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Equipment Discussions >> Eyepieces

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russell23
Post Laureate
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Reged: 05/31/09

Loc: Upstate NY
15mm Paradigm - 1st night
      #5570001 - 12/13/12 09:40 PM

It has been a while since I've tried out a new eyepiece. I decided to try a 15mm Astrotech Paradigm so I ordered one Sunday and received it today. With my Vixen 140 refractor it gives 53x and just over 1 deg - which is right in the range I like for my main lower magnification observing. The eyepiece is well constructed and has enough eye relief to see the full field with my glasses on.

I have to say I was not expecting to be impressed with this eyepiece because in my experience the low cost eyepieces usually leave me thinking "you get what you pay for". Most of my observing the last few months has been with a 20mm XW with and without a 2.4x Dakin barlow.

So after observing for over an hour with the 15mm Paradigm I have to say I am borderline shocked at just how good this eyepiece is. I observed a variety of large and faint open clusters, M42, and Jupiter.

The 15mm paradigm is very comfortable. There are no issues with blackouts. Three things seem to set this eyepiece apart from similar 60 deg AFOV low cost eyepieces I've tried (12mm x-cel LX, 12mm Meade HD-60, 16mm, 19mm, and 27mm Flat Field). First is the precision with which star images are rendered - very reminiscent of premium eyepieces such as the XW's, Delos, nagler. Second is the very pure clean quality of the field. The other low cost 60 deg eyepieces I've looked at always seem to have a certain amount of grainy texture to the light. The 15mm Paradigm has a very smooth, pure quality to the light of the field that reminds me of the XW. Third, the coatings and transmission are excellent. The Orion nebula for example was richer and brighter than in the 16mm Flat Field.

At no point while using the 15mm Paradigm tonight did I get an urge to grab my 20mm XW to "improve" the view. I can't say the same with the 16mm Flat Field.

I don't know if all the Paradigm's are this good or if they all have enough eye relief for use with eyeglasses. But based upon my observations with very good skies tonight I feel that the Paradigm is the top low cost 60 deg AFOV eyepiece option out there.

Dave


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mgwhittle
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/24/11

Loc: Chattanooga, TN
Re: 15mm Paradigm - 1st night new [Re: russell23]
      #5570046 - 12/13/12 10:05 PM

Great report. I bought a pair of 12mm Paradigms last month and have also been thoroughly impressed by them. They are excellent eyepieces and I don't mean for the money, but just in general.

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Scanning4Comets
Markus
*****

Reged: 12/26/04

Re: 15mm Paradigm - 1st night new [Re: mgwhittle]
      #5570237 - 12/14/12 01:15 AM

Nice report Dave!

Cheers,


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Damo636
sage


Reged: 08/16/11

Loc: Co Fermanagh, Northern Ireland
Re: 15mm Paradigm - 1st night new [Re: Scanning4Comets]
      #5570350 - 12/14/12 06:11 AM

Great report Dave! Here is the UK they are known as BST Explorer and they consistantly get very good reviews.

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russell23
Post Laureate
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Reged: 05/31/09

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: 15mm Paradigm - 1st night new [Re: mgwhittle]
      #5570501 - 12/14/12 09:14 AM

Quote:

Great report. I bought a pair of 12mm Paradigms last month and have also been thoroughly impressed by them. They are excellent eyepieces and I don't mean for the money, but just in general.




That is exactly what I saw last night with the 15mm Paradigm. A "good value" eyepiece to me is an eyepiece that performs well enough for it's cost - giving decent views, but leaves you knowing that if you fork over more money you can see some significant improvement. I think the 15mm Paradigm is well above that in performance. It is just flat out an excellent eyepiece.

Of course it is plainly stated on the Astronomics website that the Paradigms are a new design -but if anybody is thinking that the Paradigm's are just a re-branding of the older Orion Epic's I can assure you that there is nothing about their performance that is reminiscent of the Epic's. No blackouts, very neutral color tone, better edge performance, nice even field illumination. These eyepieces are a very different design.

Dave


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: 15mm Paradigm - 1st night new [Re: russell23]
      #5570589 - 12/14/12 10:19 AM

Couldn't agree more with the above posts! I have the 8,12,18 Paradigms that I use in my Vixen 80 GrabnGo scope. I've been very pleased with the quality & views thru these! I plan on getting the rest of the line!

