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Old Friday 9th January 2009, 02:33   #26
FrankD
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CP,

What are your thoughts on the Ultra 22.5 that I have on order? I see that it looks to be of a somewhat different design than that of the 19 mm.

I emailed Harry today to get an approximate time on shipping. The site says 1-2 weeks. :-)
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Old Friday 9th January 2009, 03:06   #27
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I haven't tested it since I have eyepieces with focal lengths on both sides of it but on paper, it should be a good one since it is rated down to F/4.

The 17mm Ultra that I have, which is a similar 4 element design as your former 19mm Ultra, probably works better at a higher F ratio; thus the supremely better performance after I OCA'd it which effectively lengthened my scope's focal length.

Siebert has stated that the 22.5mm Ultra uses more elements so it should in theory work pretty well, as good or better than the Stratus.

Thus I am waiting with great anticipation on your findings.
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Old Saturday 10th January 2009, 02:15   #28
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CP,

Would it surprise you to find that I am not too thrilled with the Stratus 21 mm? I immediately noticed color fringing around the outside edge of the image as well as more field curvature when panning. The little SWAN 20 mm is more to my liking. Speaking of which, it reminds me very much of the Knight Owl 20 mm in terms of physical looks and the image it provides. Any comments on that?

The apparent field of view of the SWAN is about 7 degrees wider than the KO EWA but I cannot say it is really noticeable. Color fringing seems to be very well controlled in the SWAN though eyeplacement seems to be much easier in the Stratus.
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Old Saturday 10th January 2009, 09:46   #29
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Well, it wouldn't surprise me if the SWAN IS a rebadged Knight Owl. If I recall, both are 5 element eyepieces with identical eyerelief and similar FOV. And both are in the same price range and made in Asia.

Guess your eyes just like the KO better...LOL.

One thing I'm wondering is the SWAN flat across the whole field? Reason why I went with the Sieberts as opposed to the SWANs is that the SWANs lose clarity towards the edge from my observation while the Siebert Performance series are sharp across the whole field.

There is another eyepiece that is similar to the Pentax XL that you originally wanted to get. That's the Vixen LVW which the Stratus and Hyperions are knockoffs of. The Vixen also use lanthanum glass like the Pentax and on CloudyNights reviews clearly bested its clone competitors the Hyperions and the Stratus being noted as having better glass and better coatings.

You can get them here:
http://yhst-1469288697390.stores.yah...vilvwlaey.html

And here is a guy offering to trade his on Astromart (note his comment on their quality):
http://www.astromart.com/classifieds...fied_id=605250

Last edited by Can Popper : Saturday 10th January 2009 at 09:55.
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Old Saturday 10th January 2009, 20:10   #30
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CP,

I will check the links you mentioned shortly.

As for the edge performance of the SWANs, I was trying to examine this earlier today. They seem to be better than the Knight Owl in this regard. They are not sharp to the very edge as the Pentax XW was but they seem reasonably close. I also do not get that impression of noticeable field curvature like I do with some of the other eyepieces.

I have just taken some digiscoped shots through the SWAN of some Pine Siskins that are visiting the backyard. If I get a chance later I will post them.
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Old Thursday 22nd January 2009, 01:28   #31
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For those interested, I have not given up the hope of comparing at least two of the 20-22 mm eyepieces. I sent the Stratus back as the excessive CA was too much for me. Otherwise I found the eyepiece quite impressive minus the huge size.

I kept the SWAN 20 mm and am just waiting to receive the 22.5 mm Siebert Ultra. Apparently they are quite busy and the products weren't shipping for 1-2 weeks after initially ordering. I received an email late last week that stated they should be shipped by today so keep your fingers crossed.
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Old Thursday 29th January 2009, 15:19   #32
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Did you get the eyepiece yet, Frank? I'm curious to see how well it works. I've recently gotten a 2 inch diagonal for my Eon 72mm scope so I'm interested getting a few 2" eyepieces...possibly some 2" versions of the Siebert Ultras.
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Old Friday 30th January 2009, 00:52   #33
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CP,

I wish I could say I had but I haven't. I emailed Harry some time ago and he said that they should be in by the end of last week. I still haven't seen anything but then our mail hasn't been delivered for the last two days because of icy conditions. I am going to email him again after I post this to see if they shipped yet.

