TeleVue Panoptic 19mm, 22mm, 35mm Review
By: Vlad Fedosov
The Panoptic line of TeleVue is the gold standard of "wide-field" eyepieces. The wide-field category of eyepieces encompasses all oculars that are around 70° FOV. The Panoptic line comes in at 68°. Eye relief of the eyepieces is rated at 13mm. The Eyepiece weights 6.6oz.
I had the 19mm Panoptic out for a night of observing in mid-October during a partial moon under my mag 4 suburban sky. The telescope used was my C8 XLT with a 2" dielectric diagonal. I did test the eyepiece with a 1.25" TeleVue Barlow as well. Seeing and transparency were average that night.
I will start off by saying that this eyepiece is a pure joy to use. The FOV of the Panoptic is very comfortable to take all in at once. The decent eye relief definitely helps with this as well as the forgiving placement of the eye in relation to the eyepiece.
I used the double-double in Lyra as my test target to evaluate the eyepiece. All 4 members were split at the 105x that the 19mm provides with a c8. using the barlow the split was a lot easier and obvious. The eyepiece does barlow very well as expected and is a good weight for this. The stars across about 85-90% of the FOV were totally pinpoint and the rest showed just a slight amount of distortion. I compared the Panoptic to the Celestron Ultima-LX on the same night and to my surprise I fount the Ultima-LX compared VERY well to the Panoptic. I also have a pair of 20mm Explore Scientific 68° that I use in my binoviewer and to my eyes, there is not a lot of difference compared to the Panoptic. I do like the smaller size of the Panoptic, however for bino use.
Update 10/6/2018 - 22mm Panoptic
I had a chance to do some observing for the 22mm Panoptic. The eyepiece is a bit on the larger size and has a 2"/1.25" collars. Everything that I found about the 19mm holds true about the 22mm. The 22mm is a wonderfully easy eyepiece to use. It is very easy to take in the entire field of the 68° FOV. I find it much more difficult to do this comfortably with my primary eyepieces that have a 100° FOV.
Update 12/11/2019 - 35mm Panoptic
I had a chance to use one of these over a period of about a month. This one was an interesting comparison to my permanent wide field in this range the Explore Scientific 40mm. I actually spent quite a bit of time comparing this pair using my TEC 140 at a star party a few months ago. It was really hard to pick out the difference in performance of the eyepieces since they are such low power(40mm is 24.5x and 35mm is 28x) . The 40mm did seem like it was easier to view through in general but that might be because I was used more to it. Usually I notice a bit better edge correction performance in TeleVue eyepieces and this was probably here as well but again at the really low power it was really not an issue in the 40mm even in the relatively fast TEC APO. Brightness and contrast where about on par but the field of view was noticeably smaller in the 35mm(as you would expect). Overall there is noting that I fount about the 35mm Panoptic that I did not like. It is a very fine piece of glass!
There is a reason the Panoptic line of TeleVue is the gold standard of "wide-field" eyepieces. They perform very well and are just plain fun to use with a wide easy to take in FOV. I will say that there are many options on the market today that will give you 90-95% of the performance of the Panoptic line for a fraction of the price such as the examples given above. But if you must have the best, look no further then the Panoptic.
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