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johninderby

Baader 2" Cool-Ceramic Safety Herschel Wedge - First Light

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Baader 2" Cool-Ceramic Safety Herschel Wedge - First Light

The Baader Hershel wedge arrived today and and the skies were clear and blue :) and there were some good visible sunspots so I was able to test it out right away. :(

This latest version from Baader uses their ceramic backplate to absorb the sun's energy and also has a magnesium body to improve heat conduction. The solar heat and light are diffused harmlessly within the body of the wedge and indeed after using the wedge for an hour the body wasn't even noticeably warm to the touch. It uses a precision 2" Zeiss wedge prism, and incorporates a permanently pre-installed ND=3.0 filter in the wedge housing. A 2" Solar Continuum Filter is supplied as well. An image of the sun is projected onto a translucent ceramic backplate which acts as a built in solar finder. It's no gimmick and works extremely well. Build quality is typical Baader with beautiful fit and finish. A 2" clicklock eyepiece holder is standard.

But now to the important bit, actually testing it out. I fitted it to my TS80/480 FPL-53 triplet and used a 6mm Ethos eyepiece. Using the built in finder it only took a few seconds to bring the sun into view. I was immediately struck by the sharper, clearer and more detailed image compared to my old A&E SolarVue wedge. Perhaps not surprising as the Baader wedge cost twice as much. I then tried several other eyepieces but settled on the 3.7mm SX Ethos which gave the best overall views. I also tried it with my FLT98 but I couldn't tell the difference and so went back to the TS80.

The Solar Continuum filter does help and slightly improves contrast and detail. I also got the Baader 2" polarising filter. After trying the wedge with and without the polarising filter I consider it a necessity as it lets you fine tune contrast and brightness for the best detail. There are two versions of the Baader wedge, the visual and the photographic, but the only difference between the two is that the photographic version comes with three extra ND filters.

The Baader wedge is expensive but it really delivers on on it's reputation of being the best Hershel wedge available. It's certainly given me the best white light solar views I've ever had. The TS80 & Baader wedge make a great white light set-up to go along on my Skytee 2 mount and the Lunt60 Ha B1200.

John

Edited by johninderby

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Wish I got a 2" version of the Vixen now instead of the 1.25" with the NickH solar mod and now this option. :eek::)

I did note that the description for this states that the scope should not have a field flattener - not that I'd subject the Pentax's optics to direct solar observation with the wedge at the back deflecting the energy.

Edited by NickK

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Wish I got a 2" version of the Vixen now instead of the 1.25" with the NickH solar mod and now this option. :eek::)

I did note that the description for this states that the scope should not have a field flattener - not that I'd subject the Pentax's optics to direct solar observation with the wedge at the back deflecting the energy.

While there is no problem with the objective end of the scope as the suns rays aren't focused there, and so there is no heat build up, by the time it gets to a field flattener there could be enough heat to damage it if it had cemented elements.

The Baader wedge absorbs all the energy and there is none going back to the OTA.

John

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You might have made yourself very unpopular with this review, John, particularly amongst astronomers' other halves :eek:

I'm currently writing up a list of why my Baader film at under 10% of the cost isn;t good enough :)

Looks like an excellent bit of kit, but that price tag puts me off somewhat.

Andrew

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While there is no problem with the objective end of the scope as the suns rays aren't focused there, and so there is no heat build up, by the time it gets to a field flattener there could be enough heat to damage it if it had cemented elements.

The Baader wedge absorbs all the energy and there is none going back to the OTA.

John

I still worry about bleaching coatings rather than the lenses but that's just me. The Pentax has a non-removable inbuilt flattener burried inside the OTA and it's not held in place by the outside wall of the OTA hence any heat build up will not be transferred easily.. but moving on..

The Vixen has 910mm focal length which really gives great views of the sun! I had a look through NickH's modded vixen at SGL6 and with a webcam the options for imaging is there too!

Can't afford it at the moment.. replacement laptop, then imaging cam+SW 80 guide scope.. then I'll think about solar!

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You might have made yourself very unpopular with this review, John, particularly amongst astronomers' other halves :eek:

I'm currently writing up a list of why my Baader film at under 10% of the cost isn't good enough :)

Looks like an excellent bit of kit, but that price tag puts me off somewhat.

Andrew

Expensive yes, but as they say you get what you pay for. Why is it that the really good stuff costs so much though :(

I've thought about getting the Baader wedge for the past year and have tried to convince myself that it's not really worth it but I'm weak and couldn't resist any longer. I don't really need to eat until September do I :icon_salut:

John

NB

Surprisingly I've managed not to include any quotes from Star Trek Voyager. :BangHead:

Edited by johninderby

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I really fancied one of these before opting for a dedicated Ha scope (on order but not likely to arrive until the end of May!!!) maybe later once my wallet has recovered I'll look at this again. Would like to see it in my TV85 maybe next to the LS80 someday??

