Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.


EP's, Barlow, Filters (Moon, Planetry, DSO) Recommendations

Recommended Posts

Hi All,

About to buy my first real scope and mount.  I'm wondering if I can put upon you good folks to ask for your recommendations for the items in the title that will match up with and compliment the equipment I'm about to buy.

Top of my list at this moment is the SW EQ6 Pro with either the Explorer 250PDS or 200PDS (depending on the all the other items that need to get to at least make it usable fairly usable to start with and how that affect the overall budget).
If I have to (for cost at this time), I will drop to a SW HEQ5 Pro with the 200PDS.

Fortunately, my girlfriend/partner loves the night sky but I know she will want to see 'results' in the EP straight away and will want to mainly look at our Solar system and the Moon (not that I don't) but she hates the cold and has limited patience for waiting to see anything deeper than those for now.

Myself, apart from the above of course, would like to go deeper but also include astrophotography once I have got myself up to a decent level of familiarity with the kit.  I have a humble Pentax K20D DSLR and my very old Pentax Spotmatic F (Wet film) camera (It's been with me for a long time and still gets used once in a while).

I would very much appreciate your collective wisdom regarding the title items and fitting my DSLR (primarily) to either of the two OTA's above.  What is the minimum I need to get, make/models that will get me going and that will complement each other and the system without having to take out a second mortgage just yet ;-)  and get me off to a fairly good start.

I'm sure you have all had these questions before and I apologise if your first thought is "not again" :-) ... It's just that I have been lurking in the background of the site for a few weeks now reading up as much as I can and trying to pull a list together but my brain seems to have turned to fog now and after reading something earlier to day of EP's and Barlow's and that the optics in them (for want of a better word) should be in 'harmony with each other and the system, I've completely lost where I thought I was going and then also the subjects and threads that I had been using to 'guide' me elsewhere on SGL.

Many thanks in anticipation.

Kind regards,


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't image so are unable to advise you on this branch of the hobby.

However I would strongly advise before you part with any hard earned cash you see how large, heavy and awkward your suggested kit is. Mounting a 250PDS on a EQ6 Pro is not a trivial exercise.

BTW Welcome to the forum and good luck.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not an imager either, but as regards extra optics, including filters, I would recommend you hold off on those and use the eyepieces that come with the scope to acclimatise yourself to your new scope and to figure out your viewing preferences.  I also agree with Alan above, you need a good appreciation of how heavy the suggested rig is.  The 200PDS is OKish, but the 250PDS on an EQ mount in my view is a monster. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was wondering why you made those scope and mount choices.  The EQ-6 (with GoTo) is a good mount for astrophotography, by all accounts, but it will be big and heavy.

I have a 203mm Newtonian f5, but the first thing I did with it BEFORE trying to fit it on the mount was to bolt an extra grab handle onto it.  Optically it isn't bad, but for practical reasons I soon changed this manual setup for a more compact and manageable SCT GoTo on an alt-az mount. I don't do astrophotography. 


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks gents, your words and advice are headed.

With the kit I mentioned above. It seems that it only comes supplied with one 28mm LET (2"/50.8mm) EP, nothing else.   So even for viewing only, I'm trying to get my head around what would work best just for that with this kit.
The imaging will come a bit later hopefully once I've familiar with the kit and get a few other bits sorted in the garden.  I'm fairly lucky in that I am in quite a dark place where I live.  Nearest cities are Hereford and Gloucester and they are both fairly shielded from me by the land in between. Both are around 11 miles away straight line.  I'm also on fairly high ground and the nearest town to me is Ross and that down in a dip and again pretty much shielded shielded from me.

 I suppose my reasoning behind those choices, apart from what I have been reading on here from members who are happy with similar kit, is that generally I think I will be able to do most of my viewing (and later on Imaging) from the garden.  Please don't get me wrong, I do appreciate that the mount is very heavy, but my thought process was that I shouldn't be having to move it that far. Although I am sure at some time in the future I may want to go somewhere else for some reason here and there.  However, I take your warning about the weight and awkwardness of mounting a 250PDS.  It's certainly given me food for thought and I won't part with the cash just yet :-)

The SGL 'star party' in October is not very far away from me, so maybe I can just go as a visitor and see if any of the members that are attending can let me have a good look at their rigs.  Get a close up appreciation rather than just looking at a picture on a website.

