I am looking for some eyepiece recommendations for my Orion XT8. There are so many kinds out there, and I am not quite sure what to get as recommendations vary wildly. Here are some Q&As that hopefully can give some insight into what I am looking for. Any thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated.
What kind of telescope do you have?
Orion XT8. Focal length 1200 mm, F/5.9.
I have had it for a little less than a year. Before that I had a 4 inch Orion tabletop reflector.
What kind of eyepieces do you have today?
I have a kit of eyepieces from Canada Telescopes, which seems to be a rebranded imported kit. I can't say much about the quality. It has 6, 9, 15 and 20 mm eyepieces. They have approx 68 deg FOV. The 20 mm is the only semi-usable one, the others aren't really sharp enough.
I also came across a used Celestron Luminos 15 mm. It is nice, but I was underwhelmed by the wider 82 deg FOV. I have heard that these eyepieces do better on other kinds of telescopes that Newtonian reflectors, but I don't know if it is true or not.
What kind of objects do you observe?
Previously it has mostly been the moon and planets. I have spent countless hours looking at Saturn and Jupiter, and recently also Mars that it has been in opposition.
Since a month or so ago, I decided to spend a year trying to observe and check off everything in the book "Turn Left at Orion". That is when the eyepiece problems began :-). The Pleiades requires something wider than I have, and some of the double stars I have been trying to see require higher quality eyepieces for the magnification (dark skies aside).
So, literally a little bit of everything right now.
What magnifications are you looking for?
Low (40x), medium (75x) and high (150x). This means about 30 mm, 16 mm and 8 mm.
Do you wear glasses?
Yes, but I can take them off while observing if that increases my options.
Do you plan to use the eyepieces with another telescope?
Sometime in the future, I'd like to upgrade to a 10 or 12 inch Newtonian. I have been toying with the idea of astrophotography, so perhaps something that would work with a SCT too. But that is much lower priority.
What is your budget?
So hard to answer.
If the recommendation would be for general purpose eyepieces that will help me during my year of visual observation with the XT8 only, then I would like something below 200 USD/eyepiece. Meaning, that if they would be of less value on a 12 inch scope looking at DSOs or a smaller SCT looking at planets, then I'd like to limit the spend.
If the recommendation would be for "forever eyepieces" that are great no matter if it is the XT8, a 12 inch dob or a SCT, then I am more flexible on price because I would know that I could hang on to them for a longer period of time. Perhaps 500 USD/eyepiece maximum (but that would hurt...).
I hope you this gives some valuable context! Thanks!