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Eyepieces - the very least you need.


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Brilliant post, thanks!

I have recently purchased SW explorer 150PL so using your guide I should go for 6, 10, 16 and 24mm EP's. The EP's supplied with this scope are 10mm, 25mm and 2x barlow, giving effective range of 5, 10, 12.5 and 25mm which seems like a reasonable match.

Any recommendations on makes/models of reasonably priced quality EPs would be appreciated.

Thanks

My guide is a guide not a precise mathematical rule, so being off by a millimetre or two isn't going to make a whole lot of difference. With your f/8 scope, your 10mm and 25mm eps may produce very good results indeed. I believe SW ships standard quality Plossls with their scopes, which are OK. I agree with John. When you get to the point that you can afford some really good eps, consider getting a bigger scope.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi there.. so much to learn in this forum!!

Just to clarify... I'm about to purchase my first SW 200P, according to the website, it offers x40, x80, x100, x200 magnification (does this mean that a 10mm and a 25mm ep is provided, and the supplied x2 Barlow lens is used to double the magnification to 80 and 200 respectively?)...

I really need to find a GOOD supplier - but heard of so many people being in contact with distributors selling refurbished stuff or giving bad support... any suggestions for the Derbyshire area... although I dont mind purchasing from further afield!

To achieve a good level of magnification, I heard that is it generally better to use a longer eyepiece with x2 Barlow lens (i.e. say(1000/16mm)x2), than to use a shorter eyepiece without say a x2 Barlow lens (i.e. (1000/8mm))... do you agree? What is the 'deluxe' Barlow lens in comparison to the not so deluxe!??

What are the symptoms of a poorer quality lens?

I dont plan using a camera for a while, but would the EXPLORER-200P (HEQ5 SYNTREKTM) still be a better option than the EQ5 if I have the cash?

Thanks for your help!!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Warthog,

Congratulations! You just managed to take an extremely complex and subjective subject and make it super easy!

Although I personally prefer two eyepieces and one barlow, I wish I had your suggestions when I started out.

The numbers could lead one astray if we started purchasing wide field eyepieces... but that is another story. For plossls you sure make it easy!

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I have the following eyepieces for my Skywatcher 150P

16mm PLOSSL

26MM PLOSSL

32MM PLOSSL

10MM SKYWATCHER SUPER

WIDE ANGLE LONG EYE RELIEF SUPER 25

2 X BARLOW LENS

Can anyone out there surgest any more eyepieces to maximise my scope.

ps i`m assuming PLOSSLs are PLOSSLs and they are all the same as mine have the dots above the O.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Very useful post. I've got my eye on a Skywatcher Equinox-80 Pro. It's listed with a f/ratio of 6.25.

Using the information above, I think that means my eyepieces need to be as follows:-

Low power: 30mm Plossl

Medium power: 8mm Plossl

High power: 8mm Plossl with a x2 Barlow.

Have I got that about right?

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Hi all, reet im new to all this and slowly starting to learn.

had some clearish skies tonight and jupiter was glowing in the sky so i got my skywatcher 130 out with its standard eyepieces, super 10mm, super 25mm and barlow x2.

i got the eyepiece that got me in as close as i could (forgot if it was 10 or 25) in the barlow and focused in. i could see jupiter and its moons but the colour detail on jupiter was very very very faint, is that just because i have the 130 scope?? do i need better eyepieces or is it a combination of both??

if anyone else has this scope what eyepieces have you upgraded to and what are the differences over the standard ones?

cheers

Jody :headbang:

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Great advice, its practically how I initially configured my C8 EPs: two Celestron Plossls (10mm & 26mm) and a Vixen 36mm (I did not go beyond 200x initially, the seeing in the Netherlands being similar to that in the UK). One other reason NOT to go lower than 10 mm is the eye-relief problem of the Plossl design. A rule of thumb is that the eye relief equals the focal length (same holds for Ramsden, Kellner, etc).

This I feel is the one issue missing: eye-relief. a 5 or 10 mm Plossl is a real pain if your glasses constantly touch the EP, which will cause some shake, which is hopeless at high magnification.

If you need to wear glasses during observation you really need about 20 mm eye relief. I later replaced the 10mm Plossl for a 7 mm (288x, which sometimes works in the Netherlands :)) and 9 mm Vixen LV, which all have 20 mm eye relief.

LV eyepieces (and their successors the NLVs) are just a bit more expensive (unless bought second hand), but worth it if you wear glasses. You might even stretch to a Baader Hyperion, again a bit more expensive, but the 68 degree FOV really helps keep objects in sight, particularly at high magnification, and the 20 mm eye relief helps.

Just my 2 cents (here in the Euro zone)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I did mention eye relief as a reason to NOT buy a 4mm or 6mm Plossl. Although I wear glasses, I observe without them, and any eyeglass wearer who does not suffer from significant astigmatism should be able to observe without glasses. For people who must wear specs, there are long eye relief eps which start at about twice the price of Plossls. Still, that's not bad. :)

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As I assume your scopes have 2" focusers, I would go for a decent 2" wide angle EP (25-30 mm max, and 70deg FOV at least), and a decent planetary (4 or 5mm) like the TMB planetary or the Vixen NLVs (both 1.25"). This will give you much better views of extended objects (DSO), and sharper, more comfortable planetary viewing, then go for a decent mid magnification EP (say a 10-14mm wide angle). The set you suggest is not bad, but it does not contain really wide angle stuff, because they are all 1.25" EPS.

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The SW EXP 200p come with 10mm and 25mm eps are they Plossl? and Would the Eyepiece Sets - Celestron Eyeopener Eyepiece and Filter Kit be any good for it. planetary detail and dso's etc....

And again with the SW Skyliner 250xp??

It depends on what you can afford. I started with this kit, and eventually acquired a better set of eyepieces, and then sold all my old eps to pay for the motors on my mount. The case is great; I still use it to hold my present ep collection, and the filters are usefull for planets and the moon. The whole kit costs less than buying the pieces separately. The Barlow makes some ot the eps in the kit redundant, but it's a fairly good Barlow. I never had any complaints about it.

You might want to look further afield for a set of wide angle and/or long eye relief eps. There are some on the market, and they usually come in cases too. As I said, it depends on your budget.

Alternatively, you could buy eps one at a time to fill in the gaps between your present eps and the set you would like to have. The Rigel WA eps are on offer for about £30 each.

If you don't have a Barlow, that would be a good first purchase.

The Rigel WA eps have an AFOV of 65º, which is about the limit of a 25mm 1¼" ep, if you want to build your set around those or similar eps. The 25mm ep will give you an exit pupil of 5mm, which may be all you need. Your scope will not accommodate a 2" ep, and a 32mm ep will be restricted to about 48º AFOV, giving no real advantage over a 25mm one.

I believe the eps that Skywatcher supplies are Plossls, but I am not 100% sure.

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Fab post. Barlows and urban locations (like mine) are terrible.the light pollution seems magnified. Any recommendations for good but cheap wide angle lenses?? i was thinkin meade QX??

I bought a few Agena SWAs before I went for televue. Still have 2 of them and they are good and perform well at f/6+. On my f/5.9 they provide sharp views for about 90% of the FoV. The last 10% ain't perfect but it's good enough and the aberrations are pretty low, so they don't bother me much, unless I'm looking for them. For 15-20% the price of a Nagler, they are pretty good.

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