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Howdy yall! I remember years ago when zoom EPs came out and image quality was horrible! Now a days zoom EPs have advanced and a lot of folks swear by them! Has the advancement also been good for large lense (80mm and up) zoom binoculars ,or are they still no good for astronomy? Just curious on anyone's experience with them. Thanks,

Rob

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49 minutes ago, Kn4fty said:

Howdy yall! I remember years ago when zoom EPs came out and image quality was horrible! Now a days zoom EPs have advanced and a lot of folks swear by them! Has the advancement also been good for large lense (80mm and up) zoom binoculars ,or are they still no good for astronomy? Just curious on anyone's experience with them. Thanks,

Rob

The only decent one I know of is the Leica Duovid.

https://us.leica-camera.com/Sport-Optics/Leica-Hunting/Binoculars/Leica-Duovid

Not really a zoom though. Two magnifications.

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I have a self built 80mmED binoscope that uses two Baader zoom eyepieces giving a magnification range of 25x - 75x. The views are superb but still have the usual relatively small apparent field of view at the low power end.     😀

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Generally they're good for terrestrial but not so much for astronomy for two reasons:

1. The zoom makes them difficult to handle had-held at higher magnifications so you'd need to mount them anyway.

2. The field of view shrinks quite a lot at higher mags (as above) but I've read you get a weird "tunnel vision" effect which can be a bit nauseating.

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Personally I wouldn't use any commercial zoom binoculars.  Over the years any I have looked through have been terrible compared with fixed magnification binoculars.

On the other hand using two zooms in a binoviewer on a telescope work very well for me, assuming the two zooms are of good quality.  For ages I used two Baader MK111s in my binoviewer for all my Lunar and planetary viewing.  I only stopped doing this because I wanted some lighter eyepieces, not because the MK111s were  too heavy for the binoviewer but because when I bought the 72ED my dovetail wasn't long enough to balance the scope on my altaz mounts - though it was  possible to use out of balance by tightening the tension on the axis of the mounts it wasn't ideal.

Since then I've been using pairs of 30mm Ultimas, 24mm Orthos and 16.8 Orthos in all my scopes with the binoviewer.  I am going to start using the zooms again on the 120ED though with which balance isn't a problem.  Zooms in a binoviewer for higher powers on the Moon and planets are ideal because they can be adjusted constantly to get the best view in the often rapidly changing seeing conditions - the reason I started using the zooms in the first place!

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I think binoscopes, Binocular telescopes, and binoviewers are in a different category really. Two zooms in a Binocular telescope, binoscope, or binoviewer is a very nice solution. I have 100mm and 70mm Binocular telescopes. I also have binoviewers. Single hand held binoculars with zoom function tend to be junk unless you go for something like the Leica Duovid which has two magnifications and not technically a zoom and also unfortunately about $2500 to get real quality and a usable FOV.

I tried some other zoom handhelds and they were absolute garbage. The biggest drawback and commonality seems to be the very narrow apparent field of view and secondly the idea that a 10x-30x zoom range is at all practical in a handheld. Most people have an upper limit to handholding of 10x-12x max.

A wide apparent field of view zoom that was consistent in the magnification range or at least only had a variation from wide at 60° to Maybe 70°, and magnification variance from 8x-12x, and came in at substantially less than the very expensive Leica Duovid would sell like hotcakes.

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Blimey, you guys are so negative! Here's what you get with zoom binoculars:
* A gorgeous soft-focus, usually associated (or so I am told) with the type of movie you wouldn't take a maiden aunt to see.
* Low magnification "vistas" that save you the trouble of travelling to Cornwall (and the danger of being Darwinned by a train) if you want to know what it's like to look along the BrownQueen Tunnel.
* Two images for the price of one.
* And, as long as you get the ones with "the latest ruby coatings", you get to see exactly what the world would look like after a zombie apocalypse.

What's not to like? Huh?

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  • 1 month later...
On 18/06/2019 at 09:52, pregulla said:

I think the problem with zoom binoculars is not the quality of zoom eyepieces, but with getting both to stay "in sync" while zooming.

A friend of mine that's really in to anything optic told me never to buy any zoom bin's, Of course I ignored his sage words and now have several sets, All of them require refocusing after I 'zoomed'!! 😂 I didn't mind though as they mostly still give a good image (For my ppor old eyes at least!) after fiddling with the focus knob!!


John 🙂

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My first ever astronomy observing instrument was some zoom binoculars bought for me as a present before I got into astronomy.

My earliest memory with them was seeing Jupiter and 4 moons for the first time. Not knowing any better I thought my zoom bins were awesome and could not believe what I was seeing.

I eventually got a telescope, and then another, and another, etc and realised the truth about zoom binoculars.

I've still got them in the house somewhere but haven't thought about using them for years. 

Edited by Paz
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  • 1 month later...

Here's a set of Tasco zoom bins that I bought this year, They seem a cut above other zoom ones that i've owned, Could be that they don't zoom loads like some others that I have (They're 7-15x)

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A nice quality case with them too!

 

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These on the other hand are naff by comparison, The mag starts where the Tasco's end!! 😮

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John 🙂

 

 

 

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