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[settled] 12 mm Planetary Eyepiece. Ortho or Zoom?


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1 hour ago, John said:

I think the 7.2 - 21.5mm zooms do offer a bit more performance un-barlowed than the Seben / Celestron / Skywatcher / whatever 8-24 zooms, personally.

As this seems to me to be in response to my own remarks, I happily and wholeheartedly defer to your judgement on the matter. Let it be so, that the Hyperflex is an improvement over the Seben. :happy11:

In the interest of our original poster Alex, and his quest for improved planetary performance at 12mm, I personally wouldn't recommend the Hyperflex (which I did like very much, myself) as a significant upgrade to his Seben. However, if you would, I would be happy and interested to know.

Specifically, has the unbarlowed performance of the Hyperflex grown on you? :icon_biggrin:

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If you mount tracks, then a narrower eyepiece would work fine. If your mount doesn't track, a wider eyepiece will help keep the planet in the field. If you wear glasses, you have no choice a

I had my first observing session last night (for the 2020-2021 season), a short one, but the 10mm BCO is my go-to eyepiece for PN (once I've located them) and would be great on planets I'd think. I do

Right. No pressure, then. From my own experience, close to 12mm (I won't spoil the web-window-shopping by putting in all the specs here): A little too long... 13mm Tele Vue Ethos: Fant

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27 minutes ago, iPeace said:

As this seems to me to be in response to my own remarks, I happily and wholeheartedly defer to your judgement on the matter. Let it be so, that the Hyperflex is an improvement over the Seben. :happy11:

In the interest of our original poster Alex, and his quest for improved planetary performance at 12mm, I personally wouldn't recommend the Hyperflex (which I did like very much, myself) as a significant upgrade to his Seben. However, if you would, I would be happy and interested to know.

Specifically, has the unbarlowed performance of the Hyperflex grown on you? :icon_biggrin:

No deference needed - we can simply agree to disagree on this :smiley:

 

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I’ve found that there isn’t much difference between the 7.2 - 21.5 zoom and the Baader zoom plus it’s a lot smaller and lighter. Definately a step up in performance over the Celestron / Seben etc. 

Edited by johninderby
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1 hour ago, John said:

No deference needed - we can simply agree to disagree on this :smiley:

 

 

1 hour ago, johninderby said:

I’ve found that there isn’t much difference between the 7.2 - 21.5 zoom and the Baader zoom plus it’s a lot smaller and lighter. Definately a step up in performance over the Celestron / Seben etc. 

Well, @alex_stars , it's a very compelling option at the price:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/ovl-eyepieces/hyperflex-72mm-215mm-eyepiece.html

I really like the Hyperflex and Baader zooms. They work very well indeed. Admittedly, they didn't come to my mind for someone specifically seeking planetary performance at 12mm.

I admire the way you're going about determining what it is you seek, very methodical. Good luck and hope to read about it.

:happy11:

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Hi all,

the Hyperflex does sound like an upgrade option in the "sharper and more contrast" segment. Eye relief is a bit less but at 15mm still very comfortable I guess. (Not sure if my Seben is actually at 20 mm).

Now regarding the suggested 7.2-21.5 Zoom, I seem to find a confusing variation of specs on different sellers homepages:

  • Skywatcher Hyperflex 7E1: 60-40 FOV, 7 lenses - 4 groups, weight 190 g
  • Auriga version: 60-40 FOV, 7 lenses - 4 groups
  • Orion version: 60-40 FOV, 7lenses - 4 groups, weight 170 g
  • Omegon "premium" version: 53-40 FOV, 7 lenses - 4 groups
  • TS-Optics "premium" version: 53-40 FOV, 7 lenses - 4 groups, weight 170 g
  • Lunt Solar Systems version: 53-40 FOV, 7 lenses - 4 groups

Hmm. All the above are reported to have 15 mm eye relief.

