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Total newb - Just pulled the trigger on a Skywatcher 200P 8" dob. need advice on eye pieces.


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Hi everyone, 

Well as the title says just ordered a 200P! pretty excited. This all started out with my 8 year old son wanting a telescope. I was instantly excited because he was showing genuine interest in something that I know is good for him. At this point something sort of unexpected happened - I caught the bug big time! Now we are excited together! Great!

 

anyway lots of reading ensued, and then ordered the 8" dob. 

 

My main question is this - Will the stock 10 and 25MM 1.25" eye pieces satisfy? or are we better served to purchase a decent quality wide 2" eye piece to get started?  perhaps something in the $1-200 range?  I want this to be as easy as possible for him to jump right in. 

 

Thanks for any advice! 

 

 

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Congrats on the scope buy.

Use the stock eyepieces to start with. Until you know what they give you'll never know really what you want as an improvement.

First task though is to learn how to keep your scope collimated so you get the best possible views from it...

Join a local astro club. People there are usually more than helpful to beginners and can take you round most of the pitfalls your bound to encounter.

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Hi , congratulations on choosing a wonderful scope . You’ve made a great choice as a 200mm reflector will enable you to see some wonderful things . I personally would wait before buying more eye pieces . Sure , the 25mm and 10mm (especially) are not the best quality but they are supplied for a reason . They will give you more than acceptable views and are ideal as starter EPs . I still use the 25mm that came with my scope ! 
Of course better EPs will be your next step along with maybe a telrad finder( this will give you a non magnified view but help you point the scope to your intended target )  , oh , and a collimation device . In fact the collimating device ( either Cheshire or laser ) and the telrad would probably be the best purchases at this stage . Other opinions may differ to mine . 
As for making things easy to “jump into” , you have already done that … the first thing you need is enthusiasm and maybe reality of what you will see through the EP . Download Stellarium. I believe you can simulate the views you are likely to see through the two EPs . 
And , try to familiarise yourselves with the night sky . 
You’ve picked a great time of year to start your astronomy journey . The gas giants are well placed and the moon will be a wonderful sight . And of course the winter constellations are beginning to appear . 
clear skies to you and your son :) and welcome to SGL

Stu

Edited by Stu1smartcookie
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Welcome to SGL.
Excellent advice from both the above.

On the 10mm eyepiece. Some stock EPs give good views, others would be better repurposed as astro themed salt shakers. See how you get on.

The first mod on all newtonian scopes I have owned has been a right angle finder.
Finders are very much a personal choice so don't spend until you have given things a chance. You may not agree with me!

Don't get carried away with collimation. There lots of SGL threads on this subject.
Right now, if you can make out some cloud bands on Jupiter (subject to sky clarity and it being low in the sky) and you don't get comet shape stars mid field, just enjoy the views.
There will be enough time later to consider different collimation tools and methods.

Take the scope out every time the clouds clear. Keep asking, and reading other threads, on SGL.
We have all been there, trying to learn new scopes, and are more than happy to help.

Enjoy the journey, David.

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Totally agree with the others on the EP, Telrad and Collimation advice.  One thing I add though is do enough reading about how to check collimation and if it’s ok/good enough - leave it alone.  Collimation is important but as a relative newbie myself once you start twiddling things to try and get ‘perfect’ collimation it can be frustrating time consuming exercise that detracts from your overall enjoyment of the hobby.  If it does need doing, SGL has loads of advice in the forums and even better join a club and I’m sure you’ll get plenty of help there.  Oh, and remember to let your son have a look through the EP from time to time 😂

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2 hours ago, clean said:

My main question is this - Will the stock 10 and 25MM 1.25" eye pieces satisfy? or are we better served to purchase a decent quality wide 2" eye piece to get started?  perhaps something in the $1-200 range?  I want this to be as easy as possible for him to jump right in.

 

 

As others have said, purchasing new eyepieces can and should wait until you have experience with the ones you have.

Something I have found invaluable is a Bahtinov mask. Mine came from Rother Valley Optics and cost less than £20. I've no financial interest in RVO, just a satisfied customer.  You appear to live somewhere the local currency is in $, not £, but it seems very likely that you should be able to find a local supplier who will sell you one at comparable cost.

A Bahtinov mask  makes focussing really easy. Before using one I used to have great difficulty because my eyes would insist on refocussing themselves all the time and I would be forever trying to get a sharp view. With one my eyes have no choice but to accept the true focus and they seem to hold it after the mask has been removed.

Edited by Xilman
Add $ vs £ sentence
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Excellent scope choice. Excellent advice above about collimation.

My first buys after the 200P were a premium Cheshire and a RACI finder - much easier on the neck. Once you've seen how the supplied eyepieces perform it's easier to see where the improvement is needed. 

Personally, I went for a cheap zoom eyepiece, then bought 3 BST Starguiders - very good for the price, then upgraded the zoom to a Baader Hyperion IV with matched Barlow. 

Andy

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Hi @clean and welcome to SGL. :hello2:

Congratulations on getting the ‘scope. With regard to e/p’s, stick with what you have until you and your son get used it. The ‘best value’ e/p’s at he time of writing tend to be these… 
https://www.firstlightoptics.com/bst-starguider-eyepieces.html

 

Edited by Philip R
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Excellent choice, that size is brilliant on all objects and from darker skies you will be able to see loads of deep sky objects. I was thrilled when I took mine to a dark sky and started spotting galaxies I had never even thought of. 

The "Whale and Hockey Stick" for two,  NGC 4631 and NGC 4656/4657 Stunning in the same FOV. 

