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TeleVue Nagler Zoom 3-6mm/Pro or Con?

Started by erikdlin, 07/07/2003 12:44PM
Posted 07/07/2003 12:44PM Opening Post
My friend loaned me his Orion premium 8-24mm Zoom and 2X Shorty Plus barlow for my 6"F/8 AP triplet. Since it's been quite hazy in the North East when it's not raining I have spend a lot of time viewing the moon and double stars. I have had a lot of fun with the above combo zooming in and out between 150-300X. I like been able to change magnification instantly to match sky conditions.

Since I only have an average quality 6mm Plossl I was thinking of getting a premium high power EP such as a 4/5 or 6mm TV Radian. Then I re-read the favorable revews of TV 3-6 mm zoom on CloudyNights as well as very favorable user comments on A T &W. It seems TV 3-6mm can equal or better the performance of Radians if one can live with slightly narrower FOV and shorter eyerelief.( I don't need glasses to observe). The TV zoom is about half the size of 4 & 6mm Radians and cost $100 less than buying two of them. The zoom will give me between 200-400X in my scope without ever needing a barlow. Since it takes three trips in and out of the house to haul my 5 ft OTA, mount and counter weights before I can start observing I would prefer to carry fewer EPs.

Is there any reason I shouldn't go ahead with the 3-6mm zoom?

Erik D
Posted 07/07/2003 12:53PM #1
I have the 3-6 zoom and find it a very handy piece of equipment. The field is kind of narrow, but you would not use if for extended objects anyway.
Some people get frustrated with them, some people love them, some people sell them and re-buy them months later.....
I like mine in my TV85 and Pronto. I've had little time with my Portaball, but should get a chance this summer vacation.
Try it. They come up on Astromart every now and then for around $300. If you decide you don't like it, they sell very quickly!
Clear Skies,
Posted 07/07/2003 01:59PM #2
Hello there Erik,

There's a good write up comparing it to several eyepieces.

Ron B[ee]

Posted 07/07/2003 02:03PM #3
I'm fairly happy with mine. Its convenient to have
only one planetary eyepiece instead of 4+. I just
keep it in my favorite scope ready to observe.
Only bug I've found is that you sometimes end up
rotating the eyepiece instead of zooming, unless the
lock screw in your 1.25" adapter (or diagonal)
is quite tight. The eyerelief is tight, in case
that bothers you. I'm used to orthos, so its OK.

The there's my observing buddy who has a love-hate
relationship with this eyepiece. I think hes
bought and sold 3 of them. The eyerelief thing
seems to bother him more than it does me.
Posted 07/07/2003 03:18PM #4
I would recommend that you try one or buy it used. I bought one and sold it after 2 months. I used it in a Pronto and a MN56 Mak-Newt.

I used it exclusively for lunar and planetary observing and found that the 3 mm position was useless. I compared it to the 4, 5, and 6mm Orthos and found that it was not as sharp. I sold it and now my collection consists of a 4mm and 5mm orthos and a 6mm Clave. I don't wear glasses so the eye-relief is not a problem. What's important is sharpness. For high power lunar and planetary, my 6mm Clave is the first one I reach for.

You may find that the 3-6 Nagler zoom is fine for your purpose.

Nat C.
Posted 07/08/2003 08:32AM #5
I have one and have never regretted the purchase. It is so darned convenient not to have to change eyepieces and have the ability to instantly match the magnification with the seeing conditions. In terms of it's sharpness, the only other high-power lens I own is a Meade 4.7 Ultrawide, and it is at least as sharp as that.
Posted 07/08/2003 10:30AM #6
I had one for awhile, and I liked it, but 10mm of eye relief isn't as luxurious as it sounds when you consider that the casing design with the eye lens flush doesn't do anything to prevent getting eyelash oil on it. I would have preferred less effective eye relief (for eyeglasses), say 8mm of effective eye relief with 2mm of recess. I think that would have gone a long way to keeping it clean.
Posted 07/08/2003 11:24AM #7
I like the EP in refractors as it maintains focus as you change focal lengths.

Very innovative but seems so small for the $380 cost it demands.

Paul Atkinson
Posted 07/08/2003 01:09PM #8
I have mixed feelings about my 3-6mm Nagler. Most of the reports that I've seen state that the best orthoscopics provide better images (I haven't had a chance to do any direct comparisons myself) but the convenience of the zoom is hard to beat. I find the eye relief to be adequate.

Dave Mitsky

Chance favors the prepared mind.

De gustibus non est disputandum.