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Troady

Are GSO eyepieces any good?

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Hi there guys, a friend of mine do have several GSO eyepieces from his deceased father and is willing to part with them, are they any good?, how much should you pay for a 2.5X 3 element Barlow? and for a 15mm lens? Some of the pieces do have the inscription "Taiwan" on them some others does not, are there any difference between them?

Also there are some Barlows made out two and others out three pieces elements, what are the differences between them?

Lately have been reading in forums about Meade 4000 eyepieces too, which ones are better, GSO or Meade 4000?

For my readings, i have come to the conclusion that eyepieces made for Meade, (not the 4000)  Orion and Celestron, are not of good quality, am i right?

Good eyepieces (brand) to buy w/o breaking the bank (or getting divorced) ????

I do use glasses all the time, is there anything to be concerned with the eyepieces use and the glasses?

Thanks for any help you can give.

Edited by Troady

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9 hours ago, Troady said:

Hi there guys, a friend of mine do have several GSO eyepieces from his deceased father and is willing to part with them, are they any good?, how much should you pay for a 2.5X 3 element Barlow? and for a 15mm lens? Some of the pieces do have the inscription "Taiwan" on them some others does not, are there any difference between them?

Which sort of eyepieces? Plossls? Superviews? Exactly which eyepieces are on offer will make a difference. Typical second hand prices are up to 2/3 of the new selling price. I don't know what difference having Taiwan stamped on the eyepiece makes. I don't know if GSO have any factories outside of Taiwan so it could be as simple as one batch being stamped and another not.

9 hours ago, Troady said:

Also there are some Barlows made out two and others out three pieces elements, what are the differences between them?

A three element barlow should be better corrected than a two element. 

9 hours ago, Troady said:

Lately have been reading in forums about Meade 4000 eyepieces too, which ones are better, GSO or Meade 4000?

The Meade 4000 Super Plossl is a label that has been applied to several different eyepieces. Firstly a 5-element eyepiece (not a Plossl) made in Japan, and then a 4-element Plossl made in Taiwan and then China (and now possibly a second Chinese manufacturer). The Japanese made series 4000 will be better than GSO Plossls (because they are actually 5-element), the Taiwanese series 4000 probably are GSO Plossls, and the Chinese ones are probably of similar quality.

9 hours ago, Troady said:

For my readings, i have come to the conclusion that eyepieces made for Meade, (not the 4000)  Orion and Celestron, are not of good quality, am i right?

No. Aside from the top end brands, each brand sells eyepieces of varying quality at different price points. Some eyepieces will be good, some will be not so good depending on the specific eyepieces in question.

9 hours ago, Troady said:

Good eyepieces (brand) to buy w/o breaking the bank (or getting divorced) ????

Again, recommendations by brand are generally not possible. If you give an approximate budget per eyepiece people will be able to recommend specific ranges for you to consider.

9 hours ago, Troady said:

I do use glasses all the time, is there anything to be concerned with the eyepieces use and the glasses?

Technically, you only need to wear glasses to observe if you have astigmatism so you may find you can observe without them. If you do find it better to keep them on then you will need eyepieces with long eye relief.  This will make quite a difference to the eyepieces that you can consider.

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Thanks Ricochet for all your answers, i went with a GSO 2.5X 3 element Barlow, two Series 4000 lenses, a 9.7 and a 26mm, 1 Sky Planetary 58° UWA 5mm and one Svbony (cheap but with good reviews in Amazon) 40mm Plossl for wide field observations. Just to round the whole thing, one standard 13% transmission lunar filter and a Celestron aluminum box to take care of all the eyepieces.

All this eyepieces and the Barlow was supposed to be used with a Orion Intelliscope 6I 152mm, but it arrived with heavy damage in the box and i returned to Orion, finally went with a Collapsible AWB 130mm made by Celestron (Sky Watcher Heritage 130P in Europe) that it`s lighter (just 13.5 lbs and also a F5 scope) and more comfortable to bring it with me in the truck during my trips.

