Moonfish Group Eyepieces

A good compromise between using LER and Plossl eyepieces is the Moonfish Group eyepiece range (shown in Figure 2.44). I own both the 15- and 20-mm Super Wide Angle (SWA) eyepieces; in addition to their excellent nighttime performance, they match well with my PST. The only drawback is that I cannot use the 3x Moonfish Barlow lens. These eyepieces have an apparent field of view of 70°, which is absolutely astonishing for such a price. A 10-mm focal length eyepiece is available, so I have included it in the table below even though I do not actually own one.

Focal Length (mm) Magnification

Field of view in Arcminutes

26.7

210 157 105

I did not specifically buy these eyepieces with the intention of using them with the PST but for viewing and photographing the Moon and the Sun in "white light" with a Skywatcher 127-mm Maksutov. In terms of magnification

Figure 2.44. The eyepieces of 20- and 15-mm focal length from the Moonfish Group.

Figure 2.44. The eyepieces of 20- and 15-mm focal length from the Moonfish Group.

ranges, without a Barlow lens, they are more suitable for use than the recommended CEMAX eyepieces. As general use budget eyepieces (they turn out to be slightly more expensive than low-end Plossls), I just do not think they can be beaten, although some US manufacturers (by repute) are similar in quality/ price.

Although my low-end Plossls slightly outperform these visually, the difference is negligible. The difference is much more noticeable with astrophotography. In that way, my experiences with the PST are no different to those with the Moon.

In order to get the best out of the Moonfish Group eyepieces, a Barlow lens or a range of eyepieces are used to change the available magnifications. Unfortunately, although I have used the Moonfish Group 3x Barlow lens to get some great close-up shots of the Moon, not to mention the planets, the PST simply does not have the same focusing range. By repute, the Meade 2x Barlow lens works with the PST, although it has not worked for me. My advice is to try it if you own one already, but it costs about the same as the CEMAX 2x Barlow lens, which is better (for use with the PST), anyway. I get good use from the BCF Astro Engineering Magni Max Image Amplifier (Figure 2.45).

For most astronomy (night or day), the Moonfish Group eyepieces are my eyepieces of choice.

It is shown in Figure 2.45. Like just about everything else I have, this was not purchased specifically for use with the PST. It screws into a 1.25-inch (31.5 mm) standard eyepiece fitting. It is manufactured by Broadhurst, Clarkson and Fuller Astro Engineering and retailed at £24.99 initially in 2004. It gives a magnification boost of 1.6x with eyepieces used and does not require a major focusing adjustment. Remember, though, that the field of view is reduced by 37%. For lunar viewing, if there is any chromatic aberration introduced by it, I have not noticed.

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