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Do you use a Zoom and if so, why?


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Having just bought my first ever zoom eyepiece a Nagler 6-3mm and being somewhat shocked at just how good the image is and easy it is to use has set me thinking;
how about another zoom in place of my fixed ones?

So who uses a zoom?

If you do, which one?

And why do you use it?

What scopes is this used with?

Thought it would be of interest to do this set of questions again.
 

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Perfect travel kit - One low power EP - say 24mm Panoptic or ES. Decent midrange zoom, and the little Nagler zoom. If we weren't so addicted to eyepiece collecting, these three would cover most bases

I have two zoom eyepieces which are used a lot, particularly in combination with a barlow lens.  With the Tak-100 and my dobson, I use the Zeiss zoom 20-75x, which works in the range 25.1mm-6.7mm

I use a Baader zoom 8-24, its one of my most used eyepieces as it gives great views and no need messing about with cold hands. I pretty much just use the Baader zoom, a 32mm wide field and a 5mm plane

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I use a badder mk 4, it replaces about 5 eps 8mm 12mm 16mm 18mm 22mm, it shows great contrast with a nice field of view , I had the mk 3 for a few years but my son took a liking to it so upgraded myself to the mk4 which is lighter than the mk3 without losing anything optic wise . there a great zoom and id recommend one to anybody who don't want to drag loads of heavy eps about. charl.

ps I use it with all my scopes and it works well with my quark.

Edited by xtreemchaos
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I'm interested to hear responses to this. I don't have zoom eyepieces but particularly when it's very cold I sometimes avoid  changing eyepieces as my hands get cold quickly when out of my gloves and a zoom would reduce the need for changes.

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I use the SW hyperflex 9-27, massive fan. Despite the narrower FOV it’s just a much easier proposition than changing eyepieces all the time! Call me lazy! And the fit and finish is great, worked out cheaper than buying a set of individual eyepieces; in fact was cheaper than just getting three.

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I use the Leica ASPH on my frac ...... the Nagler 3-6 is a fantastic piece of kit ? I like the convenience of a zoom for those hassle free kind of sessions ? they are also very useful for fine tuning the alignment with goto scopes.

Edited by Pig
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Alan - I use the Meade 4000 8-24mm Zoom with the 8SE.  (It doesn't cover much of a range with the short FL ST120.)

Why? - it is convenient instead of changing EPs a lot, but is not a substitute for fixed focus EPs.  Good for checking optimum viewing with a particular object like a galaxy, double, or glob, as seeing and contrast effects vary.  It could then be swapped for a fixed focus EP.

Also good with the Moon.

But in all honesty, I prefer to swap EPs over, so don't use it a great deal.

Doug.

 

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24 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

As per Shaun I use a Leica Aspheric, did I read somewhere that the Nagler 3-6 wasn't suited to use by spectacle wearers ?

Dave

The stated eyerelief of the Nagler zoom is only 10mm, but it feels shorter at the 3-4mm settings. Not great with eyeglasses, but better than Plössls or Orthos at these focal lengths. I prefer to use my 2.5x PowerMate and Delos EPs, especially on a non-tracking mount. 

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2 hours ago, Paz said:

I'm interested to hear responses to this. I don't have zoom eyepieces but particularly when it's very cold I sometimes avoid  changing eyepieces as my hands get cold quickly when out of my gloves and a zoom would reduce the need for changes.

Exactly why I took only my two zooms to a dark sky site last night.

The simplicity and convenience helped prolong my stay. ?

TV 8-24 and Nagler 3-6. Have to admit the Nagler doesn’t get enough use because of too high magnification.

Edited by Floater
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I have the budget Starguider 8-24mm.  I don't use it much. While the optical performance is good - not notably inferior to fixed eyepieces, there are a couple of practical snags. First, the zoom action is quite stiff so in practice to change the zoom I have to remove it, peer at the scale  in a dim red light and twist firmly in both hands. I might as well be changing to another fixed eyepiece.  Second, the field of view at 24mm is small, so I don't use it at this setting.

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21 minutes ago, Floater said:

Have to admit the Nagler doesn’t get enough use because of too high magnification.

May be you should consider letting me have it ?

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3 hours ago, Alan White said:

Having just bought my first ever zoom eyepiece a Nagler 6-3mm and being somewhat shocked at just how good the image is and easy it is to use has set me thinking;
how about another zoom in place of my fixed ones?

So who uses a zoom?

If you do, which one?

And why do you use it?

What scopes is this used with?

Thought it would be of interest to do this set of questions again.
 

I have 4 zooms, Leica Asph, Baader Mark III, and a pair of Nikon 9-21mm, U'm a zoomholic if you like.:smiley:

Leica zoom has been my main DSO eyepiece with C8 for the last 3 years, almost all the small faint fuzzies. The convience of changing magnifications, the active zooming for threshold DSO made it much easier to detect. It's also used in 120ED or 80ED in backyard for quick session when there's a gap among clouds.

Baader zoom has been used for PST, since Leica doesn't reach focus there, also used for mount alignment, also for family members and outreach.

Nikon zooms are for binoviewer, because of its small foot print, and very good scatter control.

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I have had a 3 to 6 Nag Zoom for a long time and have used with with a wide variety of fracs from 60mm up to 120mm. It works beautifully, and gives excellent images just a fraction behind the best dedicated eyepieces.

