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Strangely Brown

Seben Zoom 8-24mm, Cheap Zoom Eyepiece

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Seben Zoom 8-24mm First Light review

As there does not seem to be a wealth of comments out there about this product, I have posted my initial novice thoughts on it for those who may be interested. :cheesy:

Having had this eyepiece for a week now, I finally had the chance to use it for the first time last night thanks to some welcome freedom from those pesky clouds.

The eyepiece itself is quite large, has a sturdy feel about it, and, though not heavy, has a reassuring weight to it. I understand that Seben telescopes have a ‘reputation’ but this appears to me to be a well built eyepiece for the £50 price paid.

Through my Skywatcher 200p Dob, the FOV at 24mm is rather small- though, having researched the product as much as I could before purchasing, this was expected and it is not hugely different from the Skywatcher 25mm eyepiece which came with the ‘scope.

Moving through the differing focal lengths, I was pleased with the smooth action of the zoom and the fact that I only had to make slight adjustments to the focuser when zooming in: much more fun than swapping eyepieces in the dark! It was a joy to locate an object and then hone in on the best possible magnification by zooming in and watching it ‘come alive’ as it grew in size.

I found the views crisp, clear and sharp- particularly at the shorter end of the focal scale- and (amongst other delights) I was treated to some wonderful views of Saturn, with clear banding and Cassini Division, along with several of its moons.

Being new to this wonderful art, I admit I have little to compare it with. However, the view in comparison with the standard supplied Skywatcher 10mm eyepiece was larger and greatly more defined, and against my 8mm BST Explorer the difference was surprising; I found that the Seben had a similar FOV, but the view was richer and contained more detail.

I have not been lucky enough to use the Baader Click-Stop Zoom so favoured on this site (which is no doubt much better in every area!), but if anybody is looking for a cheap zoom for general use, or as a stop-gap solution whilst saving for a more expensive zoom, then I can highly recommend this eyepiece as; it is well priced, very easy to use, gives wonderfully rewarding views, and is a definite step up from the standard Skywatcher supplied eyepieces- with the added bonus of all those ‘in between’ focal ranges.

P.S. A couple of tips to all other newbie Stargazers like myself: an ironing stool makes observing far more comfortable, and an old sock wrapped around your Telrad makes for an excellent dew shield! :grin:

Clear skies to all.

Edited by Strangely Brown
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It's good to hear of a decent Seben product for a change - usually it's bad news when you hear their brand name.

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Thanks for the reply!

That is exactly what I heard too.

Seben's reputation may well be based upon truth, but I can only speak as I find; and as this is a generic mass-produced product, I doubt that I just got lucky with it- so if any others have been looking at this eyepiece, I say go for it because I really like it. :laugh:

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From what I have read it's the same EP as the Skywatcher 8-24 Zoom. I must say I'm surprised it is better than the 8mm BST as mine is a brilliant EP.

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I was surprised too as I also love my 8mm BST! The BST is (was???) my favourite eyepiece...

However, the Seben was definitely a little more defined on Saturn last night (perhaps it was just the seeing conditions at that moment?) Not a huge difference, granted (slightly brighter and more clear- though a tad smaller), but it was a pleasant surprise- even more so bearing in mind the apparent 'bad news' reputation of the manufacturer, and the added additional ranges of the EP.

My faith in the eyepiece will be tested over time, of course- but I am very happy with it so far.

Perhaps it is the same re-branded eyepiece as the Skywatcher 8-24 Zoom? It certainly looks similar!

Thanks for the reply. :cheesy:

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The only seem to have a bad rep for reflectors and mounts. Their EPs seem to be ok and their binoviewer is quite highly regarded. I'm glad you enjoy it and have brought some credibility to Seben, I think lol.

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I also bought the Seben 8-24mm zoom and find it provides some very good crisp views over the whole magnification range. There is a hint of internal reflection when pushed to 8mm (but this is only distracting when viewing the sun) away from the largest magnification there are no issues.

It is not parfocal but this causes few issues.

At the moment the only comparison I can make is with the standard issue 25mm Ploessl eyepiece I obtained with my Celestron 6SE, if anything I would say that the 25mm provides marginally better contrast, but this is marginal.

I too have been able to just resolve the Cassini division and atmospeheric banding on Saturn throug the recent warm air at 8mm.

The added bonus of the Seben zoom is the T-thread under the rubber eye shield, this has allowed some great pictures of the Moon, Saturn and Mars in the past weeks. Overall I think its great value for money for viewing and the ability to produce some great planetary/lunar images on a budget.

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Thanks for all of the replies.

I have been using the Seben Zoom for a couple of weeks now and I am still very pleased with it.

It seems to be best between 10- 20mm: the far extremes are good; but at 8mm it is not quite so clear, and at 24mm the FOV is small. However, all things considered it delivers sharp views at a very reasonable price.

In comparison with my 8mm BST Explorer (a great eyepiece), I stand by my previous claim that the Seben is better when viewing planets (Saturn is more crisp, Mars reveals more surface markings)- but the BST yields far more detail on other celestial objects, such as M13 (which is crystal clear with rich detail, yet a little muted at higher magnification through the Seben).

The Seben is now my 'standard' eyepiece, and the fact that I use it most of the time is testament to the abilities it has. Highly recommended for those on a tight budget!

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Thanks for your write up on this. Based on what I have read I have one on order. I ordered via eBay and found the listing in euros. This worked out around £4 cheaper than the one listed by them in sterling due to the exchange rate at the moment. Can't wait to get it and try it out.

