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I posted elsewhere about changing ep and diagonals and didn't want to clutter the thread.

I am thinking of upgrading from the stock ep's to a decent set of "keepers" that I can pass down through generations :smiley:

Anyway it seems you get what you pay for when you upgrade, I was wondering if it is worth saving and .............saving to get a good zoom rather than a bunch of separate ones.

I have seen the Pentax XL on FLO and am considering holding out to purchase one of these or a tele vue equivalent if there is one? and then maybe one or two others for variety.

Are zooms just an expensive gimmick or can they be a real option? I have never looked through a quality zoom (as far as I know)

I got a TAL 125R on its way and will be mainly keeping within the solar system,doing visual stuff only (for now), don't be mistaken I work for the NHS so I am not wealthy so I will be waiting some time to get one, which I don't mind if it is worth it..

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I have read some poor reviews on zooms - However, I really like mine and its as clear as any other eyepice ive looked through even though it wasnt that expensive, you do loose field of view compared to a fixed eyepiece at lower mags.

Im sure a top notch zoom would be superb. :smiley:

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...I got a TAL 125R on its way...

Where from, where from, where from????????

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I had a celestron 8-24mm and it was great IMO. They get a bad review but it all depends on what you want. Inge image quality isn't as fantastic as some high end eyepieces but for jus the casual observer I couldn't recommend them enough.

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Tecnosky in Italy, I was pointed there by the manufacturer, it is a real pain though You have to create a VAT number and stuff,once I got that sorted it is in the post, hopefully...

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Be interested to hear how you get on, as it's on my telescope wish list :)

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I really like my Meade 8-24 zoom and you would have to pry my TV 3-6 zoom from my death gripped hand in a nailed shut coffin but even so I doubt there is a zoom on the market that will beat having a set of individual focal length ep's.

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The televue 2-4 and 3-6 are excellent because they cover a relatively short focal range but give you the chance to squeeze the last drop of seeing. For longer focal lengths I tried a number of 8-24 and 7-21 zooms, all were pretty poor. My current Pentax XW 8-24mm is the best by far but at £400 not cheap.

Even it isn't as good as individual fixed focal lengths but it is very convenient for grab and go.

Cheers

Stuart

Edited by Rossco72

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I replaced my stock eps with a second hand William optics zoom and it was a great step up in quality.

one downside is they tend to have a narrow field of view, but they are quite hassle free. I have now upgraded to high quality separate eps and haven't touched my zoom since, probably will keep it for travelling though.

i found it useful for finding out what focal lengths I used the most and used that info to buy individual eps at those focal lengths.

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the only zoom I ever loved is my 6-3mm Nagler zoom. it's quite superb. on nights of good seeing I have used 500x on the moon and the same on tight doubles. people will say impossible but I have, honestly. if TV brought out a 12-6mm zoom then I'd be selling something to buy one, even if it were 50 degree field throughout like the 6-3mm.

I do prefer fixed focal length eyepieces and have 7mm, 8mm, 9mm, 10mm, 12.5mm, 13mm, 15mm, 26mm and 32mm eyepieces but the Nagler zoom's eye relief is comfy at 10mm and I doubt I'll ever sell it.

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I replaced my stock eps with a second hand William optics zoom and it was a great step up in quality.

i found it useful for finding out what focal lengths I used the most and used that info to buy individual eps at those focal lengths.

Thats a fine idea, I do like the idea of a zoom, and the thread seems pretty split, maybe get a "low/mid" range one and then use for speed and to assure my self of getting the lengths I need in some decent T Vue or something?

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I agree with Stuart, my Pentax 8-24 is a great eyepiece. It will out perform many cheaper fixed eyepiece, but not quite on the level of the premium fixed. The field is also very narrow at 24mm, but it is extremely convenient to use. I also acquired a Nikon MC 7-21mm II on fleabay a few months ago, it's another very good zoom.

The Televue 8-24mm (discontinued) is a rebranded Vixen 8-24mm (also sold by Meade), generally it's as not well regarded as the Pentax or the Hyperion 8-24mm. It's very different from the shorter Nagler zoom which are great planetary eyepieces.

If money is no object, then the €800 Leica 8.9-17.8mm ASPH zoom is suppose to be as good as eyepieces get. It's said to beat almost any fixed eyepiece in scopes slower than f6 and often compared to the like of ZAO on planets.

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The performance of a zoom, particularly the lower priced ones, is very much affected by the focal ratio of the telescope. I have a Seben (£47) Vixen (£120) and a Leica (£lots). At F10 and longer there isn't a great deal between them, but at F5 or less, the more expensive ones are obviously better. :smiley:

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I had a Baader one and didn't really take to it. The cheaper 8-24mm and even the televue one just didn't cut it for me.

