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Thread: Zoom eyepieces?

  1. #1
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    Default Zoom eyepieces?



    What is the general consensus on zoom lenses? Are these as good as lenses that do not zoom? I've seen an eyepiece, linked below, any thoughts? Is the brand any good?

    Seben Zoom Telescope Eyepiece 7.5-22.5mm 1.25“ 31.7mm SZ1 Astronomy https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00EL5XU..._iFryzbY7GKF9B
    Celestron Astro Fi 5, Celestron Powerseeker 114mm

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    Default Re: Zoom eyepieces?

    I do not care for zoom EPs at all. The view is not as good as a dedicated EP. The field of view is very narrow. The particular type you are looking at has one of the worse reputations with the 8mm-24mm being the better. The only use I would have for one would be with a small terrestrial scope where you want different magnifications and do not want to carry along more than one EP. Sorry, that's just the way it is (IMO).
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    Default Re: Zoom eyepieces?

    As I thought, many thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ozman13 View Post
    I do not care for zoom EPs at all. The view is not as good as a dedicated EP. The field of view is very narrow. The particular type you are looking at has one of the worse reputations with the 8mm-24mm being the better. The only use I would have for one would be with a small terrestrial scope where you want different magnifications and do not want to carry along more than one EP. Sorry, that's just the way it is (IMO).
    Celestron Astro Fi 5, Celestron Powerseeker 114mm

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    Default Re: Zoom eyepieces?

    Hello Fran,

    I am with Ozman as above.
    A fairly good performing zoom
    Teleskop-Express: Baader Hyperion Mark IV Zoom Eyepiece (8-24 mm) - 1.25" & 2"
    may cost as much as a set of decent eyepieces, which will perform better,
    Teleskop-Express: Baader 1.25" Classic Orthoscopic Eyepiece Set - 6mm , 10mm , 18mm

    I have a 25x - 50x zoom on my spotting scope, but using it both for the astronomy and for the terrestrial mostly at 40x.

    Another case are the short focus zooms, like the Tele Vue Nagler 3mm - 6mm, when you are fine tuning the magnification on the planets according to the seeing conditions.

    Best,

    JG
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    Default Re: Zoom eyepieces?

    Hi Fran,

    I started a thread that turned out to be pretty extensive on this subject a few months ago:

    8-24mm Zoom Eyepiece?

    Please take a look there. There is a lot of information, opinion and advice in there.

    I finally decided for myself to obtain the Tele Vue 6-3mm zoom.

    Good luck, and clear skies!

    smp
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    Default Re: Zoom eyepieces?

    Hi,

    Do look at spereira's thread - I believe I posted something in it with a reference to yet another thread Although I now have a decent set of separates, I still use my Meade zoom the off time. I've also used my zoom to give me an idea of what to expect out of an EP I as interested in buying in terms of magnification - it's a great tool that way

    Good luck
    Abb

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    Default Re: Zoom eyepieces?

    Quote Originally Posted by j.gardavsky View Post

    Another case are the short focus zooms, like the Tele Vue Nagler 3mm - 6mm, when you are fine tuning the magnification on the planets according to the seeing conditions.
    Absolutely RIGHT!! I just don't consider this one with the other zooms, partly because of the vast difference in focal lengths covered, but mainly because this is a GOOD EP.
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    Default Re: Zoom eyepieces?

    I have seen the debate about zooms range from apathetic to downright contentious. Personally, I am not a fan, and I have been there, done that. I used to own a Baader Mk-III zoom a few years back. While I found it good, it was not what I would call good enough for my eyes in my scopes. Part of that problem is what has been mentioned - the drop off of AFOV at the longer focal lengths, where one needs it most.

    Some are simply in love with zooms, and admittedly there is a degree of convenience. But honestly I've never bought the argument about how much of a time saver it is to simply twist to a new magnification versus swapping out eyepieces. I have to say, I have never felt I was wasting an inordinate amount of time by swapping out my single focal length eyepieces of better quality. because I've never felt the need to be in such a hurry that I needed rapid fire changes. Some will cite the ability to keep up with changes in seeing easier by quickly changing magnifications. In my experience the changes in seeing can be so quick and random that trying to keep up with them is not easy no matter how one changes magnification. I will simply sit on an object long enough to watch the variability and catch one of those steady moments that allow one to pick up the extra details.

    All that said, I will admit that there is a utility for those that are more on a budget. Or those that simply wish to keep their kit as small and encompassing as possible either for traveling or just in a general sense. Someone who really doesn't have much money to spend could buy a zoom or buy two or three less expensive eyepieces (properly spaced out in focal length) and a barlow. Either way you get a wide range of magnifications that should do anyone nicely for quite some time.

    But, should one wish to make a zoom eyepiece the main workhorse, it pays to understand the shortcomings of going that route. Primarily that you will lose AFOV at the longer focal length of its run. That is why one would be better off to have a single eyepiece at the 24mm to 32mm range with a wider AFOV to use for low powered views instead of the zoom since it typically drops to around 43o to 50o depending on model. Additionally, most either end their run at 7mm or 8mm. Therefore, it would be beneficial to have something shorter for those times when you need more magnification. So two eyepieces and a zoom would get you there. Also, a zoom, a long focal length eyepiece and a barlow will get you there. As the old saying goes, there are varied ways to disrobe a cat.

    So what happened to my Baader zoom? Well, at the time I had it and four of the Baader Hyperion eyepieces (21mm, 13mm, 8mm & 5mm). The zoom was bought after the others, either on a whim or in a weak moment. As I said, they were good, but I felt I was missing something and wasn't totally satisfied. So I tried my first ES 82 eyepiece, the 24mm. That was my tipping point. After doing extensive comparisons and copious reading, all the Baaders went out the door and that money was applied to more of the ES 82s. First I was impressed by the wider AFOV, but I also know I don't feel a need to go any wider. More importantly I was further impressed by the improvement in image quality. In my scopes for my eyes, I indeed saw this and that is what pushed me in the direction I went.

    That is my take on zooms. I understand the attraction and utility (where it exists), but I also know they are not for me. YMMV

    I also agree with JG and Oz that the TV 3 to 6mm zoom is a different beast entirely. It has a short range and static AFOV (50o). If I felt the need, that is the only one I would have now.
    Last edited by KT4HX; 07-09-2017 at 05:13 AM.
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