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Which scopes have 20/25x e/ps?

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Old Sunday 22nd August 2010, 12:01   #1
Martin Fagg
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Which scopes have 20/25x e/ps?

Hi everyone,

I'm thinking about upgrading my scope. At present I use an Opticron ES 80 GA ED with HDF 23x & 32x e/ps.

I really like the 23x e/p with its wide field of view and good depth of field. The 32x is alright but it's nowhere near as comfortable to use.

I swapped to the Opticron from a Nikon ED82 & 30x because I found the 30x fov and short dof too restrictive, taking a step down in quality of view to gain the lower mag and easier fov & dof. But, looking around now, it seems to me that most manufacturers start their e/ps at 30x and work upwards.

Has anyone got any suggestions for an upgrade that has a similar mag fixed e/ps available for it? Say one at 25x and another at 35/40x. I will consider a zoom if I think it can be as easy on the eye as a low mag fixed e/p. I can't afford the latest top of the range scopes like the Kowa and newest Swaro & Leica, by the way.

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Martin
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Old Sunday 22nd August 2010, 21:18   #2
FrankD
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Martin,

Have you considered the previous Zeiss Diascope series. This time last year I was able to find the 65 mm with scope body for around $1100 US. They do make that nice astro eyepiece converter for it so you can use many 1.25 astro eyepieces for it. I was using the 65 with an inexpensive Celestron X Cel ED 25 mm to give me 16x and I was floored by the optical performance of that combination.
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Old Monday 23rd August 2010, 14:20   #3
Martin Fagg
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Martin,

Have you considered the previous Zeiss Diascope series. This time last year I was able to find the 65 mm with scope body for around $1100 US. They do make that nice astro eyepiece converter for it so you can use many 1.25 astro eyepieces for it. I was using the 65 with an inexpensive Celestron X Cel ED 25 mm to give me 16x and I was floored by the optical performance of that combination.
Hi Frank, good tip. Could be the way forward. It should certainly give a wide variety of e/ps.

After posting this thread, I started thinking about options and remembered that Sancho has posted on here about using the Diascope with astro e/ps.

WAnyh ideas which other scopes that would be an upgrade from my Opticron take astro e/ps?

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Martin
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Old Monday 23rd August 2010, 14:56   #4
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The only ones that I am aware of are the Zeiss, the Pentax and the Celestron F ED. Haven't seen any others mentioned.

Also consider the Baader Hyperion Zoom with either the Zeiss or even possibly the Celestron Ultima ED series. The Hyperions Zoom has the widest view of any aftermarket zoom eyepiece. The images are very comparable to the fixed eyepieces offered for many scopes in terms of field of view and image quality. Henry Link had an excellent thread posted on here about it.

Also, Sancho eventually went with the Diascope 85/Hyperion Zoom combination last year after some discussion.

Hope this helps.
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Old Monday 23rd August 2010, 18:33   #5
Martin Fagg
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The only ones that I am aware of are the Zeiss, the Pentax and the Celestron F ED. Haven't seen any others mentioned.

Also consider the Baader Hyperion Zoom with either the Zeiss or even possibly the Celestron Ultima ED series. The Hyperions Zoom has the widest view of any aftermarket zoom eyepiece. The images are very comparable to the fixed eyepieces offered for many scopes in terms of field of view and image quality. Henry Link had an excellent thread posted on here about it.

Also, Sancho eventually went with the Diascope 85/Hyperion Zoom combination last year after some discussion.

Hope this helps.
Thanks Frank. I'll search on here some more and have a bit of a google. See what I can find out. The diascope/hyperion sounds familiar and intersting.
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Old Monday 23rd August 2010, 20:17   #6
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Nikon does have MC25x eyepiece for their Nikon ED82 :)
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Old Monday 23rd August 2010, 23:20   #7
RJM
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If you want more DoF you can only choose using a lower magnification, a smaller aperture scope, or increase your distance to the target. If maximizing DoF was important to me I would give up aperture (like the Nikon ED50 @ 13x) or switch to a binocular.
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Old Thursday 26th August 2010, 06:02   #8
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If you want more DoF you can only choose using a lower magnification, a smaller aperture scope, or increase your distance to the target. If maximizing DoF was important to me I would give up aperture (like the Nikon ED50 @ 13x) or switch to a binocular.
Hi RJM,

My query's not just about dof.

What I'm looking for is a scope that has a 20/25x fixed e/p and some that are higher, say 30/32x and 40/45x so I have a suite of fixed e/ps. But if I can be convinced that there is a zoom available that is as bright with good dof and fov, I would be willing to give it a go.

