Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

APM Ultra Flat eyepieces

  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 Mr. Bill

Mr. Bill

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 8620
  • Joined: 09 Feb 2005
  • Loc: Northeastern Cal

Posted 29 August 2017 - 12:39 PM

Thought these deserve their own thread....evaluated with both my APM 70mm APO and Lunt (APM)100mm APO.

 

Over several nights in central Nevada at 7000 feet (SQM 21.8) and last night in my rural backyard at 4400 ft (SQM 21.45) I've been evaluating the new APM 24mm UF and 18mm UF against some pretty tough competition....24mm Pans and 18.2mm DeLites, both IMO the "gold standard" in their respective focal lengths.

 

To be honest, I cannot make up my mind when it comes to the 18mms......at this point, I'm leaning in favor of the UFs because of easier eye placement which is high on my list of factors to be considered. 

 

Contrast seems to be virtually identical between the pairs and after my initial comment that the DeLites have better edge correction, I'm thinking its pretty much of a draw and the last 10% where the stars slightly flare, it's the binocular's field curvature, not the eyepieces as it can be refocused to pinpoint stars at the fieldstop.

 

The afov feels a bit more "spacey" in the 18mm UFs....I think they are a few degrees wider.

 

With the 24mms, I think the old standbys, the 24mm Pans have a slight edge with slightly better contrast and edge correction. I also like the smaller form factor. The eye relief of the UFs is definitely more comfortable which is a big point in their favor. The fov is virtually the same. Pincushioning in the UF 24s is hardly noticeable whereas the 24 Pans definitely have a "rolling ball" effect while panning.

 

When you consider the difference in cost, especially when buying pairs, the APMs are remarkable and I can highly recommend them.

 

Oh yeah, the barrels of the UFs are smooth and the dust covers stay put on the eyecups.....TV take note.  wink.gif

 

Anybody who has experience with either the 15mm UFs and 10mm UFs, please post your opinions.


Edited by Mr. Bill, 29 August 2017 - 06:23 PM.

  • Jeff Morgan, WRose, jdown and 6 others like this

#2 junomike

junomike

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 11836
  • Joined: 07 Sep 2009
  • Loc: Ontario

Posted 29 August 2017 - 03:26 PM

Thanks for the review Bill.  I doubt my 24P's would ever get displaced but It's nice to know there's comparable options.



#3 Jeff Morgan

Jeff Morgan

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8772
  • Joined: 28 Sep 2003
  • Loc: Prescott, AZ

Posted 29 August 2017 - 04:20 PM

Thanks Bill!

 

My application in mono mode, I have a couple long-in-the-tooth Panoptics (22 and 27) and I always have an eye out to simplifying and improving my kit. The 22 has been a favorite since introduction, the 27 gives me that little bit of extra true field in my large Dob without being excessively overweight.

 

From your posts it is clear that the 24 UF is not the "Panoptic killer" I was looking for, OTOH making the move would not be a mistake either. Pluses and minuses on both sides of the ledger.

 

lol.gif  The smooth barrels just might seal the deal!



#4 Hamguy4

Hamguy4

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 21 May 2017
  • Loc: Perth,Western Australia

Posted 29 August 2017 - 09:59 PM

One day late ! Having scrolled the posts for the last two months and not finding any substantial reviews on the UFs I finally ordered the 24 ufs over the Pans last night. Woke up this morning and found your review.Still not disappointed as your review has sparked me onto maybe ordering the 18s as well now.

Thanks Bill.


  • rogeriomagellan likes this

#5 Mr. Bill

Mr. Bill

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 8620
  • Joined: 09 Feb 2005
  • Loc: Northeastern Cal

Posted 29 August 2017 - 10:07 PM

One day late ! Having scrolled the posts for the last two months and not finding any substantial reviews on the UFs I finally ordered the 24 ufs over the Pans last night. Woke up this morning and found your review.Still not disappointed as your review has sparked me onto maybe ordering the 18s as well now.

