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  1. #1
    AnnaMo's Avatar
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    Default Trying to find the right Eyepieces



    [My scope- Celestron NexStar SLT 102 -- Focal ratio: f/5, Focal length: 660mm, refractor]

    I am full of questions about which eyepieces are going to be right for me..

    Firstly, I bought my scope used and it came with two eyepieces. The only markings on them are "Celestron 9" and "Celestron 25". I know they are 9mm and 25mm respectively, but I'm not sure what kind of quality they are. I've done some researching, and I've come to the conclusion that they are NOT plossls. Any thoughts on what kind of quality (compared to what's out there) these EPs are? I love what I'm seeing out of them, but I'm wondering how much I'm missing out on by not having higher quality EPs? From what I've read here, to get the most out of my scope (which has a f/5 focal ratio) I should invest in some higher quality eyepieces. I'm just unsure which is the best route for me.

    I did invest in an Orion "Edge-On" Planetary EP (3mm). It has been wonderful so far. I also bought a 2x Barlow.

    I've been looking into the Meade 4000 series set, but I'm not sure if that is really that much of an upgrade for me. If the quality isn't THAT much greater than what already came with my scope, then I will essentially be buying things I already have. Has anyone had any experience with the set? The price is right for that set (~$200USD), but if I can find individual pieces of a higher quality I'd like to do that.

    I would really like to get some low power EPs, as well. What should I look for as far as low power EPs? Does a larger FOV make a huge difference for my scope? It seems like a nice plus, but if it's going to raise the price of an eyepiece by a significant amount I'm not sure that it's worth it.

    My main goal is to be able to see a variety of objects in the sky. I'd like to be able to enjoy everything from the rings of Saturn to open star clusters. I know my scope isn't the best, but I think it's a great starting point for me. Eventually I'd like to be able to get more aperture, but for now I'd like to get the most out of the scope I have.

    Thanks!

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    Zhumell Z10

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  2. #2
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    Default

    Hi Anna ..I would just buy a few of the series 4000's to fill out what i have ... The meade stuff is great for the price ... You say you have a 9mm,25mm that came with your scope ? And you bought a 3mm edge-on planetary + a Barlow ? That means you have a 9mm with a Barlow =4.5mm , 25mm with a Barlow=12.5mm , your 3mm should be used alone ..So you have a 3mm,4.5mm,9mm,12.5mm,25mm ...You could use something in the 30-40mm range for low power wide field views ... The meade stuff is great for the money but most of these eyepieces are made in the same factory overseas with different branding ....Baiscly the same EP's with different markings ..

    What ever you decide on , your eyepieces tend to stay with you even if you upgrade to a different scope later on ...
    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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  4. #3
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    Default

    Anna:

    Your telescope in theory should capable of letting you push it up to 200x (the 3 mm eyepiece will give you that)...BUT in all honestly I seriously doubt it can deliver much above 150x (4 mm) even on very good nights....

    I say this is because I own an Orion f/6 100 mm scope (same company owns Orion and Celestron and the scopes are very much alike... Normally I can not push it much above 100x here in Maryland... Not the scopes fault its the crappy hot air being exhausted by the politicians in Washington DC 70 miles to my south ...

    The first thing I would recommend is buying a minus violet filter because I know darn well the moon will have a yellowish purple ring around it with your scope ..the filter eliminates or greatly reduces the false color ...

    Your 9 mm will give you 66x and 132 x with a Barlow...
    Your 25 mm will give you 24x and 48x with the barlow...

    I honestly do not see you being able to use the 3 mm all that much... Unless in your part of Georgia seeing is pretty darn good...

    As I said I do own an Orion f/6 100 mm scope ...(along with others) and I use this scope for open clusters almost exclusively
    because of its wide "rich" FOV and lack of any central obstruction so contrast is not effected ...

    I also think your two eyepieces are in fact low end Plossls BUT I highly doubt that are junk... so I do not know if I wourl replace them....

    With My 100 mm f/6 100 mm scope I normally only carry out 4 eyepieces and a barlow... 10, 25, 32, and 40 mm

    BUT they all have pretty good eye relief... this gives me 15x 18x 24x 30x 37x 48x 60x and 120x This is all MY 100 mm scope can deliver on normal nights which is perfectly fine with me for what I use the scope for...

    As for which brand... again I really do not think there is much of a difference between Meade 4000's or 5000's, Zhumells, Orions, Celestrons etc... IF you are comparing eyepieces with similar eye relief...

    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
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  6. #4
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    Geepers I just looked up the specs on the NS 102 SLT...

    Celestron lists it as f/ 6.47... and lists it to have a highest useful Magnification of 241x

    So you may be able to push the darn thing a little higher in magnification then I assumed above BUT NOT much more.. and the amount of false color will be less then I assumed but still there...

    Guess I should not assume anything and look up the scope first...But the bottom line not much changed


    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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  8. #5
    AnnaMo's Avatar
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    Default

    I think I may just get an eyepiece in the 30-40 range, since it seems like you're saying that the ones that came with my telescope aren't as bad as I thought. Not enough to be replaced entirely (yet). As for the 3mm that I have.. it wasn't the smartest decision I've ever made. I do get fantastic views of Saturn though, which is sort of why I bought it It magnifies to 220x.

    Thanks!

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    Zhumell Z10

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  9. #6
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    Default

    Anna, make sure that the apparent field of view (AFOV) is at least 52 degrees. Some eyepieces have a 43 degree field of view and the views are really unsatisfactory. I purchased a 40mm Plossl with a 43 degree AFOV and eventually I had to donate it away, since I never enjoyed anything it showed. On the other hand, I'm very satisfied with the Orion highlight 32mm Plossl. Wide-field eyepieces (65-80 degrees) provide truly enjoyable views, but they are expensive, particularly if they also produce a flat field, sharp to the edges.

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    Antonino Carnevali

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  11. #7
    AnnaMo's Avatar
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    Thanks! I looked up some info and reviews about the Orion Highlight Plossls and the 32mm and/or the 40mm look great. The price is right, too.

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    Zhumell Z10

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  12. #8
    ibase's Avatar
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    Anna you've got very good advices coming your way here. Just to add, in case you're ready for the widefield experience, consider the Meade UWA (Ultra Wide Angle) line, like the 6.7mm (see mini review here, post #53: Hello, from a Hyperion zoom lover! ) It works great on my 102ED refractor which is just like your scope in giving those "space-walk" 82-degree field of views. Not as expensive as the Naglers, but performs just like or very close to them. Just my 2 cents.

    Best,

    Hernando
    Last edited by ibase; 06-08-2010 at 01:23 AM.

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  14. #9
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    And again, you might want to stay away from the 40mm Orion Plossl, whereas the 32mm is fine.

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    Antonino Carnevali

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