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Zoom eyepieces, top shelf vs entry... is there a middle?

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#51 25585

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 03:03 PM

This is an interesting thread. https://www.cloudyni...-zoom-eyepiece/



#52 punk35

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 07:08 PM

I tried a Celestron Zoom. The views weren’t bad, but it just wasn’t for me. I didn’t like having to refocus between zoom settings.

 

As far as spotting scope ep’s:  Aren’t Pentax eyepieces specifically designed for use in spotting scopes? I think so, but I could be mistaken ( correct me if I’m wrong please).  Pentax eyepieces seem to get high praise, mine performs very well. Just so I’m not off topic, Pentax makes Zooms too. 


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#53 Don Taylor

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 07:51 PM

Maybe the ideal "zoom" is a turret. 

like this? Now filled with 4, 6, 9, and 12.5mm Fujiyama Orthos

Celestron turret on Starwave 102 F11 ED (3)
850 4448 00002 05

 


Edited by Don Taylor, 29 August 2019 - 07:52 PM.

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#54 25585

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 11:37 PM

 

like this? Now filled with 4, 6, 9, and 12.5mm Fujiyama Orthos

 
 

 

 

Perfect example! I would choose wider FoV, say Delites. 


Edited by 25585, 29 August 2019 - 11:41 PM.


#55 clearwaterdave

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 01:59 AM

I have the Meade and the Baader.,both are older models.(8yr.) if that matters.,I see the Meade being compared to the Celestron alot.,some saying they are the same just a different label.,but I question this internet info because I often hear the Celestron is soft around the edge's and my Meades are very sharp to the edge.,granted the fov is narrow.,but it is all sharp to my eyes.,I've never looked through a Celestron so I can't compare for myself.,I own two Meade's and they both give sharp views.,

So if I was chooseing between a Meade or Celestron.,from what I have read.,and what I have seen.,I would choose the Meade.,cheers.,


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#56 Piero DP

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 02:08 AM

I love my Zeiss zoom and I would not part it with others. In my case it replaced many eyepieces, black and green included.
The Nikon MC1 zoom is also a good toy, although not at the level of the former in terms of on axis contrast.
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#57 LDW47

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 08:48 AM

I have the Meade and the Baader.,both are older models.(8yr.) if that matters.,I see the Meade being compared to the Celestron alot.,some saying they are the same just a different label.,but I question this internet info because I often hear the Celestron is soft around the edge's and my Meades are very sharp to the edge.,granted the fov is narrow.,but it is all sharp to my eyes.,I've never looked through a Celestron so I can't compare for myself.,I own two Meade's and they both give sharp views.,

So if I was chooseing between a Meade or Celestron.,from what I have read.,and what I have seen.,I would choose the Meade.,cheers.,

I think you nailed it ! What is the price difference today between your two zooms ? And of course some will say that todays Meade zooms aren’t the same as yours ! LOL !



#58 Don Taylor

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 09:54 AM

Perfect example! I would choose wider FoV, say Delites. 

Oh yes, sometimes I use the ES 82 degree in the turret.  But for Lunar & planetary the "zoom" orthos work very well.


Edited by Don Taylor, 30 August 2019 - 09:55 AM.


#59 clearwaterdave

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 05:19 PM

I got the Baader as my first "high quality" eyepiece.,to use with my Z8 added to the astro-tech kit eps I had.,

  I liked the zoom thing.,but it was too heavy for my smaller scopes so I got a Meade.,it went out on loan and I missed it enough to get another.,$70 worth of fun.,


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#60 WoodlandsAstronomer

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 10:41 PM

I just bought the Baader MKIV and I am in love with it. For the convenience, it’s amazing and makes for more enjoyable causal observing no muss no fuss and the contrast and coatings are excellent. Maybe not top shelf, but I don’t think anyone would say it isn’t premium. And it Barlow’s extremely well and easily with their 2.25x Hyperion. It’s worth every penny in my opinion and threaded too for easy eyepiece projection astrophotography. Hope to try the Pentax at some point to see how much better it is, but a lot of ppl say it is much better. I have used the Celestron and it is no where near the Baader. Happy hunting!
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#61 Sarkikos

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Posted 01 September 2019 - 10:38 AM

 

like this? Now filled with 4, 6, 9, and 12.5mm Fujiyama Orthos

 

Then I would have four eyepieces to protect from dew instead of just one.  If you wrap a warming strip around the turret itself, would that be enough to keep the dew off the eyepieces?  I doubt it would at my very dewy sites.  Maybe not so bad in Oklahoma.  :grin:

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 01 September 2019 - 10:39 AM.


#62 Sarkikos

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Posted 01 September 2019 - 10:48 AM

Night before last I took out my C80ED on a MicroStar Deluxe on tripod.  I had a Baader turret in the focuser.  A 6-3 Nagler Zoom was opposite a small illuminated crosshair eyepiece, while the other two openings were plugged. 

 

I had a list of doubles highlighted in SkySafari Pro on my iPhone.  A laser finder was on the scope for initial pointing.  I star hopped with the crosshair eyepiece.  Then I dialed the turret to the 6-3 NZ.   Not a bad setup for grab-n-go double star viewing.

