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Thread: Making an eyepiece plan

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    dboeren's Avatar
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    Default Making an eyepiece plan



    Currently I have an Orion SpaceProbe 130mm EQ, but I'm planning to buy a 10" Intelliscope dobsonian and I'm having a hard time trying to come up with a good eyepiece plan. My current eyepiece collection is the Explorer 10mm and 25mm that came with the scope, an 8mm Televue Plossl which is OK but has poor eye relief, and a Celestron 2x barlow.

    So here's what I've come up with so far...

    1. What I'd really like best is to get a set of Explore Scientific 82deg eyepieces in 6.7/11/18/30. But this is a $700 set online, or $800 if you buy them individually.
    2. A moderate priced alternative would be to get a set of Meade HD-60's. From what I've read these work well in fast reflectors and are the same as the Celestron X-Cel but with better quality control. I found a deal where I can get a set of all six eyepieces in an aluminum case for $320 or I could just buy individuals at a higher price each.
    3. I can also potentially get some cheap "placeholder" eyepieces of eBay for now like a set of 4 Goldlines for about $90, or about $24 each individually
    4. I can get the Baader Hyperion Zoom and use that while I gradually work on the ES eyepieces.

    I can also look for used deals of course but it's hard to control when and where you will find those.

    Since I'm going to be paying a good amount for the telescope, I'm not able to also spend a ton on eyepieces at the same time. On the other hand, I would like to have something decent to look at as well to enjoy my new scope.

    So, what to do? Collect slower or faster? Get something OK for now and upgrade or hold out while having poorer views in the meantime? Something I haven't thought of? I figure almost any good quality used eyepieces I buy can probably be resold for pretty close to what I got them for.
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    Default Re: Making an eyepiece plan

    My advice is collect slowly and do not just buy in sets. As you start viewing you will find which focal lengths work well with your eye and you may find that one f/l from brand A does not work for you but brand B does.
    Try to get out to star parties and look through different eyepieces to see how they are under real conditions.
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    Default Re: Making an eyepiece plan

    I'd buy individually... The 30mm ES82 which comes with that set may well be the least used and is the most expensive although it'll give a nice wide view if you have light pollution it will also give an exit pupil such that most DSOs will be almost completely washed out.

    I assume the 10" dob you're planning on is around f/5 so if you're really after the ES82 range I'd start with the 18mm and the 11mm and take it from there. You have the 8mm TV plossl which would be still great for planetary and lunar observation at higher magnification.

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    Default Re: Making an eyepiece plan

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabby76 View Post
    Try to get out to star parties and look through different eyepieces to see how they are under real conditions.
    I would love to do this, but the closest one I've been able to find is a little more than 2 hours drive and with a 5 year old kid it's difficult to get away.

    In general, how do people handle trying out different eyepieces to see what they like if they don't know someone who has that same eyepiece? Do vendors generally have pretty good return policies? Would you for example buy 3-4 different candidates planning to return all but one?

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    Default Re: Making an eyepiece plan

    Normally I wouldn't recommend buying an entire set at once but the ES82 set would be an excellent set for a 10" Dob if you can afford the $700. I've personally tried out my 82* 30, 6.7, and 4.7mm EPs in a 10" Dob and all performed very well along with my 100* 20mm. For a cheaper option the X-Cels are excellent for the price, I own the 12mm and 9mm and they are quite close in quality to my expensive EPs considering the price difference.
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    Default Re: Making an eyepiece plan

    I agree the 30mm is likely the worst value out of the ES82 line since it's so much more expensive than the others in the series. Maybe a Baader Hyperion Aspheric as a less expensive alternative?

    I'd really like to be able to try out the ES82 next to the X-Cel/MD60 to compare them. If the cheaper ones are good enough (even though they have a significantly narrower view) they're about half the price. Perhaps I should order both and plan to return one or the other?

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    Default Re: Making an eyepiece plan

    With my Z10 and DSOs my most often used EPs are the ES 82 18mm & 11mm. That would be a nice place to start with a 10" Dob.
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    Default Re: Making an eyepiece plan

    Do not buy any eyepieces yet, especially not cheap ones, or "holding" ones. You will just be wasting your money. Good dobs need good eyepieces to get the best from them. It is better to collect them as you go along.

    Get the dob and use the eyepieces you have already, along with those supplied with the dob. Get used to the scope, and the handset.

    You will soon work out what eyepieces you need, and can carry on from there.
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    Default Re: Making an eyepiece plan

    Quote Originally Posted by hal2000 View Post
    Do not buy any eyepieces yet, especially not cheap ones, or "holding" ones. You will just be wasting your money. Good dobs need good eyepieces to get the best from them. It is better to collect them as you go along.

    Get the dob and use the eyepieces you have already, along with those supplied with the dob. Get used to the scope, and the handset.

    You will soon work out what eyepieces you need, and can carry on from there.
    I feel that's the best advice so far. I was given very similar advice from this forum when first I got into this hobby, and as impatient as I was then, I painfully took it with no regrets in the long run

    As for the previously mentioned ES 30mm 82° pineapple, to each his/her own as we all have our own viewing preferences On my AR102, it's by far my most used lens (I love that beast!) although I sometimes pop it on my 8" Dob

    Good luck with whatever route you go
    Abb
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    Default Re: Making an eyepiece plan

    If you want cheaper, I'd recommend going for used eyepieces rather than reduced quality eyepieces. They pop up on CloudyNights and Astromart occasionally and they're usually well take care of. Usually they're about 70% of the new price. Just keep looking and checking back. Persistence pays off. Plus, if you buy used and in the future you decide to go with an even higher end eyepiece, you can usually sell a used eyepiece for what you paid so there's not much risk of loss. However, the ES eyepieces are good enough that you probably won't ever need to replace them. Start with a medium power and a low power.

    My favorite and most used ES eyepiece is the ES82 24mm. High powered ones are nice for planetary views but you probably won't use them as much so save them for last. Because the view is so wide, you will probably only need 4: a low power like the 24mm or 30mm, a medium like the 18mm, an 11mm or 8.8mm for those times when seeing isn't as good and a 4.7mm or 6.7mm for high power. You could also get by with a low to medium power and a 2" GSO barlow. Then save your money to pounce on any high power eyepiece deal when it's available.

    The cheap eBay eyepieces will be horrible in an f/5 scope. I've tried Agena Astro EWA 66° view eyepieces and Baader Hyperions in my f/5 scopes. They don't compare to the ES82 line.

    Also, Explore Scientific usually has good sales around Christmas. Last year, the 30mm and 24mm ES82 eyepieces were on sale for $199. That was cheaper than used at the time.
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