Jump to content

Stars_Banner.jpg.843f9de1cf2bdcd4b91ede4312ecf0ca.jpg

I don’t like eyepieces - is there something wrong with me?


RobertI
 Share

Recommended Posts

Ok, perhaps the title is a bit of an exaggeration, but I have never been that excited by eyepieces, and I’m wondering why. Do I get excited by telescopes? Most definitely. Mounts? Oh yes, some lovely mounts out there, a Rowan AZ75 is definitely on my list. But not eyepieces. With my new 102ED refractor (admittedly not ‘premium’) with its fancy FPL53 glass, I have considered a new premium eyepiece, but I’ve struggled to find a good case for the spend. I know that the best eyepieces have fewer aberrations, less scatter, etc, but from what I’ve read there is very little difference in what you can actually SEE. And I recall one famous reviewer who said he could make out very little difference between a premium eyepiece and a cheaper zoom when viewing the planets. I bought a couple of Baader Hyperions at least 10 years ago, and have supplemented them with a BST, a Baader Zoom and a OVL Panoptic for wide field, and I have been neither delighted or disappointed by any of them, they do the job, but none have transformed my viewing pleasure. My binoviewer did, but that’s another story! So am I missing out on a whole world of eyepiece pleasure? What am I doing wrong? 🙂

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a noticeable difference between a top-notch scope and a more budget model, and a good mount will do its job better than a cheaper alternative, but the improvement brought about from a better class of eyepiece can be quite subtle and only noticeable by those who are looking for such differences.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think expectations also play a part in this. When viewing Jupiter and Saturn through an eyepiece theyre around 4mm and 2mm through my 60mm refractor if you were to realistically plot them on paper, but I do get a sense of wonder when seeing them, a friend however wasn't impressed as they thought Jupiter would be larger (typical amateur expectations...). Even when viewing star constellations in widefield I do like that too. Then I saw the moon through my C6 and it is how people describe like you're flying above the lunar surface. The scope together with the eyepiece do make a difference, though having gone through various makes of plossl I do not believe there's a massive difference other than FOV, FOV correction and eye relief so this is where the preferences come from. Don't get me wrong, some eyepieces are awful, but I've had a £25 plossl which was just as good as a £100 Televue though the TV just pipped it for edge of field correction, and for me personally (and it is mostly a personal preference thing as everyone's eyes and how they use them are different) the TVs are not so good for solar whereas a Celestron XCel LX or WO Swan are better for me in this usage scenario.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A nice eyepiece is a thing of beauty to be cherished and admired and possibly collected. Some say you can even look through them :)

I must admit to being a bit of a sucker for eyepieces! For me, psychologically, I like to feel I am getting the best view possible out of my scope.

The much revered Nagler zoom, I love the versatility (4 in 1) for travelling but never use it at home. I find it difficult to use and I much prefer the Tak TOEs. Better view (in my opinion) and so easy to use/look through. Maybe the view is only better because I find it easier to use? I really don't know but it's a good enough reason for me :)

Unbeknownst to @IB20 he persuaded me to try a Pentax XW :) They are huge! Which I don't really like, but I gotta say, they are very easy to look through!

So for me, it's potentially irrational, but it's not just about the view!

Malcolm 

 

 

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, JeremyS said:

This will do nothing for you then, Rob 🤣

72A8B424-9898-4C05-AB25-82DF64E2A617.thumb.jpeg.dd2b115729581e71c3471d86c2382196.jpeg

Strangely enough, it was seeing a review of this very eyepiece which started my whole thought process about eyepieces!! 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

59 minutes ago, MalcolmM said:

A nice eyepiece is a thing of beauty to be cherished and admired and possibly collected. Some say you can even look through them :)

I must admit to being a bit of a sucker for eyepieces! For me, psychologically, I like to feel I am getting the best view possible out of my scope.

The much revered Nagler zoom, I love the versatility (4 in 1) for travelling but never use it at home. I find it difficult to use and I much prefer the Tak TOEs. Better view (in my opinion) and so easy to use/look through. Maybe the view is only better because I find it easier to use? I really don't know but it's a good enough reason for me :)

Unbeknownst to @IB20 he persuaded me to try a Pentax XW :) They are huge! Which I don't really like, but I gotta say, they are very easy to look through!

So for me, it's potentially irrational, but it's not just about the view!

Malcolm 

 

 

Oooo, what did you get? The 10 isn’t too bad but they start getting like police batons towards 3.5mm. I quite like the weight of them now, they feel like they could take an accident or two!

