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Equipment Discussions >> Eyepieces

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Astrorookie
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Reged: 06/30/10

BCO vs Pentax XW new
      #5733314 - 03/15/13 12:14 AM

For those new owners of the bco. Has anyone did a comparison of the bco against pentax xw. If we take out eye relief and fov and strictly comparing image to image. Is there any difference on contrast and details especially on planets?

Thanks


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Lane
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Re: BCO vs Pentax XW new [Re: Astrorookie]
      #5733467 - 03/15/13 04:31 AM

I have not tried the new BCOs yet, but in my Apos, I have compared my UO HD Orthos to my Pentax XWs. They are really very close, especially on sharpness, but I would have to say the contrast advantage goes to the Orthos. For looking at planets I prefer to use a 3x barlow and longer focal length orthos rather than a Pentax, assuming I am using a mount that can track easily at high power. The reason for barlowing is just so I can use the 9mm, 12mm, and 18mm orthos which provide much better eye relief than the shorter ones. For everything other than planets I will use the Pentax XWs.

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daniel_h
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Re: BCO vs Pentax XW new [Re: Lane]
      #5733495 - 03/15/13 05:36 AM

I have a 10 BCO, terrific contrast occasionally though I get a bit of blackout as the top of the eyepiece is 4/5", whereas the eye lens is 2/5", the winged eyecup doesn't help.
Don't have an xw now but comfort comes to mind & terrific optics
Like the BCO fs they weigh nothing, have the 6mm on the way


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Jaimo!
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Re: BCO vs Pentax XW new [Re: Lane]
      #5733691 - 03/15/13 09:19 AM

Quote:

I have not tried the new BCOs yet, but in my Apos, I have compared my UO HD Orthos to my Pentax XWs. They are really very close, especially on sharpness, but I would have to say the contrast advantage goes to the Orthos. For looking at planets I prefer to use a 3x barlow and longer focal length orthos rather than a Pentax, assuming I am using a mount that can track easily at high power. The reason for barlowing is just so I can use the 9mm, 12mm, and 18mm orthos which provide much better eye relief than the shorter ones. For everything other than planets I will use the Pentax XWs.




Did you conduct your comparison w/wo the barlow on the OU HD?

Jaimo!


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tomharri
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Re: BCO vs Pentax XW new [Re: Jaimo!]
      #5733835 - 03/15/13 10:36 AM

The 6mm BCO compared to the Pentax 5&7 xw's and Delos 6mm, well there is no comparison. The Pen & Del show the little red spot on Jupiter, and there isn't even a hint of it in the BCO with my 10" dob. The BCO's are overhyped and the same as any other ortho/plossl you can buy today.

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turtle86
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Re: BCO vs Pentax XW new [Re: tomharri]
      #5733944 - 03/15/13 11:31 AM

Quote:

The 6mm BCO compared to the Pentax 5&7 xw's and Delos 6mm, well there is no comparison. The Pen & Del show the little red spot on Jupiter, and there isn't even a hint of it in the BCO with my 10" dob. The BCO's are overhyped and the same as any other ortho/plossl you can buy today.




+1

I similarly compared a 7 mm BGO to a 6 and 8 mm Ethos on a few nights and found that the Ethos consistently outperformed the BGO with respect to fine planetary detail. If others can see more with orthos like the BCO then more power to them but I know what works best for me--I'll take an XW, Delos or Ethos every time over an ortho.


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astro_baby
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Re: BCO vs Pentax XW new [Re: turtle86]
      #5734277 - 03/15/13 02:55 PM

I have orthos and XWs but the weather just wont play ball. If It ever clears I will let you know. I am also going to run off a Nagler 31 against an ES 30mm 82' and a Pentax XW30.

I think the problem so far has been the huge boxes they ship in had a vast amount of cloud. Nearly three solid months now of cloud, cloud, cloud and cloud.


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Hesiod
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Re: BCO vs Pentax XW new [Re: astro_baby]
      #5734656 - 03/15/13 06:35 PM

I own 10&18 mm BCO and I think they're not that good...more entry level stuff, like a better OMNI.
Actually I use them mainly with Herschel wedge, where their faults are less bothersome (10 mm shows sensible asthigmatism, 18 mm less asthigmatism but huge distorsion).


