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Grumpy Martian

High-power magnifications with a refractor.

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I have an f 7. 8. 115 mm Vixen refractor. I enjoy using it with a manual mount. With this in mind I use a range of focal length eyepieces with an 82 degree field of view. So the object being observed takes a bit longer to exit the field of view. My shortest focal length eyepiece is 4.7 mm. This gives a magnification of 190.8 x. With a 2x Barlow lens magnification is 267.7 x. I have heard reports of people viewing Venus and other objects at 300 x magnification with their refractors. I would have to use a 3 mm eyepiece to achieve 299 x magnification. Are there such eyepieces out there? 

 

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There certainly are.

I've recently picked up a new to me Televue Nagler 3-6mm Zoom that has been getting way more use than I thought it would. 

That gives me 150x to 300x with the ED100 and ED120 with 300x regularly used on the Moon and when seeing allows on tight double stars. Mostly used on the 6-4mm settings though.

Vixen HR planetary range springs to mind though quite pricey.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/vixen-eyepieces/vixen-hr-planetary-eyepieces.html

Ade

 

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Not so many top end 3mm eyepieces around. There are 3.5mm from Pentax XW and Televue Delos, 70 and 72 degree afov respectively, aswell at the 3.5mm Nagler with an 82 degree fov.

The Nagler Zoom is also excellent as Ade says, comfortable enough at 10mm eye relief but 50 degree afov. Very sharp performance too.

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That zoom keeps coming back to mind. Perhaps I should start to save for one. 

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They do occasionally come up secondhand. I picked mine up from Shaun (Pig). It wasn't advertised, but was offered when I contacted him about something else he had for sale.

I've always wanted one but have to admit that I thought it would be used a few times then probably moved on. 

But since I've properly got into observing doubles and proper lunar observation, it has been worth every hard earned penny.

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u can do a 3x barlow just try not to duplicate powers if u can

joejaguar

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I use a 2-4 nagler zoom quite a bit, it's extraordinarily gocd for a short focal length eyepiece! 

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34 minutes ago, timwetherell said:

I use a 2-4 nagler zoom quite a bit, it's extraordinarily gocd for a short focal length eyepiece! 

I have one of those as well. Out of production now apparently but mine has proved much more use than I thought it would be when I bought it :smiley:

 

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20 hours ago, John said:

I have one of those as well. Out of production now apparently but mine has proved much more use than I thought it would be when I bought it :smiley:

 

yes they're quite good aren't they! I tried a lot of fixed focus super shorts none of which really was a good as the nagler zoom.It's also handy when you're up at the silly magnification end to be able to tweak it up or down just a smidge

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On 21/01/2020 at 12:16, Grumpy Martian said:

I have an f 7. 8. 115 mm Vixen refractor. I enjoy using it with a manual mount. With this in mind I use a range of focal length eyepieces with an 82 degree field of view. So the object being observed takes a bit longer to exit the field of view. My shortest focal length eyepiece is 4.7 mm. This gives a magnification of 190.8 x. With a 2x Barlow lens magnification is 267.7 x. I have heard reports of people viewing Venus and other objects at 300 x magnification with their refractors. I would have to use a 3 mm eyepiece to achieve 299 x magnification. Are there such eyepieces out there? 

 

My shortest focal length eyepiece is a 1.6mm Vixen HR, which on my 100mm Tak gives 463X. Sounds rediculous doesn't it? It's actually very good and surprisingly comfortable to use. Even though its a tiny exit pupil, in use it feels large. Eye relief is good too !  Down side is you'd probably need a tracking mount to use it without stressing. Vixen HR's are also available in 2mm, 2.4mm and 3.4mm focal lengths and I have them all. 

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On 21/01/2020 at 13:15, Grumpy Martian said:

That zoom keeps coming back to mind. Perhaps I should start to save for one. 

Another +1 for the TeleVue 3-6mm Nagler zoom.

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The Baader mkIV 8-24mm zoom when used with its bespoke 2.25x Barlow gives 3.6-10.6mm and with me it gets a lot of use in f5, f6, and f7 refractors and is ok but maybe a lot of glass.

The 3.5mm Delos is very good and is my favourite high power option.

The 2.5mm SLV is good but is so high powered that it's asking a lot of any  scope and conditions.

I'd like to try a Vixen hr but I prefer long eye relief.

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5 hours ago, Paz said:

The 2.5mm SLV is good but is so high powered that it's asking a lot of any  scope and conditions.


