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Thread: First scope, now what eyepieces?

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    Default First scope, now what eyepieces?



    Hi guys, my first question and apologize if this is answered elsewhere although the myriad of combinations makes it unlikely so.
    So I got hand to a used Celestron C8-N, it's an old scope but I'm hoping to be enough to jump start my passion for everything that is out there, problem is the original eyepieces are missing (which is not a problem per se as I would likely had to buy new ones anyway) so I'm now looking for eyepieces.
    From what I could read I narrowed down to Plossl ones but now comes to question on power, what do you guys advise? First goal is Saturn and Jupiter, then maybe M31.

    Thanks in advance

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    Default Re: First scope, now what eyepieces?

    Welcome to the forum.

    The C8-N will take eyepieces in the 5mm to 35mm range. I would start out with one close to 5mm for planetary observing, one close to 35mm for galaxy hunting, and something in the middle to fill the gap.

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    Default Re: First scope, now what eyepieces?

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithBC View Post
    Welcome to the forum.

    The C8-N will take eyepieces in the 5mm to 35mm range. I would start out with one close to 5mm for planetary observing, one close to 35mm for galaxy hunting, and something in the middle to fill the gap.
    Thanks KeithBC,

    Few more questions if you (or others) don't mind:
    - where can I find affordable quality eyepieces?
    - Is there a budget brand I should avoid at all costs? And one you can recommend?
    - How about a barlow lens? Could I fulfill my needs with a good eyepiece and a 2.5x barlow?

    Thanks in advance!

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    Default Re: First scope, now what eyepieces?

    To be honest it seems that you have the money to buy eyepieces BUT do not know what will work in your scope...nor do know what objects will become your favorite type of targets to view... This is NOT uncommon so I believe that spending 100 to 150 US dollars on Eyepiece kit like those made my Meade Zhumell or Celestron would be a very wise and very inexpensive way to get an education..They will let you learn what objects you are interested in they will provide a wide range of magnifications so you will learn what ones you seem to use most of the time plus most of the kits offer a moon filter ans well as a 2x barlow and even a useful case...all about about 20 US bucks each...

    Now the quality of these eyepieces are NOT the best ...but they are far from junk and quite usable...

    After say 6 months or so you will learn what you need as far as magnification, what eye relief you can handle comfortably what FOV you need to view different objects etc so you can intelligently replace the kits eyepieces one at a time with better ones that YOU KNOW you need or want... its way cheaper in the long run to go this route ...

    Then sell the kit for close to what you paid for it. !
    In fact look for a used kit and get an even cheaper education...

    BTW Most beginners (and a lot of casual observers with years under the stars) can not tell much IF any difference between a 300 dollar eyepiece vs a 50 dollar eyepiece....slight improvements in materials .. quality of the glass glass, workmanship, and design (field of view number of elements in the eyepiece etc come at a high price and I doubt that you will actually see at this point why a high end eyepiece is at least sometimes worth the much more expense cost..

    After a few years Most of us discover that we have more money INVESTED in the contents of our eyepiece case the we do in telescopes so be as smart (and frugal) for now...as you can be...

    CLEAR SKIES

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    Default Re: First scope, now what eyepieces?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob327 View Post
    To be honest it seems that you have the money to buy eyepieces BUT do not know what will work in your scope...nor do know what objects will become your favorite type of targets to view... This is NOT uncommon so I believe that spending 100 to 150 US dollars on Eyepiece kit like those made my Meade Zhumell or Celestron would be a very wise and very inexpensive way to get an education..They will let you learn what objects you are interested in they will provide a wide range of magnifications so you will learn what ones you seem to use most of the time plus most of the kits offer a moon filter ans well as a 2x barlow and even a useful case...all about about 20 US bucks each...

    Now the quality of these eyepieces are NOT the best ...but they are far from junk and quite usable...

    After say 6 months or so you will learn what you need as far as magnification, what eye relief you can handle comfortably what FOV you need to view different objects etc so you can intelligently replace the kits eyepieces one at a time with better ones that YOU KNOW you need or want... its way cheaper in the long run to go this route ...

    Then sell the kit for close to what you paid for it. !
    In fact look for a used kit and get an even cheaper education...

