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    Question Newbie-need help choosing eye pieces and filters



    Hello!

    Cool forum. I have just purchased for my daughter, Anissa (7), and I the Orion 90mm Starmax Mak-Cass tabletop telescope (Orion StarMax 90mm TableTop Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope | Orion Telescopes). I researched many telescopes. Celestron, Barska, whatever was available on Amazon. Got a Barksa but returned it. Found this Orion and was sold after good reviews from many forums. I've been overly interested in space and deep space since I was a id but couldn't afford a telescope. So happy my daughter is just as interested.

    I have so many questions, afraid of asking too much where the whole post will be skipped. I guess I'll learn my lesson if no one replies.

    I've been trying to research the types of filters and eye pieces available but can't tell if they will fit my new telescope. Although my budget is not high for the moment I will want a moon filter, a solar filter,and deep sky eyepieces.

    Please help us understand this; solar filters goes on the end? The large opening is called the aperture? All other filters and/or eye pieces go on the eyepiece (or replace the boxed eyepiece)? Will all eyepiece filters of 1.25" fit this scope regardless of manufacturer (Meade, Celestron, Etc.)? Do I need filters specially made for Mak-Cass telescopes? Other than certain filters to view objects better such as lunar filters what's the advantage of getting a "better" eyepiece than the one boxed?

    If geographic position is a factor I'm in southern Alberta-Canada at about 3,500 feet above sea level.

    Thanks so much for reading.
    Jocelyn

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    Default Newbie-need help choosing eye pieces and filters

    Yes, modern solar filters go on the front of the scope - they're metal coated plastic film or glass, that reflect 99.999%+ of the heat and light to cut it down to safe levels.

    Aperture is the size (diameter) of the main mirror (reflectors) or lens (refractors). This affects how much light the scope gathers, and the maximum useful magnification.

    Other filters screw into the bottom of the eyepiece - the inside of the bottom of the eyepiece barrel is threaded.

    You should be able to use any brand of 1.25" eyepiece; you're not tied to a particular brand.

    Also, you should be able to use any brand of filter - but there have been occasional reports of problems with some combinations - the threads ought to be the same, but there have been some poorly machined examples that have had problems.

    A note on solar filters - since they usually go over the front of the scope, you need to get one that will fit the outside diameter of the front of the tube - this is usually a bit bigger than the quoted aperture. (The more helpful vendor web sites usually list which common scope models the various sizes fit).

    There are three main reasons for getting 'better' eyepieces:

    First, standard eyepieces are usually scaled designs - that means that to make a higher magnification (shorter focal length) eyepiece, you just scale the optics down. This gives you a smaller eye lens, and a shorter eye relief - which means you have to put your eye closer to the eyepiece - which can make using it less comfortable.

    More expensive premium eyepieces often change the design rather than just scaling it, so they can keep a large eye relief (and usually a large eye lens) at all focal lengths - which can make them more comfortable to use.

    Second, premium designs can give you a larger apparent field of view (size of the circle you see the image in) so that you can see more sky at the same magnification.

    And third, you can get higher quality views - though this is likely to be a much more subtle change than the other two, unless you're starting off with really poor eyepieces.

    The other reason for getting extra eyepieces is to give you different magnifications. As a rough rule of thumb, you'll get your highest everyday usable magnification with an eyepiece of focal length in mm equal to your scopes focal ratio - with a Mak, that's probably somewhere around f13, which would be around a 13mm eyepiece. Given very steady atmospheric conditions - which can be rare - you may be able to go to around twice that magnification (half the eyepiece focal length, or around 7mm), but a lot of the time atmospheric conditions will just give you a fuzzy view at the higher magnifications.

    Going the other way, between 5-7x the f-ratio gives you the lowest possible magnification before you get to the point where not all the light coming out will fit in your eye... But for 1.25" barrel eyepieces, there's not much point going longer than around 30mm or so. A 40mm would give you a lower magnification, but runs into the limits of a 1.25" barrel, so you may not see much more than the 30mm.

    However, I'd see how you get on with the supplied eyepieces to start off with - contrary to what most beginners think, there are a lot of things where you don't need or want the highest magnification possible - many targets look better at lower magnification.

    And with the exception of a moon filter, which cuts the brightness down to a comfortable level, most folk don't find the colours eyepiece filters all that useful.

    Welcome to the forum, and enjoy your new scope

    Feel free to keep asking questions - we were all beginners once, and there's usually someone around who can help out.


    P.S. for free software, check out Stellarium (a sky map program that'll show you what's where in the sky) and Virtual Moon Atlas (a great moon map program).

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    Default Re: Newbie-need help choosing eye pieces and filters

    Welcome to the forum Jocelyn ..

    I'm a newbie so will leave answering your questions to the experts, but I want to encourage you to ask all you need as it's a super helpful and friendly community

    It's awesome that you can share this interest with your daughter .. My son loves looking through the telescope too, only he sticks with the moon and planets while I prefer to observe deep space objects ..

    Clear Skies
    ~ Clare
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    Default Re: Newbie-need help choosing eye pieces and filters

    Wow. Thanks for the detailed answer. Much appreciated JerryTheC !!!

