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Personal lessons in completing an Eyepiece set.....nearly!


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After a recent buying flurry, I've had a re-jig and think I'm nearly there...

...as you can see from the pictures, there is but one space left. That could well be for the 21mm Ethos... or perhaps a 4mm if Televue should decide on this route...

But, let's go back in time....

It's taken me around three years to get to this point - it's been nearly a year since I purchased my first gear, but an additional two where upon I joined a local Astro group and started trying to assimilate as much information as possible to make an informed decision as to which way to go....

There's only so much you can glean from the internet forums (CloudyNights,Astromart, etc), online and printed media reviews and the like - and all should be taken with a pinch of salt - after all, it's the advertisers who pay for such publications... and no one is going to slate their own expensive purchase - as that's just not human nature - but that's another story...

From the outset I was informed by those far more experience than I that the eyepiece was as important as the optics, mount and diagonal - in fact it made up 'half' the optical light train of the scope - and was therefore something that should not be scrimped upon.

Therefore my theory was "Buy quality, buy once"....

Brands that came to mind were the obvious: Televue, Pentax and Vixen... all with strong followings, backed up with consistently high reviews and a brand reputation to maintain....

A good analogy was from the photographic field, that you should pay as much for the lens as the camera body - and I believe that this theory has stood me in good stead, for I have enjoyed exquisite views of the night sky with both my own equipment, the groups Celestron Nexstar 8" and an 'astro viewing friend's' Meade 12" and 16" Lightbridges.

Something else to bear in mind with 'Premium Eyepieces' (Televue, Pentax, Vixen) (and this lesson also comes from my photographic interest), is that once such eyepieces have lost there 'purchased new depreciation', like quality camera glass - it hold's its value. Your camera body may become superseded and it's monetary value nominal - but quality glass remains quality glass..... and a quality eyepiece will serve you a lifetime in whatever scope or scopes you should purchase along the way...

I had also to bear in mind that no eyepiece can ever be 'perfect' for every situation, as each is a design compromise. While I prefer the 'spacewalk' experience of widefield eyepieces, I'm not naive enough to realise that the amount of glass (and therefore air to glass surfaces) required in such a design will not have a somewhat negative impact on light transmission and contrast, etc. Hopefully, by purchasing a quality item I will have helped negate some of these deficiencies....

The decision to opt for the Ethos range was a purely personal one (the problem I've found with this hobby is that it's very difficult to find a good selection of quality eyepieces to look through in a scope similar to your own - and at the same time to make a proper comparison - to make any firm judgments).

My decision was based solely on the fact that the Televue Ethos range was the very latest eyepiece onto the market, and so (hopefully!), should incorporate all of Televue's design know-how and past experiences - optical/coatings/manufacture, backed up with stringent quality control, a pernickety customer base and experienced customer services - and I don't mind the 100° field of view either!

As for the Powermates, they were purchased for the sole intention of astro (lunar) photography - and have served that purpose admirably.

I suppose at heart I'm a purist and did not wish to barlow eyepieces (more glass elements added into the light train, heavy, cumbersome), and just 'not me'.... so I added the three Takahashi units for those nights where I could really push the magnification....

Thankfully I've not been disappointed !!!:)

Anyway, enough of my ramblings:icon_confused: I hope that has given you an insight into my purchasing decisions, pictures of the set follow....

Regards and Clear Skies to you all....







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Interesting write-up, and a very impressive collection!

I've spent a long time looking for my 'perfect' collection - I think i've owned almost everything TeleVue have made at one point or other - and got there at one point (5, 7 and 10mm XW, 12, 17, 31 Naglers) before the Ethos came out. Then I reworked it, and after a few false-starts i'm probably back there again until TeleVue release a 4mm/5mm Ethos...

I guess the lessons i'd add are (a) whatever your budget, try as much as you can. Astronomy societies are great for this, the used market is a good substitute. Eyepieces are very personal things, as long as there are no glaring optical issues there's no 'right' and 'wrong' choice and the advice you get online is naturally (and usually unintentionally) biased to the views of the writer. And (:) when you're happy, stop tinkering!

I still haven't learned that last lesson...

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I have all the eye pieces I need at the moment, they are Celestron 30mm Ultima, WO28mm UWAN, Baader 13 & 8mm Hyperion, BO/TMB 5 & 4mm Planetary, WO SPL 12.5 & 3mm.

All these eyepieces have long eye-relief so I don't have to keep taking my specs of to view. They also work well with the telescopes that I own. I agree that choosing the right eyepieces is just as important as choosing the right telescope.

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