Once again, my thanks gents for taking time out to comment and advise. That really is appreciated.

Rgds, Chris.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Do like me, step by step:

1. Mount: SW AZ-EQ6 or equivalent Orion Atlas Pro [AZ-EQ6 too].

2. Scope: SW ED80 Pro or SW 130PDS [i don't have both, but from what i read both are good value and good performance], or if you have good money then get 2 scopes.

3. Filters: Ha, LRGB, later you can add OIII and SII, for visual many filters can do the job, UHC, CLS, Sky&Glow...etc.

4. Eyepieces, i also look for those, but i started with what the scope came with, then i can decide for another EPs, so just be patient and test the ones coming with the scope first, most likely you want something in 3 different ranges, narrow or high magnification such as 4mm up to 10mm, normal or average such as 20mm up to 25mm, then wide such as 32mm or 40mm. You can add a Barlow such as 2x/2.5x/3x for greater magnification with specific EPs, also need time to choose wisely.

5. Power for your mount, this is up to you.

6. Computer and software, the list is long and you know most apps anyway.

7. Accessories: such as collimator for newt or reflector, polar alignment tool if you need, corrector, flattener,...etc.


I have AZ-EQ6 and ST80 and just bought Ha filter and the computer is fine except one laptop, no much eyepieces because i don't have another scope yet, so i am doing things slowly, i will start with DSO imaging, later in 2-3 months i hope i can afford something for visual such as 11" SCT or 8" Newt or a Mak.


Good luck!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

@TareqPhoto Hi Tareq, many thanks for that.  That was generally going to be my approach, however as I only get the one default EP with that kit (if I go for it) I was just wondering whose make would be best, depending on cost of course :-)

Thank you for the list of items though, that is a great help as to what items to think of as time goes.




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Stroller, how young and strapping are you?  An SW EQ6 Pro is a good 60+ pounds and an Explorer 250PDS is another 30 pounds giving a total of 90 to 100 pounds assembled.  If you have limited sight lines at your viewing location, you'll need to move your rig about during the night.  There are scope buggies to help with this, but this isn't exactly the route I would steer any beginner down.  My old back struggles with anything approaching 50 pounds, and that has to hugged close my body.

I would suggest starting out with a much lighter rig dedicated more to visual while you learn the night sky.  It will allow you to grab the scope whenever the sky clears and start observing right away.  Nothing is more frustrating than spending 30 minutes hauling all the parts out, assembling them, polar aligning, collimating, and then the clouds roll in.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Lous,

Not that young :-) but I'm under 60.  Pretty fit, 6ft tall and about 225 pounds.... I can certainly lift and move heavy things :-) .... I do however take your point and have already decided to not go over the 200PDS for the OTA.

 The majority of my sight lines only have obstacles in the way (trees and my house ) up to about 15 degree's above the horizon but I do have a fairly wide area that is not obscured at all out to the horizon which is about 20 miles away.  To move it in to it's main 'planned' setup location in the garden is about 30 ft away from where it will be stored for now.   However, my girlfriend is already on about making a little observatory 'shed'... and that's before I have even bought anything! :-)

I do however, take your point and will reassess the mount.  Many thanks for that.

Kind regards,




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Anthony RS
      I'm selling these 2 filters since I'm getting a mono astro cam. The filters are barely used and in perfect condition, no scratches, no fingerprints, not even dust. They are both amazing filters, probably the best investment I've made. I've attached some images
      taken with these filters, using a 100$ celestron newtonian, a 250$ Canon 500D and the infamous AVX. Also attached are images of the filters showing their perfect condition.
      Astronomik CLS-CCD Canon Clip in Filter: https://www.astronomik.com/en/filter-gegen-lichtverschmtzung-filters-against-lightpollution-lpr/cls-ccd-filter/clip-filter-eos-mit-astronomik-cls-ccd.html
      Original price including VAT is 155 Euros (around USD 182). I got it for around USD230 including VAT, shipping and custom taxes.
      Selling for USD 100.
      Astronomik Ha 12nm Canon Clip in Filter: https://www.astronomik.com/en/clip-filter/clip-filter-canon-aps-c/clip-filter-eos-mit-astronomik-h-alpha-ccd-12nm.html
      Original price including VAT 194 Euros (around USD 228). Got it for around USD 270 including VAT, shipping and custom taxes.
      Selling for USD 150
      I am willing to ship them on my own expense using LibanPost (from Lebanon). Shipping might take time; if you would like to use some other shipment method please contact me to discuss the price. 
      Feel free to buy one or both together.
      Let me know if you have any questions. 
      You can also contact me on <private email address removed>

