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AbeSapien

BST StarGuider eypieces for a Skyliner 200P

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Hey folks :)

 

2-3 months ago I started my first thread in the beginners section and thanks to all of you guys, I finally decided to get myself a Skyliner 200P! (YAY)

But here's the thing... I fear a little that I'll be fed up by the stock EPs and given the fact, that I already have to pay 60€ for the shipping fees AND that FLO gives a good discount on the BST EPs, I decided to jump the rope and immediately order myself other EPs :) 

Now my question is, which EPs should I buy? I want to get some beautiful clear filling views of some galaxies and messier objects, but I also want to zoom in the maximum I can get out of the 200P :) Are there any buzz killers amongst them or are they all equally good? I thought of getting 2-4 EPs and a 2x barlow.

 

Thank you for any advice folks :)

Abe

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can't advise on the specific EPs as I've never used them, but I know they get a lot of love around here.

a good guide on a first spread of eps, would be to look at exit pupils of 1mm, 2mm and 4mm - that equates in your scope (and mine as it happens :) ) to 6, 12 &24 mm focal length.

however, as you are thinking of a barlow too, I'd get an 8 or 9mm instead of a 12. (24 Barlows to 12, and an 8 to 4) - you may then not need the 6.

hope this helps

Edited by rockystar
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If they are anything like the Meade HD-60 line, they tend to get better at the shorter focal lengths, so I'd tend toward getting those and skipping the barlow.  For your scope, I'd get the 5mm, 12mm, and possibly the 8mm as well based on the performance of the 4.5mm, 6.5mm, 9mm, and 12mm HD-60s which are all excellent.  Since there is no 15mm equivalent in the Meade line-up, I can't comment on it.  The 18mm and 25mm HD-60s both have astigmatism in the outer 50% of the field even in slow scopes like Maks.

Instead of the 18mm and 25mm BST SGs, I would recommend the 22mm Sky-Watcher SWA 70° from FLO for £65.  I have the Astro Tech AF70 version of this eyepiece that looks like the Arcturus Ebony Series 22mm 70 Degree SWA.  It is very well corrected in f/6 scopes out to 90% of its 70 degree field, and it yields a usable 18mm of eye relief just like the 25mm BST SG thanks to its proportionately larger eye lens.

Lastly, I'd recommend a widest field eyepiece to observe large clusters, for starfield sweeping, and for finding objects before recentering to view at higher powers.  If you have the money, get the 40mm Explore Scientific 68° Maxvision Eyepiece and remove the outer shroud.  I've had the Meade 5000 SWA version for years, and it is basically perfect to the edge at f/6 of what I measured to be a 71 degree apparent field of view.  Somewhat less expensive but still getting good reviews at f/6 would be the 40mm TS Paragon ED.  It is the best regarded of the "bargain" widest field eyepieces available.  It will show some astigmatism in the outer field where the Maxvision is pinpoint to the edge.  It's also way lighter than the decloaked Maxvision.

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17 hours ago, rockystar said:

can't advise on the specific EPs as I've never used them, but I know they get a lot of love around here.

a good guide on a first spread of eps, would be to look at exit pupils of 1mm, 2mm and 4mm - that equates in your scope (and mine as it happens :) ) to 6, 12 &24 mm focal length.

however, as you are thinking of a barlow too, I'd get an 8 or 9mm instead of a 12. (24 Barlows to 12, and an 8 to 4) - you may then not need the 6.

hope this helps

Hey rockystar,

 

Thank you for the advice! :)

Does the sharpness and clarity stay with a Barlow? Or am I loosing quality?

I think I narrowed my choice down to 25, 15, 8 and 3.2 if a Barlow will result in quality loss :)

What do you think?

 

9 hours ago, Louis D said:

If they are anything like the Meade HD-60 line, they tend to get better at the shorter focal lengths, so I'd tend toward getting those and skipping the barlow.  For your scope, I'd get the 5mm, 12mm, and possibly the 8mm as well based on the performance of the 4.5mm, 6.5mm, 9mm, and 12mm HD-60s which are all excellent.  Since there is no 15mm equivalent in the Meade line-up, I can't comment on it.  The 18mm and 25mm HD-60s both have astigmatism in the outer 50% of the field even in slow scopes like Maks.

Instead of the 18mm and 25mm BST SGs, I would recommend the 22mm Sky-Watcher SWA 70° from FLO for £65.  I have the Astro Tech AF70 version of this eyepiece that looks like the Arcturus Ebony Series 22mm 70 Degree SWA.  It is very well corrected in f/6 scopes out to 90% of its 70 degree field, and it yields a usable 18mm of eye relief just like the 25mm BST SG thanks to its proportionately larger eye lens.

