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Entry-level zooming eyepiece

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#1 RaisingASpaceKid

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Posted 27 November 2023 - 06:21 PM

Greetings!

 

Thanks to some wonderful guidance from the beginner forum, we've decided to get a Celestron NexStar 6SE. I don't want to go all in on eyepieces, etc. at this point. However, I know from other viewing opportunities that our son really likes to zoom in on the moon and study it in details.

 

Is there a decent zooming eyepiece that you would recommend getting to get us started as we learn more about our new hobby?

 

Thanks!



#2 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 27 November 2023 - 06:34 PM

I keep this one in my grab and go case with my small refractor, and it's on sale now. https://www.amazon.c...s/dp/B07Z64NK65


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#3 norvegicus

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Posted 27 November 2023 - 06:36 PM

The Celestron is okay:  https://www.amazon.c...e/dp/B0007UQNV8

 

The Baader is much nicer and much much more expensive.  https://agenaastro.c...ce-2454826.html



#4 cookjaiii

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Posted 27 November 2023 - 07:04 PM

I've tried Meade, Agena, Antares, Celestron, Vixen, and Baader Zooms over the years.  

 

The Meade, Agena, Antares, and Celestron all look the same to me and probably come from the same factory in China.  They are all decent for first starting out. 

 

The Vixen is similar in field of view to the others, but it's sharper and shows a less false color through fast achromatic refractors, but it isn't so much better to justify the cost, and that's probably why they stopped making them. 

 

The Baader is head and shoulders above the others (and so priced!).  It's so good and so convenient that I tend to use it exclusively even though I have a full set of Naglers and Panoptics in my bag.

 

I wish I could opine on the Svbony, but I never tried one. Hopefully, someone will respond with experience comparing it to other zooms.

 

Good luck, and welcome to the hobby!  


Edited by cookjaiii, 27 November 2023 - 07:05 PM.

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#5 MTibb

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Posted 27 November 2023 - 07:26 PM

+1 for the Svbony 7-21mm zoom. It's quite good... Some of Svbony's products certainly aren't the greatest, but others such as this zoom eyepiece really hit the mark for quality/value.
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#6 Mike Q

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Posted 27 November 2023 - 07:39 PM

Orions 8 to 24 Lanthanum is a pretty solid variable.  It used to be my go to eyepiece.  Its just a tough behind the Baader but cheaper


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#7 Bean614

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Posted 27 November 2023 - 08:01 PM

Another vote for the Svbony 7-21 zoom! Folks who have Actually used it, love it!


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#8 descott12

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Posted 27 November 2023 - 08:45 PM

I have the Celestron zoom. It is ok but not really sharp - I mostly use it with my solar white light setup. But the convenience of a zoom can be beaten. I would probably go with the Svbony since it gets good reviews and is 1/2 the price of the Celestron.



#9 iseegeorgesstar

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Posted 27 November 2023 - 08:56 PM

I have the svbony 7-21 zoom which is good enough for its price. Definitely nice to have in the kit.

 

If you decide you do want to spend a bit more, give the APM superzoom a shot. Zooms are essentially several EPs rolled into one so while the initial price is something to balk at it's actually cheaper than paying for several focal lengths of the same EP line. 

 

https://www.apm-tele...d-filter-thread


Edited by iseegeorgesstar, 27 November 2023 - 08:58 PM.

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#10 eyespy

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Posted 27 November 2023 - 10:04 PM

Hi RASK,

 

I have and use the Svbony 7.2 - 21.6 mm zoom and I prefer it to my much more expensive Baader 8-24 mm Mark IV zoom. It is more expensive than the Svbony 7 - 21 mm zoom (which I also have) but it is much better. It is available from Amazon in its Monday sale.

 

Doug…..


Edited by eyespy, 27 November 2023 - 10:09 PM.


#11 sevenofnine

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Posted 27 November 2023 - 10:30 PM

Welcome to C/N! flowerred.gif

 

I think you see a pattern here...the little SVB 21-7 gets my vote too. Although from Doug's comment I'd be tempted to go for the SVB 21.6-7.2. Good luck with your decision! borg.gif


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#12 therealdmt

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Posted 28 November 2023 - 03:25 AM

Svbony 7-21.

 

About $45, works nicely; ‘nuff said


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#13 spongebob@55

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Posted 28 November 2023 - 11:31 AM

SVBONY SV135 Zoom Eyepiece, Zoom 7 to 21mm


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#14 star69

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Posted 28 November 2023 - 05:05 PM

Svbony 7-21.

 

About $45, works nicely; ‘nuff said

On your endorsement, I just ordered one from their ebay store ($43.32 all in). Curiosity got the better of me. 

-Kevin


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#15 scout

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Posted 28 November 2023 - 05:16 PM

I also have the Svbony 7-21 zoom and it's an excellent and comfortable eyepiece. I love it for splitting double stars. Works great with a Barlow too. Incredible deal for such a cheap price.


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#16 gw_dra

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Posted 28 November 2023 - 05:25 PM

I also love the SVbony 7-21 mm zoom, so much that my next eyepiece purchase might be a second one so I can put one in each of my scopes
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#17 therealdmt

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Posted 29 November 2023 - 01:58 AM

On your endorsement, I just ordered one from their ebay store ($43.32 all in). Curiosity got the better of me. 

-Kevin

Okay, I hope it works out well for you smile.gif

 

Just keep in mind that my comment was in response to a question for an entry level zoom, not a "Searching for the world’s finest zoom ocular" thread or some such. Don’t expect anything that isn’t in the specs, and of course every piece of equipment in the hobby has its pluses and minuses, none of which I got into above. Meanwhile, a notable percentage of CNers don’t like zooms in general, so the SV135 can’t change that.

