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  1. #1
    chrisf's Avatar
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    Default Need opinions and suggestions..eyepieces and filters



    Greetings to all.

    I am new to astronomy in general, and live in Los Angeles.

    I am planning to buy a scope for my birthday, for me and my younger sons to use for fun. I have visited the scope store a couple of times, researched with due dilligence online all major forums and stores, and have determined the best scope for my needs is an Orion SkyQuest XT10. The motors on the eq mount bother me as I have borrowed my uncles Meade 4504 Eq mount costco special for the last week and have gotten some experience on what I don't like. Crappy .965 eyepieces, plastic focusers that jiggle, and a tube that shakes constantly is what I am trying to avoid. That being said, I plan to do the teflon base modifcation with the milkcarton washers to make an attempt at perfection, lol.

    Now that I have decided on that, moving on to eyepieces and filters.

    From my research, and discussions with some, I have created a preliminary list of the first set of eyepieces I want to acquire. I have delivered on aperture with the 10" dob, now I need to get the lenses to see something through all this bright light. I want decent to good quality, tell me if I am on the right track for my first few. Suggest others and give reasons, or just tell me your opinions about these or any others for that matter. Also, am I missing something you think I need in my collection to start? My intent is to start with quality so I can add to my collection, not throw away and start over, I am into value. BTW, I had this whole Baader Hyperian Zoom Setup with the fixed 21mm and the FT rings at 14 and 28mm to cover all, but someone told me zoom lenses are really for scoping, not telescopes, opine on that too if you could.

    TeleVue 1.25" 7mm Nagler Type 6
    Explore Scientific 2" 18mm 82d FOV
    Orion 2" 32mm Q70 Super-Wide
    TeleVue 2x Powermate 2 Inch with 1-1/4 Adapter

    If I am correct, and with the semi crappy included 1.25" 10 and 25mm eyepieces, this would give me, good quality 3.5/7/9/16/18/32mm with ok quality 5/10/12.5/25mm sights. Is this good coverage for planetary and simple DSO viewing?

    Also, filters, cheap or expensive, 1.25 or 2 inch, just starting to look at that, point me in the right direction, Should I get a solar filter, moon filter, DSO kit, or COLOR kit. I assume different filters align with different eyepice powers to see certain objects, so help me line up which goes with which eyepiece and what size. I would rather start slow and go for quality.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Chris
    Last edited by chrisf; 09-08-2009 at 10:15 PM.

  2. #2
    WWPierre's Avatar
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    Default

    Hi Chris. Welcome to our little corner of Cyberspace.

    The Baader Hyperion Zoom and a good barlow are all you need to get started, together with the (probably 2) eyepieces that will come with your scope. I have the Celestron zoom and seldom use any other eyepiece.

    Check out this thread at Cloudy Nights. Even the old timers are impressed.
    Last edited by WWPierre; 09-09-2009 at 06:49 AM. Reason: Spelling....moderation has it's privledges. :)
    Meade 16" LightBridge; Celestron G-8N Bird-Jones/motorized EQ5; Orion 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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  3. #3
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    Default

    Hi Chris welcome to the site!
    being a beginner with a dob similar to yours I would also think about your eyepieces/accessories that came with your dob. Did it come with any?

    I personally haven't completed my set even after more than a decade in the hobby with telescopes, and i wouldnt spend more than $100 on any one piece as the quality of things on the lower end have improved lately and with $500+ dollars you could easily buy another scope or mount.
    If i had $300 i would buy 4-5 GSO superview plossl (about 70 degrees of view) eyepieces, a few filters (the $100 Zhumell filter set is superb for the price, and an apochromatic Barlow 2x or two - another at 3X). Getting 1 or 2 Barlows would double or triple your set respectively. My apochromatic 2" GSO barlow not only accepts 1.25" but also 2" eyepieces and it costs basically $35 US including taxes.



    For $35 you cant really go wrong.

    You also need a case for your accessories, so spend less per item and you will be able to afford a case, maps and more.



    So for about $130 you can get a case and 3 very good eyepieces.

    Also I think budget/value eyepieces like GSO or similar are very good value for the money, so you can get a bunch more accessories than a few expensive, higher quality eyepieces. I find there is not a huge difference in the view you get, especially when you get slightly more expensive (wider view, 2" ones) such as the superview plossls from GSO.

