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The Warthog

Eyepieces - the very least you need.

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8 hours ago, Mak the Night said:

I think the 19mm Panoptic is probably the most perfect all round eyepiece made. I've never found anything to compare to it in its class. 

By a strange coincidence, I am (just barely) managing an ongoing shoot-out between the 19mm Panoptic and 18.2mm DeLite. It's just too close to call. I'm quite ready to give up and keep them both.

:happy11:

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55 minutes ago, iPeace said:

By a strange coincidence, I am (just barely) managing an ongoing shoot-out between the 19mm Panoptic and 18.2mm DeLite. It's just too close to call. I'm quite ready to give up and keep them both.

:happy11:

In some ways surprising, you would perhaps expect the newer design and coatings of the Delite to win out, but the Panoptics are excellent eyepieces....

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Just now, Stu said:

In some ways surprising, you would perhaps expect the newer design and coatings of the Delite to win out, but the Panoptics are excellent eyepieces....

I agree - and was surprised myself. I'm not saying the views are identical, but very close and equally enjoyable.

The DeLite has the larger lens and eyecup which makes it feel like an Ethos on a diet - with view quality to match.

The Panoptic seems to have a way of "cutting through" which sets it apart. It's certainly as good as the 24mm Panoptic.

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1 hour ago, iPeace said:

By a strange coincidence, I am (just barely) managing an ongoing shoot-out between the 19mm Panoptic and 18.2mm DeLite. It's just too close to call. I'm quite ready to give up and keep them both.

:happy11:

I have them both and have no intentions to part with either lol. They seem very different animals to me, both in physical size, weight and FOV. Both Barlow and reduce well. I tend to see the DeLite as a lunar/planetary EP (it was designed as a sort of light Delos) and the Panoptic is more of an all rounder. It is good for low and medium power viewing in lighter, smaller scopes. I even have a bino pair. Although it can be used for almost anything in my experience. 

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No choice for me. Panoptic eye relief too short. Delos 17 v Delite 18 would be interesting.

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1 hour ago, 25585 said:

No choice for me. Panoptic eye relief too short. Delos 17 v Delite 18 would be interesting.

Yes, EP use and ergonomics are very subjective. Interestingly, the 13mm eye relief of the 19mm Panoptic seems to be right in my sweet spot.

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I have a 6mm and 20mm eyepiece and a basic telescope that we found at a yard sale for super cheap, with no extra tracking mounts, etc.

I  was able to get a great view of the moon, Jupiter, etc...

I also bought a Canon T-Mount for $30 for my DSLR and was able to get some great shots of the moon recently.

My total investment was under $50 probably.

 

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On 15/01/2018 at 14:02, Mak the Night said:

I have them both and have no intentions to part with either lol. They seem very different animals to me, both in physical size, weight and FOV. Both Barlow and reduce well. I tend to see the DeLite as a lunar/planetary EP (it was designed as a sort of light Delos) and the Panoptic is more of an all rounder. It is good for low and medium power viewing in lighter, smaller scopes. I even have a bino pair. Although it can be used for almost anything in my experience. 

Hear, hear.

I regularly use Pan 24 in my small frac, it is almost as light as the T6 Naglers. Delos 17 is heavenly, and I absolutely love it on galaxies and some globulars...but it belongs in a Baader Clicklock diagonal. It's big and heavy...and...something else.

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Hello everyone , i want to ask if this Zhumell kit https://www.telescopesplus.com/products/zhumell-telescope-1-25-inch-eyepiece-and-filter-kit  is any good for a small telescope 114mm reflector (its going to be gift for a friend ,new in astronomy) a guy in my area offered me this full set for around $40 i just wanna know your opinion on that kit it looks decent afterall

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Great advice here,
Of course, the f ratio will determine what exactly a low / medium / high power eyepiece is in mm

I have 4 different scopes ; plus 4mm, 6mm, 10mm, 14mm, 24mm (x2), 25mm, 40mm excellent quality eyepieces (Vixen VL or Televue)
I rarely use 4 and 6mm I often use 10, 14 and 24mm
My 40mm doesn't really work well with most of my scopes... I guess 32mm would have been a more practical length.
I don't have a Barlow

If I ever buy a new eyepiece it would be a Televue 8mm or 18mm
One scope  I bought second hand (in perfect condition) cost less than either of my Televue eyepieces!

