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Sensible EP upgrades from Standard Skywatchers?


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The arrival of my telescope in imminent (in fact it might be there when I get home from work). It's just an Evostar 90 but I've always had it in the back of my mind that the first chance I get I'd upgrade the standard Skywatcher 10 and 25mm EP's to something a bit better. Maybe add an extra one or two as I go.

I don't want to spend silly money. Just a logical upgrade to something a bit better.

I would consider replacing the 10mm with a TMB Planetary 9mm, I think the eye relief would be useful and these get very good recommendations. Even though it would exceed the recommended max magnification with the X2 Barlow, I've read refractors can take more in good seeing, and it'd only be Barlowed for planetary viewing anyway.

I think that just a 25mm Plossl would be ok for a replacement of the 25mm EP, would something like the Celestron Omni range be a good choice? They seem reasonable.

I'd also consider adding a 12 or 12.5 mm EP, something I could Barlow to give a medium/high magnification. Plus a 32mm for wide field. Probably both the same make as the 25mm.

This set up would give me :-

9mm TMB planetary

12.5mm Celestron Omi

25mm Celestron Omni

32mm Celestron Omni

Plus the 2x deluxe Barlow that comes with the scop. Is this a reasonable spread, or would a 15mm be a better choice than the 12.5mm?

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I will be keeping a close on this thread, I have a Skywatcher 130p with the standard EP's which even if i had a barlow would not get me into the medium/high end of magnification.

I like the look of your setup how ever I might be tempted by a 7mm to give me near max magnification.

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Maybe a better barlow would be useful before eyepieces, I have heard the Tal ones from FLO are good.

Tal

I'm after one of these, but FLO told me on Monday that they were out of stock and the importer doesn't have any either :-(

Chris

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The Skywatcher Deluxe barlow is not supposed to be too bad, although the Tal's do have a good rep, especially for their price.

Scope has arrived:):):), it was waiting at a neighbours(who were kind enough to pop it round as well), and it's very impressive for a "budget" bit of kit. The tube is quite lightweight, as expected for the small aperture, but it must be a new design because it's a sparkling black design, rather than the metallic blue on most websites, looks very smart indeed.

I'm glad I went for the EQ3-2 mount, it seems like a very sturdy piece of engineering. I suspect it's far more mount than the scope requires, but it does mean I can add a 150 newt at some stage,and use the same mount.

Anyway, the EP's look ok, just need a clear day to set up the finder scope, and a clear night to get first light. I'm sure that I'll be impressed whatever EP's I use to start with.

Looks like the Royal mail has tried to deliver my 45 degree erecting prism as well. As this is a dual purpose scope it will be good for some nice, long range views across the valley at the back. No idea what to look at except golfers on the moors golf course, and some of the odd villagers on Baildon! :p~(only joking if anyone actually come from baildon, know lots of people from there and they're all ok-ish!:()

Anyway, got a bit of wine to sup and some music to listen to, on Last FM, there's just one cloud in the sky, but it's covering all of it, so need to bide my time for first light. Will try and post a first light when I get the opportunity - so sometime in June at the rate the clouds are going. ;)

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I have a couple of Celestron scopes and a SkyWatcher scope and i have to say that overall the EP's that come with the SW scope are really a lot better then the EP's that come with Celestrons scopes.

Dont be in a rush to upgrade just because.............

Learn to use your scope and supplied EP's and just ENJOY. They will give you great views.

YES in time you will come to understand the difference and beauty of higher quality EP's but until then just go with what you have. The SW EP's are perfectly OK.

I had a crud 2x barlow (part of an EP kit i bought). I gave it away for free online and bought a TAL 2X.

I simply can not praise enough the TAL.

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Now I have the scope in my hands I'm inclined to agree Paul, the EP's look reasonable, the who thing just feel decent quality.

I would have to say the weakest part of the package, on first impressions, is the slightly "harsh" plastic knobs on the focuser. I've heared the R&P focuser can be a bit slack, but it seem nice and smooth so far, just the cheap feeling knobs let it down(but only very, very slightly). Even so, then appear to offer a lot of grip, so maybe I'm being over critical.

