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Entry: Astronomy:Equipment Reviews:Binocular Reviews:Apogee RA-88-SA

I’m very pleased with my RA-88-SA’s. They are very sharp to the extreme edge of the field. At 20x I’m just able to make out the rings on Saturn. Only a trace of color fringing on the Moon and Jupiter. I would compare them to the views I get with my Fujinon 7x50’s. I have all three sets of eyepieces and all seem to work well but the 26x is best and has almost the same fov as the 20x. I use the 26x eyepieces 90% of the time. They come in a very nice fitted case. The only problem I have had is coming up with a tripod and head that can handle these as they weigh almost 14 lbs. You will defiantly need one of the really big Bogen tripods and a 501 head at a minimum. They have provisions for a fork mount but Apogee has yet to offer one for them. Adjusting the ip spacing will change the focus which can be annoying if constantly switching between observers. The 90 degree eyepieces are a real pleasure to use. Apogee doesn’t list the specs but I believe this to be the manufactures website: http://www.binocularschina.com/binoculars/88BT.html

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Value:10
Weight: 5
Date: 10/22/2005 06:29:29 am PST

Replies: 0


Entry: Astronomy:Equipment Reviews:Barlows:University Optics Klee 2.8

Excellent, sold my other name brand barlow. Nice small size and actually increases the eye relief of any eyepiece used with it. Works equally well in my F4 Dob, F10 Cat & Mak. Wish a 2" version was available.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Value:10
Weight: 5
Date: 01/10/2005 06:35:13 pm PST

Replies: 0


Entry: Astronomy:Equipment Reviews:Eyepiece Reviews:SkyWatcher Wide Angle 28mm

I purchased my 28mm from Hands on Optics, which listed its FOV as 65 degrees, and it appears to be that. Sky-Watcherâs website lists it as 52 degrees. Perhaps Hands on Optics has their version shipped with a larger field stop or thereâs an error on the Sky-Watcher website. The eyepiece is well built, thou not quite as well finished outside as an Orion Optiluxe. I suspect this is a Konig design as it has all the traits of one. When looking thru my Nexstar 5 at window blinds at about 50' there is a slight bending of straight lines at the edges, typical of two other Konigs I have. It also suffers from field curvature and coma to a greater degree than my other Konigs. The stars in center 50% of the field are sharp and moving outward they progressively degrade into little seagulls. De-focusing the center stars helps this a little and itâs also improved when using a F6.3 reducer/corrector. Looking at bright stars and the Moon I could not detect any false color. Eye relief is near perfect while wearing my eyeglasses with the rubber eyecup down and without them with the eyecup up. Unlike alot of other eyepieces the view is very easy to hold and I had no blackout or kidney bean effect problems. While I normally have a fairly low tolerance for eyepieces with unsharp edges I find I do like using this eyepiece much more than a sharper but narrower FOV Plossl. At $95 this is one of the lowest priced wide-angle eyepieces available and I feel it is a reasonably good compromise between cost and performance.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:7 Value:9
Weight: 5
Date: 08/11/2002 05:36:36 pm PST

Replies: 0


Entry: Astronomy:Equipment Reviews:Binocular Reviews:Pentax PCF 16x60

The Pentax PCF V 16x60 binoculars are much better than their price would suggest. Center 75% of field sharp with the outside 25% almost as good. Some flaring on Venus and bit of color on the edge of the moon if your eye isn’t in the exact right spot. Pop-up eyecups work great for eyeglass wearers. Center focus lock and click stops on right eyepieces are a nice touch and work well. Somewhat narrow FOV at 45 degrees but its all good and views are bright and clear. If your on a budget (and even if your not) and looking for a good pair of high power binoculars check these out before spending four times as much on a pair only slightly better. Shop these around as I found that prices vary about $75.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:8 Value:10
Weight: 5
Date: 08/11/2002 05:33:24 pm PST

Replies: 0


Entry: Astronomy:Equipment Reviews:Eyepiece Reviews:Edmund Scientific RKE 8mm

I've owned the complete set of RKEs for over a decade. They are well made and threaded for filters. They are sharp edge to edge, no noticable distortion and bright. These are not kelner type eyepieces, I have two kelners and the RKEs are far superior. They are nearly identical to the plossels I have, a bit brighter and a little more eye relief, but a slighty narrower field of view. All said, I think these are the cheapest good quality eyepieces available and a good value.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:8 Value:9
Weight: 5
Date: 08/10/2002 12:49:03 pm PST

Replies: 0


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