 

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On 29/05/2009 at 09:22, The Warthog said:

I have considered the question of what a person needs in his eyepiece kit, as a bare minimum, for quite a while. Personally, I don't have a lot of disposable income, and I recognize that a lot of amateur astronomers are getting along on a shoestring budget. So, if you can afford to go out and buy a full set of Naglers, or even Radians, go ahead, this article isn't for you. It is for those of us who have to choose between a new eyepiece and a new spring jacket, and are already garnering disapproving looks from our partners for buying that natty little refractor at a higher price than they really, truly expected.

I will talk first about scopes on equatorial or tracking mounts, and later about Dobsonians.

I am assuming that, as we don't have a lot of money, we are not buying large catadioptics or refractors, and cannot afford a Newtonian of larger than 8". These general principles apply to most scopes, however.

SCOPES ON EQUATORIAL, GOTO, OR TRACKING MOUNTS

I am going to talk about Plossls, mostly, as they are the best value for money. If you get a branded Plossl, you will seldom get a piece of junk. You can expect reasonable sharpness across most of the field in all but the fastest scopes. Plossls also have a field of view of 50 - 52º, which is quite reasonable. I am also going to suggest a set of three or four eyepieces, and no Barlow,except in the case of a fast scope.

You should have a high power, a medium-high and/or medium-low power eyepiece, and a low power eyepiece. The eyepieces that came with your scope probably fill the medium-high and low power slot. If they are satisfactory, keep them for now. If they are marked 'H' or 'SR' don't even think about keeping them! If they are marked with a 'K', they are Kellners, which are generally acceptable eyepieces, but a little limited on field of view, being about 45º, usually.

Find out the focal ratio of your scope. It should be printed on a plate on the scope, usually near the focuser, and be represented by a number like f/5 or f/8. F/6 or lower is a fast scope, and f/7 or higher is an intermediate to slow scope. Scopes with focal ratios of f/8 or higher are generally more forgiving of lower-quality eyepieces, while fast scopes tend to reward lower-quality eyepieces with fuzzy stars anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 way from the edge to the centre.

If you can't find the focal ratio, but you know the aperture and focal length, the focal ratio is (focal length/aperture).

Take your focal ratio, and multiply it by 3/4. So, if you have an f/8 scope, the result is 6. If you have an f/10 scope, the result is 7.5. This result is the length in millimetres of your high power eyepiece. It will give about 2/3 of the theoretical maximum power of your scope. This is the actual maximum if you do not always enjoy perfect seeing and transparency. If you have a 100mm scope, this eyepiece will give 133x.

IF YOU HAVE A FAST SCOPE, say, f/5, this formula will suggest a 3.75mm or 4mm eyepiece. Looking through a Plossl at this length is a miserable experience. If this is the case, I would suggest you buy an eyepiece with a length equal to 1½ times your focal ratio, and buy a 2x Barlow lens in the same price range as your eps. These purchases give you your high power and medium-high power magnifications, so skip the next paragraph.

Now multiply your focal ratio by 1¼. For our f/8 scope, the result is 10, and for an f/10 scope, the result is 12.5. This is the length of your medium-high power eyepiece. For our 100mm scope, it gives a magnification of 80. Eyepieces in these lengths are not hard to find, and you can go up or down a millimetre if your dealer doesn't stock them.

Multiply your focal ratio by 2, now. By now, you can do the math yourself! In our 100mm scope, this gives a magnification of 50. This is your medium-low power eyepiece, and your low power eyepiece is given by multiplying your focal ratio by 3, and you get a magnification of 33 in your 100mm scope. IF YOU HAVE A FAST SCOPE, you want an eyepiece of 3 to 4 times your focal ratio, or 15 to 20 mm for an f/5 scope as your medium-low power eyepiece, and about 5 times your focal ratio for your low power eyepiece.

An eyepiece of 5 times your focal ratio also gives you an 'exit pupil' of 5mm. This is the longest eyepiece you want to use if you are older, as this exit pupil is approximately equal to an older (45+) person's maximum pupillary dilation. You can't use more light than that. If you are younger, you could go up to 7 times your focal ratio, or an exit pupil of 7mm.

To summarize, for an f/8 scope, we suggest a kit consisting of 6, 10, 16 and 24mm. For an f/10 scope, 7.5, 12.5, 20 and 30mm. For an f/5 scope, 2x Barlow, 8, 18, and 25mm.

If your budget allows for only three eyepieces, drop one of the medium power eyepieces. If you are a lunar/planetary observer, then we would suggest dropping the medium-low eyepiece, and if you are a DSO observer, the medium-high eyepiece. In the latter case, we could suggest dropping the high power, but let's face it, there will always be times you want to get a good look at Saturn, or a good planetary nebula, so keep the high power.

