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Panoptics Vs Meade SWA's in Maxbrights

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#1 tomcody

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 10:35 PM

For anyone looking for a low cost alternative to binoviewing with Panoptics, the Meade SWA 4000 series ( Japan ) 24.5, 18 and 13.8 mm eyepieces may do.
I finally had a chance to compare the Panoptic 19 and 15 mm against the Meade 18 and 13.8 mm in my Maxbrights and what I found is that they are so close that only one difference stands out, the Meades seem to have a flatter field of view and snap to focus where as the Panoptics seem to have a wider focus zone, both seem equally sharp and show the same amount of detail on Saturn and the Moon. So why the excitement over the Meades? Price, a pair of used Panoptics will set you back about $350, a pair of Meades, maybe $200.
So which do I prefer? the Panoptics, only as they seem easier to keep in the critical focus zone, ( especially when the night temp drops and my Tak focusers get some play in them).
If you decide to try a pair of Meade SWA,s 4000 (Japan), one thing you need to know: there are two series of them, one marked Japan on the black body and one marked Japan on the chrome barrel. You must match the stamps ( i.e. both stamped Japan on the barrel) or they won't merge.
And finally, for full disclosure, in a few weeks I will be selling off a lot of extra eyepieces including 14 SWA's .
Rex

#2 Eddgie

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 09:25 AM

I have owned many of the Meade SWAs and was not at all impressed with them.

A much better alternative is the Hyperions. The 24mm to me does not seem quite as good at the rest, but considering the used price and high availabiliyt on the used market, the Hyperions make a lot of sense.

The other thing that makes the Hyperions so nice is that they have excellent eye relief. The Pans don't come shorter that 15mm, and the 15mm Pan is very tight. If you want a full 68 degree AFOV eyepiece in shorter focal lenghts at an affordable price, used hyperions seem like one of the best games in town.

I now own the 13, 17, and 24mm and use them in my C14 with the Mark V.

#3 teskridg

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 10:05 PM

I was able to compare pairs of 15mm Panoptics and 16mm Meade Series 5000 SWA's in a fast scope and found no appreciable difference. The eye relief is fortunately a little better with the Meades than with the Panoptics. I was able to pick up a new pair of Meade Series 5000 16mm SWA'S several years ago on sale for $98 (!!) while of course the 15mm Panoptics were discontinued; the used prices for these of course are much higher than for the Meades. In a recent shootout by Bill P., the replacement ES 24mm 68° (I believe similar to the Meade Series 5000 SWA) held its own with the Panoptics. Tim

#4 Eddgie

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 02:19 PM

I am sure that you are right and that the S5K is better than the S4K that the OP mentioned.

I don't have the ES 6824s, but I did have the ES2068 and ES1668 and liked them both and agree that they are similar to the Pans, which is to say quite excellent.

So, lots of better choices than the S4K SWAs. I think I owned three or four of these and was not at all impressed as I compared them to better eyepeices.

#5 teskridg

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:38 AM

Eddgie, it's funny, but I think I like the Series 4000 Japanese Plossls better than the Series 5000 Plossls. The background seems darker and stars seem sharper and brighter in the 4000's. I apologize in advance for the infantile way I've described these differences, but to me it's the simplest method. Tim

#6 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 01:43 PM

See http://www.cloudynig...hp?item_id=2175 for all you ever wanted to know about Meade Series 3000 through 5000 Plössls but were afraid to ask.

Dave Mitsky

#7 teskridg

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 02:32 PM

Thank you, Dave for this terrific information. I have compared the "Masuyama" 5-element Japanese Seriess 4000 Super Plossls with the newer 4-element Japanese non-smoothside versions and believe star fields are brighter and sharper with the Smoothsides, although I am by no means an eyepiece guru. For example, I don't have a fast enough scope to challenge the assertion that my Meade Smoothsides are not as good on the edge of the field as are Televue Plossls. Tim

#8 Peter Glus

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 03:46 PM

I use the 5k SWAs (with the rubber off) and they are pretty decent when compared to the pans. I wanted to try the hyperion but my nose is big and I dont think it would all fit. Any big-nosed hyperion-using binoviewrs out there?!

#9 kfiscus

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 07:49 PM

:roflmao:
You made me laugh!!! No binoviewing, just a big, crooked nose.

#10 faackanders2

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 02:55 PM

With my 17.5" f4.1, I use the 24mm panoptics far mor than my new 14mm 82 AFOV ES eyepiece pairs with my Denk II and multiple powerswitch system. The reason being I find lower power wider views more useful.






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