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Old 29-12-2009, 03:55 PM
Afro Boy (Carl)
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Cool Will better eyepieces make a difference?

Hi folks,

Very, very new to all of this so be gentle! My wife bought me a basic telescope (114mm / 900mm reflective) for Christmas. I can't believe I never had one before! I've had a few nights looking at the moon and a few stars. Was all pretty amazing.

I'm thinking of buying some better eyepieces as I know the ones that came with my scope are pretty basic (cheap). Will this make much of a difference?

I would like to upgrade my scope in the future, so I would want these eyepieces to be useful into the future.

Am thinking of something like these: http://www.ozscopes.com.au/plossl-ey...ch-pl25mm.html

Any thoughts? Ideas? Or things I should consider before venturing into this?

Thanks,
Af.
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Old 29-12-2009, 04:16 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Odds are they will be exactly the same as the ones that came with your scope. What eyepieces came with the scope?
Plossl EPs are a fairly standard design that is used in most of these scopes. Often times you will get 2, a 25mm and a 10mm. For 95% of viewing the 25mm is the one to use. Getting better EPs is usually a good idea, but beware, it can be expensive. A wider apparent field of view is often nice, Bintel do a Superview EP that is $59 for the 15mm which has a 68 deg FOV compared to a Plossls 50deg and gives 60x in your scope.
Would suggest, trying out other peoples EPs at a club night before spending the hard earned!
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Old 29-12-2009, 11:23 PM
areyouabus (Pauly)
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I'd just start with a barlow then look at upgrading the 10mm to something with better eye relief and field of view.
The 25mm that came with my scope was suprisingly good, but then i've heard some great stories about the Televue Plossls for around $100 each.
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Old 29-12-2009, 11:45 PM
Afro Boy (Carl)
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Thanks for the advice folks. My scope came with a 2x barlow which seems reasonable. Is there much difference in quality when it comes to Barlows?

The kit came with a 20mm, 12.5mm and 4mm. The 4mm is pretty useless. I can't see a thing through it. The 20mm is pretty good and the 12.5 is okay. They're no-name brand eyepieces and made in China.

I'm going to my local astronomy club on the 1st Jan so will ask around and try a few other eyepieces. That should help me get a better idea on what's what I reckon.

Thanks,
C.
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Old 30-12-2009, 06:06 AM
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wavelandscott (Scott)
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Carl,

I think you are on the right track in terms of getting to your local Astro Club before buying anymore eyepeices...

Yes, good quality eyepieces will improve the view but they can also quickly be more expensive than the scope itself!

Always try before you buy if you can...but do take some time using what you have before splashing out on more gear.

Good Luck!
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Old 16-01-2010, 01:00 AM
Afro Boy (Carl)
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Got home tonight from my first public viewing at my local club (MPAS). It was great! Two lovely folks collimated my scope for me which made a huge difference. I tried a few other eyepieces which was also very useful.

I would like to buy one new eyepiece which has a wider field of view. Something that will keep with me when I move to a more improved scope.

The problem is that I don't understand the math involved! I have a 4" newtonian with a 900mm focal length. I have read that my maximum magnification should be 4*50 = 200x.

So what range of EP mm should I be looking for? How does that part factor in?

Also, any thoughts on what a good wider FOV EP I should be looking at? I don't mind spending a couple hundred on an EP but prolly not any more than $200.

Cheers,
Af.
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Old 16-01-2010, 03:51 AM
ColHut (Colin)
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Welcome aboard Af. You might want to check the Reviews section for 4.5" reflectors...
I'm guessing the 4mm is labeled SR - if so save the barrel for a webcam project

Have the others nylon or metal barrels? Anyway I'd say save your pennies for the momment.

Either way a 32mm plossl will max out the field of view for your 1.25" eyepiece tubel, Bintels own brand of GSOs are only $39 or you could try a better Meade series 4000 for $69, or for double that a Televue 32mm plossl.

You can get some more magnification and the same field of view by paying more and getting a superwide angle or ultrawide angle - a 20mm or so superwide or ultrawide like the meade 4000QX or GSO superviews.

A good barlow will help if yours is a plastic cheapie, say X2 or 2.5

But for the momment why not just suck and see for a bit.

regards

Two good places to shop would be (amongst others) Bintel and Andrews Communications.
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Old 16-01-2010, 10:24 AM
Barrykgerdes
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Hi Carl

Quality eyepieces will improve the view in that scope but you may not notice much difference till you buy eyepieces in the $300-$600 bracket. Don't expect much better views with eyepieces of any quality at shorter Focal length than 10mm with that scope. It just doesn't collect enough light. In fact deep sky objects may look even better with a cheap 40 mm eyepiece.

If you have that kind of money to invest you could get up to a 10" dobsonian and use your existing eyepieces. The difference here will be phenomial with the increased light gathering even with the cheap eyepieces. Of course expensive eyepieces will give an improvement also.

Barry
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Old 16-01-2010, 11:04 AM
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wavelandscott (Scott)
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Glad to hear you made it to a viewing night! Take your time before spending your money.

