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Posted by Bob Sal on November 15, 2002 15:59:36 UTC

Well, I've never seen the Vixen eyepiece you spoke of so I can't comment on that one. How much was it and what's the field of view? In general, a shorter focal length eyepiece will have a darker background and will not focus as sharp as a longer focal length eyepiece because of the higher magnification. Especially with an F/10 where the magnification of the 13MM is double the 26MM. Most of the more expensive eyepiece will focus better. I have the Meade 14MM UWA 84 degree field and the 12" LX200. The moon always focuses real sharp with that eyepiece at 218x. The planets need a clear still sky otherwish the high magnification blurs the image. The stars focus nice and sharp most nights, but not as good as my 22MM Panoptic at 138x. It's really a matter of what's acceptable to you. I prefer the sharper less magnified image myself. My $50 Serius Plossls are fine on my 80MM refractor, but my expensive eyepieces just put them to shame on my big scope. I've seen many Nagler and other brands high priced eyepieces in my scope as well at star parties. They all are great especially the Nagler 17MM. Once I get down to an 8MM at 386x, it really needs to be clear and steady air to get any kind of focus on anything. I wouldn't rely too much on the 50x aperture rule for how much magnification you should be able to focus. It varies every night with the seeing conditions. About half that is more reasonable. I don't have the trouble you spoke of where you need to keep your head real still to see the image, but I know what your talking about. I've seen that on my cheaper eyepieces as well, especially the 40MM Serius Plossl. You need to circle around to find the image, get too close and it's gone, a little off in any direction, where'd it go. Anyway, the best thing to do is get to a star party if you can where there are lots of different eyepiece people are using and compair. You'll be using the eyepiece a long time, so I'd get the best you can. They are well worth the money. I'd also take with a grain of salt the opinion of someone trying to sell you something.
That's it;
BOB SAL

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