Jump to content

sgl_imaging_challenge_2021_2.thumb.jpg.72789c04780d7659f5b63ea05534a956.jpg

Choosing a Planetary eyepiece


Recommended Posts

I would like to get some thoughts on 2 eyepieces i want for planetary & lunar viewing and maybe to split some stars, they will be used between my 3 scopes, which only one has tracking the other two are manual operation.

SW Skyliner 200P Dob

SW Skymax 127 SupaTrak Mak

80 - 90mm APO Doublet Refractor on alt-az mount

I do not want to spend a large amount of money for just 1 EP under 10mm and would rather have 2 fairly good EP's instead.

I have a 24mm panoptic and a 13mm nagler which sit comfortably at both ends of the mid power range.

The other night i tried using my televue x2 barlow with the 13mm nagler on saturn and it was slightly blurry with no conrast, maybe the conditions were not that good, but i want to try 1 or 2 high power EP's to see how they compare.

And the finalists are:

1. William Optics SPL 6mm (55 deg fov & 20mm eye relief) £70

2. TMB Planetary 6mm (58 deg fov & 15mm eye relief) £55

3. Celestron X-Cel ED 8mm (55 deg fov & 20mm eye relief) £60.

I only want one 6mm EP out of the 2 listed above and i would like to try the X-Cel out but would like to hear from those who have used one.

Thanks

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 87
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I have the 6mm TMB and it suits me fine for the price.

Best of all is the field of view with the dob. When compared to my 6mm plossl, I'm not sure I get more contrast but Put Saturn in the leading edge of the EP and it takes a while to drift across, without the need to nudge it.

Just my thoughts.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you considered Orthos? Either the Baader Genuine/UO HDs or the volcano tops?

Ok, ok... I know they've got a small ~45º AFoV, but they're just the ticket on planets and for splitting doubles. They're quite affordable too, 2nd hand, especially the volcano tops.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There's not much to choose between the TMB and the SPL 6mm optically, but the SPL has a much higher build quality and more eye relief. I've tried the 5mm X-Cel and was very underwhelmed by it, disappointing compared to the SPL or TMB.

Of the three I'd take the SPL.

John

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your replies and i did consider the baader genuine orthos, but from what i could gather the eye relief is pretty poor and makes for uncomfortable viewing, especially on longer more in depth sessions and as i will be using a short focal length EP with my manually operated dob and alt-az mounted refractor the fov of the orthos seem a bit small, i do not know what the volcano top's are as i have never seen one?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Gaz,

As you know I have the same 200p and a very genuine jealousy of your televues :icon_eek:

I do however have a 6mm TMB Planetary, and for the £45 I paid for it, it is absolutely stonkingly good. The extra field of view is making a big difference to oberving Saturn atm with it's beautiful brightness.

The eye relief is adjustable as well if you didn't know, you can twist the eyepiece to elongated for a more comfortable position. It makes such a difference to me as before this I had a 4mm plossl which had a piece of glass at the front the size of a grain of sand!

HTH

ps. Are you planning a review of the nagler and panny anytime?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you David for the link the only downside i can see that will effect me is the very short eye relief.

Hi Adam,

Well i am still waiting for my 200P dob from FLO and the update on the website now suggests late April until they come in stock. As you might know i have been waiting over 3 weeks already and when i placed my order it was supposed to be the 3rd week in March when they arrived, so i am very disappointed about that.

But rest assured i will do a review on the nagler and panoptic once i have been able to test them properly, but bear in mind i am no Jeremy Clarkson reviewer and i will get straight to the point and above all be honest.

I am so bored waiting for my dob that i went and bought a Skywatcher Skymax 127 SupaTrak, just to fill in the gap and i did get out for a few hours the other night before the dreaded DEW finished my session, but the seeing conditions were not very good and i only got to view a few targets, but i did do a post on my evening's session - here.

Link to post
Share on other sites

No probs Gaz :icon_eek:

Hope that you find the right EP for yourself. It's a very personal choice, what works for one might well not work for another.

I've been lucky in that most of the EP set I've built up, some of it quite impulsively, works really well for me.

Great first light report, too. Awesome isn't it?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sorry, should have thought to provide a link :icon_eek:

Here are the volcano tops I've been on about : Circle-T Abbe Orthoscopic EPs.

Over the years they've also been re-branded and sold by Celestron, Telescope House and UO, amongst others.

I have just bought a 6mm Volcano Top from another member on here. I have used the TMB 6 and 9mm and found them really good for the money. I sold them both and bought an 8mm Hyperion. This was a mistake because i find the Hyperion nowhere near as sharp as the TMB's and it suffers from a lot of light scatter on the bright planets. I am hoping i can live with the short eye relief and narrow fov or else it will be back to the trusty old TMB's

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh that's interesting. I've always held the Hyperions to be my dream (but affordable) eyepieces. So the field of views not great? I thought that's what they were renowned for? :icon_eek:

That's thrown me as I was thinking of buying one soon.