    • By melsmore
      First the disclaimer. This is my first attempt to sketch Mars, or indeed any planet. Also, it started to rain and I had to abandon it with some urgency (hence no orientation marker). I used a HB pencil and a blending stump. But I think I can see a couple of features that match Ade Ashford's app.
      The Wratten 21 filter improved the view enormously (although you may find that hard to believe looking at the picture) helping show the surface detail and improving the seeing. I tried it the day before in my 80mm refractor, but that just made the image too dim, but on the 115mm it was very good, so I recommend it to anyone with 115mm or larger.
      I tried sketching the moon (Plato) several years ago, but SWMBO pronounced it (I'll paraphrase her here) more Feline Anatomical than Selenographical. While this one may look more like a two year's old attempt at drawing a rabbit, at least no one can confuse it with the rear end of the cat. So regardless of the criticism I receive here, I'll give it another go tonight (weather permitting). 🧐

    • By A_D05
      Hi everyone, 
      I am thinking about buying a Celestron Nexstar 6se to use for astrophotography at a very beginner level. I am thinking about using a ZWO ASI224MC as it seems a good option. I have a few questions about how to setup/use it - here they are:
      1.) Do you just screw it on where the eyepiece is usually at?
      2.) Do you just have the cable going to a computer where you have stacking spect where that stacks the photos it takes?
      3.) Does it automatically take photos of planets and DSO’s?
      4.) Does it need any filters to get color on nebulae as those are they primary things I want to photograph
      Thats all, as you can see I am a beginner to astrophotography and just want to know how to use the camera to take decent pictures.
      Thanks all 
    • By GiL Young
      Hello all. Thank you for taking a moment to read this & offer your suggestions/ advice. I'm sure my basic question has been asked many times: "In your opinion or experience, what are the first, most important, necessary accessories I should add in order to maximize the the use and ease of a newly acquired Celestron Nexstar 127 SLT ? I have a power supply adapter, 9mm,10mm, 25mm eyepieces, 2x Barlow and 90 degree diagonal mirror adaptor. With a modest budget and a 2 week deadline, I've researched numerous reviews and narrowed some choices to additional Plossl eyepieces, an assortment of filters or a dew shield. All of and these can probably be purchased within my budget but I'm even willing to take the plunge on an upgrade to a better mount, which I have no idea where to start. Any and all suggestions, advice and opinions are gladly appreciated. Thank you all, from across the pond in northeastern US. 
    • By endlessky
      I have been waiting for this telescope for almost five months. Since May, 19th, to be precise. The day I went to the TS Italia store and saw for the first time the SLD model, model now discontinued. I even missed the last available piece just for a few days, once I finally placed my order, June, 25th. It was to be replaced by a newer model, available at the end of the Summer.
      Boy, am I glad I did miss it. The wait was definitely worth it. The new and improved model is simply beautiful. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it on the Tecnosky website a few weeks ago, when they posted the product sheet. But in person, it's even more beautiful.
      So, the people from the store emailed me Friday, October the 2nd, telling me that it was finally available for pickup. I read the message only a whole hour later and it was soon going to be closing time. I started calling at 4:30 PM and I finally managed to get my phone call through at around 5:05 PM. The store closes at 6:00 PM and doesn't reopen until Monday. And it's 40 minutes away from where I live. I made it there in 35. There was no way I was going to have to wait till Monday, knowing my scope was only a few minutes away.
      So, here's the pre-unboxing picture:

