View Full Version here: : Wide angle between 7 and 9mm

20-02-2007, 10:54 AM
G'day all,

I'm looking for a wide angle 7mm - 9mm eyepiece to compliment my 22mm Panoptic.

I could probably save the money for a Nagler but I don't believe it is worth me doing that - I am an astrophotographer "by addiction" and only do visual bits now and then, mostly with my portable 80mm. I am not that picky when it comes to visual optics. I think the money would be better spent on photography gear.

So, I have been considering options such as a Meade Ultra-wide 8.8mm, which is about half the price of the 7mm Nagler. I've never had a problem with my Meade plossle's quality.

Suggestions on Meade's and alternatives?


20-02-2007, 11:45 AM
The Pentax XW is widefield, but not 80. I think it's 70.

I own the 7mm XW, and it's superb. About AU$400.

20-02-2007, 11:47 AM
Interesting alternative that I'll consider.. but it's quite close to the $485 of the 7mm Nagler ... vs Meade's $285...

20-02-2007, 11:53 AM
You'll find the Pentax significantly better than the Meade.

20-02-2007, 12:03 PM
The Pentax XW is superb, but since you do not want to spend much and are "not picky" you would probably be very happy with an 8mm Stratus/Hyperion or one of the Saxon clones of these - same fov as your Panoptic. Pentax XF 8.5mm is another fantastic value option - 60 degree FOV - much lighter and smaller than the others which is great for a small scope.

20-02-2007, 12:04 PM
I can highly recommend the Siebert Optics "Ultra Series" this is their top of the line equipment.
They have a 7mm & 9mm.
I have a 17mm + the ultra barlow and they've given me the best views I've ever seen.
Harry Siebert is a very good fellow to deal with, and del is very quick.
Check out the website www.siebertoptics.com (http://www.siebertoptics.com) :)

20-02-2007, 12:09 PM
John, have you compared the Sieberts with some of the more "mainstream" widefield EPs, eg Pano, Nagler, Pentax, Meade SWA/UWA, LVW & clones ...? How do they stack up?

20-02-2007, 12:56 PM
Just to throw more doubt out there, have you considered the Vixen 8mm LVW? 65 degree FOV.

Clear skies,

20-02-2007, 03:48 PM
Shane is on the right track:thumbsup:
I use a Vixen 8mm LVW.
I think its a wonderful eyepiece. Sharp to edge great eye relief, what more can you ask!
Only around $320. http://www.myastroshop.com.au/products/details.asp?id=MAS-081

20-02-2007, 04:09 PM

So, after comments here and reading reviews, it's so far shaping up between:

LVW 8mm ($320, 65 degree FOV)

Meade 6.7mm ($285, 82 degree FOV)

Both have top reviews in various places... (for their money).. :whistle:

20-02-2007, 04:17 PM
From my experience they are the equal of the Pentax and Meade and almost the equal of the Nagler & Pano's.
Having said that though I doubt that you would be able to "see" the difference. Then again the Sieberts are cheaper than the Naglers.
Go to the website and see the comparisons made between the Ultras and Naglers. The similarities are amazing.
Also,Sieberts make up the lenses for you after you have placed the order.:D

20-02-2007, 04:31 PM
Thanks for the feedback John.

IME of the EPs you mention Pentax come out on top, Naglers (type 4,5,6) second, Panos third and Meades last, so we obviously have different criteria for evaluating EPs.


Roger, of the meade UWA and LVW, I'd definitely go the LVW.

20-02-2007, 04:45 PM
So, is this 7,8,9mm for use only in the small refractor or are you thinking of using it in your SCT???

That's going to be a lot of magnification in your LX and probably only useable on the very best of nights.

20-02-2007, 04:53 PM
Na, this is for use on the 80mm Megrez (480mm focal length) :)

I currently have a Celestron Ultima, I think 6mm? (not at home so can't check). I bought it 5+ years ago when I only had my 4.5" Newtonian. It has a tiny optical opening of about 3mm for you to somehow look through, and eye releif of about the same 3mm, and a the FOV must be less than 30-40 degrees at a guess. So I never use it, I just use the 22 Panoptic with a 2x barlow, and wish I had something more suitable :) 11mm isn't quite small enough either, 8mm would be good.

20-02-2007, 05:07 PM
Well, as the owner of a Pentax XW 10mm, and a variety of other top-end eyepieces, let me say the XWs are a superb eyepiece.

Massive eye lens, loads of eye relief, adjustable eye cup, very nice colour and contrast, crisp.

I could rave for ages. So I'm sure the 7mm is also a peach.

I've owned a couple of LVWs and they are also nice units. Not quite up to the XW, but not far behind.

Might also be worth looking at a Radian? Maybe.:shrug:

But have a look through an XW and I'm sure you'll happily part with the $$$$. Bellisimo!!!!!!!

20-02-2007, 08:48 PM
[QUOTE=matt;195466] So I'm sure the 7mm is also a peach.QUOTE]

It is a delectable dish for the eye!

