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Old 09-06-2019, 11:02 PM
Renato1 (Renato)
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Comparing Meade Series 4000 and Series 5000 6.7mm UWA Eyepeices

Over 20 years ago, I bought a Meade Series 4000 6.7mm UltraWide Angle eyepiece, thinking it would complement my 9mm Type 1 Nagler in my 14.5" dob. I didn't like it. And as it had no place in my SCT line-up, I hardly used it since.

Several years ago, I bought from here a Meade Series 5000 6.7mm UltraWide Angle eyepiece hoping it would be better than my earlier one. I got it, then my back went, and had an operation, and didn't do any viewing for over two years - and I forgot I owned it.

Anyhow, I found the series 5000 eyepiece the other day, and decided I should actually use it for the first time, and compare it to the series 4000 one.

I did so in my little 80mm f/6.25 ED refractor, looking at various bright DSOs.

Sharpness-wise, there wasn't much difference between the two, perhaps giving the slightest edge to the series 4000 one.

But in usage there was a big difference.

Both have an 82 degree field of view, but with the series 4000 eyepiece you can't see a fair chunk of it. It has very narrow eye-relief and one has to look around inside the eyepiece to see all of the field.

The series 5000 eyepiece has greater eye-relief, and one can see a lot more of the 82 degree field than in the series 4000 one - though one still couldn't see it all from edge to edge. I had to move my eye around the eyepiece to see the edge - but in doing so, the image on the opposite side would dim out. I noticed that for the fullest image, my eye had to be dead centre, and any deviation led to dimming out on one side or the other. This is in sharp contrast to the series 4000 eyepiece where I never had any dimming out of the image.

So, I finally figured out why I didn't like the series 4000 eyepiece in my dob, namely that it didn't behave like my 9mm Nagler. If I ever use my dob again (it is darn heavy for me to lift now, and not suffer for it) I think the series 5000 Meade may be an excellent complement to the Nagler.

Anyhow, this is probably old news to many here, but I thought it might be of interest to youngsters knowing what we had to put up with in UWAs 25 years ago.
Regards,
Renato
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Old 09-06-2019, 11:18 PM
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Ukastronomer (Jeremy)
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Can you expect a Mead costing much less to act like a Nagler ?


The most used eyepiece I have is a 15 year old Celestron Axiom eyepiece that cost well over 120 back then and is still my favorite though I now have more expensive ones.
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Old 10-06-2019, 12:02 AM
Renato1 (Renato)
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Originally Posted by Ukastronomer View Post
Can you expect a Mead costing much less to act like a Nagler ?
Well, yes.
Back then the price of Meades were not that far off the price of Naglers, and had ridiculously high prices in Australia. I got my new 9mm Nagler cheap from the USA.
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Renato
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Old 13-06-2019, 01:07 PM
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I have a set of series 5000 uwa's in 6.7/8.8/14 & 20mm... In my SCT & Refractor I love them... sharp as, edge to edge to my eye... however, an unknown quantity for me in a fastish newt as yet but, that will change soon as I'm acquiring a 12" f5 dob.

The 20mm in the 8" SCT on bright nebs is superb, its immersive, almost like being inside the nebula... yes, you have to move your eye around to take it all in but, I actually like that feeling...

The 14mm is IMHO the soft/weak spot in these EPs; nothing precise I can put my finger on just, not as much wow factor for some reason...

I recently acquired a 30mm Explore Scientific 82* EP, equally impressive views, not such an immersive view but, i suspect that is more a factor of fov than anything else...

I'm hoping the Meades work well in the newt I'm getting, if anyone has experience with them in that regard I'd be keen to know.

Cheers
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Old 14-06-2019, 02:53 PM
Renato1 (Renato)
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Originally Posted by Outcast View Post
I have a set of series 5000 uwa's in 6.7/8.8/14 & 20mm... In my SCT & Refractor I love them... sharp as, edge to edge to my eye... however, an unknown quantity for me in a fastish newt as yet but, that will change soon as I'm acquiring a 12" f5 dob.

The 20mm in the 8" SCT on bright nebs is superb, its immersive, almost like being inside the nebula... yes, you have to move your eye around to take it all in but, I actually like that feeling...

