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  1. #1
    kebwizrd's Avatar
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    Default Eyepiece Kit Question



    I am a newbie to astronmy and want to get started on the right track. I am looking at the Orion Skyquest XT8 IntelliScope. It comes with a 25 mm & 10 MM Plossl eye pieces. I was thing about also ordering the 20 mm Orion Plossl eyepiece ($45.00), the moon filter ($19.00), and the 2x Barlow $43.00), total being $107.00.

    B&H photo has a Celestron eyepiece & filter kit for $129.00.

    Kit Contains:
    Five (4mm, 6mm, 9mm, 15mm, and 32mm) Superior Grade Plossl Eyepieces 1.25": 4-element design with a 52° AFOV (32mm has 44°) -- Superb color, resolution, edge sharpness and clarity. All eyepieces are fully multi-coated for maximum contrast and resolution.
    Barlow Lens -- 2x (1.25"), Six Colored Eyepiece (Planetary) Filters -- 1.25": Included are Kodak Wratten #12, #21, #25, #56, #58A, and #80A. Moon Filter -- 1.25": A neutral density filter, and an aluminum case.

    Seems like a lot better deal. My concern is quality. Any thoughts or info from anyone would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Colored filters are of limited use. I have a bag full of them and they sure like to stay in that bag.
    A 4mm and a 6mm focal length eyepiece will most likely see limited use depending upon your local seeing conditions. Try using the accessories that come with the telescope for a while first. A moon or variable polarizing filter can be very useful. If you want, not need, to purchase accessories you will be better off just getting an eyepiece in the focal length range of 15-18mm and a 1.5-2.5x barlow.

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    kebwizrd (03-04-2009)

  4. #3
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    Thanks for the info, especially about the 4mm & 6mm eyepieces and filters.

  5. #4
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    Howdy Keb ...

    ... I can't claim to be an expert, but, I do own several "kits" ... and Ted is correct ... some things end up sitting in the bag when you buy a kit ... absolutely ...

    ... and you may have already broken all this down and don't need to read any further, but for the benefit of any other new-guys out there, here is what i have learned along my still-young journey ...

    ... you hit the nail on the head with your post ... which way to go when the price of the individual pieces is so close to the the cost of the kit? ... tough choice huh? ... it looks like you are getting more bang-for-your-buck doesn't it? ...

    ... in reality, about the only benefit from getting the kit is the case, unless you KNOW you are going to use the filters for AP (astro-photography) ...

    ... it seems these conversations get down to about two different camps;

    ... the minimalists - viewing with minimal toting and lugging of gear and toys about the countryside ... generally a happy camp and they know which EPs really get the job done, and get it done quickly ...

    ... the toy-junkies - guys like me who collect gazillions of goodies to try out everything so they can find out for themselves just what the heck is going on, and generally discover that what the more-experienced guys are saying is really true ... about the only gain is you end up with multiple sets of EPs and scopes, which means your grab and go set can stay in one bag and the "base-camp set" stays safe and sound while your off hiking across that countryside (usually huffing after some smarmy light-packing experienced guy ... lol ... just teasing the light-packers ... no real offense meant) ...

    ... some of us end up being toy-junkies because we just don't know what it is (exactly) we like doing the most/best, or you like to do a little bit of everything and enjoy it all ... either way, for toy-junkies the end result is that (until you find out what it is you enjoy) you end up trying a bunch of stuff, maybe a few different types of scopes too, and then end up with three or four of just about everything else ... which can cost you a ton of money if you are buying high-end gear (I tend to go middle-road and then end up selling of the extras on eBay) ... this is where joining a local club really pays off ... most everyone is happy to share the knowledge and show off their scopes and scope-gear ... meaning you keep some dollars in your wallet and get to try everything out for free (well, not quite, it is considered "good form" to buy the coffee or beer when trying out someone else's gear) ...

    ... one other point ... about the case ... it (alone) is going to cost you anywhere from $30-$60 (US) depending on if you can find a decent deal or not ... so the cost of the case, moon filter, an EP (15mm-18mm), and a Barlow will easily equal the cost of the kit ...

    ... if you decide to head down the toy-junkie-road, the filters bought separately will run you about $18-$40 (US) EACH, depending on where you shop ... and you will (in fact) rarely us the 4mm EP, and probably will not use the 6mm EP much at all (because the 10mm with the Barlow will function as a 5mm) ... figure it this way ... the kit ends up giving you a set that is parfocal (meaning matched to each other focally, which reduced focusing when swapping between EPs) with the following effective EPs (indicates a Barlowed EP); (2mm) - (3mm) - 4mm - (4.5mm) - 6mm - (7.5mm) - 9mm - 15mm - (16mm) - 32mm ... see the problem, a lot of redundancy and you are still going to want to buy a 20mm ... ugh ... if you pitch the Barlow out the window you end up with four EPs that will give you any real use/benefit (6mm, 9mm, 15mm, 32mm) ...

    ... there is one other benefit to a Barlow, as Vin has taught me (see, this is where the sage wisdom of the elder-astronomers really is true and sage) ... with a Barlow the 32mm will effectively operate as a 16mm, but with the eye relief of the 32mm (same effect for the other EP's) ... which is a great benefit for us older-pharts squinting at the lens ...

    ... really confused now?? ... lol ... good ... no reason you shouldn't suffer through the information-overload that everyone else suffers ... lol ... btw ... since I am no "expert", this still all boils down to mvho (my very humble opinion) ... I really do hope it helps someone ... not you ... you need to stay confused ...

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  7. #5
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    Thanks for you input, gives me some stuff to add to the stew.....

  8. #6
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    I find the moon filter usefull, but Ted is right, you probably won't use the others much. I have green, red, blue, yellow, and a skyglow and have not used any of them in over a year. I would definitely recomend the barlow. I have the 2x ultrascopic and use it almost every outing. I have the same eyepieces for my scope (the XT6) and they work all right. I have recently bought an ultrascopic 30mm and I find the views far supperior to the Plossles.
    Another thing you may want to consider buying are a few things to make your outings easier. An adjustable stool is very nice. I also have a roll up table (table that rolls up and fits in a small bag) that is great for holding charts, etc.
    Anyway - that is my two cents.

  9. #7
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    Hey Keith ... I just got hold of an Orion Ultrascopic 15mm, but have not had a chance to get it in the focuser yet ... which Plossl(s) are you stacking it up against??? ... I'm hoping to get one of my 90mm's out tonight (well, actually tomorrow morning ... lol ... after 3am) ... just curious what to expect ...

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  10. #8
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    My Plossles are the Orion Sirius that they send with their dobs. They are competent eyepieces that have served me well, but I was completely blown away by the ultrascopic 30mm (of course my experience is limited to these eyepieces, I am sure there are better out there). If I am not mistaken my 30mm with a barlow is essentially the same as a 15mm. I am thinking of getting an Orion Stratus (which I understand is the same as the Baader Hyperion that everyone has been raving about). Not sure which focal length. Would have to be the 13 or 17 which would also give me a 6.5 or 8.5 with the barlow. With the eyepieces I currently have and the barlow I have a 30mm, 25mm, 15mm, 12.5mm, 10mm, and 5mm. Won't be buying one anytime soon so I will have plenty of time to think on it (as well as read the many reviews you fine people submit).

 

 

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