Thanks Bill.

Can't go wrong.....


  • rogeriomagellan likes this

#6 Mr. Bill

Mr. Bill

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 8620
  • Joined: 09 Feb 2005
  • Loc: Northeastern Cal

Posted 31 August 2017 - 10:01 AM

Eyepiece lineup....

Attached Thumbnails

  • eyepieces.JPG


#7 Jeff B

Jeff B

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4060
  • Joined: 30 Dec 2006

Posted 31 August 2017 - 10:19 AM

Bill:

 

Thanks for the info.  A couple of questions:

 

1. I've pairs the 18 and 15mm UF's and they have tapered barrels.  The picture above seems to show the 18's that you have display a smooth, non-tapered barrels.  Is that correct?

 

2. There have been some users of the 18/15mm UF's that say they have edge of field brightening.  Did you notice that, and if so, to what degree.

 

Regarding your request for comments on the 15mm UF, I very much enjoy mine.  I find them comfortable, low scatter, work really well with my Denk bino-viewer and power switch and, like the 18mm, are very good for lunar views (a pleasant surprise).   

 

I'm going to be getting the 10mm UF's (which do not have under cuts!!) as soon as I get rid of some of the bazillion and two eyepieces I currently have.

 

Jeff



#8 vkhastro1

vkhastro1

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 704
  • Joined: 21 Aug 2005
  • Loc: Vankleek Hill, Ontario, Canada

Posted 31 August 2017 - 10:23 AM

There is definitely a dramatic difference in size between the APM UF 24mm and Televue 24mm Panoptic.

The TV 24mm Pans are 1/2 the size of the APM 24mm UF eyepiece.

What is the diameter of the eyelens of the APM 24mm vs the TV 24mm ?

 

The APM 18mm and the TV 18.2 Delite are quite close in size.



#9 Mr. Bill

Mr. Bill

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 8620
  • Joined: 09 Feb 2005
  • Loc: Northeastern Cal

Posted 31 August 2017 - 01:58 PM

There is definitely a dramatic difference in size between the APM UF 24mm and Televue 24mm Panoptic.

The TV 24mm Pans are 1/2 the size of the APM 24mm UF eyepiece.

What is the diameter of the eyelens of the APM 24mm vs the TV 24mm ?

 

The APM 18mm and the TV 18.2 Delite are quite close in size.

TV 24 Pan eyelens diameter about 18mm, APM 24 UF about 38mm


Edited by Mr. Bill, 31 August 2017 - 02:23 PM.


#10 WRose

WRose

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1457
  • Joined: 08 Jul 2005
  • Loc: Colorado, USA

Posted 31 August 2017 - 01:58 PM

 

Mr. Bill:

. . . . . . . .  {snip} . . . . . . . . .

When you consider the difference in cost, especially when buying pairs, the APMs are remarkable and I can highly recommend them.

Oh yeah, the barrels of the UFs are smooth and the dust covers stay put on the eyecups.....TV take note.  wink.gif

Anybody who has experience with either the 15mm UFs and 10mm UFs, please post your opinions.

Hey Mr. Bill, 
A couple weeks ago I borrowed a pair of 15mm APM Ultra Flat Field eyepieces to try against my TeleVue 15mm Wide Field pair and Televue 15mm Panoptic pair using the Vixen BT125s. 
Viewing location at 10,200' el. with dark skies (guessing SQM ~21+) and average to good seeing. 
In general I had similar results to yours with the TV 24mm Pans.  Not as much field curvature as you describe but as you indicated that could be the difference in the tele binoculars and focal lengths. [Generally I've found the field curvature of the 15mm Panoptics aren't as bad as the 24mm Panoptics.]
The 15mm Pans do provide a slightly wider AFOV but the APM UFs provided a hair wider AFOV than the TV 15mm WFs. The Panoptic is supposed to be 68 FOV while the TV Wide Field is supposed to be a 65 FOV. 
Personally I still prefer the TV 15mm WFs.  Not a lot of difference but I felt the WFs seemed to give a brighter, crisper image than the APM UFs. Contrast is a little better with both pairs of TVs but I give the TV 15mm WFs a slight edge over both of the other pairs. (Possibly due to the TVs having fewer elements and groups then the APM UFs.)   The TV 15mm WFs do fall off at the last 5-7% of the edge but as you indicated, you can refocus to pinpoint stars at the field stop.  The TV WFs are slightly smaller and lighter than the APM UFs.

