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Hi all, looking for some EP advice please.

Historically I've been more into imaging (probably due to poor EPs) but now I've got a scope I want to use mainly for observing (Celestron C8 XLT).

Obviously with the long FL of a Cat I'm primarily interested in solar system work for this scope, but my eyepieces are, bar one 40mm Plossl, all stock and therefore, rubbish.

I'd like to replace these. I have a decent-ish 2x Barlow so probably another 2-3 EPs to go with the 40mm would give me a pretty comprehensive set. Something like a 10-15 mm and maybe a 25 mm would cover the bases.

My question is really about what to buy. I want as big a step up from the stock EPs as possible, obviously, but I can't afford to spend £300+ on Naglers and the like, even if they do make me physically salivate.

I'm considering things in the £50-100 per EP bracket. I was considering for example Celestron X-Cels vs Luminos.

Is there a significant difference in experience with EPs costing around twice the price, or are we into the realms of diminishing returns by this point?

This is harder than choosing scopes. There are so many options, all of which claim to be brilliant. Some I believe more than others, none I believe completely. 

 

Thanks for any help!

badgerchap

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The C8 is f10, so any eyepiece that isn't rubbish should perform adequately.  Mine came with a 25mm Celestron Plossl  which I still use. I also use a 15mm Celestron Omni plossl with it.  For shorter focal lengths you would probably want a more complex eyepiece to give better eye relief.  For double stars I mostly use a Starguider 8-25mm zoom, for convenience.  I also have a set of Celestron X-cels, which are okay but don't show a life-changing improvement compared with the Plossls.

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Baader 24mm - 8mm zoom plus a 30mm Vixen NPL ?

That would cover pretty much all the observing bases.

You don't really need a barlow for visual with a 2000mm focal length scope.

 

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8 hours ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

 I also have a set of Celestron X-cels, which are okay but don't show a life-changing improvement compared with the Plossls.

I somewhat suspected that, and I guess the subsequent jump to the Luminos would be even less significant

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7 hours ago, John said:

You don't really need a barlow for visual with a 2000mm focal length scope.

The best views I've had yet have been with the 40mm! Low mag but crystal clear. The barlow is useful as my smaller FL EPs are rubbish. I can see it being obsolete with better EPs.

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+1 for the Baader 8-24mm zoom. I tried a few months ago one in 
my C6/SCT-XLT and 're-moded' ETX and was very impressed by it.

I am seriously considering buying one.

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Thanks all.

I've always been suspicious of zoom EPs. I've heard that they're never as good as the equivalent fixed focal length lenses. Is this true, or are these Baaders high enough quality to avoid it?

 

 

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3 hours ago, badgerchap said:

Thanks all.

I've always been suspicious of zoom EPs. I've heard that they're never as good as the equivalent fixed focal length lenses. Is this true, or are these Baaders high enough quality to avoid it?

Like anything, it depends on what you're comparing it to.  Is the BHZ better than Pentax XWs and Delos or Ethos eyepieces, no.  Is it better than Kellners and Huygens, yes.  Is it better than Plossls?  That depends on which Plossl you're comparing to.

A lot of folks like their Leica ASPH zooms enough to sell their XWs and Delos eyepieces making the economics work out.

And no fixed focal length eyepiece can be nearly instantly adjusted to match its focal length to the current seeing conditions like a zoom can.

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12 hours ago, Louis D said:

And no fixed focal length eyepiece can be nearly instantly adjusted to match its focal length to the current seeing conditions like a zoom can.

Nice, I hadn't considered the adjustability with regards to seeing.

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16 hours ago, badgerchap said:

.... I've heard that they're never as good as the equivalent fixed focal length lenses. Is this true, or are these Baaders high enough quality to avoid it?

 

 

The Baader zoom very nearly gets there. If you add the instantly changeable focal length, that is enough to swing it for many.

There are a couple of high end zooms that are as good as the very best fixed focal length eyepieces, the Leica ASPH zoom being one. The price attached is, as you might expect, rather high though.

 

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I recently purchased a Celestron 8se, and was in the same situation as you with regards to an affordable eyepiece upgrade. I don’t know how to paste a link but @John has done a very good review of three Vixen slv eyepieces on here, just do a quick search. At the time FLO had these on offer so having read the review I purchased a couple. I now have slv’s from 25 to 9mm with Vixen npl’s and LV’s  to fill in the gaps. 
These may not be the best eyepieces on the market but I do find them a good affordable upgrade, I am very happy with them and  they even work well in a f5.9 ST102. 

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Personally I rate some of the Vixen NLV and LVW very highly. The 13mm LVW is a cracking eyepiece in the F/ 4.7 newt of mine, and the NLV 4mm is a great eyepiece in the refractor at around F/7.6 . Some of the Vixen eyepieces are really hidden Gem's and come up for sale second hand at reasonable money 

 

 

 

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On 01/06/2020 at 20:05, badgerchap said:

I somewhat suspected that, and I guess the subsequent jump to the Luminos would be even less significant

It is the 'law of diminishing returns' I think, the wide-field of the Luminous will not benefit you very much because of the long F/L of your scope, I believe, plus they are heavy for what they are and not the easiest ep's to use, they are clumsy.

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17 hours ago, rwilkey said:

It is the 'law of diminishing returns' I think, the wide-field of the Luminous will not benefit you very much because of the long F/L of your scope, I believe, plus they are heavy for what they are and not the easiest ep's to use, they are clumsy.

I tried a luminos some years back and then returned it. Out of the box it looked the business but I did not get on with it at all. Kidney beaning seemed to be a major issue.

A quality zoom is a great compromise if you are on a budget although I own a relatively cheap OVL one used mainly for solar.

I used to have a 8" celestron 8SE and I used hyperion eyepieces in that. Now I was relatively new at astronomy back then so might have missed things I would pick up on now however that said, I didn't have a problem with the hype's and to me the performed perfectly well in the F10 ota. 

The hyperions were only sold when I changed the 8SE for a F5 dobsonian. They do not perform well at all in a fast dob.

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