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simpleisbetter
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Re: BCO vs Pentax XW new [Re: Hesiod]
      #5734725 - 03/15/13 07:11 PM

I've had mine for a couple months now and am actually warming up to them and find them pretty good, with reservations...

First off, I agree with those who said they give the BGO's etc, a run for the money. And color transmission is excellent. When comparing it to my other eyepieces, it does have better throughput and sharpness of my other eyepieces, and as said better color transmission and have no trouble seeing colors and detail on Jupiter. They're also excellent double star and variable (carbon) star eyepieces, being very sharp and showing star colors quite well. Finally, I really like the barlow.

Now for the reservations...
1. I've ditched the winged eyecups and prefer them "naked". I find the eyecups a hassle and just get in the way.
2. The 6mm seems to have some glare to it not sure why. It could just be poor seeing or eye placement or combination of though, I've not had many good nights this winter. Still, it's a very good eyepiece and willing to admit it might be me not being used to it yet.
3. I've not warmed up yet to the turret, as I use them in conjunction with my other eyepieces.

and (this one might cause disagreement from others)

3. On the Moon, I actually prefer my TMB Planetary II's to the BCO's. Yes, the TMB's have noticeably lower contrast, but they are much easier to focus and small lunar details are much easier to see in the TMB compared to the BCO. I'm surprised by this one myself especially as this isn't the case on planets or double stars.

These observations are based on use in a Celestron 6" f/8 achro. All in all, for the money they're quite good. But...if I were to do it again today, I'd get only the 3 orthos and the barlow, and pass on the 32mm plossl and turret.

Edited by simpleisbetter (03/15/13 07:19 PM)


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russell23
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Re: BCO vs Pentax XW new [Re: simpleisbetter]
      #5734874 - 03/15/13 08:21 PM

Quote:

I've had mine for a couple months now and am actually warming up to them and find them pretty good, with reservations...

First off, I agree with those who said they give the BGO's etc, a run for the money. And color transmission is excellent. When comparing it to my other eyepieces, it does have better throughput and sharpness of my other eyepieces, and as said better color transmission and have no trouble seeing colors and detail on Jupiter. They're also excellent double star and variable (carbon) star eyepieces, being very sharp and showing star colors quite well. Finally, I really like the barlow.






I'd love to hear more specifics regarding the barlow. What eyepieces have you used it with? Does it vignette more than longer barlows? Is it better/similar in performance than other specific barlows you've used? How does it work threaded into the eyepieces for 1.3x?

Thanks!

Dave


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GeneT
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Re: BCO vs Pentax XW new [Re: Astrorookie]
      #5735302 - 03/15/13 11:44 PM

Quote:

If we take out eye relief and fov




These are important characteristics for me. I want to view while wearing glasses. Fov is less important to me.


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simpleisbetter
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Re: BCO vs Pentax XW new [Re: russell23]
      #5735433 - 03/16/13 01:35 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I've had mine for a couple months now and am actually warming up to them and find them pretty good, with reservations...

First off, I agree with those who said they give the BGO's etc, a run for the money. And color transmission is excellent. When comparing it to my other eyepieces, it does have better throughput and sharpness of my other eyepieces, and as said better color transmission and have no trouble seeing colors and detail on Jupiter. They're also excellent double star and variable (carbon) star eyepieces, being very sharp and showing star colors quite well. Finally, I really like the barlow.






I'd love to hear more specifics regarding the barlow. What eyepieces have you used it with? Does it vignette more than longer barlows? Is it better/similar in performance than other specific barlows you've used? How does it work threaded into the eyepieces for 1.3x?

Thanks!

Dave




Well, that'll be kind of difficult to answer Dave, I'm not able to directly A-B it with others. However, the barlows I've owned and am comparing it to are the Klee (really wish I still had it), and the TV 2x and 3x barlows (these I owned and used together).

That said, I consider the Baader Classic barlow quite favorable in performance - it doesn't degrade the image in anyway whatsoever upon insertion. All you get is simply a magnified image while maintaining sharpness, flatness of field, and color accuracy; the same criteria I've always used for barlows. If I can't "see" the barlow, then it's good.

As for what eyepieces I've used it with, I use it with the 18, 10, and 6mm BCO's, in 2.25x mode (which gives me 8mm, 4.5mm, and 2.7mm eyepieces). I suppose it might vignette the longer focal length BCO's but to be honest, at least with the 18mm BCO I don't notice it, haven't really looked. And I've not tried it with the 32mm; for low power, my 36mm and 21mm Hyperions are rather hard to beat in my scope.

