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

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#76 ratnamaravind


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Posted 28 May 2020 - 04:20 PM

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

Thanks. The Nikon MCII was easy enough to adapt to 1.25" inexpensively. The AFoV of the MCII is a tad bit wider than the cheaper (and more popular) Nikon MC eyepiece, and the MCII has updated coatings which was important. The MCII's 14mm of eye relief (tad lower at the highest magnification settings) is plenty for me since I observe without glasses. That's nearly the same amount of eye relief as the 13 Ethos! Agree overall it is a narrow eyepiece, but my planetary viewing is done on motorized telescopes, so it matters less.

Edited by ratnamaravind, 28 May 2020 - 04:21 PM.

#77 eblanken


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Posted 30 May 2020 - 06:09 PM

Thanks so far all,


For context:


Right now this is mainly to be used for planet spotting, especially outreach with the kids, where it's super convenient to have a zoom, back out, locate the planet, then zoom to higher magnification without fumbling with eyepieces. So for this purpose, I'm willing to give up a better eyepiece to the convenience of a zoom. Most of my eyepieces are Paradigm Dual EDs. I don't have anything fancy or high end, mostly effective entry options like that. I have all kinds of scopes, including long refractors, short refractors, SCTs, long reflectors (F6), etc. I usually binoview with my C8 Edge for this in my observatory. But, this purpose is to have a scope on a manual mount with a zoom so that nothing has to be changed out or fiddled with and little fingers can mess with it and it not be a problem. 8mm would get me anywhere from 150x to 250x magnification on my longer scopes (1200mm F6 and 2000mm F10) which is plenty for general planetary for me with average seeing (Florida seeing is decent enough for 100~150x at any given time usually).


I'd like to get the Baader. But, at the same time, this is not for intense long session study. It will mostly be for glances, short looks, minutes maybe tops. So it makes me think a budget eyepiece zoom would be fine and fill in that role.


Contrast would be very important, but compared to convenience, for this purpose, convenience may just win out at the cost of a better eyepiece.


So, knowing that, does that change anything for anyone?


Very best,

Given this additional information, I would recommend picking up a used 8-24mm Zoom from AstroMart or Cloudy Nights Classifieds. The Vixen Zoom design (rebranded as Televue, Meade, etc.) would work well enough given your use model in my opinion. I have a Vixen that I bought new for $200 and several more that I bought used (for less, even much less) on AstroMart. All work well and I feel that buying used helped me justify having and keeping several especially for outreach and star parties.


My $0.02,


Ed (aka eblanken)

Edited by eblanken, 30 May 2020 - 06:10 PM.

#78 scrane


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Posted 01 June 2020 - 01:18 PM

I have a Meade branded zoom that is also marked Swarovski -- Austria, that I purchased new in around 2000 for $245. Its range is 7.7 - 23.1mm. It seems to have no bad habits outside of the typical narrowing of field as FL increases. Does anyone know how this zoom stacks up against more modern designs?

#79 StarAlert


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Posted 04 June 2020 - 09:07 PM

had these zooms

7.5-22.5 Orion Premium
8-24 Vixen NLV
8-24 TV
8-24 Pentax SMC
9-21 Nikon MC
5-8 Speers Waler old
5-8 Speers Waler old NEWER
8.5-12 Speers Waler new
8-24 Baader Hyperion
3-6 TV Zoom

7-21 Nikon MC2 zoom


the stand outs for me are the TV Nagler, Nikon MC and MC2 zooms and the 5-8mm Speers Waler

How do the MC2 and MC compare? FOV, eye relief, sharpness, adaptability to 1.25”? Are the different magnifications parfocal? 

Edited by StarAlert, 05 June 2020 - 02:12 AM.

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