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  1. #1
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    Default Recommendations for an ETX-70AT



    I'm using a Meade ETX-70AT. It has a 70mm (2.5") aperture, a 350mm focal length, and of course an f/5 ratio. I currently have the two oculars that came with the scope: MA 25mm, and an MA 9mm.

    I'm pretty new so I look at everything! What oculars and filters could improve my viewing experience with my humble scope?

  2. #2
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    I would look to a 32 mm or larger for some clarity. I still use my 40mm that came with my scope. It is crystal clear and gives you some great clarity of the moon and planets like Jupiter (bands and GRS).
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  4. #3
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    Default

    Thanks for the suggestion. Highest i think i want to go is 30mm focal length optical. Higher and the focal pupil gets larger than 5mm. Any other suggestions?

  5. #4
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    Default

    Hi Rah ...I started with a small etx and the MA eyepieces the scope comes with are not bad i bought some series 4000 plossl ...You cant really overpower the scope (you can but we wont go there)using the series 4000 eyepieces ...The lowest i have is a 9.7 and use it with a 2x and 3x Barlow's ...With the 9.7 and and a 3x Barlow you will get 108 power which isn't bad for that scope ...I also have a 26mm and a 32 and recommend both ..You can find them for around 40-50 each ...
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  7. #5
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    Default

    I don't have the ETX-70, but I have the 80mm which is very similar. Here are my experiences so far and a few observations:
    I presently have the following EP:
    Meade Super Plossls in 26, 9.7 and 6.4mm.
    Zhumell 7-21mm Zoom (same as Orion Explorer II)

    I've also used (but now have up for sale): Orion Stratus 21mm (too heavy for this scope). Vixen 2.5mm LV (too much magnification) and Vixen 5mm LV (didn't like the light scatter this EP seemed to exhibit).

    My most used EP for general DSO use is the 9.7mm. This offers a decent exit pupil, while still offering good magnification and darkens the sky quite a bit. I use the 26mm primarily as a finder, as I find the magnification to be a bit too low (except for situations that need the wide field it offers, such as the Pleiades or North American nebula). I also use the 6.4mm quite a bit for close double stars and planetary work.

    I recently ordered the Meade Super Plossl 15mm...this was a toss up between the Meade Plossl or a wider field EP (such as the Titan series or GSO Superviews), but after viewing the FOV rings in Starry Night, I was surprised at how little gain there was to the FOV with a wide field versus the Plossl. (I would have had to jump to 82 degree FOV or larger for it to be worthwhile, but it's tough to find an affordable 82 degree or larger that is affordable land works well in an F/5 scope). I wanted the 15mm to offer a bit brighter image then the 9.7 offered, while still having a dark sky and more magnification then the 26mm. I still might purchase an 82 degree, 20mm EP someday, as I really liked "picture window" effect they offer, but due to distortions it will just be a special purpose EP.

    The Zoom EP is rarely used, but is handy when using the scope with friends who are new to astronomy (I don't have to change EP as often, which makes it more user friendly). It's also handy for determining best magnificication on various objects.

    So...what does all this mean? You're probably okay with your existing EP (unless you want to move up to Plossls). I would get a 6mm (or there abouts) Plossl for the times you want high magnification, and an " in between" EP around 15mm (give or take a couple mm). Plossls would probably be the best design to go with, unless you need greater eye relief or really want wider FOV (but be aware that the gain in the FOV is marginal, especially usable field).

    Just thought I'd share my experiences...but the final choice is up to your own personal tastes and how you use your scope. As a general rule, you need at least one EP to serve as a finder, another EP that offers a nice balance between FOV and magnification (and still has a decent exit pupil for image brightness) and another EP for higher magnifcation.
    Craig (hope I haven't simply confused you...)
    Last edited by caheaton; 09-08-2009 at 07:07 PM.

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  9. #6
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    Default

    Thanks Craig, you were very clear and not confusing at all. I think plossls are the way to go too. I also would like to get an 82 wide angle, but find them too expensive. I think the lowest focal length i would possibly go is to 6mm. The eye relief on a MA 9mm is really bad as it is and wouldn't want to make it much worse if at all possible.

    A 15mm is a good idea, a new 25mm, and probably a 32mm. I would love a really long focal length to get a real good view of some constellations and groups of stars. A 2 or 3 times barlow and a 9mm would probably be enough for planetary observation (maybe a 6mm would be needed as well).

    Now what I would like to know is a good brand of plossls to get, and whats the difference between a regular plossl, and meade's super plossl?

  10. #7
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    There is no difference in a plossl and a super plossl ...Just meades name for them ...
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  12. #8
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    Roverich speaks the truth it's just marketing. The Meade Plossls are good ones, but so are many other makes out there. I went with the Meades since the 9.7 & 26mm came with my scope and the entire series is parfocal (meaning little refocusing is required when changing eyepieces). Other good Plossls are those from GSO (who I believe makes them for Meade) and Owl Astronomy. The one's from Owl have about the best prices I've found. I'm thinking of buying their 4mm. The current series of Plossls from Owl are the "Black Knights".

    Also, just as an FYI...the Meade 5000 series plossls aren't true plossls...the plossl eyepiece is a 4 element in 2 groups design and the 5000 series are 5 element eyepieces. I've read mixed reviews on those. Just thought I'd mention that in case you look at them.
    Craig

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  14. #9
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    Thanks Craig, Ill look into those Plossls from Owl, I would like to have a parfocal set. Changing eyepieces can be a pain right now.

 

 

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