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Old 22-01-2021, 04:17 PM
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codemonkey (Lee)
Lee "Wormsy" Borsboom

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Eyepiece recommendations for a beginner

Hey guys,

I'm in the process of selling off my astrophotography rig that has kept me well occupied for the past 6-7yrs and I'm thinking about moving to the dark side (visual).

I've never really done visual at all and so I'm reaching out for some advice on what eyepieces I should pick up.

I currently have an 8" F4.5 Newtonian and a Paracorr Type 2, which makes it effectively an F5. Said scope is up for sale and if it sells I may buy a bigger dob with the money... if it doesn't, I'll probably convert that to a dob. I'm unlikely to go faster than F4.5

I guess the biggest question is: what do I want to look at? Unfortunately, I have no idea! Having never done visual, I don't know where my interests are. In imaging, I was most fond of galaxies, but I have the feeling that globs and open clusters might be more visually striking?

I'm thinking of no more than 3 eyepieces to start and I'd like to keep the investment modest. Definitely no Ethos, not prepared to invest that kind of money having never tried it before. Maybe DeLite, or Baader Morpheus? That's probably as much as I'm prepared to invest right now, ideally cheaper, or better yet, second hand. That said, I don't want to go so cheap as to put me off the hobby by using equipment that's just not up to it.

So if you had to pick 1 eyepiece to start with, given the scope I mentioned above, what would it be? And then what would your second and third ones be?

If relevant in deciding which eyepieces, I live on acreage under Bortle 3 skies.

Cheers,
Lee
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Old 22-01-2021, 06:26 PM
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mura_gadi (Steve)
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Hello,

With already having a paracorr you have a nice start, at F5 over F4.5 your eyepieces won't have to be top of the line bling. But they will still be on the pricey side if you want wide fields.

I'd suggest you focus on what you want to view, I have a F6 8" and for two of my eyepieces the requirements are;
1) Mid-High mag that still gives a full disc of the moon (I like luna obs)
2) A low mag that will frame M42 nicely - Doubles as a nice wandering ep as well.

Its all about eye relief and exit pupil for visuals imho, you need to be comfortable with both to allow for extended viewing times at the eyepiece. 2-4mm exit pupil is often said to be optimum, but that's not a hard rule, just a rule of thumb.

After that, its finding eyepieces that will full these requirements and work well at the scopes F speed. Try and keep all your eyepieces within a few hundred grams of each or think about the balancing the scope if you go for a Dob style mount.

So, do you want to split doubles, see the planets or wander the skies...


Steve
Ps. If your going manual there is a reason why extra wide field eyepieces followed on shortly after the explosion of the Dobsonian style telescope!

Pps. Younger eyes will have no problem with 1mm or less exit pupils, so, its an age thing as well, at 50+ I tend to want to stay around 1.5mm+ and under 6mm.
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  #3  
Old 22-01-2021, 06:55 PM
astro744
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If you were into imaging then you’ll probably agree that one should put their money towards the best, largest and sturdiest mount they could afford and then put whatever money they have left toward the OTA. The mount is the cornerstone of your setup and needs to be as stable as a rock.

When doing visual the most important thing is not the telescope but the eyepiece. Get it right and you can use it on any telescope you decide to own. At f4.5 you are going to want an eyepiece that is highly corrected at that focal ratio. Yes you have a Tele Vue Paracorr and it will give you nearly f5.2 but it is designed to correct for primary mirror coma and it does a fantastic job in doing so but you still need a highly corrected eyepiece to start off with to ultimately end up with those pin point stars to the edge of field and across the entire field with the worst aberration being very slight field curvature if any (telescope design dependant; none in NP-101 for example). The cheaper eyepieces will have significant field curvature (and other aberrations) giving the classic response by many saying it is very sharp until the outer 30-40%. Of course one has to start somewhere and my first 2” eyepiece and one I still have is the Celestron 32mm Erfle. I used it on my 6” f5.5 as a beginner not knowing what aberrations even look like let alone have them bother me. I enjoyed it. I now use Naglers and Panoptics for low power and enjoy them too. Note you’ll here many times that the cheaper eyepieces work fine in slower f ratio (say f8-f10 but really closer to f15-f20) instruments and whilst this is true to some degree you will also find the highly corrected ones work better.

Tele Vue eyepieces are designed and tested to f4 and I highly recommend you invest in something they have to offer. Of course the larger longer focal length and wider apparent field are expensive perhaps double the cost of the OTA you have but they can be used on any telescope of any design you are ever likely to own. These are the cornerstones of your visual setup.

