Jump to content

Sketches

Controversial, "I don't get buying lot's of eyepieces."


Nigella Bryant
 Share

Recommended Posts

OK, I'm going to get some flack with this. I see many post's about new eyepieces arriving and pic's with all the others they have. The cost of some more than some of my scopes, lol. 

I confess at the beginning, I either use my Astro cameras to view on the computer screen or image with same camera's. I don't get why so many eyepieces and sometimes expensive one's. I own about three eyepieces but invariably use just the 32mm sometimes to centre an object before inserting the camera. 

So, may the controversy begin, lol. 

Edited by Nigella Bryant
  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well yes, I know what you mean, practically you can get away with using 3 or 4 carefully chosen focal lengths or indeed a zoom for visual and that's that.

However, they're so nice and shiny, I just can't help myself and my OCD will not let me have one or two of a set, I must COLLECT them all. They do get used though, as I have several telescope with focal lengths ranging from 300mm to 795mm. The widefields get used when the alt-az g&g comes out, the ultra-short focal length eyepieces are used in the short focal length scope for normal magnifications and also in the longer scopes on the EQ for high power planetary. I pick up all my stuff used so it doesn't break the bank, I don't drink and I don't play golf. Maybe I'm just a hoarder but either way It's what I enjoy.

Some eyepieces may cost more than some of your scopes, but what about all those expensive solar filters out there!

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I bought a bunch of eyepieces from a an SGL member a good while ago and still haven't used some of them.

I mostly use imaging to get my fix now but do have a couple of scopes up at our Luxury Cumbrian Villa near Penrith. I still enjoy visual when I allow myself the opportunity but my problem is comfort. No amount of eyepiece expenditure will fix my back and neck!

Maybe it's because I've never tried a premium eyepiece but I really don't think I have the visually acuity to tell the differences beyond the obvious eye relief and field of view any longer.

When I was younger, visual observing seemed easier and I think I was quite thorough. But it was always about the astronomical object in the middle of the field and not the quality of the peripheral field stars.

So like you Nigella, eyepieces aren't my bag but on the other hand I do "get" the collectablility of premium eyepieces or sets thereof. It certainly adds another dimension to the hobby. 

I remember skipping most imaging equipment related threads here on SGL as being esoteric and unfathomable. I'm no pixel peeper but I at least understand it now! 

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oooh, i love controversial. 

 I agree in principal. When I started out in astronomy the general consensus was to have three eyepieces, a low, a medium, and a high power eyepiece.  I blame Al Nagler!

 In reality there are eyepieces suited to various types of observing, such as planetary or deep sky. Both will do the job of the other only not quite as well. Often an observer may acquire a basic set of wide angles such as Pentax XW's or Morpheus for deep sky or general observing; but also a high quality minimal glass planetary set such as orthoscopic's, plossl's or Monocentric's. The minimal glass will almost always have an edge in performance on axis, but lack the wide field.

 Then theres the guys who love the equipment just as much as using it, so they'll likely acquire many different sets and designs over the years. It's all part of the same hobby, and whatever helps keep that flame of enthusiasm burning is alright with me. :icon_cyclops_ani:

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've long taken the view that three EPs will do for one scope. Give me three good ones, though. In my long FL scope (14 inch SCT) I use only two, though I'd like a 40mm as well, more for the exit pupil than the field of view.

The other thing is that, while you are finessing over which of your collection to try next, you are not doing what you should be doing which is concentrating on the object.

Olly

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, Franklin said:

Well yes, I know what you mean, practically you can get away with using 3 or 4 carefully chosen focal lengths or indeed a zoom for visual and that's that.

However, they're so nice and shiny, I just can't help myself and my OCD will not let me have one or two of a set, I must COLLECT them all. They do get used though, as I have several telescope with focal lengths ranging from 300mm to 795mm. The widefields get used when the alt-az g&g comes out, the ultra-short focal length eyepieces are used in the short focal length scope for normal magnifications and also in the longer scopes on the EQ for high power planetary. I pick up all my stuff used so it doesn't break the bank, I don't drink and I don't play golf. Maybe I'm just a hoarder but either way It's what I enjoy.

Some eyepieces may cost more than some of your scopes, but what about all those expensive solar filters out there!

I know, lol. It's what we as individuals like. I appreciate that. You got me with the solar scopes, lol. I'd pay thousands for that, lol. I just wanted to try and get my head around the eyepiece feaver. I guess it's like anything in astronomy, what feaver gets you, lol. 

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, ollypenrice said:

I've long taken the view that three EPs will do for one scope. Give me three good ones, though. In my long FL scope (14 inch SCT) I use only two, though I'd like a 40mm as well, more for the exit pupil than the field of view.

