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Pig

Lunt 7.2 - 21.5mm Zoom Review

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Solar Review Only !

I used the eyepiece for several hours during yesterdays marathon, I swapped the zoom several times with the Vixen SLV 9 & 12mm eyepieces. Each period of the comparison lasted around 10 minutes.  I also performed some very fast exchanges to compare detail that was apparent at that point in time.

The seeing was pretty good and I was lucky enough to get some excellent targets to perform the review.

Scopes used:

Lunt 60mm B600 blocking filter - Tilt tuned etalon (Ha)

Pronto 70mm ED Doublet - Herschel Wedge (white Light)

I did have a 10 minute  "stand alone"  session with the zoom set between 17mm 21.5mm, and I must say I was not overly impressed at the statue like precision one needs for head positioning at these settings, having said that I will not be using the eyepiece at this power for Solar observations other than to locate the sun in the objective, for which it makes no difference.

I do not need to wear spectacles and as a result I did not find eyerelief a concern throughout the review

7.2mm setting - Ha - Prominences

Excellent prominence definition was achievable and I could see many individual specs of plasma that make up the body of the prominence, no smudging was visible. Very impressive indeed.

Surface Detail

The surface granulation was also excellent and could be seen clearly peppered all over the disc, moustaches and sunspots were also very well defined with great sharpness.

Sunspots white light

I was very impressed with the zoom using the wedge and the eyepiece clearly excelled.

I would only ever use it at this setting in the wedge (7.2mm), not because of performance but because I like zooming in as much as I possibly can on sunspots.

The spots were as black as you like and the surrounding fringes (eyelashes) were extremely well separated. 

9mm & 12mm Vixen SLV comparisons

I have found the Vixen 9mm SLV to be the best eyepiece I have used for solar observing  and it is still my preferred choice, this includes the 10mm Delos, so some pretty stiff heavyweight competition was used to come to my conclusion.

The 9 & 12mm Vixen's are a tad sharper and showed slightly more contrast on Proms, Sunspots, Plage and all other surface detail throughout the day, this in no way is an indication that the Lunt zoom is not a contender as it certainly is and should be considered if you want a top performing eyepiece. 

I would even put it up there with the Delos eyepieces I once owned, so that statement alone speaks volumes.

Summary

I would definitely recommend this zoom for solar observing, it is very light and compact and gives excellent views of all the solar attributes. The convenience of a zoom is also a factor to be considered.

Please note everything expressed above is based my findings and is purely my opinion. The review is not intended as an advertising platform for any of the equipment used or mentioned.

Edited by Pig
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Nice review there. I am currently using the 12mm SLV and can confirm it is superb though haze has now forced me back to my beloved Televue 20mm plossl for the remainder of this afternoon.

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Tank you,

I have not tried many Plossl's other than the stock eyepieces you get with new scopes. I hear the TV's are excellent :smiley:

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Nice review Shaun. I used to have a TS HR planetary zoom which I believe is the same as the Lunt. It did give very good views, I agree.

Eventually though I have settled on an 11mm TV Plossl and keep coming back to this even when tempted to try other ep's. I guess with the zoom I was most often at this focal length so it made sense to get a dedicated ep. Likewise with the wedge on my 76, I normally use the 12.5mm Hutech.

Everyone is different, which is one of the things that make this hobby interesting so the zoom makes complete sense in lots of ways.

Enjoy the sun :-)

Stu

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Thank you Stu,

I couldn't agree more :smiley:  Fortunately we are all made differently and we all have our preferences.

I also a think dedicated eyepiece will always have the edge over a zoom. However, I was quite surprised how well the Lunt performed.

Edited by Pig
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I managed to get a quick 20 minutes viewing the Moon with the Lunt zoom last night and it performed very well indeed :smiley:

Very sharp, crisp with excellent contrast full views all the way through the range of the zoom :smiley: The termination looked absolutely wonderful, I am also sure the Equinox contributed to the views as it is also very impressive with all my eyepieces.

I didn't get to try it on any stars or clusters as the clouds wouldn't clear and I gave up in the end.

Edited by Pig

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Nice review. Matches my experiences with the Lunt Zoom. Very sharp, but top notch EPs with long eye relief (like your SLVs) can be just that touch better. Still very good choice (e,g, for lightweight travel sets).

