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Thread: Upgraded my eyepieces, underwhelmed.

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    Default Upgraded my eyepieces, underwhelmed.



    Hi guys,

    I purchased a Skywatcher Heritage 130 p flextube scope about 3 years ago and enjoyed using it for a few months before it got put aside in a house move. I've recently got back into astronomy again and wanted to get more out of the scope, so bought a cheshire collimator and 5 BST starguider eyepieces.

    So far I have to say I'm quite underwhelmed. Collimation was a nightmare as I accidently took my secondary mirror off and it literally took me an entire weekend to figure out what I was doing. Now it looks collimated and aligned, but the image is no better than before I collimated, maybe even slightly worse.

    So I then thought I'd buy some eyepieces and the BST Starguiders were recommended as a good midrange buy, anything more expensive seemed to be wasted on essentially a beginner scope. I have to say though to my beginner mind that the view really isn't any different to the stock eyepieces I got, a 10 mm and a 25mm.

    One of my specific goals was replacing my 25mm as it has the annoying habit of giving light glow off objects. So Jupiter for example is all distorted. It's tiny in a 25mm and the circle of light coming off it is as big as the planet again so it essentially looks like a tiny planet with a planet ghost image next to it. I thought a 25 mm BST would fix that, but it does it exactly the same too.

    I also bought 5 mm and 8 mm plantetary eyepieces as I wanted to see more detail on Jupiter and Saturn and figured the BST's would give me better views than the stock 10mm and 2 x Barlow. However I don't really think they do much. I can see the bands, which I could before, but I can't make out the red spot, or have ever noticed a shadow of a moon on the planet either.

    With Saturn I can see the rings, but no Cassini divison or detail to speak of. And I could see all of that before.

    In total I've spent around £250 upgrading my eyepieces and collimating and really not sure I have anything tangible to show for it.

    Just wondered if anyone had suggestions? Could it be collimation, the limits of my scope, is my eyesight failing and I need a test, haha any tips appreciated.

    I know my scope is only a beginner one but I thought the eyepieces would still give me a 'wow' type difference, whereas I'm not sure I could even tell which one was in the scope if I just looked through them.

    I would consider buying a better scope if people think that's the way to go as I really want to be able to see the things I'm learning about.

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    Default Re: Upgraded my eyepieces, underwhelmed.

    I've had lots of luck with vintage Televue Radians, 80's Meade UWA and Tani made Orthos. I've been quite content for years with them.
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    Default Re: Upgraded my eyepieces, underwhelmed.

    I know absolutely nothing about the EPs, but honestly, I would look to upgrade the scope before I put a whole lot of money into EPs. But a nice scope on a wimpy mount won't show you a lot either, so you also need to consider a good mount as well. It's nice if you can afford to get both at the same time, but if I couldn't, I would get a nice mount first and work my way to a nicer scope.
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    Default Re: Upgraded my eyepieces, underwhelmed.

    Hi,
    I have a 12mm BST and I love it. It is not because it shows dramatically more that the stock eyepiece but comparing to stock eyepieces it has bigger AFOV and it is very comfortable to use. Although the reflections are handled better, it is still far from perfect.
    Stock EPs that you get with Sky-Watchers are usually pretty good quality themselves and no eyepiece will get you dramatic improvement other than bigger AFOV and comfort of use.
    If you want to get a wow-eyepiece, try low mag 82-degree eyepiece (ES or Meade)
    (My opinion)
    Martin
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    Default Re: Upgraded my eyepieces, underwhelmed.

    Saturn is a tricky customer at the moment for us with being so low down so the seeing is invariably awful.

    I've no experience of the BSTs but heard they are decent enough eyepieces for the money and certainly going to be a step up in comfort at least from the Plossls.

    Remember to let the scope cool down enough before viewing and check Jupiter for if the GRS is actually visible or transitions of its Moons.

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    Default Re: Upgraded my eyepieces, underwhelmed.

    Your scope been entry level F5 reflector was not designed for high power planetary observing.

    Still, there is a room for improvement:

    Confirm that the scope is collimated using the star test.
    Give it enough time to cool down.

    Observe when planets are at highest. For Saturn now it is about midnight.

    Use 5mm EP on planets, which gives you 80x power. Other EPs you have do not provide enough magnification to see planetary details.