    Before I began researching telescopes I always thought the advertised magnification (Barska 675x) and how long the tube or barrel was, was how far you could see. Had no idea the eye pieces had a big part in the magnifications.

    Thanks for the welcome. All questions for now until I get the unit on Tuesday and start looking up.

    Scope comes with some software but will also look into the Stellarium software.

    Thanks!!!
    Last edited by Jocelynanissa; 04-06-2014 at 11:50 PM. Reason: Added the name of first reply.
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    Default Re: Newbie-need help choosing eye pieces and filters

    Welcome to AF Jocelyn!

    As Jerry said, your current eyepieces should be enough to show you plenty. Then see if there are any local star parties taking place where you might be able to try out some other eyepieces to see what you prefer.

    Instead of a moon filter, pick up a variable polarizing filter which will give you much more flexibility in dialing down the brightness of the moon and planets.

    Since your scope uses a tabletop mount, you might want to look into a tripod for those times when you don't have a sturdy table or other surface handy. Something like this should work well with your new scope. I have essentially the same mount for my ST80A and it is very solid.

    http://www.amazon.ca/Celestron-93607...9T4PTP6CRS55EV

    Also available from Amazon is Turn Left at Orion, which is a great guidebook - probably one of the best investments I have made in this hobby.

    Clear skies!!!
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    Default Re: Newbie-need help choosing eye pieces and filters

    Thank you Shelldrake and everyone else!

    I do have another question. I've noticed a lot of Celestron eye pieces. Has anyone come into a problem where a Celestron eyepiece/filter doesn't fit an Orion or another well known Mak-Cass manufacture

    That is a great idea to find an astronomy club somewhere. I will look into it.

    As for a polarized rather than a lunar filter, thanks! Makes sense.

    As for waiting to use what is supplied I agree. But spare time is short (4 kids) so I better research this now while I have the chance then I can buy at a later date.

    Thanks!

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    Default Re: Newbie-need help choosing eye pieces and filters

    Howdy Jocelyn-Welcome to the Forum--Your scope comes with a 25mm for 50x mag and 10mm for 125x mag and like Jerry mentioned this is going to be about max magnification for your 90 mak-cass--The 10mm EP{Eyepiece} is going to work great on the Moon and Many treats wait for you at the Shadow line running across the partial Moon--And till you get a Moon filter Sunglasses well work if there is enough eye relief built into the EP design. {How far you can get your eye from the eyepiece and see through it}

    All the major manufactures EP's and Filters should work with each other with no problems ,any that don't are defective.....The EP's that come with your scope are going to give you a good idea of what others if any you may have a use/need for.

    Glad you didn't fall for the Barksa and its atrocious claim of 675 power--Good for you as the land-fills have enough in them already--And let me commend you on showing your kids the True wonders all around us--You have my Admiration and Respect-----------------------ZX
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    Default Re: Newbie-need help choosing eye pieces and filters

    All I can add to this thread is to welcome you to the forum!

    Remember to give us a first light report and impressions of the new scope.

    Cheers
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    Default Re: Newbie-need help choosing eye pieces and filters

    Hey guys!!!
    Nice moon. Cool. I actuallly put my android camera on the eyepiece and took a few snap shots. Looks like crap but still cool.

    Have a few questions:
    I have decided I want more eyepieces with a 2x Barlow. Then I found something called a variable zoom eye piece as in the link here
    Orion Explorer II 7-21mm Zoom Telescope Eyepiece

    Advice, please. Are these zooms worth it or better to buy individual? Can they be used with a Barlow Lens? Does theimage get milky as I have read on other reviews? Is the zoom going to work well with my mak-Cass?

    Alternatively I was going to buy an Orion eyepiece kit (which has a 2x Barlow) from Amazon and a Variable Polarizing Filter.

    Any advice is great! My daughter saw the moon and asked "Is that the man?" They sang Man in the Moon in school a few days prior. LOL
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    Default Re: Newbie-need help choosing eye pieces and filters

    Hey Jocelyn and Anissa--So you saw the Man in the Moon--Cool--Do you know that the Dark areas are Lava flows from when the Moon was in the process of forming thus creating the"Face"...

    As Jerry the C pointed out 13mm eyepiece gives your scope about Max Mag at 96x for Most nights and except for the Moon as its Brightness show through any atmospheric conditions way above Max Mag that would destroy the view on other dimmer objects at such high Scope/Mag combinations..

    With that in mind a 21mm{60x} to a 7mm{179x}would be mostly unusable on most Targets/Nights---And you could Barlow your 25mm{50x} to a 12.5mm{100x},But the added benefit wouldn't be much--Now I have a 32mm eyepiece with a 1.25" barrel that works Great in my 130 Scope and on your Scope would provide 39x{A great Magnification to Hunt and View Deep Space Objects{DSO's} and Barlow to 78x for Planets/Star Clusters/Splitting Doubles and some detailed viewing for DSO's like M42/M13.

    With a 32mm and a 2xBarlow you would have 39x/50x/78x/100x/125x and {250x Just for Giggles}at your disposal--Overall a Tool for the Task--All for the price of that zoom--Now if someone made a 35mm to 10mm Zoom---Then you would have something----------------------------------ZX
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