Lastly, I'd recommend a widest field eyepiece to observe large clusters, for starfield sweeping, and for finding objects before recentering to view at higher powers.  If you have the money, get the 40mm Explore Scientific 68° Maxvision Eyepiece and remove the outer shroud.  I've had the Meade 5000 SWA version for years, and it is basically perfect to the edge at f/6 of what I measured to be a 71 degree apparent field of view.  Somewhat less expensive but still getting good reviews at f/6 would be the 40mm TS Paragon ED.  It is the best regarded of the "bargain" widest field eyepieces available.  It will show some astigmatism in the outer field where the Maxvision is pinpoint to the edge.  It's also way lighter than the decloaked Maxvision.

Hey Louis D,

 

Thank you for your great report, but I think I'll stay in the 55€ section at the given moment and will expand to more expensive EPs over time :)

The 40 mm Explore Scientific MaxVision sound absolutely great though!! :o My pooooor wallet ;)

Edited by AbeSapien
EP size mistakes

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3 hours ago, AbeSapien said:

I think I narrowed my choice down to 25, 15, 8 and 3.2

I have a 3.5mm Pentax XW that I barely use because it creates too small of an exit pupil.  I use my 5.2mm Pentax XL far more often.  Based on that, I would favor the 5mm over the 3.2mm.  Otherwise, you've chosen a good starter lineup.

3 hours ago, AbeSapien said:

if a Barlow will result in quality loss :)

A high quality barlow won't degrade the image, but I don't know of any in the price range you're considering.  I have a cheap ($30) 2x shorty barlow that is so bad, the buddy I gifted it to as a starter barlow gifted it back to me 6 months later because it was so bad.

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Not sure I can add much to Louis's repose there. I agree with not going to a 3.2; I don't think you'll get a lot of use from it. I don't know how good the BST Barlow is - I personally don't use one.

If you are giving me £200 (convert to euros as appropriate) to spend on EPs for you, my choice would be:

It's slightly over budget, but I think you'll get loads of use from the 28mm.

Other options sticking with the BSTs: 25, 12, 8 & 5

Or: 25, 15, 8 & Barlow

:D

I like the FOV that the 40m Maxvision gives, but for me, it's too big of an Exit Pupil; I'd prefer to achieve this FOV with a 30mm 82º, but that's not a cheap eyepiece.

 

 

Edited by rockystar
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By the way - give someone a budget and everyone here will try and push it up; They love spending other people's money :D:headbang:

Also just noticed that the 28mm Maxvision is the same spec as the one I quoted above, but £30 cheaper - not sure of the quality difference though, I suspect the more expensive one will be slightly better corrected towards the edge, but how noticeable it will be to the untrained eye, I don't know.

Edited by rockystar

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1 hour ago, rockystar said:

Also just noticed that the 28mm Maxvision is the same spec as the one I quoted above, but £30 cheaper - not sure of the quality difference though, I suspect the more expensive one will be slightly better corrected towards the edge, but how noticeable it will be to the untrained eye, I don't know.

There's also the ergonomics side of things to consider.  The ES has a tapered top which is good.  The Maxvision (MV) has a broad, flat top which can be bad for folks with deep set eyes.  The ES has a slightly recessed eye lens which is bad for eyeglass wearers who need all the eye relief they can get.  The MV's eye lens is flush mounted to the top of the housing, but to fully access it, the eyecup shroud must be removed because it can't be lowered to a truly flush position.  It always eats up about 3mm of eye relief.  Optically, they're supposed to be nearly identical.

1 hour ago, rockystar said:

I like the FOV that the 40m Maxvision gives, but for me, it's too big of an Exit Pupil; I'd prefer to achieve this FOV with a 30mm 82º, but that's not a cheap eyepiece.

 

I have both the original 30mm ES-82 (with the mushroom shaped shroud that has been removed) and the 40mm Meade 5000 SWA (ie., Maxvision).  While I like both, it is much easier to take in the 68 degree view over the 82 degree view with eyeglasses due to greater eye relief on the Meade and an easier to hold view.  The 40mm is also much better corrected at the edge than the 30mm at f/6 giving a pleasing edge to edge view.  Yes, the sky is a bit darker in the 30mm, but it's not always about highest contrast views.  Sometimes you just have to try both to see which works best for the given conditions and object.  Since they weigh about the same, rebalancing between them isn't an issue.

