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Walking on the Moon

Skywatcher 130PM - Deciding on new eyepieces?


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I'm sure many people have looked at a few planets on the 130x that the Skywatcher 130PM gives you out of the box, and then thought to themselves, "but this scope claims it still gives nice results at double that, and using the aperture equation it does indeed work out at 260ish, and everyone says better quality eyepieces give a nicer image as well". So I'm left with the thought of - do I invest in a set of eyepieces which are A) better quality, and :) a set that'll take me up to say 250x or so?
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I used to have a skywatcher like yours. Definitely worth getting at least a better barlow lens and some other lenses. I think it comes with a 25mm and 10mm lens. Try to get a set of lenses that with the barlow give a range. So at the moment with a x2 barlow you would have 25mm 12.5mm 10mm and 5mm. So perhaps say something around 7mm which would give you also 3.5mm which would certainly give you around 250x.

Make sure you buy a "branded" plossl lens such as Meade and you will not go far wrong. They sell for around £20 on ebay each...avoid Seben as they seem to be more basic in construction.

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I very rarely use my 8" at 260x - for the reasons that Astrobaby states. A scopes primary function is light gathering rather than magnfication - the 260x figure is a theoretical maximum - the practical maximum is less than that - that's not just for the Skywatcher 130PM - it applies to all scopes.

Personally I've had some of my best planetary views at just under 200x with 8" aperture scopes.

John

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Hi Spark, unless I misread your post i think you're getting confused with magnification. An eyepiece isn't rated at say x125 magnification as it will be different for every scope that you use it with. As everyone has said, about x200 is as much as you want to push a scope in this country, doesn't matter whether it's a small beginners scope or one costing thousands. Magnifying something doesn't make the view better, all you do is magnify the clag that you were looking at the object through. I have a 200 mil reflector, theoretical max mag is x400. 99% of my viewing is betwen x30 and x80.

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That kit sounds just like the Skywatcher EP kit which FLO sell for the same price. Not too sure if it's worth getting as the EP quality will not be much greater than the EPs and barlow you already have. The 3.2mm is pushing the very limit of your scope. The 130PM comes with 25mm and a 2x barlow this gives the equivalent magnificatiion as the 12.5mm in the set. The 10mm you have and barlow is similar to the 6.3mm. So the only useful EP is the 32mm which you can get on its own for £25 to £30. Moon filter is about £15. Coloured filters do little with small aperture scopes.

To achieve the theoretical 260x mag you would have to get a very good quality 2.5mm EP costing more than the scope to get that out of a 130mm scope. As others have said stay under 200x.

I was looking at Saturn with a 130mm reflector this morning at only 60x and could still see the nearly edge on rings.

Mike

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That kit sounds just like the Skywatcher EP kit which FLO sell for the same price.

Similar but not the same.

The Revelation eyepiece set includes six Plossl eyepieces (6, 9, 12, 15, 20 and 32mm) and six filters. Used with a Skywatcher Explorer 130pm they offer 108x, 72x, 54x, 43x, 32x and 20x. When used with a 2x barlow the 6mm will offer 216x but that magnification might not be as useful as you think for the reasons previously mentioned.

High magnifications are useful for observing the lunar surface, planets and other bright/compact objects but the seeing conditions must be good and the eyepiece suitably designed if you are to enjoy the views.

Isn't the kit going to give better images as they're plossl eyepieces though?

The 130pm is supplied with 10 and 25mm Plossl eyepieces, the 25mm is okay but the 10mm is not good. The eyepieces supplied in the Revelation set are from the Taiwanese GSO factory, they are better than the two Skywatcher Plossls.

Coloured filter sets are pretty useless when used with with apertures less than 8-inches (though the Moon filter is good). We have a guide to using filters on our blog.

Hope that helps :)

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Ok cheers. So, what of this "Zhumell" brand? Anyone know if they're any good?

I think Zhumell stuf is rebranded GSO - the same stuff is sold as Revelation (eg: the Revelation eyepiece set that FLO sells) over here.

GSO = Guang Sheng Optical

Generally thought to be good stuff for what it costs.

John

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If anyone wouldn't mind, could you have a look at the set in question, i've found it on a certain well known auction site - if you go there and type 270322333373 into the search box. Would these be worth me spending the money, and would I notice enough difference in quality from the lenses supplied with my scope?

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I would say wait and save your money for televue I only have 3 eyepieces the 35mm panoptic and 11mm nagler and the 8to 24 zoom I mainly use the panoptic and nagler you won't be disapointed and can resell for close to what you pay for them

Reagrds Les

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I would say wait and save your money for televue I only have 3 eyepieces the 35mm panoptic and 11mm nagler and the 8to 24 zoom I mainly use the panoptic and nagler you won't be disapointed and can resell for close to what you pay for them

Reagrds Les

Tele Vue eyepieces are indeed excellent Les - the only drawback is that the 3 you list alone would cost around 3x the cost of the scope concerned here - and that's used !.

John

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Erm.. yes a bit above budget at the mo! Looking at the particular set i'm watching though, would you say they're worth it for what you get?

The e.bay set are the same quality (probably the same factory) as the Revelation set that FLO sells for £89. So not really a bargain IMHO.

John

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my tuppence worth - the 25 mm that came with your scope is ok. i'd suggest spending your money on 1 eyepiece of better quality rather than lots of lesser quality. maybe a 4mm or 5mm that will give you around 120 - 150X. Second hand e/ps tend to be ok in my experience as they are pretty robust and you'll be paying about half to tow thirds of the new price. have a look at Astrobuysell UK.

good luck :)

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I ffound the Sky-Watcher 25mm that came with my scope was ok. Its not quite as nice as the Celestron Omni Plossl but its not that bad either.

Personally I dfound bothe the Sky-Watcher supplied EPs to be fine. Ok they are not going to have Televue scrambling for a redesign but they really arent that bad.

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Do you think i need to go above 130x ? Only I just tracked down Venus earlier, viewed it at max mag and it was still only just distinguishable as a planet! Saturn doesnt show up much bigger either really, theyre just small spots even at max mag. I was rather hoping to get much bigger views of the closer planets? Or... am i just expecting too much of this scope?

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Well using my 6.4mm highist power eyepiece 1mm equates to 5 seconds of arc. Using this Venus looks like a little bright half moon about 5mm accross. Saturn is about a 4mm disk with two little lines for rings at the moment, Jupiter is the biggest when it was up at about 6mm accross so pretty small but also pretty amazing to look at..

I think you are suffering from the photos v visual issue.

Keep an eye on Venus over the next few weeks as you will be able to see it get more and more like a crescent and larger as it moves towards us..

Mark

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