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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Spotting scopes for use with 1.25" eyepieces? (1 Viewer)

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
After years of using catadioptric SkyWatcher scopes for birding, I am finally cracking to the idea of buying an actual spotting scope - mainly due to me slowly becoming rich enough that the costs of the better scopes aren't so outrageous to me anymore. The SkyWatchers were fine, but the catadioptric design has inherent limitations for daytime use due to parasitic light that simply cannot be overcome by any other means than buying a lens-based scope instead.

However considering the fact that I have a nice selection of astronomical eyepieces, buying a "scope+eyepiece" set, with a custom eyepiece mount (not compatible with 1.25"), as is the case for most spotting scopes, seems a little bit wasteful. Are there any reasonable spotting scopes that accept 1.25" eyepieces? I have high-end 82 deg fov eyepieces at 14 and 9 mm and a slightly narrower 6 mm eyepiece - this seems to be the appropriate range of focal lengths considering the typical parameters of spotting scopes. If there are such scopes, are they 45-deg angled or at least do they have enough backfocus for a 45-deg element? I would like to avoid both direct and 90-deg observation, as I have already experienced and heavily disliked both :)

I tried to look this up online, but without much success, so this is probably a rather arcane request and I'll be probably forced to buy a normal scope with eyepieces anyway, but it's worth the try ...
 
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Binastro

Well-known member
Hi Opisska,

Have a look at Optical Vision Ltd site.
I think there are several spotting scopes, maybe some with ED glass that take astro eyepieces.

I don't think that any take 2 inch fit eyepieces.

Also I don't know if all eyepieces will reach focus if the scope has an optical sealing window.

Regards,
B.
 

Binastro

Well-known member
Acuter Grandvista 45 degree scopes accept 1.25 inch fit astro eyepieces.

In ED 80mm and non ED up to 100mm aperture.

You could ask them if the eyepieces you have come to focus at infinity and are not vignetted.

More expensive scopes also sometimes have astro eyepiece adapters.

B.
 

Binastro

Well-known member
I use Sherwoods, but I don't know if they ship abroad or take off VAT.

There are other suppliers, maybe even more local to you.

Regards,
B.
 

Binastro

Well-known member
OVL have a dealer in your location, but not for Skywatcher or Acuter products.

I presume that there is another local dealer for these two products.

Regards,
B.
 

jmepler

It's just a flesh wound.
Most of the Pentax and Celestron scopes us 1.25" astronomical eyepieces. Kowa also makes an adapter to use them as well. There are aftermarket adapters for many other brands.
 

Blue72

Well-known member
If you don’t need waterproofing….the televue 60 is great as a spotting scope. With reviews outperforming alpha spotting scopes
 

henry link

Well-known member
A good specimen of the Nikon Monarch82 ED is optically equal or superior to any current spotting scope of similar aperture regardless of price.

There is a long discussion about adapting that scope for use with 1.25" eyepieces starting with post #116 in this thread.

 

Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
Hello,

I have an adapter for 1.25" eyepieces for my Zeiss 'scope. Check the catalogue to see if the newer 'scopes have such an adapter

Stay safe,
Arthur
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
So there are in principle adapters for a lot of scopes? I would be generally afraid of getting enough backfocus unless the original eyepiece mount is broad enough that the 1.25" goes deep inside of it.
 

BKoh

Member
Singapore
After years of using catadioptric SkyWatcher scopes for birding, I am finally cracking to the idea of buying an actual spotting scope - mainly due to me slowly becoming rich enough that the costs of the better scopes aren't so outrageous to me anymore. The SkyWatchers were fine, but the catadioptric design has inherent limitations for daytime use due to parasitic light that simply cannot be overcome by any other means than buying a lens-based scope instead.

However considering the fact that I have a nice selection of astronomical eyepieces, buying a "scope+eyepiece" set, with a custom eyepiece mount (not compatible with 1.25"), as is the case for most spotting scopes, seems a little bit wasteful. Are there any reasonable spotting scopes that accept 1.25" eyepieces? I have high-end 82 deg fov eyepieces at 14 and 9 mm and a slightly narrower 6 mm eyepiece - this seems to be the appropriate range of focal lengths considering the typical parameters of spotting scopes. If there are such scopes, are they 45-deg angled or at least do they have enough backfocus for a 45-deg element? I would like to avoid both direct and 90-deg observation, as I have already experienced and heavily disliked both :)

I tried to look this up online, but without much success, so this is probably a rather arcane request and I'll be probably forced to buy a normal scope with eyepieces anyway, but it's worth the try ...

To my knowledge there are a few spotting scopes that accept 1.25" astronomical eyepieces without needing adapters:

1. Celestron Trailseeker 65/80/100mm spotting scopes
2. Celestron Regal 65/80/100mm spotting scopes
3. Pentax 65/80/100mm spotting scopes
4. Svbony SV406P 65/80mm ED spotting scopes
5. Orion Grandview 80mm ED spotting scope

I own the Svbony SV406P 80mm ED spotting scope, I use it regularly for both birding and astronomy. The stock 8-24mm eyepiece (20-60x) is good, its only weakness (like most zooms) is a narrow FOV at 24mm. I got around that by buying additional astronomical eyepieces. Your high-end eyepieces should work very well in it. On Amazon Japan one of the reviewers for the SV406P used some Televue eyepieces (24mm Panoptic, 9/13mm Naglers). You may want to read those reviews yourself (Amazon's auto translate works well enough).