      - top left, brown box, behind: Vixen clamp for guide-scope
      - top right, white box: 60mm f/4 guide-scope
      - top left, white boxes: T2 Nikon ring, 30mm spacer, adjustable spacer
      - center, behind white boxes: Optolong L-Pro 2" filter
      - right of filter: spacers mounted and already calibrated for 55mm backfocus, for eventual use of the ZWO ASI 224MC camera with the refractor
      - top right, Bahtinov mask
      - underneath the white boxes, top left: Losmandy bar to attach telescope to my NEQ6 Losmandy saddle
      - big box underneath all of the above: Tecnosky 80mm f/6 FPL-53 OWL Triplet, with carrying case and 0.8x 4 elements flattener/reducer
      - ZWO black case: ZWO ASI 224MC guide-camera / planetary camera
      - front left: Talisker 57° North and two glasses (don't mind the shape of the glasses, they are the closest to Whisky suitable glasses that I currently own...) ready for me and my wife to celebrate the end of the wait
      - front right: box for the aforementioned Whisky
      I actually waited for yesterday (Saturday, the 3rd) for the unboxing, because I wanted my best friend Omar to be present and help me with filming and taking pictures. We have been friends since we went to kindergarten and we always have had astronomy as a common interest.
      It just so happens, to my immense surprise, that my telescope is actually SN. 0001, so I own the first telescope ever produced of this new series. The certificate is also very promising, with a Strehl ratio of 0.974 and a Ronchi test that seems very well behaved. I like a little less the red edges on the lenses, but I guess only time and a proper visual - and astrophotographic - session will be able to tell.

      Obviously the "new equipment curse" didn't help, but we got almost a whole hour with clear sky patches and obviously I couldn't pass up the opportunity. I quickly setup with the bare minimum necessities for a visual observation and me, my wife and my best friend Omar - who helped with the staging, recording and directing of the unboxing event - took a quick look at the Moon, Saturn, Mars, M31 and Perseus Double Cluster.
      I can definitely understand now, even if the seeing wasn't perfect, and my eyepieces didn't offer enough magnification (25mm and 10mm give me 80x and 200x, with my C8, but with a native focal length of 480mm, even with a Barlow 2x, we could only achieve about 38x and 96x, respectively), what people mean when they say that an apochromatic refractor brings out the objects from the background sky. The contrast was stunning, the stars were absolute points, pinpoint, small and sharp (with my C8 they always have kind of a "blob" feeling), the contrast on the Moon was fantastic and I could see many details, despite it being almost full, and only at 48-96x. I think it passed the visual test with honors. I was also very happy to be able to see the Double Cluster all in the same field of view for the first time. Saturn was well defined, could clearly make out the rings - don't recall, in all the excitement, rush and cycling between me, my wife and my friend, if I saw the Cassini division, but I'll definitely try again next clear sky night. Mars was also beautiful, could clearly see its rusty red color, the polar cap and some darker, black features on the surface.
      I really can say it's a beautiful telescope, very well made and machined. The attention to details is really of another level, the paint finish is very nice and matte. Also very lovely all the different red and black anodized surfaces, they really give it a nice finish and personality. The focuser is also the best I have ever had on a telescope. Very smooth, precise, with no backlash. Coming from a C8 where every touch of the focuser throws off the image all over the place and the backlash is quite significant, I really appreciated how easy it was to fine tune focusing with a proper focuser, especially with the 10:1 focusing knob.
      I can't wait to be able to take the first pictures of some star field, to check if even photographically the telescope lives up to my expectations. I hope to get pinpoint stars corner to corner and that the backfocus won't be something too hard to make perfect.
      Here's some accessories.

      Optolong L-Pro 2" filter, Bahtinov mask, Losmandy dovetail to replace the Vixen one the telescope comes with, Nikon T2 ring and spacers to use the ASI 224MC with the correct backfocus directly on the telescope, instead of a guide-camera.
      Here's the 60mm f/4 guide-scome, with Vixen clamp.

      And the ZWO ASI 224MC guide-camera.

      Here's the mandatory celebration beer, at Corte dell'Orso (the Bear's Courtyard).
      It's a Belgian sour beer, lambic style. Oudbeitje by Hanssens Artisanaal, with added strawberries. A very nice beer, sour, tart and fruity. Could definitely taste the strawberries.

      Here's a couple of pictures of the full setup, with everything mounted on my Sky-Watcher NEQ6 Pro.
      The setup is in its astrophotographic configuration: mount, telescope, guide-scope, guide-camera, filter, flattener/reducer and at the end the Nikon D5300 astromodified. All controlled by Astroberry on my Raspberry Pi 4 4GB, conveniently mounted on a bar across the two telescope rings.

      And finally a close up of the rig.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.