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Dave Ittner
sage
*****

Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: SF Bay Area, California
Re: 15mm Paradigm - 1st night new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5570607 - 12/14/12 10:30 AM

I recommend these eyepieces to those who are just starting out. Especially on the lower end of the focal lengths, much better eye relief than plossls and still quite affordable.

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cjohnson21
member


Reged: 02/16/11

Loc: Puyallup, WA
Re: 15mm Paradigm - 1st night new [Re: Dave Ittner]
      #5570703 - 12/14/12 11:36 AM

How do these perform in a f/6 dob for example?

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Dave Ittner
sage
*****

Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: SF Bay Area, California
Re: 15mm Paradigm - 1st night new [Re: cjohnson21]
      #5570737 - 12/14/12 11:54 AM

Quite well actually. If you are on a budget or looking for a set of starter eyepieces these get my top vote.

When I started out (15 years ago) I selected the Orion Epic ED series. http://www.telescope.com/Accessories/Telescope-Eyepieces/Orion-Epic-ED-2-Tele...

They lasted me 14 years - same as my XT10. Now the Paradigm are just an improved series IMHO.

Again the qualifier I am using is that you are just starting out, want to not spend a lot of money for a series of eyepieces, or want to have a set of eyepieces that you can use while you try out more expensive glass ... this is one set that should be considered.


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Sarkikos
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Suburban Maryland, USA
Re: 15mm Paradigm - 1st night new [Re: russell23]
      #5570859 - 12/14/12 01:20 PM

Dave,

I have pairs of the Paradigm 8mm and 12mm for my binoviewer on a 10" f/4.8 Dob. So far, I've seen that they are very nice eyepieces for Jupiter, Mars and the Moon. I haven't used them yet for DSO, but after your report, I'm thinking about making room in my deep sky case.


Mike


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russell23
Post Laureate
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Reged: 05/31/09

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: 15mm Paradigm - 1st night new [Re: cjohnson21]
      #5570877 - 12/14/12 01:39 PM

Quote:

How do these perform in a f/6 dob for example?




I agree with Dave Ittner. They are not perfectly sharp to the edge in my Vixen 140mm f/5.7 refractor - which is a flat field petzval design, but they are very good. There were no star streaks at the edge. I found with some refocus it was possible to get the edge almost as sharp as the center.

Dave


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russell23
Post Laureate
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Reged: 05/31/09

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: 15mm Paradigm - 1st night new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5570881 - 12/14/12 01:44 PM

Quote:

Dave,

I have pairs of the Paradigm 8mm and 12mm for my binoviewer on a 10" f/4.8 Dob. So far, I've seen that they are very nice eyepieces for Jupiter, Mars and the Moon. I haven't used them yet for DSO, but after your report, I'm thinking about making room in my deep sky case.


Mike




It might be worth it. The 15mm Paradigm seemed quite narrow at first after using my 20mm XW so much the last few months, but after a while that feeling went away and I was able to appreciate the quality of the view over the field the Paradigm does provide. Like I said in my first post - it really didn't leave me with any feeling that I needed to grab my 20mm XW to get a "better" view. Stars were nice precise pinpoints like you see with the premium eyepieces. Contrast was excellent - much better than the 16mm Flat Field.

Dave


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Dave Ittner
sage
*****

Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: SF Bay Area, California
Re: 15mm Paradigm - 1st night new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5570883 - 12/14/12 01:49 PM

hehe, Mike you have plenty of fine eyepieces already listed in your signature line that perform quite well on DSOs.

But if you do buy some Paradigms I would be glad to pick up those that you take out of your case.


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Dave Ittner
sage
*****

Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: SF Bay Area, California
Re: 15mm Paradigm - 1st night new [Re: russell23]
      #5570910 - 12/14/12 02:08 PM

The 15mm is good but where the line shines is in the lower focal lengths. Especially when comparing them to stock plossls.

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russell23
Post Laureate
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Reged: 05/31/09

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: 15mm Paradigm - 1st night new [Re: Dave Ittner]
      #5570951 - 12/14/12 02:37 PM

Quote:

The 15mm is good but where the line shines is in the lower focal lengths. Especially when comparing them to stock plossls.




