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  1. #1
    Mark760's Avatar
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    Default eyepiece performance



    Hi there,
    Does anyone know if there a way to check/test the quality of an eyepiece? My Skywatcher 130NS-EQ2 reflector came with 12mm and 25mm Plossl eyepieces. I would assume that since they were included with the scope that they aren't top of the line but before I go buy more eyepieces I would like to get an idea of what I have. Which leads to another question, if I buy better quality eyepieces, am I going to get a noticeable increase in performance? This is my first scope so I don't have anything to compare to but I would like to make sure I am getting the most out of what I have. Thanks.

    Mark

  2. #2
    WWPierre's Avatar
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    Default

    Hi Mark, Welcome to the forum.

    That is a very good question, and among the first I asked after I got my scope about 9 months ago. I got those same eyepieces with my scope, and I can assure you that they are adequate to begin your career as an Astronomer.

    The discussion of eyepieces is probably the most complex subject here. I could probably type 3 or 4 pages if I decided to tell you everything I have learned about eyepieces since I joined the forum, but I am not going to do that. I am going to direct you to the stickies at the top of the Eyepieces section.

    One of the best ways to learn about eyepieces, and everything else about Astronomy, for that matter, is to hook up with other astronomers in your area, and attend a star party or two.

    I also read a book called, "The Backyard Astronomer's Guide" which gives a real good grounding in pretty much everything.

    You have a very nice piece of glass there, and it will keep you in absolute wonder for a long time to come.
    Meade 16" LightBridge; Celestron G-8N Bird-Jones/motorized EQ5;
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  3. #3
    Mark760's Avatar
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    Default

    WW,
    Thanks for the response.

    Mark

  4. #4
    Kent55's Avatar
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    Default

    Mark, I have spent many days on a camera forum much like this astronomy forum. Bottom line is on most good photography sites is " buy good glass". It doesn't have to be expensive, but sometimes you do get what you pay for. There are always exceptions it seems and there isn't much discussion about "quality of what you see". There is a bit about focus issues, but on here I often wonder if it's just the glass / match to type of scope issues.
    With cameras we deal with close 10mm macro shots to across the room photos, to a depth of 8 miles or so on a landscape. Astronomy is in a league of it's own with many many more issues to consider with the greatest sensor ever developed at this point in time and it's called the "human eye". Our own eyes have more dynamic range than any camera we can buy across a counter. We are not bebating Canon or Nikon here, but many good quality scopes and eyepieces that have their place if properly used for the intended job.
    I guess my post boils down to this. If you can see good detail of a distant terrestial object during the day, you ought to see the same quality at night, but with seeing issues being the dominant factor of a particular eyepiece being good or bad. I hate first reviews from a person that has used a eyepiece for the first time and rates it bad. The atmosphere might be not so good that particular night ect..
    Am I on the right track here?

  5. #5
    Bob327's Avatar
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    Default

    Well I've been in this hobby and have owed at least one telescope now for rover 50 years (yep I'm a senior citizen)... and of all the Astronomy forums I read I read their eyepiece forums the least...

    Eyepieces are just way too subjective...each has to be evaluated with your own eyes in your own telescope ...plus it has to be evaluated on and off axis plus its color rendition which you may like or not...

    What I will say however is that the eyepieces you received with your scope are NOT JUNK...and my "guess" is that IF buy a High End eyepiece you may actually see a 10 to 15 percent improvement IF your eyes are good.... and that is OFF axis not in the center of the eyepiece...

    I admit to having over a $1000.00 "invested" in the contents of my eyepiece case ...Plus eyepieces I no longer use for one reason or another ...BUT in truth it took me 50 years to collect them...

    Meade 4000, Celestron Omnis and OTHERS are quite capable of putting smiles on you face ... Pentaxs Neglars Panoptics are definitely great eyepieces BUT you are paying a heck of a lot just just to get a small improvement, BUT over time I bet you will spend the money for better eyepieces .

    I AM NOT saying save your money... LOL...

