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Timebandit

Pentax XW "newbie"

37 posts in this topic

 

 

Well the postman has been and a nice little box of goodies left☺

 

 

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This eyepiece the Pentax 5XW will complete my set of Pentax XW. When I say my set I mean my Mini set. Will fit in nicely with the 3.5XW, now the 5XW and the existing 7XW and 10 XW. With super sharp Ortho type crystal clear optics , around 70d fov and 20mm eyerelief then I am really looking forward to using this eyepiece. The refractor will obviously have to have a go with this eyepiece, but it will really come into its own with high power views in the reflector Dobson where the Pentax XW really do excel IMO☺

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Aw, it's so pretty.

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As well as the optical quality, the build quality of the XW's is really top notch as well. As soon as you unwrap it and hold it in your hand you realise why they are expensive. When you look though them thoughts of the hole in the bank balance evaporate completely :icon_biggrin:

 

Edited by John
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Speaking of build quality, don't ever try to disassemble the Pentax XL/XW eyepieces, they were meant for spotting scopes and are weather sealed.  Unlike ES, they don't advertise that fact very well.

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Lovely EP! I have the XW5, XW7, and XW10, and they are just superb! 

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On 10/01/2017 at 17:43, Louis D said:

Speaking of build quality, don't ever try to disassemble the Pentax XL/XW eyepieces, they were meant for spotting scopes and are weather sealed.  Unlike ES, they don't advertise that fact very well.

To avoid the temptation, here is a report by someone else who has done it (at least partially) !:

http://www.astromart.com/reviews/article.asp?article_id=716

 

 

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I really would love to look through one, I hear nothing but praise for them.  

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The XW's are some of the best eyepieces ever made IMO! 

Mike

 

IMG_20160205_183806.thumb.JPG.8f43bc612f13b073d37d6e3768a7cf25.JPG

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1 hour ago, jabeoo1 said:

I really would love to look through one, I hear nothing but praise for them.  

I usually have mine with me at the BAS star parties - you are welcome to try them if you can get along to one :icon_biggrin:

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1 hour ago, mikeDnight said:

The XW's are some of the best eyepieces ever made IMO! 

Mike

 

IMG_20160205_183806.thumb.JPG.8f43bc612f13b073d37d6e3768a7cf25.JPG

They are superb, but the Delos range matches them I feel, and with a parfocaliser ring I have the 8mm Delos playing very nicely with the XW trio I have

IMAG0773.jpg

Beautifully parfocal now. Might just slip a 6mm in as well

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1 hour ago, michael.h.f.wilkinson said:

They are superb, but the Delos range matches them I feel, and with a parfocaliser ring I have the 8mm Delos playing very nicely with the XW trio I have

Optically, there isn't much to choose from between the Delos and XW lines.  For unknown reasons though, the XWs recess their eye lens by about 3mm while the Delos recess theirs by maybe 1mm.  Given that the eye lenses are basically the same size on the two lines, the usable eye relief on the Delos is about 2mm more than on the XW.  I find that these extra 2mm make it easier to take in the FOV in the Delos than in the XW with eyeglasses.  I have the original XLs, and they didn't recess the eye lens more than 1mm, and they are at least as easy as the Delos to hold the FOV.  The ES-92 recess the eye lens about the same as the XW, and view similarly.  If they could bring it up 2mm, it would view more like the Delos/XL lines.

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1 hour ago, michael.h.f.wilkinson said:

They are superb, but the Delos range matches them I feel, and with a parfocaliser ring I have the 8mm Delos playing very nicely with the XW trio I have

IMAG0773.jpg

Beautifully parfocal now. Might just slip a 6mm in as well

😲😲😲 OCD Alert!!! 😨😨😨

I'm going to have to lie down now, I don't feel too good! :dontknow:

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On 10/01/2017 at 17:13, John said:

As well as the optical quality, the build quality of the XW's is really top notch as well. As soon as you unwrap it and hold it in your hand you realise why they are expensive. When you look though them thoughts of the hole in the bank balance evaporate completely :icon_biggrin:

 

 

Yes John the quality of build on these eyepieces match the optical quality. IMO anyone who has owned these XW see them as "Keepers"

 

On 10/01/2017 at 17:43, Louis D said:

Speaking of build quality, don't ever try to disassemble the Pentax XL/XW eyepieces, they were meant for spotting scopes and are weather sealed.  Unlike ES, they don't advertise that fact very well.

 

  No No. Louis I am not even thinking of playing around or dismantling this eyepiece. Lucky as it's new and  in  first class condition and I have no reason for this thought of tampering with this eyepiece at all to enter my mind. 

