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There are good astro binoculars and there are zoom binoculars but good zoom astro binoculars....errr NO. 👎🏽

Zoom compromises the optical quality too much which is why they are not recommended for astronomy. 

 

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Good idea - ask before buying. Zoom binoculars promise a lot, but they are crap really.

There's another type of binoculars we warn against: "auto focus" or "focus free" binoculars. Those are no more than binoculars without a focus mechanism. Focus is fixed to one distance and if you want to study  something at a different distance you're out of luck (a swan's nest that's 15 m away for example).

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Good zooms are possible but you have to build your own!  I made myself a 80mmED unit that takes a pair of Baader 8-24mm zoom eyepieces giving a range of 25x to 75x.  They will take 200x, or would do if I bought another 3-6mm TV zoom.     🙂

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Exactly , it´s not for pure astronomy, but for casual observing the Moon (cuasi the unique object visible in MY sky) and observing planes (my other passion), I have used one refractor and spotting scopes 45º but no like me, inclined vision and one eye ..ummmm!!

Thanks

Tico

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13 hours ago, tico said:

Exactly , it´s not for pure astronomy, but for casual observing the Moon (cuasi the unique object visible in MY sky) and observing planes (my other passion), I have used one refractor and spotting scopes 45º but no like me, inclined vision and one eye ..ummmm!!

I remember reading an article on this subject. The problem is making the binocular stay collimated while zooming.  As you are no doubt aware, even regular binoculars can go out of collimation and need repair, and having a zoom mechanism as well will compound the problem. Also the zoom may not be equal L & R.

Consequently you can expect that a zoom binocular costing , say, £ 29.99 will be complete rubbish, while a premium brand one costing several hundred pounds may be okay till it goes out of adjustment and needs an expensive repair.

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If you want zoom and two eyed views then bathe best option would be a binocular telescope (eg APM or Oberwerk), with a zoom eyepiece like the Baader 8-24mm. Good views, definitely not cheap and angles views. 
 

Lunar detail needs more magnification that fixed power binoculars.

Above about 10x you’ll need to mount them, which can get more costly as the weight goes up.  
Birders use an 8-10x binocular and a separate spotter so they cover near and far options.

 

Peter

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I was warned against buying zoom bins by a mate that's forgotten more about binoculars than i'll ever know, Still went ahead and bought some, He was right!!  When I zoomed in, I had to re focus, I've had a few sets now and had the same thing with each set! One set I even had to readjust the eye bell on the right as one lens was in focus but the other was out!! 

 

I bought these lovely old Tasco zooms for just £14 at a local antiques emporium, It's best to keep them set on one adjustment and use them as non zoom!!

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A couple more!!

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John 🙂

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On 12/06/2020 at 19:05, Ruud said:

Good idea - ask before buying. Zoom binoculars promise a lot, but they are crap really.

There's another type of binoculars we warn against: "auto focus" or "focus free" binoculars. Those are no more than binoculars without a focus mechanism. Focus is fixed to one distance and if you want to study  something at a different distance you're out of luck (a swan's nest that's 15 m away for example).

Hi Ruud

I had a couple of these focus free, The first ones (Jason perma focus, A company owned by Bushnell) I gave to my lad as I couldn't focus at all through them, I never thought to try looking through my glasses with them!, Anyhow, My lad could see fine so he had them!

I bought another focus free (Dowling & Rowe 7x50), These were only a fiver at a bootsale,  Again, I couldn't focus (Bad eyes!!) so I tried through my specs and WOW!!! They were great but they focus at any distance, The others which were the same as it turned out, He still has them and uses them!!

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They're quite a bit bigger than the Tasco 7x50 that I bought from another stall! (They were a fiver too!!!) 

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John 👍

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