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Mak the Night

Sky-Watcher Ultrawide Eyepiece Series?

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Has anyone got any experience or views on the OVL Sky-Watcher Ultrawide Eyepiece series? They have a 66° FOV and generous eye relief. TS Optics market the same EP’s under their own name although I don’t know who actually manufactures them. I’m fairly sure they aren’t GSO but I don’t know. 

SW%20UW%20set_zps4jd4ouuj.jpg

I was considering a couple of the 9mm for a possible potential binoviewer pair.

SW%20UW%209mm_zpsg9kk40m2.jpg

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I've owned all of those at one time or another.

They work decently well for their cost. Pretty good in F/10 scopes. The field edges get ragged quite quickly as the focal ratio drops below aorund F/7. The 9mm is the best one followed by the 6mm, then the 20mm. I didn't like the 15mm much to be honest. They can show some ghosting when viewing bright objects, eg: Jupiter, Saturn etc.

I think they are based on the Erfle design.

I suspect they are made by a number of the far eastern factories.

The TS ones seem to have slightly better coatings on than the Skywatcher versions.

The BST Explorer / Starguider is a better eyepiece in my opinion.

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We have the 9mm. It is a measurable improvement over standard 10mm or 25mm eyepieces that come with most telescopes. I couldn't be 100% sure, but I feel as though they add a touch of colour (orange) to the views.

I was certainly very impressed with ours, for the money.

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I have the 6mm which is very close to the two scopes maximum magnification (200P dob / 76x700 cheap 3" refractor)

I found it to be an awful eyepiece.

However, I keep trying it again and again in case I missed something first time around.

It might work well in slow scope - but it struggles at F5.9 in the dob (saying that, the Delos struggles sometimes).

Maybe I'm just a fussy type of old bloke, or maybe the 6mm is bit of a dud.

The benefits are good eye relief, wide views, solid construction.

They are worth a try for £16 each from Ebay HK.

They are not so good value at £32 via a UK supplier.

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I've owned all of those at one time or another.

They work decently well for their cost. Pretty good in F/10 scopes. The field edges get ragged quite quickly as the focal ratio drops below aorund F/7. The 9mm is the best one followed by the 6mm, then the 20mm. I didn't like the 15mm much to be honest. They can show some ghosting when viewing bright objects, eg: Jupiter, Saturn etc.

I think they are based on the Erfle design.

I suspect they are made by a number of the far eastern factories.

The TS ones seem to have slightly better coatings on than the Skywatcher versions.

The BST Explorer / Starguider is a better eyepiece in my opinion.

Thanks for the info. 9mm is a f/l that will work well for me as it will give me the high magnifications I am looking for on my Mak and the 235mm SCT I plan on getting. The TS Optics are around 15 quid more expensive but do claim to have improved FMC coating. The BST looks better but heavier and doesn't seem to have a 9 or 10mm version. They are marketed under a few different names including a TS Optics version I believe. I think they are also known as Astro-Tech: http://www.astronomyshop.org/astro-techparadigm_eyepieces.html

Ideally I was considering a pair of relatively inexpensive wide angle eyepieces for lunar and planetary viewing with a bino more for my Mak (f/12.7) than anything else. I already have all of the TV Plossls so buying another TeleVue to make a pair would be around the same cost as the Ultrawides. The 11 or 15mm TV Plossl looks like the best bet. A 15mm TV Plossl would work well in the bigger SCT. I have a pair of 19mm Panoptics, but again, I worry about the added weight to a bino on the Mak, especially considering my disability.

I'll have to give this some thought ... *wistfully scratches chin and stares into the middle distance* lol

Edited by Mak the Night

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We have the 9mm. It is a measurable improvement over standard 10mm or 25mm eyepieces that come with most telescopes. I couldn't be 100% sure, but I feel as though they add a touch of colour (orange) to the views.

I was certainly very impressed with ours, for the money.

The TS Optics version looks good, it might be a bit less orange.

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I have the 6mm which is very close to the two scopes maximum magnification (200P dob / 76x700 cheap 3" refractor)

I found it to be an awful eyepiece.

However, I keep trying it again and again in case I missed something first time around.

It might work well in slow scope - but it struggles at F5.9 in the dob (saying that, the Delos struggles sometimes).

Maybe I'm just a fussy type of old bloke, or maybe the 6mm is bit of a dud.

