Meade Series 5000 UWA 8.8mm
We expected the lower powered 8.8mm version of the Meade 5000 UWA to exhibit slightly better contrast than its 6.7mm brother. This is usually true for longer focal lengths and there was a difference, although it was only slight. Off-axis glare from the bright Moon was less apparent and in this respect the 8.8mm was one of the best we've tried.
With a comfortable eye shield and easy views of the whole field, this eyepiece would be very suitable for extended observing sessions, perhaps if you like to sketch. Eye relief is good and with the shields retracted, it was just possible to use them while wearing spectacles, although the field of view was reduced.
The optics are sharp, and good contrast made the lunar surface come to life. We noticed the slightest orange-brown tinge to the bright lunar limb, but this wasn’t distracting.
Not surprisingly, the longer focal length produced the smallest bright star images and although there was a little blue fringing of bright stars close to the field stop, it was less noticeable than on its shorter stable mate. The separation of the Double-Double was obviously not as large at this focal length, but the two binary pairs were clear and sharp.
On nights of poorer seeing, we found that views were less disturbed at 8.8mm than in more powerful eyepieces, since atmospheric eddies were less magnified.
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