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Meade series 5000 SWA

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#1 bob midiri

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 06:56 AM

I think one of the best kept secrets in eyepieces are the defunct Meade Series 5000 SWA. I own a couple the 20mm, 28mm and 34mm, and the 28mm is one of my most used eyepieces today in my SCT nd large dob. I wonder why meade DC'd them,? Do others who have tried them feel the same, or am I missing something with these. Thanks Bob


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#2 Tank

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 07:07 AM

Bob

yes they are very nice EPs

i believe i had all of them at one time

when they had them for clear out they were great deals

i believe they were like $60 a pop and i thin the 40 was like $80

there are better EPs out there but these are great for the money 

ES 68s are the same apparently i saw a bit of a difference and liked the meade swa 5000s better


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#3 evan9162

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 09:08 AM

I have the 28 and a pair of 20s for binoviewing.  They are very good - enough that I really wouldn't see the point of moving up to Panoptics.  I use them in F/10 SCTs, a F/7.5 refractor, and an F/8 newt.  Pans may make more sense in faster scopes.

 

You gotta remove the silly, over-sized, twist-up eye cups. With them gone, the 20s are excellent for binoviewing, as they are now extremely slim and are easier to use.

 

When I got it, I compared the 28 to an Orion Q70 26mm, and it was really no contest.  Same thing comparing the 20s to a pair of 20mm Agena SWAs (Erfle design).  Worlds better in sharpness, contrast, and edge performance.


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#4 deSitter

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 09:10 AM

I think one of the best kept secrets in eyepieces are the defunct Meade Series 5000 SWA. I own a couple the 20mm, 28mm and 34mm, and the 28mm is one of my most used eyepieces today in my SCT nd large dob. I wonder why meade DC'd them,? Do others who have tried them feel the same, or am I missing something with these. Thanks Bob

The 40mm maxes out a 2" barrel and is one of my favorite eyepieces. It is truly enormous, the size of a softball! It is a comical sight to see it, a 1.25" Meade 40mm Plossl (45 deg), and a 0.965" Meade 40mm MA (Kellner, 35 deg) lined up - all max out their respective barrel sizes. I will eventually find a 34mm SWA. In 25mm and shorter I prefer long eye relief eyepieces these days, the Meade HD60s. Those too are outstanding performers. The entire Series 5000 family was well thought out and executed. My only complaints are slight field curvature in the 14mm UWA - disappears at f/9 though - and a coating problem on the 24mm UWA that required repolishing the field lens. The 4.7mm original UWA is a surprisingly good planetary eyepiece. Back to the 40mm SWA - it has outstanding edge correction in my f/9 and longer refractors and a truly enormous field of view - in my 127ED, a full 2.5 degrees - sweeping this way is one of my favorite activities.

 

-drl


Edited by deSitter, 12 March 2017 - 09:10 AM.

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#5 rogeriomagellan

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 09:25 AM

Would these Meade eyepieces really beat the ES 68° ones on and off-axis in terms of sharpness?



#6 deSitter

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 09:31 AM

Would these Meade eyepieces really beat the ES 68° ones on and off-axis in terms of sharpness?

My UWAs and SWAs are from the first era of S5K in the early to mid 2000s. They compare favorably with Televues of similar design. The HD60s are from a later epoch, 2015, and they too compare favorably with the old Radians, my favorite ever eyepieces.

 

-drl


Edited by deSitter, 12 March 2017 - 09:31 AM.


#7 starcam

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 11:08 AM

At one time Meade's prices were close to televue. Maybe people figured since the price was so close to televue, they might as well buy the televue. When Meade finally gave up on the series and lowered their prices, people tried them and said how great they were. Indeed they are nice eyepieces, with the swa some do not have pin point stars to the edge, but I do enjoy the nebula presentations. I have most of the swa set, didn't go for the 40mm too humongous. The 8.8 uwa is equal to the 9mm nagler, and some said the meade 8.8mm was better. Really it seemed nobody said anything about them till after the sale.


Edited by starcam, 12 March 2017 - 11:24 AM.


#8 deSitter

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 01:19 PM

I found this pic of my three Meade 40mm eyepieces, each of which maxes out its barrel's allowable field of view. Hilarious!

