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    Default Meade 6.7mm Ultra Wide Angle (UWA) Series 5000 Eyepiece Review

    There's just something about a good eyepiece that the 1st time you look through them, you get the impression right off the bat that it's a winner, the Meade 6.7mm Ultra Wide Angle (UWA) Series 5000:

    Got the chance one night to use this EP with a wide 82-deg. AFOV, and it did not disappoint. Image from the EP on a William Optics Megrez 102ED refractor focused on the Moon was sharp, and I was looking at the Brit Rima to test its resolving power:

    Actually it's fascinating to observe in Mare Nubium the unusually linear lunar fault called the Straight Wall (or the Railroad), around 120 kilometers long, which is also likened to the blade of a sword terminating in a group of mountains which seems to be the sword's handle as shown above.

    Running almost parallel to the Straigt Wall is a faint crack, a rille called the Rima Brit which is just off to the left of the bright crater Brit in the pic above. At ~210x (using a Televue 2x barlow) on the 102ED refractor, this feature is quite a challenge to see especially on that night that it was already past the terminator and quite washed out by brightness. But the Meade 6.7mm did a good job on it and the faint Rima crack can be made out in instances of good atmospheric stability.

    Got to test it also on Mars and Saturn, and it barlowed well too providing sharp images of both planets. Mars (a little while after opposition) after crossing the meridian displayed the bright white northern polar cap with a big dark albedo feature just to one side of the cap and on the opposite south side were wider markings. A filter helped bring out the contrast (Celestron #21 - Wratten 23A orange-red). On Saturn, the dark gap between the planet and innermost ring was clearly delineated and so was the thick belt system that almost covered up to the half of the planet, while on the opposite side, traces of some thinner ring came out every now and then as the air steadied.

    Stars at the field stop? No problem, tack sharp almost to the edge with the F/7 102ED, and everywhere else on its expansive space-walk 82-deg. AFOV.

    The Meade 6.7mm UWA is a very good performer, the only set-back was that eye placement was kinda finicky, kidney beaning came easy, I guess more time and getting used to the EP will reduce this effect. The twist-up helical eyecup can also help, shown below fully extended:

    Note also in the above pic that the body is not circular in mold but rather something of a hint of a slightly rounded triangle shape, which will preclude it rolling off the table, a smart design innovation. And here's the underbelly:

    The relatively streamlined size and weight of the Meade 6.7 UWA are added bonus (compared to bulkier EPs like the Pentax XW7mm), there's nothing like having a good, compact, easy to handle hi-power eyepiece on hand when needed. Such a sweet eyepiece!



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