I agree, the Celestron Zoom is a great value and for someone just starting out, it has the advantage that you can dial in the magnification in real time and see the difference is the views.
I measured the AFoV of the Celestron zoom:
24mm 38.8 degrees
18mm 46.5 degrees
12mm 54.5 degrees
8mm 63.3 degrees
That and a 2x Barlow covers a wide range, from 50x to 300x though the 50x is field is quite narrow. But from about 16mm to 8mm, it has at least the AFoV of a Plossl so that would be from 75x to 300x and be a good fit with the 30mm SuperView.
Understanding Telescope Eyepieces
Jon's AFOV chart is a great resource. The specs on the eyepiece say 40 degree at 24 mm and 60 degree at 8 mm.
So, the apparent field of view of a zoom varies over its zoom range. Let me put this into perspective for you.
Using the Celestron Zoom in your AD8, at 24 mm, the low power end of the zoom, you would get 50X and about .75 degree field of view. A 24 mm Plossl (50 degree AFOV) would give you the same 50X but about 1 degree field of view.
What does that mean?
The Moon is about 1/2 degree across. So a 24 mm Plossl would give you about two moon spans while the zoom, at 24 mm,, would provide about 1.5 moon spans. Both would allow you to view the entire moon, with nice framing around it.
To go to higher mag with single FL eyepieces you would change to the eyepiece you want, re-center the Moon and see how you like the view. Perhaps you want to try a different magnification so you change eyepieces.
With the zoom you twist the barrel and zoom in as little or as much as you like while you are viewing the Moon to see the details you would want to see. It works just like the zoom on a camera.
Without a Barlow, at full zoom, 8 mm, that would take you to 150X and about a .4 degree field of view, or a little less than the full span of a full moon, based on Jon's AFOV measurements. By comparison, if you used an 8 mm Plossl eyepiece, you would get the same 150X but about .3 degree field of view.
Using the 1.5X Barlow element you can effectively shift the working range of the zoom to 16mm to 5.3mm. Or use the 2X barlow and make it 12 mm to 4 mm with a corresponding magnification range.
All this tossing around of specs sometimes is hard to visualize. I like to use the Moon to help people understand the concept of field of view and how it compares as you change eyepiece designs.
Edited by aeajr, 26 January 2021 - 03:32 PM.