As to which eyepiece you choose comes down to personal preference on apparent field and eye relief, i.e. do you have astigmatism in your eyesight that requires glasses when observing? (Tele Vue has Dioptrx to correct this). How old are you a small this determines maximum exit pupil that you can accomodate?

I would recommend for your setup under your rural sky conditions the following:

Tele Vue 31mm Nagler (82 deg apparent field) for a 2.6 deg true field and 6.9mm exit pupil giving 29x without Paracorr and 2.3 deg true field and 6mm exit pupil giving 34x with Paracorr.

And alternative if you are younger and have dark skies would be a 35mm Panoptic giving a little less true field and a little larger exit pupil, (slightly brighter images) but you are bordering on too large an exit pupil for you sky conditions so I recommend the 31 Nagler. (35 is still quite useable for low power given your location).

If you don’t want to spend the money on the 31mm Nagler then I recommend the 27mm Panoptic (68 deg.apparent field) for a 1.9 deg true field and 6mm exit pupil giving 34x without Paracorr and 1.7 deg true field and 5.2mm exit pupil giving 39x with Paracorr. Note you do loose a bit of true field which for an object like the Pleiades is important as really over 2 deg is required to see them framed the best. The Eta Carina nebula with a 2 deg field and O-III filter is stunning.

Yes you can spend a lot of time and money trying different types and brands and sometime that will be the only way to find tune your selection. You will get numerous opinions on what’s best and what works but I believe seeing for yourself is the best method of choosing and going to star parties is a great way of doing that. Unfortunately this is not an easy task in these times of Covid. I would say just buy the best you can afford and for me the Tele Vue offering has all I need although I do have other eyepieces which I also enjoy namely Clave and Brandon. I have not used every Tele Vue design so I cannot comment on many particularly the newer post Ethos era. Nor have I used many alternative wide field brands so again cannot comment on them and no doubt others will chime in. It was an alternative low power 30mm/80deg. eyepiece that got me onto Tele Vue and the difference was astounding. At f4.5 you wont go wrong with Tele Vue.

Whatever you choose, enjoy you visual experience!
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  #4  
Old 22-01-2021, 08:26 PM
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AstroJunk (Jonathan)
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150x is by far my most used magnification. Very versatile and frames most objects very well. So for me my 17mm Nagler gets used every time the scope gets pulled out. Well worth covering off that area with a nice ocular.

BTW, for you, that's around 7mm - and hey look what just happens to be up for sale in the ep section! http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/s...d.php?t=189038

(No - I don't know the seller )
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Old 22-01-2021, 09:08 PM
astro744
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I didn’t end up giving you other suggestions for a set so here goes:

Tele Vue Nagler five eyepiece set (all 82 deg).
31mm Nagler
22mm Nagler
13mm Nagler
9mm Nagler
7mm Nagler
The next two only if you want higher power for planets or planetary nebula or splitting doubles. You could choose other designs.
5mm Nagler
3.5mm Nagler

If you like 100 deg then
21mm Ethos
13mm Ethos
8mm Ethos
6mm Ethos

Delos is also available in similar focal lengths except for the low power end. I have not tried Delos.

An absolute minimalist 1.25” only set (miss out on high power for planets on shorter telescopes (900-1200mm) but 9mm is great for say 1800-2000mm.
24mm Panoptic. (If you have 2” get the 27mm Panoptic or 22mm Nagler but 24mm can be used on just about any telescope as most are at least 1.25” except some very old ones)
13mm Nagler
9mm Nagler or 7mm for shorter focal length such as your 8”, f4.5.

9mm with 2mm exit pupil is great for galaxies at 1000mm f.l.

Now like I said in my previous post buy the best you can afford but as a beginner you will not likely be bothered by eyepiece aberrations like I wasn’t for many years and simply enjoyed viewing the night sky. It took me 20 years before I started investing in some Tele Vue eyepieces mainly for their highly corrected wide apparent field of view.
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Old 23-01-2021, 07:18 AM
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I hadn't done any real visual for many years but did when I first got into astrophotography and telescopes.

So in a way despite being in the game a long time I am a newbie myself when it comes to eyepieces.

So I have done a lot of research myself lately and bought a lot of eyepieces so I might be able to give some insight.

This is the list of my current eyepieces:

3.5 type 6, 9 type 1and 16mm type 6 Televue Nagler:

Roughly 84 degree field
The classic Televue space walk. Still marvellous eyepieces and hard to fault. The 9mm Type 1 has a lousy rubber eyecup but that is replaceable. The 3.5 is good for planets and high mag view, the 16mm is quite a wide view, very small and compact and a wonderful view. Quite close to teh 17.5mm Morpheus but prefer the Morpheus.

9, 12.5 and 17.5 Baader Morpheus 76 degree field - the best eyepieces I have.