 

I have the 2.5mm Vixen LV, one of the original versions.   It gives 480x on both my 8” & 10” Dobs.  That sort of magnification sounds ridiculous, and most nights it is 😲

But just occasionally it does the trick on very tight double stars.   Even if the view is fuzzy, it can confirm the presence of secondary star in a close binary system.  It’s certainly not used very often, but on rare occasions it’s useful.

Of course manual tracking is tough, but my 8” OO has very smooth buttery movements, so with care not too difficult.

Ed.

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22 hours ago, NGC 1502 said:


 

I have the 2.5mm Vixen LV, one of the original versions.   It gives 480x on both my 8” & 10” Dobs.  That sort of magnification sounds ridiculous, and most nights it is 😲

But just occasionally it does the trick on very tight double stars.   Even if the view is fuzzy, it can confirm the presence of secondary star in a close binary system.  It’s certainly not used very often, but on rare occasions it’s useful.

Of course manual tracking is tough, but my 8” OO has very smooth buttery movements, so with care not too difficult.

Ed.

+1 for the 2.5mm LV.  I've used one for years and have had some great views through it. A tiny Mars at X296 in my 100mm frac on an AZ4. The LV gave a comfortable view and manual tracking without slow motion controls was not too difficult. Then my 100mm with a 1.6X extender Q attached and the 2.5mm LV gave me X474 for viewing Venus, which was a great party trick that left other astronomers WOWED!

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Back in my cyclops days, i had a set of Vixen LVWs and i often used the 3.5mm when i wanted to 

crank up the power. If i remember it gave 264x on my old WO 132 refractor.

They were fine eyepieces and are often sought after now, with their nice wide fov and luxurious 20mm of eye relief.

They do come up on the used market from time to time.

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6 minutes ago, Space Hopper said:

Back in my cyclops days, i had a set of Vixen LVWs and i often used the 3.5mm when i wanted to 

crank up the power. If i remember it gave 264x on my old WO 132 refractor.

They were fine eyepieces and are often sought after now, with their nice wide fov and luxurious 20mm of eye relief.

They do come up on the used market from time to time.

Once of my early Stargazers Lounge reviews :smiley:

https://www.vixenoptics.co.uk/Pages/lvw_review.html

Where did that decade go ? :rolleyes2:

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Crikey yes, it was 10 years ago when i sold my set off, and i remember your review from 2010.

The 3.5 took a while to sell if i remember. It was a nice eyepiece for splitting the double-double in Lyra.

I had all 7 of them ; including the quite rare LVW 42.

When i sold that , i advertised it on UKAB/S and 15 mins after i'd uploaded the ad it had sold.

I replaced the 42 with a Nagler 31, but thats gone now as well.

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Reminiscing a bit in the above post, but OP.......if you get the chance to buy a used Vixen LVW 3.5mm (or the 5mm)

then jump at it. They are lovely eyepieces and you may find a bargain out there.

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The Vixen 5mm SLV was my go to high powered eyepiece until I picked up a second hand 3-6 nagler zoom. There’s one on Gumtree now for £280....make an offer?

Edited by jock1958

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Just took a look but couldn’t find any used Nagler zooms in the UK on Gumtree.

There was an expired ad for one at £280.00 but that ad was posted about two years ago.

Edited by johninderby

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13 minutes ago, johninderby said:

Just took a look but couldn’t find any used Nagler zooms in the UK on Gumtree.

There was an expired ad for one at £280.00 but that ad was posted about two years ago.

Strange 🤔 just checked it again and add was posted 13hrs ago from Birmingham. Try tapping in telescope in search box and let me know 

EB5156CE-E026-443C-A17A-A05A36E33951.png

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Found it now. The ad title doesn’t say Nagler which is why my search came up negative.

£280.00 is a bit high though. Wouldn’t want to pay more than £250.00 myself. 

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3 minutes ago, johninderby said:

Found it now. The ad title doesn’t say Nagler which is why my search came up negative.

£280.00 is a bit high though. Wouldn’t want to pay more than £250.00 myself. 

I think I paid about £250 for mine. Make an offer you never know

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One eyepiece that doesn’t get mentioned much is Takahashi TOE - I have the 3.3mm which is just beautiful in a nice refractor on the Moon if conditions allow.  Very comfortable too. 

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Excellent suggestions all, I confirm (mostly) first hand.

I would like to mention the 3mm DeLite from Tele Vue. A fair bit more FOV than Vixem HR or Nagler zoom, very comfortable to use and VERY nice views, Tele Vue's closest offering to the Vixen HR in terms of crystal-quality view - IMHO.

Not as wide a view as the Type 6 Nagler, but that's a 3.5 mm.

:happy11:

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