 

-drl

 

Attached Thumbnails

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#9 REC

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 02:15 PM

I have the 28 and a pair of 20s for binoviewing.  They are very good - enough that I really wouldn't see the point of moving up to Panoptics.  I use them in F/10 SCTs, a F/7.5 refractor, and an F/8 newt.  Pans may make more sense in faster scopes.

 

You gotta remove the silly, over-sized, twist-up eye cups. With them gone, the 20s are excellent for binoviewing, as they are now extremely slim and are easier to use.

 

When I got it, I compared the 28 to an Orion Q70 26mm, and it was really no contest.  Same thing comparing the 20s to a pair of 20mm Agena SWAs (Erfle design).  Worlds better in sharpness, contrast, and edge performance.

Ditto, use the 20mm without the collar in my BV. Also have the 28mm and the 34mm. The 28mm is a little lighter and had an excellent review.



#10 deSitter

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 03:16 PM

 

I have the 28 and a pair of 20s for binoviewing.  They are very good - enough that I really wouldn't see the point of moving up to Panoptics.  I use them in F/10 SCTs, a F/7.5 refractor, and an F/8 newt.  Pans may make more sense in faster scopes.

 

You gotta remove the silly, over-sized, twist-up eye cups. With them gone, the 20s are excellent for binoviewing, as they are now extremely slim and are easier to use.

 

When I got it, I compared the 28 to an Orion Q70 26mm, and it was really no contest.  Same thing comparing the 20s to a pair of 20mm Agena SWAs (Erfle design).  Worlds better in sharpness, contrast, and edge performance.

Ditto, use the 20mm without the collar in my BV. Also have the 28mm and the 34mm. The 28mm is a little lighter and had an excellent review.

 

Those Orion Q series are similar to the Meade QX series - Erfle derivatives - they are OK in slow scopes but killed at f/8 and below! I do love them in my classic refractors.

 

-drl


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#11 SteveG

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 05:02 PM

Would these Meade eyepieces really beat the ES 68° ones on and off-axis in terms of sharpness?

No. They are the same.


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#12 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 10:13 PM

Would these Meade eyepieces really beat the ES 68° ones on and off-axis in terms of sharpness?

 

Optically,  the ES 68's and the Meade Series 5000 SWA's are reputed to be identical.  One night I spent some time comparing the 24mm's in my 4 inch F/5.4 Televue.  The skies we're dark,  lots of stars,  lots of contrast.  To my eye,  they appeared identical , they were even perfectly parafocal,  no need to refocus when switching eyepieces. 

 

I did find the bulbous twistup eyecup objectionable.  I have the 16 and the 24 mm and I hardly ever used them until I removed the eyecup.. That night,  I started using them and I haven't stopped. 

 

Jon


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#13 rowdy388

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 09:35 AM

I actually like the twistup Meade eyecups....up to a point anyway. The 24 UWA is just fine with me but it's the largest I can comfortably use.

I put a much smaller eyecup on the 30 UWA to make it useable as my widest field option.



#14 bob midiri

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 10:04 AM

I like the twist up eye cups. In a 2 inch diagonalon a large telescope  I don't see how the width matters, at least to me



#15 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 11:14 AM

I like the twist up eye cups. In a 2 inch diagonalon a large telescope  I don't see how the width matters, at least to me

 

For me, particularly with the longer focal lengths, it gets in the way, prevents me from positioning my eye where I want it.  They also can add a lot of weight, the 40mm weighs 44 ounces, 10 ounces more than the 41mm Panoptic, .  In general, again for me, these eyecup serves no purpose, they're just extra baggage.  With the 16mm, there is so little eye relief that a twist up eyecup makes little sense.  

 

In my view, Explore Scientific was smart when the abandoned the large twist up eye cups and redesigned these same SWAs and UWAs with torpedo shaped upper bodies and rubber eyecups.  

 

Jon


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#16 Starman1

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 01:58 PM

The large, bulbous, eyecups are removable:

https://www.cloudyni...5000-on-a-diet/

Then they are smaller, lighter, and may be cheaper than the modern ES versions if bargains are found.


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#17 rogeriomagellan

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 06:52 PM

 

Would these Meade eyepieces really beat the ES 68° ones on and off-axis in terms of sharpness?