    You need to invest into good quality filter(s) to cut on glare and improve the contrast. This is important factor missing from your experience. A lot of info and recommendations on planetary filters on this forum. In my experience two Baader filters: 'Moon and Sky Glow' and 'Contrast booster' are the most effective. I use them separately or combined together. Other observers report success with various colored filters. But they have to be good quality filters. Cheap color filters actually degrade image quality.

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    Default Re: Upgraded my eyepieces, underwhelmed.

    Thanks for the replies guys. I don't know if part of my problem is total lack of experience, and thus expectations of what one is supposed to see through a telescope. Before I bought mine I had never seen or looked through a telescope before, and now, in my early 40's my eyes are definitely not as good as they were so maybe the lack of focus sometimes might be my own shortsightedness! My mobile phone broke this week and I had to read the IMEI number to the guy on the phone and it was so small I could hardly see it. So could be my own body failing me over the equipment, as the BST's seem to get uniformally good reviews for their price.

    I think might actually try and get out somewhere dark with the scope over the weekend. Currently I just sit on my patio overlooking the town where I live and the there is some light pollution.

    Can anyone tell me what I'd see if I bought a bigger and better scope? I'd consider laying out up to £500 for something decent that would let me see Jupiters spot, Cassini's division, Mars polar caps and maybe some of the nebulas and galaxies. I don't know if you guys have heard of the Great Courses but I've purchased several of their lecture series, including a 96 lecture full introduction to astronomy and want to really be able to see what I'm learning about.

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    Default Re: Upgraded my eyepieces, underwhelmed.

    I think you will have to consider upgrading to an 8" or even 10" scope to start to really see things well. If you are not interested in astrophotography, then a dobsonian reflector is the way to go.

    Unfortunately, the Revelation dobs are still not available from Telescope House, but here's a link to their dobsonian page.

    https://www.telescopehouse.com/teles...elescopes.html

    If you see something you like the look of, also have a look at the First Lght Optics and Rother Valley websites, as prices can vary.
    Stevie


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    Default Re: Upgraded my eyepieces, underwhelmed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kjaye View Post
    Thanks for the replies guys. I don't know if part of my problem is total lack of experience, and thus expectations of what one is supposed to see through a telescope. Before I bought mine I had never seen or looked through a telescope before, and now, in my early 40's my eyes are definitely not as good as they were so maybe the lack of focus sometimes might be my own shortsightedness! My mobile phone broke this week and I had to read the IMEI number to the guy on the phone and it was so small I could hardly see it. So could be my own body failing me over the equipment, as the BST's seem to get uniformally good reviews for their price.

    I think might actually try and get out somewhere dark with the scope over the weekend. Currently I just sit on my patio overlooking the town where I live and the there is some light pollution.

    Can anyone tell me what I'd see if I bought a bigger and better scope? I'd consider laying out up to £500 for something decent that would let me see Jupiters spot, Cassini's division, Mars polar caps and maybe some of the nebulas and galaxies. I don't know if you guys have heard of the Great Courses but I've purchased several of their lecture series, including a 96 lecture full introduction to astronomy and want to really be able to see what I'm learning about.
    Getting better quality scope will definitely help, but even with better scope there is a learning curve. You have to train your eyes and work the equipment. Don't worry about eyesight. I have a very strong and complex prescription and see intricate planetary details.

    Here are a couple of packages which work well on planets but also quite capable on DSOs

    Celestron 120 Omni Xlt
    https://www.firstlightoptics.com/cle...120_67137.html

    Bresser 127l + Exos2 mount
    https://www.firstlightoptics.com/bre...actor-ota.html
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bresser-Mes...bresser+exos+2
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    Default Re: Upgraded my eyepieces, underwhelmed.

    Quote Originally Posted by hal2000 View Post
    I think you will have to consider upgrading to an 8" or even 10" scope to start to really see things well. If you are not interested in astrophotography, then a dobsonian reflector is the way to go.

    Unfortunately, the Revelation dobs are still not available from Telescope House, but here's a link to their dobsonian page.

    https://www.telescopehouse.com/teles...elescopes.html

    If you see something you like the look of, also have a look at the First Lght Optics and Rother Valley websites, as prices can vary.
    I respectively disagree. Long tube 120-150mm achro refractors are great planetary scopes, and good for many other thing as well. 100-127mm apo refractors even better on planets but out of $500 price range.

 

 
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