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Thread: Zoom Eyepieces

  1. #1
    WWPierre's Avatar
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    Default Zoom Eyepieces



    Do any of you use them? I have been reading reviews, and people seem to like them. They can be had for around a hundred or less. most seem to be 8mm-24mm. With my barlow, (more about that later) a zoom would get me from 26X to 160X, which is probably getting close to the limit for my scope anyway. It is such a hassle to change eyepieces, I just stay with the 25mm.

    I bought a Barlow on E-Bay for $20.50. Worked out to about $30 to my post office box. It came from Seben in Germany. Do they make good optics?
    Meade 16" LightBridge; Celestron G-8N Bird-Jones/motorized EQ5; Orion 127 Mak/go-to EQ5; Burgess 127f8 refractor; Sky-Watcher 5" F/5 collapsible dob; 90mm Mak/motorized EQ2; Royal Astro 76/910-GEM; Meade 60x700 refractor/alt/az; Zhumell 25x100 Coin Ops; GalilleoScope. Celestron 8mm-24mm zoom; lots of fixed EPs,some good, some..not so much. A small collection of surveying instruments; a forest of tripods; Canon Rebel Xti. Confirmed gadget junkie; Custodian of the Magnetic North Pole (Send $1.00 to Pierre each time you use a compass.)
    49-41-37.03N 123-09-29.61W Calculated magnetic declination: 17° 39' East

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    Default

    I just did a search on that the other day since I will be in the market for another eyepiece as well. The posts I found had majority voting against them.
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  3. #3
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    Default

    A couple of things with Zooms....

    First of all, zoom optics always have a relatively narrow field of view at low powers (exactly where you'd prefer it to be wider), which gets wider as you zoom up to higher magnifications.
    A zoom at 24mm, will have a narrower FOV than a 24mm plossl
    And secondly, the extra lens elements required can result in a bit of glare, and/or loss of contrast when looking at bright objects like the Moon

    If you accept those shortcomings, then the versatility of a zoom, for many people, can far outweigh them.

    You may also still want to carry one or two good fixed EPs - maybe a decent wide-angle for times when the zoom's FOV isn't enough - and a short orthoscopic, for clear high-power Moon/Planet views.
    A good zoom can certainly replace whole range of mid-quality plossls - but bear in mind, the images won't equal those you get from good quality fixed eyepieces.


    As for Seben - well they do sell some nice eyepieces - but they do also sell some real 'dogs'.
    Unfortunately, I don't personally know which ones are good , and which are bad....
    You may be get a real bargain, or you may be dsappointed - it's a matter of luck.
    If it's cheap though - may be worth taking a chance.

    Looking at spec.....
    Seben zoom has a AFOV of 40° at 24mm, and 60° at 8mm
    Celestron zoom - AFOV 40° at 24mm - 60° at 8mm
    (I suspect the Seben and Celestron may be manufactured in the same place - they certainly look similar)
    SkyWatcher 8-24 zoom - AFOV 40° at 24mm - 60° at 8mm
    Baader zoom - AFOV of 50° at 24mm, going up to 68° at 8mm
    Meade series 4000 zoom - AFOV 40° at 24mm - 55° at 8mm
    Televue zoom - AFOV 40° at 24mm - 55° at 8mm - but very sharp and clear compared to other zooms

    Sky-Watcher also make a 7-21mm. It has very poor AFOV, but is also very cheap (30° at 21mm - 43° at 7mm)
    Last edited by Carlos_dfc; 07-22-2009 at 01:01 PM.
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    Default

    Hi folks

    Just ordered a Baader Planetarium 8-24mm Click Stop Zoom which seems to be very highly regarded.

    When it arrives, I'll update this thread with a "first impressions" report (= "first light" ??)

    I gather it Barlows rather nicely too. It also has a built-in thread to accept a T-adapter so that you can use afocal imaging with a digital camera.

    Art
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    Smile

    Carlos, very good post! I'm going to "bookmark" it. Thank you!

    Peter, I have the Seben 8/24mm zoom. Yes, there are better and more costly zooms out there, as Carlos points out so very well, but I use mine often and like it. If I had TeleVue "deep pockets", there's no doubt as to what I'd have...