1 hour ago, rockystar said:

my choice would be:

  • Explore Scientific 68º 28mm

I've had a 27mm Panoptic (what the ES-68 was cloned from) for nearly 20 years, and I rarely use it.  It found the most use as a workhorse eyepiece in my 15" dob when I was using it regularly because it acts about like a mid power eyepiece in the 8" dob would (around 17mm equivalent or 70x in both cases).  However, it only yields 44x in the 8" dob which doesn't lend itself well to very many objects.  I tend to start down around 38mm to 40mm to find an object and then jump up to 12mm to 17mm for most objects once they're centered.

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Totally agree with getting a wide angle ES for the lowest mag. I got a ES68 24mm rather than the BST 25mm and am very pleased I did. I had the BST 8, 12 and 18mm for my midrange EP's. All are excellent. The 8mm probably gets the most use for my scope. 

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I would not consider thew 3.2mm for your scope, I have one and really it gets no use at all. Very pretty colour and I really bought it as I had all the others so it maintains the full set. Have often thought they should have made a 4mm.

The BST's are nice with the proviso that there is a fair jump from 5mm to 8mm, I had to fill it by getting a 6mm. You are likely to find that you do not use the high power end as much as you either expect or want to. At a session I found I had taken a half set and regretted not taking the 12mm BST - I had a 25mm, 8mm and 5mm. I found that even the 8mm didn't get a lot of use, and I didn't bother at all with the 5mm. And all on a much smaller scope then your 200P.

If you wanted 3 then I suggest the 8mm, 12mm and 25mm. I do not use a barlow, too much trouble having to swap round 2 bits at a time, and on say the BST's even the 25 barlows to effectively a 12.5. So you need ones like the 18mm and 15mm as there is no way to get them with a barlow.

To get a 5mm or 6mm means buying the 12mm. I find that the idea that a barlow "double" the number of eyepieces is not exactly correct. There is still often the need to buy a focal length that you could barlow to simply to get to the next level down.

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22 minutes ago, ronin said:

To get a 5mm or 6mm means buying the 12mm. I find that the idea that a barlow "double" the number of eyepieces is not exactly correct. There is still often the need to buy a focal length that you could barlow to simply to get to the next level down.

I agree with this - I was struggling a bit to find 3 in the range that fit well with a 2x barlow without doubling up, or being very near another length

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Thank you for all the great advice you gave me :) I don't know how to thank you all!

I pulled the trigger yesterday night and ordered myself the Skywatcher Skyliner 200P with the 25, 15 and 8 BST Starguider eyepieces! I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE DHL GUY TO SHOW UP!!! :o

 

I will have an extensive look at what I will need in the future and I think that some Explore Scientific EPs along the missing BST EPs will find their way into the collection :)

 

I don't know if I can ask my next question along with this thread or if I should start a new one in another section, so Mods, feel free to tell me please :)

What exactly do filters do, what are their benefits? Which ones shouldn't be missing to gaze the Moon, some stars and Nebulae?

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57 minutes ago, AbeSapien said:

What exactly do filters do, what are their benefits? Which ones shouldn't be missing to gaze the Moon, some stars and Nebulae?

Filters essentially just limit which wavelengths of light that are allowed to pass through the eyepiece. By removing the wavelengths that your're not interested, the light from an object, such as a nebula, is then easier to see. I'd highly recommend reading the two articles below. The first gives a  general guide on filters for deep space objects and the second is a guide as to which filters to use on certain objects. I refer to the second one all the time!

http://www.prairieastronomyclub.org/useful-filters-for-viewing-deep-sky-objects/

http://www.prairieastronomyclub.org/filter-performance-comparisons-for-some-common-nebulae/

In terms of planetary or moon filters, of the ones I've tried, I'd recommend the Baader Neodymium Moon and Skyglow filter as the most versatile. Though for a cheaper option an #82A (light blue) is a good option too. 

It's worth noting that as filters remove some of the light, you can also loose detail. Planetary and Moon filters are normally down to personal preference. I know some members prefer to use no filters on the planets as some of the finer details are lost.

I'd suggest picking up second hand filters that you can try and then sell on if they're not to your taste

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1 hour ago, Littleguy80 said:

Filters essentially just limit which wavelengths of light that are allowed to pass through the eyepiece. By removing the wavelengths that your're not interested, the light from an object, such as a nebula, is then easier to see. I'd highly recommend reading the two articles below. The first gives a  general guide on filters for deep space objects and the second is a guide as to which filters to use on certain objects. I refer to the second one all the time!

http://www.prairieastronomyclub.org/useful-filters-for-viewing-deep-sky-objects/

http://www.prairieastronomyclub.org/filter-performance-comparisons-for-some-common-nebulae/

In terms of planetary or moon filters, of the ones I've tried, I'd recommend the Baader Neodymium Moon and Skyglow filter as the most versatile. Though for a cheaper option an #82A (light blue) is a good option too. 