I will be sure to post as soon as it arrives.
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Old Monday 2nd February 2009, 23:22   #34
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Frank, I'm in the same boat, looking for a 20mm? I have recently gotten the SWAN also! Guess if I can't find what I'm looking for will have to fork-out for the XW! That's the only one I didn't buy??? I have XF zoom, XF 12, XW 7, XW 10, XW 14 plus some other astro EP's... Hopefully you have luck with the Seibert Ultra, I'am anxiously waiting!!! Bryce...
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Old Tuesday 3rd February 2009, 01:22   #35
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STD,

Good to see you. It has been awhile. May I ask for your thoughts on the SWAN. Admittedly, I am fairly impressed with its performance, especially for the price. It has a better level of brightness and sharpness when compared to the Knight Owl EWA along with better color fringing control especially for a non-ED style eyepiece.

No luck hearing from Mr. Seibert at this point. I am going to give them a call tomorrow to see what the status is.
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Old Wednesday 4th February 2009, 20:06   #36
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Frank, have not had a chance to really put the SWAN through it's paces as of yet. What I have seen mirror's you're comments as well. For a simple design I was quite impressed with it's sharpness. Had no problems resolving details at any distance... Color was quite good, I think that suprised me as well,didn't notice any major fringing! My only problem is that it isn't a very large EP, I like being a little further away from scope. Lol! Bryce...
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Old Thursday 5th February 2009, 00:21   #37
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Bryce,

How coincidental! I was thinking much the same thing. Balance not withstanding I tend to prefer the larger eyepieces as well.

I am now left thinking if I should invest in a higher mag. SWAN. I do not even know if they make them. I do know they offer lower powered units but I don't remember seeing anything about a 15 or 10 mm.

Still no word on the Seibert. I am going to call tonight.
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Old Thursday 5th February 2009, 23:51   #38
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I spoke with Harry last night. Very friendly gentleman. He said the eyepieces showed up at his place two nights ago. He was shipping it out either today or tomorrow so I should have it by Monday.

More to follow.....
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Old Wednesday 11th February 2009, 00:56   #39
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Frank, did you recieve the Siebert EP yet? Bryce.
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Old Wednesday 11th February 2009, 01:24   #40
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Bryce,

No, sorry. I am still waiting...patiently. I was hoping to see it on the step when I got home today but I did not have any luck in that regard.

Maybe tomorrow...and most certainly by the end of the week. I asked for USPS Priority Mail and if he shipped it Thursday or Friday then I should have it by tomorrow or Thursday at the very latest.
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Old Wednesday 11th February 2009, 03:43   #41
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Looking forward to it Frank, maybe there's hope yet!!! Bryce...
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Old Thursday 12th February 2009, 01:57   #42
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Thanks for the boost of confidence Bryce. No luck today either but I am keeping my fingers crossed for tomorrow or Friday. I have the inexpensive Scopetronix zoom on order too so hopefully one of them will show up shortly.

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Old Friday 13th February 2009, 01:58   #43
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Well, the eyepiece arrived today.

It was not what I expected.

Optically they perform quite well. The apparent field of view is noticeably narrower than the Swan though it is just as bright and maybe a tad sharper. Edge sharpness seems to be very good but I pick up noticeable color fringing around the outer edge of the image.