DOBSONIANS

Dobsonians tend to be large, fast scopes. If your Dob is 6" or less, you can safely follow the guidelines for the scopes listed above, as the highest magnification this will give you is 200.

At about 200x, it gets hard to follow things with a Dob. Some people can do it, and your ability to follow objects will improve with time, but 200x is a good start. You will want to have an eyepiece kit between 200x, and a 5mm (or 7mm if you are a youngster) exit pupil. Suppose you have a 10", f/5 Dob. You will have a focal length of 1250mm, and will get 200x with a 6.25mm eyepiece. In practical terms, a 6.5 to 7.5mm eyepiece will be what you will find available. To get a 5mm exit pupil out of a 250mm mirror, you will need an eyepiece that gives you 50x. This means a 25mm eyepiece. To get a 7mm exit pupil out of the same mirror means a magnification of 36, and a 35mm eyepiece.

Having decided on your low and high power, it is fairly easy to pick two more eyepiece focal lengths that will fill in the gap. If your spread is 6mm to 25mm, try 10mm and 16mm as your intermediate lengths. If the spread is 6mm to 35mm, then use 12mm and 20mm as your intermediate eyepieces.

So, for an 8" f/5 Dob, you would be getting something like a 5mm, 10, 16 and 25mm.

These guidelines will give you a useful set of eyepieces without breaking the bank. You can buy one eyepiece a month until you have your set, and use the eyeieces you have until your set is complete.If you can afford slightly better eyepieces, then buy those, with the length guidelines still in mind. If you have a fast scope, ask specifically if the eyepiece you are considering is appropriate for a fast scope. Some less expensive wide-angle eyepieces perform well only in a f/8 or slower scope, and you don't want to buy a set of these with a fast scope.

Best wishes, and enjoy your new hobby!

Very detailed piece of information. Thanks for sharing. 

Please guide me what focal length Eyepieces I'd be needing for my Skywatcher dobsonian 8 inches. It's an F6 scope. I have got 10mm and 25mm super eyepieces (non plossl) along with the scope. I want to complete my set of EPs across all adequate ranges.

Thanks in advance. 

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IndianAstroboy, Hello and welcome .

I have the same telescope and for my needs the eyepieces in my signature all work very well on this scope.
The BST Starguiders are my favourites, they don't provide a 6mm but I wanted a 6mm to match the scopes focal ratio f/6, so went for the William Optics  6mm SPL. 

In general, from my experience, any 8mm and a 12mm  eyepiece  would give good results on this scope,  providing your  comfortable yourself with the eyepiece in question, and you dont need to spend a fortune to get good results from a Skyliner, and for wider field's  of view,( possibly in two inch format) My choice was the Skywatcher Panaview 32mm.

 

Edited by Charic

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Hi all, I'm looking at a Bresser Messier 10" Dobsonian telescope as a possible purchase and notice that it only comes with one eyepiece - a 25mm Super Plossl. For a beginner, is this enough to get started or should I buy a complementary additional eyepiece at the same time? If so, any recommendations?

Some information from the manufacturer:

Quote

A good quality 25mm Super Plossl eyepieces is supplied as standard, giving a magnification of 51x.  Additional eyepieces of both 1.25” and 2” barrel sizes can be used with this telescope and are available as an added extra, (practical maximum eyepiece focal length is 4.5mm, minimum focal length up to around 30mm).

The Bresser site recommends this on the product page of the telescope:

Revelation ED 2x Barlow 2"

https://www.bresseruk.com/revelation-ed-2x-barlow-2.html

 

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Fantastic EP summary. As previous posts mention I wish I'd know this years ago !  

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Hi, 

I have been wondering about this and, as you do on cloudy nights,  have been perusing online astronomical retailers as to what would be my first additional purchase to compliment the kit that came with my (second hand)  set up.  

I think I can work out what's missing but would appreciate any second opinions please.  Perhaps if I list what I have it may be useful? 

130/650 Newtonian f5 

25mm, 10mm and 2x Barlow (which I assume came with the original kit)  - the 25mm seems fine but the 10mm doesn't and can perhaps be forgotten about as the previous owner bought a 9mm William Optics Swan eyepiece which I really like, and certainly feels much heavier and of good quality. 

There is also a 3x barlow. Also the telescope came with an auto-focusser,  laser collimating tool and three coloured filters,  no numbers on them but best described as smoky grey,  light blue and a light purple colour.  

