Author Topic: $500 to spend on eyepiece/diagonal  (Read 256 times)

Steven Autio

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$500 to spend on eyepiece/diagonal
« on: December 24, 2017, 07:18:10 PM »
Hello Folks

My $500 suggestion was approved by the college for the upcoming camping trip, so I could buy new eyepiece/diagonal.  Here's What I have

Extent: 8SE with 25mm EP
Solar Filter
Extra eyepieces: celestron eyepiece/filter kit as the one in the link below

http://www.highpoint...UEQ-4-CEL-94303

I really do have a/c power socket and battery pack already, therefore I am mainly looking for eyepieces/diagonal upgrade.  Additionally, I am not likely to change out of 1.25 to 2 inch.  Not with this $500 budget anyhow.

My initial thought was one 8-24 millimeter zoom eyepiece and one better angled.  The inventory diagonal is just ok.

For 8-24 zoom eyepiece, I am thinking baader zoom:http://agenaastro.co...ce-2454826.html
For diagonal upgrade, I am still undecided.

Please help me and suggest eyepiece/diagonal upgrade that suits my budget.  I appreciate your help!



esicnatka

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Re: $500 to spend on eyepiece/diagonal
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2017, 03:52:15 AM »
If the telescope is meant to be used by multiple observers, the Baader zoom is imho a very good choiche.
As for the diagonal, can get the Baader T2 prism, which can be provided with a T2 to SC adapter or 2" "nose", greatly increasing the sturdiness. The EU pricing is around 100€ for the body, then have to add the eyepiece holder and the nose/adapters.

I suggest also to get a UHC-type nebular filter, which can be a truly great asset

Clint Trotter

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Re: $500 to spend on eyepiece/diagonal
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2017, 10:39:51 AM »
It is my personal telescope, but since the school will give me $500 for additional accessories purchases, I decded to bring it for the students' science camping trip. This way, they will have something to do at night.

For diagonal, I am debating between prism and dielectric

ivirlocri

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Re: $500 to spend on eyepiece/diagonal
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2017, 05:04:23 PM »
The Baader zoom is a great choice. I use the Celestron zoom and while I do like this, I have seen the difference the baader makes. Good choice.

If this is your first go around with kids using your telescope, be sure to set some ground rules such as no grabbing onto the eyepiece or diagonal. You may need to get a step stool depending on how you set your scope up. I use one and put glow in the dark tape on the steps. Kids love it. Also, no running around kicking up dust around your scope.

Either way you go on the diagonal is fine. I purchased a 2 inch quartz in mine. I love it.

Hope you have clear skies and lots of fun on your outing!

Gary

tecretalhei

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Re: $500 to spend on eyepiece/diagonal
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2017, 05:56:30 PM »
There are good samples from both sides, at the EU pricing in my opinion the Baader T2 is hard to beat given its very good performances.
And being modular, it is easier to build it according to your wishes.
Highly regarded is also the 1.25 Takahashi prism (ca 150 USD): I do not have it, so can not speak about its optical prowess, but Tak's twist-lock system is IMHO really nasty to use.

At a lower pricing, the GSO's line of dielectric diagonals are a very interesting option too, and I like the single-screw system much more than "twist-lock" holders for 1.25" EPs

loasandkosem

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Re: $500 to spend on eyepiece/diagonal
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2017, 04:22:25 AM »
If you're not going to go to a 2" setup I would strongly suggest a focal reducer/corrector to achieve a field of view similar to a 2" setup but without the larger (and more expensive) equipment that entails.

