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Sharing first experiences. Advice and tips welcome!


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Hello all,

 

I posted recently about getting my daughter a telescope and ended up going for the Celestron starsense explorer 130 (5 inch reflector). We went for this for ease using the starsense app which has been brilliant for my 7 year old to navigate the stars. I am a complete beginner by the way with no prior experience.
 

We have had a few ok ish nights but the tonight was by far the best. Up until now we have been using a Svbony 7-21 zoom eyepiece with a x2 Barlow permanently fitted. (Not sure if this is the best or correct way)

I went for the zoom eyepiece so my daughter didn’t have to keep changing lenses all the time which I thought could be a pain.

 

Tonight the conditions were perfect but the eyepiece kept getting a blurry spot in the middle. I presumed it was moisture from the air possibly? I opted to go for the Celestron supplied eyepieces which I have read on reviews are pretty awful. I must admit I hadn’t even used them until tonight.

 

My first thoughts using them......WOW. I am not saying they are amazing eyepieces because I’m sure they are the cheapest of the cheap but the views we got tonight with the 10mm& 25mm out perform the svbony by a mile in my opinion. The field of view is much wider too! I went back to all of the points of interest I had already viewed up until that point with the zoom lenses  and each an every one of them were far superior. We could see a distinct glow from Orions nebula which blew our minds! Me and my daughter are already looking forward to our next clear night.
 

I will definitely be looking to invest in individual eyepieces from now on. Even at entry level I’m surprised by the ones supplied by Celestron.
 

I will apologise in advance if any of my terminology was incorrect, but I thought I would share my experiences so far. Maybe it’s a lesson for me to try all the gear before making a judgement. If anyone has any tips or advice please share the knowledge!

Clear skies!

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15 minutes ago, Sluke321 said:

Hello all,

 

I posted recently about getting my daughter a telescope and ended up going for the Celestron starsense explorer 130 (5 inch reflector). We went for this for ease using the starsense app which has been brilliant for my 7 year old to navigate the stars. I am a complete beginner by the way with no prior experience.
 

We have had a few ok ish nights but the tonight was by far the best. Up until now we have been using a Svbony 7-21 zoom eyepiece with a x2 Barlow permanently fitted. (Not sure if this is the best or correct way)

I went for the zoom eyepiece so my daughter didn’t have to keep changing lenses all the time which I thought could be a pain.

 

Tonight the conditions were perfect but the eyepiece kept getting a blurry spot in the middle. I presumed it was moisture from the air possibly? I opted to go for the Celestron supplied eyepieces which I have read on reviews are pretty awful. I must admit I hadn’t even used them until tonight.

 

My first thoughts using them......WOW. I am not saying they are amazing eyepieces because I’m sure they are the cheapest of the cheap but the views we got tonight with the 10mm& 25mm out perform the svbony by a mile in my opinion. The field of view is much wider too! I went back to all of the points of interest I had already viewed up until that point with the zoom lenses  and each an every one of them were far superior. We could see a distinct glow from Orions nebula which blew our minds! Me and my daughter are already looking forward to our next clear night.
 

I will definitely be looking to invest in individual eyepieces from now on. Even at entry level I’m surprised by the ones supplied by Celestron.
 

I will apologise in advance if any of my terminology was incorrect, but I thought I would share my experiences so far. Maybe it’s a lesson for me to try all the gear before making a judgement. If anyone has any tips or advice please share the knowledge!

Clear skies!

Lovely that it all came together for you, and you've managed to get out with the new 'scope .

I'd take that barlow out of the set up and try the zoom without it : if the barlow came with the telescope it's probably not very good . Someone kind gave me a £10 Chinese plastic barlow a while back, it degrades the image from any eyepiece to an almost funny level !

I've not used celestron standard issue 10mm and 25mm eyepieces, but imagine they don't differ much from the skywatcher ones (same sizes) of which most folk say the 25mm is not bad, but the 10mm is less good.

