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Televue Nagler 3-6mm zoom - opinions


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Can someone give me an opinion on this zoom? If I purchase one I will use it on my 10" Dob, 6" AR6 frac and the 4" APO frac. Its purpose will be planets and double stars and I will be buying it mainly for the 'apparent' quality and convenience.

I know it has a 50 degree FOV and eye relief about 10 mm so it will be less than my Hyperion 5mm and TMB 4mm planetary. I don't where glasses to observe.

Therefore is this worth it? Or will I be frustrated looking through a narrower FOV?

Mark

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I have the 2-4 Nagler Zoom. I use it on my FL700 Apo to great effect on the moon, planets and double stars etc.

It is an exceptional eyepiece, both optically and mechanically.

I'm sure the 3-6 version is equally as good.

Andy.

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Super eyepiece. I had one and it was all I ever needed for high power in my 8" newt (166x-333x). I got a bit frustrated because the eye lens always got eyelash grease on due to the shorter ER, but this was the only negative.

It does the job of at least four seperate eyepieces, and very well too! You can tune the magnification to suit the conditions and there's absolutely no refocusing necessary.

On FOV, that's something only you can decide. For me, I am perfectly satisfied with the 40° FOV of orthos for high power viewing. Mostly you are observing small objects and there's little to be gained by a huge FOV IMHO. 50° is quite acceptable - at least I always thought so!

So a big thumbs up from me, but it's not for those who insist on wearing glasses to observe.

Andrew

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I had one and it was very sharp indeed. Like Andrew I found the topmost lens element attracted dust and eyelash marks as it's not recessed at all. The 50 degree FoV is maintained across the zoom range but I did find it restrictive as I tend to prefer undriven alt-az mounted scopes so it's been replaced by 3 type 6 Naglers now. But it is a very nice eyepiece though.

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Thanks Helen that is a kind offer. Following the comments made by a number of experienced observers, this clearly is a quality lens. My only slight worry is the point that John (jahmanson) made. Like John I enjoy undriven alt/az mounts and I might find the 50 degree FOV a bit restricted especially after using Ethos EPs!!

Perhaps it would be logical to wait to SGL5 especially as Saturn will be due south at about 9.00pm.

Thanks again everyone

Mark

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I also had the 3-6 Nagler zoom but replaced it with the 2.5, 3.5 and 5mm Type 6 Naglers.The zoom is as good as the Type 6 Naglers in sharpness and contrast, so it's only the FOV you're giving up.

My favourite high power eyepiece though is the 6mm Ethos, another step up from the Naglers in sharpness and contrast, and as good as any ortho. I have been thinking about getting a 2" 2x Powermate which would give me a 3mm Ethos.

John

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This is an interesting thread with users contradicting the textbook position. I am inclined to believe the users.

Anyone out there tried a monocentric, particularly those made by TMB recently? Theory gives them the thumbs up but you pretty well have to wear them like a contact lens, I gather! I stress that I have never tried any of the EPs in the thread and am just an interested browser.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
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This is an interesting thread with users contradicting the textbook position. I am inclined to believe the users.

Sorry for being thick, Olly, but what do you mean by "the textbook position"? Do you meant that theoretically a zoom shouldn't work as well as a prime?

Edited by Andrew*
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I had a couple of the TMB Monocentrics. Eye relief was terrible and I found them so uncomfortable to use that I didn't keep them for very long. However they were sharper and had a bit more contrast than the Nagler zoom. I kept the zoom though as while it wasn't quite as good as the Monocentrics I liked using it a lot more. Overall I would rate the Monocentrics about equal to the Ethos.

John

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Sorry for being thick, Olly, but what do you mean by "the textbook position"? Do you meant that theoretically a zoom shouldn't work as well as a prime?

Yes, that's all I meant. More glass and more things to keep in collimation with the complication of moving parts. However, develpment often triumphs over design and this seems to be the case here.

John, thanks for that info. I would like to try a monocentric just for the romance of the old design but I don't see myself buying one, especially as I need user friendly kit for my guests.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
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I've been thinking about getting one of these to go with my TV85, based on recommendations over at Cloudy Nights. The general consensus was similar to what people have said here, i.e. it's a very good eye piece, and is versatile - you can change the focal length according to seeing conditions. The FOV is narrow, which is my main concern - I'm using a manual alt-az mount, so tracking is a concern.

Dave.

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Yes, that's all I meant. More glass and more things to keep in collimation with the complication of moving parts. However, develpment often triumphs over design and this seems to be the case here.

While there are only 5 elements, I think you're quite right - it is another great achievement by Al Nagler. That's probably why he put his name on it, despite it not being a "typical" Nagler...

