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Thread: Zoom eyepiece vs fixed

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    Default Zoom eyepiece vs fixed



    I am very new to telescopes and was looking at purchasing an eyepiece or two. Are the zoom eyepieces similar in quality to fixed ones and are they a good investment. I am not sure if I should just purchase the zoom or multiple fixed. Thanks.
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    Default Re: Zoom eyepiece vs fixed

    Not sure what you mean by " zoom" lense. The all in one? Or xxx Barlow 1.5x, 2x, 2.5x 2x.......5x
    My advice, do not exceed more than half your scopes magnification. 180-200 mag is good.
    Focal length (mm) divided by eyepiece focal length (mm) =magnification
    Clear skies,
    Jeff

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    Default Re: Zoom eyepiece vs fixed

    Quality of zoom eyepieces can be decent. However, you are looking through more lenses, causing a little bit more light loss and more opportunities for stray internal reflections. And moving parts are always a source of trouble.

    I had a zoom eyepiece from a well-known manufacturer. It was okay, but it lacked a wide field at longer focal lengths, it was prone to weird internal reflections, and the zoom mechanism eventually siezed up solid. It now makes a nice paperweight.
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    Default Re: Zoom eyepiece vs fixed

    Skip the zooms, they can be useful for a quick grab-n-go set up, but for my main observing situations I would much, much rather have quality dedicated EPs. Overall, they will perform much better, and depending on the design of the EP, will have a wider field of view.
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    Default Re: Zoom eyepiece vs fixed

    The more I think about it, I think it's about quality and money (how much you have to spend today).
    There are different quality of lenses. You may only need a couple.
    Others here can advise.
    I just happen to have seen the views with lenses I have on the exact same telescope as mine with certain Barlows, so I bought them.

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    Default Re: Zoom eyepiece vs fixed

    I've seen mixed reviews on zoom EPs (not Barlows). I'd buy 2-3 fixed focal length EPs before investing in a zoom. YMMV.

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    Default Re: Zoom eyepiece vs fixed

    Thanks to everyone for the information. As I suspected, probably best to stick with the fixed eyepieces.

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    Default Re: Zoom eyepiece vs fixed

    I have mixed feelings regarding zooms even though I have a decent one. I got a Celestron zoom as part of a package deal when I got my XLT120. I wasn't too crazy about it an eventually upgraded to the Meade zoom which I found to be noticeably better. I rarely ever use it anymore, just in very quick grab & go situations as Ozman13 mentioned. But I've never regretted buying it. However I found it very useful in initially helping determine what fixed lenses to get when I finally started buying good singles

    So I guess my answer is both yes and no to your question, hence the 'mixed feelings' comment I made
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    Default Re: Zoom eyepiece vs fixed

    I own two zooms (Speers-Waler 5-8mm and Vixen 8-24mm) but other than solar viewing or quick grab and go situations, I tend to use fixed focal lengths for observing.
    I wanting a zoom I would suggest the Baader Mk IV and the Vixen.
    The Speers-Waler 5-8mm and TeleVue 3-6mm have the benefit of a consistent AFOV through their magnification ranges.
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    Default Re: Zoom eyepiece vs fixed

    It all depends what you are trying to achieve. I had separate eyepieces to start with. This was thinned down to some better Celestron X-Cel LX, 9mm, 18mm & 28mm.
    I got to the point where I was wanting to reduce the amount of stuff I had lying around when observing, particularly as I had to cart it round a fair bit. I then purchased a Baader MkIV Zoom and have found it excellent with my telescopes. They are not top end by a long way and convenience was worth the potential compromises going to the zoom.
    Currently I can fit all my gear in a backpack, taking one or other of the two scopes with the tripod in separate bag.
    Mark

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