There are a number of components that make up a telescope. Each of these components has its role to play in forming an image and making it viewable. One of the more important components is the telescope eyepiece. The eyepiece of a telescope can be described as the primary point of contact. This is what a user looks through to view what a telescope is capturing. Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the best telescope eyepieces in 2020. After that, we’re also going to take a closer look at how telescope eyepieces work.
- This 13mm eyepiece by Tele Vue is a superb option for someone who’s into planet viewing. It offers a decent amount of magnification and great image clarity.
- The eyepiece has a 100-degree FOV which lets you capture loads of scenery at one time. This makes it a great option for viewing planets and other larger objects.
- The eyepieces come with two focus lenses that let you adjust its FOV even more.
- The eyepiece has a small exit pupil, making it usable in brightly lit areas.
- The coated optics in this eyepiece increase its image quality considerably.
- You get complete control over the angular magnification distortion present in this eyepiece.
- This lens is rather costly.
Contenders For The Best Telescope Eyepieces in 2020
- A 40mm eyepiece that features decent magnification. It’s a decent option for astronomers wanting to view deep space objects with clarity.
- This eyepiece by Explore Scientific has a 62-degree FOV that is perfect for viewing deep space objects. You can also capture great astrophotography shots in this FOV.
- The lens isn’t too pricy.
- The eyepiece is waterproof as well, making it usable outdoors.
- The eyepiece has a contrast system that makes viewing brighter objects easier on the eyes.
- The eyepiece has averted vision technology. This vastly improves its ability to view fainter objects.
- The eyepiece doesn’t have built-in night vision technology.
- A perfect kit for someone who’s looking to start a hobby in star gazing. This eyepiece kit offers two eyepieces, a Barlow lens, and four kinds of filters.
- The kit’s eyepieces have a focal length of 7.5mm and 20mm respectively. A provided Barlow lens lets you increase their magnification power further by 2x.
- This is a superb set for a starter astronomer. It gives you just what you need to begin your journey as an astronomer.
- The 7.5mm eyepiece produces eye flare.
- Another comprehensive eyepiece kit that comes with high-quality components. This kit has everything that you need to diversify your astronomy setup.
- The kit has five eyepieces of varying focal lengths and variety of color filters as well.
- There are polarizing filters as well, and you also get a moon filter.
- The provided case lets you store the provided eyepieces and more. There’s additional space for storing four more eyepieces and a bunch of smaller accessories as well.
- This versatile palate of eyepieces gives you loads of options to choose from. You can view far off and nearby objects with striking clarity.
- The provided filters make your setup ready for astrophotography as well.
- You get a stylish and highly functional case along with the eyepieces.
- This starter kit isn’t suitable for most advanced astronomers.
- A high-quality set of eyepieces by Meade Instruments. This set offers a wide range of eyepieces that you can choose from. Every eyepiece is made using high-quality materials.
- These eyepieces can be used for terrestrial and celestial viewing as well.
- The set also comes with some color filters (yellow, blue, light green, orange, green, ND96 moon filter, and red).
- Everything comes in a neat looking case that makes storage and transport easy.
- This eyepiece kit gives you a lot of options to choose from. It can make your astronomical setup highly diverse.
- Their optics are incredibly well-made. You can expect superb clarity from every eyepiece.
- These eyepieces are also usable for terrestrial viewing. This makes them even more versatile.
- The rubber eye caps can be uncomfortable to use.
- An affordable yet qualitative eyepiece set. This set features two eyepieces and three color filters as well.
- The optics are coated to increase image quality. The provided color filters help with improving image quality even further.
- The set comes with a microfiber cloth that makes eyepiece maintenance easier.
- This set offers quality at an affordable price point.
- The high-quality optics manage to keep images clear even at higher magnifications.
- The provided container offers safe and secure storage for your eyepieces.
- The provided moon filter can be a bit too powerful at times. It ends up darkening images way too much.
These are some of the best eyepieces that you can find in the market right now. Every eyepiece that we’ve covered is made of high-quality materials. Their precise and quality build makes them a great addition to any astronomy setup. An astronomer should invest in at least two different eyepieces. Doing so diversifies their astronomy setup and makes it much more versatile.