However, differences between eyepieces at high power become decidedly difficult to detect I've found, and you do need excellent conditions to see them. For example, recently I have been comparing my £300 Zeiss Abbe-II ortho with a bog standard Telescope House ortho. Differences are truly negligible...

So some might find that the Nagler doesn't quite pip the better orthos, but it does give them a run for their money, especially as no other eyepiece has the benefits of the Nagler's zoom function. Furthermore, it has a larger FOV and more eye relief than all orthos. I'd pick the Nagler over four Baader orthos any day.

Andrew

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Very good points Andrew.

I find it as good as any ortho I've had(and I've had all the volcano top and HD orthos). The ability to zoom in to a suitable magnification, with no refocussing, is a major plus. None of the, 'oh this magnification is too high for the seeing conditions tonight, now where's that lower power eyepiece', milarkey.

It may seem an expensive eyepiece, but try adding up the cost of 3 baader HD ortho eyepieces? It holds it's resale value well too. Buy it for £260 new, sell at £200.

I don't find 50 degrees on an alt/az any problem. Just takes a bit of practice.

I wouldn't want a 28 degree monocentric, unless what I saw through the eyepiece, was mindblowingly better. Would love to try those Clave eyepieces from the 80's. I have a catalogue from back then. I think they're very valuable and sought after now. (only) £80 or so, back then.

Andy.

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I use a 3-6mm zoom with a TV85 and ZS66sd, it really is great in these two scopes, must try it in my little Intes.

I aslo use the scopes on a Vixen Porta mount and I'm quite happy with the field of view.

Edited by Stardust
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  • 4 months later...

this is /was a great thread. I have been thinking about what eyepiece to by next (probably at Christmas - I need to plan ahead so I can save!) and when adding the cost of a few Naglers for the higher power the costs really started to mount! I reckon this zoom might fit the bill at least for a while and I can the decide on whether the additional cost can be justified to gain FOV or eye relief.

I don't wear specs to view (am going to try contacts I think) and although I love the comfy eye relief of the Radians, I think I'll be fine with 10mm. I am not fussed / worried about cleaning eyepieces either so I reckon it's worth a punt.

As others have said, if for some reason you buy (used) and don't gt on with it you can always sell for not much less and use the money for something else. For me the choice would probably be either this zoom or a 5mm and a 6mm Radian which would prevent me having to use the Powermate as much. Does anyone else go from one decision to another and back again about 50 times before they make a decision!

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  • 4 weeks later...

hi all

I have finally got to use this eyepiece - I could not resist any longer and sold my Powermate and bought one. http://stargazerslounge.com/equipment-reviews/109089-review-televue-nagler-3-6mm-zoom.html

sorry for the slightly blubbery praise of the eyepiece but it really is every bit as good as the 'hype'. the field of view is not at all a concern and I was tracking the moon easily with my dob at 450x-500x and the refractor at the respective lower power, maybe 300x also on an alt az 'mod' of my GP mount so it's easy.

I found the eye relief very usable also and it's a very comfortable eyepiece to use.

fair enough the FOV is not Ethosian but it's not claustrophobic either. I found the sharpness possibly better than the borrowed 7mm Nagler I also used with it - I may have been biased.......

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My advice would be buy it used and see how you go. For me it's worth a try for sure, especially as it will probably be a better fit mags wise in your 10" dob (assuming it's less than 1600 focal length). If you got one used for £200 I bet you could sell it quickly for the same money if you don't get on with it. It's just so flexible and light too. I was surprised by both the eye relief and the field of view; both were better than I expected. I see your point in a way though having looked through an Ethos (13mm) for the first time last night.

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Moonshane I have been reading your review which is very interesting - I am glad that it has worked out so well.

I have still not decided whether to purchase this Nagler zoom or get the 3.5 Nagler to match my 5mm Nagler.

Mark

I went through the same process Mark, trying out a couple or 3-6mm Nagler zooms in the process as well as the Nagler T6 3.5mm.

The zoom is excellent (both of them were !) and if I could justify the investment I'd own one AND the Nagler 3.5 :mad:

However in the end I've remained loyal to the Type 6's - with my undriven, alt-az scopes the wide FoV is just so helpful.

Both great eypieces IMHO :D

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Always fancied trying one of the Nagler Zooms but their focal length has never really suited my scope. The 6mm end is already at 253x. But hopefully someone may have one at the Salisbury SP.

But I would really love to get my hands on another Speers 5-8mm zoom but the Series II this time. Absolute sweet spot for my scope (190-300x).

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