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AstroTech Paradigm Dual ED 12mm first light

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#1 drbyyz

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:11 PM

Clouds finally parted for long enough last night to get a little first light on my new 12mm.

First off, I love the feel and construction of this eyepiece. The screw up eyecup is an awesome feature. Also the eyepiece has a substantial feel to it without being overwhelmingly heavy.

Seeing was only average for this outing and I may not have even used this eyepiece had I not been eager to try it out. At 167x this was about the limit of magnification for the night and was pushing it a bit.

Eye relief is very nice and and the field of view is great for this magnification. A very comfortable eyepiece to look through. I don't feel like I'm squinting into it like I do with the plossls, instead I have a very comfortable, very wide field of view with my eye barely against the eyecup which is screwed all the way out.

The big test for the night was Jupiter and holy cow did this thing perform. I'm by no means a veteran of planetary observing but I was blown away even in the poor seeing conditions. Io's shadow appeared as a dark black disc...yes I said, disc...the moons and that shadow appeared as discs, something I've never seen before through my scope, absolutely stunning. There were also white spots in the belts, another detail I've never seen. Amazing.

Another test was the Orion Nebula. While I would usually not go this high of magnification here, this was a beautiful view. The wide field of view allowed me to keep most of the nebula visible at once while observing tons of detail in the nebulosity...that cool "right angle" part stuck out incredibly. Forgot to even pay attention to how many stars I could see in the trap because the nebula was so beautiful.

However, I did check out a few double stars with it and once again this eyepiece performed admirably. Since seeing wasn't great I didn't go for anything too challenging but all splits were cleaner than expected and the stars showed more color than I'm used to. This lead me to check out a few carbons as well...once again, no let down...color was phenomenal placed on a perfectly black background. Great contrast.

So yea, I'm happy. For $60 this thing is a miracle worker. I'm sure those high dollar eyepieces are stunning as well, but if you are on a budget and want an incredible upgrade to those stock eyepieces that came with your scope...check out AstroTech. (I have no affiliation with them by the way, just a very happy customer at the moment) Also, props to Astronomics.com for the discount and speedy processing and shipping.

#2 tag1260

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 06:57 AM

Great report. I have to second his recommendation of these eyepieces.

#3 russell23

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:42 AM

Your findings agree with what I have found with the 15mm Paradigm I picked up a few weeks ago. I had intended to try it out with my new 2x Explore scientific barlow that just arrived yesterday. But the seeing was horrific here in upstate NY. I had clear skies but couldn't get a sharp focus at magnifications as low as 53x even after my refractor had been cooling for 2 hours. I've never had skies that bad.

When surface winds kicked up I gave up and called it a night.

Dave

#4 george golitzin

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:48 AM

The 12mm is my favorite of the series...it's is indeed a very nice eyepiece.

-geo.

#5 aatt

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 12:03 PM

I live in CT-I am with you there as far as seeing goes. Absolutely abysmal-could not get a pinpoint star.Jupiter looked like a smudge even at 75 degrees and 55X...If you get a good night, let us know how it goes. I am considering ATP's in a couple of focal lengths, not just the 12mm.

#6 drbyyz

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 12:12 PM

I am considering ATP's in a couple of focal lengths, not just the 12mm.


I've heard good things about the 8-15mm ATPs but the rest of the line seems to get mixed reviews. I went with the 12 since most people seemed to agree that was the best of the line. Here's a thread discussing the whole line:

http://www.cloudynig...5591312/page...

There are also some good links to other threads and reviews included.

#7 csa/montana

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 12:53 PM

Very nice report! I agree with your findings; I have 3 of the Paradigms, and plan on getting more, in the Spring!

#8 Kon Dealer

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 02:16 PM

Chimes with what I have found.
I have the 15, 12, 8 and 5mm versions.
All are very good.

#9 drbyyz

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 09:36 AM

Had this out last night again looking at Jupiter and was getting some really awful "ghost" images. Or at least that's what I think people are talking about when they say ghost images. What I was experiencing was a dim "star" that moved around as my eye moved, and also a very reflection looking thing that moved around as well and was very distracting/annoying.

