Jump to content

Walking on the Moon

Who's Got a Baader Zoom?


Recommended Posts

Hi to all you folks who have a Baader Hyperion 8-24mm Mk 1V Zooom eyepiece.

I'm on the verge of purchasing a 12" Dobsonian and want to start with a decent zoom before getting one or two good quality longer and shorter eyepieces to complete the range.

Please give me your opinions of the Baader, does it live up to the hype? Will it work well with the Dob? Should I save $150 and go with the Vixen LV? etc.etc.....

Your thoughts are welcome.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a Mk3 which I believe is optically the same as Mk4 and overall it is a fairly decent EP if you can forgive some of the limitations one of which is the fairly narrow field of view at 24mm. I use mine for the rapid grab n go set up (72 and 80mm refractors) where time and space in the bag is restricted so for longer sessions with the bigger scopes normal EPs are used. I have found it to be decent for planets and lunar plus use it for solar viewing as well and with the dedicated barlow/adapters it all works rather well. Not everyone's cup of tea of course and I don't use it with my 6 inch reflector or 9.25 SCT preferring individual EPs with them. Have to say it would not be my first choice for a 12 inch dob, but as an all round useful EP for grab n go or travelling it is ideal.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've owned a Mk II and a couple of Mk III Baader zooms. They were all pretty good eyepieces - probably about as good as a decent plossl eyepiece in terms of optical quality. I found that good quality fixed focal length eyepieces performed slightly better in terms of contrast, edge of field sharpness, light scatter and ghosting and ultimately in transmission on deep sky objects. The ability to instantly change the magnification is significant though and needs to be set against any slight performance issues. I concluded that the zoom was a very useful eyepiece to have in the toolbox but I'd not want it as my sole eyepiece. These comments include performace in my 12" F/5.3 dobsonian. 

The AFoV of the Mk III zoom has been measured (independantly) as follows:

at 8mm  = Afov 70°
at 12mm = Afov 58°
at 16mm = Afov 52°
at 20mm = Afov 49°
at 24mm = Afov 42°

The above figures seem to tally with comparisons that I've done with reputable fixed focal length eyepieces. I believe that the Mk IV is the same but I've not used one of those personally.

I tended to use mine as 20mm - 8mm zooms because of the narrow AFoV at 24mm.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have two of them. :happy11: I've compared with the larger, heavier, arguably higher-grade Pentax XL and it was too close to call. It's a great utility eyepiece, great for travel.

All zoom eyepieces have inherent limitations, and the elephant in this particular room is the narrow FOV at the 24mm setting. If I could really (really really) have only one eyepiece...I would cry. :grin: But the Baader's relatively compact size and low weight combined with the quality of views and versatility make for great value.

Mind you, the Vixen has its following as well, but I've not tried it myself.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I confess to having the Pentax XL zoom - bought in a FLO sale in Jan. Like it's chunkiness. I would however use a Vixen for travel as it's lighter & less expensive. 

Baader zooms seem to be popular with bino viewer users being slim. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

having owned the mark 2 and 3, the mark 4 is lighter and in my view the contrast is a tad better, i use mine on all subjects, it works very well at the longer F , great with my 102 f11 and quark for HA vis a tad better than a plossl and its nice to zoom into a AR or prom. charl.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I 've posted a photo in show us your setup in action, where I was trying to hunt Jupiter between the clouds, using a baader zoom. For those times of tracking a small target at high mag, and your target escapes your fov, the ability to zoom out momentarily to relocate it, is simply priceless!!

It's a great eyepiece with no kidney been or black outs.Go for it!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've got a mk4 but it is specifically used for short sessions with small scopes and when there isn't space to take a set of eyepieces. I have also done a bit of bird spotting with it although that was just because I could. It's also handy for outreach.

The zoom isn't as good as my fixed eps (which are mainly SLVs and delos), and I won't use it when fixed eps are an option, but it is super convenient and it does therefore get used.

