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David Veliath

Zoom for a second eyepiece?

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Hello! My name is David, and i'm a 10th grader living in India.

I need help choosing a second eyepiece for my C6 (thanks for helping me choose that scope, btw). I got it a few weeks back, and while the included 25mm eyepiece is fine, i would like something shorter to get higher mags. I was looking at the Meade 8-24mm zoom eyepiece, and while it probably doesn't have the same optical quality or FOV as a fixed focal length eyepiece, it should have similar quality to plossls in this price range, right? (I'm ordering from Amazon.in, where most niche stuff is wildly overpriced.) 

I will only be getting one eyepiece, with a budget stretching upto 6500 rupees (around 100 USD). The Meade is probably the most expensive eyepiece i can get, with other options including GSO 15 and 20 mm Superviews. Also, the celestron zoom is available for slightly cheaper, its just that i've heard the meade has better mechanical quality.

I want to get better views of the moon, doubles, and planets. I get a decent field of view with the included eyepiece and focal reducer, so i think the zoom's reduced field of view won't be much of an issue.Also the ability to change magnification by turning the dial seems convenient.

Just want some opinions on optical performance of the Meade 8-24mm zoom. This will be the only eyepiece that I will be getting for a while, so a bunch of fixed focal lengths won't be happening anytime soon.

All help is appreciated!

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Posted (edited)

Hi David! Although I can't help you with eyepieces I would like to welcome you to SGL by another High schooler.

Edit: I just realized that you joined SGL nearly a year ago, you just haven't posted in quite a while.

Edited by Galen Gilmore

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A zoom eyepiece at your budget is a good choice. Don't be tempted by any very cheap ones. Welcome to SGL.   :icon_biggrin:

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I've had the Meade 8-24 for use on my C6. Worked a treat. No complaints at all when budget is tight. I replaced it with a secondhand Vixen zoom which was a tad better but not much. As Peter says, don't be tempted by the dirt cheap 7-21mm zooms that are abundant on Ebay. They are pretty pants.

You are already aware of the obvious zoom pitfalls (poor afov, slight IQ drop), so you know what to expect, which is great. And the 8-24 is a perfect focal range for the C6 and its 1500mm focal length. Go for it!

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Hi David and welcome. You seem to know a bit about your scope and EP's already. Thats great.

Zoom EP's can be expensive. I have the Baader Hyperion 8-24mm. I dont know anything about the Meade 8-24mm zoom, but Meade are a top brand 9particularly in America).

Another 8-24mm zoom EP that gets good review is the Seben 8-24mm zoom. Usually Seben are not known for good quality products, but the 8-24mm zoom gets very good reviews here on SGL who have bought them.

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David - there is a whole family of budget 8-24 zoom eyepieces which all look the same and come in the same odd-looking grey conical box. (One suspects that they all come from the same Chinese factory.)   They are sold under various brands including Seben, BST Starguider and also better known names. Once you know what they look like, :happy11: you can  order whichever one is available from India. 

I have the BST Starguider one which works well.

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Thanks for all the replies!

This is more or less exactly wanted to hear. I was already leaning towards the zoom EP to begin with, and was worried only about optical quality. But if it has only slightly worse image quality than fixed FL plossls at this price range, thats something that I can live with.

Actually, the Celestron zoom is available in India for less money, but I was leaning towards the Meade eyepiece due to this comparison I read:

http://www.chuckhawks.com/comparison_zoom_eyepieces.htm

But the Meade zoom in this comparison is an older version, and the new one is virtually identical to the celestron zoom, except that it is only multicoated, not FMC. There is practically no price difference between the two, so I think I might go with the celestron zoom as it is fully multi coated (which is better, right?). That makes my entire set up celestron, with a Celestron C6, Celestron 6.3 FR, Celestron StarPointer Pro, Celestron lens shade, and so on. 

Also thanks for the warm welcome! I guess this is my first post in the equipment section, so that might be the reason for the confusion.

And Galen Gilmore, it really feels nice knowing that amateur astronomy is a normal hobby for teenagers. Most kids in 10th grade just don't understand, huh?

Anyways, thanks again!

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