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Advice please for newcomer


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Hi, I have had a life-long (now aged 59) interest in astronomy albeit I have only used binoculars for observing. I have decided to buy a telescope (probably a William Optics Megrez 90 - F6.9 - which seems to have recived almost universally positive reviews). I will be using it for visual observation only and portability, keeping things simple and ease of use are key requirements.

My questions are:

1. What (MAX of 3 only) eyepieces should I consider purchasing for maximum flexibility of use ?

2. Can anyone recommend a solid and reliable altazimuth mount and tripod ?

3. Can anyone recommend a decent Barlow lens - do WO still make one ?

4. What about a finder - red dot v finderscope ?

I would prefer to purchase "premium" rather than "budget" accessories and I have a total maximum budget, for telescope and accessories, of £2,500.

Any advice / recommendations very much appreciated. Thank you.

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I'm quite a newbie myself but have read many reviews that express these opinions:

1. For eyepieces, perhaps a a low say 32mm, medium 18mm and high power 6mm. The most highly regarded eyepieces are TeleVue (TeleVue Eyepieces) so have a look at them.

2. You may want to look at equtorial mounts as they tend to be stronger, if going 'premium' Equtorial then the EQ6 is well respected (Skywatcher). I can't comment about other mounts.

3. For a barlow I have heard good things about the Celestron (Barlows - Celestron Ultima Barlow) but others should be able to help you with that

4. To be honest both have advantages, I have both and swap between them.

Hope this helps

Airglow

Edited by Airglow
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I agree with Airglow on Tele Vue eyepieces although the Pentax XW's are pretty special as well.

I've owned a Megrez 90 and used it on a Vixen Porta alt-azimuth mount which was a nice mount with slow motion controls on both axis. It's aluminum tripod was not as stable as it could have been though. I currently have a Skywatcher AZ-4 on the steel tube tripod which is much more stable but does not have the slow motion controls:

Skywatcher - Skywatcher AZ4 Alt-Az mount

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Hi, Many thanks for the informative replies to date. Yes, I am aware of the excellent reputation of Tele Vue products - which 3 eyepieces specifically, within their extensive range of types and focal lengths, would members recommend ?

How do members rate the (very competitively priced) WO UWAN and SPL eyepieces - which (especially the former) seem to be reeicing "rave reviews" in some quarters ?

Many thanks.

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You have stated that you only want a maximum of three eyepieces, I would imagine that most people have more than this. I guess it really depends on what you prefer to view, if planetary viewing is your main consideration then you would want eyepieces that bring you up and around the seeing limits for your location. If deep sky is what your after then lower mag eyepieces would be needed. If you are dead set on three then I guess you would need low, medium & high magnification, maybe you want to look a a premium zoom eyepiece.

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You have stated that you only want a maximum of three eyepieces, I would imagine that most people have more than this. I guess it really depends on what you prefer to view, if planetary viewing is your main consideration then you would want eyepieces that bring you up and around the seeing limits for your location. If deep sky is what your after then lower mag eyepieces would be needed. If you are dead set on three then I guess you would need low, medium & high magnification, maybe you want to look a a premium zoom eyepiece.

Yes, to start with, I only wish to purchase a maximum of 3 eyepieces and am well aware that a low, medium and high magnification would maximise flexibility as I am interested in all aspects of observation. I do not wish to use a Zoom.

My question is, can any of the "experts" on here suggest/recommend precisely (in terms of make, model and focal length) which 3, would "suit" a WO Megrez 90 ?

Many thanks.

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My "starter for 10":

Low power = 28x - 22mm Tele Vue Nagler Type 4 (a 2" eyepiece)

Medium power = 69x - 9 mm Tele Vue Nagler Type 6

High power = 177x - 3.5mm Tele Vue Nagler Type 6

Total cost new approx £770.

Edited by John
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My "starter for 10":

Low power = 28x - 22mm Tele Vue Nagler Type 4 (a 2" eyepiece)

Medium power = 69x - 9 mm Tele Vue Nagler Type 6

High power = 177x - 3.5mm Tele Vue Nagler Type 6

Total cost new approx £770.

Many thanks - cheers !

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With a budget of £2500 for 3 eyepieces, 1 alt-az mount, a finder and a WO90....

Televue Ethos SX 3.7, Ethos 10mm, Ethos 21mm (167x, 62x, 26x)

Vixen Porta 2 mount

Telard finder

These will set you back around £2000. That leaves £700 for the WO90mm and a total of £2700. Certain dealers will give you 5-10% membership discount, which will bring the total down to around £2500.

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With a budget of £2500 for 3 eyepieces, 1 alt-az mount, a finder and a WO90....

Televue Ethos SX 3.7, Ethos 10mm, Ethos 21mm (167x, 62x, 26x)

Vixen Porta 2 mount

Telard finder

These will set you back around £2000. That leaves £700 for the WO90mm and a total of £2700. Certain dealers will give you 5-10% membership discount, which will bring the total down to around £2500.

Cheers !

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Hi, You have a optically very good telescope so good eyepieces make sense, I use a regular 32mm televue plossl which is fine lens but the nagler versions will give you a much wider field of view which with the wide field of your telescope will give some stunning views!

