Last updated: 10 April 1999

What Eyepieces Should I Buy?

The most frequent question I receive from new and prospective new ETX users is "what additional eyepieces should I get?" The answer to this question can be as complicated or as simple as your credit card limit (and spouse/significant other) allows. Most users will want something more than just the 48x magnification that the supplied 26mm eyepiece provides. For most users, the first eyepiece I would recommend adding is not actually an eyepiece but a "Barlow Lens". There are several models (see the Accessories - Eyepieces page for a description of a Meade model) but the most common provides a 2X magnification over the eyepiece alone. This means, that with the 26mm eyepiece you would have 48x and 96x available. Yes, you could purchase a 13mm eyepiece but you increase your options with a Barlow Lens. As you add more eyepieces (which you will eventually do), each one does double duty as a result of having a Barlow Lens in your collection. Just keep in mind what sizes and adjusted sizes you have with your eyepieces plus Barlow Lens and avoid purchasing another eyepiece of a similar size. For example, with the 26mm and its adjusted size of 13mm, it would not make sense to purchase a 12mm eyepiece since that approximates what you get with the 26mm and Barlow Lens combination, at least as far as magnification goes. Different eyepieces provide differing fields of view (the amount of sky you can see when looking into the eyepiece). A Barlow Lens will decrease this field of view so it may make sense to purchase a 12mm Ultra Wide Angle eyepiece if you want a wide field of view at this magnification. My second eyepiece was a 9.7mm, providing 128x, which gets a lot of use. My next eyepiece purchase will probably be some variety of wide angle eyepiece. See the Accessories - Eyepieces page for comments on several eyepieces.

Ongarj Phichitsurakij (ongarj@usa.net) has supplied the following:
"I have collected some data for some popular eyepieces I am considering to buy, in .xls format and hope that this file will prove convenient for others for comparison of different eyepieces. For each brand of eyepiece product you need to set the focal length and clear aperture (at the right side of the worksheet opposite the eyepiece brand name. E.g. For ETX, Focal Len is 1250 and aperture is 90) to display the right values in spreadsheet as these values are based on simple formulas.

I would like to know how the Meade UWA eyepieces will actually perform with the #126 barlow. There's still little information on the UWA in the eyepiece accessories area. Any advice for the Meade UWA eyepieces for the ETX? How's the 6.7mm UWA compared to 8.8mm and 14mm in terms of sharpness, contrast and other properties if I am to use it with the #126 Barlow. If I only have the standard 26mm eyepiece and I want to get a UWA, which should I get? How's the 11mm eye relieve (UWA 6.7mm) for people who wear glasses? What about TeleVue 's Naglers' quality and worth for the money compared to Meade's UWA?

Thanks for your great site!
OngarjPhichitsurakij -- Samutprakarn,Thailand"

Click to download (76,800 bytes).

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