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Thread: Will these eyepieces be a good, cost-effective upgrade from my stock eyepieces?

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    Question Will these eyepieces be a good, cost-effective upgrade from my stock eyepieces?



    I just purchased a Celestron Astromaster 130EQ, and had a good night of viewing last night, and was amazed at seeing Jupiter and its moons.

    From the research I've done in the past, the first thing I need to do is upgrade my stock eyepieces, as apparently the Celestron stock pieces are not very good.

    I've found the Celestron X-Cel LX Series 25mm, and the 9mm eyepieces to be a good fit for my budget, and people seem to be happy with them.
    I was thinking of adding a X-Cel 2x Barlow as well.

    Will the 9mm with the Barlow be ok with my 650mm focal length scope?

    And since most of my evenings will be spent viewing in a fairly light-polluted area (suburbs in a large city), I was thinking of adding a Celestron LPR filter as well
    Amazon.com : Celestron 94123 1.25-Inch UHC/LPR Filter (Black) : Telescope Filters : Camera & Photo

    And for lunar viewing, the Orion moon filter
    http://www.amazon.com/Orion-1-25-Inc.../dp/B0000XMUWS


    So my question is, do you think this purchase will be a good start?
    I will be ordering these products from Amazon.com and shipping to New Zealand to save money. So I would like to get everything I need that will l last me for a while to come in one shipment.

    So if you have any inputs or comments on the above, they will be much appreciated.

    Thanks

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    Default Re: Will these eyepieces be a good, cost-effective upgrade from my stock eyepieces?

    Quick math says 650mm scope w/ 9mm lens is going to be 72x ... double that 144x? Probably a little less that 0.5* field of view.
    I'm thinking that should be just fine.

    I can't speak for the LP filter but I saw a polarizing moon filter that let's you dial in something like 10% to 70% and it was reasonably priced at around $30US. That seems like something I'd jump on. Maybe they are junk, I'm not sure, but I do lots of photography with polarizers and stacking them does allow you to "dial in" light density. Might want to check one out and see if it is worthwhile. Seems like it to me, I'm just not familiar with the product.

    Hope this help.

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    Default Re: Will these eyepieces be a good, cost-effective upgrade from my stock eyepieces?

    That's a great way to start. The eyepieces are good quality and adding the Barlow will effectively double your collection. I use tha Celestron UHC/LPR filter and it works well in light polluted skies. I can't comment on the moon filter since I don't have one of those. All in all you will be happy with that set up. Good luck and clear skies.

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    Default Re: Will these eyepieces be a good, cost-effective upgrade from my stock eyepieces?

    The X-Cell EPs are good but I don't think you will get much use barlowing the 9mm with that scope. The 7mm will be about as short as you can regularly go. Some people like the LP filters and I have one but it sees very, very little use. I would forgo the LP filter and get the 2x barlow, 25mm (12.5mm), 18mm (9mm), and 7mm along with a variable polarizing filter for the moon and Jupiter.
    Gabby76 likes this.

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    Default Re: Will these eyepieces be a good, cost-effective upgrade from my stock eyepieces?

    The polarising moon filter sets are a popular choice - basically they're two polarising filters that you can rotate relative to each other to adjust how much light to pass through - which makes them more flexible than the single fixed transmission moon filters. If you're on a tight budget, a moon filter isn't required - your eyes will adapt to the brightness over a minute or so (and completely knock out your dark adaptation) - but a moon filter can make that initial low power view more comfortable. Higher magnification views are dimmer anyway, so shouldn't be a problem.

    a barlowed 9mm should be OK - at an equivalent 4.5mm, it's a little more magnification than the everyday rule of thumb 5mm for an f5 scope, but you should probably be OK.


    It the barlow is one of the ones where the barlow lens element screws onto the bottom of the barlow, you can probably unscrew it and attach it to the bottom of the eyepiece - that will give you around a 1.5x change for a few more options.

    You may want to check what the New Zealand import rules are - here in the UK, we get charged VAT (sales tax) on the total cost INCLUDING SHIPPING, and maybe import duty as well (depending on what you're importing) - so you may not save quite as much as you expect. But it can still be worth doing . You might also run into sales restrictions on some items - most Celestron dealers aren't allowed to sell outside their distribution area - at least for scopes - don't know whether that applies to eyepieces as well.

    Note that UHC filters are designed for viewing emission nebulae, rather than white light objects - since they only pass a few emission wavelengths, they dim white light objects a lot.

    LPR filters (that cut down on common light pollution wavelengths) can be useful for imaging - but don't expect a massive improvement visually. They are no substitute for dark skies.
    (and with modern white lights, unlike the old sodium yellow ones, there's not a lot you can do without blocking white light from galaxies etc as well).

    Remember that all filters work by reducing the transmission of some wavelengths - so they'll always make things dimmer. What they try and do is increase _Contrast_ by blocking
    more of the unwanted wavelengths - so hopefully you get a slightly darker target on a more darkened background.
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    Default Re: Will these eyepieces be a good, cost-effective upgrade from my stock eyepieces?

    EP's have been mentioned above, but I wouldn't worry about the moon filter. For good lunar views, leave the OTA cap on and remove the smaller cap. This reduces the light entering the scope thereby reducing the brightness.
    Wayne

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    Default Re: Will these eyepieces be a good, cost-effective upgrade from my stock eyepieces?

    I also use a 130mm f/5 reflector under quite polluted skies. The Celestron LPF filter does not help me visually on that scope. The filter is just too dark. It does seem to help in some situations on our 8" f/6.

    In my opinion, you're on the right track upgrading at least the higher power eyepiece(s). You might consider shopping for used ones, and may be able to step up a notch further with the savings over new ones.

    Doug T

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    Default Re: Will these eyepieces be a good, cost-effective upgrade from my stock eyepieces?

    I have the same scope, the original 20mm eyepiece was an image erecting one and of poor quality (that is what came with mine), I just use GSO Plossl eyepieces , I have a meade 2x barlow which works well with this scope.
    I have used a 6.3mm eyepiece together with the 2 x barlow for around 200x , and that is the most I can get out of this scope quite disappointing as I thought that for a 130 I should get up to 250x.
    Richard
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    Default Re: Will these eyepieces be a good, cost-effective upgrade from my stock eyepieces?

    For a moon filter, I prefer the Zhumell Polarizing moon filters:
    Zhumell 1.25 inch Variable Polarizing Telescope Filter #3 35-40% Transmission - Telescopes at Telescopes

    It's inexpensive and it allows you to vary the darkness of the filter. I have the 2" version.
    Rob

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    Default

    For everyday use, a rough rule of thumb is that the maximum useful magnification is around the scopes aperture in mm (which you get with an eyepiece of focal length equal to the scopes f ratio - so 10mm for an f10, or 5mm for an f5.
    That's with typical seeing conditions.

    The higher maximum values - around 2x the aperture in mm - that manufacturers usually quote require very good seeing conditions, and that can be rare - maybe a few nights per year. The rest of the time, atmospheric turbulence can blur things up enough to prevent a sharp result.
    12richardk likes this.

 

 
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