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Old 25-06-2018, 04:47 PM
sj777 (Dave)
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Eyepiece options for new observer

Hi all,
Newish member here. I've been stargazing since end of Jan this year with my new 8 inch F6 collapsible dob and a 70/700 meade refractor and I'm looking for some advice on whereto next with EPs.

I started moving over to doing some imaging with a Star adventurer mount and my DSLR; visual was not giving me the wow factor due to light pollution. But a few weeks back one of the members of the astro club put an OIII filter and a wide field eyepiece on my dob and showed me a view of Eta Carinae that was spectacular. So I'm considering spending my money on some EPs and filters for the rest of this year.

I'm keen to get good views of the deep sky objects and also the moon and planets. I have been reading some of the eyepiece threads and I'm leaning towards getting a baader MkIV zoom for the reasons that everyone who has one has mentioned. I also want to get a widefield eyepiece and think a 31mm Nagler or equivalent is probably the right fit. This would give me a pretty good span of mags and fov I think. Would you agree?

The next issue I'm thinking about is the filters. The astro club member said a UHC filter would be the next best value move. But do I go 2inch or 1.25inch? I would like to be able to use the filter on both the zoom and the widefield EP and also on both the dob which can take 2inch and 1.25 via the adaptor. The meade is a 1.25inch focuser. Any ideas on how to best approach choosing the right size filter for my equipment? Also any comments on choice of filters?

Thanks
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Old 25-06-2018, 05:30 PM
gaseous (Patrick)
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Hi Dave, welcome aboard.


Jeez, where to start. I've got an 8" F6 dob like you, and the Baader Zoom is probably my most used eyepiece - it's a cracker. Possibly not the widest FOV, but for me the convenience more than compensates for this.


A T5 31mm Nagler is probably approaching (if not at) the pinnacle of longer fl eyepieces, with a commensurate pricetag. If money is no object, then knock yourself out. I've got an Explore Scientific 30mm 82 which I really like and is probably my second-most used EP, and according to a lot of reports it compares reasonably well with the Nagler for quite a lot less $$$.



With this and the zoom you'd probably have your medium-long focal length EP requirements covered for the time being. If you're into planets as well, then something in a shorter FL would probably suit, although I've found the Baader Zoom works pretty well in a 2" Barlow and would give you 300x in the dob, which is probably high enough to be getting on with for planets. Others will no doubt weigh in with their own opinions and preferences.


If you're chasing any kind of DSO which warrants a filter, then I'd assume the dob would be the scope of choice due to the 8x light gathering power over the Meade, so I'd probably go with a 2" filter. You'll get great widefield views through a 30-31mm EP, and it'll work in the zoom and/or barlow as well. I can't imagine how dim the view would be with a narrowband filter in a 70mm scope. Again, others may have differing opinions, but my 1.25" filters don't get a lot of use unless I'm hunting planetary nebulae at higher magnifications.



Good luck, clear skies, and deep wallets....
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Old 25-06-2018, 07:05 PM
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Stonius (Markus)
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I'd also recommend the ES 30mm. And the UHC filter. I don't use any other filters for visual. It's basically a Ha, S2 and O3 filter in one! I'd go the 2" if you can afford it because it's on the wide field views where you will most want to use it! (but I have one of each, TBH).

I've never owned a zoom EP, so I can't comment.

Best, Markus
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Old 25-06-2018, 09:47 PM
sj777 (Dave)
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Thanks for your replies. It's helped to straighten out my thinking abit.

Patrick,
Yes now that you mention it, it doesn't really make sense to get too worried about deep sky on the meade. A 2 inch filter on the dob will be how I'll use it. I might have been thinking about how I like to mount the meade on the star adventurer for the RA tracking but that's only really an issue on planets. In general I have some work to do on the dob to refine the alt az performance.

Thanks you both for the idea of the ES 30mm - I did a real quick google on it and it seems that it's a pretty good contender and I'm keen to limit what I spend if I can. I like value for money

I'd prefer to buy pre-loved gear abut I suppose these more premium eye pieces are a bit like heirloom items and people usually only part with them if forced to. I'll put a post in trade wanted anyway in case.

So i think I'm heading for a baader zoom with matching 2x barlow + ES 30mm and a UHC (prob astronomik). Now off to the bank manager

Thanks
Dave
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Old 26-06-2018, 07:43 AM
gaseous (Patrick)
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Before you buy, just bear in mind that on my dob, I need a 35mm extension tube to work well with the zoom. Without it, I can't rack the focuser out far enough to achieve focus, and the standard 50mm extension tube the dobs normally come with is a touch too long. You can possibly have the zoom sitting a bit further out in the focuser, but this becomes fraught with danger in my opinion. I bought my 35mm extension tube from Bintel if you're interested.
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Old 26-06-2018, 08:15 AM
sj777 (Dave)
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Thanks Patrick - good advice there - I'm remote at the moment but I think it is a 50mm ext tube that came with it.
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Old 26-06-2018, 04:41 PM
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floyd_2 (Dean)
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Probably the only thing to remember with the Baader zoom is that it has a relatively narrow FOV. Having said that, I own two of them and love them - one for a refractor (with a 2.25 matching barlow) and the other for my C9.25 SCT. My scopes are dual mounted on an AZ-EQ5 so I can view alongside my daughter. With a tracking mount, a narrower FOV isn't so much of a bother. However, if you're using push-to with the zoom EP, you may find that you're constantly nudging the scope when the FOV is narrow, especially during higher power viewing. Food for thought anyway.

With a 2" filter, remember that you won't be able to mount the filter if you're using the Baader barlow. The barlow will extend beyond the 2" barrel on the eyepiece. You may not even want to do that as the magnification is likely to be fairly big with the barlow on anyway - killing a lot of light in an 8".

It's all a balancing act at the end of the day mate. You buy the eyepieces / filters that will suit the majority of your viewing targets most closely - kill as many birds with one stone as you can
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Old 26-06-2018, 06:00 PM
sj777 (Dave)
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Thanks Dean
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