 

Optically,  the ES 68's and the Meade Series 5000 SWA's are reputed to be identical.  One night I spent some time comparing the 24mm's in my 4 inch F/5.4 Televue.  The skies we're dark,  lots of stars,  lots of contrast.  To my eye,  they appeared identical , they were even perfectly parafocal,  no need to refocus when switching eyepieces. 

 

I did find the bulbous twistup eyecup objectionable.  I have the 16 and the 24 mm and I hardly ever used them until I removed the eyecup.. That night,  I started using them and I haven't stopped. 

 

Jon

 

Thanks for the response, Jon Isaacs.

 

But it is still hard to understand how they can be both optically identical or reputed to be optically identical. I am aware that these things may happen but aside from coatings and barrel design, after all these years, isn't it strange that only some minor modifications have been made to the original design if they are fully identical in optical terms? That is really intriguing.



#18 Starman1

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 07:08 PM

Why would that be surprising?  The same company made both.  If the original optical design worked, do you think they'd go to the trouble

of re-designing the eyepiece optics?  A change of design in the body (lightening), adding a seal (waterproof) and dropping the price along with a new name

would be all it would take.


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#19 MrJones

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 11:22 AM

I don't know why we can't get simple black plastic twist eyecups on telescope EPs like lots of binocs have: https://www.amazon.c.../dp/B000093TVO/

 

I love twist eyecups to exactly set my eye position, and I like the Meade design ok, but even I had to decloak my 40mm SWA to lose that massive overdesigned chunk of metal.

 

And of course my 40mm SWA is a Maxvision that is the old Meade SWA design reincarnated by apparently ES Europe. I assume JOC makes both.

 

It still seems odd that ES Europe sells the 'old' design as Maxvisions for as much as 1/2 the price of the ES 68 deg. if they are otherwise the same optics.

 

http://agenaastro.co...piece-34mm.html

 

https://www.bresser....kular-34mm.html

 

It does seem the Maxvisions are getting to be closeouts everywhere so if you really want one now is the time.


Edited by MrJones, 14 March 2017 - 11:24 AM.


#20 dyslexic nam

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 11:36 AM

Lots already know this, but another notable entry in this lineup is the 18mm UWA.  It (along with the MaxVision clone) is the longest focal length 82 degree ep available in 1.25" format.  Like the 24mm Pan/ES68/SWA, it maxes out TFOV for 1.25", but does so at higher magnification and greater AFOV. 



#21 Starman1

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 01:01 PM

Yes, the old 18x82 in 1.25", not the new 18x82, which is a 2" eyepiece.

Not THE longest focal length 1.25" with an ultrawide field.

That, I believe, was the 20mm Widescan III eyepiece made a few years back.

https://www.cloudyni...s/widescans.pdf

You may have to hunt long and hard for one, though.


Edited by Starman1, 14 March 2017 - 01:01 PM.

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#22 SteveG

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 01:05 PM

The Meade's look cool without the bulbous shrouds:

 

SWA.jpg

 

 


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#23 tjay

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 10:05 PM

I managed to grab the entire set when they where getting cleared out a few years ago. Great eyepieces, although I do find I now use my Meade UWA and ES eyepieces more often.

Edited by tjay, 14 March 2017 - 10:06 PM.

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#24 russell23

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 07:02 AM

Yes, the old 18x82 in 1.25", not the new 18x82, which is a 2" eyepiece.

Not THE longest focal length 1.25" with an ultrawide field.

That, I believe, was the 20mm Widescan III eyepiece made a few years back.

https://www.cloudyni...s/widescans.pdf

You may have to hunt long and hard for one, though.

I know a guy that has a 20mm Widescan.  I haven't looked through it yet.



#25 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 09:05 AM

 

Yes, the old 18x82 in 1.25", not the new 18x82, which is a 2" eyepiece.

Not THE longest focal length 1.25" with an ultrawide field.

That, I believe, was the 20mm Widescan III eyepiece made a few years back.

https://www.cloudyni...s/widescans.pdf

You may have to hunt long and hard for one, though.

I know a guy that has a 20mm Widescan.  I haven't looked through it yet.

 

The Widescans were not known for well corrected fields in fast scopes..

 

Jon




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