10mm Masuyama 85 degree field. Love this eyepiece, wonderful views not as good in the corners though, remarkably small for an 85degree eyepiece - a keeper.
APM 30 UFF wide field
SvBony 8-24mm zoom, 60-40 degree field at the
Edmunds Optics 7.5, 15 and 28mm RKE. Very sharp and detailed, good light transmission, FOV a bit narrow for me although the 28 seems quite wide.
Televue 32mm Plossl great for widefield views and for finding objects.
Meade Super wide angle 12.5mm this was my favourite eyepiece from my early days.
TMB Planetary 11 7.5mm 58 degree field. First light last night - wow, love it 58 degree FOV in an ortho type design. Very little false colour and very sharp, great for the moon. This is a $53 eyepiece, incredible value!
various Meade Plossls from their kit.
University Optics Ortho 4.6mm and 12mm
15 and 25mm Dual ED $85 each, good value,a solid 2nd tier eyepiece

In the past I have had several 19mm Panoptics,22mm Nagler, 9mm Type 6
, a Televue Radian 35mm Panoptic and TMB Planetary monocentric. Also a 13mm Televue Ethos - a stunning eyepiece but huge, heavy and the cost of a small scope!

I have a few more on the way as well.

I am using high end refractors - AstroPhysics 130GT F6.3 (819mm focal length) and CFF105mm F6 (630mm focal length). You are at 900mm so the AP130 is very similar.

My favourite eyepiece out of all of those is the Morpheus 17.5mm.
The best bang for your buck is the TMB planetary 11. These are like $53 on Ebay,are well made and showed the least false colour on the limb of the moon of any eyepiece in the above list.

The Naglers are 2nd and are always a pleasant and sharp view.

What i have noticed since getting back into visual is there is more evaluation of an eyepiece on its eye relief. Eye relief is how far above the eyepiece can you see. The Morpheus has very good eye relief, you don't experience blackouts easily like some do. Stars are colourful pinpoints. Very little flaring which is a negative quality I have noticed in some eyepieces.

A 17.5mm Morpheus and a barlow would cover a lot of ground. You can take in the whole field very easily and comfortably. Its very sharp and contrasty. I prefer it over the 16mm Nagler Type 6 which is a well known and excellent eyepiece and so is mine, its just the Morpheus is noticeably better (more immersive).

The SvBony zoom is good value as well. The zoom goes out of focus as you zoom though. But for $125 on Ebay its a good deal.

So from my experiences above I concluded for me:

1. I don't enjoy these Ortho 40 degree fields of view. 58 - 60mm is the starting point and 76 degrees of the Morpheus seems plenty. The Nagler has more FOV but to my experience it feels much the same, perhaps because its a more immersive view. I also prefer the eyecup and ergonomics of the Morpheus which comes with 2 types of eyecups, a screw on to cap and usual bottom cap. It comes with a nice belt pouch with a metal clip you can set up so you can feel which focal length eyepiece it is.

The market has moved on. It used to be anything Televue was best. Not any more. Its way more competitive and there are lots of choices and probably few bum ones. Televue products are still top tier though.

I would get in touch with Don here on the eyepiece forum from eyepiecesetc.com he is a great source of information and is very helpful.

So my recommendation:
17.5mm Baader Morpheus $390 Astrodog or Don
7.5mm TMB Planetary ii. $53 Ebay

You've already got a Paracorr and barlow.

Greg.

Last edited by gregbradley; 23-01-2021 at 07:44 AM.
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  #7  
Old 23-01-2021, 09:20 AM
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Camelopardalis (Dunk)
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Lee, it’ll depend on how good your “native” eyesight is and how much you’re prepared to squint

For a first punt, and if you can “peep”, the Nagler Type 5 are cracking little eyepieces if you see one in the classifieds. Some folk scoff at them because they’re not an Ethos but they’re sharp and immersive without the weight and investment.
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Old 23-01-2021, 11:30 AM
croweater (Richard)
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Hi Lee, If you would like to start your investment in eyepieces more modestly I can highly recommend the saxon hd 60 cielo line. These are the same eyepiece as the celestron xl lx but a bit cheaper. 60 degree fov and 16mm eye relief. I have the 12mm, 7mm and 4.5 mm and find them very comfortable and sharp. I have had a couple of naglers in the past but didn't really like the 82 fov and they cost an arm and a leg. The xl lx get very good reviews and punch above their weight. The xl lx about $170, and the hd 60 about $130 at Astroanarchy. I repeat that the hd60 is the same eyepiece as the xl lx.
Cheers, Richard
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Old 23-01-2021, 11:45 AM
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Slawomir (Suavi)
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Hi Lee,

Another beginner here.