So,  would I be right to be looking at an 18mm purchase with maybe a 32mm for a wider field of view  - plus my 7 year old who likes to observe too obviously has better eyes than me, taking into account what Warthog said about up-to 7x focal length.  Can you think of anything else I  may need for the time being? I have made myself a red light torch. 

Thanks.

Deb 

P. S I wear glasses for reading/PC work but not for observing. 

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There is a different but it's justifying it.there are some very good mid price eyepieces. Which give to top ones a run for their money.

If you can justify the price then fair enough. We all see different things in different ways. But diminishing returns come into play at some point.the secondhand market is always worth looking at.

My advice would be to look through eyepieces before you buy.don't buy them just because there expensive.or your case will look good.

Just remember you can't run a Ferrari on a mini income.

My opinion for what it's worth.

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On 07/02/2019 at 11:11, Taz777 said:

Hi all, I'm looking at a Bresser Messier 10" Dobsonian telescope as a possible purchase and notice that it only comes with one eyepiece - a 25mm Super Plossl. For a beginner, is this enough to get started or should I buy a complementary additional eyepiece at the same time? If so, any recommendations?

Some information from the manufacturer:

The Bresser site recommends this on the product page of the telescope:

Revelation ED 2x Barlow 2"

https://www.bresseruk.com/revelation-ed-2x-barlow-2.html

 

I bought the 8" and soon added 8 and 12mm Starguiders. The 12mm was a nice DSO eyepiece, and probably my most used eyepiece while I had it. Unfortunately, they immediately showed up the supplied the supplied eyepiece and so that was also replaced quite quickly.

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2 hours ago, Skywatcher130 said:

So,  would I be right to be looking at an 18mm purchase with maybe a 32mm for a wider field of view  - plus my 7 year old who likes to observe too obviously has better eyes than me, taking into account what Warthog said about up-to 7x focal length.  Can you think of anything else I  may need for the time being? I have made myself a red light torch. 

If you live in a town light pollution will probably mean a 7mm exit pupil leaves you with a bright sky background and so a 5mm "limit" is more appropriate. If your scope has a 1.25" only focuser then a 32mm Plossl still makes sense as a finder eyepiece as it is the cheapest way of maximising the field of view the telescope can give.

I see you've just taken the 18mm suggestion straight from the first post but I don't really like the focal lengths suggested for an f5 scope. To me there's an obvious gap which I guess is filled by barlowing the 25mm to get a 12.5mm. However, I don't like using barlows to get intermediate steps. Better to have the low/medium powers and then just use the barlow to get your high powers I think. So between your 9 and 25mm you could buy both ~12.5 and 18mm eyepieces but if you're going to skip one I'd skip the 18 (in my set the equivalent of the 18 is skipped). Additionally, the general suggestion for upgrade eyepieces is the Starguider line and at f5 the 12mm is good while the 18mm is not.

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Thanks for the advice.  Yes,  I had been using the 2x barlow to do just that.  The BSTs look a good choice and I can see some that are £43.99 delivered on eBay. What about a 15mm, would that be not a good midpoint?  

Deb 

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I think that a 15mm would probably be a reasonable choice. 

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Yes, a really useful post. Even if I have eyepieces varying from these I know what to expect (and why). My collection spreads around these 'optimum' numbers, but nice to see I am in the right ballpark that this logic suggests.

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New on here and slowly making my way around the forum. I am about to buy some additional eyepiece for my Orion Skyquest XT8, this article was very informative and a great help. Now I need to find out about different brands and the best place to buy them, so far I have looked at Amazon and Ebay, is there anywhere else that is recommended?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Kayperrins said:

New on here and slowly making my way around the forum. I am about to buy some additional eyepiece for my Orion Skyquest XT8, this article was very informative and a great help. Now I need to find out about different brands and the best place to buy them, so far I have looked at Amazon and Ebay, is there anywhere else that is recommended?

The BST Starguiders are highly recommended by several old hands on the forum and newbies alike. I've purchased 8mm and 15mm recently. Compared to stock eps and the budget plossls I've used, they're a fantastic upgrade for a modest outlay. Excellent eye relief, 60 degree fov and a quality view for relatively low cost.

I've used them with the Sky-Watcher Explorer 130P and Startravel 120 with no complaints.

They're less than £40 inc post if you deal direct with skysthelimit.org.uk

Btw, the EP advice here has been invaluable and positively influenced my buying choices. Thanks.

Edited by ScouseSpaceCadet

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Thanks SSC, great advice and have ordered a 7-22 mm zoom lens, i didnt realise this is what i wanted, should be here in a week or two

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