I didn't do a very scientific comparison, just viewed through the 3 pairs for a couple hours at various targets.  I did make some notes but nothing formal. 
As you found the ER on the APM UFs is about 1/3 better than the TVs.  I'd guess the TV WFs & Pans ER is around 10mm while the APM UFs are closer to 15-16mm ER. 

In general, I agree the APM UF is a deal at ~$130 (+ Shipping) each.  Overall the 15mm APM Ultra Flat Fields provide a Field that gives sharp views on a very flat field with no glare or flaring on bright targets.   The APM UFs are a Good Price vs Quality value and probably easier to obtain than an excellent pair of either the TV 15mm Panoptics or Wide Fields. 
[I haven't seen a 10mm APM UF - honestly, I haven't been looking though. wink.gif ]  

 

TV 15mm WF pair sm.JPG  

APM 15mm Ultra Flat Field pair sm.jpg


Edited by WRose, 31 August 2017 - 02:50 PM.


#11 Mr. Bill

Mr. Bill

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 8620
  • Joined: 09 Feb 2005
  • Loc: Northeastern Cal

Posted 31 August 2017 - 01:59 PM

Bill:

 

Thanks for the info.  A couple of questions:

 

1. I've pairs the 18 and 15mm UF's and they have tapered barrels.  The picture above seems to show the 18's that you have display a smooth, non-tapered barrels.  Is that correct?

 

2. There have been some users of the 18/15mm UF's that say they have edge of field brightening.  Did you notice that, and if so, to what degree.

 

Regarding your request for comments on the 15mm UF, I very much enjoy mine.  I find them comfortable, low scatter, work really well with my Denk bino-viewer and power switch and, like the 18mm, are very good for lunar views (a pleasant surprise).   

 

I'm going to be getting the 10mm UF's (which do not have under cuts!!) as soon as I get rid of some of the bazillion and two eyepieces I currently have.

 

Jeff

Smooth barrels.....probably a design change midstream.

 

No edge of field brightening noted.


Edited by Mr. Bill, 31 August 2017 - 02:00 PM.


#12 Jeff B

Jeff B

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4060
  • Joined: 30 Dec 2006

Posted 31 August 2017 - 02:45 PM

 

Bill:

 

Thanks for the info.  A couple of questions:

 

1. I've pairs the 18 and 15mm UF's and they have tapered barrels.  The picture above seems to show the 18's that you have display a smooth, non-tapered barrels.  Is that correct?

 

2. There have been some users of the 18/15mm UF's that say they have edge of field brightening.  Did you notice that, and if so, to what degree.

 

Regarding your request for comments on the 15mm UF, I very much enjoy mine.  I find them comfortable, low scatter, work really well with my Denk bino-viewer and power switch and, like the 18mm, are very good for lunar views (a pleasant surprise).   

 

I'm going to be getting the 10mm UF's (which do not have under cuts!!) as soon as I get rid of some of the bazillion and two eyepieces I currently have.

 

Jeff

Smooth barrels.....probably a design change midstream.

 

No edge of field brightening noted.

 

Hopefully to the smooth barrels.  When did you get yours?

 

Jeff



#13 Mr. Bill

Mr. Bill

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 8620
  • Joined: 09 Feb 2005
  • Loc: Northeastern Cal

Posted 31 August 2017 - 02:52 PM

Jeff....ordered 24 UFs end of July, received 18 UFs with BT70 order a couple of weeks ago.

