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Eyepieces for Mak

Started by Emanuel, 08/01/2006 11:24AM
Posted 08/01/2006 11:24AM Opening Post
Hey guys, how are you? I need help, and there`s no better place than this to get it 8) ! Here`s the thing: i`ve just bought a 6" Maksutov ( Intes Mk66 deluxe ) and a CG-5 celestron mount, but now i need eyepieces for it and i`m really confused :S ! What should i buy? I`m specially interested on planets and double stars, but of course i also like to watch nebulas, galaxies, clusters and so on...What to buy??? :S Thanks,Emanuel

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Posted 09/08/2006 08:43PM #1
I use a LOMO Astele 150 f/14.2 Mak-Cass of 1/8 wave quality with 1/10 wave Stellarvue dielectric diagonal and Siebert Black Night binoviewer. When using single EP's, a Borg nonrotating 1.25" fine focuser helps me easily find focus and raises the EP a comfortable way above the OTA. I use it on a Meade LXD55 or Synta Atlas mount. It star tests to near perfection, thus I easily discern differences in my EP collection. All types of EP's work to their maximum ability on this instrument due to the long focal ratio and complete lack of false color. I generally use a Baader MSG filter to knock out any light pollution and increase contrast. It's the best lunar and planetary scope I have been able to use on a regular basis, and it is equivalent to the best 5" APO refractors such as those that Stellarvue produces with LOMO triplet cells, and that is per Vic Maris of Stellarvue who is very familiar with the instrument, as he tried to get LOMO to reintroduce them. I'm never letting go of mine, as it is easily my finest instrument. Lunar views are to die for.

The Burgess TMB 9mm is nice for eyeglass wearers because of the adjustable eyecup, but I prefer the simpler Siebert 8.9mm Star Splitter. The 8.9mm Star Splitter is a nicer binoviewer EP. I also use the 6.4mm and 4.4mm Star Splitters in this instrument, when the seeing conditions permit. They are as sharp as a 7.5mm Ultima, but more comfortable to view through and with a wider FOV. An Omni Plossl of 4mm, 6mm and 9mm doesn't even come close in comfort and noticeably falls behind in optical performance. The Ultima/Ultrascopic and Star Splitter EP's have been very favorably compared to the best UO Ortho EP's and came up to that optical level while adding FOV. The SS and Ultima EP's have very good color balance and colors pop out very well in stars and planets.

For wider viewing of deep sky objects, I use the 12.5mm Ultima, 15mm Axiom, 18mm Ultima, 23mm Axiom and 30mm Ultima. I have all FL's in binoviewer pairs. They are all excellent EP's, with the Axiom's giving more FOV and a space walk experience while the Ultima's excel in sharpness and contrast. They can all be used alone or in the binoviewer with equally fine results. The 30mm Ultima will have a slight cutoff in the FOV with the Black Night BN22, but in no way spoils the view. There is little more to desire with any of those EP's, and they easily surpass my Celestron Omni Plossl's, Burgess 20mm Bino Lite and William Optics SWAN 9mm EP's. The TMB 9mm EP also surpasses the 9mm SWAN, especially in faster scopes. The TMB is bulky in a binoviewer and doesn't heat very well, tending to fog up in colder weather.

When I really want to go wide, I take out the binoviewer or Borg 1.25" focuser and insert my Axiom 34mm into my 2" Stellarvue dielectric diagonal. This allows my widest FOV without any cutoff of image induced by the scope. The Siebert 38mm Observatory will produce a litte bit of image cutoff at the extreme edge, but sees the same amount of sky as the Axiom 34mm in case a little extra brightness is desired. Both EP's I can highly recommend for deep sky, with my preference going to the Axiom 34mm, but at a bit higher cost.

You should get similar results in your 6" Russian Mak as I get in mine. They are similar instruments and far above the cheap 6" reflectors and fast 6" achromats that have become popular. I would stay away from Ortho EP's (unless your interest is strictly planetary viewing) as they are no better than an Ultima and don't come close to the speacewalk feel of the 70 degree Axiom or Panoptic type of EP's. The Panoptic and Axiom are very similar designs and direct competitors. I would buy whichever was available at the best price. Of course, a Nagler will work, but a Pan or Axiom will allow a bit more brightness at the max FOV while the Nagler will allow a bit more magnification. Those are the three best bets for maxing out your FOV.

I have internal mirror focusing, so my scope easily accommodates a binoviewer without adding an OCA. I get the clearest image possible with binoviewers, probably surpassing the best refractors that need an OCA added to achieve focus. When adding a Siebert focal length reducer to my binoviewer, I can clearly see the contrast degradation it adds, but it does allow me to get down to around 45X with a 30mm Ultima. That is adequate FOV for most deep sky objects. Remember, I have 2134mm focal length. Your MK66 is probably a bit faster with a shorter FL.