View Full Version here: : Eye piece selection for dummies

10-02-2007, 10:25 PM
I'm getting ahead of myself.

My 10" GSO Dob came with 6mm, 9mm, 15mm and 25mm eyepieces and after Lostock I can't help but be impressed how well it performed compared to other scopes that people tolerated me checking out. Keeping in mind that I'm getting married this year and I'm currently squirreling pennies away for the encoders for the Argonavis that was generously donated by Wildcard that I had won, I was wondering if anyone could recommend what would enhance my visual enjoyment. Barlows are commonly mentioned amongst different threads, are these a worth while investment and if so, what magnitude?

Many thanks

11-02-2007, 08:42 AM
G'day Deeno,

If you are happy with how your scope and eyepieces are performing, it is probably best at this stage IMO to save your pennies for the encoders. Having the Argo Navis hooked up to your scope will make a huge difference to observing as you will be able to pack in many more objects into the one night's observing, less time star-hopping and struggling to find elusive objects.

A barlow will increase the magnification of the eyepieces you have. So, a 2x barlow will make your 9mm eyepiece behave like a 4.5mm eyepiece. Unless the barlow is good quality, there will be a noticeable degradation of image quality by using the barlow. Unless you find your current line-up of eyepieces does not afford high enough magnification, a barlow is probably something that can wait.

When you have some $$ available for a serious eyepiece purchase, I would suggest you try to pick up something around the 14mm mark as a nice widefield EP. The Pentax XW comes in 14mm and is a cracker, for about $400 new. Iceman loves his 4000 series Meade ultra wide 14mm on his 10" GSO dob, so that is an eyepiece you might want to look out for the second-hand market as an alternative.

This hobby sure does get expensive....

11-02-2007, 11:05 AM
Save your pennies for the encoders...the AN will add enjoyment to the experience.

The gear you got with your scope is pretty good and could serve you a lifetime...yes, there are eyepieces etc. that might be "technically better" but that does not mean that at this stage you would get any more enjoyment from the view. Do not forget that the "modest" gear you have already is likely many times better than the gear that Gallileo and similar legendary observers had...

In my opinion the thing that will enhance your enjoyment the most is "dirt cheap"...it is more viewing time...there is no substitute for it.

If you must buy something (yes, sometimes we all get the fever or is it ferver) I would recommend a good comfortable observing chair (and as a disclaimer I do have a vested interest in the chair business)...

For me, a good comfortable chair added greatly to my visual enjoyment and saved my back from all kinds of "contortions" looking through my dobs.

Enjoy the hobby and your scope!

11-02-2007, 12:58 PM
if you can find one, the older style gas lift computer chairs make good observing chairs, quick easy height adjustment :)
plus the older ones are easy to turn into a stool by removing the back

11-02-2007, 02:15 PM
I would recommend the Pentax XFs, 8.5 and 12mm, (frontier optics sell them) and a good barlow 2x or 1.8x if you can find one. This will take care of the mid-to-high power range. The XFs are premium performers and exceptional value for money.

You will also want something for wide tfov. 30mm Stratus, Scopos or the Saxon clone of these perhaps. Or if you want to stick with 1.25" format, 24mm Panoptic or 22mm LVW.