Eyepieces are so important because you won’t be able to use a telescope without one. The Optical Tube Assembly (OTA) of a telescope is responsible for producing an image. The objective lens captures light and has it converge at a point inside of the OTA. This is where an image is formed. Now, to view this formed image, you need to have an eyepiece. The eyepiece magnifies the captured image and makes it viewable. In doing so, it makes an image clearer and lets you see a greater amount of detail in it.
Despite being a small looking part, there’s a lot more to an eyepiece than meets the eye. Knowing how these things work lets you make the most out of them. Let’s take a look at how eyepieces work.
What Goes on Inside of an Eyepiece?
The primary function of an eyepiece is to magnify an image. There are a handful of factors that determine an eyepiece’s ability to do this.
Magnification Level And Focal Length
An eyepiece has its own focal length. The ratio between the focal length of an eyepiece and a telescope’s focal length is what determines an eyepiece’s magnification power. You can say that an eyepiece’s magnification capability is determined by its focal length. If you want to calculate the magnification power of an eyepiece, carry out the following calculation:
Focal Length of OTA / Focal Length of Eyepiece
You can find the focal length of an eyepiece written in its specifications. Generally, a shorter eyepiece focal length will result in more powerful magnification.
Magnification is necessary. However, it should be kept in mind that you shouldn’t go overboard with it. Many low-end telescopes market themselves with incredibly high levels of magnification. This makes a telescope seem more capable. However, this often has a negative impact on performance. Too much magnification will produce a dull and blurry image. Lesser magnification produces images that are sharper, brighter, but also smaller.
Field of View
The Field of View (FOV) of an eyepiece determines how much “scenery” you will be able to view at one time. Generally, eyepieces have their FOV written in degrees. A wider FOV results in you being able to see more through your telescope. However, a wider FOV will have an inferior level of focus. A narrower FOV gives you a smaller line of sight but allows you to focus more on a single object.
The FOV of an eyepiece is affected by its level of magnification as well. A higher magnification decreases the FOV of an eyepiece.
Eye relief is a crucial factor that should be kept in mind. This determines how close your eye needs to be to the eyepiece to look through it. Generally, longer eye relief is better since it makes using an eyepiece more comfortable. Nowadays any decent eyepiece is made with a satisfactory level of eye relief as part of its design.
This is the part of the eyepiece through which light exits and enters your eye. The exit pupil determines an eyepiece’s image quality. The larger the exit pupil is, the brighter and better images an eyepiece can produce.
Types of Eyepieces
Apart from the standard eyepiece that you attach to your telescope, there are a couple of different designs.
As their name suggests, these eyepieces give you an option to adjust their zoom. This makes them more convenient since you can change the level of magnification without having to swap out eyepieces. However, this convenience comes at the cost of greater technicality. A Zoom eyepiece needs to be adjusted to bring it into focus. This makes using it difficult, and therefore, makes it unpopular amongst amateur astronomers.
If you’ve ever shopped for telescopes before you might have heard of Barlow lenses. These eyepiece attachments work as add-ons that can be used to increase an eyepiece’s magnification. Barlow lenses offer an easy and quick way to double, triple, and quadruple your eyepiece’s magnification.
A Barlow Lens is attached to the OTA, and then an eyepiece goes on top of it. You get an instant increase in magnification at the cost of clarity and brightness.
Now, before we begin taking a look at eyepieces, here’s a breakdown of what eyepiece focal lengths are suitable for what kind of use.
7mm And Below
Eyepieces with short focal lengths have incredibly powerful magnification. They’re best used with refractor telescopes that have long focal lengths. Using eyepieces like these require perfect viewing conditions. Meaning low light pollution, a very stable mount, and minimal atmospheric distortion. Their high magnification makes them sensitive to even the slightest amount of interference. Under the right conditions, these eyepieces are perfect for viewing binary stars and far off solar systems.
7mm to 13mm
These eyepieces are perfect for viewing objects that are within our solar system. They pair well with telescopes that have short focal lengths.
14mm to 18mm
Eyepieces falling in this range are quite versatile. They perform well whether you want to view nearby objects or deep space objects.
19mm to 24mm
Eyepieces in this focal length range are great for looking at nebulae and open clusters.
25mm to 39mm
Ideal for use when you want to view objects that require a larger FOV to be seen.
40mm And Above
If you have a telescope with a very short focal length, then these kinds of eyepieces are a good choice. They’re ideal for use with telescopes that are designed to be portable.