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Thread: new scope, next in line: filters?

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    Default new scope, next in line: filters?



    Hi all,

    I figured a new thread was warranted from a previous discussion of my new scope, since now I've got a question about filters and EP's. I searched around a bit and didn't quite find what I was looking for...

    With my Celestron 8" Edge HD, I've got a set of EP's (40, 26, 12, and 9.7mm). The next thing I'm looking into is some filters for all around viewing. I'm considering a "kit like this" that includes several filters, EPs, and a 2x barlow. I'm pretty confident that will serve most of my wants, but would I be better served with getting stand alone filters? It seems like many "kits" (in most any hobby) come with stuff you don't actually need...

    This brings up another point for discussion. I like the idea of a Barlow (my ETX has a crappy one), but what are the strengths/weaknesses of a Barlow besides being able to use them with all your EP's thereby doubling your EP catalog?

    In my case, if I get about a 4.5-5mm EP (w/o a barlow), that will be close to maxing out the scope of 480x, but a barlow on my 9.7 would do about the same.

    Thoughts?

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    Default Re: new scope, next in line: filters?

    Don't buy that kit. You've already got EPs and you'll most likely never need a barlow as you've covered a good range with those EPs. You will most likely never be able to use the magnification of a 5mm EP with the 8" SCT at f10.

    Hold off on buying filters until you've used the scope more and got some experience observing different objects and learn what you need.

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    Default Re: new scope, next in line: filters?

    Dont bother, with that scope you are rarely if ever go beyond the 9.7mm eyepiece anyway. I bought that kit back in the day. The barlow. the 32mm and the Moon filter were the only things really worth keeping. For $160.00 you could get a very nice barlow and a variable polarized filter and spend the rest of the money on icecream
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    Default Re: new scope, next in line: filters?

    You have a good eyepiece kit already, and the filters are of dubious value. If you are looking to spend money, a focal reducer might be a better investment, opening up your wide angle / low magnification / max brightness possibilities.

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    Default Re: new scope, next in line: filters?

    Actually I'm looking to NOT spend money! but I know it is inevitable... ;p

    Whatever I end up with would end up a Christmas present to myself, so I'll have plenty of time with it up to that point (at least). I've already spend several nights blowing my mind with views of M31 (a faint smudge so far), double stars etc... but looking forward to working my way through the Messier catalog to start.

    I understand that different color filters to different things, there are moon filters, nebula filters, etc... but you are correct, I don't really know what I'd want to get (and more importantly *why*), which I guess is kind of the attraction of the "kits"...

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    Default Re: new scope, next in line: filters?

    Yeah, excellent advice from everyone!

    You've got a very nice range of EP's. I'd hold off on filters until you get a good feel for that you want to look at. For the Messier catalog, no filters required. When you get into the broader expanse of the Herschel stuff (brighter NGC objects) then shop some filters. Most folks indicate the color filters end up in the sock drawer.

    You will end up spending more money if you stick with it. Best to wait a while and spend it wisely.
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    Default Re: new scope, next in line: filters?

    I guess I should have specified that I'm not only interested in deep sky, but celestial as well, which is where it seems filters would do more good.

    I've had my ETX for almost 2 years now, I considered some filers for it, but never really pursued it much. Now that I've got the bigger/badder scope, I've started that thought process again.

    Wife bought a book on "finding yourself on the moon" that's pretty interesting, and I could stare at Saturn and Jupiter for hours, and that was with my old ETX! I can't wait to view them through the new scope. I know Jupiter is up with Venus and Mars before dawn, and I tried this weekend but clouds got in the way.

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    Default Re: new scope, next in line: filters?

    I didn't find the kit filters particularly useful. I used them maybe two or three times and then never pulled them out again. I would recommend a Zhummel polarizing filter. That will knock down some of the brightness of the moon and it's adjustable.

    Another option for deep sky would be UHC filters and OIII filters. Zhummel sells some of those fairly cheaply as well. I like those filters but remember you have to at least be able to see the object without the filter for the filter to help. If you can't already see it, it probably won't do much. It'll may enhance what you can see but it won't reveal something you can't see at all.

    Since you already have a good spread of eyepieces, the barlow won't do much for you. The biggest downfall to barlows is the increased swapping and refocusing. I'd rather just swap an eyepiece. With a 40mm, 26mm, 12mm and 9.7, the barlow would give you the following extra focal lengths: 20mm, 13mm, 6mm and 4.8mm. The 13mm is pretty close to the 12mm and the 4.8mm is probably a bit too much power for your scope. So for practical purposes, you're adding a 20mm and a 6mm. So basically, do you find yourself wishing you had something between the 26mm and the 12mm and more magnification than the 9.7mm. A barlow may make sense for that if it's cheaper than buying those two eyepieces. Plus, they can preserve eye relief of the longer focal length eyepieces. If you only really needed a 20mm (or something in that mid-range), I'd rather just get the eyepiece and not bother adding a barlow to the mix.
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    Default Re: new scope, next in line: filters?

    As others have said I wouldnot get that kit. I would definately get a Orion 13% moon filters. I would also reccomend the baader planetarium Sky & Moon glow filter for general viewing. It made a huge difference for me.

    Also the F/6.3 focal reducer Keith mentioned is a "must have" for a F/10 SCT like yours.
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    Default Re: new scope, next in line: filters?

    Funny story, i just found a 6.4mm that came with my ETX 80 that I forgot about. Its not a super great one since it came with a $300 scope, but it'll do for now. So maybe all I really need is a 32mm or a 28mm, and forget the barlow...

    I was waffling between a 25% and the 13% moon filters... Would the 13 be too dark for a 3/4 moon?

 

 
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