The 14mm is IMHO the soft/weak spot in these EPs; nothing precise I can put my finger on just, not as much wow factor for some reason...

I recently acquired a 30mm Explore Scientific 82* EP, equally impressive views, not such an immersive view but, i suspect that is more a factor of fov than anything else...

I'm hoping the Meades work well in the newt I'm getting, if anyone has experience with them in that regard I'd be keen to know.

Cheers
Thanks. I've got the Series 5000 8.8mm UWA - which I bought a couple of years ago before my operation, and I haven't tried it yet either. I want to compare it to my 9mm Nagler.

I've also got the 18mm UWA in my SCT, which I thought was pretty good - before my back went, and I haven't used it since, as I hate suffering the next day.

And I'm waiting for the 20mm UWA to come in the mail - so I guess I'll have to either suffer with my SCT or just use it in my refractors.

Interesting you don't like the 14mm. I have the old Series 4000 one which I think was very good - same viewing experience as in the Series 5000 6.7mm I described - just very heavy. I found it handy in my dob as a 3mm exit pupil eyepiece for looking at faint open clusters.

If going by my f4/5 dob is anything to go by, I suspect you'll be happy with all your 6.7, 8.8 and 14mm Meades. 20mm I don't know, might be fine or might not be without a coma corrector.

In terms of wow factor, this might sound laughable, but my favourite eyepiece in my small refractors is a 16mm 1.25" Widescan I bought back in 1997. It is bad in my SCT, and utterly hopeless in my dob. Yet despite its not being sharp at the edges, it's the eyepiece I always go for in refractors - convenient and it wows me.
Cheers,
Renato
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Old 14-06-2019, 04:11 PM
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It's not that I don't like the 14mm I just find it's not quite as impressive as the others in the range...

You will get quite a shock at the size of the 20mm & it weighs almost 1kg... I call mine the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch (Monty Python Holy Grail).. then I bought the ES 30mm recently & it is huge & weighs exactly 1kg.. so now I have a reload...

My first Meade UWA was the 6.7mm, came with a Meade Series 5000 80mm Triplet I purchased from the classifieds here 7 or 8 years ago.. the views were stunning & that was when I fell in love with those UWAs.

Fortunately, I've managed to get hold of another Series 5000 80mm triplet just recently & even better, it has the two speed focuser as opposed to the single speed I had... I haven't had first light with it yet as it's been raining since it arrived on Wed...

I think (I don't know yet) you will find the 20mm will work well in your refractor (assuming you have a 2" diagonal)... I'll let you know when I try it in mine if I ever get some clear skies again...

Good to know the smaller ones work well in an fast dob; I should have the scope in house in the next couple of months so, will hold off on anymore EP purchases or even a Coma corrector until I see how they all perform...

Regarding what gives you 'wow' factor... I really think it's all about expectations... my first 2" EP was a 30mm GSO Superview & I was pretty impressed with that to be honest, particularly for the price... A little while back I bought a Sirius Optics 38mm 70*; I wasn't expecting much out of it, I only bought it to open up maximum fov with my SCT (1.3*) to assist with initially locating things if they didn't fall into view when doing alignments or searching for faint stuff... Is it the greatest EP in the world.. no but, the views are still impressive.. then I got the 30mm ES 82*, it gives me 1.22* fov in the SCT & wow... it is impressive but, even given that, the 38mm is still not bad... though, I'm fairly certain it's a clone of the Orion Q70 which I think is an Erfle design so, I'm not expecting it to do well in the dob.. but, hey.. you never know...

I've never looked through a Televue EP so, I have no frame of reference for those; I do have a Televue powermate which I love both visually & for AP.. I can't afford the highend Televues to be honest & I don't see the point of owning the Televue plossls, no matter how much better than other plossls they may be...

Cheers
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Old 14-06-2019, 06:46 PM
Renato1 (Renato)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outcast View Post
It's not that I don't like the 14mm I just find it's not quite as impressive as the others in the range...

You will get quite a shock at the size of the 20mm & it weighs almost 1kg... I call mine the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch (Monty Python Holy Grail).. then I bought the ES 30mm recently & it is huge & weighs exactly 1kg.. so now I have a reload...