I can't get over the mount. For the price it's impressive. Coming from a photography background it looks to represent amazing value for money. Camera tripods that cost as much as the whole package probably aren't any more stable!

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I have had some good views of saturn tonight so i will probably just invest in a decent barlow lens so that i can see some more detail and that will keep me glued to the lens for some time to come.

After reading your posts i have decided to wait on the EP's for the time being, Thanks for stopping me going on a spending spree :)

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I have had some good views of saturn tonight so i will probably just invest in a decent barlow lens so that i can see some more detail and that will keep me glued to the lens for some time to come.

After reading your posts i have decided to wait on the EP's for the time being, Thanks for stopping me going on a spending spree :)

Looks like it's best to live with what we already have until we find the limitations. I'm pretty sure things will be impressive!

Still want to upgrade, but might just invest in some gaps in the

EP's first. Wide anb=gle and something between the 10 and 25mm!

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My first scope was a Celestron 90mm "first scope". I think the tripod/mount etc is the same as what you have. It serves me well. I have no complaints.......except the fact that i hate EQ mounts.

On my Celestron 90EQ...............the only downfall (apart from it being on an EQ mount) is the knobs on the focuser and the slo-mo controls.

Anyways.............we are talking about EP's here and the SW EP's really are OK. The 10mm seems to be pretty WEAK while the 25mm is really ok.

Then again i cant REALLY comment because the only SW scope i have is a 130mm. I just find the 10mm to be lacking while the 25mm was not too bad.

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The mount is impressive, compared to what you get for you money for photo tripods and heads!

Haven't looked out for a while, but suspect trying to align an EQ mount, in the dark, after a nice Bottle Of Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon might be a recipe for disaster! :) I need to read Astobasby's guide before I venture out I think!.

Also, need to align the Finder scope. Which, I must say, seems firmly mounted. Wonder if the V3 Evostar has improved on this, as I've read about it being a bit slope an loose.!

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Polar aligning an EQ even after a bottle or two of Chiles finest really isnt an issue. Once you have the polar axis of the mount roughly pointed North...........you will be fine.

If you find objects drifting out of view one way of the other just tweak the whole thing (tripod legs) either left or right until said object remain in view for longer.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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My WA EPs, I think, are an excellent upgrade on the standard, supplied, frosted glass items. Available in 8mm, 12mm, 17mm & 20mm, they knock the socks of the SW pieces. I have a set for my Skymax 90 travel scope. The 8mm is FAR superior to the SW 10mm and the quality of the EPs continues throughout the range.

With these sizes, the wee mak doesn't really warrant a Barlow, although the TAL 2x is the one to go for, and has, on occasions, been used to good advantage when conditions have allowed.

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Polar aligning an EQ even after a bottle or two of Chiles finest really isnt an issue. Once you have the polar axis of the mount roughly pointed North...........you will be fine.

If you find objects drifting out of view one way of the other just tweak the whole thing (tripod legs) either left or right until said object remain in view for longer.

Sounds easy! :) It's just all the adjustments available, need to work out what is what, in daylight and with a clear head! maybe I need to look at the manual too(plus I got a DVD explaining EQ mounts that came with it?)?

Anyway, Last FM is still playing, and it seems the best option for this late hour! Joni Mitchell now, no idea how I got to that from Thin Lizzie and Gary Moore:confused:

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My WA EPs, I think, are an excellent upgrade on the standard, supplied, frosted glass items. Available in 8mm, 12mm, 17mm & 20mm, they knock the socks of the SW pieces. I have a set for my Skymax 90 travel scope. The 8mm is FAR superior to the SW 10mm and the quality of the EPs continues throughout the range.

With these sizes, the wee mak doesn't really warrant a Barlow, although the TAL 2x is the one to go for, and has, on occasions, been used to good advantage when conditions have allowed.

What EP's do you have? I'm looking at under £50 per EP and preferably less! I'm a Yorkshireman, similar to a Scotsman but tighter!:)

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Sounds easy! :) It's just all the adjustments available, need to work out what is what, in daylight and with a clear head! maybe I need to look at the manual too(plus I got a DVD explaining EQ mounts that came with it?)?