The other thing is that, while you are finessing over which of your collection to try next, you are not doing what you should be doing which is concentrating on the object.

Olly

That's so true, observing is the key. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, ollypenrice said:

I've long taken the view that three EPs will do for one scope. Give me three good ones, though. In my long FL scope (14 inch SCT) I use only two, though I'd like a 40mm as well, more for the exit pupil than the field of view.

The other thing is that, while you are finessing over which of your collection to try next, you are not doing what you should be doing which is concentrating on the object.

Olly

I had a long chat with Al Nagler after a talk he gave, whilst he waited for a car to take him back to London.  I had only recently got back to astronomy at that time, so asked about the number of eyepieces he'd suggest would be optimal on a budget. He said three. Though he did add that's three for each scope. But I must admit we had more of a chat about the cameras used in the Lunar module simulator and how he got involved with that.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, ollypenrice said:

The other thing is that, while you are finessing over which of your collection to try next, you are not doing what you should be doing which is concentrating on the object.

Very true, if you've got a collection, you don't take them all out. Select just a few that will be suitable for scope and target for the night.

Less eyepiece changing=More viewing!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

DO NOT get a binoscope/binoviewers or your eyepiece collection will breed like rabbits! I am not an eyepiece collector, but I now have a drawerful. I agree with Al, but if your scope have the same focal ratio then you can share them… otherwise just add a longer/shorter one as needed. You certainly don’t need to have a “full set” of any eyepiece brand/series… they overlap too much.

Peter

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Part of the issue is if you have more than one scope. And you want ultra wide fields, but also an easily transported set. Then you want to try minimum glass EPs. Then somebody posts about a new EP on SGL. And OCD kicks in and you want to collect a whole set. Several sets, of course.

it soon adds up to a mighty collection 🤣

And then there’s the TV Apollo 11….

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

As others have intimated, 3 should suffice for one scope or one session: 1 for very wide field, one for utility and one for extra high power. My shortest focal-length scope is 510mm and it only accepts 1.25" eyepieces, my widest being 24mm giving me a reasonably-often-used 21x and 3.2 degrees FoV. My silly-high-power eyepiece for that scope which I might use for difficult doubles, is a 1.6mm giving me 319x. Just one other eyepiece in between leaves very large gaps. So for that scope alone more than three is useful.

My largeish newt, a 12", quite happily accepts very heavy eyepieces, and I love the extremely wide 100 degree field of, say, an Ethos. I have an E13 which is sometimes the only one I'll use all night. But it's far too big for some of my other scopes, especially if I'm taking it somewhere, so I also have a Tak 12.5mm which is small and light. Also, for widest-field in that newt, my 82-degree Nagler 31 fits the bill perfectly. Plus a Paracorr, of course, without which wide-field views through the newt are nasty.

I have a Skymax 180, whose focal length is around the 3000mm mark, necessitating a completely different range for the "ideal three".

And so on.

Such considerations, without even talking about collectoritis or comparisonitis, quickly lead to a fair-sized collection.

Cheers, Magnus

Edited by Captain Scarlet
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't subscribe to 3 EPs per scope approach.

I can easily list 5-6 eyepieces one "needs" for general purpose scope like 8" f/6 dobsonian.

First you need very low power eyepiece. I used 32mm Plossl in that role, but now use 28mm ES 68 degrees

Then you need general DSO eyepiece that is around 17-18mm for this scope.

Then you need dual use EP that is around 11-12mm. It will be high power EP for globulars, or very low power for planets.

Last - you need at least 2 planetary EPs - like 5mm one for good seeing and 7-8mm one for average seeing conditions (in worse than average seeing - use 11-12mm one).

I prefer not to use barlow and like around 60 degrees AFOV (so no very wide options, although I don't mind them - I have 82 degrees ES line).

  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Horses for courses! I think the thing you've got to understand is that on a forum like SGL there will be a huge spectrum of individuals who are involved in amateur astronomy at very different levels. There are many of the regulars who have devoted their entire lives to the hobby and own vast collections of equipment, who rave over a new eyepiece and there are some who are just dipping their toes into the hobby and don't want to invest thousands of pounds, they just want some advice on what they need to get started.

There is a very useful thread by TheWarthog over in the "Getting Started" section called "Eyepieces-the very least you need" which everyone new to the hobby should read.

Edited by Franklin
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Nigella Bryant said:

OK, I'm going to get some flack with this. I see many post's about new eyepieces arriving and pic's with all the others they have. The cost of some more than some of my scopes, lol. 