The only thing different between the first outing and this outing is I cleaned a small smudge off the lens using a touch of Isopropyl alcohol, but the lens looked very clean when I took it out so not sure that was the effect. I didn't have my other eyepieces with me so I couldn't properly determine if it was in fact this eyepiece or something going on with another component.

Has anyone had this issue with this eyepiece, and if so is there a way to minimize/eliminate it?

#10 mgwhittle

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 10:02 AM

Had this out last night again looking at Jupiter and was getting some really awful "ghost" images. Or at least that's what I think people are talking about when they say ghost images. What I was experiencing was a dim "star" that moved around as my eye moved, and also a very reflection looking thing that moved around as well and was very distracting/annoying.

The only thing different between the first outing and this outing is I cleaned a small smudge off the lens using a touch of Isopropyl alcohol, but the lens looked very clean when I took it out so not sure that was the effect. I didn't have my other eyepieces with me so I couldn't properly determine if it was in fact this eyepiece or something going on with another component.

Has anyone had this issue with this eyepiece, and if so is there a way to minimize/eliminate it?


I do not experience anything like this, in fact quite the opposite as I see no ghosting at all. However, it is possible tht the shape of your eye is causing this as it interacts with the eye lens of the Paradigm. I know that I have experienced ghosting (actually eye glint as BillP correctly points out) in some eyepieces that is caused by this. Why do you have it now and not the time before? I would suspect your eye was at different levels of dark adaption between the two viewing sessions.

#11 drbyyz

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 10:15 AM

Why do you have it now and not the time before? I would suspect your eye was at different levels of dark adaption between the two viewing sessions.


That would make perfect sense, the first outing I was very dark adapted and this time I was going in and out of the house just to look at/ show people Jupiter.

#12 Scanning4Comets

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 10:22 AM

Mike Hosea explained the ghosting thing on here. If the image moves around it is from an external light source, or from your eye and not at fault with the eyepiece IIRC. I don't think dark adaptation has anything to do with it.

Cheers,

#13 BillP

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 10:24 AM

Ghosting is when a dim secondary image of the object is reflected on an internal lens surface. You can tell a ghost because as the bright object drifts through the FOV, the ghost will drift in the opposite direction. Moving your eye around should not impact the location of a ghost image.

What you describe sounds more like eyeball glint. This is the bright image reflecting off your eyeball and back onto the top of the eye lens, then that reflects back to your vision. So on this, when you move your eye, it causes the glint to move as well.

#14 mgwhittle

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 10:42 AM

Mike Hosea explained the ghosting thing on here. If the image moves around it is from an external light source, or from your eye and not at fault with the eyepiece IIRC. I don't think dark adaptation has anything to do with it.

Cheers,


I would disagree, I have experienced eye glints, as BillP correctly defined, at different levels of dark adaptation from the fact that my iris was either not fully dilated or was dilated. I suspect the iris acts just like a camera lens diaphragm.

drbyyz's post that he was at different levels of dark adaption seems to indicate that there may be a correlation here. Of course this is easily tested, just try again changing only dark adaption levels.

#15 drbyyz

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 05:18 PM

Well it should be clear enough to at least test the dark adaptation theory tonight. Will point at Jupiter as soon as I walk outside and then again every so often as my eyes adjust...might also try with some brighter stars to and see if the same effect occurs.

Might start a new thread with the results, should make for an interesting discussion.

#16 Mike B

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 05:25 PM

Was there a difference in observing *location* between these two experiences? Possibly an EXTERNAL source of light at the latter?

Maybe try observing with a "hood", to fully cut off external sources of unwanted light? That way what's left is within the "system"... scope, EP, eyeball.

#17 russell23

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:44 PM

A few nights ago I was out and used the 15mm AT Paradigm with a 2.5x powermate. When I looked at Jupiter I saw a circular grayish "cloud" that migrated slowly across the field. A ghost I presume.

Dave

#18 newtoskies

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 10:21 AM

Nice report of the ATP. I was thinking of getting two of these ep's and after reading this I will go for it.






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