The benefits are good eye relief, wide views, solid construction.

They are worth a try for £16 each from Ebay HK.

They are not so good value at £32 via a UK supplier.

Thanks, generally the 9mm seems to be the sweet one of the lot. I wonder what the TS Optics version is like in a bino with a small Mak?

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I, too, have used these, and still have them in one of my cases. Mine came from Orion-USA:

http://www.telescope.com/Accessories/Telescope-Eyepieces/Orion-Expanse-Wide-Field-125-Eyepieces/pc/-1/c/3/sc/47/e/55.uts

No whistles & bells. They work fine for what they are said they are for. And the price is quite attractive. If this suits you, go ahead and pull the trigger. If you want something that will dance and sing show-tunes - there's always TeleVue Panoptics.....

Cheers -

Dave

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I, too, have used these, and still have them in one of my cases. Mine came from Orion-USA:

http://www.telescope.com/Accessories/Telescope-Eyepieces/Orion-Expanse-Wide-Field-125-Eyepieces/pc/-1/c/3/sc/47/e/55.uts

No whistles & bells. They work fine for what they are said they are for. And the price is quite attractive. If this suits you, go ahead and pull the trigger. If you want something that will dance and sing show-tunes - there's always TeleVue Panoptics.....

Cheers -

Dave 

Thanks for the info/link Dave, I had a feeling that there was an Orion equivalent. Are they heavy compared to the TeleVue 19mm Panoptic? I have a pair of 19mm Panoptics but together and with the bino I want they will weigh around 2 pounds, which may be difficult for me to handle on a 102mm Mak. Plus, I want a light decent pair of 9mm or 10mm EP's. 

These WO SWAN EP's are starting to look good as as an alternative. They look light anyway.

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/william-optics-eyepieces/william-optics-swan-eyepiece.html

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Okay - only my 6mm Expanse 66° EP is where I can get at it easily, but the other size would be a bit less. The 6mm weighs 119.5 grams. I don't have a 19mm TV Pan. but my 24mm weighs in at 236.2 grams.

These Orion Expanse's are quite lightweight. Those WO Swan EP's look like they'd weigh more than the Expanses.

Hope this helps -

Dave

OOOPS! Just read the Swan's are 100 grams.

Edited by Dave In Vermont
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I had the 6mm. Never got on with it in my 5SE. In fairness, was probably pushing the magnification too far in that scope. I had one good view of Jupiter, but only one night. Much better than the supplied Skywatcher 10mm.

Think I paid £30 for it. In my frac, the 8mm Televue Plossl gave a crisper view.

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........ Think I paid £30 for it. In my frac, the 8mm Televue Plossl gave a crisper view.

Same here, I paid £32 from a UK shop online, and expected something better than the Revelation plossls - I was wrong.

The Revelation is a much better / clearer eyepiece at £23 + post.

When the conditions are right, I can barlow the 9mm Revelation up to 290x mag in the Dob, and get the same amount of fuzzyness on moon craters that I have with the 6mm at 200x

The 66-degree wide view is worthless if that view is blurry and smudged.

Saying that, I would expect a slower scope to give better results.

Mak - See if you can borrow a pair of Revelations

Or even better, Astro boot have brand new GSO 9mm and 12mm Plossls in at the moment, around £15 each.

Edited by Reeny
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Okay - only my 6mm Expanse 66° EP is where I can get at it easily, but the other size would be a bit less. The 6mm weighs 119.5 grams. I don't have a 19mm TV Pan. but my 24mm weighs in at 236.2 grams.

These Orion Expanse's are quite lightweight. Those WO Swan EP's look like they'd weigh more than the Expanses.

Hope this helps -

Dave

OOOPS! Just read the Swan's are 100 grams.

Thanks Dave. My two TV Pan's combined would weigh just over 340 grammes (12.12 oz), so combined with the 500 g bino they would be 840g (1lb 14oz). Which would probably be noticeable on a small Mak. The combined weight of the 9mm SWAN's would be 140g, the 20mm (100g) EP's supplied with the bino are SWAN's also I think so altogether you're looking at more like one and a half pounds of all up weight than nearer to two pounds. I'll probably get the 9mm SWAN EP's rather than the Sky-Watcher/TS Optics. That way I can get them all from FLO and I'll have a decent selection of magnifications with the two pairs of SWAN EP's. I think when I get the bigger SCT with a GOTO that I want the extra weight of the Panoptics won't be so problematical.

