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Grumpy Martian

Curious about Zoom lenses.

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I've not used a Meade zoom. They seem to have gone through different designs over the years. At one point they were very similar / the same to the Tele Vue / Vixen 8-24 zoom and pretty good. Other incarnations have been more mediocre.

Worth some more research to find out just what you are buying with this one to be sure that you are not paying a premium for an otherwise quite ordinary zoom.

Sorry I can't be more help on that one. Never been a real Meade fan to be honest with you :dontknow:

 

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5 minutes ago, John said:

I've not used a Meade zoom. They seem to have gone through different designs over the years. At one point they were very similar / the same to the Tele Vue / Vixen 8-24 zoom and pretty good. Other incarnations have been more mediocre.

Worth some more research to find out just what you are buying with this one to be sure that you are not paying a premium for an otherwise quite ordinary zoom.

Sorry I can't be more help on that one. Never been a real Meade fan to be honest with you :dontknow:

 

Not planning on buying it, just curiosity, as the price is reasonable., could be a bargain, could be a lemon <shrug>

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Used to have an early Celestron 8-24 zoom. The one that was made by Vixen. Really good zoom until it literaly fell apart. 🙀

The current Celestron zoom is just one of the cheap low end ones. 

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I have tried  several zoom units, from Baader Mk III & IV, to Celestron, and Tele Vue 8-24, without really taking to them, but for some time now  I have been quite content with  the OVL Hyperflex 7.2-21.5mm and Baader 2.25 barlow, purely for double star observing, at which, I think, it excels and it is inexpensive.....:smiley:

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Posted (edited)
On 09/07/2020 at 03:41, bomberbaz said:

I have the OVL Hyperflex 7.2-21 zoom and love it for H Alpha, I was gettin a bit fed up with the lunt ha scope using other eyepieces with poppin one in and another out trying to get optimum viewing or just simply changing view to scan around when I decided to get the zoom but haven't looked back since.

I have not used any other zoom eyepieces but this one is built well, very smooth in use and has good ER.

It makes a huge difference to the HA viewing allowing me to relax at the eyepiece (when the clouds clear) and now HA is a pleasurable experience rather than a annoying faff.

Same here with my AstroBoot 'unknown' 7-21mm [as shown in my earlier reply] with a 1.25"Lunt Herschel Solar Wedge + filters & TeleVue Ranger, ...or if travelling light by air or public transport for a weekend getaway, etc., with my 're-modded' ETX105.

Edited by Philip R
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This thread is cruelly timed. Just off to the post office to send my much loved Leica zoom to Brian in Scotland - good to know it’s going to a good home. Holding on to Pentax XF zoom for solar

7BC9D8D8-1F60-43CB-BE1E-2B4BD4BB7F6E.jpeg

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On 08/07/2020 at 22:27, gary756 said:

Ive just bought a Baader mk iv with a barlow. Itching to give it ago. 

Should I also be thinking about upgrading my star diagonal. Are there any decent ones for around £50-£100 or less would better. 

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, gary756 said:

Should I also be thinking about upgrading my star diagonal. Are there any decent ones for around £50-£100 or less would better. 

The zoom is a 1.25" and comes with a 2" screw on attachement so you should be good to go.

Upgrading the diagonal is a whole new ball game, I'm guessing you may have a stock one probably 1.25" (did it come with your scope?). you can upgrade that one for sure to a better 1.25". Going to 2" will depend on if you want to get 2" ep's in the future and are a bit pricier Also bear In mind what eps you have currently  and their sizes, and what you may want in the future. Some people exclusively  use 1.25, some 2 and some a bit of both. The scopes size and weigh is also a consideration if your on something small.

Based on your budget I would go for this, its a 2" with a 1.25 adaptor:

https://www.telescopehouse.com/diagonal-dielectric-99-quartz -lx.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjwo6D4BRDgARIsAA6uN18P8vtISypK2iqIebU2gOqbDg6L1OmwbtRCZ1bgiP5Sc7apV5JwrfoaAkTBEALw_wcB

If you are willing to spend a little more a click lock (sometimes called a fast lock or twist lock or positice lock) are genereally seen as a slicker design that holds the eye peices more securely than the traditional screws. Cheapest is probably this (again a 2" but without an adaptor) ** I just noticed its out of stock**, the others normally start around £150 https://www.altairastro.com/altair-premium-positive-lock-diagonal---dielectric-2-inch-pushfit-2247-p.asp

Or just buy used, diagonals are allways selling. Just make sure its dielectric.

 

 

Edited by DeathWarpedUp

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1 hour ago, gary756 said:

Should I also be thinking about upgrading my star diagonal. Are there any decent ones for around £50-£100 or less would better. 