Ikorodu

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I have both the BST 8mm and the Seben zoom, for a zoom ep it cannot be be beaten on price (mine cost £30 a few years ago). Comments from those who have also used it have been very positive especially when they see the brand. The BST compares very favourably and I prefer the view from the BST it has a slightly wider field of view. Though I have now moved to 2" ep's in the main, these are two 1.25" eps that I have kept. Though primarily used on a 10"sct at f10 the scope was undemanding on eyepieces!.

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Thanks for the replies!

I am glad that the comments have been useful to some of the forum members. We all know that the Seben will never be top of the zoom lens tree- yet, it does what it does well- and at a price which will suit the wallets of many of us.

Thanks especially to damnut- we seem to have similar tastes. :smiley: (I have never used a 2" eyepiece but am intrigued by what they can offer).

If anybody has compared it with the Baader Zoom, I would be interested in discovering just how much more (or perhaps not?!!) the £140 price difference can deliver...

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Also, thanks to Ikorod for taking the time to read the comments before taking the plunge and ordering- I hope that you like it as much as I do! :laugh:

I'd feel terribly guilty if you hated it...

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I recently bought the 8-24mm Celestron zoom EP but have not had a clear night since I bought it! Oh, and I got it from some store in NY and they were excellent. Delivered for $75 or around £45ish. Can't go wrong for that!

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My seben zoom arrived today!

Very nice storage box thingy that it came in.

Typically we have wall to wall cloud cover but met office says might be ok tommorrow night.

We live in hope

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I took the Seben Zoom out on the 24th and was rewarded with the most wonderful views I have seen so far in the two months since I took up the hobby.

The seeing conditions were as perfect as they could ever get here and again the Seben did not disappoint.

After a quick look at Saturn, I used the Telrad to find M13 (glorious, as ever!) and then hunted down both M57 and M27- my first nebulae views! M57 was a beauty and through the zoom the Ring Nebula was swiftly transformed from a small nondescript grey blob into a beautiful ring of wispy smoke hanging languidly in the night sky (and no, I assure you that this was not a leftover from what I had been smoking... :smiley: )

M27 was trickier to locate (mind you, it was late and I was tired), but once found it was larger than M57- yet did not perform so well when 'zoomed in' as it appeared at all settings as a beautifully ghostly hour glass-like smudge- with the surrounding areas revealing a myriad nightly jewels embedded within the wonderfully rich heartland of The Milky Way.

The Seben impressed once more; and though the BST Explorer gave more satisfying views on the DSOs once I had eventually found them- the versatility of the Seben keeps it as my number one for now.

If only I could get a glimpse of one of those elusive galaxies...

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That is a very good report from all contributors, It only goes to add weight to the many long standing past comments, that although Seben market very indifferent quality scopes, which by most are not recommended, their lens products on the other hand appear to be very good value for money. However, I must point out that we are in the Beginners help and advice section and what has been said may help those just starting out, but it would also be very nice if those newcomers to the forum, before starting a thread on a particular subject, could have look where best it should be placed in the system. In this case the section under Discussion-Eyepieces may have been more in keeping, as it may attract a wider audience, as not everyone follows the BH&A column, there is also no harm in cross referencing a report to other sections, if you think it is appropriate. this is just some helpful advice and in no way meant to be any criticism, just helps to make this forum the best there is in the UK :)

John.

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Thanks to the Moderators for the kindly advice and feedback. I have started a new topic in Discussion-Eyepieces which includes a link to this page.

I am not sure if this is the correct way to do it but I am new to the world of forums and do not know a better solution! :smiley:

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these are advertised on amazon as having a 31.7mm barrel, is that an exact fit in a 1.25" focusser?

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I have just received a Celestron Ultima 80. I am looking forward to clear skies so that Ii can see something other than clouds.

My concern is that having looked through this site i seem to be on the very bottom rung, if on the ladder at all. Am I wasting my time? Should I just go back to watching tv and dreaming.

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I have just received a Celestron Ultima 80. I am looking forward to clear skies so that Ii can see something other than clouds.

My concern is that having looked through this site i seem to be on the very bottom rung, if on the ladder at all. Am I wasting my time? Should I just go back to watching tv and dreaming.

Oh don't lose hope just yet! Most of us begin with small telescopes! It's just a matter of time before you upgrade! Besides a dark sky can do wonders with even a small telescope! :)

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I recently bought the 8-24mm Celestron zoom EP but have not had a clear night since I bought it! Oh, and I got it from some store in NY and they were excellent. Delivered for $75 or around £45ish. Can't go wrong for that!

Had one for a few years now.

Works very well.The opticts on

this are a bit better than the Seben.

Steve.

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I have just received a Celestron Ultima 80. I am looking forward to clear skies so that Ii can see something other than clouds.

My concern is that having looked through this site i seem to be on the very bottom rung, if on the ladder at all. Am I wasting my time? Should I just go back to watching tv and dreaming.

I hadn't realised there was a ladder! But then I've never been much into the "my 'scopes bigger than yours" game. As in life, there'll always be someone with something bigger and shinier.

Just enjoy your 'scope and marvel at what you're able to see from your own back garden!

You've bought a decent brand, and the beauty of the Ultima will be its versatility and portability, stuff it in a bag and take it anywhere!

Have fun!

Cheers

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The Seben zoom also performs very well when used on a HAlpha mod system.

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