Recommended Telescope Eyepieces

I am constantly seeing people asking for eyepiece recommendations so I thought I would address this problem. To start, I have created a video on my YouTube channel talking about the basics of eyepieces. You can see this video at https://youtu.be/KTB_C6v0rQw.

Even after learning more about eyepieces, the question remains, what eyepieces are worth investing in? To solve this problem I have created a list which attempts to give you a recommendation for brands and models of eyepieces over several different price points. Keep in mind that these are generic recommendations for most people but there are always exceptions based on specific telescopes and targets. For example, fast Dobsonian telescopes usually require higher quality eyepieces than a long refractor will.

I am creating my list using a 17mm eyepiece. This is a nice middle of the road size and provides nice views with virtually any telescope. In addition, almost every manufacturer makes a 17mm or very close to it so that made the comparison easier. With no further delay, here are my personal recommendations.

Eyepiece

Field Of View Eye Relief Price   Recomended Sizes
Orion Sirius Plossl 17mm 52 11 $30.00   25, 17
Celestron X-Cel 18mm 60 16 $65.00   25, 18, 9
Orion Stratus 17mm 68 20 $130.00   24, 17, 13
Baader Morpheus 17.5mm 76 19 $239.00   17.5, 12.5
Televue Nagler 17mm 82 17 $410.00   31, 17, 9

These suggestions are based off what I own and have personally used. There are lot of other brands and models available, some didn’t make the list because I do not recommend them and some because I have not used them. When in doubt, you can always ask.

I suspect the Orion Sirius Plossl is the same eyepiece from several other people such as Vixen and Highpoint with just a different name stamped on it. I like the Orion because I have always received a good quality product for the money I spent so I tend to stick with the Orion name even if the Vixen is a few dollars cheaper. Better safe than sorry.

The Orion Stratus is probably the same as the Baader Hyperion so either would be fine. Since I have used a lot more Stratus eyepieces than I have Hyperions I listed them here. I  also  like the color of the Stratus eyepieces better than the Hyperion, heh.

I currently own all the brands and models listed in my chart except the Morpheus. I have used a couple, but never owned one. I have a lot of Baader filters, and a nice set of Stratus eyepieces which I have had great luck with so I have no reason to think the Morpheus line will be any different. The couple I used were excellent.

The sizes I recommended are for a “typical” telescope. If in doubt of what sizes you may need, I recommend you get the 17mm first, then use that one for a while and see if you consistently want something with more or less magnification and use that to determine what to purchase next.

Good luck and clear skies!


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Total Solar Eclipse 08/21/17

I finally got the time to get some pictures together! Between increased duties at work, the long drive back from Tennessee, and hurricane Harvey, I have been a wee bit busy, sorry!

Early on Saturday 19th my wife and I loaded up Buster (my MINI Countryman) and headed up to Memphis. We spend the night there and had a little fun on Beale street. Since it was my wife’s birthday and she was being nice enough to let me head to the eclipse, I figured she should have a little fun, and we did!

Sunday the 20th we ate lunch at the Hard Rock on Beale street (Hard Rocks are kinda our little tourist thing) and then headed for Paris, TN. This was our base camp as it allowed me to keep an eye on the weather and had easy access north, west or south to wherever the skies were clear. I could not afford to miss this so I was making sure.

The weather was awesome so we headed to an eclipse event in Clarksville, TN at the Old Glory Distillery. The people there were awesome and their spirits were awesome too! Unfortunately their stuff is only available in Tennessee so that may mean we have to go back, heh.

I set up my 110mm Orion refractor I use for imaging on my Orion Sirius mount, installed my Thousand Oaks glass filter and then fired up the laptop. Next to this setup I put my old Nikon D90 DSLR on a tripod with a 200mm 2.8 ED lens and a 1.4 teleconverter using Baader Solar Film. I also had a video camera using Baader film mounted below the refractor.

It was hot in the parking lot so I put up a little shade tent and let my wife sit under it watching the laptop while I stayed out in the sun making sure everything went well, it didn’t. It took forever to get the mount to line up on the sun, then it wouldn’t track, then a cable came unplugged. It was a nightmare. At just a couple minutes to first contact I told my wife I did not think I would be ready in time. I was fortunately wrong.

Yes, I tested everything well in advance to the event, but even so, things can still go wrong. I am just thankful that the only real disappointment was that the video was completely useless, both cameras got plenty of great images.

Let’s take a look at some images!

There are some more images that are pretty cool too:

This is an  enlargement from the D90 which is far inferior to the ones taken through the telescope with the D7000, however you can clearly see the red chromosphere showing up as pink here. This only happens for a few seconds so the fact that I captured them is pretty cool.

Lastly is this image:

After the eclipse was over it was time to go inside and buy some of their limited edition Solar Shine, made just for the eclipse. It was all a blast!

I would really like to thank all the people at Old Glory, they were amazing! Also thanks to all the people who bought my book How to Take Pictures of an Eclipse: An astrophotography beginner’s guide to capturing solar and lunar eclipses. Hope to see you all at the next eclipse in 2023 (Annular) and 2024 (Total here in Texas, yeah!).

 


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Print edition of EQ mount book released

For a couple of years now you have been able to purchase the book Getting Started: Using an Equatorial Telescope Mount from Amazon as a Kindle book. After numerous requests I have finally restructured the book and released it as a print version for those who want an actual book to take with them outside and learn their new mount.

Both versions of the book are available on Amazon.com via this link.

Thanks for making it a best seller!


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How to Take Pictures of an Eclipse book released!

How to Take Pictures of an Eclipse front cover How to Take Pictures of an Eclipse back cover

 

Do you want to learn how to take photographs of an exciting Solar or Lunar Eclipse? Do you have the right equipment for the job? Do you want to know ALL the tips and techniques needed to make this a success?

A total Solar Eclipse is an incredible sight to behold. It is one of nature’s most awe-inspiring events and has been the subject of amazement, wonder and fear throughout the ages.

But they don’t come around very often. In fact, the last total solar eclipse in North America was 40 years ago. In 2017, however, you will have another chance to witness this rare phenomenon as another total solar eclipse will occur on the 21st August. The total solar eclipse 2017 is something to not be missed!

Now, with How to Take Pictures of an Eclipse, you can be prepared to capture this unique moment as well as other solar and lunar eclipses with information on:

¬Safety warnings
¬The basics you’ll need to know
¬Getting the images you really want
¬What sort of camera to use
¬Using a telescope
¬Motorized mounts
¬And much more…

Capturing this amazing, once-in-a-generation event is something that you won’t want to miss out on and capturing the best shots of it is crucial when it comes to the bragging rights.

Now is the time to act if you want to be prepared for this spectacular sight. Get your copy of How to Take Pictures of an Eclipse now and make sure that you are ready to get the photographs that will amaze your friends and family and be the envy of all.

Get your copy in either print or Kindle edition and be ready for the eclipse today!


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Astrophotography tutorials, reviews, and more on our YouTube channel.

I have had a YouTube channel for a long time but never really developed it until recently. Now I have started putting up astrophotography tutorials, reviews, and much more at a breakneck pace. Just last weekend I put around five videos up with several more in process.

Astrophotography tutorials, reviews, and more on my YouTube channel

Just this weekend I added the following videos:

I have also redone several of the existing videos to bring them up to HD (1920 x 1080 @ 30fps) so they look better.

If you have a topic you would like for me to cover, use the contact form to let me know. I will be covering anything and everything I can come up with for a while to help build the channel. If you are interested in contributing videos to the channel, let me know as well.

Be sure to subscribe to the channel!


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