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Major Canis

First EP upgrade for Skyliner 200P

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Hello,

I'm currently using the Skywatcher Skyliner 200P reflector telescope with the 10mm and 25mm EPs that came with it. I have been viewing for a while now and think its time I upgraded the eyepieces. My budget is around £500. I'd like to be able to get a range of EPs that will provide me with wide view and higher magnification viewing (a shorter length, longer length and a barlow (or perhaps a powermate but I dont know much about these other than they are seemingly better than barlows - perhaps a little over budget)).

I enjoy both planetary and DSO viewing though if I had a preference it would be the latter. I wear eyeglasses having astigmatism in both eyes so eye relief is important. I mainly view from rural areas but will sometimes get it out in my rather light polluted back garden, so I am flexible with exit pupil size (the maximum being 31/35mm I reckon).

There is quite a selection of vendors and I am hoping you folks can help me narrow down my choices with some first hand experience :)

Cheers,

Nathan

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Hi Nathan,

How bad is your astigmatism? I have it in both eyes, but only slightly. In case it gets worse I have opted for Televue EP's that will accept dioptrix astigmatism correctors, according to your prescription, as I hate viewing with glasses on.

On Televue's website they have a guide to suitable EP's for your scope, with helpful info like exit pupil size.

Personally, I enjoy the amazing fov offered by the Ethos range, 100°, but also the adjustable eye relief in the Delos range, especially when my eyes are tired, and so I use them for my higher power EP's, namely 4.5 and 10mm.

Be sensible with exit pupil size, it gets worse with age ?

 

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6 hours ago, jetstream said:

Would a 28mm ES 68 work? I own a few ES eyepieces and they work very well.

The 28mm ES-68 does not have enough eye relief for multiple reasons to be usable with eyeglasses.  The 30mm APM UFF is much better in all ways.  It has a wider apparent field of view, long enough eye relief for eyeglasses, a flat field, and is basically sharp to the edge.

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For higher powers, I'd invest in FLO's BST Starguiders.  If you got the 3.2mm, 5mm, 8mm, and 12mm versions, you'll get their 15% discount when buying 4 to 6 eyepieces at once (it goes to 20% at 7).  They would nicely cover your high power needs and provide decent eye relief at a reasonable apparent field of view with very good edge correction.  You might have to pull off the upper eye cup to gain a couple of extra mm of eye relief:

IMG_20170519_174817.jpg

This would cost you about £170 shipped leaving £330 to buy the more expensive long focal length eyepieces like the 30mm APM UFF or 40mm Maxvision.  For something between 30mm and 12mm, there's the new 17.5mm Baader Morpheus.  I would stay away from the 18mm BST Starguider if it is anything like my 18mm Meade HD-60.  It is miserable beyond the inner 50% of the field.

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Nothing wrong with the 18mm BST I have used  one for 3/4 years very good eyepiece for the money.

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I use the baader morpheus range with my 200 dobsonian. I really like them.  They have 17mm of eye relief, and 76 degree FOV.

I personally wouldn't get a 3.2mm ep. I have the 6.5mm morpheus and it doesn't get a lot of use. 17.5, 12 & 9mm would be my choice ( if I was to start again) :)

FLO are excellent vendors and have a very good rep. 

 

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59 minutes ago, rockystar said:

I personally wouldn't get a 3.2mm ep. I have the 6.5mm morpheus and it doesn't get a lot of use. 17.5, 12 & 9mm would be my choice ( if I was to start again) :)

If starting out with a 1200mm scope, those are a bit clumped at 69x, 100x, and 133x.  If all are purchased from the Morpheus line for £450, that would leave next to nothing for very low power or very high power.  That scope is capable of some nice wide field views of large open clusters, star fields, and nebula.  It is also capable of nice high power views of 200x or better.  Starting out, I recommend steps of approximately 3x if you're only buying 3 eyepieces.  That would be 30x with a 40mm 70 degree eyepiece, 90x with a 12mm to 14mm eyepiece (the 12mm Morpheus would be good at 100x), and 270x or somewhat less (perhaps the 6.5mm Morpheus providing 185x given UK seeing).  With a 40mm Maxvision, this would fit well within the OP's budget.

