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Thread: Antares version of the Nagler

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    Default Antares version of the Nagler



    It seems a lot of people here lean towards wide angle eyepieces so I thought I would share a little gem that are rarely talked about in todays market.
    Glen Speers ran Antares/ Sky Instruments from Richmond BC in the 80s on till a couple of years ago. Most of the products they sold were quite good and some were exceptional.
    They had a line of Antares Orthos (volcano tops and flat tops) and Elite Plossls (Masuyama) that are still highly regarded today as well as other various Plossls, Erfles and wide angles.
    They also produced their Vixen Spec refractor series, 105mm in f/11, f/13 and f/15 at a time when everyone else was racing to get to f/5 in small scopes.
    The majority of their optics were purchased in Japan and then hand assembled in Richmond.

    In 1996/7 there was talk about these strange eyepieces from Canada called Speers-WALERS that would keep up with Naglers for 1/3rd of the cost!
    The WALER stood for Wide Angle Long Eye Relief. A bit of a misnomer as the eye relief is actually about 13mm
    The lineup boasted 80 degree AFOV and consisted of a 5-8mm variable mag, 7.5mm, 2 different 10mm (70 & 80 deg), 14mm, and 2 different 18mm (70 & 80 deg)

    The eyepieces were 1.25" barrelled, internally blackened, baffled and threaded for filters. 8-9 elements in 3 groups with the lower group being a Smyth lens (2 lens) with a diameter of 1" that also acted as a field flattener. The middle set of lens were 1.25" with the eye lens at 1" again.
    All the 80 degree eyepieces are 5 3/8" tall with a 1 3/4" wide barrel and 2" knurled rubber grip. The 70 degree versions were 6 3/8" tall with everything else the same.
    The unique eyepiece of the set was the 5-8mm variable length eyepiece.
    9 elements with the same lens arrangement as the others but had a sliding arrangement to vary the focal length.
    The body is about 2 1/8" wide and at the 8mm setting the eyepiece is 6" tall but at the 5mm setting it is 7 7/8" tall and maintains a fairly consistant 82 degree AFOV.
    The views are crisp, high contrast with no pincushioning along the edges. The only one that seemed to have an artifact was the 7.5mm 70 degree. Some people reported that there was a hairline of yellowish green along the outside edge of the FOV but would disappear when you moved your eye toward it.

    In the mid 2000s the eyepieces were ressurected as the Series 2 with a 1 1/8" eye lens slightly less performance over the Series 1 but still very close to Nagler performance at a fraction of the price.
    The Series 2 are still available in some stores for around 130 USD and the Series 1 are selling for comparable prices other than the 5-8mm variable which now sells for 300+ used.
    I have never been a big fan of the "spacewalk" eyepieces and these at 80 degrees are at my limit for wide angle but you cannot beat the spectacular views with them.

    L to R- 5-8mm variable, 9.4mm Series 2, 14mm, 18mm
    SW1.jpg
    The 5-8mm in a 2" diagonal, 8mm position
    SW2.jpg
    At the 5mm position
    SW3.jpg
    Did I mention they all barlow very well too? Just be careful that you do not poke out an eye though!
    SW4.jpg
    Refractors: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNG 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
    Mounts: Celestron SLT w/ pier mod & EQ-3 tripod, Celestron hypertuned CG-5 w/ tracking motor & Argo Navis, Manfrotto 028B w/ Stellarvue M2C, Manfrotto 055PRO w/ 128RC, TAL-1 HD EQ, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 SXG & half pier
    Diagonals: 2" Astro-Physics MaxBright, 2" Zeiss/ Baader prism, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (Photo Version), 2" Orion Amici prism, 2" Stellarvue Dielectric, 2" TeleVue Everbrite
    Eyepieces: A-Z

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    The weakest link in the optical chain is the large nut located directly behind the eyepiece/ camera. - Gabrielle
    Ya gotta keep this Apo/Achro thing in some balance of perspective. Apos are awesome, but long focus Achros aren't that far behind them - Siriusandthepup (CN)
    Refractors kick arse precisely because they don't hide behind excuses. That is, they have no obstructions to hide behind. - Jon Isaacs (CN)

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Antares version of the Nagler

    Zoom travel distance is crazy!

    They caught my eye when they were still available through Agena, but short "long eye relief" sent me looking elsewhere.

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    Default Re: Antares version of the Nagler

    Yes it takes some getting used to in the dark!
    At the time they were a unique size and I think it worked against them even though they are really great eyepieces.
    Bigzmey likes this.
    Refractors: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNG 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
    Mounts: Celestron SLT w/ pier mod & EQ-3 tripod, Celestron hypertuned CG-5 w/ tracking motor & Argo Navis, Manfrotto 028B w/ Stellarvue M2C, Manfrotto 055PRO w/ 128RC, TAL-1 HD EQ, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 SXG & half pier
    Diagonals: 2" Astro-Physics MaxBright, 2" Zeiss/ Baader prism, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (Photo Version), 2" Orion Amici prism, 2" Stellarvue Dielectric, 2" TeleVue Everbrite
    Eyepieces: A-Z

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    The weakest link in the optical chain is the large nut located directly behind the eyepiece/ camera. - Gabrielle
    Ya gotta keep this Apo/Achro thing in some balance of perspective. Apos are awesome, but long focus Achros aren't that far behind them - Siriusandthepup (CN)
    Refractors kick arse precisely because they don't hide behind excuses. That is, they have no obstructions to hide behind. - Jon Isaacs (CN)

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    Default Re: Antares version of the Nagler

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabby76 View Post
    I have never been a big fan of the "spacewalk" eyepieces and these at 80 degrees are at my limit for wide angle but you cannot beat the spectacular views with them.
    Interesting info!