I have a Baader zoom and I like it, but the field of view gets (IMO) unacceptably small at the 20-24mm range and should be complemented with a good 24mm wide field eyepiece. You can't go wrong with the Explore Scientific 68 degree version. Paired with the focal reducer it would give you the widest possible FOV (using a 1.25" diagonal) in your 8" SCT.

pesorramidd

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Re: $500 to spend on eyepiece/diagonal
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2017, 06:01:26 AM »
Quite frankly, I think the stock diagonal is fine (assuming it isn't defective). I think better eyepieces will deliver more value than a better diagonal. Like FloridaFocus, I think the first order of business is getting you something that would allow you see wider. I too strongly recommend the reducer/corrector to allow you maximize your field without the expense and weight (particularly important in the case of the 8SE) of quality long-focal-length 2" eyepieces.

The trouble with a new diagonal and the Baader zoom is that it won't show you anything you can't see with what you already have.  The plossls have relatively narrow apparent field of view, and the 1.25" format limits you to under 0.8 degrees of a maximum true field.  The other weakness of plossls is that in the planetary focal lengths, the field lens is very small and eye relief is uncomfortably short.

I'd get these things:
The F/6.3 Reducer/Corrector to allow you to maximize your field of view without 2" accessories ($130)
The Explore Scientific 68 24mm for a more immersive view with and without the R/C ($130)
Some longer eye relief eyepieces in the planetary focal range. Meade HD-60s, Agena Starguider Dual ED, AT Paradigm (e.g., 12mm and 9mm, and 6.5mm) or some of the TMB planetary clones.
With the above, you can now capture fields of 1.3 degrees for extended objects using either your 32mm plossl or the ES 68 24mm with the R/C.  Take off the R/C, and that 24mm will give you the full disk of the moon, but at more than 30% greater magnification than what you see with the 32mm plossl: it will look huge.  And when you look at Jupiter, you can crank up the magnification without feeling like you peaking through a pinhole.

Some places have the Meade R/C really cheap right now... Like $70.  If you buy that, you could still get the ES 68 24mm and the Baader Zoom (if you REALLY want the zoom).

nuitropheneg

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Re: $500 to spend on eyepiece/diagonal
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2018, 05:34:56 AM »
Agena has the HD-60 kit on sale for $400, and you can get the Meade .f/6.3 reducer/flattener for $80

http://agenaastro.co...-set-07736.html

http://agenaastro.co...-flattener.html

Sam Noble

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Re: $500 to spend on eyepiece/diagonal
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2018, 07:04:01 AM »
Oh, I forgot to ask if you have a dew shield yet or not?

If not, it's one of the most important things to have for an SCT. Depending on where you're located it could be practically essential. Very few things can shut down an otherwise productive and enjoyable night more than dew setting in.

Fortunately, contrary to many accessories in this hobby, it's also one of the cheapest things to add to your arsenal. You can make one for practically nothing if you're so inclined, or a commercially produced one for pretty cheap.

Jallberry is right: upgrading the diagonal isn't going to give you the best bang for the buck in your upgrades. I will say this, though, I really like having a diagonal with a clamping mechanism rather than the set screws so they don't mar the EPs.

Matt Gibson

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Re: $500 to spend on eyepiece/diagonal
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2018, 04:27:25 PM »
The F6.3 reducer/corrector sounds great in theory and it works well too but you either leave it on or leave it off as it is not a quick change device and each time you change you expose the rear cell to the open air and dust. (Yes an open diagonal exposes too but not quite as directly). If it's windy and dust you don't want to be exposing the rear cell with or without a diagonal and just leave the eyepiece in place and clean it very carefully when you get home.

Plan your viewing before you get there. Is the moon up, what phase? When does it set? What planets are up and when do they rise and set? Kids love planets and the moon through telescopes. As for wide fields many first timers don't understand what field of view they are seeing and usually think they're looking at entire constellations. Just tell them the field of view is less than the width of their fingernail at arms length ( and then watch every kid place they're arm out; it's fun).

I think an 8-24mm zoom would be a great eyepiece for such a field trip. Add a 24/68 or 32mm Plossl for the low power end and that's all you need. A UHC filter is great but it will cost a bit and you will be putting it on and taking it off a bit so weigh that up in your decision. You will likely want to use it with a low power eyepiece only on say the Orion nebula but it is rapidly disappearing in the west. It is not an essential item, I think for this trip.