I regularly use my 5.2mm Pentax XL to break up globular clusters, split doubles, inspect planetary nebula, and study the moon up close at 230x.  I'll admit I don't use my 3.5mm Pentax XW very much at 343x.  That is just a bit too small of an exit pupil for me.  The power isn't the issue because my bigger scopes do fine at those powers, but they produce a larger exit pupil with longer focal length eyepieces.  The 3.2mm was included to get the 15% discount deal.  If the 18mm is as good as @wookie1965 claims, it could be substituted in my list to bring the total to 4 BSTs.  With either the 30mm APM UFF or 40mm Maxvision, the OP would still be within budget.

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1 hour ago, Louis D said:

That would be 30x with a 40mm 70 degree eyepiece, 90x with a 12mm to 14mm eyepiece (the 12mm Morpheus would be good at 100x), and 270x or somewhat less (perhaps the 6.5mm Morpheus providing 185x given UK seeing). 

This would probably be my choice using the 6.5 at the top end and perhaps a bit shorter at the bottom if light pollution is an issue. I use a 28mm/82° for this reason. 

With regards to the Starguiders I feel that the 5, 8 and 12mm are the star performers. The 18 and 25 are fine at f12 but not so much at f6. The 15 might also be a good one but I've never used one to find out. Eye relief is right on the limit for me wearing glasses. You gain maybe 2mm by removing the eyecup but this exposes a metal rim instead of having the safe-for-glasses rubber. If you don't mind emailed invoices and bacs payment skies the limit are the cheapest. 

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14 hours ago, Louis D said:

The 28mm ES-68 does not have enough eye relief for multiple reasons to be usable with eyeglasses. 

Maybe you could enlighten us to the multiple reasons?! As the 28mm ES68° has way more than the BSTs you are recommending. ;)

But then you are suggesting pulling off the BST cups which would result in less eye relief? Confused ?

The ES82° EPs are very splendid if you wanted a wider field of view, but I don't wear my glasses for stargazing, so can't comment on the eye relief sorry.

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15 minutes ago, bingevader said:

Maybe you could enlighten us to the multiple reasons?! As the 28mm ES68° has way more than the BSTs you are recommending. ;)

But then you are suggesting pulling off the BST cups which would result in less eye relief? Confused ?

The ES82° EPs are very splendid if you wanted a wider field of view, but I don't wear my glasses for stargazing, so can't comment on the eye relief sorry.

Based on this CN thread, the usable eye relief with the cup folded down is 13.5mm.  This is enough for some folks as mentioned by several posters, but too tight for me.  My 27mm Panoptic (upon which the 28mm ES-68 was based) has only 14mm of usable eye relief (thanks to a less recessed eye lens), and I have to cram my eyeglasses into it to see the entire field.  I've scratched a nice pair of eyeglasses on the exposed top retaining ring, so I don't recommend it for eyeglass wearers.  The decloaked Meade or Maxview SWA version at 28mm might be more usable because the eye lens is set right at the top of the housing.

I assume the BSTs are similar to the Meade HD-60s, which I have no trouble taking in the entire field of each focal length with eyeglasses with about 16mm to 18mm of usable eye relief.

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The suggested zoom/Barlow combo on this thread would give a good high power range for around £120. Leaves plenty over for a couple of nice medium/low power eyepieces  

 

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8 hours ago, Louis D said:

Based on this CN thread, the usable eye relief with the cup folded down is 13.5mm

4 out of 5 responders in this thread say the 28mm ES 68 works with eyeglasses??

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49 minutes ago, jetstream said:

4 out of 5 responders in this thread say the 28mm ES 68 works with eyeglasses??