The Baader zoom is quite a bulky eyepiece and while it has a 1.25" barrel option, some feel that it sits more securely in a 2 inch diagonal using it's 2 inch barrel option. It's still a 1.25" eyepiece optically of course.

 

 

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11 hours ago, DeathWarpedUp said:

The zoom is a 1.25" and comes with a 2" screw on attachement so you should be good to go.

Upgrading the diagonal is a whole new ball game, I'm guessing you may have a stock one probably 1.25" (did it come with your scope?). you can upgrade that one for sure to a better 1.25". Going to 2" will depend on if you want to get 2" ep's in the future and are a bit pricier Also bear In mind what eps you have currently  and their sizes, and what you may want in the future. Some people exclusively  use 1.25, some 2 and some a bit of both. The scopes size and weigh is also a consideration if your on something small.

Based on your budget I would go for this, its a 2" with a 1.25 adaptor:

https://www.telescopehouse.com/diagonal-dielectric-99-quartz -lx.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjwo6D4BRDgARIsAA6uN18P8vtISypK2iqIebU2gOqbDg6L1OmwbtRCZ1bgiP5Sc7apV5JwrfoaAkTBEALw_wcB

If you are willing to spend a little more a click lock (sometimes called a fast lock or twist lock or positice lock) are genereally seen as a slicker design that holds the eye peices more securely than the traditional screws. Cheapest is probably this (again a 2" but without an adaptor) ** I just noticed its out of stock**, the others normally start around £150 https://www.altairastro.com/altair-premium-positive-lock-diagonal---dielectric-2-inch-pushfit-2247-p.asp

Or just buy used, diagonals are allways selling. Just make sure its dielectric.

 

 

thank you very helpful as always. It is a stock diagonal, I'm currently using an evolution 6.  I have been looking at click lock diagonals,  but not sure about 2" because of size and etc. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, gary756 said:

thank you very helpful as always. It is a stock diagonal, I'm currently using an evolution 6.  I have been looking at click lock diagonals,  but not sure about 2" because of size and etc. 

Theres a couple of factors to consider with all of this. The weight and the swing to the zenith (the ep/diagonal smacking against the base of the scope).

Weight wise going to 2" means diagnoal and ep's are heavier, which is where the clicklock types are better, as they lock in so tight compared with the screws. The good news is the mount you have is alt az so the eye peice will not be slewing round in all types of angles (if its set to 12 o'clock it tays there). However if you are observing from the side (say 9pm), the weight of the ep might cause the screws to loosen and the thing come crashing down (even on 1.25's I am sure you are probably noticing that sometimes with the stock diagnoal screws getting loose..makes you anxious right).

The other issue (which may not be an issue) is when looking at stuff at the zenith the distance from the bottom of the scope to the base below may not be long enough for 2" diagonal and 2" EP and the Visual back. The good news for you on that is we can hopefully measure it to see how tight it is. I have the baader clicklock and the Baader zoom and a baader sct vb click lock also, so I can nip out and give you the full dimensions, I can also measure my 8" Celestron cpc  from the sct vb screw to the base as something to possiby bench mark it with. Ive never used an evoluton 6 so I dont know, my hunch is length wise it will probably be ok.

Obviously this may not help you decide but at least it will help if the answer might be a flat out no. Hope this makes sense. :)

 

P.S. John makes a good point about the 1.25 fit.  however it does fit, so personal preference on that one i'm guessing on if you eventually want a 2".

Edited by DeathWarpedUp

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35 minutes ago, DeathWarpedUp said:

Theres a couple of factors to consider with all of this. The weight and the swing to the zenith (the ep/diagonal smacking against the base of the scope).

Weight wise going to 2" means diagnoal and ep's are heavier, which is where the clicklock types are better, as they lock in so tight compared with the screws. The good news is the mount you have is alt az so the eye peice will not be slewing round in all types of angles (if its set to 12 o'clock it tays there). However if you are observing from the side (say 9pm), the weight of the ep might cause the screws to loosen and the thing come crashing down (even on 1.25's I am sure you are probably noticing that sometimes with the stock diagnoal screws getting loose..makes you anxious right).

The other issue (which may not be an issue) is when looking at stuff at the zenith the distance from the bottom of the scope to the base below may not be long enough for 2" diagonal and 2" EP and the Visual back. The good news for you on that is we can hopefully measure it to see how tight it is. I have the baader clicklock and the Baader zoom and a baader sct vb click lock also, so I can nip out and give you the full dimensions, I can also measure my 8" Celestron cpc  from the sct vb screw to the base as something to possiby bench mark it with. Ive never used an evoluton 6 so I dont know, my hunch is length wise it will probably be ok.

