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  1. #1
    Nejedljf's Avatar
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    Default Planning for the future reference a barlow & eyepieces.



    I just bought a Zhumell 10" (1250mm focal length \ 254mm effective aperature = 4.92 visual focal ratio) Dobsonian. I live in Northeast Wisconsin, USA and will be moving the scope primarily between our light infested residence of Appleton and darker sky cottage. My wife and I see our use as being primarily deep field with star hoping.

    I want to make the correct initial purchases when it comes to a barlow and eyepieces so as to stay happy for the long term. I realize price increases with quality. I am willing to spend more up front in spurts, with an understanding that I may want to eventually increase to a larger dobsonian. I do not expect to get into astrophotography or expensive electronics.

    Both my wife and I are in our forties and have had eye surgery to get rid of the glasses. Our initial belief is that we should invest in a 2" barlow and one more high quality 2" eyepiece to compliment the 2" 30mm that came with the Zhumell (there is also a 9mm 1.25).

    Grant it I just started and I will be spending plenty of time looking at different eyepieces and setups, but I want to think long term on any investments I make. Any suggestions or corrections to my train of thought (thus far) would be helpful. I ultimately would love to build or purchase a larger dob to compliment our hobby if everything goes well.

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  3. #2
    Nejedljf's Avatar
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    Default Come on

    Anyone willing to put two cents in.

  4. #3
    WWPierre's Avatar
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    Default

    Hi Nejedljf,

    I am sort of in the same boat as you about how to invest in eyepieces in order to get the most out of my scope. (Sky-Watcher 5" collapsable dob) It is F/5, about the same speed as yours.

    The scope came with 10mm and 25mm no-name eyepieces. I hardly use the 10mm because the eye relief is so short. This may not be a problem in your case, as you don't need glasses. (ah, modern medicine, aren't we lucky to be living in these times?)

    My strategy thus far has been first a 2x barlow. I got a Seben on E-bay for about $30 delivered to my post box. With my 25mm ep the view is more comfortable than my 10mm with the same X.

    Then I ordered an erecting lens for terrestrial viewing from Siebert Optics. It hasn't come yet, and I have been warned not to expect too much.

    I also ordered a Celestron 8-24 zoom, which is on the way, and a green laser from E-bay for less than $10.

    My next purchase will probably be the most expensive: A 15-18mm wide angle EP with lots of eye relief, and then a 3x barlow.

    It is always a good idea to go astronoming with others, so you can try out their EPs in your scope.

    If you are completely on your own, I would say do the math and equip yourself to approach 75% of the theoretical resolving power of your scope as cheaply as you can, then go from there.
    Meade 16" LightBridge; Celestron G-8N Bird-Jones/motorized EQ5;
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    127 Mak/go-to EQ5; Burgess 127f8 refractor; Sky-Watcher 5" F/5 collapsible dob; 90mm Mak/motorized EQ2; Royal Astro 76/910-GEM; Meade 60x700 refractor/alt/az; Zhumell 25x100 Coin Ops; GalilleoScope. Celestron 8mm-24mm zoom; lots of fixed EPs,some good, some..not so much. A small collection of surveying instruments; a forest of tripods; Canon Rebel Xti. Confirmed gadget junkie; Custodian of the Magnetic North Pole (Send $1.00 to Pierre each time you use a compass.)
    49-41-37.03N 123-09-29.61W Calculated magnetic declination: 17 39' East

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  6. #4
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    How did you go about deciding on those eyepieces?

    I started reading a ton of articles on the web and looking at a number of threads. At the Tele Vue Website there were a number of article which were very informative and indepth on eyepieces. Tele Vue is very expensive, but I figured a good place to start reading since they seemed to be on top. My 10" wide, 1250mm focal length scope had a focal ratio of f4.9. I found this was on the fast end of things and many of the mouth watering eyepieces Tele Vue was offering had fine print that talked about adding a Parracor, which would cut down on the field of view and add a host of other problems. They pretty much admitted their high end eyepieces were not as valued in my fast dob.

    After some more reading I found the Chris Lord "Evolution of Eyepieces" document from 1996. That article further confirmed my suspicions about a number of the "hand grenade" eyepieces not being of "value" to a fast newtonian like mine.

    Have you had any experience with this? I am just getting started. The Chris Lord article was really informative for a beginner. I am back to thinking that I am going to stay away from the $$$ hand grenades (now because I think I understand the fast newtonian eyepiece issue better).

