Orion LHD Lanthanum UWA 9mm Review
By: Vlad Fedosov
In a way, I miss the good old days of the early 2000’s when the TeleVue Naglers and the Meade Series 4000 UWA(ultra wide angle) eyepieces where about the only game in town for a UWA eyepiece. Now there are so many options that it is rather hard to choose a line or manufacture. The fortunate thing about this is that with a little research you can get exactly the eyepiece that you want/can afford! I had a chance to test one of 9mm Orions LHD 80° Lanthanum UWA eyepieces. This is a UWA eyepiece design that has a long eye relief of 20mm and promises to deliver false color free images by utilizing Lanthanum glass.
I tested this eyepiece with my Meade 127ED APO from my mag 4 light polluted backyard. The eyepiece produces about 142x with the 5" APO which is about a perfect magnification for my usually rather poor seeing here in the Northwest. Venus was my first target at as the sun was starting to set. The planet displayed a nice half phase. The view in the eyepiece was nice and I could not discern anything that I did not like about the view. I did notice that the sky had a bueing to the view as you got closer and further away from the lens. If you are thinking of using this eyepiece during the day you may find this distracting.
Next up was Jupiter! I really love to observe the king of the planets with a good refractor and some ortho eyepieces. The Baader Planetarium Classic Orthos(BCO) are about as good of any eyepiece as I have had the chance to use in terms of sharpness and light transmission. I used the 10mm BCO as a comparison to how the 9mm Orions LHD would compare. At first glance, the view was very similar and I think that you will not be disappointed. Upon very extensive examination I did notice that the ortho is more contrasty and perhaps a hair sharper. The FOV of the 9mm Orions LHD is quite a bit wider. I then proceeded to judge the sharpness of the edge performance of the 9mm Orions LHD. Much to my surprise, I did not see any distortion in the view of the moons of Jupiter all the way out to the edge of FOV. As I moved Jupiter itself to the edge of the FOV I did note some bluing at the edge of the planet once it reached about 85% out to the edge.
I would not hesitate to recommend the Orions LHD line unless you are planning to use them a lot during the daytime.