Cheers

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I really fancied one of these before opting for a dedicated Ha scope (on order but not likely to arrive until the end of May!!!) maybe later once my wallet has recovered I'll look at this again. Would like to see it in my TV85 maybe next to the LS80 someday??

Cheers

Arriving the end of May you say, so I'd better get in my solar observing now before it clouds over for the summer. :)

I did some testing with the wedge using the TS80/480 and the FLT98 and I thought the extra aperture would be an advantage but it wasn't so it looks like the TV85s aperture would be well matched to the wedge.

BTW every time I use the TS80/480 I can't help thinking that the optics can't be this good for the money I paid for it. :eek:

John

PS

I wonder how this would be for solar use?

http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/language/en/info/p1958_TS-Planeten-Refraktor-102-1100mm-F-11---2--Crayford-Mikro.html

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Hi John,

It looks like an interesting bit of kit. I'm very interested in white light imaging, both as the days get longer and as we approach solar maximum.

I'm considering one of these for my 80ED DS Pro for imaging with a DSLR. Would you happen to the know the path length or whether there would be enough back focus to use it with a DSLR?

Cheers

Ian

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Hi Ian

It works brilliantly. I had been observing mainly in Ha lately, but with the Baader wedge white light has become interesting again as there's simply more to see. :D

Yes it's an expensive piece of kit, but if it's getting plenty of use then to me that makes it good value.

Cheers

John

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John,

Did you get this through TS then?

I can't seem to find a UK supplier

Cheers

Yes I did get it from TS as they were slightly cheaper, and delivery would be in 2 working days. Usual top-notch Telescope Service sevice.:D

In the UK there's 365astronomy, Greenwich and SCS Astro although I think that they don't actually stock them but get them to order.

John

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Does anyone have a side by side image comparison of the sun using a (low cost) Baader film filter and the Herschel wedge. It would be great to see the difference between the two.

Thanks

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Unfortunately I don't have any side by side images for comparison.

The best analogy I can think of in terms of image quality would be comparing a Nagler and Ethos side by side. The Ethos is just that step better in sharpness and contrast.

The Baader film is very, very good though, and you can't beat in terms of value for money.

John

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Sorry John, I'm relatively new to all this and I don't understand the comparison you've made there.

Here is a white light image of some sun spots made a few weeks ago using Baader film (not sure of the density etc). Would a Herschel wedge give an improved image? Using Nexstar 4SE.

Thanks

Stu.

post-26257-133877600871_thumb.jpg

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Sorry John, I'm relatively new to all this and I don't understand the comparison you've made there.

Here is a white light image of some sun spots made a few weeks ago using Baader film (not sure of the density etc). Would a Herschel wedge give an improved image? Using Nexstar 4SE.

Thanks

Stu.

I was just trying make the comparison that an eyepiece such as an Ethos gives a bit better view than even a top quality eyepiece such as a Televue Nagler. It's just sharper with more contrast.

The Hershel wedge can only be used with a refractor so unfortunately it can't be used with a reflecting mirror type scope such as your 4SE Mak. With your scope a front aperture solar filter is the only one you can use and I think the Baader is best of any readily available.

BTW that image of yours is really good. :D

John

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Cheers John,

Understood. I would plan to use the Herschel wedge with a Vixen 80 refractor, but I was just wondering if the wedge would give an improved level of definition (i.e granulation detail) which is somewhat lacking in mine taken with the Baader film and 4SE.

I don't think I'll rush out and buy a wedge, but maybe something to consider in the future.

Thanks for your comments.

Stu.

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A good wedge isn't cheap :D but it is a bit better than the film so if you're after that last bit of granulation and sunspot detail it's the way to go.

John

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A good wedge isn't cheap :D but it is a bit better than the film so if you're after that last bit of granulation and sunspot detail it's the way to go.

Indeed. Unless you're a dedicated solar observer the film is probably good enough ... a good wedge is getting you maybe 10% more performance at 10x the price. But then that's the way of things when you demand "the ultimate".

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Indeed. Unless you're a dedicated solar observer the film is probably good enough ... a good wedge is getting you maybe 10% more performance at 10x the price. But then that's the way of things when you demand "the ultimate".

Agreed, it's that last 10% that does the real damage to your bank account. :D

John

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I'll put up with the 90% I think :D

That's a cracking shot Stu. :p I'd be very happy with that :(

Edited by Gina

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