The physical design is what caught me off guard. Judging by the picture on the website I thought the physical size of the eyepiece was going to be closer to the Pentax XW with a similar twist/slide eyecup design. Neither is the case. This unit is actually a bit narrower than the Swan (light path) with a dual (unique) locking eyecup and inset adjustment collar (for lack of a better term). I will take some pics of it tomorrow and post it.
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Old Saturday 14th February 2009, 00:49   #44
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Sounds like the design of my Siebert Performance series eyepiece. The upside to that design is it makes for an outstanding video scoping eyepiece.
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Old Saturday 14th February 2009, 01:53   #45
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CP,

I have a feeling this would make a very interesting digiscoping eyepiece as the apparent field of view seems wide enough to avoid vignetting...plus the center 2/3rds is fairly free of CA. I like the overall design but as I said it was not quite what I was expecting. Definitely different from the 18 mm Ultra I had previously.
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Old Thursday 19th February 2009, 01:29   #46
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As an update I sent the Siebert eyepiece back as it just wasn't what I was looking for. So the search continues. I am fairly wells satisfied with the SWAN but decided to pick up two more eyepieces to tinker with.

One, I have always wanted an inexpensive zoom to keep on hand so I ordered the Celestron 8-24 mm. It arrived today and I am satisfied with its performance for the price. I have not tinkered with it much yet as it only arrived just before dark but I will experiment more with it tomorrow.

Also, I found the Meade 5000 series Plossl. I know, folks assume Plossl's all have reasonably restricted fields of view (the average was between 45 and 52 degrees from my little bit of research) but the Plossly mentioned above actually has a 60 degree field of view. Initial impressions are all very promising. The image is sharp overall...sharp to the edge and very flat. It even has a conventional eyecup design. I am going to experiment with it tomorrow as well so hopefully I will have more to post.

(Also, as a side note, I tried ordering a Scopetronix zoom from the website. The order appeared to go through as I received a confirmation email from the company....I must assume it was an automated response based on later experiences. After two weeks and two follow up emails on my part I heard nothing from them about my order. I tried calling the number on the website and it is now disconnected. I must assume the company is no longer in business. I sincerely wish they would disable their website though as I wonder how many individuals have gone down the road that I just did.)
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Old Thursday 19th February 2009, 18:44   #47
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Yeah, Scopetronix seems to be dead. Sorry the Siebert didn't work out for you.
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Old Friday 20th February 2009, 01:07   #48
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CP,

No biggie. The Celestron seems to fill the role I was going to use the Scopetronix for. Overall I enjoy the optical performance for a zoom of this price. At 24 mm it is very bright, reasonably sharp and has good edge sharpness. At 8 mm it is noticeably dimmer but still reasonably sharp with little noticeable CA. That was a bit of a surprise.

I am really warming up to the Meade 5000 series Plossl though. I cannot really find anything to fault it for. It reminds me quite a bit of a "mini-Pentax" both in terms of its physical size and its optical performance (70 vs. 60 degree field of view). It seems very well put together and I think the apparent sharpness is actually a hair better than the SWAN (which I also enjoy using quite a bit).
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Old Thursday 26th February 2009, 19:36   #49
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Frank, still no luck? I was ready to pull the trigger on an XW over on CLNY but, at the last minute ordered Nikon SE 8x32. Still holding-out so to say! Probably will end up going that way if nothing surfaces??? Oh well I've been intrigued by the little Nikon for quite some time but, that's another thread!!! Bryce...
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Old Friday 3rd April 2009, 18:59   #50
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Recently bought a Vixen NLV (Lanthanum) newer version with twist up eyecups in 20mm. I really like this EP, it may not be a wide field EP but in my PF 65ED-A it is tack sharp from one edge to the other with excellent color and contrast! I like it much better than the Swan, better eyerelief, comfort and to me much more contrasty, sharper and natural color rendition! This is one I will most likely use along with my other XW EP's. To some who are more used to wide-fields it might give the tunnel vision effect, to me it's other +'s make it a keeper, awesome view!!! I have always prefered a wider view to me it compares with the XW10 in regards to fov. I will have to use it a little more but I would say it might not be as bright? As say the XW14? Color and resolution is top notch!!! Bryce...
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