    I am interested in finding experience from people with f5 or faster relflectors. It doesn't seem helpful to take eyepiece advise from someone using a refractor. I should say someone who only has experience with a different type of scope.

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    Default

    May be worthwhile to put some google time into Baader Hyperion and Orion Stratus. They are almost (but not quite) the same eyepiece. You could also research the Vixen LVW's. Just a few ideas.

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    Default

    Also read stardrop's (ted) post "I need new eyepieces" in the eyepieces forum ...
    16in Night sky
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    F4.5 , 90mm refractor 500mm FL , 7in
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    classic Big-mac , Meade eye pieces with a few odd balls thrown in ...
    If you cant stand behind the american soldier ,
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    Please stand in front of one ...

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  11. #7
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    Default

    Nejedljf said:
    How did you go about deciding on those eyepieces?

    Well, the barlow was a no brainer, it effectively doubles your collection. It was cheap enough that I could afford to take a chance on the quality. The erecting eyepiece will allow ordinary people to look through the scope without getting confused. My wife, for instance, would NEVER put up with an upside-down view. (The world seldom meets her standards. Hell, I don't even live up to her standards) I ordered the $50 one because it is supposed to work better in fast scopes.

    The Celestron zoomer was the result of a lot of soul searching (and internet searching)

    I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that the equipment I have now is capable of better performance than my old mark 1 eyeball, and I probably wouldn't notice the small amount of degradation a zoom lens is supposed to introduce. I found every review on the internet, and the general feeling, except for a few die-hard perfectionists, was that it was a pretty good deal. Lots of people said that it is theit most-used eyepiece. It was a toss-up between the Seben and the Celestron. The Celestron was actually cheaper by a bit, and I was sold by the big chunk of glass at the eye end.

    It came today, by the way, and I had a look at the environs with it, and at the 8mm end, I could almost see individual fir needles on the ridge 500 meters away.

    I'm gonna write a separate first light report. The best thing is I won't ever have to look through the cheap no-name plossl that came with my scope ever again.
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    49-41-37.03N 123-09-29.61W Calculated magnetic declination: 17 39' East

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  13. #8
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    Sounds like a good plan. Brenda and I just got the scope and plan to spend time with the local group, star parties and website threads before we finalize anything.

    We are actually happy with the 9mm plossl that came with the telescope. I can't wait to see what can happen to Jupiter with something different and maybe some filters.

    As it stands now, The plan is to get the following three items:
    - Univeristy Optics 2.2 Klee Barlow
    - 12.5mm University H.D Abbe Orthoscopic eyepiece
    - 18 mm University H.D Abbe Orthoscopic eyepiece

    For about $270, it effectively puts my magnifications at:
    x42 2” Zhumell wide field 30 mm
    x70 1.25” 18 mm University H.D Abbe Orthoscopic
    x100 1.25” 12.5 mm University H.D Abbe Orthoscopic
    x139 1.25” Zhumell 9 mm plosll
    x152 Klee 2.2 barlow w/ 1.25” 18 mm University H.D Abbe Orthoscopic
    x220 Klee 2.2 barlow w/ 1.25” 12.5 mm University H.D Abbe Orthoscopic
    x305 Klee 2.2 barlow w/ 1.25” 9 mm Xhumell Plossl (not sure about this)

    I may change up and go with the 2.8 barlow which would push the 18 and 12.5 up the rung and just not barlow the 9" Zhumell.

    Give me input people!

  14. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nejedljf View Post

    I may change up and go with the 2.8 barlow which would push the 18 and 12.5 up the rung and just not barlow the 9" Zhumell.

    Give me input people!
    Well, you can get a Seben 2x barlow for $20 on E-Bay. I get crisp images using mine, and as my dad says, "It's always good to have, even if you never use it." A piece of useful gear for the cost if treating 4 people at Starbucks is always nice.

    I couldn't find your choices with a quick google, could you give me a link please?

    You can get a Teleview 3x barlow for a hundred bucks, but I am going for Harry Sebert's, I think. He claims it's better for fast scopes. Of course, I'm not going to order it until I see if the erecting lens he is making for me impresses me.

    Darn, I thought I would be star-gazing tonight, but there is not enough blue sky to make a pair of breeches for a Dutchman.
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    49-41-37.03N 123-09-29.61W Calculated magnetic declination: 17 39' East

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  15. #10
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    Thanks. I will take a look right now. The reason I started reading more about the Klee is the "correction for coma" claim. Trying to digest if it is true or not. Found some good threads. Your Sebert makes the same claims. How is the coma or astigmatism in your 2x?

 

 
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