 

 

On 10/01/2017 at 18:34, michael.h.f.wilkinson said:

Lovely EP! I have the XW5, XW7, and XW10, and they are just superb! 

 

Yes michael totally agree . Top notch Ortho optic type views with a 70d fov and 20mm eyerelief, just quality in the eyepiece case😀

 

5 hours ago, John said:

To avoid the temptation, here is a report by someone else who has done it (at least partially) !:

http://www.astromart.com/reviews/article.asp?article_id=716

 

 

 

No worries there John . I have left it to the manufacturers  to assemble my eyepiece and that is the way it will remain😀

 

4 hours ago, jabeoo1 said:

I really would love to look through one, I hear nothing but praise for them.  

 

Yes Jabeoo if you have the opportunity then you should jump at the chance. I think you will love them.

 

 

3 hours ago, mikeDnight said:

The XW's are some of the best eyepieces ever made IMO! 

Mike

 

IMG_20160205_183806.thumb.JPG.8f43bc612f13b073d37d6e3768a7cf25.JPG

 

Yes Mike IMO I agree the Pentax are some of the best eyepieces ever made.             Lovely set of glass their in the case😀

 

 

2 hours ago, John said:

I usually have mine with me at the BAS star parties - you are welcome to try them if you can get along to one :icon_biggrin:

 

That's good of you John . It really is nice to try out some top quality eyepiece glass from members  at star parties.              

 

 

1 hour ago, michael.h.f.wilkinson said:

They are superb, but the Delos range matches them I feel, and with a parfocaliser ring I have the 8mm Delos playing very nicely with the XW trio I have

IMAG0773.jpg

Beautifully parfocal now. Might just slip a 6mm in as well

 

There is an odd one out in that Pentax line up, never seen a green and black Pentax 😀

It would really be interesting to put a Pentax XW against a Delos to see in my eyes if there is a noticeable difference . I have never had the opportunity to do this . But from what I have read they are supposed to be almost identical in performance. 

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My 1.25" set (also my star party set) comprises of Panoptic 24mm, Delos 17.3mm and XW's 10, 7, 5 and 3.5. The TV's play very nicely with the Pentax's but I might stick a par-focal ring on the Panoptic to get it close to the focus point of the others.

I've also owned a Delos 10mm in the past and compared that with the XW 10mm. To my eyes they are far more similar than they are different. It's just that Tele Vue took about a decade to realise that the XW's were beating them at their own game in the ~70 degree eyepiece niche !

Makes you wonder what Pentax could do if they really put their minds to making an astro eyepiece ?. The XW's were designed with spotting scopes in mind I believe.

 

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1 hour ago, John said:

Makes you wonder what Pentax could do if they really put their minds to making an astro eyepiece ?. The XW's were designed with spotting scopes in mind I believe.

I think their ortho, XP, and XO lines were all designed with astronomy in mind.  All are generally regarded as some of the finest narrow field of view eyepieces ever made.  The 30mm and 40mm XWs were certainly intended for astronomy since they won't fit in a spotting scope.

To get some idea of what a Japanese optics house could produce for the astro market, look at Nikon's NAV-HW eyepieces.  I'm pretty sure they weren't intended for spotting scopes like their NAV-SW line.  Most reviews complement the NAV-HW as one-upping the Ethos line with better eye relief, slightly better corrected views, and the EIC freebie to double the usefulness of each eyepiece.

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Nice sequence of photos.  I was almost there unpacking it with you!

Doug.

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10 hours ago, John said:

The  XW's were designed with spotting scopes in mind I believe.

I'm not sure. The instruction manual for my Pentax spotting scope says: 

Quote

The eyepiece attachment is of the American 1 1/4 inch size generally used with astronomical telescopes. This enables the use of the astronomical "XW series" eyepiece, a high performance eyepiece developed especially for the PF-65ED/PF-65EDA produces powerful, sharp images. 

It's confusing because the one sentence says both "astronomical" and "developed especially" but I think that it is probably just a translation error and the second half of the sentence is probably referring to the XF 6.5-19.5mm zoom

Edit: Having said that the descriptions on the Ricoh website for the 14/20mm XWs mention being designed for spotting scopes first while the 7/10mm are more generalised. Interesting because that's the point where the field curvature direction swaps direction in the range. The other lengths aren't even listed any more...

Edited by Ricochet

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Maybe they did have astronomy in mind as well then ?

Whatever their genesis they are really good eyepieces :icon_biggrin:

 

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So I keep hearing. If it wasn't for the high new price and frequent reports of field curvature I would probably have pulled the trigger on a 14mm already. 

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I too would have plumped for XWs at 7, 5 and 3.5mm for my new Tak refractor, but they are just too heavy (though still a little lighter than the Delos range). The appearance of a lovely Delite (thanks Steve) in the classifieds has persuaded me to stick with Televue, but I'd have been just as happy with XWs. 