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I had the 6mm. Never got on with it in my 5SE. In fairness, was probably pushing the magnification too far in that scope. I had one good view of Jupiter, but only one night. Much better than the supplied Skywatcher 10mm.

Think I paid £30 for it. In my frac, the 8mm Televue Plossl gave a crisper view.

The 6mm doesn't seem very successful. I have an 8mm TV Plossl and it gives me a nice clear image, although the 6mm ER is close and the field stop is only 6.5mm. I did consider buying another 8mm (or 11mm) TV to make a pair for the bino. It may still happen lol!

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Same here, I paid £32 from a UK shop online, and expected something better than the Revelation plossls - I was wrong.

The Revelation is a much better / clearer eyepiece at £23 + post.

When the conditions are right, I can barlow the 9mm Revelation up to 290x mag in the Dob, and get the same amount of fuzzyness on moon craters that I have with the 6mm at 200x

The 66-degree wide view is worthless if that view is blurry and smudged.

Saying that, I would expect a slower scope to give better results.

Mak - See if you can borrow a pair of Revelations

Or even better, Astro boot have brand new GSO 9mm and 12mm Plossls in at the moment, around £15 each.

Thanks, yeah, I suppose you only get what you pay for mostly. I thought I may be able to get a couple of 66° eyepieces relatively cheaply. I'll almost certainly get the 9mm WO SWAN eyepieces now. They may be twice the price of the Sky-Watcher/TS Optics 66° eyepieces but they are probably twice as good.

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IMHO the WO SWAN's are not that well corrected in faster scopes either.

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The 6mm doesn't seem very successful. I have an 8mm TV Plossl and it gives me a nice clear image, although the 6mm ER is close and the field stop is only 6.5mm. I did consider buying another 8mm (or 11mm) TV to make a pair for the bino. It may still happen lol!

When I had my Skywatcher UWA's they were around £20 apiece. I'd not expect them to compete with a TV plossl :smiley:

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IMHO the WO SWAN's are not that well corrected in faster scopes either.

I think I should be OK with an f/12.7 Mak. What's the overall quality of the SWAN's like compared to the Sky-Watcher/TS Optics 66°? 

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When I had my Skywatcher UWA's they were around £20 apiece. I'd not expect them to compete with a TV plossl :smiley:

It stands a good bet.  :wink:

I was seriously thinking of just buying another 8 or 11mm TV Plossl although the eye relief might be a bit close for bino's. The 8mm TV is just a bit powerful for what I want and only has a 6mm eye relief with a 6.5mm field stop. I have all the 1.25" TV Plossls (except the 40mm) so just acquiring another one to make a pair is a likely future scenario anyway. Since I got the Nagler and Panoptics I don't really use the 8, 11, 15 and 20mm TV Plossls these days, so it would be nice to put them to some use again as they are superb EP's, despite the rather close eye relief on some of them. 

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There are / were some bargains in the classified here; TV plossls included, maybe if you could pick up an 15mm TV Plossl?

I don't recall noticing how much wider the field of view was at the eyepiece. You could of course get another Panoptic and have really great binoviewers!  :grin:

In case you cannot see the classified yet, Moonshane has a 15 and 11 TV plossl at £48 not the wide field of view, but you'd not lose much on resale at that price?

Edited by Cjg

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Mark,

My approach is using GPC/barlow to get high mag I want to use, after reading Glenn's comments here.

Edited by YKSE

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I think I should be OK with an f/12.7 Mak. What's the overall quality of the SWAN's like compared to the Sky-Watcher/TS Optics 66°? 

About the same. Glossier exterior though. Don't just take my word for it though:

http://www.cloudynights.com/documents/swan.pdf

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About the same. Glossier exterior though. Don't just take my word for it though:

http://www.cloudynights.com/documents/swan.pdf

OK thanks, I probably should have guessed they may have been through the William Optics pork pie factory a bit lol. Of course, they may have improved in the ten years since Mr Knisely's review (maybe not lol!). 

They may be OK for the Mak/bino combination, I was only going to use them for lunar viewing with the bino anyway. I'm pretty certain I'll eventually get another TV Plossl for the bino (to make a pair). Either the 11mm or the 15mm.

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