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Walking on the Moon

First lens purchase


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Hi, I’m new to astronomy and have bought a Celestron Nexstar 8se telescope. I managed to get a look at Jupiter and Saturn and was really pleased to be able to see them clearly. The telescope came with one eyepiece, a Celestron 25mm which seems ok but after some reading it seems I might benefit from another eyepiece or a Barlow lens. My budget is around £80 so on the lower end of the scale but I don’t know whether to spend all the budget on one other lens, a Barlow, 2 cheaper lenses, you get the picture 🤑. Any advice will be very helpful, thanks 

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if you're ok with the narrowed field of view a plossl gives, perhaps consider a zoom so you can adjust the FL to gain magnification, there's a few 7-21mm in your price range, that way you effectively get several options all in one package. You can then add specific FL's that you find work well for you later on if you want a wider FoV.

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Nice scope! If i were you, i'd check out the Astro Essentials range on FLO and get the 32mm and 20mm super plossls as well as the barlow. 

This would give sharp views with good eye relief and useful magnifications of: 64x 81x 102x 127x 163x and 203x

The cost would be around £80 including shipping.

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1 hour ago, Mick H said:

Or a zoom lens EP:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/ovl-eyepieces/hyperflex-9-27mm-zoom.html

You could always sell it on when you find out which mm is best suited for you.

 

This is a very good option and one to consider.

51 minutes ago, lvan said:

Nice scope! If i were you, i'd check out the Astro Essentials range on FLO and get the 32mm and 20mm super plossls as well as the barlow. 

This would give sharp views with good eye relief and useful magnifications of: 64x 81x 102x 127x 163x and 203x

The cost would be around £80 including shipping.

However there is a very lot to be said for this option and generally has a wider range within the three eyepiece and barlow selection. (checked cost and it's 74 quid posted to most of the uk, some parts of Scotland cost more)

Viewing wise I would not expect there to be very much between them in terms of quality oh and by the way, they are referred to as eyepieces and not lens. 

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13 hours ago, DaveL59 said:

consider a zoom

^ Have always wondered how well the 'zooms' actually perform..

As 4 eyepieces (unless you are an eyepiece collector) maybe 2 others, a 10mm and a 50mm purchased 2nd hand. Subjective opinion- BUT avoid advertising hype (a suspicion all the Chinese EP's are made within the same giant underground factory), I have an old 12.5mm kellner that performs only marginally worse than a Televue 10mm radian, the price difference being in the order of 20:1.

Edited by SthBohemia
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41 minutes ago, SthBohemia said:

^ Have always wondered how well the 'zooms' actually perform..

As 4 eyepieces (unless you are an eyepiece collector) maybe 2 others, a 10mm and a 50mm purchased 2nd hand. Subjective opinion- BUT avoid advertising hype (a suspicion all the Chinese EP's are made within the same giant underground factory), I have an old 12.5mm kellner that performs only marginally worse than a Televue 10mm radian, the price difference being in the order of 20:1.

I can't comment on others as I have SVBony ones (7-21 and the huge 8-24) but visually they do well and are extremely convenient. The main downside is that the FoV narrows as you increase FL, kinda the opposite you'd get with a telephoto lens or zoom bino where the FoV narrows as you zoom in. The more expensive ones are a bit better from comments but the SVBony ones were well reviewed and do perform just fine for me and very well priced (well before the pound dropped off a cliff that was lol). 

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To me I would hesitate going and purchasing a barlow. An 8SE has a fairly substantial focal length, and a barlow effectively increases that.

With the long focal length and being f/10 the idea of the Astro Essential plossls seems a fair idea. Have to remember that as the magnification goes up then the field of view goes down. For example I don't think any eyepiece will allow you to see all of M31 in one view. And there are a few things a bit bigger the M31. Not overly sure that M45 will canbe fully viewed in one go.

People often say that 60x to 80x is the most used magnification. 60x is a 33mm eyepiece, and with a plossl that is only around a 0.8 degree view, under 1/2 of M45.

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7 hours ago, PEMS said:

To me I would hesitate going and purchasing a barlow. An 8SE has a fairly substantial focal length, and a barlow effectively increases that.

With the long focal length and being f/10 the idea of the Astro Essential plossls seems a fair idea. Have to remember that as the magnification goes up then the field of view goes down. For example I don't think any eyepiece will allow you to see all of M31 in one view. And there are a few things a bit bigger the M31. Not overly sure that M45 will canbe fully viewed in one go.

People often say that 60x to 80x is the most used magnification. 60x is a 33mm eyepiece, and with a plossl that is only around a 0.8 degree view, under 1/2 of M45.

Totally agree with your sentiments, no SCT needs a barlow.

Let's get practical- With a total budget of 80 quid hunt around Ebay or similar for a couple of EP's of approx 10mm or 12.5mm and 50mm giving 3 magnifications (with the 25mm) of 200 /160x, 80x, and 40x... Unfortunately 50mm+ EP's within Europe are a bit scarce unless one wishes to part with a fortune, a great pity Gary Russell no longer posts overseas http://www.russell-optics.com/two_inch.html as his EP's are brilliant, they compare VERY favourably with those costing 5-7x the price.... maybe if you started a new topic- HELP I need  a couple of USED eyepieces, within this SGL site you might get lucky 🙂 

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If I were in your position, I’d scour astrobuysell and the classifieds on here for used BST Starguiders. At f/10, you’ll be forgiving to cheaper options but with an SCT, aFOV is always going to be a nice thing to have. The quality is slightly wasted at f/10, but the afov increase in nice for not a lot of money. £30-35 a pop, you’re talking 3 better eyepieces used or 4 or 5 new ones in plossl format. I’d prefer the former, many would prefer the latter!

There are also the 66 degree (maybe measured a bit less?) goldline series. Direct from aliexpress these are very cheap. Although their issues are mainly blackouts and glare which I don’t imagine f/10 would do anything to reduce. 

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Should've known better than to mention the B-word around these parts... I believe a barlowed 20mm plossl bests a 10mm regardless of scope type. A barlow can be the cornerstone of the budget conscious eyepiece collection. The addition of 2 carefully chosen ep's and a barlow will give 6 useful magnifications that cover all requirements from finder to planetary, with items available to purchase immediately, within budget. One can then work out what they do or do not like before any further expenditure. You don't have to pay the earth to view the cosmos.

 

Edited by lvan
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2 hours ago, lvan said:

the B-word around these parts

OK  Ivan, I am simply a minimalist 🙂 who has within 60 years of using scopes never owned a B... and has an enormous working stock of 3 EP's!!! Ooooh it gets even worse, nearly finished a 200mm true cassegrain f16 which will have a fixed eyepiece! A Gary Russell 16.8mm konig, thus one and the only magnification of 180x 🙂 I guess the same EP will be used at the newtonian focus, again a fixed tube, giving a 50x mag!

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I can see where a Barlow when coupled with low cost, long focal length Plossls could be a good solution, especially if you need to wear eyeglasses due to eye astigmatism.  The only issue I have with some of the long focal length Plossls is that most greatly recess the eye lens, negating their long eye relief.

The 15mm and 20mm Svbony UWA 68 degree Expanse-type eyepieces don't suffer from kidney beaning, just the 6mm and 9mm versions.  The 20mm is great Barlowed in my binoviewer.  I was using a pair of them to observe Jupiter Tuesday night.  Even without a Barlow, they should do well in an SCT.

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