I confess at the beginning, I either use my Astro cameras to view on the computer screen or image with same camera's. I don't get why so many eyepieces and sometimes expensive one's. I own about three eyepieces but invariably use just the 32mm sometimes to centre an object before inserting the camera. 

So, may the controversy begin, lol. 

I posted a similar view on eyepieces recently. Ironically the discussion resulted in me buying two new eyepieces!! 😆😆

  • Haha 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have ended up with a fair few I guess, tho nothing in the high-end nor full sets per se. The TAL100RS came with a nice set of TAL plossls down to 6.3mm and the TAL-M and 1 also came with their 32mm russian size 25/15mm's and being TAL are very usable. I did buy some Vixen NPLs 30/20/10mm which I enjoy using as well as a TAL 40mm. I've a number of barlows too, mostly TAL x2,3,4. Then I was given a set of 0.965's from a member here to go with the old vintage 3-inch scope. I've added a couple old orthos as well as SVbony zoom 8-24 & 7-21 (latter will go with the LT70AZ Starsense when I pass that to my daughter) but I've so far resisted the SVbony 3-8mm zoom. My scopes are mostly 1000mm FL so don't really need that extra high power I think.

In part I bought to see the difference without breaking the bank (all bought used), the Vixen's for  a modern coated lens. The zooms (bought new) tho make it a much easier night, no need to swap things about and I guess I've used the fixed ones less since buying those.

Edited by DaveL59
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think part of it comes down to self fomo/intrigue. If we have the means to we'll buy all sorts being careful to not double up on powers to partly justify it. Then when eventually we do get around to using them we realise only one or two get used.

But, not all EPs are built the same, everyone's eyes are also different, the way people view is also different (I have no qualms near lying flat when looking near zenith). What you like looking at will also have an effect.

From the start I said I'd stick to plossls or thereabout. Started budget, over years upgraded bit by bit, sold on, bought, compared, sold repeat. I've now got too many close to each other which my Barlow also makes up for for half the higher power ones, I refuse to buy a bigger case. I will very soon sell a few off as now I've eventually decided now I prefer to view with glasses on which requires specific eyepieces and most of mine are glasses off types. Introduce HA solar viewing into the mix and this throws all the balls up in the air again, even good nighttime ones fall flat.

A 30mm, 18mm and 10mm I think are enough. Your more limiting factor will be your LP, scope and seeing.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Nigella Bryant I think you probably need to be a visual observing nut, and quite possibly into planetary/lunar observing to get the need for more than two or three eyepieces.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve seen you more as on the imaging side, or at least a kind of EEVA ie viewing live images on a screen as your favoured ways of enjoying Astro/solar?

For me, framing objects well, optimising exit pupil for best contrast and using best magnification to match the seeing conditions are good enough reasons to have more than a basic three. Add in scopes of varying focal ratios and that also demands different sets.

Just as an example, two of my most extreme scopes have been an f5 Televue Genesis (100mm aperture) and an f20 200mm Mak. A 31mm Nagler in the Genesis gives around five degrees field of view and a 6.2mm exit pupil. Put the same eyepiece in the Mak and you get x129, a 1.5mm exit pupil and a 0.63 degree field of view. To get the same in the Genesis you need a 4mm eyepiece!

These are of course, extreme, but show the differing needs of different focal ratio scopes.

The other side is the need to stack in options at higher powers to allow you to choose the best option to match the seeing conditions for planetary and lunar observing. You might want a range of options from x150 to x300 perhaps to cover most bases. A very good zoom and Barlow might do this (like my Leica) but otherwise a number of closely spaced eyepieces are necessary.

I have a set of Baader Genuine Orthos which I keep as much as anything for sentimental reasons because they aren’t worth a vast amount in the grand scheme of things and would be hard to replace. Then a set of Pentax XWs for higher powers and a few options from Morpheus and Naglers for low powers.

In reality I most often use a Nagler 3 to 6 zoom, Leica Zoom and 24mm Panoptic for my quicker sessions, saving the big guns for the less frequent longer sessions. I use binoviewers for solar white light and Ha observing, plus sometimes for planetary and lunar.

So, much depends on your interests I guess. If you are a deep sky junkie with a big dob into galaxy hunting then it’s quite possible that a 21mm and 8mm Ethos might be all you need.

  • Like 10
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, Elp said:

A 30mm, 18mm and 10mm I think are enough

It's impossible to say what focal lengths are enough, it all depends on the scope, the target and the seeing. These maybe enough for you with your scope, but your 10mm gives a low power of just x30 in one of my scopes. I've got eyepieces that range from 42mm right down to 1.6mm, although I don't use barlows.

  • Like 3
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.