 

I'm assuming current stock are smooth barrels but check with APM before ordering.



#14 Starman1

Starman1

    Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 34371
  • Joined: 23 Jun 2003
  • Loc: Los Angeles

Posted 31 August 2017 - 05:56 PM

Well, the ones pictured on the APM website:

30mm, 10mm--smooth barrels

15, 18, and 24mm--tapered undercuts.

since Bill's 18 and 24 are smooth-barreled, it appears there is a transition going on.



#15 rockethead26

rockethead26

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5230
  • Joined: 21 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Northern Arizona, USA

Posted 31 August 2017 - 07:40 PM

My 18's are smooth and I got those with my 100 binos back in January-February. My 15's that I bought just before that have the tapered barrels.


  • jkwhinfrey likes this

#16 rogeriomagellan

rogeriomagellan

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 962
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2016

Posted 01 September 2017 - 11:42 AM

Thought these deserve their own thread....evaluated with both my APM 70mm APO and Lunt (APM)100mm APO.

 

Over several nights in central Nevada at 7000 feet (SQM 21.8) and last night in my rural backyard at 4400 ft (SQM 21.45) I've been evaluating the new APM 24mm UF and 18mm UF against some pretty tough competition....24mm Pans and 18.2mm DeLites, both IMO the "gold standard" in their respective focal lengths.

 

To be honest, I cannot make up my mind when it comes to the 18mms......at this point, I'm leaning in favor of the UFs because of easier eye placement which is high on my list of factors to be considered. 

 

Contrast seems to be virtually identical between the pairs and after my initial comment that the DeLites have better edge correction, I'm thinking its pretty much of a draw and the last 10% where the stars slightly flare, it's the binocular's field curvature, not the eyepieces as it can be refocused to pinpoint stars at the fieldstop.

 

The afov feels a bit more "spacey" in the 18mm UFs....I think they are a few degrees wider.

 

With the 24mms, I think the old standbys, the 24mm Pans have a slight edge with slightly better contrast and edge correction. I also like the smaller form factor. The eye relief of the UFs is definitely more comfortable which is a big point in their favor. The fov is virtually the same. Pincushioning in the UF 24s is hardly noticeable whereas the 24 Pans definitely have a "rolling ball" effect while panning.

 

When you consider the difference in cost, especially when buying pairs, the APMs are remarkable and I can highly recommend them.

 

Oh yeah, the barrels of the UFs are smooth and the dust covers stay put on the eyecups.....TV take note.  wink.gif

 

Anybody who has experience with either the 15mm UFs and 10mm UFs, please post your opinions.

Thank you very much for the report.



#17 rogeriomagellan

rogeriomagellan

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 962
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2016

Posted 01 September 2017 - 11:50 AM

Thought these deserve their own thread....evaluated with both my APM 70mm APO and Lunt (APM)100mm APO.

 

Over several nights in central Nevada at 7000 feet (SQM 21.8) and last night in my rural backyard at 4400 ft (SQM 21.45) I've been evaluating the new APM 24mm UF and 18mm UF against some pretty tough competition....24mm Pans and 18.2mm DeLites, both IMO the "gold standard" in their respective focal lengths.

 

To be honest, I cannot make up my mind when it comes to the 18mms......at this point, I'm leaning in favor of the UFs because of easier eye placement which is high on my list of factors to be considered. 

 

Contrast seems to be virtually identical between the pairs and after my initial comment that the DeLites have better edge correction, I'm thinking its pretty much of a draw and the last 10% where the stars slightly flare, it's the binocular's field curvature, not the eyepieces as it can be refocused to pinpoint stars at the fieldstop.

 

The afov feels a bit more "spacey" in the 18mm UFs....I think they are a few degrees wider.