Also, the 1.3x mode does work, but I find it incredibly inconvenient, preferring the 2.25x mode instead of fumbling with threading and unthreading and playing around in the dark; same reason I don't like the Hyperion tuning rings. And since all the focal lengths are duplicated as the chart below shows, it's kind of pointless for me to use the 1.3x feature, YMMV.

Resulting BCO F/L's with Barlow:
Eyepiece-----2.25x---1.3x
32mm--------14mm---25mm
18mm---------8mm---14mm
10mm-------4.5mm----8mm
6mm-------2.7mm--4.5mm

Hope this answers some of your questions on the barlow. For the price it's pretty good. And at it's size which is very close to that of a Klee, it's very convenient and easy to handle and store.


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johnnyha
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Re: BCO vs Pentax XW new [Re: simpleisbetter]
      #5735452 - 03/16/13 02:10 AM

This certainly seems to be a case of "you get what ya pay for"...

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russell23
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Re: BCO vs Pentax XW new [Re: simpleisbetter]
      #5735626 - 03/16/13 07:54 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

I've had mine for a couple months now and am actually warming up to them and find them pretty good, with reservations...

First off, I agree with those who said they give the BGO's etc, a run for the money. And color transmission is excellent. When comparing it to my other eyepieces, it does have better throughput and sharpness of my other eyepieces, and as said better color transmission and have no trouble seeing colors and detail on Jupiter. They're also excellent double star and variable (carbon) star eyepieces, being very sharp and showing star colors quite well. Finally, I really like the barlow.






I'd love to hear more specifics regarding the barlow. What eyepieces have you used it with? Does it vignette more than longer barlows? Is it better/similar in performance than other specific barlows you've used? How does it work threaded into the eyepieces for 1.3x?

Thanks!

Dave




Well, that'll be kind of difficult to answer Dave, I'm not able to directly A-B it with others. However, the barlows I've owned and am comparing it to are the Klee (really wish I still had it), and the TV 2x and 3x barlows (these I owned and used together).

That said, I consider the Baader Classic barlow quite favorable in performance - it doesn't degrade the image in anyway whatsoever upon insertion. All you get is simply a magnified image while maintaining sharpness, flatness of field, and color accuracy; the same criteria I've always used for barlows. If I can't "see" the barlow, then it's good.

As for what eyepieces I've used it with, I use it with the 18, 10, and 6mm BCO's, in 2.25x mode (which gives me 8mm, 4.5mm, and 2.7mm eyepieces). I suppose it might vignette the longer focal length BCO's but to be honest, at least with the 18mm BCO I don't notice it, haven't really looked. And I've not tried it with the 32mm; for low power, my 36mm and 21mm Hyperions are rather hard to beat in my scope.

Also, the 1.3x mode does work, but I find it incredibly inconvenient, preferring the 2.25x mode instead of fumbling with threading and unthreading and playing around in the dark; same reason I don't like the Hyperion tuning rings. And since all the focal lengths are duplicated as the chart below shows, it's kind of pointless for me to use the 1.3x feature, YMMV.

Resulting BCO F/L's with Barlow:
Eyepiece-----2.25x---1.3x
32mm--------14mm---25mm
18mm---------8mm---14mm
10mm-------4.5mm----8mm
6mm-------2.7mm--4.5mm

Hope this answers some of your questions on the barlow. For the price it's pretty good. And at it's size which is very close to that of a Klee, it's very convenient and easy to handle and store.




Thanks! That is what I was looking for. There haven't been a lot of reports on this barlow yet so I jumped on a chance to dig for more feedback!

It is odd that Baader ends up with a barlow that duplicates itself with the eyepiece line it is designed for.
Dave


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azure1961p
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Re: BCO vs Pentax XW new [Re: russell23]
      #5735691 - 03/16/13 08:53 AM

Id be very suspect of the TVs providing a better planetary view through fast reflectors simply because TV optimizes there eyepieces to handle the F4 systems demons. That said Id wonder if long focal length scopes like my reflector or a longer focus refractor would see first rate ortho performance. If that's the case you can't blame the ortho for performing better at F10 than you can blame any component that excels with a specific setup.

