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I have upgraded my stock eps but I am wondering if I can/should improve on them further

Firstly the telescopes I use

Skywatcher 200p

Skywatcher evo star 102mm (I've not actually used this yet as it arrived a few days ago and the weather looks cloudy for the foreseeable future)

My current EPs

Celestron omni 32mm

Celestron omni 15mm

Baader hyperion 10mm

Celestron x-cel lx 2x barlow

As far as price goes, I wouldn't really want to pay anything more than I did for the 10mm unless it sas for something special and I would save up.

Any advice is always welcome 

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Is there anything about your current EPs that you don't like?  

If you want more FoV and more comfortable eye relief there are BSTs.  BSTs are usually suggested as first upgrade EPs and for good reason (they're great for the price - £50 ish).  They would give you a bit extra FoV over the omni plossls (60 degrees versus 50 of the plossls).

The ES 62 degree LER eyepieces are nice to use and offer a tad more FoV that the BSTs, pricey though starting at around £80ish.

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Hi Dan, the Celestron Omnis are OK but the Baader Hyperion does not perform well at f/5 (outer edges soft etc), I would suggest replacing this one.  I would recommend an Explore Scientific 62° Series 9mm, or the 82° Series 11mm if you can stretch to that price.  From expereience the 82° Series gives stunning performance and the 11mm is no exception.  Links here:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/explore-scientific-eyepieces/explore-scientific-62-series-ler-eyepieces.html

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/explore-scientific-eyepieces/explore-scientific-82-degree-series-eyepieces.html

Edited by rwilkey
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14 minutes ago, rwilkey said:

Hi Dan, the Celestron Omnis are OK but the Baader Hyperion does not perform well at f/5 (outer edges soft etc), I would suggest replacing this one.  I would recommend an Explore Scientific 62° Series 9mm, or the 82° Series 11mm if you can stretch to that price.  From expereience the 82° Series gives stunning performance and the 11mm is no exception.  Links here:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/explore-scientific-eyepieces/explore-scientific-62-series-ler-eyepieces.html

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/explore-scientific-eyepieces/explore-scientific-82-degree-series-eyepieces.html

I'm happy to replace the 10mm for when I'm using my larger telescope, but sadly can not replace entirely. It was a gift from my girlfriend.

Do you think it would work better with smaller refractor?

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So far I am pretty happy with the EPs I have. I dont tend to use the 15mm much and the Barlow even less. Despite increasing the size of the planets the sharpness is usually lost when combining the barlow with my 10mm.

The evostar 102mm was bought to replace my pick up and go 76mm reflector as this is what I mainly use

I find the 200p takes a lot longer to set up and I shy away from it especially during the colder months as it's dark before I get home. (I'm a lazy astronomer) 

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53 minutes ago, Dan_wirral said:

I have upgraded my stock eps but I am wondering if I can/should improve on them further

Dan, just a quicky, what is it that you want to upgrade on? Field of view, eye-relief, field stop, possible sharpness and contrast across the field, dodgy aberrations that you've noted in your aforementioned eyepieces, brand name? What do you think you are missing that is essential to your astro-sessions?

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Hi Dan.

Eyepeices are as much about what you are comfortable using, as they are about performance.

I use Hyperion eyepieces. To me they are very useful. I like the long eye relief if using specs.
If you want to change the eyepeice FL, you can add a tuning ring or remove the bottom section.
The 68deg FOV is a good wide viewing experience. Though that is to some extent a personal choice.

The downside is an F5 scope is at the bottom end of the tolerance for a Hyperion.
A bit soft at the edges as Robin pointed out.
They are also 'jam jar' size and weight, which can be an issue with certain small scope/mount combination.

But on balance I think they are good. My Hyperions aren't going anywhere anytime soon. I like them.

Hope this helps, David.

 

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54 minutes ago, Rob Sellent said:

Dan, just a quicky, what is it that you want to upgrade on? Field of view, eye-relief, field stop, possible sharpness and contrast across the field, dodgy aberrations that you've noted in your aforementioned eyepieces, brand name? What do you think you are missing that is essential to your astro-sessions?

I don't feel anything is missing exactly,

The 32mm celestron was a huge improvement on the stock 25mm I had 

As I said I dont seem to use the 15mm

Any tips on what sort of objects work well with this sort of magnification?

I guess I was just asking to see if I should replace the cheaper 2 for something that is higher quality.

I'm very much a beginner and have only really started looking at the easier/brighter deep sky objects

 

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Dan, I wrote as much the other day, but a similar idea will also suffice here.