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 01 September 2019 - 10:48 AM.


#63 MalVeauX

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 10:18 AM

Hrm,

 

So, I went through a few focal lengths last night on Jupiter in my 200mm F6 quartz newt just to see what was comfortable with the manual use on an alt-az mount (no slow motion control). Wider is of course much more easy and comfortable. However, I was able to pretty easily and readily get the scope pointed at Jupiter and focused with an 8mm eyepiece netting me 150x magnification. The 50mm RACI made this easier of course. I was actually happy at 150x. While I could have pushed it more likely, the seeing was handling it, and it was still quite bright, the limit is more the lack of tracking and having to manually chase it around which I don't like doing at higher power. 150x was likely my limit of tolerance, give or take. So this confirms to me at least that a zoom topping out at 8mm or 7mm or so would be fine. Allowing me the easy of backing off to re-center the view or make it even easier to find the object, and then being able to twist-zoom back to a higher magnification. I just wish they were parfocal of course to make it even more convenient.

 

I also don't spend a tremendous amount of time studying a planet visually. Mostly to just look at it a bit, share it with others who want to look, then I point cameras at stuff as I image more. I picked up visual as something to learn and enjoy while imaging with my other systems.

 

So this probably means I should look at the 8-24 Celestron or similar zooms ($60), or at best, the Lunt/Orion 7-21 class zooms ($150 range). While I would rather get the Baader Zoom, it will simply not see a lot of use so it's hard to justify that price for what I'm actually doing with it, and allowing others to use it and all that (kids with fingers!).

 

Anyone have any direct experience with comparing the Celestron 8-24 (or similar re-brand) vs the Lunt 7-21 (or similar re-brand) with respect to planets?

 

I'm thinking of having a zoom eyepiece of sharing and simple fast use. And it will pair with my Arcturus Binos that I'll put two 15mm 66 degree eyepieces in, with the 1.85x corrector, giving a similar 8mm focal length effectively but with two eyes for myself. But the zoom will be used more when someone else is trying to find a planet, move it around, then zoom in, etc as that's much easier for someone else.

 

Thanks!

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX, 08 September 2019 - 10:38 AM.


#64 Don Taylor

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 10:40 AM

Then I would have four eyepieces to protect from dew instead of just one.  If you wrap a warming strip around the turret itself, would that be enough to keep the dew off the eyepieces?  I doubt it would at my very dewy sites.  Maybe not so bad in Oklahoma.  grin.gif

 

Mike

Mike:  That would be a pain.

 

I have not had any dew problems here or when I lived in Wichita Kansas.  I would think a warming strip around the turret would not work so well - both hindering rotation and not conducting heat well to the areas that need it. But I have not tried. Heck, I don't own any active dew protection equipment - only the dew caps on my refractors and Mak's.


Edited by Don Taylor, 08 September 2019 - 10:40 AM.


#65 dpastern

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 05:15 AM

 

like this? Now filled with 4, 6, 9, and 12.5mm Fujiyama Orthos

 
 

 

 

what eyepiece turret is that?



#66 Mike G.

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 08:35 AM

I recently decided to buy a zoom for my 80mm Lunt Single Stack.  I kicked around the various options and in the end, not having any previous experience with any zoom, went with the Vixen 8-24 LV ($170).  on receiving it I promptly took the 80mm out and set it up (on my CG5 with tracking) and started comparing it to fixed focal length EP's that I normally use for solar viewing.  I had a decent day and used some proms and the detail they presented for comparison.  here's what got put up against the Zoom:  26mm meade 4000 SP Smoothie, 22mm Vixen LVW, 18mm APM UFF, 15mm APM UFF, 13mm Vixen LVW, 12mm Lunt FF (with the 'solar optimized coatings'), 12mm TV T4 and an 8mm Vixen LVW.  I was specifically looking at detail in the proms and background (how black or near to black the area outside the disk was).

 

before I say anything else, I should state I have very bad eyesight with some pretty sever astig.  so, YMMV.  but, what I personally found was that with the exception of the 12mm TV, the Vixen zoom had better detail and better control of extraneous light.  all observing was done with a hood and EP focal lengths were matched.  I was very impressed with the Vixen.  since it was in tracking mode, I can't offer any info on distortion or other things that I'm not really qualified to judge.  I will say it seemed to be well constructed, smooth adjustment throughout the range, parfocal except when going from one extreme to the other, then only a very minor tweak to the focus needed, comfortable with eyeglasses and since I was only looking at the sun (in red), the narrow FOV was not particularly noticeable.  lastly, at the higher mags where the limb extended past the FOV, I would say the Vixen was very good out to about 80% before things started to drop off in detail.

 

I might have been happy (or even happier) with something else but I had heard a few stories about loose bits floating around in the Mk IV's and as this is an outreach scope at times, I just didn't want to spend that much.  as far as nighttime use, I have to wait.  but I didn't buy it for that anyway. 