With respect to "eyepiece advice" check out http://www.televue.com/engine/page.asp?ID=221

Lots of good advice (and they make some pretty nice gear too.
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Old 16-01-2010, 11:08 AM
Afro Boy (Carl)
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Ahhh, so many ways to go. I'm in no rush yet so just researching for the next purchase when I'm ready to upgrade. So, thanks for all the advice.

Quote:
I'm guessing the 4mm is labeled SR - if so save the barrel for a webcam project
Your scope must be powerful to see my eyepiece from Perth! It is labelled SR4mm, whatever that means! They're all metal barrels.

I find I'm using the barlow quite a bit so I might look at a better quality barlow like you mentioned. That makes sense to me and I will likely still use it into the future with my next scope anyway.

Thanks for your thoughts too Barry. It seems like it's not worth buying $300+ eyepieces as I could get a better scope when I'm in that range. Will definitely be keeping that in mind.

Thanks again for the help folks.

Cheers,
Af.
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  #11  
Old 16-01-2010, 03:42 PM
StarGazing (Alex)
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Yes they do Afro, from the generic Chinese plossils to say a nagler, ethos, pentax xw or 1 or 2 others the difference is alot. Is the price relative well in my opinion for sure but they are big bucks so choose carefully. My thoughts when I upgraded was to choose a couple of really good ep's with a wide field and progress from there. One example was the Nagler 26mm on my 14 inch dob .......... I had a 25 mm plossil a Meade 26 mm qx and then had 1 look through the nagler and the detail was amazingly different. Observing Clusters and other dso's with field of view hooked me forever.

That's my story, good luck with your adventure Alex.
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Old 17-01-2010, 11:40 AM
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floyd_2 (Dean)
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Hi Afro - I started with a 4" reflector that only used 0.96" eyepieces. My next step from there was a 10" dob - and what a difference it was - chalk and cheese. I stayed with the 10" dob for years.

Depending on your budget, it might be worth looking for an 8" - 10" dob that comes with a couple of eyepieces in the deal. I guess you need to at least keep in mind that you probably will, in the future, move up to a larger / more advanced scope. That being the case, just keep in mind what sort of focal length eyepieces you grab for your current scope as they may produce significantly different magnifications on your next scope.

To determine power in a telescope, divide the focal length of the telescope by the focal length of the eyepiece. Your current scope is 900mm FL, so a 5mm eyepiece (for example) would produce 900 / 5 = 180x magnification. If you moved to, say, a 10" F5.6 scope later on (FL of 1422mm), that same eyepiece would give you 284x.

Most sources will note that the maximum that you would get out of a reflector on an exceptional night is about 50x per inch of aperture. On your 4", that would be around 200x, and on a 10" around 500x. However, I would expect that most of your observing would be well below those limits.

Anyway, hopefully that info may assist you a little with choosing the FL of any new eyepieces to suit you into the future.

All the very best with your purchasing Afro, and welcome to a new and endlessly interesting hobby!

Dean
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Old 17-01-2010, 02:46 PM
Wavytone
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Carl,

Compared to your small reflector, some money spent on a bigger aperture scope will produce far better rewards than money spent on eyepieces.

But first, go visit a local clubs observing nights to see what others are using and sort out what your interests are.

When the time comes to buy you can do quite well buying a dob secondhand and you may find one that comes with some reasonable eyepieces; I'm sure most selling a dob would happily throw in a couple of decent older ones such as plossls, Celestron Ultimas or Vixen LV's with it if you asked.

BTW check out the eyepieces at www.andrewscom.com.au, many there well within your budget.
.

Last edited by Wavytone; 17-01-2010 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 26-01-2010, 01:01 PM
Afro Boy (Carl)
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Hi folks,

Thanks very much for all the advice.

I took the plunge and purchase a couple new eyepieces. The ones that came with the scope were truly terrible. Even though the eyepieces now cost more than the scope, I'm terribly happy with the result!

I ended up getting a decent barlow first which is a great improvement on the plastic thing I had. Then I purchased two Meade eyepieces. A 4000 26mm with 52 AFOV, and a QX 20mm with 70 AFOV.

They all work beautifully and I'm now really enjoying using my scope. Whilst they obviously don't help in gathering any more light, the viewing is incredibly clearer and much more comfortable. The QX is a great eyepiece and I'm finding that I'm actually using it the most.

A new/bigger scope is in the planing for later this year so these eyepieces will be going with me to the next scope.

Cheers,
Af.
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Old 26-01-2010, 01:30 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Well done Carl, a couple of nice choices there. The QX should be a very nice view, and the comment about enjoying using your scope says it all. Look forward to hearing about the new scope, what did you have in mind?
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Old 27-01-2010, 12:22 PM
Afro Boy (Carl)
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Thanks Malcolm.

I want to slowly build up to a computerised scope (GOTO?). So will get (in no particular order) a 10" or 12" dob and then an EQ6 mount or something similar that will support the weight of at least the 10" OTA.

Cheers,
Af.
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