If possible take your time. Try to appraise your gear first and then you'll have a better idea of where you want to go and how you want to get there. I feel you ought not to upgrade or buy anything until you know you are missing something that is essential to your astro-sessions. If you're a relative beginner, slow down, for it's going to be tricky to make a sensible and informed decision. Regardless of the excellent advice you'll get here at SGL.

Moving on...for general observing, that is pretty much everything but planets, moon and double stars - I tend to just stick to 3 quality eyepieces and from time to time a decent x2 Barlow. With something like an 8" f6, I'd like to work with a low power wide field between 20mm to 24mm (depending how dark my skies are), a middle power wide field around 13mm to 14mm and a tad higher power wide field around 10mm. That way - including the Barlow - I've got about 50x, 90x, 120x, 180x and 240x.

The lower focal length eyepiece is nice for general hunting and framing largish objects, the middle grounds for globs, galaxies, nebulae, the higher powers for Saturn, Jupiter and Lunar work and the 240x for those exceptional nights with the planets, Moon or tighter double stars. If you got yourself a Baader solar filter from FLO, your 50x would also double up nicely for white light solar observations.

In general, in this hobby you get what you pay for. Like scopes and mounts, some eyepieces are considered to be better than others. Needless to say, my general percept when it comes to buying stuff is to buy once and make it count. Although initially expensive, premium eyepieces such as TeleVue, Pentax XW etc will turn out to be the cheaper option in the long run and are never going to be a waste of money. When buying premium you only cry once. Or again, paradoxically speaking, "a poor person cannot afford not to buy premium."

Let me explain.

Generally speaking, premium eyepieces  - unlike scopes - become lifers, you never have to upgrade again or you can always re-sell them without losing much money, especially if you have bought them already secondhand. Premium eyepieces hold their value more than cheaper ones. They also offer an important psychological benefit. After a session, you are not left with any nagging feeling of 'what if...', for you know that this end of your optical system is about as good as it is going to get. If the view was poor, if you didn't get the expected detail, it will not be due to the eyepiece itself.

This ties in with what was said at the beginning. All you really need for your 8" f6 are 3 decent eyepieces and a decent Barlow. And there is no hurry in accumulating them. Spend your time scanning the secondhand market, for if you start out buying cheap, you'll either lose a significant percentage of money when trying to resell, or you'll eventually end up upgrading and again lose money, for in this case, not only are you buying the upgraded eyepiece, but you've already spent a load of money on the cheaper eyepiece.

So, for the moment don't spend your hard earnt cash. Get to know your kit a little more.

Oh, and welcome to SGL :hello: and I look forward to meeting you on the boards :thumbright:

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Thank you all for your advice. After reading it all I think I will give myself 12 months with the EPs I have.

I do have a new telescope to play with. I'll come back with some observations with my equipment when the skys finally clear. While doing all this I can start saving.

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Spent the morning having a look through the forums and came across the sticky eyepieces - the very least you need.

As my 8" F5 is going away for this winter I will mainly be using my 15x70 binoculars and my evostar 102mm

From what I read my refractor is F9.8 (let's call it F10)

I need 7.5mm 12.5mm 20mm and a 30mm

So with the Eps I have I pretty much have 3 out of 4 covered ish. 15mm for the 12.5mm,whack my Barlow in and that's 7.5mm and my 32mm for the 30mm. Which leaves 20mm 

Can anyone recommend a 20mm for around £50 and under. Which will at least have it on par with my omni EPs?

I will eventually start using my reflector again and was wondering if someone could explain why the hyperion was not the best choice? 

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13 minutes ago, Dan_wirral said:

will eventually start using my reflector again and was wondering if someone could explain why the hyperion was not the best choice? 

The Hyperions are generally considered to be poor performers at faster focal ratios.  How fast a scope they can be used in is dependent on how tolerant the observer is to the resulting edge of field aberrations.

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18 minutes ago, Dan_wirral said:

Can anyone recommend a 20mm for around £50 and under. Which will at least have it on par with my omni EPs?

BST starguider!

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On 26/09/2019 at 13:39, rwilkey said:

Hi Dan, the Celestron Omnis are OK but the Baader Hyperion does not perform well at f/5 (outer edges soft etc), I would suggest replacing this one.  I would recommend an Explore Scientific 62° Series 9mm, or the 82° Series 11mm if you can stretch to that price.  From expereience the 82° Series gives stunning performance and the 11mm is no exception.  Links here:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/explore-scientific-eyepieces/explore-scientific-62-series-ler-eyepieces.html

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/explore-scientific-eyepieces/explore-scientific-82-degree-series-eyepieces.html

Have you tried all the ES82°? If I was to buy 3 or 4 which one do you recommend? Are there some that are considered weaker?

