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Andrew's Eyepiece Mini Reviews!


Andrew*
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Okay - here is an exhaustive list of every eyepiece I've owned in my 3.5 years of Astronomy. I have looked back and made (very!) short notes on experiences with them.

Bear in mind that I've owned these from a time when I had literally no experience. As I have gained experience, my standards and observing skills have changed, and therefore my ability to judge an eyepiece.

The order is roughly chronological.

Been and Gone

Unbranded SR4 (x2)

okay on axis. Tonnes of CA

Unbranded 20mm SMA

okay

Unbranded 10mm SMA

okay

Unbranded 2x barlow

always resulted in blurred views

Unbranded 12.5mm Huygenian

less said about this the better :headbang:

10mm Orion Sirius ploessl

Good - nice clear views at f/5. Great upgrade from kit eyepieces

25mm Orion Sirius Ploessl

Good - nice clear views at f/5. Great upgrade from kit eyepieces

3x Antares barlow

great barlow

15mm Celestron Ploessl

a touch better than the OSPs

19mm TeleVue Panoptic

had it a very short period - don't actually remember!

32mm Meade Series 4000 ploessl

Nice and clear

32mm Meade Series 4000 SWA

Didn't hold a candle to a 5000 Plossl, but nevertheless did okay on my f/5 newt

25mm Celestron E-Lux ploessl

identical to 25mm OSP, except fully coated.

6mm Antares Ortho

noticable step up in sharpness and brightness from previous

4mm Telescope House Ortho

Pretty minimal eye relief, but not unusable. Sharp views.

26mm Revelation SuperView

Okay for a good portion of the FOV at f/5

8-24mm Baader Hyperion zoom

Not parfocal across the range. Views nice even at f/5 from 8-12mm. FOV getting smaller, and edge correction worse at higher focal lengths. Vignetting at 24mm.

3x Tal barlow

great barlow, but vignettes longer f/l eyepieces

19mm Tele Vue smoothside Wide Field

Very nice sharp eyepiece, better corrected than 21mm Hyperion. Some astigmatism

21mm Baader Hyperion

Only has 60° AFOV. Works best above f/5. Some field curvature. LOTS of eye relief, and blacks out if your eye gets too close. Great contrast

20mm Meade Series 5000 SWA

Slightly better corrected than the equivalent plossl.

32mm Meade Series 5000 Ploessl

Lovely comfortable eyepiece - reasonable correction at f/5

14mm Meade Series 5000 UWA

Quite small eye relief, but views are great. Correction at f/5 is excellent.

18mm Meade Series 5000 UWA

As 14mm, and just as tight eye relief. Longest focal length available in a 1.25" ultra wide

3-6mm Tele Vue Nagler zoom

Just search my posts for my opinion on this eyepiece!

21mm Orion Stratus

Unlike the 21mm Hyperion this has 68° FOV. Poor correction in faster scopes, with severe field curvature.

26mm Meade Series 4000 QX

Very similar to Skywatcher 26mm PanaView, if not identical in design. Correction in fast scopes fair for the price.

32mm TeleVue Wide Field Smoothside

Very marginally out-performed the following number at f/5. Excellent eyepiece with no apparent drawbacks in terms of contrast or light throughput, dispite older coatings

31mm Baader Hyperion Aspheric

Nice eyepiece with two barrel options. Performs well at f/5

10.5mm Tele Vue smoothside Ploessl

Really excellent contrast and sharpness. Minimal eye relief for the focal length - even tighter than 9mm ortho

9mm Antares Ortho

As an ortho should be. Sharp and contrasty.

20mm TeleVue Type 2 Nagler

A big, heavy eyepiece, but not a complaint to be made about optical performance.

16mm William Optics UWAN

Terrible performance at f/4.5 - not recommended. At f/7.5 it was brilliant though. Bad example??

24mm Meade Series 5000 SWA

Off-axis in a fast scope was fair, but likely not as good as e.g. a Panoptic

Present collection

2" 2x GSO barlow

Excellent for the money, but seldom used.

2x Celestron Ultima barlow

Very good barlow - seems to disappear in use.

