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F15Rules last won the day on March 15 2018

F15Rules had the most liked content!

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  1. Hi Martin, You said.. " The 100 mm F9 ED is a great scope indeed. But I have always hankered after a shorter focal length version. So it looks like the Williams Optics 103 Zenithstar could be the one." Have you considered the lightweight F7.7 Vixen ED103s? The bare tube is only 3.6kg☺.. photos show my first one on a Porta II mount - a wonderful, portable setup with top class optics (a notch up from the excellent ED100 IMHO). Dave
  2. Too right it is, I sold it to Jules!. If I didn't now have a 9mm Morpheus and 12.5mm Fujiyama which I can barlow x 1.6 to a 7.8mm, I'd buy it back happily.. Dave
  3. "And I thought the 20mm XW was better all round than the 22 LVW, which just goes to show what a weird bunch we all are." Couldnt agree more Mike.. as they say over the Pond, "Your mileage may vary". The great thing here on SGL though is that we can have sincere and strongly held opinions on kit but still fully respect each other's views (literally !). The eyepiece that gives you the view that you like most is the best eyepiece for you. I have to agree about the 17.5mm Morpheus though Mike. What a lovely eyepiece. Back on thread though, I have never looked through a Pentax 3.5mm or a Delos of any kind..But based on the 5mm XW I owned, I'd expect the XW 3.5mm to be outstanding, and based on general reviews of the Delos range, the same for the 3.5mm Delos too, albeit over 20% more expensive than the XW. Dave
  4. I am probably one of those that mentioned not liking the XW 14 and 20mm, John. Bear in mind I really rate the 5, 7 and 10s very very highly, (never seen a 30mm or 40mm in the flesh, never mind used them), but I had mint examples of the 14mm and 20mm and thought they were OK, not great like their shorter brethren..But then I compared the 14mm to a Morpheus 14mm and the 20mm to a Vixen LVW 22mm, and I couldn't argue with what I was seeing: the Morph 14 and LVW 22 were clearly, (not slightly) superior to the XWs. In the 14mm the main difference was the Field Curvature, very bad on the XW, and on the XW20 the contrast was significantly better in the LVW 22mm, with also some FC on the XW20 (less than the XW14 though), and negligible visible in the LVW. Add to the mix the 76 degree fov of the Morpheus, it was an easy decision to keep the Morph and sell the XW14. The LVW22 has a 65 degree fov, so 5 less than the XW20, but it is such a well rounded eyepiece. It is still probably my favourite eyepiece. The scope was a Vixen ED103s apo doublet operating at F7.7, and the comparison was made observing M42 over about 4 hours total viewing. Dave
  5. I totally get that, John.. The main feature that differentiates many of the more modern eyepieces is simply the much wider field of view. If you can live with the 40 to 52 degree fov of these older eps (and to be honest, on doubles, lunar and planetary, I don't feel the need for the wider fields), I really don't think you are missing out much, if at all, in terms of sharpness, contrast and transmission. And, in fact, many of these Japanese eyepieces were themselves very expensive back in the 80s - often well over £100 each then, so the equivalent of double that or more in today's money. There is something rather satisfying in spending a good session with just 3 older Japanese eyepieces ☺ Dave
  6. Lovely set Mike..And a couple of those look quite familiar! My budget set is now: 5mm Astro Hutech ortho, pair of 12.5mm Fujiyama orthos (binoviewing) and Parks Gold Pseudo Masuyama 30mm (a total gem of an eyepiece) and a WO 1.6x nosepiece Barlow As stated above, these are relatively low on cost, but most definitely top drawer on performance! Dave
  7. I've settled on my "Once and For All" eyepiece set. ..The only problem is, I've done it 14 times.. Dave
  8. Astro Hutech 5mm Ortho. Looks identical to my Fujiyama 12.5mm pair, and is optically the same as BGO, Fujiyama, Antares HD, University HD orrho etc. Too short eye relief for binoviewing for my eyes, but great for Cyclops viewing of closer doubles. The narrow 42 degree field may put some off , but IMHO these eyepieces have some of the best scatter control, contrast and sharpness ever seen in mainstream eyepieces. I will use this with a winged eyeguard which will control stray light and I find helps to make the best use of the short available eye relief. The last shot includes a rather good Australian Shiraz, with which a couple of glasses I toasted the arrival of the 5mm today ☺ Dave
  9. With my XW/XLs I used to screw the eyecup as far "in" (lowest position ) as it would go, then gradually rotate the eyepiece holder outwards until it felt most comfortable and I could see the whole FOV. In my experience Pentax XW/XL ranges are some of the most comfortable eyepieces out there. I really like the new Morpheus range which have similar eye relief but offer two screw on eyecups of different heights to suit different observers. I find these excellent, so much better than the original versions which were poorly fitting and flimsy. What's more, the Morphs have a 76deg FOV: 6 deg more than the XW, but somehow it seems more in use - and I can take in the whole field no problem (I don't wear glasses to observe). I'd probably choose fixed height vs adjustable eyecups, but others may well feel the opposite. But there is no doubt that either way, optimum comfort is essential to get the most from your scope and eyepiece combination☺. Dave
  10. Lovely scope, it will deliver great views of the moon Dave
  11. Hear hear .. I have 3 Morphii and really like them very much. I refrained from mentioning them due to the cost, but actually you can get a new Morpheus for about the same price as a used XW Dave
  12. Exactly how does a BGO die? Joking apart, I have owned the Pentax XW 5mm, BGO 5mm (it was very much alive when I sold it!), and the Delite 5mm. I loved the XW, and the BGO (the XW was much more comfortable in use). I bought the Delite new, but didn't like it ergonomically or optically and returned it. I know it's popular so maybe I got a duff one - but more likely it's me, I have just never taken to many TV eyepieces except for the Nagler T6 13mm which I really liked. I would go for the XW5 based on what you have said, or an XL 5.2mm if you can find one (best of luck with that!). Both are wonderful, comfortable eyepieces IMHO. Dave
  13. Both my ED103s scopes showed the E & F stars without difficulty on good (transparent) nights. I don't know the lunar feature you mentioned as I'm not a serious observer of the Moon. The first ED103s also gave me my first view of the Pup (I haven't yet tried it with my current one). I've just noticed that you changed your mind and went for the Chinese Altair scope. So you have your first benchmarks to test it against - to match the Vixen , as claimed by Altair, it needs to show E & F and if conditions allow, the Pup. Here's hoping you get good enough, transparent conditions to find out before the clocks go forward and we lose Orion for the summer ☺. Dave
  14. Hi Tico, I haven't used Nikon's myself, but in the more usual sizes like 10x50 they do get good reviews and would I think be ideal for Astro use. The 16x50s would in my opinion need to be monopod or tripod mounted otherwise they would be too unsteady. At that magnification the field would be smaller too, so you really would need a mount to get the best possible views. I had a pair of Pentax 12x50s and found the same with them. I'd expect the optical performance to be pretty good. Dave
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