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Eyepieces in general

This is a short article.  You will need "eyepieces" for your telescope.   Here's the way it works.  The optical elements of the scope -- lens(es) and/or mirror(s) focus the image of whatever you are viewing onto a spot.  At this spot, you must insert another lens element -- an eyepiece -- so named because you put your eye up to the eyepiece to see whatever the scope is seeing.

Eyepieces are the subject of endless discussion, debate, agreement, and disagreement among amateur astronomers.  You can purchase eyepieces for a few bucks each and you can spend hundreds of dollars for one eyepiece.

Here are links about eyepieces.  Read and read some more.  I will not try to explain eyepieces.

  • Good tutorial on eyepieces.
  • Another good tutorial.
  • Discussion for beginners.    Good discussion, no pictures.
  • Dealers and manufacturers.  Go to these sites and explore the site for eyepieces and eyepiece information.
    • TeleVue eyepieces.  Most expensive, generally considered the best.
    • University Optics.  Check out their orthoscopic eyepieces.
    • Meade Corporation.  Click on Product Guide, scroll down to Accessories for their eyepieces.
    • Orion.  Click on Accessories then click on Eyepieces.
    • Celestron.
  • Finally, read about the Barlow lens -- it's a must-have accessory.  This article is on the Orion Telescope's site -- you will find Barlows made by many manufacturers.

My eyepieces

Here is a photo of the inside of my eyepiece case -- these are my eyepieces -- and I really don't need all of these.


In this case, you see:

  • Eleven eyepieces (about seven too many)
  • One 2X Barlow (a device that doubles the magnification of an eyepiece)
  • Several filters (filters block certain colors or type of light, depending on the filter -- used to enhance viewing of some objects)
  • A compass
  • A red LED flashlight (don't use a regular white flashlight, white light will blind you; use a red filtered flashlight as red light will not destroy your night vision)

Here is a chart showing the eyepieces I own and the magnification that each eyepiece provides with my XT-12 scope.

Eyepiece Magnification with the XT-12 (1500mm focal length) Remarks
Eyepiece alone Eyepiece with 2X Barlow
TeleVue Panoptic 35mm 43X 86X Nice, wide views; very crisp from edge to edge; heavy eyepiece; 2-inch
TeleVue Panoptic 26mm 58X 106X Nice, wide views; very crisp from edge to edge; heavy eyepiece; 2-inch
Televue Radian 18mm 83X 166X  
Televue Radian 10mm 150X 300X  
TeleVue Nagler 7mm 171X 242X  
University Optics orthoscopic 12mm 125X 250X Very good for planets.
University Optics orthoscopic 9mm 167X 333X Very good for planets.
TeleVue Nagler 5mm 300X 600X Very good for planets. 
TeleVue 2X Barlow n/a n/a  
Meade 20mm reticle eyepiece Special use eyepiece -- has illuminated crosshairs in it, used for calibrating scope.


Photos of the eyepieces.



Left to right: 
35mm Televue Panoptic; 26mm Televue Panoptic; 18mm Televue Radian; 10mm Televue Radian

Left to right:
7mm Televue Nagler; 5mm Televue Nagler; 12mm University Optics orthoscopic; 9mm UO


Other stuff in the eyepiece case: 


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