Many basic telescopes come with an assortment of accessories out of the box to add value. This usually includes a pair of eyepieces and maybe a filter and a sight. While this is a good starting point for most, there are many more options out there indulging Best Telescope Eyepiece Set that we will take a look at.
A great way to bolster a telescope’s outfit is to grab an eyepiece set. These are kits that come with multiple eyepieces, filters, and storage or carrying case. They can be a great way to fill out an accessory collection and can be extremely handy.
What makes a good eyepiece set? What usually comes included, and what are the big things to look out for?
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Eyepiece Set Contents For Dummies
There is a large variety of different eyepieces and lenses available on the market for telescopes of all kinds, sizes, and price points. Most telescopes come with their eyepiece to start with, but depending on what the primary use of the telescope is and what kind it is, a variety of different eyepieces can be very useful.
There might be specific situations where it is best to go and find a particular eyepiece for a particular use, but most of the time, it is the simplest and most cost-effective to buy an eyepiece set. These sets usually come with a variety of eyepieces of different magnifications, four to six at a time, and a handful of varying light filters and a carrying case.
The eyepieces in a kit will be cheaper and more uniform than piecemealing out a set of eyepieces on your own, and the addition of a filter kit only adds value to a very comprehensive kit.
There are a few things to keep in mind while shopping for an eyepiece set.
What to keep in mind…
First, make sure the eyepieces in the set can fit your specific telescope. Telescopes usually come in a 1.25″ or a 2″ eyepiece configuration. If you get one that doesn’t fit, you will have to return it and get the right kit.
It would also be a good idea to check and see what kind of eyepieces came with the telescope and which ones you already have. Most telescopes come with at least two and sometimes three eyepieces. It would be redundant and a waste to get an eyepiece set that has multiple lenses that you already have.
Most of these kits also include a Barlow lens. Barlow lenses are nifty attachments that enhance the magnification of an established lens. This means that you can effectively double the number of useful eyepieces the kit comes with by using the Barlow lens appropriately.
The Barlow lens is not its eyepiece but rather an addon for the fixed lenses. Many companies will try and say that the inclusion of the Barlow lens truly doubles the number of eyepieces in their kits, but depending on the eyepiece and the Barlow lens, the image quality does not always hold up.
Filters also come included in these kits. These colored filters are designed to change and enhance views of particular celestial objects. There are filters to dim the brightness of the moon, to cut down on light pollution, to enhance the bands of Jupiter or the rings of Saturn. Filters are versatile and cannot hurt to have in any accessory collection.
When used correctly, they can focus on some unique features in the sky. If you don’t like to use filters, then they come included in case you or anyone else might want to try them out in the future.
Carry me safely…
All of these kits also come with a durable and handy carrying case. If you buy eyepieces separately, they come on their own, making it difficult to store and transport them. They can be fragile and like to bump into each other in telescope cases. This way, all of your new lenses are kept safely in a case designed just for them.
The best thing to do is take an inventory of your current accessories and see which kits would fill in the gaps the best. This way, you will get the best value for your dollar. It is tempting to rush into a large kit just to get a bunch of different eyepieces, but if you can get one that makes the most sense for your setup, it will be that much better.
Remember to check your telescope eyepiece connector size—double-check which filters and eyepieces you already have. Make a note of any magnification level gaps you have experienced while stargazing. Barlow lenses are cool but are not as good as a simple fixed lens without additional magnification.
An Equation to Remember
Once we get into the details about each of these sets, there are going to be a lot of numbers about eyepiece sizes. Just a helpful reminder that a telescope’s magnification is determined by the focal length divided by the length of the eyepiece. Both of these lengths will typically be given in millimeters.
Focal Length / Eyepiece (in mm)
For example, a telescope with a 500mm focal length using a 5mm eyepiece will have a magnification of 100x.
The shorter the eyepiece, the larger the magnification of the telescope. For example, a theoretical eyepiece with a length of 1mm would give a magnification equal to the focal length. The number closest to one will yield the greatest magnification.
The higher numbered eyepieces are much lower magnification. Keep that in mind, while browsing the contents of these sets.
Keep those things in mind, and you are ready to make an informed purchase to enhance your accessory collection for your telescope.
Here are three of the best eyepiece sets on the market right now.
Celestron 1.25 Inch 14 Piece Telescope Accessory Set
This Celestron eyepiece set is a complete set that is perfect for beginner astronomers. It includes five eyepieces, a 2x Barlow lens, seven-colored filters, and the hard-sided case for travel and storage. This set won’t rock the boat, but it does cover all of the basics.
The eyepieces are Plössl design and come in 6mm, 8mm, 13mm, 17mm, and 32mm sizes for a wide range of magnification options. These will allow the user to get a very high level of magnification for peering deep into space or a milder level of magnification for closer, brighter objects.
It comes with a full set of colored filters for looking at some colored night sky objects. You will get a varied amount of use out of these depending on the use. It also comes with a moon filter for looking at the moon at night—all standard fare.
The biggest criticism this set receives is that the eyepieces are basic; the quality is middling but not great and that some of the stuff will seldom get used. For the price, I think the value is decent if you are planning on experimenting with various eyepieces and filters during your stargazing.
Celestron also adds value by offering a two-year warranty as well as technical support for anyone who has questions about their sets. Celestron is an American company based in California, and they have a good reputation in the astronomy community.
For a basic beginner kit, this one is very good. It checks all of the boxes, won’t break the bank, and comes from the always reliable Celestron brand.Check Latest Price
Orion 08890 1.25 Inch Premium Telescope Accessory Kit
The Orion 08890 1.25 Inch Premium Telescope Accessory Kit is a step up in price and quality over its Celestron counterpart. This kit includes five eyepieces, six filters, and a Barlow lens, as well as the hard-carrying case.
The eyepieces included in this set are Sirius Plössl and come in 6.3mm, 7.5mm, 10mm, 17mm, and 40mm. These eyepieces are fairly short, making this a kit with a higher overall magnification compared to some. Instead of a broader range of zoom levels, this set focuses mainly on higher magnifications. This would make it great for anyone who is lacking in high powered eyepieces compared to middle range ones.
Many users report using the low powered 40mm eyepiece to scan the sky and find the best objects before swapping to a higher-powered lens to get a better view. This makes this set a good mashup as it is difficult to scan the sky with a high magnification eyepiece. The inclusion of the mild 40mm eyepiece for sky scanning is a useful one.
Orion has also included a 2x Barlow lens made by Shorty, which can enhance the magnification of the included eyepieces. In this case, the Barlow lens might not be as useful as in some other kits due to the generally high magnification levels of the included eyepieces. Barlow lenses are still useful tools to have as a telescope user, but its usefulness might not be as high as in sets with lower magnification eyepieces.
Is it worth the extra money?
If these brand names don’t mean much to you, then the added money might not be worth it for this set. It is very similar to the Celestron kit, but some people seem to like the quality of this set over that of the Celestron brand kit. This set is also great for anyone who wants to add some heft to the overall magnification of their eyepieces as this one comes with some excellent higher magnification eyepieces compared to some other sets.Check Latest Price
Meade Instruments 607001 Series 4000 1.25 Inch Eyepiece Set
The Meade Instruments 607001 Series 4000 1.25 Inch Eyepiece Set is the only set on this list that advertises both 1.25” and 2” varieties. The rest of the sets only advertise as 1.25” compatible while this one also comes in a 2” set. This means that no matter which kind of telescope you have, this kit can accommodate you, which cannot be said of all sets.
The 2” variation of the eyepiece set is quite a bit more expensive, but it can be worth the money for anyone struggling to find two-inch accessories for their telescope setup.
This set comes with five eyepieces, a full-colored filter lineup, a 2x Barlow lens, and the carrying kit. The eyepiece lengths included are 6mm, 8mm, 13mm, 17mm, and 32mm, giving it the standard range of magnification.
The 1.25″ version of this set is at a middle price point compared to the other two on this list. The biggest thing that Meade brings to the table, other than its brand name, is the inclusion of a full 2″ set advertised alongside the standard 1.25″ set.
What makes this set stand out?
Meade advertises their eyepieces come with high-quality optical lenses that are fully multicoated. The other two sets do not mention the coating or glass quality in anything other than general terms. I do not know if the other sets include this or not, but much like the 2″ variety, Meade is the only one to explicitly advertise these features.
The Mead Instruments eyepiece set is a robust set that checks all of the boxes and claims to have some quality upgrades over its competition. The high-quality optics, the availability of a 2″ variety, and the excellent range of eyepiece magnification makes this a robust set from people who seem to know their audience well.Check Latest Price
Summary and Comparisons
When stacked up next to each other, these sets are all very similar in what they offer. They are the Best Telescope Eyepiece Set’s for a reason, and the best all offer very similar quality and options compared to lower quality alternatives.
The Meade Instruments and Celestron sets are almost identical. Meade advertises higher quality optics while the Celestron one is more general in their descriptions. The Celestron set is also a little cheaper than the Meade version.
Meade advertises a one-year warranty for this kit. Celestron gives its customers a two-year warranty while Orion had no mention of a warranty. It says you can contact Orion directly to get more information.
The Orion set falls more on the side of higher magnification lenses while the Celestron and Meade sets are more standard in their magnification spread of included eyepieces.
These kits are the best, and they offer the most complete and quality eyepiece sets on the market right now.