Steve

I have just bought a 6mm Volcano Top from another member on here. I have used the TMB 6 and 9mm and found them really good for the money. I sold them both and bought an 8mm Hyperion. This was a mistake because i find the Hyperion nowhere near as sharp as the TMB's and it suffers from a lot of light scatter on the bright planets. I am hoping i can live with the short eye relief and narrow fov or else it will be back to the trusty old TMB's
Link to post
Share on other sites

I was loaned some Hyperions and some Vixen LVW's and did a comparison review a while back:

http://stargazerslounge.com/equipment-reviews/116712-comparing-baader-hyperions-vixen-lvws.html

I thought the Hyperions pretty good although they will show astigmatism in the outer 20% of the FoV of an F/4.7 newtonian which the Vixen's manage to control better, albeit at twice the price.

Unless you are prepared to stay with the "normal" 45-50 degree FoV of ortho's and quality plossls, you need to invest quite a lot of £'s for a pin sharp view right across a wide field in a fast scope.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh that's interesting. I've always held the Hyperions to be my dream (but affordable) eyepieces. So the field of views not great? I thought that's what they were renowned for? :icon_eek:

That's thrown me as I was thinking of buying one soon.

Steve

Hi Steve. I was referring to the fov of the ortho. The Hyperion has a 68 degree fov which is huge compared to the 40ish of the ortho. Dont get me wrong though, the Hyperion is a fine eyepiece, i find the 8mm just not as sharp for planetary observing as the TMB 9mm. I am hoping i can get used to the short eye relief and narrow fov of the ortho as they apparently give the best views of planets. Never used one though, so should be interesting!

Edited by Damo636
Link to post
Share on other sites
Well i am still waiting for my 200P dob from FLO and the update on the website now suggests late April until they come in stock. As you might know i have been waiting over 3 weeks already and when i placed my order it was supposed to be the 3rd week in March when they arrived, so i am very disappointed about that.

But rest assured i will do a review on the nagler and panoptic once i have been able to test them properly, but bear in mind i am no Jeremy Clarkson reviewer and i will get straight to the point and above all be honest.

I am so bored waiting for my dob that i went and bought a Skywatcher Skymax 127 SupaTrak, just to fill in the gap and i did get out for a few hours the other night before the dreaded DEW finished my session, but the seeing conditions were not very good and i only got to view a few targets, but i did do a post on my evening's session - here.

You and me both about waiting! I am currently 2 weeks waiting since i bought mine :icon_eek:

That is the kind of review I (and im sure others) will want to here, telling exactly how it is!

I wish I had your money :/

Link to post
Share on other sites

Adam the only reason i have had this mad spend up is because i sold my motorbike that i hardly used as i was either keep the bike and have limited astronomy gear or sell the bike and buy a scope or 2 and some good accessories, i must admit it has been fun buying the gear even though i have only had one night out so far.

It is due to all this waiting that i purchased the Mak as i was itching to put all the reading into practice.

I did some more spending yesterday too, i bought a Skywatcher Evostar 80ED pro refractor and a skywatcher AZ4 steel legged Alt-Az mount/tripod.

The pot is now nearly empty, been fun though.

Gaz

Link to post
Share on other sites

The EP's are the problem and it is hard to match them to all the scopes, as they are 1500mm, 1200mm & 600mm, now i can barlow with the fast scopes for high power views as in theory when using a x2 barlow it doubles your f-ratio as well as doubling the magnification, so my F6 dob using the 13mm will give me 92x mag but when i add the x2 barlow the scope will be similar to a F12 and give me 184x.

But using my f12 mak i will uses dedicated short focal length EP's, and this is between the william optics 6mm SPL or the 6mm TMB planetary 6mm, i think the WO SPL just has the edge on the TMB and maybe a 3 or 4mm later on.

Link to post
Share on other sites

An 8mm will work equally well in two of your scopes, giving 150x and 187.5x in the Dob and Mak. While a 4mm would be spot for the ED80 giving 150x. And the 4mm may prove useful later when Mars returns and 300x in the dob will be good for looking at that tiny disk.

So possibly buy two TMB clone's for well under £100 to cater for all.

Edited by russ
Link to post
Share on other sites
You can get TMB planetary II 6mm for £40.50 inc P&P from Sky's the Limit. I've just ordered one today :icon_eek: they also do the 4mm.

Yep I bought one (the 6mm) from the same supplier last month and got my eyepiece within 48 hours in perfect condition, so no complaints there. To be honest I haven't used it as much as I'd like; I think it's too powerful for my little 50mm refractor, so I've mostly been viewing Saturn with my 20mm plossl instead - even though the image is tiny. But I think it will be great as soon as the wife lets me buy a bigger scope.

Chris

Link to post
Share on other sites
You can get TMB planetary II 6mm for £40.50 inc P&P from Sky's the Limit. I've just ordered one today :icon_eek: they also do the 4mm. Really enjoyed reading your first light report too, hope you get your dob soon.

Oh no! i have just ordered a 4mm TMB for £55 + £2.50 P&P

I will email them and cancel the order, so i can buy it from sky's the limit as that is a bargain price.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Adz - It really sucks when we miss out on a good deal - Luckily i did get to cancel me order from the website i was going to pay £55 and i have now ordered a TMB 4 & 6mm total cost with P&P £79.50 which is a bargain.

Russ - I could not find an 8mm TMB and william optics SPL's are 3, 6 & 12mm i think, so now i am looking for a good 8mm to finish off my EP collection.

I am so excited and cannot wait for a good nights seeing :icon_eek:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.