 

With the 24mms, I think the old standbys, the 24mm Pans have a slight edge with slightly better contrast and edge correction. I also like the smaller form factor. The eye relief of the UFs is definitely more comfortable which is a big point in their favor. The fov is virtually the same. Pincushioning in the UF 24s is hardly noticeable whereas the 24 Pans definitely have a "rolling ball" effect while panning.

 

When you consider the difference in cost, especially when buying pairs, the APMs are remarkable and I can highly recommend them.

 

Oh yeah, the barrels of the UFs are smooth and the dust covers stay put on the eyecups.....TV take note.  wink.gif

 

Anybody who has experience with either the 15mm UFs and 10mm UFs, please post your opinions.

Hi, Bill.

 

Do you intend to get the 30mm as well?



#18 Mr. Bill

Mr. Bill

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 8620
  • Joined: 09 Feb 2005
  • Loc: Northeastern Cal

Posted 01 September 2017 - 12:44 PM

No...I'm waist deep in 2 inch eyepieces.

 

grin.gif



#19 jeffmac

jeffmac

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 473
  • Joined: 01 Aug 2014
  • Loc: Triad area, NC

Posted 01 September 2017 - 06:46 PM

Bill:

 

Thanks for the info.  A couple of questions:

 

1. I've pairs the 18 and 15mm UF's and they have tapered barrels.  The picture above seems to show the 18's that you have display a smooth, non-tapered barrels.  Is that correct?

 

2. There have been some users of the 18/15mm UF's that say they have edge of field brightening.  Did you notice that, and if so, to what degree.

 

Regarding your request for comments on the 15mm UF, I very much enjoy mine.  I find them comfortable, low scatter, work really well with my Denk bino-viewer and power switch and, like the 18mm, are very good for lunar views (a pleasant surprise).   

 

I'm going to be getting the 10mm UF's (which do not have under cuts!!) as soon as I get rid of some of the bazillion and two eyepieces I currently have.

 

Jeff

 

Jeff, have you noticed any EOFB in your 15mm? How dark are the skies where you observe?


  • rogeriomagellan likes this

#20 Mr. Bill

Mr. Bill

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 8620
  • Joined: 09 Feb 2005
  • Loc: Northeastern Cal

Posted 02 September 2017 - 10:33 AM

Both the 24mm UFs (29x) and 18mm UFs (39x) work great in my 127mm f/5.5 BinoBox.

 

The smooth barrels allow repeatable clamping and collimation while focusing 

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_1317.JPG
  • IMG_1318.JPG

Edited by Mr. Bill, 02 September 2017 - 11:09 AM.

  • george tatsis and rogeriomagellan like this

#21 Jeff B

Jeff B

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4060
  • Joined: 30 Dec 2006

Posted 02 September 2017 - 11:32 AM

 

Bill:

 

Thanks for the info.  A couple of questions:

 

1. I've pairs the 18 and 15mm UF's and they have tapered barrels.  The picture above seems to show the 18's that you have display a smooth, non-tapered barrels.  Is that correct?

 

2. There have been some users of the 18/15mm UF's that say they have edge of field brightening.  Did you notice that, and if so, to what degree.

 

Regarding your request for comments on the 15mm UF, I very much enjoy mine.  I find them comfortable, low scatter, work really well with my Denk bino-viewer and power switch and, like the 18mm, are very good for lunar views (a pleasant surprise).   

 

I'm going to be getting the 10mm UF's (which do not have under cuts!!) as soon as I get rid of some of the bazillion and two eyepieces I currently have.

 

Jeff

 

Jeff, have you noticed any EOFB in your 15mm? How dark are the skies where you observe?

 

No, but my skies over my yard are not that dark.  Out at the dark sky site, I don't recall seeing it but I also was not looking for it, plus those stupid tapered undercuts made a bit of a mess of it with the bino-viewers so the session with them was short.  

 

I just ordered a pair of the 10mm from APM and I'm looking forward to them, especially with their stated 16mm eye relief.  Agena has the 18mm's in stock but they have the tapered barrels, which is fine for mono-vision work.  I'm going to contact Markus for the latest scoop regarding the tapers.