    There are Zhumell filter sets on sale here that are an amazing deal especially if you live near any skyglow/light pollution.

    Amazing Price Astronomy OIII UHC and Sky Glow Filter Set Deals!

    cheers
    Name: Gus OTAs: ED 100 PRO refractor, Orion ST80 (not the CF), 8" Dob stuck in Canada Mounts:HEQ5PRO Synscan mount, Manfrotto Tripod CAMS: Guidecam Philips SPC900 webcams (4), Canon unmodded-450D DSLR

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  4. #4
    chrisf's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by WWPierre View Post
    Hi Chris. Welcome to our little corner of Cyberspace.

    The Baader Hyperion Zoom and a good barlow are all you need to get started, together with the (probably 2) eyepices that will come with your scope. I have the Celestron zoom and seldom use any other eyepiece.
    Thank you for the welcome.

    I am intrigued because I was steered in a different direction recently after I made the decision on an BH Zoom kit which consisted of the 8-24 zoom, 21mm fixed, 14 and 28mm ft rings. That intrigued me for the fliexiblity and quality. Question, you can use a barlow on the BH zoom lense as well? I thought that was what the FTR's did for the BH Zoom.

    Which barlow do you suggest or should I I go with a high quality hybrid like the powermate? Also, that Cloudy nights thread you pointed to said the new BHZoom has an adapter for 2 and 1.25". Can someone confirm that?

    Again I have no problem starting piece by piece, I just want quality I can keep adding too.

    Chris

  5. #5
    chrisf's Avatar
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    Default

    Admin,

    Yes, the Orion 10" Dob comes with the 10mm and 25mm 1.25inch EP's. Truth is, I am not into spending money, just more not into wasting it. I have had enough cheap crap than I know what to do with.

    So you are saying that having different pieces and setups makes for a more robust experience, not the lense quality. Here is what I am stuck on. On the Teelvue Nagler EP description, they talk about it giving Spacewalk-Like views. That is what I want, lol.

    I do understand balance though, so you are saying GSO gives the most quality for the value? Why? I will look into Zumell Filters, what is your opinion of the color filters to bring features out of planerts, worth it?

    Chris

  6. #6
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    Default

    Hi ChrisF ...Welcome aboard the forums ....Thanks for joining us ....

    ..I don't have one or had the opportunity to view through one , but the televue are some of the best eyepieces in the world ....I think they are way overpriced , because you can get some great eyepieces for 100-200 range....But like admin was saying , the lower priced eyepieces have come a long way ...Most are fully multi coated which allows for more light transmission to the eye ...Or even made with ED glass ....
    16in Night sky
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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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  7. #7
    admin's Avatar
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    Default

    im a bit weird and tend to calculate things in my head when i am shopping around. So for example if you get an eyepiece costing $500 dollars, over 2 years thats almost $2 a day and if you buy several its a lot more. However, most people like me only will use the eyepiece in 2 years only 10 or 20 times so the cost per day goes up obviously. Now one hopes to keep eyepieces for many years (sometimes a lifetime or more - but if you only use the $500 eyepiece 100 times, its $5 per viewing just for the eyepiece!), but my point is if you dont use the eyepiece much then it may be worthwhile getting an eyepiece that is more reasonable in cost per use as viewing sessions can get very expensive quickly.

    Another thing is that expensive eyepiece makers may tend to market their eyepieces with marketing talk such as space walk-like etc. Although I have not peered into a $1000 eyepiece, i am pretty sure there is not a huge difference (ie but something an astronomer with more than 10 years experience and viewing through an array of different eyepiece qualities over the years may only spot) between them [ie a $1000 eyepiece and a good value $100 eyepiece] in terms of light transmission, sharpness and contrast - i have seen through crappy $10 eyepieces that came with my dob and i thought i was orbiting the moon over a decade ago so i guess its in the eyes of the beholder.

    A further thing to think about is night adaption (ie quality of your eyes), quality of your telescope optics/mirror, and viewing location (dark skies or severe light pollution?) among other things. So if you never get dark adapted properly, have a scope OTA that only costs about $1000 like mine or even less, and have moderate to severe light pollution (or a bad viewing location - rooftop air movements etc), a $1000 eyepiece may not provide the same views in those conditions than someone with a large very high quality mirror scope, in dark skies that has taken the time to be dark adapted and has good vision (mine can be fussy at times wearing contacts). So a lot of quality and money may go wasted in that way as well.

