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Which eyepiece do you REALLY use most?


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I've recently been rationalising my eyepiece collection, which had far too many relatively similar wide-angle EPs some of which were somewhat redundant. I thought I'd try to do it scientifically rather than based on my perceptions, so went back through five years of note books and tallied up how many deep sky observations I'd made with each one to see which were the "favourites". It helped me choose which ones to sell but quite apart from that, the results revealed something quite interesting. By far the most commonly used eyepiece was my Nagler 31 which yields a 2° field of view with my scope. My 17 Ethos was used half as much as the 31. The 10 mm ethos half as much as the 17 and the 6mm ethos half as much as the 10. So generally speaking, when looking at deep sky objects, it would seem that I make far more low magnification wide angle observations than high magnifications ones. It's quite interesting how many deep sky objects are actually quite big and even the smaller ones often look prettier in the context of a wider star field!

 

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I've recently been rationalising my eyepiece collection, which had far too many relatively similar wide-angle EPs some of which were somewhat redundant. I thought I'd try to do it scientifically rathe

Last night I used lots of different eyepieces with my 12" dob. Everything from the 21mm Ethos to the 2mm setting () of my 2-4mm Nagler zoom. The reason was that I was observing a very wide range of ob

But do you REALLY use the left one or the right one the most?  

In my ST102 I used to swap between my x-cel 25mm and 9mm, usually about the same amount of time with each.

However I recently got a vixen SLV 15mm and last time I was out I realised that I hadn't swapped in about an hour. I really like the view through the SLV and the 15mm gives me a good balance between fov and exit pupil. I think this is going to be a firm favourite in the ST102! 

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In my C8 SCT which is my main observing scope I tend to use mostly just three EP sizes; my 18mm X-Cel EP. 10mm Tele Vue Delos EP. I sometimes push magnification on planets or the moon higher with my 6mm WO SPL EP when conditions allow me too. 

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For me, using an 8 inch f6 Dob I'd say probably an 18mm Ex-Cel. For DSOs it just seems to give a nice balance between image scale, contrast and brightness. For my 150 mm Mak (on HEQ5) probably a 12.5mm Fujiyama ortho, or 9mm Astro Hutech when seeing is good (but the longer Ex-Cels get some love here too).

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I tend to use the 31mm Nag and the 17mm Ethos equally.. the onyl time I got higher in magnification is moon or planetary observation, than the ep used are the 11mm nagler, 7mm LV or (when weather and seeing are at its best) the 5mm XCel.

But for DSO, wide field low mag is for me also the best way to view these objects.

 

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Yes, I like the narrower view classic EPs on the moon and planets too. Tend to use orthoscopics with as much magnification as conditions will allow. To that end, having a full set with incremental changes in focal length seems more justifiable than it did with the wide angle green print ones which get used mostly for deep sky :)

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Hi Tim, I am not at all surprised at your conclusions, though I don't make notes my low power (ES82 30mm) does seem my most used and then similar down the scale from there (or 'up' as the case may be!), so that's really interesting to note your findings. 

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In my 12" Dob I use my ES100 20mm as a finder then usually move up to the 14-9 depending on conditions for lunar and planetary the 14-9 respectively.

I am in the process of adding the ES82 30 and eventually the ES100 5.5.

But to answer your question I probably use my ES100 14 the most ?

The 20mm is a lovely eyepiece on the open clusters though really depends how big the object is I'm observing in any giving session.

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I have also used my 24 Pan a lot recently as it is fairly new to me, I like the fact that it has a good wide view for a 1.25", so I tend to use it more recently to stop moving to the larger 2" ES82 30mm, ease of use at the front end is a tempting preference.  As a result of my experience I am thinking of getting the 19mm Pan to use instead of the 2" ES82 18mm, to buy it at the IAS when the Widescreen Centre usually reduce their stock quite substantially, which is where I bought the 24mm last year, great stuff!

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25mm BST to get things in view, 8mm BST to view.

Have said my half set is 5mm, 8mm and 25mm. The 5mm is there in case it is usable and required but not used a great deal. Scope is a short one however so even the 8mm is only around 50x

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I would say used the most as being my 24mm purely because it's my "finder" eyepiece for all my scopes.  This was previously the 24mm ES68 of which has been kind of replaced by the 24mm TV Panoptic which certainly results in better performance for DSOs imho.   From there it's either the 17.3, 14 or 10mm Delos depending on the object and transparency.

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This is an interesting question. I think my 10mm SLV gets the most use in my small scopes but quite often in any given session after an initial period changing I will then stick with one eyepiece which could be any one of them.

The 22mm Nagler is my favourite with the vx14 but I'm going to look at my notes and see if it actually gets the most use!

 

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Most used binoviewer eyepieces are 25mm plossls yielding between 47x and 108x depending on the scope and purpose.

Most used cyclops eyepiece is probably my 24mm Panoptic in the fracs (30x-36x) and 27mm Panoptic (51x-68x) in the dobs.

I agree with your general views Tim.

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Going back nearly 20 years, I'd have to say it would be my 14mm Pentax XL.  Most star clusters and nebula are framed rather well by it in my 8" dob.  After that, my 40mm Meade 5000 SWA for wide field star sweeping lately.  Sort of like taking the car for a Sunday drive, I just aimlessly wander the skies with it to see what I haven't discovered yet.

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I tend to use lower powers most, purely for finding my way around.  The Rev Astro Superview 42/65 is therefore my answer.

I switch up to higher power afterwards as necessary.

Recently however, I have acquired an ES 30/82 and a Meade 5000 UWA 20/82 (Maxvision precursor?) and like to swap between those big 'uns for my initial hunting.  They are nice to use, and don't seem so huge any more!  (I particularly like the Meade's appearance and the feel of its non-circular anti-roll profile.  And it is sharper further off-centre than the ES.)

Doug.

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Back along I 'rationalised' my EP's.  I felt that 6 was too many.  It only encouraged constant fiddling around between focal lengths, and really all I wanted to do was settle down behind an EP, & soak up the views.  I aimed for 3, and this proved trickier than I first imagined.  

The 3-6 TV Zoom for anything high magnification, with the bonus of adjusting to seeing was a simple choice. 

My most used was the 15mm TV Plossl, (which I no longer own).  I loved everything about that EP, and its qualities pushed me into buying an 8mm & 17mm Ethos.  It seems in hindsight obvious now, but both the 8E & 17E share the 2 major attributes I admired with the 15mm Plossl. 

A SGL member pointed out to me that (I equally thank and dislike him for it !), an 8mm Ethos will frame roughly the same area of sky as the 15mm Plossl. The 8mm Ethos covers 1 of the qualities of my old favourite, with the added bonus of a sensible increase in magnification.  

A 17mm Ethos covers the wide views & gives me close to the magnification of my 15mm Plossl. 

I imagine over the sessions they will all get an equal share of the action which was not the case before. 

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This is a good thing to reflect on. In all honestly I must spend the majority of my time peering through my 20mm Plossl at 60x. This is unless there's a planet about, in which case it's the 6mm, 10mm SLV or 8mm BST depending on the seeing conditions. 

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