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Excellent purchase. I have had the 200P for the past 9 months and I love the views it has given me. I agree with the advise given by the others; my first upgrades were a RACI, Rigel and a 15mm BST. 25mm is more than usable and 10mm will be ok for a while. If you want an additional EP, you might want something in between or higher mag for planets. Worth getting Turn Left at Orion, it is a fantastic book/guide. Use it as much as you can and see what you like observing and how you get along with changing EPs or opt for a zoom one. Enjoy!

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Thank you everyone for the input.  We will stick with the stock eye pieces for now. We will try the stock finder for now, and keep a RACI in mind. We will purchase a cheshire immediately. 

 

I seen these 2" Chinese eye pieces on ebay, and I just wanted to ask you guys - have you ever seen these? are they complete garbage? or a bargain? no better then the stock 1.25 plossl?  they look similar to the explore scientific stuff....

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/303247554184?hash=item469af67688:g:oX0AAOSwR11dS5sO

 

thanks again everyone.

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Congratulations on your new scope.

You have started an incredible journey with your telescope and have found an incredible group of friendly people here on the SGL.

Never hesitate to ask questions. 

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Congrats on your purchase, you will have loads to see with it! If you're new to the hobby, I'd agree with Kon that Turn Left at Orion is a really good purchase. Not only will it help you to find objects in the night sky, it will also help you to set your expectations as to what things will look like.

Good luck with the new 'scope!

Pete

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Observing the moon may be uncomfortably bright so a moon filter might be a good purchase.  You can always try without first to get a feel for what works for you.  I use a 0.9 neutral density moon filter on my 8 sct

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Forget about buying anything scope related from ebay.
A lot of the stuff on there is only fit for landfill.
A similar comment applies to Amazon.

Stay with known name accessories purchased from repuable sources.
What are 'reputable sources'?

In less than a month, if you have 25 posts on SGL, you will have access to the sale/wanted section.
This is a very good way to buy well looked after astro kit from honest people.

If you want new products, use a specialist astro retailer. Not a general store.
First Light Optics, who sponsor this site are very good. I have spent more with them over the years than I care to recall!
Rother Valley Optics are another good name. There are more. Like, 365 Astronomy, Widescreen Centre, Northern Optics, to name a few.
If you ask a speciailist astronomy retailer if a part is a good choice for your scope, you will get an informed and generally honest answer.
These people are hoping to get your repeat business in the coming years.
If you ask ebay sellers, amazon, PC World, etc........

Keep asking the questions and keep your money in your wallet for now😁

David.

Edited by Carbon Brush
Hit the send button by accident!
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2 hours ago, clean said:

no better then the stock 1.25 plossl?

Probably not. It looks like a 26mm plossl unnecessarily put into a 2" fitting for marketing purposes. 

As someone with an 8" dob I would suggest that at some stage you will need one 2" eyepiece for your telescope, but it needs to be one that shows a wider field of view than a 1.25" eyepiece can show, and it needs to be one of decent quality so that it is reasonably well corrected to the edge. If the eyepiece isn't well corrected you might find that the usable field is actually less than in your widest 1.25" eyepiece. 

For your initial upgrades, I suggest that something shorter than your 25mm is probably the way to go in order to give you a range of options to try on different objects. I would start by picking something in the 12-14mm range and then dividing whatever focal length you choose by 1.4 to find your next focal length. 

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I agree with everyone else that upgrading should wait. My exception is a copy of Turn Left at Orion and a Cheshire eyepiece and sight tube combination tool. I’ve published some tips on my blog below that you may find useful.

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2 hours ago, clean said:

Thank you everyone for the input.  We will stick with the stock eye pieces for now. We will try the stock finder for now, and keep a RACI in mind. We will purchase a cheshire immediately. 

 

I seen these 2" Chinese eye pieces on ebay, and I just wanted to ask you guys - have you ever seen these? are they complete garbage? or a bargain? no better then the stock 1.25 plossl?  they look similar to the explore scientific stuff....

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/303247554184?hash=item469af67688:g:oX0AAOSwR11dS5sO

 

thanks again everyone.

I wouldn't touch that even with someone else's barge-pole!

You can find "Maxvision" gear on AliExpress, which is often surplus kit left over from  a manufacturing run for a bigger name manufacturer (it's mostly all made in China except the real high-end stuff), but the Angeleyes stuff looks like rip-offs. I could be wrong though - so someone please correct me  if I am.

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9 hours ago, Tiny Clanger said:

@Carbon Brush, I don't think OP is UK based, as they quoted a price in $ . Regardless of continent , I agree that specialist vendors are best though .

Heather

Thanks Heather. You may be right. A common problem when members don't include a region or country in their signature.
The omission also means we can't point new members to astro shops or clubs that are in their area.
Thanks, David.

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Welcome to SGL! it’s always so satisfying to hear when a parent seeks to nourish a child’s interest then finds themselves caught up in it 😂 you both will have so much fun!. 
 

You could not have picked a better scope.

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4 hours ago, Carbon Brush said:

Thanks Heather. You may be right. A common problem when members don't include a region or country in their signature.
The omission also means we can't point new members to astro shops or clubs that are in their area.
Thanks, David.

Yep, I understand entirely the wish to not give out too much information on a public forum, but a mention of country/county/city whatever does save wasted effort when we are trying to be helpful !

Heather

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8 hours ago, Tiny Clanger said:

Yep, I understand entirely the wish to not give out too much information on a public forum, but a mention of country/county/city whatever does save wasted effort when we are trying to be helpful !

Heather

Thanks for bringing this up Heather. Located on Vancouver island, BC Canada. 

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@clean - have a search for a podcast called "Actual Astronomy". A couple of Canadian visual astronomers (Regina-based I think), releasing 2 podcasts a week. Will be some really useful info in there - although you probably don't have as cold weather!

Also - as I don't recall anyone posting a link to this yet:

 

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