In another thread I posted some pictures of birds, insects and the moon taken through the scope using my smartphone:


In my most recent pictures I could capture the fuzz on a dragonfly's body at 60x, so I think the scope is plenty sharp. No CA in visual use.
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

there are spotting scopes which can't be adapted to 1.25" easily because the eyepiece mount is smaller than the 1.25" barrel. In those cases the barrel needs to be removed (only in cases where the barrel does not contain glass, like an integral barlow element).

The ones you can buy an adapter for are wide enough.

But of course the question of backfocus (or rather lack of it) remains. Not all eyepieces will focus to infinity. Neither on adapted spotters nor on those which take 1.25" by default. The focus travel in a spotter is too short.

Best check cloudynights for experiences what might work... and then maybe use focal plane data for different EPs as sometimes published by EP manufacturers (Televue and Explore Scientific come to mind) to find other safe models from the ones tested there...

Joachim
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
My 9 is a Nagler and the 14 mm is ES and I have already seen people getting good results with both in several of the mentioned scopes, so this seems fine. The Pentaxes are basically impossible to buy in the Czech Republic now, as well as some of the more unusual brands (and I am not a big fan of overseas delivery and dealing with customs) the 60 mm Televue seems to bit a bit small in aperture, so I am basically thinking whether to just get the Celestron Regal 80, despite having a little bit of bias against Celestron, or the splurge more for the Monarch - the sad thing is that I could almost surely get the best price for in the country for both at my friend's astronomy optics shop (he has both in stock) - but he just decided to fall ill and close the day I decided to start shopping for a telescope!
 

Tringa45

Well-known member
Europe
I have played with various astronomical eyepieces and adapters on Zeiss Diascope, Swarovski ATM (=ATS) and Kowa 883.
Of these the Kowa with the thumb-screw adapter, which adds 5 mm to the eyepiece mount, was the only one to give problems with infinity focus with Baader Eudiascopic and Vixen NLV and very little reserve with an Edmund RKE.
Televue Plössl, Panoptic and Nagler Type 6 had large reserves of back focus and even more on the Swarovski ATM with a replica of the original Swarovski astro adapter.
An astro adapter is offered for the Zeiss Conquest Gavia and this looks as if it would also fit the bayonet mount of the Swarovki ATS. I believe the Gavia is made by Kamakura and they also made other scopes (Zen Ray?) with a Swarovski bayonet mount.
According to others here, most of the 45° so-called Amici prisms for astronomical telescopes are of mediocre quality and only suitable for moderate magnifications. The only good correct image prism is from Baader Planetarium, but it's 90° and expensive.

John

PS:- Televue offer a 60° 1 1/4" dielectric mirror diagonal if you're still happy with reversed image.
 
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opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
Wow that's good accidental intel! Because I was considering also getting a 45 prism for the Skywatcher to improve its ergonomics - now it doesn't seem like such a good idea anymore. I am using a 90 deg mirror with it, which is optically good - and I don't mind the reverse image, but the angle is just not comfortable.
 

GeorgeL

Well-known member
That’s too bad Pentax is not available where you’re at. The scope comes with a solid, 1.25” twist collar mount, no EP adapter required. I have both the angled and straight scopes. And at bargain prices, IMO, here in the US.
All my EP’s…..Explore Scientifics, Pentax XWs, Celestrons, and several other generics all reach focus.
 

Binastro

Well-known member
Hi Opisska,

Hopefully your friend will get well again.
Has he a partner in the business able to open the shop?

I think that the Celestron Regal 80 may be the same as the Acuter Grandvista 80ED, possibly with slightly different coatings.

The warranty period is also important.

Also any mechanical problems.

Are there any astro adapters for Meopta scopes?

Regards,
B.
 

tenex

reality-based
Hi Jan, congratulations on improved circumstances, and do consider the Meopta S2. It's a very nice scope (as many here attest) and they make a 1.25" astro adapter for it (which I have) that bayonets right into the eyepiece mount and works very well, which can be seen on the B&H website here in the USA. There is of course a limit to how wide-field an eyepiece can be used without vignetting, which was discussed in an earlier thread here. My notes from that say the 16mm Nagler vignettes, 17.5 Morpheus doesn't. And if you do want a waterproof zoom eyepiece eventually, both Meoptas are excellent. Good hunting!
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

as for amici prisms, Televue used to offer a 1.25" 45 deg one which was not too shabby, but you would have to be lucky to get it used...

Maybe you could wait for your friend to recover... that way you get a great price, support his business, have plenty of time to consider your options and try the scopes and can enjoy that sweet anticipation...

Joachim
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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