Omegon Panorama II eyepieces
A smart set of lenses that open up the sky into glorious widescreen
For anyone used to using a typical Plössl eyepiece, the ultra-wide field of vision offered by these Omegon Panorama II eyepieces will open up a whole new observing experience. Rather than the feeling that you’re observing through a tube, you’ll be able to soak up the detail across a far wider expanse of sky.
Omegon’s new eyepiece collection comprises oculars with focal lengths of 5mm, 10mm, 15mm and 21mm, giving them a wide range of uses. As with other eyepiece collections, the shorter focal lengths are most suitable for observing Solar System objects and galaxies while the longer focal lengths are more suited to open clusters and extended nebulae. However, that’s not a rule written in stone and there’s plenty of pleasure to be found in observing galaxies in their natural habitat in a wide-field context, just as there’s always something magical about observing the whole of a quarter Moon isolated in space.
The collection is neatly divided into two styles of eyepiece: 2-inch barrels for the 21mm and 15mm versions and 1.25-inch barrels for the 10mm and 5mm. This means that your telescope will need a 2-inch eyepiece holder and a 1.25-inch eyepiece adaptor to accommodate both versions. There are undercuts in both barrel types. As the true field of view increases, there comes a point where the field stop of a 1.25-inch eyepiece becomes the limiting factor in the width of view that is possible. A 2-inch eyepiece overcomes this limitation as the diameter of its field top is larger than that of a 1.25-inch eyepiece.
What’s in the box?
The Omegon Panorama IIs are supplied in a substantial retail box and beautifully finished in gloss black with two red stripes looping them. Two rubber grips give handling confidence even when you’re wearing gloves. Dust covers are included for both ends of each eyepiece and there’s a microfibre cloth for cleaning the lenses. The dust caps for the eye lenses are tapered which made them a pain to pick up. Weighing from 322gm to 709gm, the eyepieces have a satisfying heft to them.
The 21mm and 15mm pair are parfocal as are the 10mm and 5mm pair, but you need to rack the
focus in by an extra 10mm when moving from the 2-inch to 1.25-inch eyepieces.
We tested the eyepieces in two of our refractors, a Williams Optics FLT 98 and a Megrez 72FD observing a range of objects. Even with the rubber eye cups folded up we found eye placement a little tricky at first but soon got into the swing of it and with close scrutiny we were able to see the whole field of view, although the field stop was not particularly distinct. With the generous eye relief of the 10mm, 15mm and 21mm lenses we could just see the field edge when wearing spectacles with the rubber eye cup in the folded-down position but struggled to do the same with the 5mm eyepiece.
We enjoyed some wonderful views of the Moon and one clear night coincided with the appearance of the Lunar X and Lunar V that stood out stunningly using all four eyepieces. Our most memorable lunar observations were the sublime views that we achieved using the 5mm eyepiece to take in the Montes Apenninus followed by Huygen’s Sword (Rupes Recta).
We trained the 21mm and 15mm eyepieces on the Pleiades star cluster and were rewarded with a sparkling, sharp view through both. Moving to M42, we used the 5mm eyepiece to look deep into the Trapezium region and also enjoyed some wonderful views of the tendrils of nebulosity that surround this area using the 10mm eyepiece.
On 23 February, the Moon was close to Aldebaran
and this allowed us to star-test the eyepieces under harsh observing conditions. We found that good star shapes extended to at least 90 per cent of the field of view and extraneous light from the close-by Moon was barely apparent.
We really enjoyed using these eyepieces and heartily recommend them to intermediate and more experienced observers.