Author Topic: $250 for Accessories-Make the most of my beginner's scope  (Read 257 times)

salonpeli

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Re: $250 for Accessories-Make the most of my beginner's scope
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2018, 06:10:04 PM »
A few further thoughts in light of what you have indicated in your latest post, Cogley.

Regarding purchase of further eyepieces, it has been my experience after 50+ years as a serious observer and astronomical author that I have never found it really essential to utilize more than 3 eyepieces in the course of making countless thousands of observations of lasting scientific value. These 3 eyepieces provide a low, a medium and a moderately "high" magnification. This has applied to every instrument I have ever own and which ranged from 4" to 20" aperture. I never recall a night where I wished I had some additional eyepieces, so it is difficult for me to conceive that casual observers require a host of eyepieces. It is only hobbyists' obsession these days with purchasing as much gear as they possibly can that I see spurs this idea.

The finder scope. Given that you reside in a "yellow" light pollution zone it seems quite probable that your sky conditions are superior to the majority of Cloudy Nights posters. Under such favorable sky conditions you should be able to see more than enough stars with your unaided eyes to find you way around the sky with ease IF you learn the constellations well...something sadly lacking in a great percentage of today's hobbyists. That knowledge, together with a red dot finder and a phone's star mapping ap, should allow you to aim your scope accurately enough to locate any desired common celestial object within a field or two of a low power, wide field, eyepiece. Learning to follow chart aps that go to 7th or 8th magnitude also would offer the option of star hopping to the more obscure objects when starting from some nearby naked eye star pointed to with the red dot finder.

Finally, concerning the placement of the finder on the scope. There is no necessity for having the finder situated very close to the eyepiece end of the telescope , refractor or reflector, as long as the controls for operating the mounting are within easy reach as when sighting through the finder. I would say, however, that locating the finder roughly mid-way along the tube will make for a more stabile situation and increased the precise control when aiming.

BrooksObs

tradneedcoegen

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Re: $250 for Accessories-Make the most of my beginner's scope
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2018, 08:34:01 PM »
"Zhummel Planetary Z-series has been suggested."

You'll need to source those used, for the new ones from the 3mm to the 12.5mm have been out of stock since not long after they had first appeared on the market.

"http://www.williamop...product_id=676"

Interesting, but call first to make certain it's not an Amici prism.

Lcs King

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Re: $250 for Accessories-Make the most of my beginner's scope
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2018, 03:14:24 AM »
The Zhumell Z-Series eyepieces are very good for the money. 55 degrees AFOV and plenty of eye relief. They are not too heavy. I had good results with the 12, 9 and 6mm versions. The 5 and 3mm versions are OK too, but bigger and buliker. Plus the exit pupil size was a bit small with my scope with the 5mm and 3mm versions, so the view was kind of dim. The 5mm version with a 1.27mm exit pupil was noticibly dimmer than the 6mm version with a 1.52mm exit pupil in my Starblast 4.5. Not sure why there appeared to be such a big difference. The 3mm version only had a .76mm exit pupil. I think the Zhumell Z series eyepieces have been discontinued, so it could be difficult to find them. I never tried the 14 or 18mm versions, but some reviews say the 18mm version isn't as good as the rest.

izweekwardmas

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Re: $250 for Accessories-Make the most of my beginner's scope
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2018, 01:37:54 AM »
For the finding aspect, it sounds as if you will be limited to 1.25" for the near future so a 32 Plossl combined with the RDF should work well for that mode as well as serving as your large exit pupil eyepiece for the larger and fainter extended objects.

It sounds as if your Barlow might be a problem, so that might be a good area to upgrade. The problem with shorter focal length inexpensive eyepieces is usually very short eye relief. A decent Barlow allows you to use eyepieces with more moderate eye relief, but at higher power.

Roger Evans

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Re: $250 for Accessories-Make the most of my beginner's scope
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2018, 12:34:54 AM »
Quote
As a beginner, the 2 best upgrades I made are:
Pocket sky atlas jumbo edition


How can it be both pocket AND jumbo?

bronedproudem

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Re: $250 for Accessories-Make the most of my beginner's scope
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2018, 08:54:42 AM »
Quote
Quote
As a beginner, the 2 best upgrades I made are:
Pocket sky atlas jumbo edition

How can it be both pocket AND jumbo?
They kept the name pocket atlas but made it into a jumbo edition
www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/the-jumbo-size-pocket
Sent from my LG-D852 using Tapatalk

Alex Loftus

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Re: $250 for Accessories-Make the most of my beginner's scope
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2018, 10:57:53 PM »
Something I've learned in over 60 solar revolutions....there's a vast difference between wants, needs, and affordability. I'd look for a used 6" dob and a handfull of GSO plossls and 2X barlow. This will provide you years and years of use and a used 6" and a set of used plossls and barlow could be had for $250. Once you're graduated and more secure in life, then see where you're at in the hobby.....THEN, decide what your wants, needs, and affordability options you have. AND, those plossls will work in the refractor and the dob. You'll have the best of both worlds.....low power wider field with the refractor (what it's designed for), and high mag/decent aperture planetary and DSO viewing with the dob. You'll probably find they complement each other well and it's a better way to go then a couple of eyepieces.

turtnaneade

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Re: $250 for Accessories-Make the most of my beginner's scope
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2018, 09:55:59 AM »
Quote
(TL,DR- How would you spend $250 to accessorize an entry-level 102mm f/5.9 achro refractor?)

I would post on my local craigslist saying you want some eyepieces/accessories for a refractor.  Many astronomers have progressed through the eyepiece ranks and have a trail of unused "oldie but goodie" eyepieces that would fit the bill for you and save you a lot of money.

Also check here in the classifieds for what you are looking for.  Can almost double your buying power by going used.  Can ask here for advice if you don't know if something is a good deal.

Or look for another scope which might also have the accessories you are looking for.  I've seen XT10 and XT12s sell for $250 with an eyepiece kit!

I watch CL waaaay too much, but have found many many good deals there which have saved me a bundle.

hutualyli

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Re: $250 for Accessories-Make the most of my beginner's scope
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2018, 10:42:44 AM »
Well I took things a different direction...

But thank you all for the input! A couple of plossls came with the new scope, so I'm going to hold off on any major eyepiece purchases for now. I'm still under budget though, so I think I'm going to buy the previously mentioned diagonal with helical focuser for the refractor, and in time I will incorporate many of the other suggestions discussed here.