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1.25" eyepieces: XW14, Barlows, and zooms..

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Category: Other Optics
Forum Name: Spotting Scopes
Forum Description: Big Eye Optics
URL: http://www.opticstalk.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=41161
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Topic: 1.25" eyepieces: XW14, Barlows, and zooms..
Posted By: freediver111
Subject: 1.25" eyepieces: XW14, Barlows, and zooms..
Date Posted: January/30/2015 at 12:35
So I replaced my Luepy GR 50mm spotter with a Pentax EDII 65mm a month ago. 
First off, great decision. Looking through the Leupy at 30X was not very good, especially compared to the EDII. I bought the EDII used with an XW14 eyepiece. 

Likes: The view is awesome, super crisp and bright with a huge FOV. 

Dislikes: Once in a while I would like a little more zoom, but really I'm splitting hairs since I don't really need more zoom, although my brain is trying to convince me otherwise.  

I've been doing some research and stumbled across a mod you can do to a GSO 2x Barlow to make it work to full focus on a Pentax. I bought one, made the slight mod, and began testing it out. 

Thoughts: With the lower Barlow lens unscrewed and screwed into the XW14 it yields a very acceptable 40X, although the little extra zoom is hardly that much of a boost to consider it a big improvement. 
When using the full Barlow tube, getting a magnification at 56X, the view is rather bad. A little too dark and fuzzy. 

Now I'm thinking about getting a zoom eyepiece instead of the Barlow and carry the XW14 with me, and if need be, use a zoom for a little more oomph. 
The issue is that I always see bad reviews for zoom lenses. My thoughts were to either buy a Celestron zoom at $60, a Vixen 8-24mm zoom for $180, or a Pentax XF 6.5-19.5mm that yields 20-60X at a cost of $250 or so. 

Is all of this ridiculous? Am I just overthinking all of this? I have a sneaking suspicion I should jut forgo the zoom. I don't have a ton of experience with spotters, so my knowledge is limited. I know if I purchased a $2500 Swaro I could attain perfectly acceptable views at 60X, but something tells me I should forget about that notion with a Pentax 65mm. I'm just trying to get a good feel for what are reasonable expectations for this spotter. 

Thoughts? 







Replies:
Posted By: timberbuck
Date Posted: February/22/2015 at 16:38
65mmm scopes are really only going to be useful up to about 45x because of limitations of light or mirage in the air.

Look at the Pentax XF 8.5mm fixed eyepiece designed for your scope if you want more magnification. Smaller and lighter to carry around than a zoom.

Shop around, I have seen them as low as $100



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