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  1. #1
    klaatu2u's Avatar
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    Default Meade 5k UWA / SWA - tried yours out yet?

    My weather here has been terrible and I havn't been able evaluate most of my new ep's - also had some terrible CGE mount probs that ended up making it a gimp.

    I bought some of the Meade ep's... specifically the 5k
    UWA 14mm and 18mm
    SWA 24mm

    with the sale prices just couldn't stop myself

    Had a (very) little time with them so far on my new mount and they seem great on my 160mm TEC ~f/8 refractor and Tak FS-128 ~f/8 refractor - really very nice for the price on first impression (looks like I'll be selling my Q70 clones after all?). Anyone else get a chance to try theirs out yet? Want to make this an informational post for folks considering the ep, so please let us know the ep AND the scope or scopes apeture and their f speed / ratio?

    I give them a prelim good grade - though not fully scrutinized (here esp wrt to planetary) due to the terrible weather here.

    Thanks for reading and look forward to your posts...

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    ..... Jim - Refractor Nut the LP 'white zone' imager... scopes-> TEC APO160ED, Tak FS-128, Onyx80edf, ED80T CF
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    ep's-> ZAOII's, Pentax XW's, Brandons, RO Konigs, Meade 5k SWA/UWA's, other Ortho's, 4k Plossls!GEM 'goto' mount -> A-P Mach1GTO CCD imaging-> SBIG 8300M/FW8, Baader 36mm full set
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  2. #2
    ibase's Avatar
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    You're right, the sale price was hard to resist for me too, that it drove me to order all the Meade SWA's - 16/20/24/28/34/40mm's! But it will be some time yet before I receive them (overseas shipping/waiting for asto box to be filled up). Fortunately I've already received the Meade 6.7mm UWA and here's my initial impression (posted elsewhere but will post here as well):

    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 widefield EP (with a spacewalk 82-deg. AFOV) and it did not disappoint. Image from the EP on a William Optics Megrez 102ED f/7 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. It's performance has been likened to Naglers especially so that they have the same 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!



  3. #3
    Djarum's Avatar
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    I have the 24mm and 16mm I picked up on sale. The 16mm is super sharp, even though the eye relief is kinda tight. The 24mm is rather huge for a 1.25 inch EP and heavy, and its fairly sharp for my F5 reflector.

  4. #4
    Lenbo's Avatar
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    I picked up the 34mm SWA during the Meade sale. Couldn't resist the price. Been looking for an affordable low power wider field eyepiece for awhile without breaking the bank. I'm really not a good judge of overall performance for this particular eyepiece because it's my first really low power eyepiece and I'm adjusting to it. I will say it gives nice sharp wide views in both my refractor (f/8.3) and reflector (f/4.9). Gives a new perspective to open clusters. I liked it enough to recently order the 28mm SWA and received it yesterday but haven't had a chance to use it yet. Apparently, the sale prices are still available with some of the vendors if they have stock. (I ordered from Agena Astroproducts. They usually have good prices and great service.)
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