decided that the Celestron ones offered good quality control and would retain their value

 

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Just for completeness the BST Starguiders are £49 and on paper have the same spec as the Xcel. 

 

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