A strange thing with the XWs is I have them screwed all the way out for daytime viewing and the opposite for nighttime.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think one of my issues is that I have quite a few scopes, so I am often swapping between scopes and eyepieces, so it’s never a case of “this is a terrible eyepiece” as it might have some aberrations in my F5 Newt but be fine in my F7 refractor and really good in my F10 SCT! Also, I can’t think of many times when I’ve been observing and the edge of field aberrations actually matter, it’s usually the object in the middle that is important. Wide field Milky Way sweeping and large objects are the exception I guess. But I totally get why some people are more sensitive to aberrations and other issues. If I had just one main scope, I might be more motivated to get say three or four premium perfectly matched eyepieces. Perhaps the key is to start trimming down my telescope collection! 😆

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, RobertI said:

Ok, perhaps the title is a bit of an exaggeration, but I have never been that excited by eyepieces, and I’m wondering why. Do I get excited by telescopes? Most definitely. Mounts? Oh yes, some lovely mounts out there, a Rowan AZ75 is definitely on my list. But not eyepieces. With my new 102ED refractor (admittedly not ‘premium’) with its fancy FPL53 glass, I have considered a new premium eyepiece, but I’ve struggled to find a good case for the spend. I know that the best eyepieces have fewer aberrations, less scatter, etc, but from what I’ve read there is very little difference in what you can actually SEE. And I recall one famous reviewer who said he could make out very little difference between a premium eyepiece and a cheaper zoom when viewing the planets. I bought a couple of Baader Hyperions at least 10 years ago, and have supplemented them with a BST, a Baader Zoom and a OVL Panoptic for wide field, and I have been neither delighted or disappointed by any of them, they do the job, but none have transformed my viewing pleasure. My binoviewer did, but that’s another story! So am I missing out on a whole world of eyepiece pleasure? What am I doing wrong? 🙂

Perhaps Rob's original post should be pinned on SGL as "must read" helpful advice to all visual newbies?🤔..it could save many people a lot of money over many years, me included!

I would only say this: if you have limited funds, as most of us do, buy few, but buy the best you can afford, especially if you own a half decent scope.

It's often been said that single high power, medium and low power eyepieces (or a good zoom and one wide field low power eyepiece eg 24mm-32mm) could give you all you need for many years of observing..

..how often have we started a session with 5, 6 or more shiny eyepieces at the ready, and within 5 or 10 minutes its "I'll just try eyepiece V cos it might be better than eyepiece W"..closely followed by "X,Y and Z - and then back to the start again?

The less eyepieces you have, the more time you can spend looking through them, and I have found that the longer I look at an object, the more I see..because my dark adaptation and averted vision come into play and subtle details can pop out..and this is true of both good and "pretty good but not premium" eyepieces.

Oh, and every scope deserves better than some of the "junk" eyepieces that come bundled with new scopes!

Dave😊

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have had the opportunity to run my Skyline next to an Obsession a couple of times and we swapped around stuff just to do it. My eyepieces in my scope.... Good.  His eyepieces in my scope .... better.  My eyepieces in his scope.... Oh hello... This is pretty good, his eyepieces in his scope..... Well seeing his one eyepiece cost more then three of mine.... What do you expect.  The right eyepiece in the right scope on the right night and you will fall in love with eyepieces 

Edited by Mike Q
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, RobertI said:

Ok, perhaps the title is a bit of an exaggeration, but I have never been that excited by eyepieces, and I’m wondering why. Do I get excited by telescopes? Most definitely. Mounts? Oh yes, some lovely mounts out there, a Rowan AZ75 is definitely on my list. But not eyepieces. With my new 102ED refractor (admittedly not ‘premium’) with its fancy FPL53 glass, I have considered a new premium eyepiece, but I’ve struggled to find a good case for the spend. I know that the best eyepieces have fewer aberrations, less scatter, etc, but from what I’ve read there is very little difference in what you can actually SEE. And I recall one famous reviewer who said he could make out very little difference between a premium eyepiece and a cheaper zoom when viewing the planets. I bought a couple of Baader Hyperions at least 10 years ago, and have supplemented them with a BST, a Baader Zoom and a OVL Panoptic for wide field, and I have been neither delighted or disappointed by any of them, they do the job, but none have transformed my viewing pleasure. My binoviewer did, but that’s another story! So am I missing out on a whole world of eyepiece pleasure? What am I doing wrong? 🙂

I used to buy good mid range (Baader) until I bought a Pentax XW 🙂 and then two more 😁

Agree with you on the binoviewers 👍

Edited by dweller25
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, F15Rules said:

..how often have we started a session with 5, 6 or more shiny eyepieces at the ready, and within 5 or 10 minutes its "I'll just try eyepiece V cos it might be better than eyepiece W"..closely followed by "X,Y and Z - and then back to the start again?

