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CN Report: Antares 8.5-12mm Speers Waler

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#1 mloffland

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 10:59 AM

Antares 8.5-12mm Speers Waler

By: David Knisely

#2 mathteacher

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 12:42 PM

Thanks for such a thorough effort. I like the picture of the two Speers Walers next to the ultrascopic. These monsters are just too big for my taste.

#3 David Knisely

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 01:36 PM

Thanks for such a thorough effort. I like the picture of the two Speers Walers next to the ultrascopic. These monsters are just too big for my taste.


If you want the wide field and good correction, an increase in size with these eyepieces is something amateurs may frequently have to put up with. One eyepiece which does an excellent job in this focal length range is the Tele Vue 9mm Nagler, but it is only one focal length. Still, it is one I have used and which I can easily recommend. Clear skies to you.

#4 Starman1

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 07:48 PM

Post deleted by Starman1

#5 David Knisely

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 12:05 AM

If one has a travel scope, a zoom eyepiece reduces bulk and weight in the travel package, which is one of the advantages of a zoom.
This eyepiece doesn't have that advantage because it is heavier than 3 standard eyepieces.

It does represent a good value if compared with the price of 2 ultrawidefield eyepieces from TeleVue, but not necessarily from Meade.

So I guess the question I have to ask is: Is it the equal, optically, of the equivalent ultra-wides from Meade? Because is is just about the same price as two of them.
Most people won't need or use more than 2 eyepieces in this focal length range, anyway.

This, to me, seems like a very odd product, whereas the original 5-8 made sense in a lot of scopes.


Well, when I had my 5-8mm in my 10 inch f/5.6 Newtonian, it gave me a range of powers from about 176x to 282x. This was a nice range for things like globular clusters and planetary nebulae, as it allowed me to "tailor" the power to the object. However, when I got the 9.25 inch f/10 SCT, the power range jumped into the 294x to 470x, a little higher than optimal for the previous two object classes. It was still a very usable eyepiece, but much of the time, I used it at only the 8 mm or 7 mm settings. With the 8.5-12mm, I have the range of 196x to 276x, which is back somewhat closer to the optimal range I liked previously. One of my favorite combinations for M5 was my friend's (Lamb0) 20mm Nagler and his 2x Powermate (235x and a 20' arc field). I have that once again with the 8.5-12mm Speers Waler, as well as the powers slightly lower or higher, so I can play around a little. I would have liked a slightly longer focal length at the high end, but I still do have my old "1st generation" Meade 14mm Ultrawide (the Speers-Waler is a bit better in throughput and color correction). For my SCT, the use of a variable Speers-Waler makes some sense again, and in the Newtonian, the range of 118x to 166x still is a very useful range for things like galaxies and some of the tighter open star clusters. Still, for those looking for a focal length in the 8.5 to 12mm range, the 9mm Nagler is a good option. Clear skies to you.

#6 kenren10

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 09:52 AM

Wow, barlowing this beast with a 2.5X Powermate is longer and heavier than some scopes I have owned! Maybe I should get another Powermate, two 8.5-12 Speers Walers and put them in my Denks - even though the power would be more than ideal, at least I would know any scope I use would always pointing at the Zenith! :roflmao:

#7 David Knisely

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 01:41 PM

Wow, barlowing this beast with a 2.5X Powermate is longer and heavier than some scopes I have owned! Maybe I should get another Powermate, two 8.5-12 Speers Walers and put them in my Denks - even though the power would be more than ideal, at least I would know any scope I use would always pointing at the Zenith! :roflmao:


Well, I don't think I would go that high (I still have the 5-8mm version) and I would rarely think about Powermating the eyepiece. The 8.5-12mm version is the 2nd heaviest eyepiece I have, second only to my old 14mm Meade Ultrawide. Still, the eyepiece is rather heafty, so that needs to be taken into account when considering its purchase. Here is a rather silly picture of my 5-8mm version with the 2.5x Powermate in my 80mm f/5 refractor. Clear skies to you.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 3152453-80mmf5cSWPowermateSmall.JPG


#8 desertstars

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 03:24 PM

Mercy! :bigshock:

So tell me again which side do you look through?

:whistle:

#9 Clive Gibbons

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 08:48 AM

Here is a rather silly picture of my 5-8mm version with the 2.5x Powermate in my 80mm f/5 refractor. Clear skies to you.


Thanks for posting that pic, David. :waytogo:

I now feel much less sheepish about my 8 - 24mm Zoom mounted atop a 2.5x Powermate. :grin:

#10 dvb

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 11:58 AM

These zooms are notoriously long, but probably not that much longer than an Ethos 13, if a little heavier. That comparison photo would be interesting!

I enjoyed the 5-8 optically, but hated the slide mechanism - maybe I'll try it again in the click stop iteration

#11 Doug76

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 09:40 AM

Thanks for such a thorough effort. I like the picture of the two Speers Walers next to the ultrascopic. These monsters are just too big for my taste.


If you want the wide field and good correction, an increase in size with these eyepieces is something amateurs may frequently have to put up with. One eyepiece which does an excellent job in this focal length range is the Tele Vue 9mm Nagler, but it is only one focal length. Still, it is one I have used and which I can easily recommend. Clear skies to you.


For me, the Pentax 10mm XW covers that job extremely well.


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