I thought about getting the 8mm, but I'm not sure if it will have enough eye relief to wear my glasses. The 15mm is just enough with 15mm of eye relief. Astronomics lists the 8mm and 5mm with 2mm less eye relief than the 15mm.

Can anybody with an 8mm or 5mm comment on whether or not the ER is sufficient for glasses?

Dave


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russell23
Post Laureate
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Reged: 05/31/09

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: 15mm Paradigm - 1st night new [Re: Dave Ittner]
      #5570957 - 12/14/12 02:38 PM

Quote:

The 15mm is good but where the line shines is in the lower focal lengths. Especially when comparing them to stock plossls.




I've noticed a lot of lines seem to be reported to be better at shorter FL. How much of this has to do with the smaller exit pupil generated by shorter FL eyepieces? Anyone have thoughts on that?

Dave


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Dave Ittner
sage
*****

Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: SF Bay Area, California
Re: 15mm Paradigm - 1st night new [Re: russell23]
      #5571018 - 12/14/12 03:22 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The 15mm is good but where the line shines is in the lower focal lengths. Especially when comparing them to stock plossls.




I've noticed a lot of lines seem to be reported to be better at shorter FL. How much of this has to do with the smaller exit pupil generated by shorter FL eyepieces? Anyone have thoughts on that?

Dave




Dave, IMHO it has to do with the design providing better eye relief over that of the plossls. I think the exit pupil stays the same regardless of the design of the eyepiece. Isn't Exit Pupil = Focal Length divided by Focal Ratio? So a 12mm eyepiece in a F6 scope will give you a 2mm exit pupil regardless of the design (plossl or wide field).

Dave


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Scanning4Comets
Markus
*****

Reged: 12/26/04

Re: 15mm Paradigm - 1st night new [Re: Dave Ittner]
      #5571298 - 12/14/12 06:29 PM

Quote:

Dave,

I have pairs of the Paradigm 8mm and 12mm for my binoviewer on a 10" f/4.8 Dob. So far, I've seen that they are very nice eyepieces for Jupiter, Mars and the Moon. I haven't used them yet for DSO, but after your report, I'm thinking about making room in my deep sky case.

Mike




Mike,

How u gonna pull that off when you have over 900 eyepieces?


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Dave Ittner
sage
*****

Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: SF Bay Area, California
Re: 15mm Paradigm - 1st night new [Re: Scanning4Comets]
      #5571581 - 12/14/12 09:16 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Dave,

I have pairs of the Paradigm 8mm and 12mm for my binoviewer on a 10" f/4.8 Dob. So far, I've seen that they are very nice eyepieces for Jupiter, Mars and the Moon. I haven't used them yet for DSO, but after your report, I'm thinking about making room in my deep sky case.

Mike




Mike,

How u gonna pull that off when you have over 900 eyepieces?




Well it's easy for him since this is how he transports his stuff to the observing sites:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/navymailman/4504298836/


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russell23
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/31/09

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: 15mm Paradigm - 1st night new [Re: Dave Ittner]
      #5571751 - 12/14/12 11:02 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

The 15mm is good but where the line shines is in the lower focal lengths. Especially when comparing them to stock plossls.




I've noticed a lot of lines seem to be reported to be better at shorter FL. How much of this has to do with the smaller exit pupil generated by shorter FL eyepieces? Anyone have thoughts on that?

Dave




Dave, IMHO it has to do with the design providing better eye relief over that of the plossls. I think the exit pupil stays the same regardless of the design of the eyepiece. Isn't Exit Pupil = Focal Length divided by Focal Ratio? So a 12mm eyepiece in a F6 scope will give you a 2mm exit pupil regardless of the design (plossl or wide field).

Dave




But comparing an 8mm plossl to an 8mm Paradigm is different than comparing an 8mm Paradigm to an 18mm Paradigm and concluding the 8mm is better. The exit pupil with the shorter FL eyepiece is smaller. Aberrations due to the observers eyes tend to decrease with smaller exit pupils and I'm wondering how much that contributes to the fairly consistent reports that shorter FL eyepieces in various lines often are reported to perform better than longer FL eyepieces in the same lines.

Dave


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