Good luck with your viewing ,

Heather

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Hi Sluke,

Before you write off the zoom eyepiece, I would definitely try it without the 2x Barlow. It may be that with the Barlow, there is simply too much magnification. 
As far as eyepieces, the first ones I bought were a mix of skywatcher super plossls and Celestron omni plossls. FLO sell both these I think, and also Astro Essential super plossls, all at really good prices, a 32mm should give you a nice reasonable wide fov without going to 2” eyepieces. For a little more money BST Starguiders have a wider fov, and get really good reviews, FLO also sell these. 
Also check out the ‘astronomy tools’ fov calculator https://astronomy.tools/ it’s very good and should give you a good idea of how different eyepieces will work with your telescope.

Dean.

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+1 for taking the Barlow off. It's effectively making the zoom a 10.5 - 3.5 and might not be helping. I have a Starguider 7-21 zoom. It doesn't Barlow very well and the FOV at the 21mm end is a lot smaller. It is easier to look through at the higher power end. 

The fixed focal length Starguiders are a really good upgrade for the money to the stock EPs. 

Andy

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The zoom you are using generally has good reviews, you are probably ruining it with the stock Celestron Barlow, I would continue using the zoom without the Barlow. The Barlow isn’t really needed anyway as you have all magnifications covered within the zoom . You don’t really want to Barlow the 7mm setting as that would probably be too much 

Edited by Jiggy 67
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Posted (edited)

Thanks. The x2 Barlow wasn’t supplied with the scope I purchased it separately. Either way, point taken on the Barlow and I will use the Zoom next time without it. Thanks! 
 

Now the minefield of trying to pick some eyepieces....

Edited by Sluke321
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58 minutes ago, Neil H said:

Hi the BST range gets good reviews and  FLO had a offer on I don't know if they still have 

I agree about the BSTs being a great step up, but they are £47 each from FLO plus P&P each now ( about a fiver cheaper from Alan at 'The Sky's the Limit here ).

The FLO  offer banner is still there " BST StarGuider Eyepieces & Barlows Special Bundle Prices, Buy 2 or more to save 10%, 4 or more 15% and 7 or more 20%! "

Naturally all are out of stock at the moment (Alan has a some of the less popular sizes listed as in stock, don't believe the 12mm is there though,i t isn't , the page is not updating properly.)

The usual suggested rule of thumb is to think of 2x the aperture of a 'scope as the maximum magnification it can manage, so for you  2x130mm = 260x.

I looked up the celestron you have, and it has a focal length of 550m. To find the magnification an eyepiece gives with a specific telescope, you divide the focal length (550) by the mm of the eyepiece . So your stock 10mm gives you 550 divided by 10 = 55x

So , in theory you might go to a 3mm EP, giving you 183x magnification, but you have found out for yourself that pushing the magnification so much with zoom + barlow is just too much ,  the seeing conditions and the telescope both combining to give unsatisfactory views. 

Most of the time, conditions need a more modest magnification, you have the zoom for occasions when 7mm (or 3,5 with the barlow ) are handy, and the 25mm stock EP is not bad , try barlowing that to give you 12.5mm  I'd see if that works satisfactorily before splashing the cash !

My heritage 150 has a similar sort of focal length of 750mm,  and I've found an 8mm (( x94 for me ) very good in it for planets & the Moon, (it's a BST ) sometimes when conditions were good in the summer I used a 2x Barlow with it and saw some markings on Mars. At the other end of the scale, a 32mm slywatcher super plossl for about £30 has a magnification for the 150 dob of only x23, but it shows big things like the Pleiades in one spectacular view.

Heather

   
   
   
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One thing i found is using the zoom on a good seeing night once you have a good sharp image look at the zoom to see what setting its on this will give you an idea of what size of fixed focal length to add to your kit 

I use celestron omni they are not bad the omni barlow has bad reviews so keep clear celestron zoom which works well and a BST x2 barlow 

Johninderby has used the svony zoom  ask him what he thinks of it has a big range on the zoom 

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Yes remove the Barlow! From what I've read on here people seem to rate Svbony kit quite averagely - not great but not bad either - so it's purely down to your taste vs how much you want to spend. If you're going to go for individual eyepieces then it's a +1 for the BST starguider range from me, but I do still use the stock 25mm SkyWatcher which will be the same as your Celestron (owned and manufactured by the same company) so don't rush to get rid of that one. The 10mm on the other hand...

Edited by DanWri
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