Anyway, Last FM is still playing, and it seems the best option for this late hour! Joni Mitchell now, no idea how I got to that from Thin Lizzie and Gary Moore:confused:

Sounds easy and in MY experience it really is that easy. Once the polar axis of the mount is roughly pointing north you are good to go for observing.

If objects move out of view too fast...........simply tweak tripod left or right (east or west) until said object remains in view for longer.

When i started using an EQ mount the Moon drifted across my FOV in about 2 min. When i properly aligned the scope it (Moon) took about 8 mins to cross my FOV.

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Sounds easy and in MY experience it really is that easy. Once the polar axis of the mount is roughly pointing north you are good to go for observing.

If objects move out of view too fast...........simply tweak tripod left or right (east or west) until said object remains in view for longer.

When i started using an EQ mount the Moon drifted across my FOV in about 2 min. When i properly aligned the scope it (Moon) took about 8 mins to cross my FOV.

Looks like it has a couple of thumbscrews to slightly adjust the East/Wast alignment. I think the proof will be in the pudding, need to get out and give it a go.

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What EP's do you have? I'm looking at under £50 per EP and preferably less! I'm a Yorkshireman, similar to a Scotsman but tighter!:)

These are the WAs:

Adler Optik 8mm WA eyepiece

S'n'S sell them for 30 Earth quises a piece. They are made by that nice man Mr. Wu at the Kunming United Optics Corp. in China, he also makes those wonderful UWNs that Williams Optics charge so much for having a swan logo added to... :p

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Personally I prefer to barlow for the mid power. IMO the Highest usable power in you scope should be reached with an unbarlowed EP, maybe a 6mm TMB or ortho. The extra glass reduces contrast and thats important for planets.

The 90 is limited to 180x max. 3 or 4 EPs alone will provide all the needed stops in the usable mags for that scope. In your position I'd skip the barlow and get just this: 32mm, 11mm, 6mm for 28x, 80x and 150x. Maybe add a 20 or 16mm in between but wouldn't be a priority.

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I'm sorry to say but the 43mm will probably be a redundant EP, as you already have a 32mm plossl. The reason why, is that it's only physically possible to get wide field in 1.25" format up to a point. The 32mm already reaches the 1.25" limit, so the longer 1.25" EPs display the same amount of sky, in a smaller circle (less mag). Added to that, with less magnification the sky gets brighter and you loose some contrast making faint DSOs harder to detect.

On the other hand the longer eye relief and larger exit pupil may make it more pleasing. It's mainly a personal choice but from a theoretical point of view they show the same sky and do the same task.

The 12mm will be just right as a medium power for DSOs at 75x. I observe most DSOs with mags in the 70 to 90x range.

Edited by pvaz
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My mistake Paulo, no idea why I wrote 43mm, I meant 32mm. I had a brief try of the new scope the other night and the 32mm was great.

I hope the 12mm version is as good.

I think I'll have to use the Skywatcher Deluxe Barlow with it for the time being until I order a 6mm TMB.

Like you say, maybe something between the 32mm and the 12mm would be useful, but again, I could use the Barlow with the 32mm to fill the void in the short term.

Need some more clear nights now, it's very frustrating.:(

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LOL :(

Maybe you'll need something in between. EPs are something very personal, however I find I usually go from wide field straight to around 80x. I don't find many objects that require the in-between to be well framed. Barlowing the 32mm seams a good option. You'll use that mid power on DSOs and they are usually fuzzy so even if the barlow isn't top quality it's hard to notice. On planets, at high mag I find the barlow quality is very important. At high mags the image is already fuzzy from other constraints (turbulence, temperature difference, haze, etc...) so if the gear doesn't help it's hard to get detail. I had bad experiences with cheap barlows, that's why I don't advise using a barlow on planets, unless you get a good one.

I know what you mean about the cloudy nights. Last year was bad, this one has been worst so far... :/

Edited by pvaz
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