Whatever you choose, enjoy!

tinlengmmuner

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Re: $500 to spend on eyepiece/diagonal
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2018, 10:32:52 PM »
Quote
The F6.3 reducer/corrector sounds great in theory and it works well too but you either leave it on or leave it off as it is not a quick change device and each time you change you expose the rear cell to the open air and dust. (Yes an open diagonal exposes too but not quite as directly). If it's windy and dust you don't want to be exposing the rear cell with or without a diagonal and just leave the eyepiece in place and clean it very carefully when you get home.

Plan your viewing before you get there. Is the moon up, what phase? When does it set? What planets are up and when do they rise and set? Kids love planets and the moon through telescopes. As for wide fields many first timers don't understand what field of view they are seeing and usually think they're looking at entire constellations. Just tell them the field of view is less than the width of their fingernail at arms length ( and then watch every kid place they're arm out; it's fun).

I think an 8-24mm zoom would be a great eyepiece for such a field trip. Add a 24/68 or 32mm Plossl for the low power end and that's all you need. A UHC filter is great but it will cost a bit and you will be putting it on and taking it off a bit so weigh that up in your decision. You will likely want to use it with a low power eyepiece only on say the Orion nebula but it is rapidly disappearing in the west. It is not an essential item, I think for this trip.

Whatever you choose, enjoy!

Great suggestions on planning. Also agree about the UHC filter.

I've been putting on and taking off the R/C for about 25 years.  It goes on for star hopping and extended objects. It comes off for planetary or other high-power work.  I can make the switch in less than a minute, and it really has never seemed that much of a hassle to me (and you can cut the switch hassle factor almost in half by buying an extra visual back). Nor have I ever worried about leaving the rear cell open for five-ten seconds at a time.  Newts are open all the time you are observing (and not just a 38mm hole). Even if there is wind, it only matters if it is blowing directly at the back of the scope, and if that is the case, I make a rather effective windbreak (far too effective these days...).  If I lived where it was dustier, maybe I'd feel differently.
.

Michael Washington

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Re: $500 to spend on eyepiece/diagonal
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2018, 01:25:02 PM »
Thanks for the input.

I do have dew shield.

The baader 8-24 zoom EP is needed because it is easy to zoom in/out, which will be critical to all the college students to visually enjoy the view. It will be the first time to use a telescope to a lot of them. I do not want to switch EPs for each students.

From all the suggestions, seems like aF6.3 reducer/corrector is a good buy for this event. Can someone post a link for the recommendedF6.3 reducer/corrector?

Matt Hodge

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Re: $500 to spend on eyepiece/diagonal
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2018, 12:42:00 PM »
Reducer
http://www.highpoint...corrector-94175

As for a diagonal i'd recommend the William Optics 1.25. Its a nice diagonal for the money
http://www.highpoint...tes-d-125d-c-db

Jeff Ramirez

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Re: $500 to spend on eyepiece/diagonal
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2018, 10:40:58 AM »
https://www.astronom...ains_p3906.aspx
and you get an extra discount for being a CNer:
https://www.astronom...count_c526.aspx

If you want to opt for the Meade R/C, B&H has it really cheap:
https://www.bhphotov...&m=Y&sku=202595

Or if you have amazon prime, they have it for the same price.  I'd normally go for the Celestron, but at $70, the Meade is a real bargain.

Jerry Dunn

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Re: $500 to spend on eyepiece/diagonal
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2018, 02:19:52 PM »
The Meade R/C is so affordable right now, I almost just ordered one for myself.  However, I decided to do a bit of research and read this:
https://www.cloudyni...erff/?p=6479936

Edit: a little more research confirms that recent-issue Meade R/Cs can create issues with focusing with some 1.25" eyepieces. I guess there is reason they are being sold a discount prices...