Need Help with Selection of New Eyepieces
Need Help with Selection of New Eyepieces
Sometime around March 2009, I purchased my a telescope from Opticsplanet.
It was the Sky Watcher 10 Inch Dobsonian Telescope S11720 with the Celestron Telescope Eyepiece - Filter Accessory Kit – 94303.
(My first one was from a hobby store that cost about $80 in February 2009.)
I have been very satisfied with my telescope and never looked back.
The customer service by the way was awesome since the tube was smashed and Skywatcher and Optics took care of me.
It felt great the customer was put back into the equation of customer service and I will never go anywhere else for my supplies.
(BTW, if you remember the username, I apologize for my "excitement" within two weeks of learning telescopes - at least the excel linkert scale I used was pretty good - just wish I would have only posted that and please accept my apology.)
One of the reasons I purchased the Sky Watcher 10 Inch Dob - was due to - wanting the largest aperture possible with a willingness to sacrifice convenience in order to stay on budget since I did not know anything about telescopes.
I have moved to the next phase and need advice (pros & cons) for eyepieces.
The budget I have is around $300 for eyepiece(s) and there are many choices to make.
I know a lot of it is factored around preferences.
I am 41 years old, wear glasses (stigmatism), and never cared about bells and whistles with a focus on quality; but I might add, I prefer viewing through the telescope without my glasses.
For some reason (could it be due to having a stigmatism and not wearing my glasses?), I have preferred viewing the moon, planets, and the stars between the ranges of 15mm to 32mm with total comfort zone hovering around 20mm.
Here are the choices I see, but there may be others:
Celestron 2" Eyepiece and Filter Kit 94305: This would provide a well rounded range combined with the original Celestron offering from 4mm, 6mm, 9mm, 15mm, and 32mm to 26mm, 32mm, 40mm. Pro: A great range. Con: I think I am ready to move higher performing eyepiece. However, I must say, after viewing from the $80 telescope and its 20mm eyepiece and putting in the Celestron 1.25 inch eyepieces, the first word/phrase was OMG; and then, I chastised myself for saying it.
Meade Series 4000 Eyepiece & Filter Set 07169: This would provide another good range from the original 4mm, 6mm, 9mm, 15mm, and 32mm to 6.4mm, 9.7mm, 12.4mm, 15mm, 32mm, and 40mm. Pro: A great range (and maybe slightly better quality?). Con: Slight overlap.
Meade Series 5000 5-Element Plossl Eyepiece Set 07673: This would provide another good range from the original 4mm, 6mm, 9mm, 15mm, and 32mm to 5.5mm, 14mm, 20mm, and 32mm. Pro: Step up in quality. Con: Slight overlap.
Meade 2.00'' Series 5000 Ultra Wide Angle Eyepiece 24mm: This is around the magnification of my preference and the FOV of 82 degrees. Pro: Good quality with a great FOV Con: Is there one? Oh yeah, I will probably use this eyepiece, sale my soul, and never look back except for the fact at being new at this and wondering if it is worth sacrificing the other magnifications.
Meade 1.25'' Series 5000 Ultra Wide Angle Eyepiece 6.7mm & Meade 1.25'' Series 5000 Ultra Wide Angle Eyepiece 14mm: Same price around $300 and two for one compared to the Meade 2.00'' Series 5000 Ultra Wide Angle Eyepiece 24mm. Admittedly, I do not know what I gain from jumping from 1.25 to 2.00 and it is slightly out of my known comfort zone per say; but hey, the better the eyepiece, the more you see and maybe it would offset.
TeleVue Panoptic 27.0mm Eyepiece EPO-27: Due to the price, I would assume TeleVue is excellent quality for around $300; but is the quality good enough to quail the lust for one of the selections above with a 82 degree FOV to 68 degree FOV?
Vixen LV 30mm Eyepiece 3759: Basically, the same comment listed for the TeleVue.
I hope you understand the dilemma that I am having since I am still new and I am very pragmatic person where quality is important; but, there is always a performance/price ratio to consider.
If you had purchased the Sky Watcher 10 Inch Dobsonian Telescope S11720 with the Celestron Telescope Eyepiece - Filter Accessory Kit – 94303 about six months ago and within your first year, what choice would you make?
BTW, I will weigh your response carefully, but still consider all angles and hopefully make the correct choice like last time.
- Neophyte Astronomer
Great! Glad you are having so much fun.