 

just another opinion, here on CN.  where opinions are quite plentiful and varied....


Edited by Mike G., 09 September 2019 - 08:44 AM.

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#67 25585

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 09:39 AM

what eyepiece turret is that?

Looks like Celestron. 


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#68 Sarkikos

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 09:45 AM

Mike:  That would be a pain.

 

I have not had any dew problems here or when I lived in Wichita Kansas.  I would think a warming strip around the turret would not work so well - both hindering rotation and not conducting heat well to the areas that need it. But I have not tried. Heck, I don't own any active dew protection equipment - only the dew caps on my refractors and Mak's.

An even bigger pain would be dew on the optics, if you don't prevent the dew from forming!  grin.gif  It's just something you have to do if you observe most places back East. 

 

But we don't have much dust and dirt blowing around, though, so we don't have to deal with grit on the optics.

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 09 September 2019 - 09:46 AM.


#69 starmason

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 01:10 PM

Just had to send my 2 cents on my 2 favorite 1.25 inch zoom eyepieces:    I've enjoyed the "first generation" Baader Zoom (which I purchased when it was first available) and it lasted me until last year when it finally broke internally from constant use.  Using the Baader IV now for general observing at Outreach events, quick grab and go enjoyment.  My favorite zoom for planetary, doubles and lunar viewing is my TV 3-5 Zoom ep.  Compared that to my excellent volcano UO ortho ep's and it is their equal and even more comfortable in many respects.  The Baader IV and TV 3-5 zooms are just that good at what they are designed to do. They are excellent quality for a wide range of viewing both day and night.  Since I purchased my enjoyable AT102ED, recently, those ep's are always on hand to use with that refractor during Public Outreach events.  Clear skies.  Geo. 


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#70 dpastern

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 06:00 AM

Looks like Celestron. 

Thanks!



#71 Starman1

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 08:40 AM

I believe these were made by Vixen back when Celestron and Vixen had a working relationship ('80s, IIRC).

I just saw a used one on another site for sale.


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#72 dpastern

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 05:26 PM

I believe these were made by Vixen back when Celestron and Vixen had a working relationship ('80s, IIRC).

I just saw a used one on another site for sale.

already sold :(



#73 MalVeauX

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 01:08 PM

Wanted to report in with where I went.

 

I got a good deal on a 2nd hand Lunt 7-21mm eyepiece.

 

So far, sharp, good contrast, good action, good eye-relief. A little tight on eye-relief at 7mm, but still ok for me. I was surprised it wasn't a huge eyepiece but rather a decent size, without too much weight to it. Very comfortable to use. Balances nicely with this 8" F6 reflector so far.

 

Of course, upon receipt, Tropical storm Nestor clouded up my skies as if she knew....

 

48925140427_9f47616424_c.jpg

 

48924941946_743c11776d_c.jpg

 

Very best,


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#74 ratnamaravind

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 12:19 PM

This topic is a little old, but I’ll still post,

 

I have three zooms, two of which I will never part with. They are the Nagler 3-6 a Nikon MC2 7-21mm.

 

The Nagler zoom has been discussed ad nauseum on CN...bottom line is that good orthos with updated coatings edge the NZ out with less scatter on planetary (I re-verified this two mornings ago) but its sheer convenience makes the NZ a keeper.

 

The Nikon MC2 is the real sleeper...needed some adaptation to work (black tape and a .965” to 1.25” adapter) but night upon night of viewing double stars, planets and clusters from my backyard have convinced that the throughput through their Nikon multilayer coatings compares favorably against some very good plossls and orthos. If I continue to see this, I will sell my ‘simple’ eyepiece collection. This is what I like about Nikon, Pentax, Takahashi and equivalent top shelf Japanese optics in general. No marketing or ads about taking spacewalks...just quietly delivered good quality. I love what TeleVue has contributed to this hobby, but there is more choice out there. In my backyard, sometimes all I need is just the MC2 zoom on a brass equalizer together with my finder 40mm eyepiece on my Mewlon 180. A very convenient 2 eyepiece setup.

 

My third zoom is an inexpensive Chinese made Olivon 8-24 that I reserve for outreach. It is surprisingly decent even on budget scopes and I believe is equivalent to the more expensive Celestron eyepiece based on this: https://www.youtube....h?v=2OeVkj2-aII

 

I do not have hands on experience with zoom eyepieces beyond this. I have heard good things about the Baader for a cost effective solution and then the Leica as a premium choice with good edge correction on scopes beyond f/6. For now, I am happy with what I have.


Edited by ratnamaravind, 28 May 2020 - 01:57 PM.


#75 DRodrigues

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 03:38 PM

...

The Nikon MC2 is the real sleeper...needed some adaptation to work (black tape and a .965” to 1.25” adapter) ...

APM produced an 1,25" adapter for Nikon fieldscope eps - I have one. Eventually still produces it, at request...

The only problems with the Nikon are the short eye-relief and that AFOVs aren't wide. However, those that love orthos should be very happy with it... grin.gif


Edited by DRodrigues, 28 May 2020 - 03:39 PM.



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