It's a variable thing depending on how deeply set your eyes are relative to the bridge of your nose.  I have a high bridge on my nose of about 16mm.  I have yet to find a monocle type pair of eyeglasses that would allow for setting the lenses below the bridge of my nose.  Many folks have very shallow set eyes allowing them to use eyepieces with much less eye relief than myself.  Apparently, Don Pensack over on CN has deeper set eyes than me because he can't take in the entire FOV of the ES-92 eyepieces with eyeglasses despite having 17mm of usable eye relief, yet I have no problem if I rest my lenses on the folded down eye cup.  He doesn't have much astigmatism, so he just provides these data points to potential buyers as a vendor (Eyepieces, Etc.).

I've tried many eyepieces over the years with eyeglasses that others have recommended as usable only to find them unusable for myself.  As such, I only recommend eyepieces to eyeglass wearers that have at least 16mm of usable eye relief, preferably 17mm or 18mm.

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17 hours ago, Louis D said:

If starting out with a 1200mm scope, those are a bit clumped at 69x, 100x, and 133x

Yeah, maybe. My first 3 "proper" eyepieces were 24mm 82 degree ES, 14 & 6.5mm morpheus.

The 14 is great and gets a lot of use, but I rarely used the 6.5 and was always after something inbetween the two.  Now that I have the 9mm, that also gets a lot of use on globs and PNs.

 The 24mm ES is also great,  and I don't feel like I need anything lower powered, and with 82deg FOV it is nice and wide - I just wondered though that if I had the 17.5 morph, would I still use this,  or would the 17.5 be enough? I'm not planning on getting the 17.5 though,  so maybe this is a better alternative. 

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We're looking for an eye relief sweet spot then, that will vary for different observers.

One where you aren't pressed up against the exposed end of the EP, but aren't hovering to badly above.

Does the OP know where this is?

Would contacts for observing be a possibility?

I did try them, but as I'm only short sighted and not astigmatic there didn't seem much point! :D

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5 hours ago, rockystar said:

Yeah, maybe. My first 3 "proper" eyepieces were 24mm 82 degree ES, 14 & 6.5mm morpheus.

The 14 is great and gets a lot of use, but I rarely used the 6.5 and was always after something inbetween the two.  Now that I have the 9mm, that also gets a lot of use on globs and PNs.

 The 24mm ES is also great,  and I don't feel like I need anything lower powered, and with 82deg FOV it is nice and wide - I just wondered though that if I had the 17.5 morph, would I still use this,  or would the 17.5 be enough? I'm not planning on getting the 17.5 though,  so maybe this is a better alternative. 

I'm in agreement that those are very useful magnifications.  I tend toward 60x/80x/110x in my own observing.  However, starting out, it's best to cover the field and fill in later if you're going with premium eyepieces.

I tend to promote going near premium when possible starting out.  I spent $200 on various widest field, finder eyepieces before settling on the 40mm Meade 5000 SWA when they went on clearance some years back.  I'd be lucky to get $100 back on those earlier eyepieces if I tried to sell them now.  They just take up space in various D-team cases.

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On 22/07/2018 at 19:05, Tim said:

In case it gets worse I have opted for Televue EP's that will accept dioptrix astigmatism correctors, according to your prescription, as I hate viewing with glasses on

I too went for some TeleVue Delos eyepieces, for the same reason's, to future proof my collection, the availability of their Dioptx lenses,  and 20mm eye relief, however I never bought the full set, because in all honesty except for the field of view, they were no better for my eyes than my  present BST Starguiders, and at a fraction of the cost. 

Edited by Charic

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11 hours ago, Charic said:

I too went for some TeleVue Delos eyepieces, for the same reason's, to future proof my collection, the availability of their Dioptx lenses,  and 20mm eye relief, however I never bought the full set, because in all honesty except for the field of view, they were no better for my eyes than my  present BST Starguiders, and at a fraction of the cost. 

I agree, in fact, even with some premium EP's sat in their box, for general to-ing and fro-ing, locating, or determining GOTO accuracy etc I still use some of the cheapest of cheap Revelation and Celestron Plossl set that I got with my first scope years ago, mostly the 32mm and 25mm, and much as I hate to say it, the view is alright! :) In fact, for certain targets, especially solar, I find that the simpler lenses with less glass actually seem to provide a more pleasing rendition than some of the expensive ones.

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