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VirtualAstro

Eyepiece recommendations

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Hi Everyone

I need some eyepiece recommendations.

I currently own a set of Meade Series 4000 UWA and SWA eyepieces. These are my pride and joy and are awesome eyepieces. Much better than the new Series 5000 range.

I've not been keeping up with equipment news and reviews for a few years as I prefer my current eyepieces.

However, I'm getting back into public observing events and was hoping you could recommend good UWA eyepieces that won't break the bank. I can't afford Televue and I wouldn't want to use works of art such as Televue or my Meade eyepieces for public use.

What are the current good Ultra Wide Angle eyepiece offerings? What should I look out for and what should I avoid?

Cheers

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For outreach then by far the most used eyepieces in my set up are the 14mm and 20mm ES 82' examples.  I use them all the time in my ED80 and Lunt Ha Solar Scope.  Both were purchased secondhand in great condition from this very forum.

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Thank you for the recommendation. I will check them out. I've had the odd bit of Explore Scientific kit in the past and it wasn't bad. Cheers

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The ES 82's are better performers than the Meade's you have in my view. Very close to Tele Vue Nagler performance.

The Nirvanas are very nice as well although their range of focal lengths is limited to 4mm, 7mm, 16mm and 28mm (a 2 inch eyepiece):

https://www.harrisontelescopes.co.uk/acatalog/skywatcher-nirvana-eyepieces.html

Again the Nirvana's are probably better performers than most of the 4000 Meade series eyepieces.

Maybe the Meades are the ones to use for the outreach events ?

What scope will you be using the eyepieces with ? - low cost ultra wide eyepieces don't do so well when the focal ratio drops below F/7 or so.

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If these are for public use not your own then I think cheaper is better. If it has to be UWA then Nirvanas or whatever appears on the second hand market at a reasonable price.

If you change your mind and want something better for your own use, perhaps push the boat out a bit and look at the Baader Morpheus range.

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3 hours ago, Ricochet said:

If these are for public use not your own then I think cheaper is better. If it has to be UWA then Nirvanas or whatever appears on the second hand market at a reasonable price.

Agree, especially where children are involved. For some reason there's always one of two small boys (for it is normally boys!) who insist on grabbing the eyepiece or sticking their finder on the eye lens. Partly because they get so excited, which is a good thing. Easily cleaned, of course.

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Thank you John, Ricochet and Jeremy S

I will be using the eyepieces with a 10 inch Skywatcher Dobsonian and possibly a Meade ETX 125 as well if it's busy.

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17 hours ago, VirtualAstro said:

I currently own a set of Meade Series 4000 UWA and SWA eyepieces. These are my pride and joy and are awesome eyepieces. Much better than the new Series 5000 range.

🤔 Did you actually compare the discontinued Meade Series 5000 SWAs against the 4000 SWAs?  I've found that the 5000 series perform very closely to the TV Panoptics while the 4000 series perform more closely with the older TV Widefields.  I love my decloaked 40mm 5000 SWA for widest field views.  It is very sharp and well corrected across the field at f/6.

I've also compared the 14mm 4000 UWA against the 14mm Pentax XL and Morpheus, and 12mm Nagler T4 and ES-92, and in all cases, the Meade has much poorer contrast and stray light control.  It is fairly well corrected to the edge, reasonably sharp, and is usable with eyeglasses (at least the smoothie I have) without any kidneybeaning.  However, it lives in my spare eyepieces case.

For outreach, I'd pick up some used 70 degree, long eye relief eyepieces such as the Celestron Ultima LX, TS Optics Expanse, AstroTech AF70, Omegon Redline, Tecnosky Superwide HD, Olivon 70, etc.  Correction is good enough for outreach, they have enough eye relief for eyeglasses wearers so they don't have to refocus (adults are too timid to touch the focuser and so live with a blurry image), and they're pretty cheap used ($70 to $80 typically here in the states) so you won't get upset when some sticks a finger into the eyelens asking if that is where they're supposed to look.

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I'll be looking at one of the cheaper zoom EPs for the school observing sessions in the autumn.

It'll cut down on the time taken to switch EPs. :)

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20 minutes ago, bingevader said:

I'll be looking at one of the cheaper zoom EPs for the school observing sessions in the autumn.

It'll cut down on the time taken to switch EPs. :)

My outreach eyepiece set is:

- 7.2-21.5mm zoom eyepiece

- Baader 2.25x barlow lens

- Orion 27mm Edge-On eyepiece

This set covers a lot of options, cost relatively little, is easy to view through and all three items can fit in my coat pockets easily :smiley:

In fact I seem to be using these quite often when observing on my own at home as well.

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