 

Jeff



#22 Rich V.

Rich V.

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5385
  • Joined: 02 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Lake Tahoe area, Nevada, USA

Posted 02 September 2017 - 12:19 PM

I've only looked through the 18s and 24s.  Examining the edge of field near the FS for FC didn't show any EOFB that I noticed.  This was under dark skies (21.6-21.8).

 

I can certainly see how younger eyes may not even see the difference in FC between the APMs and the TVs we were comparing them with.  I'm very likely a better tester for FC than most as I don't have much accommodation any more and what I see is more like it is.

 

FC is a very subjective thing, though, as different eyepieces interact with the FC of different optics differently.  wink.gif   One interaction is not an indicator of a trend.

 

I can only say that when used in the APM 70mm apos, there was a bit of detectable FC with the APMs not seen in the TVs.

 

Rich



#23 Hamguy4

Hamguy4

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 21 May 2017
  • Loc: Perth,Western Australia

Posted 19 September 2017 - 11:52 PM

Can't comment as far as use in binoculars but in my f4.9 Newt with binoviewers and mono the APM 24s are the most comfortable pair of eyepieces owned. Just so easy on eye placement.

Having said that I have noticed astigmatism in final 20% of field and contrary to what others have said Edge of field Darkening. Only have ES 24 82s mono to compare to so far but as much as I want to warm to these I have a nagging doubt they will not be my final pair.Will try the ES 24 68s when there available next and hope I was wrong.

Paul.



#24 Mr. Bill

Mr. Bill

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 8620
  • Joined: 09 Feb 2005
  • Loc: Northeastern Cal

Posted 20 September 2017 - 10:46 AM

Suggest astigmatism scope and vignetting causing the edge of field darkening.

 

Try ep Cyclops and see if that makes edge darkening go away.



#25 Mike Harvey

Mike Harvey

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1472
  • Joined: 01 Mar 2004
  • Loc: Melbourne Beach, FL.

Posted 25 September 2017 - 12:46 AM

First night out in weeks. Hurricanes, old-fashioned summer thunderstorms and cloudy skies had kept the APM 120's under cover.

Tonight we finally got a break, of sorts. Hazy, but at least stars were visible! Honestly, if I hadn't been desperate, this is not a night I would even have bothered...ZNL=+4.5!

Still I marvelled at the sights of the Double Cluster and M-31's family with the 120's and the terrific UF 24's!

Even though I reviewed these in-depth some months ago, they just inspire me to more praise.

UF stands for "Ultra Flat", and this they are! Nowadays when I read of someone writing glowingly about how a field of view is sharp out to the last 10-15%, I just have to chuckle. Tiny stars in THESE eyepieces REMAIN

"tiny stars" until the very moment the leave the field! 

The entire field is also evenly illuminated. And, even at only X27, star colors are vividly revealed. That orange star separating the Double Clusters is, indeed, ORANGE. And the hundreds of cluster stars look more like a variety of jewels strewn on dark velvet than the actual "Jewel Box" cluster!

M-31, 32 and 110 are nicely framed with lots of dark sky to spare.

The specs insist that this scope/eyepiece combo produces a fov of less then 2.5 degrees...but it sure LOOKS bigger.

OH...And before I forget to mention it - these are, quite simply, the most COMFORTABLE eyepieces I've ever used! Eye placement to achieve full field viewing is perfect.

 

As in all things astronomical, your equipment may produce different results. I've discovered, through hundreds of hours of real-world observing, that the FPL53 objectives in the APM 120 binos are about as optically perfect as such lenses can be. Therefore, any visual discrepancies not induced by poor seeing conditions must surely be due to the eyepieces used. These eyepieces show NO obvious shortcomings.

I would suggest that, should you try these and find ANY issues with sharpness, contrast or edge curvature...the problem lies in your scope.


  • Jawaid I. Abbasi and rogeriomagellan like this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.







Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics