Hi, after some time of binocular observing I'm just beginning to observe with a Meade Polaris 130mm telescope (focal length 650mm). The 3 eyepieces that come with the scope are 26mm, 9mm, 6.3mm, modified achromat. If I were to get just one new eyepiece to do variable star observing with this scope, with a budget of up to about US$150, are there any that you folks would recommend?
Those cheap eyepieces require replacement, however it is difficult to do every star with one eyepiece. You really need one hi-power, 5-7mm, for fainter stars or in crowded fields, and one low power, wide-field for bright stars. There's many ways to do that, but the $150 budget for two, limits you somewhat in ep quality. I would get an older 7mm Type 1 Nagler for your hi-power, and possibly keep the 26mm for low power.
You can find those 7mm Type 1's at very low prices on ebay, Astromart, etc., under $150, and they perform nearly as well as the newer type 6. With the extra left over, and selling your other 3, you may be able to get a better quality, wider view GSO in the 30mm range, though they tend to be 2" rather than 1.25" barrel sizes with the field stop dimensions.
The Explore Scientific 68 degree 24mm might be the best deal and quality in 1.25" for wide angle/low power.
I agree with Mike, the Explore Scientific eyepieces are outstanding. The 24mm 68 degree would do great along with the 16mm. I was an ES dealer while I had my store. To me they are the BEST company to deal with, and they have quality. My 2 scopes are ES 152mm refractors.
Chris Stephan SET
Fort Gay, WV