Obviously this may not help you decide but at least it will help if the answer might be a flat out no. Hope this makes sense. :)

 

P.S. John makes a good point about the 1.25 fit.  however it does fit, so personal preference on that one i'm guessing, on if you eventually want a 2".

Yep very helpful and you are right  it does come loose especially after the kids hanging off it trying to spy on the hill walkers. Just had a quick look and id say ive got a couple of inches of clearance at the zenith, so maybe enough?

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Posted (edited)

Ok, I just measured it for you. Please note this is a rough measurement taken with a tape measure and my fingers bending it in. so probably best to work to the closest 5mm either way :)

I have a cpc800 Celestron, which I basically pointed north. with the sct thread pointing stright down at the base. so first off my rough measurement from the top of the 2" vb thread (the scope base where the thread joins it, and not the top of the vb thread itself) to the closest part of the base (directly below) was roughly 16cm (no idea how this fares against your scope)

I then screwed to the scope the 1.25 stock diagonal (part number 94115-A) and  the stock Visual back (part number 93653-A) , these maybe the stock parts you have also, check the side of the kit or the box it came in. Anyway, there was roughly 7cm from the closest point of the diagnol to the base. I did the same thing again with a baader clicklock VB and the baader clicklock 2" diagonal and the distance shortened to about 4cm.

I then took the 1.25 diagonal and the 1.25 vb and attached them together (without the scope) and measured between the VB base  along the line running past the nose peice turret to the furthest corner of the diagonal (the longest length) this measured 8.5cm (measure yours see if this is the same distance, it probably will be). I then did the same thing with the Baader VB and 2" diagonal and got 13cm

I hope all this makes sense, its probably hard to visualise what im saying above, if it does make sense  based on this you can possibly recreate my steps with your 1.25 and vb and see how much room you have with yoru scope.

 

 

 

Edited by DeathWarpedUp

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, gary756 said:

Yep very helpful and you are right  it does come loose especially after the kids hanging off it trying to spy on the hill walkers. Just had a quick look and id say ive got a couple of inches of clearance at the zenith, so maybe enough?

Sorry if you know half this stuff, I always work the assumption someone may not.

The heavier and bigger the stuff the more terrifying it becomes, this is a big reason clicklocks are so popular  when you have £200+ eps swinging about :D. Regarding Johns comments earlier about the 1.25 I agree the diagonal tighteneing screws are a pain in the backside  as they scrape againt the zoom  when tightened, To combat that I slightly lift the zoom out and tighten it, not ideal but it worked (until I got the 2" which it sits in nicely).

The big reason why 2" diagonals are popular is because the widerfield views over the 1.25, this can also be achieved by a focal reducer (basically a barlow in reverse). Some people prefer this as it allows them to stick with 1.25 ep's. I don't know which router is better, some say the focal reducer is cheaper in the long run, but I think this comes down to the amount of ep's you end buying as 1.25s are on the whole cheaper. The zoom in many instances will probably cancel that out  as it saves the ep pennies.

In regards to the kids, I have 3 year old trying to put jam sandwiches on my eyepeice lens, I have him using the EP's as a climbing frame yet to come!, The torture never stops :D Train them never to touch the diagonal or eps, just look through it.

Edited by DeathWarpedUp

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Posted (edited)
On 09/07/2020 at 01:30, DeathWarpedUp said:

 

 

Out of interest has anyone tried the meade 4000 8-24, looks good price wise, I'm guessing its on a par with the Celestron:

https://www.harrisontelescopes.co.uk/acatalog/meade-series-4000-8-24mm-zoom-eyepiece-1.25.html#SID=1137

If it has the chrome barrel it is the older model, the newer has the black barrel, it isn’t near as good as the older model. The views through my older model are excellent. I also just ordered the new Orion E Series 21.5 - 7.2mm  model,  $90 C +$20 ship. with a lot of good reviews over here, so far.  PS:  Every one should have one as a compliment to your other fixed, for the quick zoom nites when time is short.

Edited by LDW1
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16 hours ago, LDW1 said:

If it has the chrome barrel it is the older model, the newer has the black barrel, it isn’t near as good as the older model. The views through my older model are excellent. I also just ordered the new Orion E Series 21.5 - 7.2mm  model,  $90 C +$20 ship. with a lot of good reviews over here, so far.  PS:  Every one should have one as a compliment to your other fixed, for the quick zoom nites when time is short.

