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Antares 14mm W70 first light report

Started by astrnmrtom, 02/14/2004 10:40AM
Posted 02/14/2004 10:40AM Opening Post
I recently purchased a pair of Antares 14mm W70 eyepieces from ScopeStuff (two thumbs up for the company by the way).

I took them for a spin in my f/7 and f/8 refractors and Zeiss binoviewer with a Meade APO barlow element screwed into the nosepiece for 3X power (I don't own a OCS yet).

The eyepieces are MUCH smaller than I imagined. Looking at the photos I thought they'd be fairly big and bulky. Yes the 14s are the smallest of the bunch but I didn't realize how compact they were. In the photo are my 25mm and 32mm plossls and a standard filter. Fit and finish is very good - they are nice looking eyepieces.

With the eyecup rolled down the eyerelief is good enough for me to see the edge of the field with my glasses on. However, it is tight enough I need to get close enough where I occasionally hear a "click" as my eyeglasses touch the eyelens - no biggie, but something I don't want to happen so I back off a tiny bit. There were nearly parfocal with my plossls. I REALLY like this size apparent field. Eyeplacement is unforgiving and I didn't experience blackout problems - better than my plossls.

Like many others have stated, they are sharp over about 60% of the field. Basically, as sharp as my plossls over the same 52 degree field where sharpness then starts to fade. Near the edges astigmatism shows as stars elongate, the long axis of which can be rotated by 90 degrees by refocusing. I DO NOT find the amount of distortion objectional. Stars are still small enough accross the field that when one is looking naturally toward the center - of even a cluster of stars - the whole field looks quite pleasing. Compared to my old Widescans the stars a slightly sharper from the 60% mark outward. Keep in mind my widescans - in mono mode - are (were?) my favorite low and medium power eyepieces. Sharpness in the center of the field is VERY good. Saturn looked GREAT in both my 94mm f/7 Brandon, and my 6" AP refractors with the W70s. Performance wise, they remind me of the UO Konigs. Maybe they are a similar design?

Like others have reported the coatings could be better. It appears the backside of the eyelens is plano (but coated) and this is where the noticable green reflection seems to come from when looking at the eyepieces in bright light. There is some ghosting on Saturn and bright stars, but again, not enough to bother "me" or to interfere with the image.

Conclusion:

I REALLY! like this eyepiece. Each time I swopped back and forth with my plossls I silently said wow because the image and field looked great. Now, when I judge a product I do so with the value for $$$ in mind. For these eyepieces I consider them a steal, one hell-of-a-bargain. While I can't vouch for their performance in a fast dob, in a refractor they work very well and for the price can't be beat. For someone on a budget, looking for affordable bino-eyepieces, these are a must have.

Tom M

Attached Image:

astrnmrtom's attachment for post 13177

Clear, sunny skies.
Tom Masterson
Coronado-Lunt-Daystar Solar Filters forum Moderator
Posted 02/14/2004 12:22PM #1
Tom: nice review. I've just purchased a pair of these and have not yet had a chance to try them out. I am encouraged by your comments.

John in NEOhio

John in SE Indiana
[COLOR="Red"]Corydon Ridge Observatory[/COLOR]
C-11/G-11, Televue TV-76, SolarMax 50DS
TMB/BO PlanetHunter 80,Meade AR-6