Okay, as always, price is the best indicator of quality and perfroamnce. On an eyepiece, you are paying for two things. First, how sharp and bright, not only in the center, but at the edge of the field and second, how wide a field, expressed in apparent FOV. Eypieces which offer the best of both are very expensive. Your choice of eyepiece depends on what type of object you are trying to observe, what magnification you want, how wide a field of view you want, the eye relief you want or need, how sharp you want at the edge, your personal preferences, what eyepieces you have now and much more.
For planets, the most popular, high grade eyepiece on the market has been the Televue Radians and you can use a Radian with your glasses, regardless of the focal length. These would be my first choice in those short focal lengths for the moon and planets.
For deep-sky, most of us prefer the wide-angle designs. These will cost you more and there is much personal preference. The benchmark on these has always been the Televue Naglers with an 82 degree field, but I also love some of the 70 degree filed eyepieces, such as the televue panoptic and the Pentax XW. Celestron and Meade also offer some great eyepieces in this arena and they are more affordable. Once you've used these wide-angle designs, pretty tough to go back to the Plossls. Really get you that WOW! factor.
I see no reason to invest in the 2" Celestron kit. It is just a repeat of what you already have in terms of quality. Move up in quality, now that you already have the bases, covered. Same with the Meade 4000.
The Series 5000 Meade Plossls are a great Plossl for the moeny, but they are still basically a Plossl and, again, why duplicate what you already have?
The Meade Ultrawide and the Televue Pan? Now you're talking. That's the idea. The Televues are always as good as it gets and owning any of them is the ultimate in a telescope eyepiece. Those big 2" models are very expensive, though. Panoptic or Nagler? Mostly a matter of what focal lengths you are dealing with and what you want, but for deep-sky, my choice is the Nagler. That 82 degree field is addictive.
Do you ahve an astronomy club in your area? That's the best way to scout eyepieces. Go to an outing and walk up and down the telescope line and you will get a chance to see all these eyepieces in action. Otherwise, I'd say you are moving in the right direction by going with more expensive, individual eyepieces, rather than the kits. Kits get you started, but now it's time to play the premium eyepiece game.
Thank you for a very in-depth response!
Once again, it always seems there is so much consideration and never a quick answer.
However, your response helped me conclude that over 90% of my viewing pleasure is actually deep space and I am going to order the TeleVue Nagler 16.0mm Type 5 Eyepiece EN5-16.
(I wonder sometimes if anyone else thinks they see something for a split second and never see it again and wonder if they are going crazy or not. This is one reason – believe it or not – I started thinking about seriously upgrading my eyepieces and needed to make sure this was the right way to go instead of getting another kit and having slight overlap.)
I have gone too two astronomy club meetings and still do not understand how people come away with such beautiful pictures and everything I have seen through my scope has always been in black and white.
I have gone to one outing as you have suggested back in April.
I received a diatribe on ruining everyone's night vision for thirty minutes since I did not park my truck far enough away and my headlights will not turn off; so, I have never gone back and on my own for the foreseeable future.
(However, it has to be put in perspective and ppl waited for hours because it was cloudy and I showed up at the wrong time and hopefully someone else reading this will not make the same mistake.)
One lesson though was the useful tool of a laser to not only point things out in the sky, but also shooting it through the telescope, and using a red light.
Therefore after another round of robbing my bank account, are there any other types of accessories I should start thinking about such as a laser, lenses, red light, flatteners (reducer?), etc. instead of getting another eyepiece like the TeleVue Nagler 22.0mm Type 4 Eyepiece EN4-22 several months from now?
(I promise not to ask anymore questions for another six months or so.)
- Neophyte Astronomer
Seeing something for a split instant before it disappears is not unusual. use averted vision on the dim stuff - look out of the corner of your eye - and you see it. Stare directly at it and it disappears. Then, too, seeing conditions can suddenly pen and close when you are right at the edge of seeing something or not seeing it. You've got the idea, though.
Yes, watch those lights. Quickest way to lose friends in astronomy. Ha!
You'll love the Nagler. Have fun!
How are you doing?
It has been a while since you have heard from me.
I submitted my review for a discount, saved $ for a year, and ready to purchase an Ethos EP.
As I planned it out, there were so many considerations and asked myself:
~ Over the last year, what focal length (EP size in mm) did I use the most?
~ Do I like viewing the planets or deep sky?
The FLs used the most (including the telescope EPs) were the 9, 10, 15, and 25 EPs with a AFOV of 52 degrees.
I would have to say I used the 15 mm for all around purposes the most including using the barlow.
The highest magnification used the most was the 9 mm EP with the barlow.
After trying to utilizing my first year experiences with this wonderful hobby and equate it with the Ethos EP, my head is starting to spend.