    However... I was curious about this statement. Care to elaborate?
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    Default Re: Antares version of the Nagler

    Hello Gabby, hello all,

    I used to have the Antares Speers-WALER f=12mm long time ago.
    The Speers WALER f=12mm has been regarded at that time as the best ultrawide at f=12mm, very sharp edge to edge, no ring of fire, no black-outs, no kidney, no ..., nothing.
    I have later parted with the Speers WALER on two reasons:
    1.: I did not need so much the 80.1° FOV at the high magnifications
    and 2.: All ultrawides loose some contrast, there is no exception, there can't be exceptions, no.

    The yellow-green fringe around the field stop is due to the ED element(s), used to flatten the CA which might popup due to some high refractive index lenses in the EP. It can be also noticed in some EPs specifically designed for the refractors (and high-end binoculars), to compensate the CA of the objective.

    Best,

    JG
    frazmataz, DeanD, Gabby76 and 1 others like this.
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    Default Re: Antares version of the Nagler

    The statement that I am not a wide field eyepiece fan?
    At 80° AFOV I can take in the entire view and only have to move my eye a bit, eyepieces above that I feel like I have to turn my head to see the entire view.
    DeanD likes this.
    Refractors: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNG 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
    Mounts: Celestron SLT w/ pier mod & EQ-3 tripod, Celestron hypertuned CG-5 w/ tracking motor & Argo Navis, Manfrotto 028B w/ Stellarvue M2C, Manfrotto 055PRO w/ 128RC, TAL-1 HD EQ, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 SXG & half pier
    Diagonals: 2" Astro-Physics MaxBright, 2" Zeiss/ Baader prism, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (Photo Version), 2" Orion Amici prism, 2" Stellarvue Dielectric, 2" TeleVue Everbrite
    Eyepieces: A-Z

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    The weakest link in the optical chain is the large nut located directly behind the eyepiece/ camera. - Gabrielle
    Ya gotta keep this Apo/Achro thing in some balance of perspective. Apos are awesome, but long focus Achros aren't that far behind them - Siriusandthepup (CN)
    Refractors kick arse precisely because they don't hide behind excuses. That is, they have no obstructions to hide behind. - Jon Isaacs (CN)

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    Default Re: Antares version of the Nagler

    Where are they still available?

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    Default Re: Antares version of the Nagler

    Quote Originally Posted by j.gardavsky View Post
    I used to have the Antares Speers-WALER f=12mm long time ago.
    The Speers WALER f=12mm has been regarded at that time as the best ultrawide at f=12mm, very sharp edge to edge, no ring of fire, no black-outs, no kidney, no ..., nothing.
    I have later parted with the Speers WALER on two reasons:
    1.: I did not need so much the 80.1° FOV at the high magnifications
    and 2.: All ultrawides loose some contrast, there is no exception, there can't be exceptions, no.

    The yellow-green fringe around the field stop is due to the ED element(s), used to flatten the CA which might popup due to some high refractive index lenses in the EP. It can be also noticed in some EPs specifically designed for the refractors (and high-end binoculars), to compensate the CA of the objective.

    Best,

    JG
    I concur JG, the view can loose some contrast which is why I prefer using Orthos and Plossls.
    I do occasionally see the artifact when at f/14 with the 14mm but never found it to be distracting.
    j.gardavsky likes this.
    Refractors: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNG 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
    Mounts: Celestron SLT w/ pier mod & EQ-3 tripod, Celestron hypertuned CG-5 w/ tracking motor & Argo Navis, Manfrotto 028B w/ Stellarvue M2C, Manfrotto 055PRO w/ 128RC, TAL-1 HD EQ, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 SXG & half pier
    Diagonals: 2" Astro-Physics MaxBright, 2" Zeiss/ Baader prism, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (Photo Version), 2" Orion Amici prism, 2" Stellarvue Dielectric, 2" TeleVue Everbrite
    Eyepieces: A-Z

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    The weakest link in the optical chain is the large nut located directly behind the eyepiece/ camera. - Gabrielle
    Ya gotta keep this Apo/Achro thing in some balance of perspective. Apos are awesome, but long focus Achros aren't that far behind them - Siriusandthepup (CN)
    Refractors kick arse precisely because they don't hide behind excuses. That is, they have no obstructions to hide behind. - Jon Isaacs (CN)

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    Default Re: Antares version of the Nagler

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoyenny View Post
    Where are they still available?
    Scopestuff still has Series 2 available and did have some Series 1 until recently.
    I have seen some shops that list 1 or 2 different f/l still available of the Series 2
    Refractors: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNG 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
    Mounts: Celestron SLT w/ pier mod & EQ-3 tripod, Celestron hypertuned CG-5 w/ tracking motor & Argo Navis, Manfrotto 028B w/ Stellarvue M2C, Manfrotto 055PRO w/ 128RC, TAL-1 HD EQ, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 SXG & half pier
    Diagonals: 2" Astro-Physics MaxBright, 2" Zeiss/ Baader prism, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (Photo Version), 2" Orion Amici prism, 2" Stellarvue Dielectric, 2" TeleVue Everbrite
    Eyepieces: A-Z

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    The weakest link in the optical chain is the large nut located directly behind the eyepiece/ camera. - Gabrielle
    Ya gotta keep this Apo/Achro thing in some balance of perspective. Apos are awesome, but long focus Achros aren't that far behind them - Siriusandthepup (CN)
    Refractors kick arse precisely because they don't hide behind excuses. That is, they have no obstructions to hide behind. - Jon Isaacs (CN)

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    Default Re: Antares version of the Nagler

    Hi Gabby, thank you for the great post although my Wife may not thank you if I come across any of these :-)
    Gabby76 likes this.
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