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Totally agree Michael, very versatile and handy eyepiece indeed :smiley:

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Hi, i want to buy a lunt/ lunt close zoom eyepiece. But i love to few at the 21.5 mm settings first for fast full disk few with the PST and then zoom in. But are these zooms not so good in the lower settings?? If not i skip it and go for the baader mark 4 zoom or the pentax XF but these Will cost me more...     Thanks!!

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I can’t really help because I have not owned a PST. I would imagine a full disc view leaves lots of options open from an eyepiece perspective ?

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3 hours ago, andre2 said:

Hi, i want to buy a lunt/ lunt close zoom eyepiece. But i love to few at the 21.5 mm settings first for fast full disk few with the PST and then zoom in. But are these zooms not so good in the lower settings?? If not i skip it and go for the baader mark 4 zoom or the pentax XF but these Will cost me more...     Thanks!!

I bought one of these which I think is the same eyepiece but with different branding:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Orbinar-Zoom-7-2-21-5mm-Eyepiece-31-7mm/dp/B00G34WYH4

I've used it a few times in my Lunt LS50 Ha scope and it shows a sharp, flat image at all it's focal lengths. The apparent field of view is narrower at the longest focal length it almost always is with zoom eyepieces. With this one it's around 40 degrees at 21.5mm widening to around 53 degrees at 7.2mm.

The eyepiece seems to work well for nighttime observing as well.

For the purchase price I'm very pleased with it. I've owned Baader zooms and currently have Leica ASPH and Tele Vue Nagler zooms as well as Tele Vue Ethos and Pentax XW fixed focal length eyepieces. This little zoom does very well indeed :icon_biggrin:

 

Edited by John
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Tanks john! I Will go for this one. A salesman in belgum use also a " no brand " planetery zoom with also 40-53 degree with the same scope. The skywatcher version  has a little wider: 40-60 degree. But i think i Will go for the first one.  ( i hope in the feature they make also a special " alpha-H zoom" that wold be great!)

Edited by andre2
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I have also found it a good zoom eyepiece, I bought one with my Lunt solar scope about 2 months ago

and have been quite pleased with its performance :icon_biggrin:

 

 

Dave

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I trust this is on topic ... but I suspect the Lunt 7.2-21.5mm Zoom is the same as the Orion 7.2-21.5mm Zoom ... and I further suspect both of those are made by Solomark as they have a 7.2-21.5mm Zoom.  Take the Solomark, add Lunt's red badging and Lunt's red collar - or add Orion's badge/script - and all three are physically identical.

And the Solomark is 50% the price of the Lunt (can be bought directly from Solomark online and is sometimes stocked on Amazon).

Edited by iapetus
Missing parenthesis

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I have just started using this zoom EP and I was literally gobsmacked at its performance for solar and lunar in particular. Until recently I have dipped into my ES 82’ collection particularly the 14mm but now it’s now collecting dust.  Looking at @Pig‘s comments I don’t have the same trouble finding the right posture to view at any of its focal lengths. The long adjustment on the helical eye cup/shield is very forgiving. I love the convenience of ‘following the variation in seeing’ over longer sessions by nudging the zoom around. A rather remarkable bit of kit and most definitely worlds apart from the terrible eye relief offered by the Baader I used to own.

Edited by Owmuchonomy

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11 hours ago, iapetus said:

I trust this is on topic ... but I suspect the Lunt 7.2-21.5mm Zoom is the same as the Orion 7.2-21.5mm Zoom ... and I further suspect both of those are made by Solomark as they have a 7.2-21.5mm Zoom.  Take the Solomark, add Lunt's red badging and Lunt's red collar - or add Orion's badge/script - and all three are physically identical.

And the Solomark is 50% the price of the Lunt (can be bought directly from Solomark online and is sometimes stocked on Amazon).

I suspect the one below is the same as well. I was using it with a 2.25x Baader barlow last night to view Jupiter and it pretty much matched the views that my Pentax XW / Ethos delivered with the exception of a little off axis ghosting. I paid £55 for this version of the zoom. Very pleased with it :icon_biggrin:

Very similar fit and finish to the UWAN/Nirvana 82's and the Myriad 100's.

 

orbzoom01.JPG

orbzoom02.JPG

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Interesting eyepiece - and almost perfect range for ha solar too. To say it virtually matches the XW on Jupiter is amazing. 

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1 hour ago, Highburymark said:

Interesting eyepiece - and almost perfect range for ha solar too. To say it virtually matches the XW on Jupiter is amazing. 

I've been surprised by this one as well :dontknow:

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