And most important of all it has to be better optically than my Opticron without being the uber-expensive latest models. In fact I think a second-hand, has-been top of the range, scope is probably the way for me to go.

So the question is which ones have 20/25x e/ps available because it seems that most of them start at 30/32x and go upward from there.

With regard to lower mag, smaller aperture and change of viewing distance:

I have owned 60&65mm scopes in the past but now I use an 80mm because I like to bird very early in the day when the extra light gathering is useful. So I am not willing to give up any aperture.
Therefore I use lower mag (23x) because I can have extra fov and dof. I also like fixed mag e/ps because they are brighter and wider than zooms (they are on my Opticron ES80 ED anyway).
I wouldn't want to go below 20x because a lot of my birding is watching waders and wildfowl and they tend to choose their distance from me rather than the other way round. And it's often a large distance.

Best wishes
Martin
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Old Thursday 26th August 2010, 10:08   #9
iporali
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Originally Posted by Martin Fagg View Post
What I'm looking for is a scope that has a 20/25x fixed e/p and some that are higher, say 30/32x and 40/45x so I have a suite of fixed e/ps. But if I can be convinced that there is a zoom available that is as bright with good dof and fov, I would be willing to give it a go.

And most important of all it has to be better optically than my Opticron without being the uber-expensive latest models. In fact I think a second-hand, has-been top of the range, scope is probably the way for me to go.

So the question is which ones have 20/25x e/ps available because it seems that most of them start at 30/32x and go upward from there.
Martin,

You are actually very well equipped already. Opticron have excellent selection of eyepieces and I am afraid that even the latest ber-scopes are at best only marginally better than your current scope.

The Swarovski ATS-series have excellent 20x, 30x and 45x fixed eyepieces. The Leica Televid 77 had 21x and 32x wide angles as did the Kowa TSN-823. I currently have the Swaro 20x with the latest ATM-body, but it also worked perfectly with the old grey AT80HD that I had previously. You may see an improvement if you can find an excellent sample of one of these, but if you happen to have an excellent Opticron, it may turn out to be an expensive downgrade.

It sounds like the new 25-50x zooms (Leica, Swaro) would actually suit you quite well, but you do have to see it yourself, wheter or not you can live with their viewing comfort. I have always been one of not-so-many proponents of wide 20x fixed EPs and surely the zooms are not as "easy" on the eyes as are the fixed eyepieces, but still I have now almost exclusively switched to 25-50x.

Best regards,

Ilkka
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Old Friday 27th August 2010, 15:03   #10
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You could always step up to one of our HR80's Martin - That way you get to keep your eyepieces too :-)
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Old Sunday 29th August 2010, 07:16   #11
Martin Fagg
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Hi Ikka,

I suspect you are giving me good advice here. It may well be that I should be more than happy with what I have already. But can't help myself. I just can't stop looking on BF for the always elusive perfect optics!
I enjoy researching optics more than birding, I believe at times.

I know exactly what you mean about ending up with an expensive downgrade. I compared a second-hand Leica 77mm to my Opticron a year or two ago and much preferred the Opticron. The Leica was extremely disappointing. Must have been a bad example.

It may be that in the end I just buy a new e/p for my Opticron. Like either the 44x or 50x HDF for when waders are really distant.

Best wishes
Martin
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Old Sunday 29th August 2010, 07:21   #12
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What do folk you think of the Pentax PF-80ED. That has a good range of Pentax e/ps and can take other makes of astro e/p. Looks like the possibilities for experiment could be endless.

Ant idea how it compares optically than my Opticron? I would guess that it is on a par with or slightly better than it. Perhaps it's on par with the Opticron HR80 ED? In which case Pete Gamby's suggestion is a good one. Except the HR80 doesn't take asto e/ps.
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Old Tuesday 7th September 2010, 17:55   #13
Martin Fagg
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Hi all,

Thanks to everyone who gave their thoughts on this thread. You have helped me reach a decision.

I have given up looking for an upgrade for my Opticron ES 80 GS ED. I have decided that any optical quality I gain isn't worth the extra cost. Although I was tempted by Sancho's Diascope/Hyperion zoom combo on the for sale forum but financial sense prevailed this time and the credit card was not battered into submission.

Instead I have bought the HDF 40858 eyepiece which gives 44x mag. So I now have 23x, 32x and 44x.

I haven't given the 44x a proper test run yet but in the short trial I had at the shop where I bought it, it seemed very good. Better than I remember either the HDF or SDL zooms being at that high a mag. It will come in very useful for those occasions when I need extra reach for distant waders.

I also tried the HDF 40859 giving 50x mag but the difference in the dof compared to the 44x seemed huge and made focussing the 50x very tricky.

Once again, thanks everyone.
Martin
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