    BTW Most beginners (and a lot of casual observers with years under the stars) can not tell much IF any difference between a 300 dollar eyepiece vs a 50 dollar eyepiece....slight improvements in materials .. quality of the glass glass, workmanship, and design (field of view number of elements in the eyepiece etc come at a high price and I doubt that you will actually see at this point why a high end eyepiece is at least sometimes worth the much more expense cost..

    After a few years Most of us discover that we have more money INVESTED in the contents of our eyepiece case the we do in telescopes so be as smart (and frugal) for now...as you can be...

    CLEAR SKIES

    Bob G


    I have used my scope less than 6 times since I got it and already spent more on add ons, only going by what I read, and what I think I need.
    I briefly read about kits and dismissed them, not wanting to waste the money, but your suggestion to look at it like as an education is something I wish I had considered £150 ago. Good advice.

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    Default Re: First scope, now what eyepieces?

    I have the Celestron kit Bob is referring to. It even comes with a barlow. The quality isn't horrible and it is worth the money but you will want to upgrade one day. I guess it depends on the money you want to spend. $150 for a kit or $300 and get all 3 Keith suggested. Both are solid advice so good luck!
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    Default

    Thanks guys, I'll follow your advice and look for a kit.
    Good observations for you all

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    Default Re: First scope, now what eyepieces?

    If your skies are dark enough, than I'd follow what Keith said.

    If your skies are light polluted than I wouldn't exceed an eye pupil of 5mm. For example, buy the 9mm and 25mm BST Explorer or Celestron X-Cel LX eyepieces, and 2x Barlow, so you'll have a collection of 4 eyepieces that covers most of your needs, the 25mm, 12.5mm, 9mm and 4.5mm. Both these eyepieces are best bang for your buck and are much better than plossls for fast f/4.9 Newtonian scope, IMO.
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    Default Re: First scope, now what eyepieces?

    Hi CloudyNight, seems a pretty valid point you have there and I'll sure consider its pros and cons (price mainly).
    Can you recommend an online store for this material?
    Thanks in advance

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    Default Re: First scope, now what eyepieces?

    I looked up the Celestron C8N and read that it has 203mm aperture and 1000 focal length. Nice reflector, but probably a tad heavy too. It seems bigger and better than my old Meade DS2114 series reflector. I have the stock Meade EP's that came with mine along with a crappy plastic 2X Barlow (which I am replacing) and they work well enough for now. Mine are the common MA9mm and MA25mm eyepieces.

    I read that High Point Scientific is (arguably) the biggest, most well stocked, online astronomy store around.
    http://www.highpointscientific.com/

    There are dozens of others too. Agena Astro, B&H Photo, etc...

    I've also read on here that a Barlow'd 9mm EP is pushing the limits of most telescopes and is only suitable for close-up views of the craters on the moon. I experimented with Jupiter and its 4 moons a few weeks ago and learned:

    114mm aperture, 1000mm FL (Bird-Jones design), f8.8 ratio, reflector scope
    • 25mm = 40X power. Jupiter and 4 moons are visible, but very small. Jupiter itself looks like a beautiful colorful marble.
    • 25mm + 2X Barlow = 80X power. Jupiter and 4 moons are visible and larger. Jupiter itself looks beautiful and you can just make out 2 of the cloud bands. (this is my favorite setup, and seems to work beautifully for me as a newbie).
    • 9mm = 111X power. Jupiter and 3 moons are visible (Callisto is out of the FOV). Jupiter is much more larger and beautiful, but a lot dimmer than with the 25mm setup. Also, it's a lot harder to focus and get a real good clear view of the cloud bands. You can see them but not very sharp. I am probably not keeping still, or keeping my scope still, or perhaps I am just acting like I'm brain damaged! LOL! Slowly, I will "get it" and will be able to get the view in focus with the 9mm. It's probably right at the limit of my scope's ability anyway.
    • 9mm + 2X Barlow = 222X power. Um, no... Just no... Way too powerful, and Jupiter becomes a blurry mess.


    However... 9mm + 2X Barlow looking at the moon? Beautiful... Stunning... I mean, we've all seen the moon a zillion times over. But at 222X power, I am able to clearly zoom right in and look at the various craters in sharp detail. Most likely due to the brightness of the moon and the close proximity to earth. Go figure...
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