I did an informal test of my new 18mm BCO vs the Russell 19mm Konig. At the end, I threw in the Meade HD-60 6.5mm and the 28mm RKE.
The Baader Classic Ortho (BCO) arrived today. It’s on sale for $65 shipped and I had been wanting an 18mm ortho to barlow to 8.5mm equivalent. I’m using a 120mm, f8.3 achro. Last year, I purchased a 19mm Russell Konig, for $44 shipped, and it’s my favorite eyepiece. I was hoping the BCO would be sharper on planets and the moon, but I figured it would be close. Without a barlow, I found the BCO to be sharp almost to the edge in my scope. It has a nice 52 degree field of view. The Russell is sharp right to the edge of its 70 degree field. On Saturn, the BCO was slightly sharper on the Cassini Division. I think the Russell would have equaled the view had it been an 18mm instead of a 19mm. They were close. On Jupiter, they were about equal. Both easily showed Io in transit. On the moon, there was some lateral color shown along the field stop in both my Meade 2X barlow and the Ultima 2X with both eyepieces. It was slightly better with the Russell. I really liked the BCO, but the Russell was its equal. The savages next door had their fires going, and that funky winged eyecup was a big help blocking it, up until they felt sufficiently drunk to get up and go back inside to bed. I saw no real difference in background color between the two eyepieces. Both are very easy to view through, but the BCO is not an eyepiece for eyeglass wearers. The Russell easily handles eyeglasses. Overall, I had to declare the Russell the winner, though the BCO will be very handy on Saturn. I need to do more testing. The Meade HD-60, due mainly to the increased power, was better than either of the others. It has a perfect field stop and nice 64 degree field of view, according to Ernest’s tests. Had it been the HD-60 18mm, it likely would not have been as good as the others. In fact, it barely beat them as it was. The 28mm RKE had the darkest sky! It’s right up there in sharpness with the others. I double barlowed it to around 7mm equivalent, and it was really good!
In sum, every eyepiece I tested looked good through my scope. They’re all close. I’m going to use the BCO as my main planetary eyepiece and the Russell for outreach where it excels. Some wise guy will say, get an Ethos. A month ago, the poorest view of Jupiter I ever saw came from an 18” dob and a 13mm Ethos. The moons looked like cotton balls! My Russell Konig and Meade refractor were sharper, with a darker sky! So, if you’re judging eyepieces, look for yourself. Don’t take another’s word for it, unless they’re named Don or Ernest. This was my 278th night out, in less than 16 months, and I know my scope! I’m approaching 500 hours viewing with my scope and can see subtle differences. Tonight, differences were very subtle!
Edited by Frisky, 12 July 2019 - 02:00 AM.