Newbie trash scope question

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dick_in_mi

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I received a 3" Bushnell reflector from my company as a service award. Even before it arrived, I started doing some reading and soon realized that this was not going to be a good scope. OK, no problem. I'd use the opportunity to buy some books and magazines, familiarize myself with the basics, and then take some time to decide whether I wanted to take this further and if so what scope to buy.<br /><br />OK, the scope arrived and I can look at the moon, the crescent of Venus, and the small ball of Jupiter (on one occasion, I glimpsed brief hints of bands).<br /><br />I've read in several places that you can maximize a cheap scope by upgrading the eyepiece, and so I bought a 17mm Orion Plossl (thinking that I could later migrate this lens to a new scope). However, I actually find the image with this lens to be less crisp than with the cheap 20mm lens supplied with the scope.<br /><br />Shouldn't the quality be improved at least somewhat with the Orion lens? Or at least better than the SR20mm lens that came with the Bushnell? What am I missing?
 
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tfwthom

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That's why I tell people to go to star parties. You can test drive equipment.<br /><br />What I'm finding is the focal length on that scope is 700mm so a 17mm eyepiece should work fine (about 41x)<br /><br />There are so many possibilities of what's wrong....collimation jumps out. Best place to get help is your local astronomy club. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1" color="#3366ff">www.siriuslookers.org</font> </div>
 
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dick_in_mi

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>>I received a 3" Bushnell reflector from my company as a service award. <br /><br />Forgive me for saying so, but I think I'd be insulted!<<<br /><br />Well, I didn't need any more watches and major companies generally delegate service awards to outside parties, so.....<br /><br />It isn't even that the image didn't improve.....it actually got worse with the Orion as compared to the cheap Bushnell lens. That's what is making me scratch my head because even though I wouldn't necessarily have expected a lot of improvement, I certainly didn't expect a step down. And it seems as though if collimation were the issue (and I'm sure it does need tweaking) it still wouldn't make the "bad" lens better than the "good" lens would it? Wouldn't both be affected but the one that's better to begin with should still be better if both are being degraded?
 
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bbrock

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Check the focuser to make sure you have removed the cheap Barlow Lens. Often the plastic scope companies include the plastic Barlow Lens with their scopes so they can advertise magnifications of 400x to 700x or some rediculus value like that. It's easy to put the barlow lens in the focuser and forget that it's there. Going up slightly in magnification with that junk will not work. I don't care if you trying to use a TeleView Nagler. It won't get better. <br /><br />Clear Skies<br />Bill
 
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frostbrewed

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Jupiter is very low in the sky and since you're looking through so much more atmosphere than when you look straight up, the views will be very blurred. To see Jupiter at it's best, you'll have to wait a few months for it to go around the sun and come up in the morning sky. By early next year, both Jupiter and Saturn will be high in the sky after midnight. You will get better views even with the higher mag. lens. If the moon looks blurred through the 17mm then it may be a bit to much for your scope to handle even though the numbers add up, quality has alot to do with it. A barlow may be your best bet instead of different lens and if you get a better scope you will want one anyway. <br />...........................................................................Frost <br />
 
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dick_in_mi

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Thanks to all for your advice. Last night, it was apparent that the Orion lens was not able to show Venus as a crescent like the Bushnell lens; rather as an unfocused blob. I have it adjusted all the way down but I'm wondering if the focusing mechanism doesn't go down far enough for that lens. I'd like to think that the Orion lens would outperform the Bushnell lens, and on that scope the increase from 35X to 41X wouldn't seem unreasonable.<br /><br />I'll wait until the moon comes back and compare them on that.
 
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