I think advices of getting an eyepiece with 7m FL first are spot on. I would look for one which is comfortable to use and not too large. 7mm Delite, albeit not cheap, would most certainly be a keeper for life.

I would also get something for a wider field, personally I would pick one around 12-15mm, probably a Nagler, as those are compact and have a wide field of view.

I rarely use my TV Barlow - prefer eyepieces at native FL.

Happy shopping
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Old 23-01-2021, 01:33 PM
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bigjoe (JOSEPH)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astro744 View Post
I didn’t end up giving you other suggestions for a set so here goes:

Tele Vue Nagler five eyepiece set (all 82 deg).
31mm Nagler
22mm Nagler
13mm Nagler
9mm Nagler
7mm Nagler
The next two only if you want higher power for planets or planetary nebula or splitting doubles. You could choose other designs.
5mm Nagler
3.5mm Nagler

If you like 100 deg then
21mm Ethos
13mm Ethos
8mm Ethos
6mm Ethos

Delos is also available in similar focal lengths except for the low power end. I have not tried Delos.

An absolute minimalist 1.25” only set (miss out on high power for planets on shorter telescopes (900-1200mm) but 9mm is great for say 1800-2000mm.
24mm Panoptic. (If you have 2” get the 27mm Panoptic or 22mm Nagler but 24mm can be used on just about any telescope as most are at least 1.25” except some very old ones)
13mm Nagler
9mm Nagler or 7mm for shorter focal length such as your 8”, f4.5.

9mm with 2mm exit pupil is great for galaxies at 1000mm f.l.

Now like I said in my previous post buy the best you can afford but as a beginner you will not likely be bothered by eyepiece aberrations like I wasn’t for many years and simply enjoyed viewing the night sky. It took me 20 years before I started investing in some Tele Vue eyepieces mainly for their highly corrected wide apparent field of view.
+1 for the 9 and 7 Naglers. When I want good optics and field I reach for those..very well corrected EPs..the Delite 18.2 is even better than my Pans ..the Stars are PINPOINTS.. Even in normally star bloated SCTs theyre great..recommend all delites for SCTs.
Bigjoe.
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Old 24-01-2021, 05:50 PM
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codemonkey (Lee)
Lee "Wormsy" Borsboom

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Thanks very much for all the great advice everyone, I really appreciate it! Lots of really great advice here, down to the point about keeping them similarly weighted for the purposes of balance, which I hadn't considered.

I'm 39, don't wear glasses and have average vision so I imagine that makes life easier with regard to eye piece selection.

I've decided to pull the trigger on a cheap SvBony 7-21mm zoom as a way to figure our what focal lengths and subject types I'm most interested in from a visual perspective and to confirm that visual is something I want to pursue. Once I've figured that out I'm going to revisit this thread for more specific suggestions on higher quality eye pieces.

Thanks again!
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Old 26-01-2021, 08:16 AM
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I have the SvBony 8-24mm zoom. Its very good value. It does not retain focus though as you zoom which would have been nice. But its sharp and bright.

I had read up on it before ordering and one reviewer pitched it as being close to the Baader Hyperion.

Greg.
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Old 26-01-2021, 09:31 AM
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codemonkey (Lee)
Lee "Wormsy" Borsboom

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Yeah, I was initially trying to find the 8-24mm Baader Hyperion in stock anywhere... couldn't find it, but I found people recommending the SvBony one instead and from there found people saying the 7-21mm was good too. Given the ~ $75 posted price, it's going to give me a better idea of what focal lengths I want at a very reasonable price, even if the views don't turn out to be great.

In other news I'm off this morning to pick up a second-hand dob with argo navis and a set of Celestron eyepieces. I assume the eyepieces aren't going to be great and I'll probably move those on, but in the meantime they'll give me an idea of what I want as well.

Good news is that it's actually meant to be clear here tonight, which is surprising given the weather of late, so I may just get my first look through it tonight too. Obviously the moon is going to make dim DSO observation unlikely, but given my utter "newbieness" that's fine. I guess I'll have a look at the moon and hopefully some clusters too.
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Old 26-01-2021, 09:54 AM
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Camelopardalis (Dunk)
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FWIW, I was never a fan of the Hyperion Zoom I had, other people swear by them

Re: Celestron eyepieces...they are usually built to a price (obviously) but some of them are gems, so it depends what range they're from. The wider AFOV eyepieces (Axiom, Luminos) were designed for Edge HD cats so unlikely to be very pretty in a fast Dob. One of my first eyepieces was a 25mm Celestron plossl and it's a cracker!

And a disclaimer to the doubters: I have had Ethos, Delos, Naglers, Pentax, ES...and still have a case of my favourite glass
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