And then there is the other version, Hyperflex 7E2 with a 9-27mm zoom range, 60-40 FOV, also 7 lenses - 4 groups, and a reported eye relief of 18 mm. This 9-27mm zoom I found also from Auriga, where it is labeled with 15 mm eye relief. And nobody seems to know anything about that as I read:

https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/204638-skywatcher-hyperflex-9-27mm-zoom/

Does anybody know why there are different FOV specs for the 7.2-21.5 zoom? Interestingly the 53-40 FOV ones are consistently higher priced....

 

 

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52 minutes ago, alex_stars said:

the Hyperflex does sound like an upgrade option in the "sharper and more contrast" segment.

Just to be totally clear, it's not my recommendation, I respect that others are attentive enough to mention it as an option. I'll leave off now. :happy11:

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2 hours ago, alex_stars said:

Hi all,

the Hyperflex does sound like an upgrade option in the "sharper and more contrast" segment. Eye relief is a bit less but at 15mm still very comfortable I guess. (Not sure if my Seben is actually at 20 mm).

Now regarding the suggested 7.2-21.5 Zoom, I seem to find a confusing variation of specs on different sellers homepages:

  • Skywatcher Hyperflex 7E1: 60-40 FOV, 7 lenses - 4 groups, weight 190 g
  • Auriga version: 60-40 FOV, 7 lenses - 4 groups
  • Orion version: 60-40 FOV, 7lenses - 4 groups, weight 170 g
  • Omegon "premium" version: 53-40 FOV, 7 lenses - 4 groups
  • TS-Optics "premium" version: 53-40 FOV, 7 lenses - 4 groups, weight 170 g
  • Lunt Solar Systems version: 53-40 FOV, 7 lenses - 4 groups

Hmm. All the above are reported to have 15 mm eye relief.

And then there is the other version, Hyperflex 7E2 with a 9-27mm zoom range, 60-40 FOV, also 7 lenses - 4 groups, and a reported eye relief of 18 mm. This 9-27mm zoom I found also from Auriga, where it is labeled with 15 mm eye relief. And nobody seems to know anything about that as I read:

https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/204638-skywatcher-hyperflex-9-27mm-zoom/

Does anybody know why there are different FOV specs for the 7.2-21.5 zoom? Interestingly the 53-40 FOV ones are consistently higher priced....

 

 

Specs are often quoted inaccurately I'm afraid. Even the Baader 8-24 zoom has proved to differ in actuality from the Baader specs in terms of field of view offered.

 

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I've often wondered whether the hyperflex zoom is a clone of the Nikon zoom MC2.

I have the MC1 version, which is 21-9mm and unbarlowed, it performs slightly better than the Vixen SLV I had, which to my eye, were on par with TV Delos, apart from fov and colour tone. For the latter, I preferred the SLV.

A combo that I found to work really well is: low power / large fov ep, zoom, Barlow.

I regularly use two of these combos:

1) 2" combo: 30mm APM UFF, Zeiss zoom 20-75x, Baader VIP Barlow

2) 1.25" combo: 24mm TV panoptic, Nikon MC1 13-30x, Baader Barlow 2.25x

A good quality zoom can replace many eyepieces.

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And a possible fixed focal length eyepiece option.....

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/pentax/pentax-xw-14mm.html

Gives x193 in your scope - perfect for Saturn and Jupiter.

Also the 12mm Pentax XF might be worth considering...

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/pentax/PentaxXF12.html
 

 

 

Edited by dweller25
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5 hours ago, alex_stars said:

Now regarding the suggested 7.2-21.5 Zoom, I seem to find a confusing variation of specs on different sellers homepages:

  • Skywatcher Hyperflex 7E1: 60-40 FOV, 7 lenses - 4 groups, weight 190 g
  • Auriga version: 60-40 FOV, 7 lenses - 4 groups
  • Orion version: 60-40 FOV, 7lenses - 4 groups, weight 170 g
  • Omegon "premium" version: 53-40 FOV, 7 lenses - 4 groups
  • TS-Optics "premium" version: 53-40 FOV, 7 lenses - 4 groups, weight 170 g
  • Lunt Solar Systems version: 53-40 FOV, 7 lenses - 4 groups

My version from Surplus Shed has between 9mm and 11mm of measured, usable eye relief, a measured AFOV of 33 to 49 degrees, and weighs 180g.

