View Full Version here: : Anyone used the Celestron Ultima LX series?
26-04-2012, 09:53 AM
Has anyone tried the Celestron Ultima LX series of eyepieces? I can't find much written up on these, but maybe someone here on IIS can share their views on them? I'm particularly interested in the 8mm and 13mm.
From what I've been able to gather, they are also rather big EPs, but that isn't a problem. I've tried both an ES 14mm 100deg and an Ethos 13mm, and neither of these upset the balance of my bid dob, and the LX's I'm asking about are smaller than both of these.
26-04-2012, 12:44 PM
AFAIK these are the same optically as the Skywatcher/Andrews 70 degree and the astro-tech AF series. The 22mm and shorter focal lengths get good reviews even in fast scopes with some variation between the focal lengths. I did own a 22mm astro-tech which was very good and still own a Skywatcher 17mm which also has good outer field performance at f/5. I only tried them in an f/5 refractor - didn't have a reflector to use.
The astro-tech AF 70 series is aesthetically nicer but the Celestron/Skywatcher is more comfortable to use.
27-04-2012, 01:11 PM
Thanks for that Tony. I had seen those sold under the Andrews' badge and was thinking what they were all about. Now I know.
Here's another interesting thing I've been told by my eyepiece guru, Wavytone. I asked him about these, and this was his reply:
"The Celestron Ultima-LX set are a copy of the Vixen LVW's, they even got the message about focal lengths, keeping them all 2" and roughly the same weight. They aren't an exact copy as Celestron reduced the eye-relief to 16mm and went for a 70 degree FoV, fair enough if you are using an f/10 SCT, you'll never see the eyepiece aberrations.
But how they fare in a fast Newtonian I have no idea."
Very interesting. Looks like the LVW's have quite a following. Not only as cloned Hyperions and Stratus, but modified copies with the Ultima LX, Astro Tech AF, and the Andrews range. All of a sudden, the eyepiece world has got a smaller, again.
Mind you, neither the LVW's or its variations, have got bad raps. The LVW's on top, with the rest in second place with ney a straw between them.
05-05-2012, 01:10 PM
From the blogs, I heard the Ultima is the same as the Hyperion.
Have a 17mm Hyper. Works well on my f/6 refractor.
The Hyper is actually 2 ep in one, a 1.25 and a 2" with different focal.
By removing the bottom 1.25" barrel, it becomes a 2" ep with a longer focal...that's good value for your money.
I have one of the Axiom series and a couple of Celestron plossl. The Axiom is really underrated herein Oz. I found it to be quite good, yet no one here uses them. :)
14-05-2012, 11:23 AM
That's not quite right. IMO in a fast newtonian the Vixen LVW's are a clear notch better then the cheaper clones (Orion Stratus, Baader Hyperion + others), having clearly better performance at or near the EOF. In a slow scope there isn't much between them.
14-05-2012, 12:17 PM
I have the 17mm LX. It's has a dual 2" and 1.25" fitting so you dont need to worry about adapters etc.
Construction wise, they are very solid with nice rubber grips and twist up eyecups. Eye relief is good (I wear glasses).
Visually, they offer a good FOV (not TVs, but at 1/3 of the price, I am not complaining). The views are very sharp on my 8" SCT at f/10, even at the edges.
The only thing I notice is that they are not as "contrasty" as my LVs, but FOV overcomes that.
I havent tried in on a fast dob, so cant comment on that.
Happy to post mine out to you for you to have a try, just pm me if you want to take up the offer.
14-05-2012, 12:21 PM
i has a 22 or was it 23mm - never tried the 8 or 13.
the one i had was a respectable ep - was heavy - not so crash at f4 at 8" - the lvw22 was superior & more comfortable - i'd be looking for a used one on those - the edge is much better than a hip or the clones of it, i like the contrast also
16-05-2012, 11:23 AM
Thanks for the comments. Bo, very generous of you too!
Sorry about my delay in replying to these comments. I have in the last few days been able to compare an LVW 8mm, a Celestron Ultima LX 8mm, a Meade series 5000 UWA 8.8mm and my TMB Type II Planetary 9mm. So far I've only been able to try them out briefly in my 8" f/4 Newtonian from home, and only on the Jewel Box as the test DSO. I'm hoping to get more comparisons done shortly with different objects and scopes, so for now just a brief description on this first test session:
Firstly, the scope was at the start collimated using a Hotech 2" laser collimator.
All these eyepieces pleased me with the image they produced. The sharpest star points were given by the LVW, the softest by the Ultima LX, but by a bee's willie. Contrast wise, the LVW had the edge, and again, not by much.
Interesting though, the edge performance of ALL four was the same in this f/4 scope - poor. I am talking about the very edge too, say the last 5 to 10% of the FOV. In practical terms, it is of no consequence to me as I don't use the very edge of the FOV, and move the scope when the object begins to drift there or when inspecting another section.
Eyerelief wise, again not much between them. If I had to nit-pick, the LVW and Ultima LX were as good as each other, the TMB and Meade only a little less, but both still comfortable to use.
While the FOV of the TMB is only some 58, 60degrees, its performance is nearly on par with the LVW! Just AWESOME considering it is 1/5 the price.
I'm keen to further try out these EPs on different scopes, objects and urban/dark sites. Might throw in a filter or two just for good measure.
As a note to the pics below, the LVW weighs 450g, Ultima LX 595g, the Meade 270g and the TMB 150g.
16-05-2012, 03:40 PM
That's a great report Alexander.
I had a TMB high power piece, too powerful for the SCT, but the views it offered on Jupiter was just stunning.
Sounds like you had fun!
16-05-2012, 04:25 PM
Alexander thats a really good mini review. After tossing up between LVW and NLV's I've decided to go for a few TMB planetarys in the shorter FL....so many good things said about 'em and at $50 a pop can't go wrong:)
16-05-2012, 04:39 PM
Matt, I have the 6mm too - it is not as good as the 9mm. On its own it is outstanding, but after viewing through the 9mm, the 6 shows some foibles.
I really like my 8" f/4 scope for its fantastic rich-field-telescope capability. Its focal ratio is also one very hard task master that will expose a lot of short comings in an eyepiece. My thirty year old 28mm RKE is SUPERB in it! Below is the beastie I use on a DIY dobbie mount.
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