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Interesting BST Explorer / Paradigm V's Pentax XF review


John
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This is an interesting comparison review:

http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=2815

Assuming that the BST Explorers (or whatever they are called now) are, as they seem, the same as the Astro Tech Paradigm's, the 8mm and 12mm discussed in the review have clearly impressed this reviewer, against some stiff competition too.

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I keep clicking that link John, but I'm not seeing a review/comparison? :huh:

I had the BSTs and still think they're excellent value, as long as you ignore the focal length extremes. the 5, 25 and to a lesser degree, the 8mm, are okay. It's the 12-18mm BSTs that are killer value IMHO.

Russell

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They get a lot of praise, and that is comparing them to significantly more expensive eyepieces.

Interesting about the curvature on the XF's, also noted the mention that he thought the Paradigms/BST's were the same as the Celestron and Meade's. Always thought they were different, maybe not after all.

The T5's obviously wasn't liked much.

Have the full set of BST's and my only "complaint" about the BST's - would like a 4mm and 6mm as well. Shame they don't make them.

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Wow, that's explains why BST are so good. Pentax XF 'clone' optimised for astronomy. If Pentax had designed and released a full line of XF for the astro market, they could have made themselves a lot of money. They didn't do it but the Chinese did and we got the BST Explorer/AT Paradigm/HD-60/X-cel LX.

There is definitely a market for a £120 60deg XW, but it's a shame Pentax just wouldn't capitalise on that.

Edited by E621Keith
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Curious. I have had a look at the coatings of my XF8.5 vs my XWs, and did not note a huge difference. I have never had problems with ghosting with Jupiter, but perhaps that is because I am using it at a much higher magnification (in a much slower scope). I do not find it suffers from field curvature either.

The Paradigms seem very good value for money, nonetheless.

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As you say it really is their performance to cost aspect of the Paradigms/BST's that is the great aspect.

To get anything significantly better is a fair step up in cost, even more so if you purchased them at the initial price of £41 a piece.

But that review really rates them.

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I liked the BST and had the 8 12 and 15 nothing on the extreme ends . However, while very comfortable to view with, were not as 'sharp' or shall we say 'crisp' as my TV plossl or for that matter the 8.5 XF ! This again only goes to illustrate how personal a thing eyepiece performance is.

andrew

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I was planning to post a question about the best 12mm ep at around the £100 Mark but I don't think I will bother now. Was contemplating buying a 12mm XF but think I will take a punt on the Explorer. At £47 posted it's got to be worth trying.

For a little more £££, a 12.5mm Baader Genuine Ortho would be a great buy. They come up now and again at around the £50-55 mark. You would have to spend a significant amount more to match or better it optically, and even then, you would probably only be paying for a wider fov.

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The problem with the BGOs is availability. They seem to be changing hands for silly money, especially the 12.5. I did try one in my SCT earlier this year and wasn't blown away by it. It was possibly the seeing, but I did find my Radian easier to use as well. The New Baader classics unfortunately don't have a 12mm option either. With new eyepieces, the decent options are limited for the cost concious.

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For a little more £££, a 12.5mm Baader Genuine Ortho would be a great buy. They come up now and again at around the £50-55 mark. You would have to spend a significant amount more to match or better it optically, and even then, you would probably only be paying for a wider fov.

I haven't seen a 12.5 BGO on the used market for a while. Some guy posted a Wanted Ad on ABS a few months ago offering to pay £100 for a used 12.5 BGO, and still didn't attract sale for a week.

Edited by E621Keith
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I haven't seen a 12.5 BGO on the used market for a while. Some guy posted a Wanted Ad on ABS a few months ago offering to pay £100 for a used 12.5 BGO, and still didn't attract sale for a week.

I kinda wish I had held onto the few I had now!!

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I kinda wish I had held onto the few I had now!!

I know the feeling. I sold a TMB Supermonocentric earlier this year for around £100, which is what I paid for it. They are changing hands for 3-4x that in the USA now !

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The price hike is a result of no one willing to make very high quality planetary eyepiece nowadays. High end planetary eyepieces are always a niche market anyway, even within the astronomy market.

After all, why get a 5mm XO with a narrow field and no eye relief when you can get a XW for the same money that's nearly as good on axis but with a much wider field and comfortable eye relief.

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