20-02-2007, 10:10 PM
Rogerg, haven't tried the Vixen LVW 8mm, but my LVW 13mm is a wonderful EP, a great performer, excellent value for money, and I think the quality of construction and aesthetics of finish are absolutely top notch. (PS: I trialed the Pentax XW 14mm but it did not suit my f/5 Genesis). Fox

20-02-2007, 10:25 PM
Hi Roger,

Jupiter season is upon us, and I too am contemplating what EP I need to bridge the gap between my 5mm LVW (which is just plain sharper than my 5mm Radian, BTW) and my 10mm Pentax XW. I cannot really fault either eyepiece. So, the 7mm XW or the 8mm LVW? That's what I've narrowed it down to; a line ball in the dollar:value stakes, I reckon. Probably comes down to which magnification would be most used/useful in your Megrez. And the dollar difference, too, I guess.

Otherwise, get both.



22-02-2007, 01:01 PM
Hi Roger
Others have mentioned the Hyperion or Stratus 8mm. I chose the Hyperion as it comes with a 43mm screw thread underneath the eye cup ready for photography/video.

I have it on reliable authority of members of this forum that the Pentax XF eyepieces are optically better eyepieces than the same priced Hyperion. Yes the Baader and Orion are great lenses, but there are also better eyepieces. To gain significant optical advantages there is usually a significant price increase.

Only you can decide whether the optical quality justifies buying the more expensive Pentax XW, TV Radian, Vixen LVW over the Hyperion/Stratus.

22-02-2007, 02:21 PM
Well to be honest the two I am trying to decide between is the Meade 6.7mm which is reviewed very well and much better than the 8mm, and the LVW 8mm.

I am stuck at this point, really wanting to be able to look through one or the other, preferrably the Meade, as I know the LVW will be great quality, it's just a bit unclear just how good the Meade is.

I suppose there's only $50 difference, so price isn't a huge factor, but the FOV of the Meade is 82 odd degrees, the LVW was 65 I think? ... That's where the difference is.

Anyway, am greatful for all the replies to my query. I think all that can help now is physically seeing them. Which might never happen so I might have to just pick one by flipping a coin :)


22-02-2007, 03:52 PM
Hi Roger,

An alternate (and cheaper) option is to get one 2nd hand. You can pick up the Meade 4000 UWA very cheap (well in comparison to the ones nominated here anyway). I have the 6.7 UWA and 8.8 UWA, both are very good. My only feedback would be the 6.7 is about 1/2 the size and weight of the 8.8 and if you have a smallish scope this might be a better option.

Anyway I am sure any of them would be a good option, quality is quality, the differences are probably very minor (and possibly mostly subjective).

Just my thoughts


22-02-2007, 04:42 PM
hey hey,

seems everyone has a preference/opinion hey :)

dont overlook the seiberts that jonh (astronut) sugested. you also get good ER with them too wich EPs in this FL lack :)
they are 70+ deg and have 20mm of ER.


they come in 1.25 and 2 inch

22-02-2007, 10:47 PM
If I'm not mistaken the Stratus/Hyperions are clones of the Vixen LVW range, and good enough ep's in fact that they are themselves being cloned now. If they perform as well as the LVW's, and I would assume they are cheaper ($175 - $215 Stratus/Hyperions), would they not be worth considering to close that $50 gap from the LVW to the Meade?

I have directly compared the Stratus 13mm to the Hyperion 13mm and could find no difference for visual observing (in my f5 scope). So if one did not need to use the built in threads for camera, etc, attachment that the Hyperions provide you could save another $30 or so by getting the Orion Stratus. (I have an 8mm Stratus, and I am very fond of it, but I have insufficient experience to make direct comparison to Meade UWA or Vixen LVW).

23-02-2007, 10:36 AM
The Stratus/Hyperion do not perform as well as the LVWs. At f/5 the difference in sharpness near the edge is dramatic. In my f/4.7 the 13mm Stratus is looking pretty ordinary. Combination of astigmatism and field curvature. Only the central 45-50 degrees are acceptable. It does much better at f/6. I have not tried the 13mm LVW at f/4.7 but I have tried the 22mm LVW, which is good to the edge with just mild FC that my eyes can compensate for.

btw. My guess is that the Stratus or Hyperion are not "being cloned" - but just sold under other brand names, eg Saxon.

23-02-2007, 03:31 PM
I heard from the BTOW shop that some of the SkyWatcher eyepieces were Stratus eyepeices rebadged. Whilst the LVW, Hyperion and Stratus eyepieces may look identical there will be differences in tolerances and materials. The Hyperion uses a different lens coating to the Stratus, and the LVW uses Lanthium glass. I wonder if the SkyWatcher/Saxon eyepieces are made to slightly different tolerances than the Vixen, Baader and Orion offerings.

Has anyone compared SkyWatcher/Saxon variants with the Hyperion/Stratus?