My first Meade UWA was the 6.7mm, came with a Meade Series 5000 80mm Triplet I purchased from the classifieds here 7 or 8 years ago.. the views were stunning & that was when I fell in love with those UWAs.

Fortunately, I've managed to get hold of another Series 5000 80mm triplet just recently & even better, it has the two speed focuser as opposed to the single speed I had... I haven't had first light with it yet as it's been raining since it arrived on Wed...

I think (I don't know yet) you will find the 20mm will work well in your refractor (assuming you have a 2" diagonal)... I'll let you know when I try it in mine if I ever get some clear skies again...

Good to know the smaller ones work well in an fast dob; I should have the scope in house in the next couple of months so, will hold off on anymore EP purchases or even a Coma corrector until I see how they all perform...

Regarding what gives you 'wow' factor... I really think it's all about expectations... my first 2" EP was a 30mm GSO Superview & I was pretty impressed with that to be honest, particularly for the price... A little while back I bought a Sirius Optics 38mm 70*; I wasn't expecting much out of it, I only bought it to open up maximum fov with my SCT (1.3*) to assist with initially locating things if they didn't fall into view when doing alignments or searching for faint stuff... Is it the greatest EP in the world.. no but, the views are still impressive.. then I got the 30mm ES 82*, it gives me 1.22* fov in the SCT & wow... it is impressive but, even given that, the 38mm is still not bad... though, I'm fairly certain it's a clone of the Orion Q70 which I think is an Erfle design so, I'm not expecting it to do well in the dob.. but, hey.. you never know...

I've never looked through a Televue EP so, I have no frame of reference for those; I do have a Televue powermate which I love both visually & for AP.. I can't afford the highend Televues to be honest & I don't see the point of owning the Televue plossls, no matter how much better than other plossls they may be...

Cheers
I don't know if you saw my thread about highest useful magnification in an 80mm ED refractor in the Equipment Discussion Forum - how far has your's gone on Jupiter and Saturn? I've taken mine to 200X so far, and am waiting to try 250X next.

Two speed focusing you will appreciate.

I've got a set of the 2" Superviews and would find them quite handy in my dob - since they have huge eyerelief, I could wear my eyeglasses and get sharp views.

My otherwise sub-average 30mm Widescan UWA gives a pretty spectacular view scanning around star fields in my SCT - which is it's only real use. Your 30mm ES will be better of course.

According to "The Backyard Astronomer's Guide" Third Edition, the Meade Series 5000 UWA aren't as good at the edges as the Naglers, while the older Series 4000 8.8mm and 14mm were as good. In the Second Edition they had said that the Meade 4.7, 6.7, 8.8 and 14 mm were clones of the Naglers. I've always valued those author's eveluations. The Series 4000 Meade 4.7 UWA has narrow eyerelief, but I think it an extremely sharp eyepiece, which I would often use for planets in my SCT when the atmosphere permitted.

I've got lots of Barlows, including highly rated at the time Televue ones, but my 2.5X Powermate is plainly superior - in that it doesn't feel like you are looking through a Barlow.

Your 38mm Sirius eyepiece sounds impressive. I now would like one.
Cheers,
Renato
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Old 14-06-2019, 11:07 PM
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Sirius 38mm... it's clear & gives a full fov to an 8" SCT with 2" visual back & it was relatively inexpensive at $159 (from memory), it's no UWA or ES but, it does it's job & the views are pleasant enough (well, to my eye)... I can't say it's sharp to the edge or anything (I seriously doubt that it is) because I don't really do my viewing out to the edge so much anyways.. well except on big nebs... & nebulosity doesn't really look 'sharp' as such anyways...

Will be crap in a fast Newt though...

Furthest I pushed my Meade APO when I owned it was 178x, with my 6.7 UWA coupled with powermate... I thought the view was superb but, that's only just over theoretical max of 160x....

I've got some shorter focal length EP's now; 6mm Fujiyama ortho & an el cheapo Celestron 4.7mm kit EP I got in a bundle of other stuff...

The ortho's are exceedingly good planetary EPs but... nil, nada... zero eye relief, particularly down at 6mm.. I'll bung it in my powermate one night.. that'll give me 200x.. see how it goes...

The celestron with the powermate would technically give me 300x but, I haven't actually used that EP in anything since I got it so.. I'm not even sure if it will be any good at it's native FL to be honest...