Both mount suggestions are sound the vixen porta 11 and AZ4 - I chose a az4 from the views given here as i have a c100ED and the longer length of tube is better suported.

kind regards, andrew

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Hi, You have a optically very good telescope so good eyepieces make sense, I use a regular 32mm televue plossl which is fine lens but the nagler versions will give you a much wider field of view which with the wide field of your telescope will give some stunning views!

Both mount suggestions are sound the vixen porta 11 and AZ4 - I chose a az4 from the views given here as i have a c100ED and the longer length of tube is better suported.

kind regards, andrew

Many thanks - cheers !

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Many thanks for the suggestions so far !

Regarding low power, what about a 35mm Panoptic, rather than a 22mm, 26mm or 31mm Nagler ?

Thank you.

If you have a really dark site, great. Often though, a little more power, darkens the background sky and makes faint objects easier to pickout. The Ethos 21mm would be the best of all for that reason :eek:

I've a 31mm Nagler and a 20mm Nagler but the 20mm is more used from my moderately light polluted back garden for this reason.

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Actually I have a scope rather similar to the Megrez 90 - a Vixen ED102 - it's an F/6.5 so a similar focal length. My eyepieces comprise:

Nagler 31mm

Nagler 20mm

Ethos 13mm

Ethos 8mm

Ethos 6mm

Antares 2" 1.6x barlow lens to give me 5mm and 3.75mm with the last 2 Ethe on that list.

Not a budget set but it covers all the bases with a wide range of scopes :eek:

Edited by John
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Hi, I'm also a beginner and thinking of an 8" or 10" dobsonian.... does going for the 10" make that much of a difference for planetary and deep sky viewing above the 8", considering the increase in cost?

Thanks

Steve

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..does going for the 10" make that much of a difference for planetary and deep sky viewing above the 8", considering the increase in cost?...

10" = 56% more light gathered. More noticable on deep sky objects than planetary.

Can't put a price on it though :)

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Hi and Welcome.

Nice budget

I had a 31nagler and it was amazing, very nice views probably my fav eyepiece, even over the 13 ethos I had, I would get the nagler over the panoptic myself

Shaun :)

Edited by shaunster
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Actually I have a scope rather similar to the Megrez 90 - a Vixen ED102 - it's an F/6.5 so a similar focal length. My eyepieces comprise:

Nagler 31mm

Nagler 20mm

Ethos 13mm

Ethos 8mm

Ethos 6mm

Antares 2" 1.6x barlow lens to give me 5mm and 3.75mm with the last 2 Ethe on that list.

Not a budget set but it covers all the bases with a wide range of scopes :)

Thanks again - your advice is very much appreciated !

It may be of interest to hear that WO "will have an 80 triplet soon" - this in response to an email enquiry I sent to them. I must say that their "customer service" was "first class".

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10" = 56% more light gathered. More noticable on deep sky objects than planetary.

Can't put a price on it though :)

Thanks John.... that convinces me that it's going to be worth it.

Cheers

Steve

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Hi and Welcome.

Nice budget

I had a 31nagler and it was amazing, very nice views probably my fav eyepiece, even over the 13 ethos I had, I would get the nagler over the panoptic myself

Shaun :)

Thanks - I've received recommendations for the Nagler 20, 22 and 31 for use as my low-power eyepice, so may well "go for" the Nagler 26 !!

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Okay, slight dissent from me. I prefer the 35 Panoptic to the 31 Nagler, though I am all TeleVue here! I found the 31 Nagler gave blackout zones and was less easy and relaxing that the Panoptic, which is also cheaper. But hey, they are great EPs.

Maybe throw in a filter for specific objects? I use an O111 to bring the whole Veil or Rosette into view in our smallest visual scope, a TeleVue 70mm. You can see them easily though a UHC filter might be as good or better. You do need a seriously dark site, though.

Choice of EPs should also be based on eye relief. If you observe in glasses then look up the eye relief on the TV site for each model. If it is not an issue you have a greater freedom within the range. For glasses you need long eye relief.

Olly

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Okay, slight dissent from me. I prefer the 35 Panoptic to the 31 Nagler, though I am all TeleVue here! I found the 31 Nagler gave blackout zones and was less easy and relaxing that the Panoptic, which is also cheaper. But hey, they are great EPs.

Maybe throw in a filter for specific objects? I use an O111 to bring the whole Veil or Rosette into view in our smallest visual scope, a TeleVue 70mm. You can see them easily though a UHC filter might be as good or better. You do need a seriously dark site, though.

Choice of EPs should also be based on eye relief. If you observe in glasses then look up the eye relief on the TV site for each model. If it is not an issue you have a greater freedom within the range. For glasses you need long eye relief.

Olly

Many thanks - cheers !

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  • 2 weeks later...

A fresh slightly different query, as I have now "picked up" a WO Barlow 2.5x.

Precisely which 2 Televue EP's, would members suggest/recommend I (initially - to "get me going") consider purchasing (for use with a WO Megrez 90) in order to maximise flexibilty with the resultant 4 magnifications available.

Many thanks.

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