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Wide angle EPs for f5 Dob?


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I'm looking to buy a wide-angle eyepice for my new (to me) dob. It's a SW 300p at f/5 (1500mm).

I'd like something which will give me a FOV of about 1.5 degrees and I can't afford to go to Nagler or Ethos prices (Not yet).

Here's my current list with thoughts. I haven't tried any of these EPs so any thoughts are based on reading.

SW Panaview 32mm (£75) - Too much coma?

SW Aero ED 35mm (£127) - Exit pupil getting too big (7mm)?

Baader Hyperion Aspheric 31mm (£159) - ??

SW Nirvana 28mm (£235) - Getting pricey

WO UWAN 28mm (£282) - This is really too expensive for me now.

I'd be very grateful to hear your opinions of these or any other contenders in a quite fast dob.

Many thanks,

Andrew

Edited by AWR
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I recently had the opportunity to compare the Nirvana 28mm against a Nagler 31mm and a Pentax XW 30mm - here are my notes:

http://stargazerslounge.com/equipment-reviews/91586-3-big-eyepieces.html

Of the eyepieces you list, the Nirvana and UWAN's (I'm pretty sure they are the same eyepieces despite what others think !) are firmly into premium performance terratory. The others are nice as well so it just depends what you are prepared to spend. For what it's worth I'm not 100% sure that the Baader Aspheric, at F/5, will entirely justify it's additional purchase cost.

Edited by John
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Hi Andrew, it's a 1200mm focal length not 1500mm - and waiting here for you :headbang:

I used a 28mm UWAN with it extensively before succumbing to temptation and buying a 31mm Nagler, but the UWAN worked very well indeed for me in the dob (although you will need to budget for a MPCC or similar to get the best out of it). The Nirvana/UWAN is pretty expensive new, but maybe worth looking for a used one, it's 90%+ of the Nagler for much less money (and exit pupil is better to, i'd agree with your reasoning about avoiding the 35mm).

Edited by Ben Ritchie
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YOu know my views on the Sky-Watcher Panaviews. I use a 38mm in an F5 scope and the coma, although present at the outer edges, really isnt THAT bad. Besides which is such a huge piece of glass your looking through you have to really swivel your eyeballs to the edge to see it.

I havent used the 32mm so I dont know but I cant imagine it would be any worse and its had enough people buy it and like it. For the money its a bargain I think.

As ever if your anyweher near me at Gatwick your welcome to come along and have a peek through my 38mm if the clouds EVER go away.

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I agree the 28 UWAN is an awesome piece of kit even without a coma corrector. It is really worth trying to find one seconhand, as I'm sure you will love it.

I've come to regard the switch to the 31T5 as a waste of money - I think it's better, but it's very marginal. Certainly not worth the extra £150 I paid to switch...

Edited by Ben Ritchie
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I've come to regard the switch to the 31T5 as a waste of money - I think it's better, but it's very marginal. Certainly not worth the extra £150 I paid to switch...

Wow Ben thats an interesting comment for you to make. I haven't looked through the 31T5 but I've read a few comments from other sources that say a similar thing. As soon as you get used to the "Facecup" it's a really good eyepiece.

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I've come to regard the switch to the 31T5 as a waste of money - I think it's better, but it's very marginal. Certainly not worth the extra £150 I paid to switch...

If I'd paid a lot for my Nagler 31 I'd have to agree (having compared it to a Nirvana 28mm). However I got lucky and found a used Nagler for much less than a used UWAN 28 goes for so that's what I've got. It does not get used that much though with my moderately light polluted skies - I find the Ethos 13mm almost permanently in my drawtube when I'm DSO hunting :headbang:

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Agree about the 13mm Ethos, that hits a perfect spot for me too. Worth every penny, that one. Both my 28 UWAN and 31T5 were used, but the differential was £150 - sounds like you got a real bargain for the 31 Nagler, or I sold my UWAN too cheaply :headbang:

With the UWANs, I think they're the best value for money amongst the ultrawides - not the cheapest, not the absolute best optically, but a very good balance of price and performance. Only shame really is the limited choice of focal lengths that doesn't really favour the Dob-owner (unsurprising, given WO's 'scope range, I guess).

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Only shame really is the limited choice of focal lengths that doesn't really favour the Dob-owner (unsurprising, given WO's 'scope range, I guess)

I would really love a 21 UWAN and a 12 UWAN then that would make my collection complete.

