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Date: NA
Price: approx. $160.00 and up
Design: Multi-coated wide field eyepieces with Lanthanum glass
Description: 2 and 1.5-inch eyepiece with a wide 65 degree field.

Review

I've never even seen a Pentax XL. I've compared the LVSW's with Radians and Panoptics of similar focal lengths, and found I preferred the LVSW's. Not because I pretend to be sharp enough to detect any real difference in the quality of the optics, but for what I consider more practical reasons. I prefer them to the Radians, because of the slightly larger field of vue, and because I absolutely hate that "Insta-Adjust" sliding eye relief arrangement. Whenever you pick one up the eye-shield slides and you almost piss yourself because it feels like you're going to drop it! The LVSW's feel solid to me, and have a big wide checkered rubber grip ring that doesn't move. I really liked the Panoptics, but they vary widely in size and weight, so swapping out eyepieces sometimes causes balance problems, also they don't make them in the shorter focal lengths, they don't have such consistent or generous long eye relief, and finally they are not all 1.25" compatible. The LVSW's are all about the same size and weight, all have the 20mm eye relief, they come in focal lengths from 40mm to 3.5mm and except for the 40mm, are all compatible in both a 1.25" or a 2" focusers without needing any kind of adapters. They also don't need a separate barlow interface like the Panoptics do. 

One of my observing buddies gave me a good deal on the 22mm LVSW because he wanted a Nagler. I liked it so much, I started watching astromart for good deals on the other focal lengths. Before I knew it, I had almost the whole set including the 22,17, 13, 8, 5mm having paid no more than $160+S&H for any of them. They have gotten a bad wrap because people associate the name with the standard vixen lanthanum's, which have gotten some bad reviews. This suits me just fine, keeps the LVSW's inexpensive on the used market. The only ones I'm lacking now are the 3.5mm and the 40mm. I already have a 40mm 7/70 Konig, and the 3.5mm would yield ridiculously high magnification in most scopes. However, I do wish they would add a 28-30mm to their lineup! I believe they are greatly under-appreciated eyepieces that are easily the equals of, if not superior to their Panoptic and Radian equivalent. Maybe someday I'll get to compare side by side with some Pentax XL's. 

Submitted by JDBraddy - JDBraddy@satx.rr.com - San Antonio, TX

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