The Nagler zooms however are amazing over their short ranges.

As has been said if you are f9 of f10 then probably a Baader or vixen is as good as you need. If you are using or hoping to use say f5 or f4 optics then be prepared to spend £400 - £800 for a quality well corrected zoom.

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Thanks guys, I love how the forums here just flourish with opinion and advice, this little thread has been really helpful.

I hope others thinking of spending their money have found the same..

at f 8.9 I can maybe look at less expensive options? and get saving for a solid set of fixed EP instead. sadly I am attracted to heavy stuff that looks expensive. they say we are lucky to have so much choice but sometimes i really do wonder... :confused:

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The performance of a zoom, particularly the lower priced ones, is very much affected by the focal ratio of the telescope. I have a Seben (£47) Vixen (£120) and a Leica (£lots). At F10 and longer there isn't a great deal between them, but at F5 or less, the more expensive ones are obviously better. :smiley:

Apologies to the OP if my post is unhelpful, but, Peter, how well does the Seben perform at F/5?

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The performance of a zoom, particularly the lower priced ones, is very much affected by the focal ratio of the telescope. I have a Seben (£47) Vixen (£120) and a Leica (£lots). At F10 and longer there isn't a great deal between them, but at F5 or less, the more expensive ones are obviously better. :smiley:

This must be why I dont see much difference with the zoom, my scope is F/10, useful piece of info TY :smiley:

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Tecnosky in Italy, I was pointed there by the manufacturer, it is a real pain though You have to create a VAT number and stuff,once I got that sorted it is in the post, hopefully...

One of our members, Marki, got his TAL 125 from there I believe. Make sure you get the dealer to check its optical quality, collimation etc out very thoroughly before dispatch and insist that they use a good quality courier.

On zooms, I've tried a cheap one (Seben) and it was not bad in the 18mm - 8mm range (as good as a good plossl eyepiece I'd say) but narrow and astigmatic in the 18mm - 24mm range. I've also owned a Hyperion 8-24 which was pretty nice for a zoom but still not quite as sharp as the fixed focal length Hyperions I felt. The Nagler 3-6mm zooms are wonderful but probably too much power for the scope at the shorter end.

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Thanks John I will; from what I can gather other members have had good experience, in quality and delivery, I am hoping it was a one off.

Having read all this thread I think I will save for the Pentax, it will after all be with me for some time, then as I go I can save for some decent fixed ep to complement it.

Thanks guys

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I really like my hyperion click stop 8-24 and this is far better even at F5 than the standard Celestron Possls I have - though there is inherently some compromise in the design, this is IMO more than compensated by convenience at least for visual use and the price/value seems excellent. I've not had the chance to blag a go on anything high end and would obviously expect quality fixed focal lengths to be better. Not sure if I'd get the full benefit as getting increasingly long sighted with age.

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Thanks John I will; from what I can gather other members have had good experience, in quality and delivery, I am hoping it was a one off.

Having read all this thread I think I will save for the Pentax, it will after all be with me for some time, then as I go I can save for some decent fixed ep to complement it.

Thanks guys

I only know of 3 TAL125 R's that have come into the UK. One was good and the other two had problems. Neil English bought one of these with issues from the original owner and, with some assistance from an optical expert, E S Reid, has sorted it and it's a decent scope now (he has called it Tonya). The other was the one that came, I believe, from the Italian suppler and belongs to a member here. He has had problems with it optically which he has partially sorted but it is still not fully on song as far as I know.

I had 2 TAL Apolar 125's delivered for testing. One came direct from TAL and had a broken internal optical element and a scratch across the objective lens so was untestable. The replacement was much better optically (still not 100% though) but cosmetically I thought pretty rough for a £1.5K scope.

Thats why I urge caution when ordering these things, especially from an overseas re-seller. It's not like the scope can easily be returned.

Sorry, the above has gone off the original topic really !

I agree that Pentax would be worth saving for. I have two fixed focal length Pentax XW's and they are world class eyepieces :smiley:

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Naemeth.

Apologies for a late reply. I would say that the Seben is marginal at F5, the centre definition is OK for planets but the outer field is not well corrected for stellar objects. :smiley:

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Naemeth.

Apologies for a late reply. I would say that the Seben is marginal at F5, the centre definition is OK for planets but the outer field is not well corrected for stellar objects. :smiley:

Would I be better off with Plössls / BSTs covering that range then at F/5?

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