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Meade 4000 Series zoom and 3× Barlow?

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#1 SamplingNature

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Posted 23 July 2019 - 09:00 PM

So,I've been planning on saving up for the next year and buying a Celestron Nexstar 6se setup with the bells and wistles. But after playing with a planisphere and a short binocular observing session (including Jupiter, Saturn and an ISS fly-over), my fiance has decided that she wants a telescope for the family...NOW! As such, I'll probably be buying a Meade ETX 80 within the next few weeks (in addition to saving for the 6SE). I figure that, even after the purchase of a bigger scope, it will be a nice little grab-and-go/travel/second scope.

As part of this setup, I'd like to add a Meade Series 4000 8-24 zoom and a short-focus 3× Barlow (also Meade). If I'm figuring correctly, this will give me the full range of magnification from 16.5x to 250x with no duplication (except at 50x at 8mm without Barlow and 24 with). This setup, plus a moon filter, will cost right at $400.

NOTE: I will not be using the scope's internal Barlow at all, as I've heard it's a PITA in terms of refocusing.

That all said, I have a few questions.

First, is my math and understanding correct: that this setup will get me almost the entire (practical) magnification range of this scope?

Second: Are the eyepiece and barlow worth the price ($65 and $32) worth the price for an entry-level kit (bearing in mind that they will be dedicated to this kit even after the purchase of the larger scope)? Has anybody had issues with either when used with the ETX 80?

Third and final: Am I correct that the approximate 4x decrease in magnification that I'd get from a 32mm eyepiece (16.6x to 12.5x) simply isn't worth the extra $40?

Sorry for the windy post, and thanks for your patience!

#2 MartinPond

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Posted 23 July 2019 - 10:48 PM

One issue is that a zoom usually has a narrow field until you

   crank the power up (the fl down)....

 

But...at 3x, you could be a bit dim and fuzzy...depending on the scope.

 

Some people really like to frame their quarry, despite having other EPs...

preferences vary.. 



#3 De Lorme

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 01:32 AM

Using a Meade zoom is a great idea using a cheap barlow isn't.  While costing a whole lot more the performance you'll get from a TV 3x barlow at high powers will be well worth it.  I'm quit sure that you won't be buying the 6" but rather the 8".  After looking at the moon you will get aperture fever{an incurable disease {LOL}.  It's ether you die with the disease or your immune system builds enough anti-want cells which will help{stave off  LOL}by brining the reality of the cost of a bigger scope.  A web cam might be able to steps in and save the day;maybe not. LOL.

 

Congratulations on getting married!

 

De Lorme



#4 SamplingNature

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 10:20 PM

Thank you. I'm definitely going to go for higher quality (cost) eyepieces and barlow once I get the SE. The pieces purchased In the nearer future will be dedicated to the ETX 80's backpack to keep the entire kit grab and go in the most literal sense.


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