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Thread: What's The Best Eyepiece for planets?

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    Default What's The Best Eyepiece for planets?



    Hello again.

    I have a GSO 6" f6 newtonian (150/900)

    For planets, I use an Omegon LE Planetary 5mm eyepiece, which gives me amazing views of Jupiter and Saturn at 180x magnification.
    For Mars, I think 180x magnification is not enough because the planet is too small.

    there are these eyepieces:
    Meade HD-60 4.5mm 1.25" 5000 series eyepiece
    and
    Vixen 1.25" SLV 4mm eyepiece

    The first one (Meade) gives a 200x magnification.

    The second one (Vixen) has a very good reputation (Many people say it's at the same level as orthos in terms of sharpness and contrast), but it gives perhaps a little exaggerated magnification (225x) for my 6" newtonian.

    For you, for a 6" newtonian, what's the best eyepiece for planets?
    Last edited by JPAG; 09-19-2017 at 07:11 PM.
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    Default Re: What's The Best Eyepiece for planets?

    Seeing conditions will need to be very good to push the scope further than what you are currently doing. When I push my scopes, I usually do so with a Barlow instead of spending the money for a seldom used dedicated EP. I don't have one of the Vixen EPs but I do have a few of the Meade HDs and they are quite good. They are essentially the same as the Celestron X-Cel LXs which may be a better price for you. Also to consider are the Agena Dual EDs. I would be tempted to get an Agena Dual ED 8mm and use a GSO Barlow which would give you 6mm and 4mm with that EP.

    Agena 1.25" Starguider Dual ED Eyepiece - 8mm
    GSO 1.25" 2x "Shorty" Achromatic Barlow Lens # GS2BL

    It would be helpful if you added your EP collection to your signature so we would know that as well. I really don't think you will see a LOT of improvement going from 180x to 200x and I doubt you will have much success trying to push further than that up into the 230x and above.
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    Default Re: What's The Best Eyepiece for planets?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ozman13 View Post
    Seeing conditions will need to be very good to push the scope further than what you are currently doing. When I push my scopes, I usually do so with a Barlow instead of spending the money for a seldom used dedicated EP. I don't have one of the Vixen EPs but I do have a few of the Meade HDs and they are quite good. They are essentially the same as the Celestron X-Cel LXs which may be a better price for you. Also to consider are the Agena Dual EDs. I would be tempted to get an Agena Dual ED 8mm and use a GSO Barlow which would give you 6mm and 4mm with that EP.

    Agena 1.25" Starguider Dual ED Eyepiece - 8mm
    GSO 1.25" 2x "Shorty" Achromatic Barlow Lens # GS2BL

    It would be helpful if you added your EP collection to your signature so we would know that as well. I really don't think you will see a LOT of improvement going from 180x to 200x and I doubt you will have much success trying to push further than that up into the 230x and above.
    Celestron X-Cel LX

    Agena 1.25" Starguider Dual ED Eyepiece - 8mm

    GSO 1.25" 2x "Shorty" Achromatic Barlow Lens # GS2BL

    Thank's. I will take these options into account.
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    Default Re: What's The Best Eyepiece for planets?

    Quote Originally Posted by JPAG View Post
    For planets, I use an Omegon LE Planetary 5mm eyepiece, which gives me amazing views of Jupiter and Saturn at 180x magnification.
    For Mars, I think 180x magnification is not enough because the planet is too small.
    Except during opposition Mars is a singularly uninteresting thing to look at. Most of the time it is not much more than an orange blob. I don't think even doubling the size of your scope would make all that much difference.
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    Default Re: What's The Best Eyepiece for planets?

    There really is no "best" eyepiece because it's really up to the sky conditions and personal taste so you may need to try a few different eyepiece designs to figure out what works the best for you. For me I love Japanese Tani made Orthos in my long 1200mm fl refractor and reflectors for the best views. 6mm on most nights and 5mm-4mm on exceptionally clear and steady nights. They do however have short eye relief which for some is uncomfortable. They give ( to my eyes at least) the sharpest views I've ever had so when I'm all by myself they are all I use now. You might want to attend a few star parties and try out some other Astronomers eyepieces to give you a hands on experience. Best of luck in your quest and look up!
    Last edited by Leveye; 09-19-2017 at 07:56 PM.
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    Default Re: What's The Best Eyepiece for planets?

    Quote Originally Posted by MG1692 View Post
    Except during opposition Mars is a singularly uninteresting thing to look at. Most of the time it is not much more than an orange blob. I don't think even doubling the size of your scope would make all that much difference.
    Yes, I know that. But next year, Mars will be in opposition.
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    Default Re: What's The Best Eyepiece for planets?

    I enjoyed a lot observing Mars last year during opposition. While I saw many details, including polar caps and many geological features, it was challenging due to low contrast of Mars details and small disk size (even during opposition). Although my scopes can handle >300x magnification, I was not able to push it above 200x due to seeing conditions.

    So the right strategy for Mars is to use very sharp EPs with very good light scatter control. Which would be Orthos. 10mm BCO did great job in my 8" SCT at 200x, but there are many other good Orthos to select from. Another important thing is to use the right filter. I tried a few but Baader Contrast booster filter did the best job cutting the glare and improving contrast without affecting the colors.

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    Default Re: What's The Best Eyepiece for planets?

    Since you're already over-driving the f/6 scope in obviously near-perfect conditions, why not just slap that 2x Barlow on your 8mm EP. Wa La! Chips-n-Cheese... you get 4mm without wasting $$$ on something that you may never use again.

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    Default Re: What's The Best Eyepiece for planets?

    Quote Originally Posted by JPAG View Post
    Celestron X-Cel LX

    Agena 1.25" Starguider Dual ED Eyepiece - 8mm

    GSO 1.25" 2x "Shorty" Achromatic Barlow Lens # GS2BL

    Thank's. I will take these options into account.
    Thanks for listing your EPs. I believe you will definitely increase your viewing ability by upgrading your EPs as you can. Those X-Cel LXs are a significant improvement over what you currently are using, I believe you will really like the views they provide.
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    Default Re: What's The Best Eyepiece for planets?

    Without a doubt in an f6 Newtonian orthoscopic is my preferred choice. The BCOs mentioned above are quite nice. TV Delos are almost as good in terms of scattered light control and contrast. However the KK Fujiyama Orthoscopics control scattered light better than the BCOs. Eye relief is short so best without your glasses.

    A recent observing report of mine (Sept 16) indicates that in a head to head comparison the black sky in the KK orthos is darker (MUCH darker at 10mm) than the BCOs. They are both still quite good for planets. I use my TV Delos mostly for DSOs where I want a wider field of view. That is since I did a comparison of BCOs and Delos on shadow transits on Jupiter. The shadows were blacker in the BCOs indicating the advantages of less scatter and less glass on planets.
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