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Hi all again and thank you all for your continued input.

I still await a night to run through my tests before I can decide weather I want a zoom or not as an upgrade. Yesterday appeared to be a good night, but a very fast jet-stream (45 m/s) made it hard to decide upon anything.

Of course I will post results as soon as I have some and I continue to appreciate the comments people post.

Clear Nights,

Alex

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Hi all,

as I wait for my next observation night, I was researching a bit some fixed FL eyepieces. Does anybody have experience with the following two:

  • Baader Hyperion 13 mm
  • Explore Scientific 82 deg in 11 or 14 mm

I did read quite some good reviews of both so I was wondering if I should add them to the list of contenders?

Remember, I have a f/15 Mak-Cass and mostly observe planets 😀

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12 hours ago, Don Pensack said:

The 13mm Hyperion has severe edge of field brightening--the worst in the entire Hyperion series.

The ES 82s do not, and would be a better choice.

Bear in mind, the ES cannot be used with glasses.

Thanks for those insights, I did oversee the field brightening issue with the Hyperion

7 hours ago, Louis D said:

Keep in mind that budget wide fields are not known for their excellence when viewing planets, which is what you're after.

True, I guess I really should aim higher at the wide field EP segment, or swing over to orthos and such if FOV turns out not to be the key issue.

Still waiting for a few nights to test my old zoom more...

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4 hours ago, jetstream said:

Last night we observed the moon using a few simple eyepieces, among them a razor sharp 12.5mm ortho. Hard to beat really. There were Circle T's, Taks, Fujis and the 10 BCO out- all vg.

I had my first observing session last night (for the 2020-2021 season), a short one, but the 10mm BCO is my go-to eyepiece for PN (once I've located them) and would be great on planets I'd think. I don't seem to get on with the winged eyecups in general on Baader EPs, but the one on the BCO works perfectly for me, especially when viewing from home to block out stray LP as there's plenty of that. I struggled a bit with it at first on galaxies early this spring, but in retrospect think that was more to do with town LP as I couldn't get to my dark sites due to lockdown. Overall, the BCO seems hard to beat. Might be too much mag/too small an exit pupil on a mak, but definitely worth a look. 

PS @alex_stars I haven't done much planetary (yet) but would some affordable binoviewers with a couple of nice orthos be ideal for this? A lot of people don't get on with them though.  Just thinking.

 

Edited by Ships and Stars
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41 minutes ago, Ships and Stars said:

PS @alex_stars I haven't done much planetary (yet) but would some affordable binoviewers with a couple of nice orthos be ideal for this? A lot of people don't get on with them though.  Just thinking.

Right. A binoviewer is down the road an option. Would have to reconfigure my visual back and eyepiece holder to use up less backfocus when a bino would be used. A while ago @Captain Magenta and myself worked out some detailed specs for the Skymax 180 and estimated the maximum backfocus before aperture loss: https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/355495-reverse-engineering-the-skymax-180

Anyhow for now it's mono-viewing and maybe adding an atmospheric dispersion corrector as the planets are low these years 😁

Nice arguments for wide angle as well as razor sharp narrow ortho's.