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I have spent some time looking and buying different EPs for use with my 10" Dob and 6" and 4" APO fracs.

Yes I agree that the best and most used EP is my 13mm Ethos. However, I decided I could not afford the high priced wide angle Nagler EPs so I bought the Televue 22mm and 35mm Panoptic - both secondhand. The FOV of these eyepieces is brilliant with only marginal coma at the edge on the Dob.

I know that the exit pupil for the 35mm Panoptic is 7.4 on the Dob but the FOV is very impressive and very comfortable to find and view DSOs. Away from the Dob I can say that viewing the double cluster on a 6" frac with the 35mm Panoptic is quite a sight.

Mark

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Thanks for all your replies!

John,

Thanks for that review. I now remember reading and enjoying it before (I wasn't in the market for such an EP at the time). That's one vote for the Nirvana.

Ben and Mick,

You've used the UWANs and like them. (But they're probably the same as the Nirvana)

Astro Baby,

It was your reviews of the panaview in your 200p which have added it to my shortlist. You always hint of coma though.;)

Mark,

Going for the 35mm Panoptic. Back to problems with exit pupil and it's about £295 new.

Seriously, many thanks to all of you. It's always heartwarming to see how much advice people are willing to give (especially as it's all been given before). I've got some thinking to do, whilst at the same time keeping an eye out for good second hand EPs.

Has anyone used the Baader (at f5) before I discount it?

Really what I need is for my leg to heal enough so that I can get to SGL5 and have a look at some EPs.

Andrew

Edited by AWR
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I've not used the Nirvanas, but my assumption is that they're effectively identical to the UWANs.

Before planning on spending a lot of cash, i'd strongly suggest trying to get hold of the cheapest option - beg, borrow or buy secondhand! - and see what you think. Eyepieces are very individual things and we all tend to talk about them a lot, but if you're happy with a relatively inexpensive one then there's no reason you should pay more money. If you're *not* happy with the cheaper options, then start looking at the more expensive ones...

Obviously, deciding you dislike someone else's eyepiece is cheaper than parting with your own money, but buying used and selling on is a fairly inexpensive way to find out too - at worst you're out postage, paypal and a few quid. Star parties are ok, but IMO you need to spend a few nights with an eyepiece to really start to get to know it.

Edited by Ben Ritchie
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Ben,

I know that's very good advice.

The problem is that I'm off work with only daytime telly and an itchy credit card finger.

(Worse - it's the mrs' credit card!)

Andrew

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Hi Andrew, it's a 1200mm focal length not 1500mm - and waiting here for you ;)

Ben, I know you've got the scope in front of you but I thought SW only did the f/5 300mm scope at 1500mm, do they do a 1200mm one as well then?

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Ben, I know you've got the scope in front of you but I thought SW only did the f/5 300mm scope at 1500mm, do they do a 1200mm one as well then?

No, just me being an idiot...

Andrew's right, i'm just unable to multiply 3 by 5...! My excuse is that i'm an astronomer and we do everything in orders-of-magnitude ;)

Edited by Ben Ritchie
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No mention of the TV 35mm Panoptic? I bought one new from a trade stand for a good price (I've learned to haggle). About the same price as the Nirvana. I believe (and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) that this EP gives the widest view of them all? I love mine :-)

Martin

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No mention of the TV 35mm Panoptic? I bought one new from a trade stand for a good price (I've learned to haggle). About the same price as the Nirvana. I believe (and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) that this EP gives the widest view of them all? I love mine :-)

Martin

Great eyepiece Martin but on Andrew's scope it would give you a 7mm exit pupil.

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Another vote for the Panaviews here, I totally love my 32mm, what Melanie says about swivelling your eyeballs is true, and at £75 and the possibility to sell on if you don't like it, then it's well worth the gamble, I researched this a lot before i bought and only heard praise for it. FLO also hold it in high regard. Do a search on here for panaview 32mm and you'll see a lot of positive remarks.

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;) good job really, I might've been tempted sometime by a 12" solid tube that would fit in the Fiesta!

I worked out that it will fit (although not across the back seat). Back seats folded forwards and the passenger seat slid and wound forwards. The OTA will go in lengthways and the base should sit next to it. (Hoping Ben's measurements are accurate;)). My daughter will have to sit on the roof-rack but.....

Andrew

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