The original eyepieces with the Scope are two Kellners 10 and 25mm, but for what i have been reading, Kellners are not so good in quality like the Plossl, that`s why i did the shopping for better optics.

Hope the 130mm with this eyepieces give me good resolution and clarity watching the skies. Any tip reffering this optics or others to complement the collection are always welcome.

Just are very curious to see how the 130mm will handle the 5mm eyepiece with the 2.5X Barlow, for my calculations it will be close to 300X, don`t know what it will happen at such magnifications with just 130mm aperture.

Thanks again for your help, clear skies and good luck.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Troady said:

The original eyepieces with the Scope are two Kellners 10 and 25mm, but for what i have been reading, Kellners are not so good in quality like the Plossl, that`s why i did the shopping for better optics.

Nikon had a series of 0.965" Kellners that are very well regarded for long focal length scopes and sell for top dollar on the used market.

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it maybe, don`t know about them, i do use 1.25"eyepieces.

I do have the following problem maybe you can help me resolve it, my scope it`s a 130mm (and do have 650mm focal length), meaning that i can only go to 260X magnification, my combination of 2.5X Barlow with the 5mm eyepiece goes to 325X, way to much for this scope. What is better in your opinion, buying a 2x Barlow (for using with the 5mm) or a 6.3mm eyepiece to go to 260X with the 2.5X Barlow?

Edited by Troady

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IMHO unless you go to some very high mountains in Arizona, your seeing conditions will limit you to around a more realistic x150 - a max of a 4mm fl eyepiece.

I wouldn't waste money trying to consider any higher magnification until you gain some practical experience.

Just my 2c

 

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25 minutes ago, Merlin66 said:

IMHO unless you go to some very high mountains in Arizona, your seeing conditions will limit you to around a more realistic x150 - a max of a 4mm fl eyepiece.

I wouldn't waste money trying to consider any higher magnification until you gain some practical experience.

Just my 2c

 

Thanks for your honesty, i will try just with the 5mm alone and with the 9.7mm and the 2.5X Barlow to see what happens, will decide after that.

I drive a Interstate truck, have notice that on I-40 west of Flagstaff, AZ, there are few places with elevation in excess of 7000 ft, should be nice to try one of these nights over there to see what i can observe.

Edited by Troady

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21 hours ago, Troady said:

it maybe, don`t know about them, i do use 1.25"eyepieces.

I do have the following problem maybe you can help me resolve it, my scope it`s a 130mm (and do have 650mm focal length), meaning that i can only go to 260X magnification, my combination of 2.5X Barlow with the 5mm eyepiece goes to 325X, way to much for this scope. What is better in your opinion, buying a 2x Barlow (for using with the 5mm) or a 6.3mm eyepiece to go to 260X with the 2.5X Barlow?

I typically find any exit pupil smaller than 0.6mm to be uncomfortable and marginally usable due to floaters in my observing eye.  For your scope, that would be 130/0.6=217x max.  That would equate to a 3mm eyepiece.  I would go with the Paragon/Starguider 3.2mm and skip the barlow altogether.

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20 hours ago, Merlin66 said:

IMHO unless you go to some very high mountains in Arizona, your seeing conditions will limit you to around a more realistic x150 - a max of a 4mm fl eyepiece.

I wouldn't waste money trying to consider any higher magnification until you gain some practical experience.

Just my 2c

 

I live in Texas at less than 1000 feet and can regularly observe at over 200x.  It has more to do with air stability than altitude.  The Florida WSP has some of the best seeing at sea level.

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Thanks for your answer Louis D, i have been looking at a Celestron 8-24mm zoom, do you have any experience with this type of eyepiece?  Will the zoom work well with the Barlow?

I have been considering also a 7mm wide angle to go with the Barlow, 650*7x2.5=232X, should work with clear skies in SW US and some days here in Florida.

I have already covered all the way to 203X if i buy the 8-24X zoom and combined it with a 32mm Plossl for wide field observations. It may not be the best combination in the world but for sporadic views of the sky in my trips with my truck, i think it will be ok.