Where it mainly falls short of my fixed eps are poorer scatter control from bright light sources, especially if they are just outside of the field of view, shorter eyerelief, smaller apparent field of view at the longer focal length settings,  and edge of field  field curvature at the longer focal length settings. It seems to be optimised for the 8mm end of its range.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, LukeSkywatcher said:

Love Vixen products. If it saves you money, its a no brainer.......the Vixen.

Not sure if FLO still has Vixen LV zoom eps, but Telescope House has for £149. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have the Mk III and Mk IV and use them all the time as I tend to use relatively compact setups like the WO ZS66SD and the ST102.

I personally find the Mk IV the better of my two as I find the zoom action on the Mk III quite stiff in comparison.

Optically I can't see any difference between the two, which is good as I understand that they are identical optically.

As others have stated, the AFOV is quite narrow at 24mm though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Paz said:

I've got a mk4 but it is specifically used for short sessions with small scopes and when there isn't space to take a set of eyepieces. I have also done a bit of bird spotting with it although that was just because I could. It's also handy for outreach.

The zoom isn't as good as my fixed eps (which are mainly SLVs and delos), and I won't use it when fixed eps are an option, but it is super convenient and it does therefore get used.

Where it mainly falls short of my fixed eps are poorer scatter control from bright light sources, especially if they are just outside of the field of view, shorter eyerelief, smaller apparent field of view at the longer focal length settings,  and edge of field  field curvature at the longer focal length settings. It seems to be optimised for the 8mm end of its range.

Strangely, my Baader zoom isnt so good at the 8mm end of its range. I find the focus a bit "soft/blurred slightly" compared to the rest of the range. For that reason, i always have a fixed length 8mm with me. I mainly use 8mm for planets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Always think zooms are for spotting scopes primarily. Or budget binoculars. 

Even the Zeiss & Leica are meant for their own spotting scopes (or microscopes). Easy to tell in some cases, as a magnification value is on the zoom ring which would relate to a particular focal length scope the zoom is intended for use with. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a Baader MKIII zoom, I tend to use it in my larger telescopes due to its size and weight. I will sometimes use it during planetary sessions, to find the magnification that offers up the most magnification, although I'm using the Baader MKIII less and less in that capacity. For serious observations its fixed eyepieces everytime.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use the Celestron Regal zoom both for mono viewing and binoviewing.  It has a very smooth and light zoom action with very good edge correction at f/6 (but certainly not perfect).  It does require slight refocussing during zooming.  It's AFOV varies from 44 degrees at 24mm to 63 degrees at 8mm.  The change in AFOV is very linear.  I can't detect any stalls or jumps in size while zooming.  Usable eye relief with the eyecup screwed off is about 14mm throughout the range.  I have no trouble taking in the entire view with eyeglasses.  The eyecup rotates up and down very smootly if you don't need the extra eye relief.  The top does not rotate during zooming, unlike the Baader Hyperion zoom, so winged eyecups can be used when binoviewing with them.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is my Vixen LV zoom. Japanese made. Neat, sweet, relatively petite, and has good eye relief right through. 

The rubber eyecup is soft but not floppy. 

Nice size for bino viewing. Smooth ungrooved stem. No click stops for the focal lengths so you need to look at the dial. 

IMG_20180515_103330.jpg

IMG_20180515_103414.jpg

IMG_20180515_103444.jpg

IMG_20180515_103749.jpg

IMG_20180515_103457.jpg

IMG_20180515_103509.jpg

IMG_20180515_103616.jpg

Edited by 25585
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

All the zooms I've owned have had click stops but you could position them at any point in between them. I'm not conviced that you really need click stops though :icon_scratch:

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, John said:

All the zooms I've owned have had click stops but you could position them at any point in between them. I'm not conviced that you really need click stops though :icon_scratch:

For binoviewing, I zoom them simultaneously, and then do a fine adjustment on one to match the other.  It's pretty obvious when the two match powers.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.