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Review of AT Paradigm 8mm and Pentax XF 8.5 mm

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#26 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 08:10 AM

If I recall correctly, BillP said that he liked the Sterlings down to 12.5mm. Shorter than that, not so much. I once tried a pair of 25mm Sterlings, but they required so much infocus that I couldn't use them with my Starmaster. The Paradigms were never a problem.

I am really resisting the urge to buy a pair of 8mm Paradigms right now, but it's getting harder. Dang it, I had just ordered a pair of 9mm Agena Enhanced Wide Angles (Expanse clones) that should be here shortly. Wish that I had read this review sooner.

#27 EXT64

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 08:19 AM

George, what were the manufacturing flaws on the 18mm? I just got that eyepiece too and just wanted to double check mine didn't have the flaws. I'm at F/10, so hopefully the curvature won't be a huge issue (haven't gotten to try it at night yet).

#28 Sarkikos

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 08:45 AM

I don't actually claim to be right. Just reporting my impressions. :lol: It is entirely possible that neither myself or my scopes are up to the task of discerning very fine differences in detail.

B


Well, you are right to present your honest observations. That's all any of us can do. Now, whether you are correct or not, that's another matter. :poke: :grin:

But seriously, I try to build up an idea in my mind of the performance of various eyepieces before I even think about buying them to try them out for myself. I consider field reports from experienced observers some of the best data we have.

Mike

#29 Sarkikos

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 09:04 AM

Doug,

If I recall correctly, BillP said that he liked the Sterlings down to 12.5mm. Shorter than that, not so much. I once tried a pair of 25mm Sterlings, but they required so much infocus that I couldn't use them with my Starmaster. The Paradigms were never a problem.


I think you're correct about that. I believe I was confusing the Sterlings with the Enhanced Wide Angles and their clones, which you mention next in your post. Yes, BillP has said to avoid the shorter focal length Sterlings, which, since they are Plossls, is a good general rule of thumb. (I made an exception for the TV Plossl Smoothside 7.4mm's!) The only Sterling I have is the 25mm, a decent Plossl with a wider field than the TV Plossl 25.

I am really resisting the urge to buy a pair of 8mm Paradigms right now, but it's getting harder. Dang it, I had just ordered a pair of 9mm Agena Enhanced Wide Angles (Expanse clones) that should be here shortly. Wish that I had read this review sooner.


Yes, I was thinking about the EWAs and their many clones. I have a pair of the SkyWatcher UWA 9mm, one of the clones, which I bought really cheap a couple years ago. They are great for DSO, but since I don't binoview DSO anymore, I only have one in my equipment case now. IMO, a pair of BGO 9mm was much better for planet/lunar.

Maybe keep the EWA 9's for DSO, and get a pair of Paradigm 8mm for the planets/Moon? Or just keep one of the EWA 9's and sell the other, which is what I should do. But, in any case, try the EWA 9's out for yourself, to see what you think.

The 6mm eyepiece I mentioned was actually an Owl Enhanced Super Wide, a clone of the EWAs. Not too good, IME. Like I said, it was highly praised, though undeservedly, IMO.

Mike

#30 george golitzin

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 07:50 PM


It is interesting, though, that you ranked the Paradigm 5 and UO VT 5 about the same, except for the Paradigm being more comfortable. That is saying something. :ubetcha:

Mike


I agree--if this eyepiece is really performing at the level of a good ortho (and I bet it's a near thing), then the additional eye relief and field width are a real plus.

#31 george golitzin

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 07:54 PM

George, what were the manufacturing flaws on the 18mm? I just got that eyepiece too and just wanted to double check mine didn't have the flaws. I'm at F/10, so hopefully the curvature won't be a huge issue (haven't gotten to try it at night yet).


Todd--

First, I think you'll be fine at f/10.

There were two flaws--the first was no biggie, just some small burrs on the bottom of the barrel--if that had been all, I would not have returned the eyepiece. But the other was what appeared to be some gunk on the inside of the eye lens. This meant I could not in good conscience sell the eyepiece, so I asked astronomics for a return, which they graciously agreed to do.

#32 BDS316

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 04:43 PM

I purchased an 8.5 XF a few years ago and have been pretty happy with it. I am really surprised that a $60 eyepiece would have out-performed it.

Wondering now if I should sell my XF?






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