To me an Ethos EP is a serious investment and need to make the right choice.
For instances, it appears the Ethos really shines with the 100 degree AFOV around the 10 mm.
However, the 8 mm starts to as well.
I think the Ethos 17 mm would be too much sky for me to view since I never really used the 32 mm with a 52 degree AFOV that much.
So, I am kinda stuck trying to figure out which to go to meet the general needs all the way around because no one has an Ethos.
I can see why the 13 mm Ethos received the brillance award because of the maginification and how much deep sky you can view.
For the most part, I have narrowed it down to the 8, 10, 13 mm Ethos.
But here is the other kicker.
I plan on purchasing the TeleVue 2.0x Powermate PMT-2200 (2" / 1.25" 2x fully corrected image amplifier, Barlow replacement) or the TeleVue 4x Powermate PMT-4201 - 2" / 1.25" corrected astronomical telescope image amplifier within the next year.
I see it as a way to get another Ethos EP for a fraction of the cost while still using it with the other Celestron EP kit.
So, this throw in another monkey wrench with the maginification.
If I went with the 4x PM, I would have to go with either the 13, 17, or 21 mm; but, I have ruled out the 17 and 21mm for the time being.
If I went with the 2x PM, the 13mm would only be around 185x.
With the 2x PM, the 6mm would be to much at 400x for my sky conditions here and probably the 8mm is getting close to it but within the parameters for a good view.
Maybe, I make things to complicated????
Is there anyway you can provide me with the pros and cons with the above information to help me find the right Ethos EP?
The 10% discount ends in a couple of weeks.
Here are my objectives:
~ to be able to view Mars, Saturn, and Venus with as much detail as possible,
~ to be able to still view deep sky objects with some magnification,
~ to be able to ultilize either one of the Televue Powermates, and
~ to have the best possible overall EP available without going over $600.
In real life, I am not this hard to please.
I just put a lot effort into saving $ for almost a year to get the best for my telescope.
Here is some additional information that may help (and I hope it is correct; please correct me if wrong):
Sky Watcher 10" Dob
FR 4.7/FL 1200
Focal Amount AF Mag 2X 4x
Length Discounted OV Mag Mag
6 $436.50 10 200 400 800
8 $468.00 14 150 300 600
10 $530.10 18 120 240 480
13 $539.10 22 92 185 369
17 $615.60 30 71 141 282
21 $701.10 36 57 114 229
Sorry, the above is bunched up even though I have it spaced out.
Okay, you go with a super wide-angle eyepiece primarily for the viewing pleasure - to get that spacewalk effect. This is not so much a matter of specs and features as it is a personal and very subjective preference. With the 82 degree Naglers, that is about all my eye can take in at one glance. With the Ethos, I have to consciously move my gaze left to right to see it all and that, for me, is not worth the effort or the price. Then, too, any Ethos is a very large eyepiece and the weight may cause some balance problems with your Dob. I strongly suggest you get to an astronomy club outing or a star party and look through an Ethos, yourself, before you buy. It may or may not be what you expect.
I prefer the Naglers - I own and dearly love the 22mm Nagler. It is my favorite deep-sky eyepiece. Eye relief, optics, construction are all superb. Like you, I much prefer to wear my glasses and this is one Nagler you will love.
For planets, you don't really need those super wide angle eyepieces, but with glasses, you will need long eye relief. That's sometimes hard to get in shorter focal lengths, but you can get it in the Televue Radians. The Televue Radians are my favorite short and mid focal length eyepieces and, because of the long eye relief, you can forget the barlows and Powermates. I would rather have a set of Radians for my mid and high magnification eyepieces than a single long eye relief eyepiece and barlows.
Be careful with Powermates and other long barlows in a reflector. Reflector focusers are notoriously short on focus travel and some eyepiece/barlow combinations, especially when using the long barlows, may not come into focus. Only way to really know is to trey before you buy. Again, get to a star party or astronomy club outing. Be very surprised if someone did not have these eyepieces for you to check.
You are right and I have heard the same thing from others before.
The 22mm Nagler and a Radian would fit perfectly into my budget.
What is the lowest focal length you would go for the best planet viewing experience with my telescope?
To be honest, I did not consider getting a Radian and Nagler at the same time.
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- Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:42 pm
Another issue is the Dob design, itself. A Dob mount is not really meant to be used with a lot of magnification. It's at its best with low and medium magnifications. Pretty tough to track, manually, at 200x or more without some kind of slow motion controls, even if you have a butter smooth Dob mount. Your Dob is a much better to scope to handle at 150x than 200x, as you have no doubt learned.