    Over time I'd buy buy the best eyepieces you can afford one at a time to do what you want... Widefield/ultra widefield/ warm vs cold color, long eyeyelief or short ...

    BUT as a beginner you have time to learn what you like and do not like...


    Bob G.
    CPC1100 housed in a slotted domed observatory (Exploradome) 4 and 5 inch refractors for use from the lawn, a 8" Sct (NS 8i) for star parties...
    I Hate the winter so I use heated Motorcycle clothing to stay warm while observing in winter
    Retired, also have 2 other hobbies
    1. tinker with older Corvettes (6 in garage)
    2. make a heck of a lot of sawdust in my wood shop.

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  7. #6
    Tom Kn's Avatar
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    Default

    As of late, I have had a change of heart regarding eyepieces.
    Owning a dob that does not track, I went the route of Widefield eyepieces and spent a few bucks getting them.

    The more expensive wider field of view eyepieces did what they were supposed to, they opened up a view that a 52 degree plossl could not. I no longer need to nudge the scope as often and on targets like open clusters I can take in the entire object into the field of view. Sounds like the plossls would be eliminated from the fold,,, correct?

    That didnt happen, as a matter of fact my 52 degree plossls have all found thier way back into my kit, why? because I've been noticing that both the widefield and the plossls can act differently on any given target.

    For Planets, I seem to prefer a plossl, for the Orion Nebula I once again found a simple plossl can beat my more expensive eyepieces hands down for the quality of the view.
    The message I'm trying to convey is that you may very well find that both a less expensive plossl and a more expensive wide angle eyepiece may serve multipurpose roles.

    I think you need to consider quality of view from a widefield standpoint versus narrow field of view standpoint and not overall image quality. My whole outlook is different now as both serve a role for me every night I go out.

    So for me the answer was to own a decent assortment of widefield eyepieces and a decent set of plossls to give me the proper tools at my disposal.
    What was explained to me is that a 4 element plossl will have better throughput than an 8 element widefield eyepiece like a Baader or equiv. So you may find you want to use both depending on your target.

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  9. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob327 View Post
    Pentaxs Neglars Panoptics are definitely great eyepieces BUT you are paying a heck of a lot just just to get a small improvement,
    Bob,

    I respect the number of years you have in the field and your sharing of your experience.

    But I disagree with this statement which I have read from you more than once.

    In my hands a 5mm Nagler allows me to see that extra level of fine detail which my 5mm Stratus does not. I have done the head to head (using both of my reflectors) on planets, tight double stars and very faint galaxies.

    Now I know plenty of folks don't care for this type of observing, but many others want peak performance out of their instruments and strive to push the limits. You just cannot reach these limits without premium eyepieces.

    When it comes to tight doubles or extremely faint galaxies, either I have split it and seen it or I didn't. There is no middle ground and this is why I disagree that it is a "small improvement".
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  10. #8
    NGC6705's Avatar
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    Default

    I agree with MarkM here. "Small improvements" can go a very long way. Consider if your telescopes' colimation was off my a "mere" 5%. Well, I'd consider that pretty horrible and very obviously misaligned when you go try to look at stuff through it.

    But as others have said on this thread, it really depends on what you're looking at and what kind of precision you want to have with your observations. Sometimes precision doesn't matter and sometimes it does.

    Peace

  11. #9
    Tom Kn's Avatar
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    Default

    But is a Pentax or Nagler or Ethos for the large expense paid, going to make that much difference to a newcomer?

    Feel free to correct me because I'm not stating what I type as fact. but is someone without a trained experienced eye really going to benefit that much from such an expensive purchase? Wouldnt it make more sense to take the middle road first and then decide if such premium eyepieces are worth it down the road.

    Seems to me that I am just starting to enjoy the eyepieces I have to their fullest since its taken a full year for my eye to make out more and more detail.

    So the question I'm asking is, wouldnt make more sense to buy higher end eyepieces later rather than now if your a beginner?

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    Default

    IMO, just like with anything else, you start with what is adequate for you and then go from there depending on your interests/aspirations.

    Peace

 

 
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