Will also consider the 3.2mm from Agena, looks like a nice Ep to have.

Edited by Troady

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36 minutes ago, Louis D said:

I typically find any exit pupil smaller than 0.6mm to be uncomfortable and marginally usable due to floaters in my observing eye.  For your scope, that would be 130/0.6=217x max.  That would equate to a 3mm eyepiece.  I would go with the Paragon/Starguider 3.2mm and skip the barlow altogether.

Will consider replacing the 7mm for the 3.2mm, make sense to look w/o the Barlow.

Edited by Troady

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38 minutes ago, Louis D said:

I live in Texas at less than 1000 feet and can regularly observe at over 200x.  It has more to do with air stability than altitude.  The Florida WSP has some of the best seeing at sea level.

What kind of equipment do you have?

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9 hours ago, Troady said:

Thanks for your answer Louis D, i have been looking at a Celestron 8-24mm zoom, do you have any experience with this type of eyepiece?

Yes, I have one that I suspect is basically the same but with different branding.  Optically it works well, not vey different from a fixed eyepiece BUT  the field of view at 24mm is relatively small, impractically small for my purposes. Also the zoom action is quite stiff, so that to change it I have to hold the eyepiece under a dim red light and twist firmly with both hands.  All zoom eyepieces, regardless of price, have the same problem with the field being smallest at max focal length.  You can see it if you read the spec sheets.

I note that you are interested in high magnifications.  You may struggle to keep objects in the FOV when using high magnification with an unpowered mount.

 

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12 hours ago, Troady said:

What kind of equipment do you have?

An 8" dob, a 72ED refractor, and a 127mm Mak (and a 15" dob I haven't used in years due to my back).  The 8" dob is the one which can easily go over 200x due to the large aperture and thus generous exit pupils.  The 15" dob was easily capable of 350x on most Texas nights when I was using it regularly (1mm exit pupil).

Edited by Louis D
typo

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12 hours ago, Troady said:

Thanks for your answer Louis D, i have been looking at a Celestron 8-24mm zoom, do you have any experience with this type of eyepiece?  Will the zoom work well with the Barlow?

I have been considering also a 7mm wide angle to go with the Barlow, 650*7x2.5=232X, should work with clear skies in SW US and some days here in Florida.

I have already covered all the way to 203X if i buy the 8-24X zoom and combined it with a 32mm Plossl for wide field observations. It may not be the best combination in the world but for sporadic views of the sky in my trips with my truck, i think it will be ok.

Will also consider the 3.2mm from Agena, looks like a nice Ep to have.

Since you're in the US, I recommend you pick up the 8-24mm Olivon zoom from MASILMW (Sheldon Faworski) on CN classifieds for $65 shipped.  These are blems with the focal lengths printed in reverse.  They came with the Olivon T-800 spotting scope.  It's the same eyepiece as the Celestron Regal zoom except with a rubber grip instead of ribbed metal.  I have both and prefer the Olivon.  I use them in a binoviewer, so I can assure you they are optically and mechanically identical.  If you completely unscrew the eyecup, the bare top yields 16mm of usable eye relief which I find comfortable with eyeglasses.  The mechanics are smooth.  There is no need to grab the nonrotating part of the barrel while zooming.  It ranges from 44 degrees to 63 degrees AFOV, is nearly sharp to the edge at f/6, and has a sharp field stop around the midpoint of the zoom range with it growing slighly fuzzy at either end.  Unlike the Baader zoom, the top doesn't rotate, so winged eyeguards are usable with it with the original eyecup removed (Eddgie on CN picked up a binoviewing pair for this reason).

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I have the Skywatcher Heritage 130P and a Baader 8-24 Hyperion zoom. The helical focus does not work well with the need to rotate the zoom barrel to change focal length. It is very difficult to keep focus as you zoom (unlike with the Crayford or rack-and-pinion focusers on my other 'scopes).

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