    Sandy, good hunting with your choice!

    Art, looking forward to your report!

    What a great forum this is !

    Cheers, mates!

    Bob
    Last edited by BobDob; 07-26-2009 at 03:10 PM.
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Dent View Post
    Hi folks

    Just ordered a Baader Planetarium 8-24mm Click Stop Zoom which seems to be very highly regarded.

    When it arrives, I'll update this thread with a "first impressions" report (= "first light" ??)

    I gather it Barlows rather nicely too. It also has a built-in thread to accept a T-adapter so that you can use afocal imaging with a digital camera.

    Art
    I purchased one as well based on good reviews. Mine came in today, so I get to try it out tonight.

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    Default

    Meade 16" LightBridge; Celestron G-8N Bird-Jones/motorized EQ5; Orion 127 Mak/go-to EQ5; Burgess 127f8 refractor; Sky-Watcher 5" F/5 collapsible dob; 90mm Mak/motorized EQ2; Royal Astro 76/910-GEM; Meade 60x700 refractor/alt/az; Zhumell 25x100 Coin Ops; GalilleoScope. Celestron 8mm-24mm zoom; lots of fixed EPs,some good, some..not so much. A small collection of surveying instruments; a forest of tripods; Canon Rebel Xti. Confirmed gadget junkie; Custodian of the Magnetic North Pole (Send $1.00 to Pierre each time you use a compass.)
    49-41-37.03N 123-09-29.61W Calculated magnetic declination: 17° 39' East

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    Default Nice find Piere...

    You actually put me on to the barlow and zoom search from our previous posts.

    I did find something interesting.

    I read some posts about taking the Baader Hyperion 8-24 Zoom Click and exchanging pieces with a Baader Hyperion 21mm. Those two coupled with a set of Baader 14mm & 28mm Fine Tuning Rings turns these two eyepieces:

    1. 8-24 zoom: 8mm, 12mm, 16mm, 20mm, 24mm with FOV starting at 68 degrees and ending at 50 degrees.

    2. 21mm 68 degree with both rings = 17.6mm, 15.5mm, 14mm


    into these two eyepieces:

    1. 4-12 zoom: 4mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm, 12mm with FOV starting at 68 degrees and ending at 50 degrees.

    2.) 21mm 68 degree turns into a 32mm

    I think I am missing something in there, but it really looks nice. They are saying you have to remember it is just a zoom. Also adding that the 24mm setting is not the greatest. But with my 30mm wide field this makes a nice set.

    I should get it in a month. I will keep you posted. I want to do a drift test and see what the actual FOVs are.

    Duke is the guy who came up with this and he posted a few pictures of the transformation. I attached them. I think I can do that.

    Thanks for pointing me down the zoom path. As people compare this... just remember it has it's nitch.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    • File Type: jpg 1.jpg (89.6 KB, 47 views)
    • File Type: jpg 2.jpg (94.6 KB, 43 views)
    • File Type: jpg 3.jpg (96.8 KB, 45 views)
    • File Type: jpg 4.jpg (93.8 KB, 38 views)

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    Default

    Now that is cool! I wonder if I would be able to see any difference from my setup with my mark one eyeball. (the weakest link in the optical chain. I love the convenience of my zoom. I have it set up now, barlowed to 162x, looking at climbers on the Chief.
    Meade 16" LightBridge; Celestron G-8N Bird-Jones/motorized EQ5; Orion 127 Mak/go-to EQ5; Burgess 127f8 refractor; Sky-Watcher 5" F/5 collapsible dob; 90mm Mak/motorized EQ2; Royal Astro 76/910-GEM; Meade 60x700 refractor/alt/az; Zhumell 25x100 Coin Ops; GalilleoScope. Celestron 8mm-24mm zoom; lots of fixed EPs,some good, some..not so much. A small collection of surveying instruments; a forest of tripods; Canon Rebel Xti. Confirmed gadget junkie; Custodian of the Magnetic North Pole (Send $1.00 to Pierre each time you use a compass.)
    49-41-37.03N 123-09-29.61W Calculated magnetic declination: 17° 39' East

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    Climbers on the Chief? I'm guessing a mountain...

 

 
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