I also had a Leica ASPH 8.9 to 17.8mm, which I generally used with a Baader VIP barlow or Zeiss Abbe Barlow to give a zoom range better suited to high power planetary or solar observing. Remarkably, I found the white light solar views were better than anything else I had used, the transmission, clarity and contrast were amazing, better than dedicated ortho eyepieces at equivalent focal lengths. I also found that the Leica was excellent for planetary observing, again when paired with the VIP or ZAB. I don't the edge performance is as good as Delos, Ethos or XWs, but on axis they are excellent.

I sold the ASPH mainly for financial reasons, and now use binoviewers for solar which work even better, largely because my floaters are much better controlled.

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I bought the Pentax XL SMC zoom in FLO's Christmas sale. Its fabulous for lunar viewing. I am hoping to try it out in a whole different range of uses, exciting optic!

As with zoom camera lenses, there is a seamless increase/decrease for magnification. Great for outreach as well.

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I have two zoom eyepieces which are used a lot, particularly in combination with a barlow lens. 

With the Tak-100 and my dobson, I use the Zeiss zoom 20-75x, which works in the range 25.1mm-6.7mm. I tend to use this zoom in combination with the Baader VIP barlow (at ~2.3x). I love the views through this zoom. To me, it is my best eyepiece.

You can find a few comments on this eyepiece here: https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/542372-review-zeiss-20-75x-zoom-eyepiece-and-swarovski-25-50x-zoom-eyepiece/ 

With the TV-60 and sometimes with the Tak-100, I use the Nikon 13-30x MC zoom which works in the range 21mm-9mm. This is often used with my Baader/Zeiss barlow (at 2.6x or 2.86x). It also works very well. 

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8 minutes ago, Piero said:

I have two zoom eyepieces which are used a lot, particularly in combination with a barlow lens. 

With the Tak-100 and my dobson, I use the Zeiss zoom 20-75x, which works in the range 25.1mm-6.7mm. I tend to use this zoom in combination with the Baader VIP barlow (at ~2.3x). I love the views through this zoom. To me, it is my best eyepiece.

You can find a few comments on this eyepiece here: https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/542372-review-zeiss-20-75x-zoom-eyepiece-and-swarovski-25-50x-zoom-eyepiece/ 

With the TV-60 and sometimes with the Tak-100, I use the Nikon 13-30x MC zoom which works in the range 21mm-9mm. This is often used with my Baader/Zeiss barlow (at 2.6x or 2.86x). It also works very well. 

Piero, two EP that I am unfamiliar with, thank you.

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I currently have the Nagler 2-4mm zoom and a clone of this one which is a very good performer for it's cost:

http://www.opticstar.com/Run/Astronomy/Astro-Accessories-Telescopes-Opticstar.asp?p=0_10_5_1_8_330

In the past I've owned 2 Nagler 3-6 zooms (might get another in due course !) 3 of the Baader 8-24 zooms, a few of the 8-24's branded as Skywatcher, Seben and Celestron plus the Leica ASPH 8.9 - 17.8 also used with the Baader VIP barlow as Stu has.

I've yet to try a Vixen / Tele Vue 8-24 zoom but I'd like to sometime.

 

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Fascinating thread on CN I've just been reading where an experienced observer sold his full collection of ZAOIIs after getting a Leica ASPH zoom - shows that zooms really can be as good as the best fixed EPs these days. Zeiss, Nikon, Meopta, Swarovski etc also first rate. Baader close behind. 

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7 minutes ago, Highburymark said:

Fascinating thread on CN I've just been reading where an experienced observer sold his full collection of ZAOIIs after getting a Leica ASPH zoom - shows that zooms really can be as good as the best fixed EPs these days. Zeiss, Nikon, Meopta, Swarovski etc also first rate. Baader close behind. 

Just the reason I asked my question Mark.
Wondering how minimal an EP collection you can have with quality views assured?

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3 minutes ago, Alan White said:

Piero, two EP that I am unfamiliar with, thank you.

Yes, they are not very popular in amateur astronomy, only because they are made for spotting scopes. It can take a bit until someone tests these other eyepieces with a telescope under the stars, and the lack of adapters make these tests quite rare. 

The Zeiss 20-75x zoom is a fluorite eyepiece with the most neutral colour tone I've ever used, and is very sharp on axis. Its AFOV increases from 45 deg to 71 deg. The view near the field stop is not as defined as on axis, but I generally observe on axis, so this does not bother me at all. The long range is very convenient. This eyepiece works very well on both DSOs and planets in my opinion. I enjoy using it to capture E and F in trapezium but also to observe the more subtle features that M42 can show under my moderately light polluted skies. 

The Nikon 13-30x MC zoom is a very tiny and light zoom eyepiece. In my opinion it is not in the league of the other zoom, but is still pretty good. In terms of resolution it revealed very similar details as my previous Vixen SLV 9mm showed on planets, but with less light scattering. On DSO, the Nikon zoom is a bit better than the SLVs, likely due to the reduced light scattering and more accurate precision in representing stars. A few times I had the feeling that the Nikon zoom went slightly deeper on DSOs. It also works very well with the Zeiss barlow. This combo weighs slightly less than a 24 panoptic. Given their small size and weight, they should be a very interesting option with binos in my opinion.

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14 minutes ago, Highburymark said:

Fascinating thread on CN I've just been reading where an experienced observer sold his full collection of ZAOIIs after getting a Leica ASPH zoom - shows that zooms really can be as good as the best fixed EPs these days. Zeiss, Nikon, Meopta, Swarovski etc also first rate. Baader close behind. 

I was thinking along similar lines but it was not to be for me. The Leica was really excellent (after Leica had cleaned it !) but I just didn't take to it for some reason :dontknow:

But at least I had a chance to try it for a while :smiley:

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