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I am thinking of purchasing the following:

Sky Watcher 7mm to 21mm zoom eyepiece

As I have never seen a discussion on zoom eyepieces on this forum, are they considered taboo? Can they take the place of a range of separate eyepieces? Am I wasting my money?

Any opinions would be gratefully received.

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From what most people have said that i have read on various forums you would be better keeping your money. But having never used one...i cant comment. Buy a 2x barlow. that will give you a 5mm,10mm,12.5mm and 25mm EP collection for now. Unless of course you plan to buy an EP kit in which case you wont need to buy a barlow cuz they come with one already.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher

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Already have a x2 barlow and used it with the 10mm eyepiece - wasn't too impressed with the results.

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I have the Televue 8-24mm zoom which is excellent. It is just as sharp as my fixed length Televue Plossls and Baader Orthos. The Baader 8-24mm zoom is also very good too.

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Already have a x2 barlow and used it with the 10mm eyepiece - wasn't too impressed with the results.

It can (usually always is) be like that with the cheap barlows that come with scopes and EP kits. I think the EPs that come with the Heritage are good which is better then ok which the EPs that came with my other scope are. The Plossl EPs that come in the kits are much better all round. Having a larger apeture also helps things along nicely as i am finding out.

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With zoom eyepieces, there are a few around which are good but, like all good astro stuff, they cost £'s - but you do get what you pay for. Low cost zooms have a lot of compromises and your views will almost certainly be better through normal, non-zoom eyepieces such as plossls and orthoscopics.

The Hyperion zoom is one that gets good reviews:

Baader Planetarium - Baader Hyperion Zoom Eyepiece

Unless you are able / prepared to spend quite a lot (eg £50+ per eyepiece) the Skywatcher Plossls (£19 each) and the TAL 2x or 3x barlow lenses (£35 each) are probably the best "economy" options available.

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Are they expensive?

The Tele Vue 8-24 zoom is £178 new. Used about 2/3 of that.

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Not sure what road to go down:

(a) get a decent barlow

(:hello2: get a decent set of eyepieces

© get a zoom eyepiece

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The Tele Vue 8-24 zoom is £178 new. Used about 2/3 of that.

Ouch! Nothing is straight forward in this hobby is it?

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It can (usually always is) be like that with the cheap barlows that come with scopes and EP kits. I think the EPs that come with the Heritage are good which is better then ok which the EPs that came with my other scope are. The Plossl EPs that come in the kits are much better all round. Having a larger apeture also helps things along nicely as i am finding out.

I have read many posts on this forum where people say they have barlows which they have never used. It raises the question: if you have quality eyepieces you rarely have need of a barlow.

Probably, I would be better off purchasing some quality eyepieces than a good barlow?

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Not sure what road to go down:

(a) get a decent barlow

(:) get a decent set of eyepieces

© get a zoom eyepiece

Personally, I'd recommend keeping an eye on the used section of this site and Astro Buy & Sell. I've bought most of my eyepieces used and saved lots of £'s :hello2:

You can get some nice plossls and orthoscopic eyepieces for very few £'s if you are patient and observant.

Your scope is fast (ie: short focal ratio) - a low cost zoom will only dissapoint I feel.

Edited by John

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Personally, I'd recommend keeping an eye on the used section of this site and Astro Buy & Sell. I've bought most of my eyepieces used and saved lots of £'s :hello2:

You can get some nice plossls and orthoscopic eyepieces for very few £'s if you are patient and observant.

Your scope is fast (ie: short focal ratio) - a low cost zoom will only dissapoint I feel.

I think you are right there - no point in wasting money.

Thanks very much for your help, and I will bear your comments in mind.

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Maybe you should seriously consider the Baader Hyperion 8-24mm Clickstop (as mentioned earlier), it has the added bonus of allowing you to attatch a DSLR (with the addition of an adapter) for eyepiece projection so it might prove useful in the future. The EP and cam adapter will set you back about 200 quid.

There is the Celestron 8-24mm (which I was thinking of getting), but Ive seen no review for that one yet so im a little cautious. Btw, you can attach a cam to this zoom EP too.

Addition:

Done some digging and found this:

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

http://www.chuckhawks.com/celestron_8-24mm_zoom.htm

Hope that proves useful.

Edited by Uranium235
added links

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I've got the Televue 8-24mm zoom. It's a nice eyepiece, sharp images, but the field of view isn't very wide. I'm thinking of investing in some better quality individual eyepieces instead, I've bought a 7mm Nirvana second hand on here to see how I get on with it, just waiting for a chance to try it out.

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I've got the Televue 8-24mm zoom. It's a nice eyepiece, sharp images, but the field of view isn't very wide. I'm thinking of investing in some better quality individual eyepieces instead, I've bought a 7mm Nirvana second hand on here to see how I get on with it, just waiting for a chance to try it out.

Roundabouts and swings isn't it? I think I have made my mind up and will go down the better quality individual eyepiece route.

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If you have to go for a Zoom.. spend cash and buy a good one. Televue, baader or Spears waller. Or buy a few EPs (good quality) to sit with your Barlow.

Rob

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.... I've bought a 7mm Nirvana second hand on here to see how I get on with it, just waiting for a chance to try it out.

I think you will be very pleased with it - I was really impressed with the 28mm Nirvana that I tried out (and reviewed in the SGL review section) recently :hello2:

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I think you will be very pleased with it - I was really impressed with the 28mm Nirvana that I tried out (and reviewed in the SGL review section) recently :)

I know, your review was one of the reasons I went for it, and if I like it, the 28mm is next on the shopping list :hello2:

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Probably, I would be better off purchasing some quality eyepieces than a good barlow?

Yeah i'd say thats the way to go. The optics on the scope are great so if you add some good quality EPs.......the views should be fantastic.

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yes you can, i use a 2X ( or sometimes a 3X barlow on the moon) with my baader zoom in the c80 ed and it works fine.

BTW the Baader works fine in my f4.8 skywatcher 250 px dobsonian apart from just at the outer edges but it's not noticable unless you look for it and it's certainly a lot better than the lenes supplied with the skywatcer or the 25mm lens that comes with the c80 ed which in itself is noticably better (to me anyway) than the skywatcher lenses

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I like Zoom eyepieces. Less to find in the dark as one does the job of 4 or more other eyepieces. Two scopes have their own dedicared zooms - Barder and Televue ones. I see the Meade one was judged best by Sky at night mag. All cost between 1 and 200 GPB. Televue also do a 3-6mm zoom which is highly rated - and expensive so with a 3-6 and 8-24 you have the whole field covered - with maybe a 30 or 40mm wide field eyepiece for a bigger view.

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Im sold on the Baader now, but will have to wait till I get paid again methinks :) It will serve well as a "catch all" EP for me. But the only thing that concerns me is the sheer size & weight of the thing... kinda like a hand grenade (except you wouldnt dare throw it...lol).

I would imagine that, plus a DSLR would upset the balance quite a bit or put strain on the motor drives :hello2: hmmm... there must be a practical solution that avoids the need to re-balance every time you want to add or remove any heavy components.

Edited by Uranium235

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