Revelation Photo-Visual Eyepiece and Filter Kit
As we opened this kit it became clear that it shares more than a passing resemblance to the Celestron Eyepiece and Filter Set. The eyepieces, which are labelled ‘fully multi-coated’ and branded Revelation, appear identical to the Celestron eyepieces. The case is also identical apart from its markings. There is a different selection of focal lengths, however, and this kit is less biased towards high powers.
A range of medium focal lengths is likely to get better usage if your scope and seeing conditions are less than perfect. Eye relief on the medium focal lengths is comfortable, ranging from 5mm on the 20mm to 3mm on the 12mm, although you will have to remove your glasses. The included Barlow lens lets you get higher magnifications, although a shorter focal length eyepiece, such as a 6mm, might be a useful upgrade for planetary work.
However, it’s a versatile 32mm lens that really sets this kit apart. In addition to performing well as a normal visual wide-field eyepiece, you can unscrew the top section to reveal a T-thread. This is a universal thread size that screws into a T-ring adaptor, which can be bought for most digital and film SLR cameras. Fitted to the camera and inserted into your telescope, this lens lets you photograph objects such as craters on the Moon with high magnifications, a technique called afocal projection.
Pinpoint on the Pleiades
A set screw on the side of the lens allows the nose section to slide in and out to vary the distance between lens and camera and hence change the magnification. The rubber eye shield on this model does not fold down, but eye relief is 14mm and suitable for glasses wearers. Visually, the Pleiades displayed pinpoint stars and bright nebulosity with the 32mm eyepiece. Daytime testing revealed some internal off-axis reflection from the 32mm eyepiece, but the whole set performed well under the night sky.
Another useful accessory is a well machined 1.25-inch nosepiece. This can be used to directly couple a camera fitted with a T-ring to your telescope for prime focus photography. In this arrangement your telescope effectively becomes a large telephoto lens. You can slip this nosepiece into the Barlow lens, doubling the effective focal length of your telescope. If you are thinking about taking up astrophotography, you may be swayed by these nice additions. Inside the case there is space to store a couple more eyepieces too.
The filter set is a Meade Color Filter Set #2 and comprises 47-violet, 11-light yellow, 82A-light blue and 25A-red filters. There’s also an ND96 neutral density filter, with just 25 per cent transmission. Note that you may need an 8-inch scope or bigger to get the benefit from the very low-transmission red and violet filters.
On the whole, this is a set that offers great value for money and a good selection of eyepieces, with the photo-friendly, T-threaded 32mm eyepiece being the icing on the cake.
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