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Eyepiece upgrade for Skywatcher 180 Maksutov.


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I am waiting for a Skywatcher Skymax 180 to be delivered.Need advice on eyepieces to use with this scope.I currently have circle T ortho's 4,18 and 25mm.Also Antares W70 5.7,8.6,14 and 19mm.

For purley observational use,how could I improve or upgrade the viewing experience?I was thinking of Hyperian 8mm and 21 or 25mm.Or even selling the circle T's and buying a couple of Abbe ortho's.Any offers of advice of your experience using eyepieces with a maksutov would be welcome.

Thanks Martin:icon_salut:

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What is your scopes focal length?

A Brandon 16mm sits happily in my f15, a 12mm is a bit much for planetary except for nights of great seeing, but at f10-f12ish it should be perfect.

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Hi.

The 180 has a focal length of 2700mm ??

Your Circle T's are great wee eyepieces. Your 25mm and 18mm will give 108x and 150x respectably and should get lots of use. I'd look to plug the gap with a low power eyepiece and a high power one in the 200x area.

As previously said, here in the UK you'll rarely get the skies that will let you use an eyepiece with a focal length of 10mm or less.

Cheers,

Andy.

**edit: I see you have a 14mm(193x) eyepiece already. Try it on the 180 Mak before you splash any cash. Slow scopes are easy on eyepieces. You don't need to spend big bucks to get nice views.

Edited by AndyH
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I am waiting for a Skywatcher Skymax 180 to be delivered.Need advice on eyepieces to use with this scope.

The Skymax 180 is my main scope. I love it.

I've tested out loads of different eyepieces in it too.

For single-eye viewing, the 12.5mm Baader Genuine Ortho will provide unsurpassed views from an off-the-shelf eyepiece, and at 30xpi (216x magnification) is about the maximum "clean" magnification that you can get from this scope before diffraction effects become visible. If the scope is fully cooled down, you'll be able to use this eyepiece on most nights (I certainly did). I prefer the Volcano-Top Circle-T Orthos for some quirky reason, but I do acknowledge that the Baader Genuine Orthos have a slightly superior view.

For a "step back" on less-than-perfect seeing, a 15mm eyepiece - such as a Meade 4000 Plossl - is a nice fallback without dropping all the way to 18mm - which I consider a drop too far from 12.5mm in this scope.

So - if you're not using a binoviewer - a good-quality 12.5mm eyepiece (such as the BGO) really is the "must-have" eyepiece for the Skymax 180.

By the way, if it is the Gold-Tube version of the Skymax 180 that you are buying, then I'd thoroughly recommend doing what I did - buying an SCT convertor and the Revelation Quartz 2" Dielectric Diagonal.

The Revelation Quartz 2" Dielectric Diagonal is a cracking good piece of kit - worth every penny, and well worth the investment with the gold-tube 180. The reason for the diagonal upgrade is not for the benefit of the 2" format. With the 2" diagonal, you're still limited to 1.25" eyepieces (2" ones won't get full-field illumination) - the reason for the upgrade is:

  • It's a vastly improved diagonal both physically and optically
    (and a much sturdier support for binoviewers)
  • Its 2" interior seems free from internal reflections when used with the Skymax 180

As for me, I use a binoviewer now. Specifically the William Optics one. I sold on the eyepieces however, and instead I use a pair of Burgess Optical 20mm Bino-Lites, which are superb, and a pair of 16mm Brandons for lunar observation. Note that use of such a binoviewer makes the 180 a F18 scope (effective focal length 3240mm). For maximum magnification planetary viewing I use the Bino-Lites in conjunction with the binoviewer's 1.7x OCS lens.

Apart from that, I've got 24mm widefields (a Panoptic and a Meade SWA) for low-power monoviewing of DSO (haven't chosen which to keep). Neither of these I've fully tested with this scope yet, and also a 40mm TeleVue Plossl which (again) I've not really tried with it. Whilst a 24mm Panoptic and a 40mm Plossl have the same field of view, there's a brightness difference that could make it a worthwhile combination to have with a Mak like this - although I'm starting to think that it's probably expensive overkill and a single Meade 4000 32mm Plossl would probably be enough (especially since I've had great DSO views with a Revelation 32mm Plossl and this telescope).

In summary, if I was mono-viewing, I'd just have a 12.5mm ortho, and 15mm & 32mm Meade 4000 Plossls with this scope - nothing more.

Just three eyepieces - that's all! :)

Having said that - once you've been binoviewing the planets - well - there's no going back really - and those Brandon eyepieces are superb on the moon!

Edited by great_bear
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:evil6:Thanks for all the great advice.I will experiment with what I have and see where it leads.I am beginning to go the way of three good eyepieces that will always be used, as opposed to many that stay in the storage box.

Thanks Martin

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By the way Great Bear,I was told that the gold coloured tube did not have the wider focus exit.

I wasn't aware there was any difference with the newer one. In any case, the reason for the diagonal upgrade is not for the benefit of the 2" format. Sorry - I didn't make that clear - with the 2" diagonal, you're still limited to 1.25" eyepieces (2" ones won't get full-field illumination) - the reason for the upgrade is:

  • It's a vastly improved diagonal both physically and optically
    (and a much sturdier support for binoviewers)
  • Its 2" interior seems free from internal reflections when used with the Skymax 180

Hope that explains things.

I've just updated my previous post with this same info.

Edited by great_bear
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