Review, BST Starguider eyepieces and a 5.5mm cracker !

No doubt that you’ll be thinking of upgrading from the couple of eyepieces that come with your scope. Don’t throw these out. The 25mm ones can be cracking for deep sky galaxies and nebulae. I keep a 25mm with a ultra-high contrast filter screwed in place for nebulae.The basic SW x2 Barlow used to be a gem with a screw in top. You can also unscrew the bottom of the Barlow and screw it into the bottom thread of eyepieces giving you x 1.6.img_4301
The Star-guider ED eyepieces were originally “BST Explorer” branded. I’ve used mine for about six years and for the quality they are thoroughly recommended for good value. Alan from “Sky’s the limit ” will let you buy and try at £49.00 including p&p .I visited him a few month’s ago, really good chap.
The construction is sturdy with a deep screw up eye shield. You can remove this entirely for cleaning. They are also colour coded , but I arrange my eyepiece case so that one end is high and the other low. There are two ed (extra low dispersion )elements .img_6756

The range all give very clear contrast views in either fast Newtonian’s or forgiving long refractors. The range is from 25mm , 18mm, 15mm, 12mm,8mm, 5mm and 3.2mm. They weigh from 7.6oz to 6.4oz. The 25 mm is very useful for hunting out targets, I have heard the performance very favourably compared to the equivalent TV Delite. The 12mm is great on galaxies and brighter nebulae. The 8mm is useful on planets and lunar views. img_6755The other eyepieces in the range are well thought of and usually go for about £30 on the used market. There are also new clones such as “Olivon” and “Orion Epic 2″ that are double the price of Starguiders.
The field stop is well defined, the coatings don’t give any internal light scattering They will do a good job equivalent to eyepieces costing twice that.
For more detailed and wider views , I chose the UW Meade 5.5mm. This gives 82 degree field of view, enough to give a relaxing wide observation over planetary detail and binary stars. This gives x216 at 1200mm focal length, just manageable on most nights.

Now an eyepiece that gives a superb 82 degree view at 5.5mm focal length. It’s the Meade 5000 UWA. Really superb contrast, giving festoon detail on Jupiter at x216 and splitting binaries down to 1.1”. We were also able to pick out the widest part of the rill (1km wide) in the Alpine Valley. It gives no dispersion and a relaxing view. I use mine on every observing session , worth looking out for on the used market.

old Nick.img_6760img_6761

1 Response

  1. Hi Nick,
    I think that equipment reviews are really helpful to members of RAG. Please keep adding your reviews – your skill and expertise as an observer means that your views give a particularly useful perspective for folks trying to decide what to buy for Christmas.
    Andy

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