It's worth noting that as filters remove some of the light, you can also loose detail. Planetary and Moon filters are normally down to personal preference. I know some members prefer to use no filters on the planets as some of the finer details are lost.

I'd suggest picking up second hand filters that you can try and then sell on if they're not to your taste

Oh wow! Thank you Littleguy80! What a marvelous guide and list!! :) Just scrolled a little in them, but I'll take them appart as soon as I'm getting the chance :)

 

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On 2017-6-15 at 15:45, rockystar said:

By the way - give someone a budget and everyone here will try and push it up; They love spending other people's money :D:headbang:

Also just noticed that the 28mm Maxvision is the same spec as the one I quoted above, but £30 cheaper - not sure of the quality difference though, I suspect the more expensive one will be slightly better corrected towards the edge, but how noticeable it will be to the untrained eye, I don't know.

The line started as the Meade SWA. When Meade was sold the left over SWA stock were relabelled as ES Maxvision and a new waterproof version was released as the ES68. I had the 24mm Meade SWA and ES68 and switching back and forth could not see any difference to suggest a change in lens design. If I remember correctly the new version has better internal blackening but I kept the Meade for the twist up eyecup. 

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On 16/06/2017 at 09:38, AbeSapien said:

I pulled the trigger yesterday night and ordered myself the Skywatcher Skyliner 200P with the 25, 15 and 8 BST Starguider eyepieces!

A little late for this thread maybe!.........but the 8mm and 12mm  Starguiders are good choices for the scope in question, as is a wide angle low power eyepiece.

The scopes f/6 ratio screams for a 6mm eyepiece to match the aperture of the scope and focal ratio?  (200mm on data label)
If you take the aperture of the scope and look at that as a guide to the power limit, then x200  power is not bad at all, when conditions allow! although its often quoted that twice the aperture is your limit........try it, its not good?
 
A suitable 6mm provides 200x power and an exit pupil of 1mm.
Now take  a 12mm and things look sweet, the scope  is more than capable here, giving x100 power and 2mm exit pupil.
This scope works well at these power ratings, with enough exit pupil to satisfy most eyes, and many targets.

Issues arise as you go either side of these focal lengths. Go lower say, 5mm or 3.2 and the image  appears closer but the image itself seriously deteriorates, the images are not so sharp, yet go the other direction and the image detail sharpens, but the image itself just gets too  darn small. You need to find what suits you best.

I have used/compared 12mm eyepieces including the famed TeleVue Delos and I'm  totally satisfied with the Starguiders, in-fact, apart from the wider views  from the Delos, there was nothing  else noticeable to consider buying all the Delos EP's

My 6mm of choice is the William Optics, after comparisons with Meade, Tele Vue ( Delos & Plössl). My first upgrade was the 8mm Starguider to replace the supplied Skywatcher 10mm, and when it came to view M31, the SW 25mm was not wide enough so I opted for Skywatchers Panaview 32mm, the only two inch eyepiece in my collection.

You will/should enjoy the results from the Starguiders, but if the 25 is not wide enough, go larger with another brand, if the 15mm is not quite right get the 12mm.

I enjoy and use all my Starguiders, have even Barlowed the 3.2mm, it does work, but difficult to track at that power whilst looking at the Moon, and only the Moon.

Its not what it cost that matters, or that the cost itself makes for a vast improvement on an f/6 scope. I find the 60° Starguiders are comfortable in more ways than one.

If I were to go out tonight ( I wish!  - almost daylight all night! ) of all the eyepieces in use, the 8 12 and 6mm normally get the most view time, the conditions and seeing alone will dictate, but when I look back after the session, its normally one or all of these eyepieces that remain in the telescopes eyepiece shelf/holder. That tells me that the best images most often attained from my location lay within a power of between 100x and 200x and 37x when using my Panaview. Anything in-between or at the extremes are a bonus for me. The most radical image improvement is to move to a site where I can't see any direct man-made light pollution.

Just my opinions, but I'm sure your still gonna have fun with the Skyliner. 

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I have the exact same scope, and by the sounds of it an almost identical set of most often used eyepieces to @Charic.

My most used eyepices are a 24mm (the ES 68 degree 24mm), the BST Starguider 12mm and the BST Starguider 8mm, with the 32mm Panaview being deployed occasionally.

I also have a Baader Morpheus 14mm which has a lovely 74 degree AFOV, but the extra 15x that the 12mm gives is always welcomed.

I have the whole set of BSTs, except for the 25mm and for me they represent money well spent.

Enjoy your time with the Skyliner 200p.

Ade

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