View Full Version here: : Andrews UWA 30mm

15-02-2007, 11:05 PM
Can anyone provide feedback on Andrews 30mm 80deg Ultrawide eyepiece ($149)?



16-02-2007, 12:47 AM
Look for reviews on 1rpd aka Moonfish 30mm UWA.

16-02-2007, 01:45 AM
I have one and think its good value. While it's not a Nagler in terms of edge sharpness it does a pretty good job in an f10 SCT and gives me my absolute widest low power field. Also ok in my f8 refractor but definitely not nearly as acceptable in a 10" F5 dob.

I like the sheer size & solidness of the thing - what an enormous lump of glass - and it's relatively inexpensive so I have no qualms in using it for public star parties.

16-02-2007, 08:10 AM
I like this eyepiece a lot. I find it the best value Wide field EP you can have. It is a great "finder EP" in an undriven dob, and very nice in my short tube refractor too. I forgive the soft edge of field. The only thing I don't like is that mine had what looks like some loose flakes of paint inside the optics, which compromises its daytime utility. What scope would you be using it in?

PS Don't get the 15 mm version!

16-02-2007, 09:14 AM
I purchased one of these when Andrews had them on special. There is an eyepiece review by Mark Hodson on IIS, if you haven't already seen it. I would pretty much agree with most of his comments about it. It performs very well and I often use it with an F8 refractor where edge performance isn't compromised. It compares reasonably well to the big guns, except mainly for edge performance, as mentioned in the review.

Very good value IMO, but I wouldn't give up a 30 XW for it.

allan gould
17-02-2007, 06:17 PM
I bought one of these eyepieces. Edge performance , as mentioned, was soft but I liked it soooooo much I bought the 15 mm UWA of the same ilk and its an absolute stunner in 8" or 10" f10 SCT. At the moment they are on special at Steve Massey's store

18-02-2007, 04:17 AM
I also have one of these 30mm ep's - I use it in an f5 reflector, and in that faster scope yes it shows a lot of seagulling around the outer field of view. - definitely not a premium view, but far from a premium price too.

Having said that I love this ep - as David said it is a great finder ep - in my scope it gives so near to 2 full degress of actual sky view and is awesome for just trolling around the Milky Way, or searching for unfamiliar specific objects, etc.

I also like the way the wide field of view gives a great perspective on many open clusters and larger nebulae (M42 Orion and Carina especially). Sometimes to appreciate how dense a cluster is for instance you really have to see it in comparison to the "empty" sky around it - this ep lets you do that.

One more thing - I now have a 2" 2x GSO barlow, which turns this into effectively a 15mm very wide angle ep with NO seagulling. Together these give you a powerful combination for big views. Some would say "cheap" and perhaps they are right as I am not an experienced observer (10 months since my own true "first light") but I prefer to think of them as "inexpensive".

18-02-2007, 01:35 PM
MyAstroshop also sell this EP. If you stick it in a 2x barlow it does much better in a fast scope. GSO 2" barlow is a nice one to go with it, because you can also unscrew the barlow lens and screw it on the filter threads on the EP and get around 1.5x power from it (i.e., turn 20mm into 20mm ultra wide).

18-02-2007, 10:43 PM
Thanks for the feedback and the tip to visit Steve Massey's store. It would be for a 10" f5 dob I am constructing. Sounds like it isn't a perfect match but quite good value.

20-02-2007, 09:49 AM
An Andrews 30mm UWA came bundled with a recent telescope purchase I made here on IIS. I gave it a whirl in my f/5 dob last night. I got a bit of a fright looking at the outer field, but the central field was quite nice and I think this eyepiece would make a very nice finder to accompany a medium magnification premium eyepiece. I often find that aberrations are only bothersome if you are looking for them, particularly with a very wide TFOV eyepiece such as this one. While scanning around I mostly looked at the central field with the outer field in my peripheral vision; if something of interest draws your attention it gets moved to centre field anyway. There is one of these avertised at http://www.astrobuysell.com/au/ for $75.

20-02-2007, 10:30 AM

I have only used this eyepiece, or at least it's twin brother the 30mm 1rpd once in an F5 scope and that was for about 30 seconds. That was how long it took me to figure out the eyepiece was completely useless when combined with such a fast F-Ratio telescope.

There aren't any supercheap solutions at F5, if you want a wide field of view with decent edge performance. It just doesn't happen.

I think your best option is probably the 30mm Orion Stratus but it's a lot more money at about $380. The options go up from there. The eyepieces get better and cost more money.

CS-John B

20-02-2007, 10:35 AM

If your only using the central section of the field of view your better off with a 30mm plossl like the Celestron Ultima, which will give a tack sharp view right across it's 52 deg FOV.

There is no point having an 82 deg AFOV eyepiece, when you can only use 1/2 the FOV anyway. In terms of "on axis" performance a good 30mm plossl will walk all over that 30mm 1rpd for similar money.

CS-John B

20-02-2007, 01:17 PM
I was recommending the 80 UWA as a finder eyepiece from which one would swap to a higher magnification and higher quality eyepiece. In this role the 1.9 degree TFOV is more desirable than a 1.2 degree TFOV (used in a 10" f/5 dob); each eyepiece has its strengths and weaknesses. I wouldn't pay $150 for the 80 UWA, but at used prices I think it's a good value for the budget conscious.

wrt the 80 UWA field of view I found that it was substantially wider than a 27mm Panoptic, so it probably is somewhere close to 80 degrees AFOV. I'm a little wary of rubbery figures from any manufacturer.

20-02-2007, 01:45 PM
i am kinda with john b on this...

it is a great finder EP so that even if the outter 30-40% is seagulls you can still see stuff there like galaxies/ nebs etc. but if you are using the EP to actually look at stuff then yuo are more than likely going to just use the area uneffected by seagulls in teh center and thus waste the outter 30-40%, in which case you are probably better off with a good plossl like a televue or celestron ultima....

it all comes down to what you want it for i guess.

i have a 2" GSO superview 30mm which i dont even use any more.... it has the same problem as the andrews EP but to a lesser degree and also with only a 68 deg fov.
someone wanted this off me but i cant remember who? its just taking up room now.

20-02-2007, 02:35 PM

I can appreciate what you're saying and you may be fine using the eyepiece in this fashion. To be honest, I actually found all the aberrations off axis extremely distracting and the view was not aesthetically pleasing at all, regardless where I pointed the telescope. My personal preference is for a smaller aberration free field.

CS-John B