Edited by alex_stars
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The 12.5 mm Tak orthos (though not so much the LEs) I find to be very sharp, contrasty and relatively affordable.  I have a pair for binoviewing.  I also own some Delos, Morpheus and Ethos eyepieces and all are, of course, excellent in their own way.  If I had to choose from those 3 for optical quality, it would be the Delos, though I think there is very little in it. Best value of the 3, the Morpheus. The sharpest eyepieces around that focal length for lunar detail that I own  - and to my eye in my scopes - are the Tak 9 and 12.5 and the 11mm Televue plossls which make an exceptional planetary binoviewing pair with my TEC140 and Baader MkV.  In this regard only, I would put both a bit ahead of the Ds, Es and Ms - though, of course, those eyepieces have other qualities that might tip the balance for you. Fact is, we’re spoilt for choice  ;>) 

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On 29/08/2020 at 14:59, Ships and Stars said:

the 10mm BCO is my go-to eyepiece for PN (once I've located them) and would be great on planets I'd think. 

Correct, it's a cracking eyepiece - but the trade off is not the best eye relief. In your Mak, an 18mm BCO wi with a 1.6x Barlow nosepiece such as W.O. or Antares would give you 11.25mm effective focal length, and the Baader Hyperion Zoom Barlow (2.25x) would get you down to 8mm EFL with the 18mm BCO - but with better eye relief than the 10mm. Worth considering?

Back to the zooms, bothe the Leica and Pentax XL 8-24 are excellent. The Leica wins on field of view (much wider than the Pentax), while the Pentax is much cheaper, especially used. The Pentax build is outstanding, as good or better than the XWs, and sharpness and contrast are very very close to the XWs - but the zoom can't match the XWs 70 degree fov.

Decisions, decisions.."you pays your money and you makes your choice!" 😏😊.

Good luck with whatever you go for.

Dave

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1 hour ago, F15Rules said:

Correct, it's a cracking eyepiece - but the trade off is not the best eye relief. In your Mak, an 18mm BCO wi with a 1.6x Barlow nosepiece such as W.O. or Antares would give you 11.25mm effective focal length, and the Baader Hyperion Zoom Barlow (2.25x) would get you down to 8mm EFL with the 18mm BCO - but with better eye relief than the 10mm. Worth considering?

Hi Dave,

thanks for the input. The BCO 18 mm is a nice idea indeed. However is it not counterproductive to add barlow lenses in front of an ortho EP and add "glass" in the light path?

Clear skies,

Alex

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3 hours ago, alex_stars said:

Hi Dave,

thanks for the input. The BCO 18 mm is a nice idea indeed. However is it not counterproductive to add barlow lenses in front of an ortho EP and add "glass" in the light path?

Clear skies,

Alex

It really depends on the quality of the Barlow.  Those in the list below consistently get high praise for "getting out of the way":

1.6x 1.25" Nikon EIC Barlow

3.0x 1.25" Televue Barlow

2.4x 2.0" Vernonscope Dakin Barlow

2.0x 2.0" AP BARCON (BARADV) Barlow

2.5x 2.0" Siebert Telecentric

2.0x 1.25" Carl Zeiss Abbe Barlow

2.0x 1.25" & 2" Baader VIP Barlow

If you can use a longer focal length more comfortably than a shorter focal length for a longer period of time by using it with a high quality Barlow, you're more likely to tease out fine details by being more relaxed.

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1 hour ago, Louis D said:

It really depends on the quality of the Barlow.  Those in the list below consistently get high praise for "getting out of the way":

1.6x 1.25" Nikon EIC Barlow

3.0x 1.25" Televue Barlow

2.4x 2.0" Vernonscope Dakin Barlow

2.0x 2.0" AP BARCON (BARADV) Barlow

2.5x 2.0" Siebert Telecentric

2.0x 1.25" Carl Zeiss Abbe Barlow

2.0x 1.25" & 2" Baader VIP Barlow

If you can use a longer focal length more comfortably than a shorter focal length for a longer period of time by using it with a high quality Barlow, you're more likely to tease out fine details by being more relaxed.

Agreed. And to the above list from my own experience I would add the Baader Hyperion Zoom 2.25x Barlow I quoted..😊

Dave

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  • alex_stars changed the title to [settled] 12 mm Planetary Eyepiece. Ortho or Zoom?

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