With the disappearance of some XW models on the Ricoh website, I wonder if they are planning a replacement? Competition at this end of the market is a good thing.

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1 hour ago, Ricochet said:

So I keep hearing. If it wasn't for the high new price and frequent reports of field curvature I would probably have pulled the trigger on a 14mm already. 

I've resisted the 14mm and 20mm XW because of those reports of FC. I don't think it would be an issue with my refractors but might with my 12" F/5.3 dob.

FLO's price for XW's is £249 which makes the Delos seem a bit pricey at £330. Expensive eyepieces whichever way you look at it though. The Baader Morpheus is the one that I must try some day.

 

Edited by John
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50 minutes ago, John said:

The Baader Morpheus is the one that I must try some day.

I have the 14mm Morpheus and compared it to my XLs/XWs/Delos/NT4s/ES-92.  It is as sharp in the center 80% as the best out there.  The last 5% to 10% clearly show a little field curvature and a little bit of astigmatism when a star is defocused.  In focus, it's not noticeable.  Only the NT4s also show a little defocused astigmatism.  Overall, the Morpheus is a very good deal, especially given its 76 degree field and 19mm of usable eye relief.  It's also noticeably lighter than the comparable Pentax and Delos offerings.

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1 hour ago, Ricochet said:

So I keep hearing. If it wasn't for the high new price and frequent reports of field curvature I would probably have pulled the trigger on a 14mm already. 

 

Yes there does seem some not so favourable comments in the 14 xw and 20xw . And I have no desire to get these focal lengths in the set anyway so will leave that to other parties to decide. 

In regards to cost XW they are not cheap new, luckily I have got the bulk of mine second hand and they are rare as hen's teeth 

 

58 minutes ago, Highburymark said:

I too would have plumped for XWs at 7, 5 and 3.5mm for my new Tak refractor, but they are just too heavy (though still a little lighter than the Delos range). The appearance of a lovely Delite (thanks Steve) in the classifieds has persuaded me to stick with Televue, but I'd have been just as happy with XWs. 

With the disappearance of some XW models on the Ricoh website, I wonder if they are planning a replacement? Competition at this end of the market is a good thing.

 

I now have all the Pentax XW up to the 10mm. And have used them in the 120ed apo many times. Weight wise I have always found them well behaved and does not seem to upset to scope balance to any effect on the mount. 

There does seem to be a lot of rumours about some focal lengths disappearing in the XW range. This is part of the reason a new one was acquired, as I would of kicked myself if I had the opportunity to get a 5XW when they were available and had failed to do so. It will be interesting over the next few months if some of the XW do disappear .

 

 

40 minutes ago, John said:

I've resisted the 14mm and 20mm XW because of those reports of FC. I don't think it would be an issue with my refractors but might with my 12" F/5.3 dob.

FLO's price for XW's is £249 which makes the Delos seem a bit pricey at £330. Expensive eyepieces whichever way you look at it though. The Baader Morpheus is the one that I must try some day.

 

 

Yes John I have read similar reports about the lower magnification XW and possible optical issues. That's why I am more than happy to stick with my mini set of 3.5 , 5  ,7 ,and 10XW. At these magnification ranges everything I have ever read and seen are great reports on the optical quality of the XW.

At £249 new the XW are not the cheapest, but luckily I have managed to get most of mine used thanks to another member on the site who moved onto the Ethos range. But the same chap would not let go of his 5XW despite my plea. In all fairness I do not blame him for keeping the 5XW as they are just quality. But as you correctly bring to light the nearest comparable rival the delos is nearly £80 more. And £80 more for an eyepiece is no means lo!ose change. So makes the Pentax look like the firm favourite if your after a top quality eyepiece with 70d fov and 20mm eyerelief.

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I suspect you have done the right thing by getting the 5mm now. The 3.5 and 5mm have too high a magnification/too small an exit pupil for the spotting scopes so Pentax have probably culled the line up to the more popular eyepieces that serve both the astronomy and birding markets. 

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Field curvature will become obvious in dobs,but in refractors you will not see it.On top of that,some are sensible to field curvature if they do see one,some are not.Try it and see yourself,but dont write off one eye piece ONLY because a bunch of folks said that there is a FC in that particular eye piece.Sometimes,reading forum reviews of eye pieces are not really beneficial as folks tend to exaggerate something what isnt really necessary :)

Once weather permits,i will be testing a series of eye pieces,including one eye piece what has been reported as having FC in  various astro forums ,despite rest of the focal length being exceptional.Looking forward to this one as these might end up my new bino pairs if i like them.

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