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Thread: Eyepieces Plossl vs ? Fan?

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    Default Eyepieces Plossl vs ? Fan?



    Good morning to you All,

    I'm a newbie with a 10" DOB. I've had my scope out for about a half a dozen different times now. I've been mostly hunting and finding star clusters and galaxies at the present time. I've been wondering about a few things very much. I've been using Plossl EP's which came in Orion's Premium Set. I've read a little about EP quality. When I view Galaxies like M81 M82 M51 I get what seems to be decent views. So my question is, what gain do I really get with a more expensive EP? Maybe this brings things into better perspective: lets say I'm looking at M82. In the very early evening it is taking up a certain amount of space in my EP, as the sky gets darker M82 gets bigger, basically longer and a little thicker. When it is at it's best and I'm enjoying it, I can't help but wonder if I might get to see more "crisp" details? So to rephrase, can I get more crispness? In this same scenario with dark skies, M82 is taking up 20-30% of the FOV from side to side in the EP. When viewing M51, it's NOT a small object in this scope at all, yet it's not possible (at least not last night) to really make out the 'swirl' cleanly, and I can easily see it's little 'buddy'. Also I've tried and found that almost nightly It matters if I'm using a 10 mm or a 7.5 mm EP for clarity. Note: I do not have a fan mounted on this scope. I tempered the scope for over an hour last night, from when I first started viewing until when I finished about 2.5 hours pasted, and the temperature had dropped over 20 degrees F. So any comments on fans and how practical they are would be appreciated. Star clusters are very easy to view. P.S. M42 has been at times (didn't see it last night) spectacular with these E.P.'s. Last nigh in Leo I could see multiple galaxies in the same FOV, which Messier is which? I know... this is more then one subject.

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    Default Re: Eyepieces Plossl vs ? Fan?

    A decent eyepiece ls like upgrading the whole scope, your views will be crisper and more contrasty, the field of view will also be larger giving a more immersive experience. With your fast scope you will benefit from better eyepiece more than others as fast (short focal length) telescopes are brutal when it comes to poor a quality eyepiece, with a cheep eyepiece you will get astigmatism (stars look like little crosses) at the edge of the field, you also get "kidney beaning" bean shaped blackouts in the field. Buying premium eyepieces will keep this to a minimum.

    I have a fan I hooked up myself I mainly use it to help cool the scope to ambient temperature faster, I don't find it makes much of a difference when I'm using it once cooled.

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    Default Re: Eyepieces Plossl vs ? Fan?

    Thanks Brian, I see in your stats that you list Celestron x-cell lx and Baader classic ortho. Do you have a favorite? Maybe a preference when the target is a star cluster vs galaxy vs nebulae? I also see you use TS planetary HR 4 mm, that would really up my magnification! I would really like to crank up a close up of the planets. I see Jupiter pretty clear, but would love to make it even bigger in my FOV with distortion. Thanks again Brian!! I'm using a SkyQuest XT10g.

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    Default Re: Eyepieces Plossl vs ? Fan?

    I like the 25mm x-cell lx for clusters galaxy's nebula, the 7mm one I use for globular clusters planetary nebula double stars, the 6mm ortho I use for planets and really close doubles with the 2x Barlow, I used to use the 4mm a lot but I don't use it much now as the 6mm ortho is just so much better. I don't have a favourite try are all good but if I had to keep only one it would be the 25mm
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    Default Re: Eyepieces Plossl vs ? Fan?

    I think a good scope deserves a good ep!!!!!!
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    Default Re: Eyepieces Plossl vs ? Fan?

    Quote Originally Posted by sada View Post
    I think a good scope deserves a good ep!!!!!!
    Amen to that!
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    Default Re: Eyepieces Plossl vs ? Fan?

    I'm absolutely going to invest in some new EP's. Based on your suggestions and my experience (all be it very limited). I can see what to expect from different sized EP's. I'm looking forward to the difference in view I will experience! Seeing more crispness will be great! Also I will order the fan. The weather here has been insane, with wild temperature swings. A couple of weeks ago we had a dusting of snow, yesterday the temperature topped 100 degrees F! I'm thinking that no DOB can keep up with nutty weather like that, without some help (fan, 20+ degree change in a couple of hours). Soon the humidity will kick in too with dew potentially become a problem. A big thanks for all of your comments! Clear skies!

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    Default Re: Eyepieces Plossl vs ? Fan?

    Using a better eyepiece is certainly nice, but unless you're using a really bad one to begin with, it's not going to be a night and day difference. Other factors such as proper collimation, ensuring the scope has acclimated to the outside temperature and seeing conditions all play a larger role in the quality of the views achieved.

    On-axis performance (i.e. the view in the direct centre of the eyepiece) of most modern eyepieces, including Plossls, are pretty good. Having said that, better eyepieces can give you longer eye relief to improve viewing comfort (especially if you're using glasses), significantly larger field of views, meaning you'll need to nudge your scope less to keep objects in view, and sharp, pinpoint starts all the way to the edge.
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    Default Re: Eyepieces Plossl vs ? Fan?

    I always check the collimation every time I set up (this scope always needs at least some minor primary mirror adjustment), with a laser. It's weird because if I check it with the 'cap', the cap shows I'm a hair off. If I put a star out of focus, it's always very round. I normally don't go out if it's cloudy at all. Humidity will be on the rise here soon, which takes some of the blueness out of the sky by day.

    I do wear glasses, and I've been switching between them being on and off. Off to view, on to read or better see where I'm walking in the dark. I strive to keep the object I'm viewing centered because the view does get distorted around the edges if I don't. So when I'm viewing a star cluster per se, I appreciate what is in the 'operational' field of view. It will be nice to take full advantage of the entire FOV. The fan is on order. I'm using 1.25" EP's but can use 2" (one 2" came with the scope").

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    Default Re: Eyepieces Plossl vs ? Fan?

    Its not that you can't get good views with Plossls, as you certainly can. But when you get an eyepiece with a more complex design, better glass and better coatings, it does make a difference in the details and resolution. I exclusively use the Explore Scientific 82° series (24mm thru 4.7mm) in all my scopes. What I like is the wider field of view (without getting too wide for my personal taste), and the excellent light throughput. That is important when chasing after faint extended objects like galaxies (particularly those with lower surface brightness). I consider the ES 82° series to have an excellent performance to cost ratio. The biggest problem you have is getting them, as they always seem to be out of stock. Fortunately, I got mine before that became an issue. Everyone has their preferences of course, and those just happen to be mine. I particularly enjoy the views I get from a dark location of M31, M32 and M110 all in the same field of view - that is priceless.
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