Guilty! And no matter how many times I tell myself this is stupid, I can't seem to stop swapping them :)

Malcolm

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, IB20 said:

Oooo, what did you get? The 10 isn’t too bad but they start getting like police batons towards 3.5mm. I quite like the weight of them now, they feel like they could take an accident or two!

A strange thing with the XWs is I have them screwed all the way out for daytime viewing and the opposite for nighttime.

I don't use them during the day, and at night, I haven't decided whether I like them screwed all the way out, or in or somewhere in between yet :)

I got the 20, 10 and 5. I was really taken aback by the size of the 5! But they really do feel and look high quality!

Malcolm

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, F15Rules said:

It's often been said that single high power, medium and low power eyepieces (or a good zoom and one wide field low power eyepiece eg 24mm-32mm) could give you all you need for many years of observing..

But I note with interest it’s normally stated by people with vast eyepiece collections! 🙂

If you quiz those wise only sages that say “you only need three powers - high, medium and low” it unravels pretty quickly:

  • What do you use for your low-power eyepiece? “Oh… Well… I split that across two eyepieces actually”
  • What do you use for high-power? “I have just one high-power eyepiece… Plus a special extra-high-power one for truly exceptional nights, but that’s not really in the collection”
  • - and medium-power? “I only use my 12.5mm wide field… Although I do have a 12.5mm ortho on standby if I need to pick out fine details… - and a 9mm one…”

- and so on 😁

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Visual astronomy is an intriguing mix of technology, biology and psychology.

As a beginner, one of the areas I was keen to understand was the weakest point in the optical chain from star to brain. In particular, were the mirrors in my very average scopes showing me the best that they could, and would better (=more expensive) eyepieces make any noticeable difference? No, they weren't, and yes, they could.

So far, each of the steps:  MA stock>BST Starguider>ES 82°>Morpheus  has shown an improvement, though the size of the enhancement (in my judgement) has diminished each time, while the cost increments have increased.
Improvements have been of two kinds: (a) objectively identifiable and (in principle, at least) quantifiable changes: the FOV is larger, the stars are sharper, tighter doubles can be split; and (b) more subjective changes: the view just seems more pleasant, though I can't always say why, and possibly others would disagree. Al Nagler talked about a "majesty factor" to measure the ineffable.

Of course, there are many other ways to improve the pleasure and effectiveness of the visual experience, sometimes less obvious, and often less expensive than a new eyepiece. Flocking helped a bit, so did using a dew shield to control light ingress. Possibly the most surprising improvement for me was the introduction of an observing seat.

Honestly, I already have too many eyepieces. I make that judgement on coming in from a long session on a cold evening, uncapping all the eyepieces in my cases and realizing that I've probably used only four or five of them. But there are very few that I regret buying: I value the learning experience that each has provided, and I think I would have missed something if I had taken short-cuts.

As for collecting eyepieces for their own sake, well, at the outset I certainly didn't get excited about a 10mm modified achromat; it was a means to an end and nothing more. Whereas a Morpheus, well that is a thing of beauty.

 

 

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would like a Televue 3-6 zoom but other than that I am sticking to the ones I have. I have a few BST`s couple of Meade`s one Televue plossl but my absolute favourite is a Vixen silver top 10mm wow the views through it is amazing.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am guilty of being an eyepiece-o-holic, I just cannot help myself, so many have passed through my paws.
BUT
Often on a target chosen night, I will only use two eyepieces and sometimes even just the one,
BUT
having a number to choose from allows me to use that choice of 1 or 2.

Not getting into eyepieces, well its good for your wallet and mental health perhaps.
and nothing wrong in not indulging.

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

30 minutes ago, Louis D said:

Nothing wrong with you wrt eyepieces.  To each their own.  I must be going now, or I'll be late for my EA (EyepieceAholics Anonymous) meeting: 😉

248802217_EyepieceCollectionGroupShot1.thumb.JPG.dc1a98b3b03e2db6212852a4dfeccf63.JPG

That’s hilarious! But I’m also jealous. This is so confusing. 

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Louis D you’ve actually got enough eyepieces to play eyepiece top trumps! Each eyepiece can compete on:
 

  • Cost (the more expensive the better)
  • Number of elements (the more the better)
  • Field of view
  • Edge correction
  • On axis detail
  • Focal length (the shorter the better) 
  • Eye relief 
  • Weight
  • Rarity

Let me know how you get on. 🙂

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.