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20 hours ago, Rob Sellent said:

With something like an 8" f6, I'd like to work with a low power wide field between 20mm to 24mm (depending how dark my skies are), a middle power wide field around 13mm to 14mm and a tad higher power wide field around 10mm. That way - including the Barlow - I've got about 50x, 90x, 120x, 180x and 240x.

This is almost exactly what I do for DSOs with my 8" f6 dob. 28mm Nirvana, 14mm and 10mm XWs and a 2X Focal extender. Planetary is a different matter because then it's time for a binoviewer and pairs of small eyepieces. 

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18 minutes ago, Dan_wirral said:

Had a look and can only see 18mm and 25mm, any other brands?

Isn't 18mm close enough? 18mm should give you x55 while 20mm will give x50. I don't think the difference is significant.

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1 minute ago, Raph-in-the-sky said:

Isn't 18mm close enough? 18mm should give you x55 while 20mm will give x50. I don't think the difference is significant.

Fair enough, I guess I'm a couple of mm either way with my other 2. Thanks for the advice 

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Check out Baader 18mm Classic Ortho as well. To my eye one of the best eyepieces I looked through. I had 18mm BST Starguider and BCO is brighter and I could see more detail on the Moon when comparing both side by side.

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12 minutes ago, heliumstar said:

Check out Baader 18mm Classic Ortho as well. To my eye one of the best eyepieces I looked through. I had 18mm BST Starguider and BCO is brighter and I could see more detail on the Moon when comparing both side by side.

I agree - the 10mm and 18mm Baader Classic Orthos are superb - possibly the best optical quality eyepieces that you can buy for under £50. They don't have the wider field of view of the BST Explorers, the exterior gloss or as much eye relief but their sharpness and light throughput are really top class.

 

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John, I feel like these two are hidden gems in the sea of eyepieces. While 10mm might present an issue in terms of eye relief, the 18mm is more generous. Still not sure how 18mm would work with glasses (I don't wear them when observing) but I find it very comfortable. Let me add that 10mm BCO was replaced by Vixen SLV 9mm when in action. Vixen SLVs are another option if you hunt them second hand. I got a great deal for 50 a piece here on SGL. Bought 6mm and 9mm. Sold 9mm because I though I don't need it but then comfort of use kicked in and I ordered a new one lol.

I will never sell this lot though. Such a nice compact package and works in all scopes just fine, bright and sharp. Actually, if you are honest with yourself it's all you really need :(....until shopping and testing spree kicks in he he :D

BCOs.jpg.fce7f4d0558883774948ebf5df602558.jpg

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Now I'm torn Haha.

So my winter plan. I bought a great book called handbook for binocular astronomy. Goes through each constellation with points of interest. I want to use my telescope to look at the deep sky objects I first see with my binoculars. So far I have Andromada, m34 and the double in perseus.

I'll use my 32mm to find them and hopefully the 18mm to magnify 

Which do you think would be the better 18mm to help me in this endeavour?

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16 minutes ago, Dan_wirral said:

Which do you think would be the better 18mm to help me in this endeavour?

A 15mm or 12mm 😉

You will not be able to frame andromeda even with your 32mm and many DSO's are much smaller than this.

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4 hours ago, Raph-in-the-sky said:

Have you tried all the ES82°? If I was to buy 3 or 4 which one do you recommend? Are there some that are considered weaker?

I personally like the ES 82's in mid to high focal lengths- more to do with the targets really. From around 10mm on down low scatter is high on my list and most widefields enable scatter which I dislike for lunar/planetary/ and nebula/galaxies next to bright stars. Our 6.7mm ES 82 is a great, sharp eyepiece but with the mentioned scatter.

This is a personal preference, thats all and the ES eyepieces are VG performers overall.

Edited by jetstream
meant mid to high fl's....

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10 minutes ago, jetstream said:

...This is a personal preference, thats all and the ES eyepieces are VG performers overall.

Actually I think low light scatter around bright targets at medium to high magnifications is quite an important practical characteristic. Light scatter is one of the issues that can actually make seeing certain target types eg: faint planetary moons and very uneven brightness binary stars, somewhat more difficult or even impossible if it is extensive.

 

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