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Entry: Astronomy:Equipment Reviews:Eyepiece Reviews:TeleVue Radian 3mm

I was trying to decide between the 3mm Radian and the Pentax 5.2mm. My main need was high power planetary and moon viewing in a 8" F6 reflector. I decided on the Radian because it would give me maximum power and provide the largest field of view at that power. The point that finally convinced me was that the 3mm Radian has a 60 AFV. The Pentax if barlowed to 3mm would have a FOV of about 37.5 degrees. That fact made me try the radian. On my first night out I focused on Jupiter and Saturn. First impression was that this eyepiece is incredible. I try to rate an eyepiece on comfort and ease of use as well as optical performance and the Radian did well in all catagories. It was easier to focus than some other eyepieces I have used. The image snapped into focus and showed a tremendous amount of detail. The 20mm eyerelief provided an excelent comfort level for long viewing periods. There was a minimal amount of kidney beaning but once you correctly set the click stop eyeguard it's hardly noticable. Both Jupiter and Saturn were crisp and pleasing. Since the viewing conditions were very good I decided to try my Ultima barlow with this treasure. I figured I wouldn't be able to bring the image into any form of focus but I had to at least try. To my surprise I was able to focus cleanly. The image was not as sharp but seeing Saturn take on a 3D ball shape was amazing. I could clearly make out ring divisions and banding on the planets surface. I moved to Jupiter and was able to see lots of detail in the many cloud bands that were visible. As the seeing conditions worsened so did the views.
The bottom line is that I may have been lucky to have superb seeing conditions to try this eyepiece under. But the views I was rewarded with will last a lifetime. I'll try and repost after I have a few more viewing sessions with this piece.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Value:10
Weight: 10
Date: 04/26/2002 03:05:38 am PST

Replies: 1


Entry: Astronomy:Equipment Reviews:Eyepiece Reviews:Meade Ultra Wide Angle 14mm

This is my favorite eyepiece for my 8" F6 dob. I did do some rebalancing to accomodate this eyepiece but it's well worth the effort. Great contrast and sharp to the edge. Eyerelief is just right. The views you get with this big eyepiece are stunning. Used a 3X Antaries barlow on Saturn with surprisingly good results. This eyepiece is in a great focal range and is very easy to use. Highly recommended.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Value:9
Weight: 10
Date: 04/16/2002 05:38:37 am PST

Replies: 0


Entry: Astronomy:Equipment Reviews:Eyepiece Reviews:Antares Speers-Waler 10mm

Very very good deal for the money. I picked mine up in Canada for about $115 US. This eyepiece has just the right eyerelief and provides crisp images in a wide field. These attributes make it a pleasure to use in my 8" F6 reflector. Only downside is the size. The length (6") may be a benifit to ETX owners wanting to view objects close to the zenith.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:10 Value:10
Weight: 10
Date: 04/16/2002 05:37:28 am PST

Replies: 0


Entry: Astronomy:Equipment Reviews:Eyepiece Reviews:Pentax SMC-XL 21mm

Very nice mid power eyepiece that barlows well in an 8" F6 dob. Visually the view are great with good contrast and crisp detail to the edge. I have noticed that when I try to record the planets with a camcorder, the image comes out of focus as it gets to the outer 1/3rd of the view. I don't notice any problem visually. I do not have this problem when using my 35mm Ultima for camcorder recording.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:10 Value:9
Weight: 10
Date: 04/16/2002 05:36:36 am PST

Replies: 0


Entry: Astronomy:Equipment Reviews:Telescope Reviews:Meade Starfinder 8" dob

I bought my Meade 8" Dob used three years ago as my first scope. It came with a Telrad so I can't rate the finder. All you hear is true. The OPTICS ARE EXCELLENT. Since day one I have always had detailed views of planets as well as DSO. The DSO did seem some what dim so I darkened the interior of the tube with flat black paint. This was an easy way to improve contrast and the improvment was notable. THE TUBE CURRENTS CAN BE VERY BAD. I recently sent the mirror out for recoating and made a few more adjustments. I removed the cast iron counter weight and mounted it outside the tube, moved the balance bearings up about an inch, changed to a two inch focuser (still rack and pinion and I'm not that happy with it) and cut 1" vent slots the length of the tube(they are covered to keep out stray light). The difference these modifications made is amazing. Tube currents are virtually non-existent, the contrast has also improved. If you have a Meade Dob your not happy with these few modifications will make a big difference in the enjoyment you get out of your scope. Painting the inside of the tube and cutting the vent slots made the most difference so I would recommend those as fairly easy first steps.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:10 Mount:7 Ease of Use:8 Value:8
Weight: 10
Date: 04/16/2002 05:22:09 am PST

Replies: 0


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