28mm William Optics UWAN

Not so useful as a finder eyepiece due to weight, fairly tight eye relief and large AFOV. Views are brilliant though. The eye lens is sunken in to a very large eye cup, making it quite difficult to access the whole FOV. Eye relief is stated as 19mm, but feels like half that in use

8.5-12mm Antares Speers-WALER

Very highly recommended, including in very fast scopes. Performance really is excellent. Has a constant 82° FOV across the zoom range. Downsides are quite tight eye relief, very large body, and needs lots of in-focus

17mm Type 4 Nagler

Not had it long and haven't tried in a fast scope. Very comfortable to view through and pinpoint stars edge to edge at f/7.5

22mm Type 4 Nagler

As above. These two eyepieces were made for each other!

6mm TMB Planetary II

Very nice performance. 58° FOV, not 60°. Barlows well.

7mm Telescope Service Planetary HR

As above. Performance (and design?) identical.

5mm Telescope House Orthoscopic

As an ortho should be.

4, 6, 10, 16mm Carl Zeiss Abbe-II orthoscopic

Only just visibly better colour and on axis sharpness than the above 5mm ortho. In many instances has shown more detail under scrutiny. Views mainly limited by conditions. The triangles outside of the FOV are of no consequence, but could theoretically be considered useful.

2x Carl Zeiss/Baader Abbe barlow

Wonderful barlow. Absolutely no visible performance loss compared to just an eyepiece.

Edited by Andrew*
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Good stuff Andrew!

Looks like you have less issues with eye relief than I do.

I'm particularly interested in the two 3x Barlow's you mention as I'd like one to increase image scale for my afocal planetary photography. How would you compare the Antares and the Tal. Does the Tal give as strong a yellow cast as it's 2x relative?

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Nice work Andrew :headbang:

I seem to recall that you were a bit dissapointed with the 19mm Panoptic - presumably that's why it's stay with you was short. I can remember that because I was a bit surprised - I thought you would love it !.

Also an interesting comment on the 28mm UWAN - I tend to agree that, while their performance is great, the sheer bulk and weight of these "uber-wides" (I include the Nagler 31 in there of course) does mean that they are not always the 1st you reach for ....

Thanks for posting :p

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Good stuff Andrew!

Looks like you have less issues with eye relief than I do.

I'm particularly interested in the two 3x Barlow's you mention as I'd like one to increase image scale for my afocal planetary photography. How would you compare the Antares and the Tal. Does the Tal give as strong a yellow cast as it's 2x relative?

I'm afraid I didn't compare them, and I don't remember a yellow cast to the Tal 3x. Certainly it wasn't strong, but I can't promise it's not there!

Regarding eye relief, I do have issues with it, just haven't mentioned it very often. I get on okay with orthos, but my eye lashes do occasionally brush the eye lens, which soon muck up the views.

I seem to recall that you were a bit dissapointed with the 19mm Panoptic - presumably that's why it's stay with you was short. I can remember that because I was a bit surprised - I thought you would love it !.

I feel very embarrassed whenever I think of that eyepiece. I really should have kept it for a long time as I'm sure it WAS good. I do distinctly remember one night viewing an open cluster. In another eyepiece (20mm OSP?), the view was bright and clear, but in the panoptic the view dimmed dramatically and I lost the stars. I know this sounds stupid, and I'm sure I did check to make sure there wasn't a filter in place, but there must have been, otherwise how could the dimming be explained?

Anyway, I bought it in spring, and brought it to SGL3 (admired by all in the 300P). After that was the Scottish summer astro-hibernation and I didn't get to use it again before selling it shortly after. Big mistake...

Andrew

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Hi Andrew,

Nice review (great memory!).

31mm Baader Hyperion Aspheric

Nice eyepiece with two barrel options. Performs well at f/5

I'd be interested if you had any further thoughts on this EP for an f/5 Dob. Is it worth the money (£159)?

Many thanks,

Andrew

Edited by AWR
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Hi Andrew,

Nice review (great memory!).

I'd be interested if you had any further thoughts on this EP for an f/5 Dob. Is it worth the money (£159)?

Many thanks,

Andrew

Hi Andrew,

The Baader Aspheric was a good performer, but not a bargain for the correction it gave at that cost, I felt. It wasn't BAD, but at the new price, not the best buy. I got it at a good used price, so it was fine for me, but I wouldn't pay £159 for it...

As a cheaper alternative, which may well perform even better, you could consider a 30mm or 35mm Aero. I tried the 40mm and found it a very capable eyepeice at f/5, and jahmanson tried the 30mm and was equally impressed.

Andrew

Edited by Andrew*
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  • 4 weeks later...

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