 

Nevertheless, I’ve used mine extensively and, like so many others who have posted in this thread, am satisfied. I expect you’ll get your $43.32’s worth grin.gif It’s a neat little eyepiece. Light weight, compact, reasonably close to parfocal depending on the focus accommodation of one’s eye, decent eye relief and easy to find/hold exit pupil…I could go on. The obvious limitation is that the field of view is what it is. Also, light transmission is a little less than with the much more expensive Baader zoom. Regardless, it’s great for finding just the right magnification for planetary viewing, you can zoom out to reacquire a lost target (before zooming back in), and it’s lots of fun on double stars. For a lightweight grab ‘n go kit, the 7-21 zoom, a 2x barlow and a widefield eyepiece like a 30mm plossl can cover a whole night’s viewing. And for outreach, it’s fun, easy to use and not too precious. Hopefully you’ll get as good use out of yours as lots of others here have 


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#18 star69

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Posted 29 November 2023 - 10:26 AM

Okay, I hope it works out well for you smile.gif

 

Just keep in mind that my comment was in response to a question for an entry level zoom, not a "Searching for the world’s finest zoom ocular" thread or some such. Don’t expect anything that isn’t in the specs, and of course every piece of equipment in the hobby has its pluses and minuses, none of which I got into above. Meanwhile, a notable percentage of CNers don’t like zooms in general, so the SV135 can’t change that.

 

Nevertheless, I’ve used mine extensively and, like so many others who have posted in this thread, am satisfied. I expect you’ll get your $43.32’s worth grin.gif It’s a neat little eyepiece. Light weight, compact, reasonably close to parfocal depending on the focus accommodation of one’s eye, decent eye relief and easy to find/hold exit pupil…I could go on. The obvious limitation is that the field of view is what it is. Also, light transmission is a little less than with the much more expensive Baader zoom. Regardless, it’s great for finding just the right magnification for planetary viewing, you can zoom out to reacquire a lost target (before zooming back in), and it’s lots of fun on double stars. For a lightweight grab ‘n go kit, the 7-21 zoom, a 2x barlow and a widefield eyepiece like a 30mm plossl can cover a whole night’s viewing. And for outreach, it’s fun, easy to use and not too precious. Hopefully you’ll get as good use out of yours as lots of others here have 

Absolutely. It's totally an experiment in "how does this inexpensive eyepiece perform". I am pretty well set with the good stuff. waytogo.gif


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#19 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 29 November 2023 - 11:06 AM

I've had so many EP's over the years, both fixed focal length and zooms, and Barlows. 

 

There are many that are clones. I've owned so many Celestron 8-24mm zooms over the years, each of varying quality. QC is always going to be an issue with anything mass produced. I've owned many that were just kind of "Meh...serviceable" while others of the same brand were excellent. At the moment I have the Agena clone of the Celestron. Exact same EP, but $25 less. It's of pretty good quality in the view and use. I also own the Baader MKIV 8-24mm zoom that I got a "too good to be true" deal on. I don't think I would have paid $300 for it new, but it is better than all the other zooms I've owned.

 

Oddly enough, zooms have the narrowest FOV at their lowest magnification, and get wider, the higher you go. 

 

Currently I have the lens of my 2X Barlow screwed directly onto my Baader zoom (turning the Barlow into a 1.5X instead). But the benefit is, it turned my 8-24mm zoom into a 5.3mm - 16mm Zoom EP, which is my most used range anyway and keeps the FOV about 59° to 69° throughout that range and with really great eye relief too. I now barely notice the FOV difference as I zoom back and forth throughout that range and it is far closer to parfocal as well.

 

An 8-24mm Zoom, a 2X Barlow and one wide angle EP makes for a simple, fairly complete set, covering a wide range. My Baader is really the only EP I use now, along with my 40mm WA EP.  Of course most of my viewing is the Moon and planets. 

 

Zooms aren't for everyone, but I like to keep things as simple as possible. My seeing conditions aren't the greatest so I like that I can just dial in the right magnification as those conditions change (which is frequent). 


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#20 Andrea Salati

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Posted 29 November 2023 - 11:33 AM

On that same telescope I tried the Celestron 8-24 and the SvBony 7-21.

I would definitely go for the SvBony.
Later on you could complement it with an SvBony 3-8 (for those rare nights when seeing allows you to push the magnification past 215x) and a 32 Plossl.
Three eyepieces, $150 or so (less if bought used) and lots of fun for you and SpaceKid
 


Edited by Andrea Salati, 29 November 2023 - 11:35 AM.

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#21 Tweel

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Posted 01 December 2023 - 01:32 AM

My thoughts on the Celestron

https://www.cloudyni...nay/?p=13102632



#22 sportsmed

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Posted 02 December 2023 - 12:11 AM

Another option is the Orion E-Series 7-21mm its the same as the Svbony just matters on which one you can find the cheapest I guess. But I really like my Orion up to the 16mm setting then it just gets to narrow of a FOV for my viewing. But a zoom is always nice to have in your collection, I use mine alot on cold nights or when I dont feel like swapping alot of EP's out.


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#23 vtornado

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Posted 02 December 2023 - 10:41 PM

I would recommend the svbony 7-21 or the celestron 8-24.  Both are adequate for the price.  I had the Baader zoom and it was better in every way, but I could not justify the cost.    I found the svbony 8-24 optically as good as the celestron, but the zoom mechinism was harder to adjust.




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