Now if it stinks at long focal ratio systems well then its got problems .

Pete


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Sarkikos
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Re: BCO vs Pentax XW new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5736298 - 03/16/13 01:29 PM

I've never observed through an Ethos, so I can't give any personal experience about how they compare to any other eyepiece. But for planet surface detail, perceived contrast, scatter control and color rendition, when used in my 10" f/4.8 Dob, I'd rank the following eyepieces - best first - as follows:

- Pentax XO
- Pentax XW
- BGO, Paradigm Dual ED, LOMO Ortho
- UO VT
- TV Plossl (better ranking for Jupiter)
- BCO, Faworski Ortho (FO 7 might rank with the BGO's)
- RKE, TMB Planetary

In my evaluation, I did not consider eye relief, AFOV, EOF correction, or how well the eyepiece Barlows. For me, when observing planets, image quality is most important. Anything else is just icing on the cake.

Mike


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John Huntley
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Re: BCO vs Pentax XW [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5739790 - 03/17/13 10:19 PM

When using them to split Sirus recently I found a "pecking order" as follows:

1st - Baader GO 6mm
2nd - Baader CO 6mm
3rd - Tele Vue Ethos 6mm

The Ethos could barely show Sirus B whereas it was visible for longer periods with the Bader GO's and CO.

At 5mm I found the Baader GO just a little better than a Pentax XW 5mm.

The scope was my Orion Optics 12" f/5.3 dobsonian.

The extra FoV of the BCO's is not sharp though so the effective FoV is really the same as the BGO's. For fit and finish the BGO's will take the prize every time.

Overall I'd say, within the limits of the ~40 degree sharp FoV and on pure optical performance, the BCO is the equal of a Pentax XW. The build quality, eye relief and sharp, wide field of the XW's are wonderful though and I'm keeping mine


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Lane
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Re: BCO vs Pentax XW new [Re: Jaimo!]
      #5740089 - 03/18/13 04:39 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I have not tried the new BCOs yet, but in my Apos, I have compared my UO HD Orthos to my Pentax XWs. They are really very close, especially on sharpness, but I would have to say the contrast advantage goes to the Orthos. For looking at planets I prefer to use a 3x barlow and longer focal length orthos rather than a Pentax, assuming I am using a mount that can track easily at high power. The reason for barlowing is just so I can use the 9mm, 12mm, and 18mm orthos which provide much better eye relief than the shorter ones. For everything other than planets I will use the Pentax XWs.




Did you conduct your comparison w/wo the barlow on the OU HD?

Jaimo!




Yes, I compared the 6mm UO HD to the 18mm UO HD plus 3x Televue Barlow. I could not see any difference except for the extra eye relief of the 18. I know that the extra glass of the barlow should mean it would transmit less light or cause some other problem, but if it does then my eyes are not good enough to detect it.


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Sarkikos
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Re: BCO vs Pentax XW new [Re: John Huntley]
      #5740260 - 03/18/13 08:55 AM

John,

Quote:

When using them to split Sirus recently I found a "pecking order" as follows:

1st - Baader GO 6mm
2nd - Baader CO 6mm
3rd - Tele Vue Ethos 6mm

The Ethos could barely show Sirus B whereas it was visible for longer periods with the Bader GO's and CO.




Very interesting. I like reading field reports which tend to persuade me not to get an Ethos. My bank account likes reading them, too!

So far the best eyepieces that I've used for doubles are the Pentax XO's. They gave me excellent views of the Pup!

Quote:

At 5mm I found the Baader GO just a little better than a Pentax XW 5mm.




I don't have an XW 5, but I have other XW's. I am not too surprised by this. It is probably object dependent. The BGO's were right behind the XW's in my list.

Mike


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Astrorookie
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Re: BCO vs Pentax XW new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5763458 - 03/29/13 12:22 AM

I have a delimma with these eyepieces and maybe even a filter for an upgrade.

I have a es82 11mm and I use a 1.6x barlow to view planets and small objects. I have three options here, please let me know which one you would choose.

1. Replace the 11mm to a 10mm xw
2. Add a 10mm bco and barlow the 10mm or add a 6mm bco
3. Add 1 filter that helps with both and planets.

If you recommend the 3rd option, which filter will help with the most objects?

I live in a red zone. Using a 10" dob.
Thanks


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