Holy !#$@.  There are three versions of this eyepiece at least:

Original Japanese version:

spacer.png

Original Chinese version:

spacer.png

Current Chinese version:

spacer.png

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Well I’ve got a cheap and cheerful BST Starguider 8-24 zoom which optically is very decent and I understand a clone of other, possibly more expensive models. The barrel was a little stiff to rotate at first but the tiniest squirt of GT85 cured that!

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On 10/07/2020 at 22:26, DeathWarpedUp said:

Ok, I just measured it for you. Please note this is a rough measurement taken with a tape measure and my fingers bending it in. so probably best to work to the closest 5mm either way :)

I have a cpc800 Celestron, which I basically pointed north. with the sct thread pointing stright down at the base. so first off my rough measurement from the top of the 2" vb thread (the scope base where the thread joins it, and not the top of the vb thread itself) to the closest part of the base (directly below) was roughly 16cm (no idea how this fares against your scope)

I then screwed to the scope the 1.25 stock diagonal (part number 94115-A) and  the stock Visual back (part number 93653-A) , these maybe the stock parts you have also, check the side of the kit or the box it came in. Anyway, there was roughly 7cm from the closest point of the diagnol to the base. I did the same thing again with a baader clicklock VB and the baader clicklock 2" diagonal and the distance shortened to about 4cm.

I then took the 1.25 diagonal and the 1.25 vb and attached them together (without the scope) and measured between the VB base  along the line running past the nose peice turret to the furthest corner of the diagonal (the longest length) this measured 8.5cm (measure yours see if this is the same distance, it probably will be). I then did the same thing with the Baader VB and 2" diagonal and got 13cm

I hope all this makes sense, its probably hard to visualise what im saying above, if it does make sense  based on this you can possibly recreate my steps with your 1.25 and vb and see how much room you have with yoru scope.

 

 

 

Thank you taking the time to measure up, all very helpful stuff. Was out Saturday night and managed to drop my baader zoom,  luckily just a bit of paint scratched off.  Then skyportal went into meltdown and at one point actually put the scope upside down!!

Anyway the zoom ep was good eye relief I found to be comfortable even on max zoom.  But definitely think I need to upgrade my diagonal. Might just save for an extra month or so and go for a 2".

 

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5 minutes ago, gary756 said:

Thank you taking the time to measure up, all very helpful stuff. Was out Saturday night and managed to drop my baader zoom,  luckily just a bit of paint scratched off.  Then skyportal went into meltdown and at one point actually put the scope upside down!!

Anyway the zoom ep was good eye relief I found to be comfortable even on max zoom.  But definitely think I need to upgrade my diagonal. Might just save for an extra month or so and go for a 2".

 

Oh dear, at least it was just the paint though. 2" are great, just check the field stop on the ep to make sure it's suitable  for your scopes spec

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1 hour ago, gary756 said:

Anyway the zoom ep was good eye relief I found to be comfortable even on max zoom.

With or without eyeglasses?  I've had trouble using them with eyeglasses at star parties, so I haven't bought one myself.

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I have used a Baader mkIV zoom for a while and although its not as good as my other eyepieces for quality of views (it competes with SLVs, Delos, and Naglers) and doesn't have good enough eye relief for me to use with glasses, it is my most used eyepiece as it is so convenient.

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Louis D said:

With or without eyeglasses?  I've had trouble using them with eyeglasses at star parties, so I haven't bought one myself.

Without glasses, I actually find I don't need them through the telescope. Although the focus does need adjusting every time myself or the boy swap over. (Clearly, he isn't hard of seeing)

Edited by gary756

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It does look identical to my bst starguider and I’ve seen reviews that suggest it maybe. 

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Try the Svbony line up of zooms, they have at least 3 models that are excellent for about half the price or less than the big, overpriced brand names vs performance. I just ordered the 30mm - 10mm for about $75 C incl. ship. and they are parfocal  or very close depending on the model.

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I received a MkIV Baader zoom last week, along with the matching zoom barlow. I wasn't intending on buying the latter, but rather the Classic-Q model, but it came together as part of a Astro Buy & Sell ad, hardly used. In fact the barlow was unused.

I didn't even try mounting it on the 1.25" fitting, but went straight to the 2" adapter. It's appears much more secure.

The zoom-barlow can't be used like a classic barlow design, as it is made to fit the zoom and/or camera T-piece. A £70 adapter is available though to allow you to insert an EP with a 1.25" nosepiece. One can, of course, remove the barlow lens section and thread it onto an EP nosepiece to get the 2.25x magnification. My intention was only to use this with the zoom anyway.

I was disappointed that it isn't parfocal across the zoom range, like a camera zoom lens. It's not a disaster, but a pain when you are trying to find the point a double-star splits.

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