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Glenn Chaple's observing basics: Eyepiece ABCs

January 2008: Since the 1960s, eyepieces have evolved to fit various observing needs.
Glenn Chaple
Senior citizens often reminisce about how uncomplicated life was in the good old days. When it comes to amateur astronomy, they may have a point.

Consider eyepieces. Purchasing an eyepiece in the 1960s was easy, because you could choose from only a handful of basic designs. You could start out with a simple Ramsden or Huygens; or you might step up to a Kellner, or that crème de la crème of eyepieces, the orthoscopic. If you preferred an eye-pleasing wide-field view, you couldn't go wrong with an Erfle.

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