I don't own anything decent below 6mm, with the 2.5x powermate I don't feel I really need to...

I've read a lot of different opinions on the Meade UWA's some good, some not so... I do believe the 6.7mm is one of the originals that were actually made by the chap that then formed ES.. I believe the later ones I've got are possibly made at a different company later on... with maybe a slight design change; I'm not really sure on that... as you probably know, it's all but, impossible to get definitive design info on pretty much all EP's.... the manufacturers rarely if ever state their exact design... All I know is that I fell in love with my original 6.7mm & the rest that I acquired from the US late last year (new... sadly not made anymore, so lucky) definitely do not disappoint...

Cheers
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Old 15-06-2019, 02:30 AM
Renato1 (Renato)
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Quote:
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Sirius 38mm... it's clear & gives a full fov to an 8" SCT with 2" visual back & it was relatively inexpensive at $159 (from memory), it's no UWA or ES but, it does it's job & the views are pleasant enough (well, to my eye)... I can't say it's sharp to the edge or anything (I seriously doubt that it is) because I don't really do my viewing out to the edge so much anyways.. well except on big nebs... & nebulosity doesn't really look 'sharp' as such anyways...

Will be crap in a fast Newt though...

Furthest I pushed my Meade APO when I owned it was 178x, with my 6.7 UWA coupled with powermate... I thought the view was superb but, that's only just over theoretical max of 160x....

I've got some shorter focal length EP's now; 6mm Fujiyama ortho & an el cheapo Celestron 4.7mm kit EP I got in a bundle of other stuff...

The ortho's are exceedingly good planetary EPs but... nil, nada... zero eye relief, particularly down at 6mm.. I'll bung it in my powermate one night.. that'll give me 200x.. see how it goes...

The celestron with the powermate would technically give me 300x but, I haven't actually used that EP in anything since I got it so.. I'm not even sure if it will be any good at it's native FL to be honest...

I don't own anything decent below 6mm, with the 2.5x powermate I don't feel I really need to...

I've read a lot of different opinions on the Meade UWA's some good, some not so... I do believe the 6.7mm is one of the originals that were actually made by the chap that then formed ES.. I believe the later ones I've got are possibly made at a different company later on... with maybe a slight design change; I'm not really sure on that... as you probably know, it's all but, impossible to get definitive design info on pretty much all EP's.... the manufacturers rarely if ever state their exact design... All I know is that I fell in love with my original 6.7mm & the rest that I acquired from the US late last year (new... sadly not made anymore, so lucky) definitely do not disappoint...

Cheers
That theoretical maximum of 160X equates to 50X per inch, which is most applicable to Newtonian telescopes. But refractors can go higher than that if they are high quality and the atmosphere is good, because they have better contrast and no obstruction.

Keep in mind that there are two types of visual recreational astromers in the world. Those who see some distortion at the edge of the field and don't mind it, or don't even notice it - and those who see it and it drives them nuts. The chap who sold me my first SCT was like the latter type, whereas I was happy using a 20mm Erfle to view the 1000 or so DSOs I then saw through that SCT. To my mind, if I saw more good quality field of view in the Erfle than I'd see in an equivalent 20mm plossl - I was ahead - despite the edge distortion.

Don't be too sure that the Sirius will be rubbish in your new dob. I've got a 40mm Konig with 60 degree field which I used to take for a spin through starfields in my 14.5" F/4.5 dob. That's an 8.8mm exit pupil - and I'd read articles saying that was a waste of aperture, and that it wouldn't work because the secondary mirror would show up in the stars. That was all rubbish, the view was fine (apart from some distortion at the edges). Plus, as a bonus, I found that I could tilt my eye and get rid of my eye's astigmatism without blanking out part of the image.
Regards,
Renato
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Old 15-06-2019, 10:20 AM
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That is interesting to know mate...

I will be giving all my EP's a run in the dob when it arrives...

Problem is opinions are like a'holes... everyone has one....

It's difficult getting unbiased opinions.. even the opinions on this forum can be good & bad at times...

I'm with you... I'll try things, I like them... great... I don't... uh.. no biggie...

I can't say I either really notice or am bothered by distortion at edge of fov, at least not visually... drives me friggin wild in AP...
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