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Thread: Best eyepiece as a grab and go?

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    Default Best eyepiece as a grab and go?



    Hello all!
    After a few years into this great hobby, more and more I realize I appreciate simplicity and quick setup. I have both entry level Astromaster 90Az and Nexstar 4SE. As you can see after a few years I remain a beginner. To be honest I would like to have more time and space for astronomy but so far that seems unlikely.

    So up to here my eyepieces are: Celestron 10mm; Celestron 20mm (both included with Astromaster), Celestron 25mm (included with Nexstar4SE); Orion Sirius 32mm (I love it); Orion 12.5mm illuminated (I used it to align my Nexstar 4SE but it is still very good for observation not just for alingning).

    So, I was looking for an eyepiece of medium magnification and very important for me, generous eye relief. I don't wear glasses but still I love generous eye relief. Its comfortable. For instance, my 10mm is terrible as eye relief is so tight that almost never use such eyepiece. I only use it for terrestrial observation or for the moon and nothing else. It remains for the most part collecting dust.

    What do I like to see? Planets and when conditions allow, Orion nebulae and clusters. And double stars (thanks to Nexstar 4SE) Things like that. My 32mm is good for this while the 20mm and 25mm are good for planets.

    Now, I was reading about this Orion Expanse 15mm as it has a 13mm eyerelief

    15mm Orion Expanse Telescope Eyepiece | Orion Telescopes: Eyepieces

    Another option is this Meade 4000 series zoom 8-24:

    https://www.meade.com/meade-series-4...abs_additional

    This Meade zoom claims a 15-18mm eye relief, something I like a lot. A zoom looks interesting but Im aware there are compromises. One thing I worry is that this zoom has 40° to 60° AFOV and I wonder if that's too narrow for nebulae or clusters?

    As for quality, Im not picky, you already see my gear is very basic entry level stuff so I don't worry about chromatic aberration and distortion at the edge, I can live with that.

    Im looking for convenience, simplicity, and quick setup and grab and go. (Besides, I live in a very polluted city so I guess even the best quality scope plus the best high end quality eyepiece will not make a huge difference)

    An eyepiece that gives me comfort (good eye relief is very important to me) and is useful for planets, Orion nebulae, double stars, so not to have such a narrow AFOV, etc, something general and not having to carry two or three eyepieces to the parking lot. A grab and go experience....

    Any thoughts are highly appreciated.

    Thanks a lot!!
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    Default Re: Best eyepiece as a grab and go?

    I only have a grab and go telescope (startravel 102) and I leave my baader zoom on it all the time and I love it. I see a clear sky, carry my telescope outside, and start looking. No extra case to bring with me, nothing. Just the telescope.
    Yes, the afov is only 48° on 24mm, but it opens to 68° on 8mm, which isn't to bad. Most plossls are 50° so the zoom isn't much worse. In your astromaster 90 it would give a maximum field of view of 1.15° so M43 would just fit. But it isn't cheap. I payed 325€ for the zoom and the barlow and you can buy some nice 1.25 inch eyepieces for that money. But the convenience is a big plus for me. I consider the zoom a collection of 5 decent eyepieces in one neat package.
    Be aware of the exit pupil. On 8mm you'll have an exit pupil of less than 1mm. And eyerelief? My zoom goes from 16 to 19mm.
    If you are afraid the FOV isn't wide enough, you can experiment with Stellarium or with this link:
    https://astronomy.tools/calculators/field_of_view/

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    Default Re: Best eyepiece as a grab and go?

    I have a 9mm Expanse. They are sold by a variety of distributors under various badges (TS Optics, Sky-Watcher etc).

    1.25" 58 & 65 Wide Angle Eyepiece

    Although they are actually Barsta (BST).

    x1.jpg

    They are a competent small bodied wide angle EP that would lend itself to a grab'n'go rig quite well I should imagine.

    x2.jpg

    Mine works well in my f/5 Orion ST80, with no noticeable ghosting or aberrations that I could detect in most of the FOV.

    x3.jpg

    The eye relief is quite long but this can make eye placement slightly problematical at times as it has a tendency to kidney bean. It can take some practice to adapt to this, although I found that I adapted quickly to it.

    x4.jpg

    The brass drawtube can be unthreaded, it contains a negative Smyth lens (not unlike a Barlow). I didn't find its undercut a nuisance with hang ups and it extracts relatively easily.

    x5.jpg

    This can be useful to remove sometimes to facilitate cleaning the actual field lens as dust inside the eyepiece can settle on the inside of it.
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    Default Re: Best eyepiece as a grab and go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wouter1981 View Post
    I only have a grab and go telescope (startravel 102) and I leave my baader zoom on it all the time and I love it. I see a clear sky, carry my telescope outside, and start looking. No extra case to bring with me, nothing. Just the telescope.
    Yes, the afov is only 48° on 24mm, but it opens to 68° on 8mm, which isn't to bad. Most plossls are 50° so the zoom isn't much worse. In your astromaster 90 it would give a maximum field of view of 1.15° so M43 would just fit. But it isn't cheap. I payed 325€ for the zoom and the barlow and you can buy some nice 1.25 inch eyepieces for that money. But the convenience is a big plus for me. I consider the zoom a collection of 5 decent eyepieces in one neat package.
    Be aware of the exit pupil. On 8mm you'll have an exit pupil of less than 1mm. And eyerelief? My zoom goes from 16 to 19mm.
    If you are afraid the FOV isn't wide enough, you can experiment with Stellarium or with this link:
    https://astronomy.tools/calculators/field_of_view/
    Thanks a lot. Wow, that link to that tool is awesome I wonder who did it but its quite useful!

    And by the way, you mention a point that I didn't give a thought: exit pupil.

    I guess 1mm exit pupil is uncomfortable. Need to think about it....

    Thanks!
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    Default Re: Best eyepiece as a grab and go?

    I wouldn't say 1mm exit pupil is "uncomfortable". I've heard people say they go to 0.3mm exit pupil... some people are ok with that, others not
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    Default Re: Best eyepiece as a grab and go?

    As exit pupil gets smaller things get darker and you see more of the junk in your eye aka floaties

    So for deep sky maybe 2mm or even 4mm might be better.

    For planets, bright stsrs, sun and moon, 1mm or even lower is fine.

    Of course your limit maybe magnification in those cases
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    Default Re: Best eyepiece as a grab and go?

    I use the Meade Series 4000 zoom EP on my grab and go refractor. It gives sharp images with good contrast but has the disadvantage of a 40 degree FOV at 24mm but this increases to 60 degrees at 8mm. Eye relief is good and allows you to wear glasses while viewing.
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    Default Re: Best eyepiece as a grab and go?

    "Eye relief is good and allows you to wear glasses while viewing."

    Thanks, that's so good to know! Thanks!

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    Default Re: Best eyepiece as a grab and go?

    Joe,
    I agree with Shorty Barlow. I also own a 9mm 66 degree Expanse by Orion. At first I didn't like it due to the long eye relief as mentioned, it takes a little getting used to because of the kidney bean effect, but once I got used to it, I LOVE it! I also have a Short Tube 80mm F/5 under the Meade name, and it works well with it. I have not tried it on anything other than the moon, star clusters, and nebulae, so I can't attest to how well it will work with double stars!
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    Default Re: Best eyepiece as a grab and go?

    I'm not a fan of the zooms at all. For a moderately priced EP with very good performance I would go with these.

    1.25" Telescope Eyepieces | AgenaAstro.com - Agena Dual ED
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