    The problem is however, once you see through a $1000 eyepiece you dont want to go back to a $100 eyepiece as there are subtle (or sometimes a bit more major) differences you will notice over time, but in my mind I would rather spend the $ on a new or future new scope so i never put myself in that position. I guess the same thing goes for cars, tvs, and plane tickets...although i wont tell my retired dad that i have the same size screen as him and larger with my cheap projector at a much lower cost.

    I really hope never to want to buy expensive eyepiece in the future, as my wallet and my wife will kill me.
    Name: Gus OTAs: ED 100 PRO refractor, Orion ST80 (not the CF), 8" Dob stuck in Canada Mounts:HEQ5PRO Synscan mount, Manfrotto Tripod CAMS: Guidecam Philips SPC900 webcams (4), Canon unmodded-450D DSLR

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  8. #8
    chrisf's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    Admin, that was a very well thought out explanation of your logic when it comes to this hobby, thank you. I especially appreciate the wife part, lol.

    I also understand exactly what you speak of, as I have other "man toy" hobbies and that is more of my philosophy, get 95% of the satisfaction for 25% of the price. I am reconsidering this "perfection" eyepiece list. In the end, the best (Ethos) will cost me 4K to complete the set with filters, so who am I kidding. Like life, there is a balance here, just need to find the best value.

    At this point, I think I am going to meet in the middle. I think the BP Zoom 8-24 will work, set it with the 2" barrell and add in the associated FTR rings for flexibility, see links:
    Baader Hyperion Clickstop Zoom Eyepiece 8-24mm
    Baader Hyperion Finetuning Ring - 14mm
    Baader Hyperion Finetuning Ring - 28mm

    So now off to the native low power 2" EP's. I will take your suggestion on the kind (GSO Super View), now confirm for me the sizes if I want two (for now) to cover the spectrum of what the BH above will not. Add in a GSO 2" barlow to cover me, see links:
    GSO SV 30 mm SuperView Eyepiece 2 inch
    GSO SV 42 mm SuperView Eyepiece 2 inch
    GSO 2" 2x ED Barlow Lens

    This list does not cover the high power fixed EP, but this should give me a start to see if it is worth investing in a Nagler down the road. As is, this shaved about 45% off the budget for the first list. Is this a better choice at this point? Should I go with the Orion Q70 2" for a few dollars more a piece insteadof the GSO's? Give me opinions...

    Now to filters, the beauty of the list above is I am a pure 2" player, and that means filters too. So again, taking your suggestions, go with the value, see links:

    Zhumell 2 Inch SEE IT ALL Telescope Filter Set - Telescope Accessories at Telescopes

    However I am stuck when it comes to planetoary colored filters, give me some pointers where I can find some in the 2" variety.

    Keep the suggestions coming, all are appreciated.

    Chris

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  10. #9
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    TheDutchman1979 is offline Bright Giants
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    Hey Chris:

    Welcome to the forums. I recently purchase a Meade 8" Lightbridge Dob and at first used the 26mm Meade QX EP which came with it. It was enough to get me going. I then recieved my 2 free EP from a promo offer which were Meade 15mm and 20mm QX EP(a wide angle ep which give you a 70 degree Field of view)

    Meade Instruments Corporation - Series 4000 QX Wide Angle Eyepieces

    I then purchase a Meade 3 piece Moon Filter/2x barlow and 15mm Plossl EP for a decent price.

    The barlow can be your best friend by making an eye piece double as 2 eye pieces( with and without barlow). With the Barlow it double the magnification Eg. a 20mm with a barlow is equal to a 10mm ep.

    Since I too am burdened by a budget(enforced by She Who Must Be Obeyed) I scan the classifieds for deals in EP and filters. You can score some good details.

    I would recommend finding a local Astronomy club where you can go to and check out their scopes and EP's and ask them what they think of certain equipment.

    Good Luck
    Name: Brian

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    Eye Pieces: Meade 30mm Series 5000 UWA 2", Meade 26mm QX Wide Angle 2", Meade 20mm QX Wide Angle, Meade 15mm QX Wide Angle, Meade 15mm Plossl, Meade 6.7mm UWA, Meade 4.7mm UWA, Meade 2x Barlow, Hotech 1.25 Laser Collimator


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    Dang tried to order that filter set in 1.25" but they wont ship to Canada

 

 
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