Jump to content

sgl_imaging_challenge_2021_annual.thumb.jpg.3fc34f695a81b16210333189a3162ac7.jpg

My thoughts on the "Zoom" eyepiece"


Recommended Posts

I've put some thoughts together on the zoom eyepiece...

https://astro.catshill.com/the-zoom-eyepiece

The “stock” eyepieces that came with my 8″ 200P Dobsonian were great for me to get started. A new owner should definitely get used to them before considering any “upgrade”.

For me, the stock 25mm produced good results but the 10mm was dim and I was disappointed with the clarity of what I was seeing.

I did consider going down the conventional path of getting a few, mid range or better eyepieces in the 6, 8, 12, 15, 20mm range but in the end I took a totally different path and chose a Zoom eyepiece.

A Zoom eyepiece sounds like the perfect solution: a wide range of focal lengths available in a single ocular, to be changed as simply as twisting the barrel. Zoom eyepieces are of course a compromise. Budget zooms tend to have narrow fields of view at the long-focal-length end, they can be heavy, their many glass elements result in internal reflections and loss of contrast and brightness, and of course they’re more expensive than a single mid-range eyepiece.

There are a number of advantages for a zoom. There is no need to swap out eyepieces in order to find the ideal focal-length of the object being observed. You will have everything from 24 to 8mm with the twist of a hand. For a non-tracked telescope that convenience and speed is a useful feature. At the short-focal-length end, they actually tend to have longer eye relief and wider fields of view than Plossls, Kellners, and Orthoscopics. With the addition of a low power, wide-angle eyepiece and a Barlow having just three oculars can be very convenient. With the 200P I have a 50X to 338X magnification range!

With all optics, you get what you pay for. If you buy a very cheap zoom eyepiece, don’t expect it to perform anything like as well as a single eyepiece. I did consider a good budget zoom eyepiece like the Celestron 8-24mm eyepiece. At twice the cost, the Baader Hyperion IV zoom and Barlow combo is not a budget option but considering this is an all in one option you may be saving money in the long run. With bright, sharp, crisp images, a “widefield” AFOV ~70 @ 8mm, 2” mode with camera threads, barlow friendly, comfortable eye relief with no blackouts or beaning it is considered the best zoom on the market and get superlative reviews.

I cannot praise the Baader Hyperion IV zoom and Barlow combination highly enough. It has made a massive difference to my observing in terms of what I can see and the convenience of my observing. The only other ocular I have is a 2″ Revelation/ GSO 42mm wide (65°) angle. It is ideal for targeting and looking a wide field objects. So with the 2″ supplied adapter fitted, I now no longer use 1.25″ eyepieces.

It may seem strange to spend half a much on an eyepiece as I did on my telescope but I am so glad I did just that.

FI zoom.png

Edited by Spile
  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Stu said:

Still would be nice to have the info on the forum, rather than directing people to another website.

Yes much prefer the info or at least the important bits to be included in the post. Bit like linking to images instead of just posting them even if just a smaller version.

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Stu said:

Still would be nice to have the info on the forum, rather than directing people to another website.

Briefly, the OP has an 8 inch Dob. They bought a Baader Hyperion mk IV zoom and a matching Barlow.
They like it.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Stu said:

Still would be nice to have the info on the forum, rather than directing people to another website.

Done - see above

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Stu said:

This link does not work, can you please post the information onto the forum so people can read it here.

Fixed plus content copied to here

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Spile said:

I did consider a good budget zoom eyepiece like the Celestron 8-24mm eyepiece. At twice the cost, the Baader Hyperion IV zoom and Barlow combo is not a budget option

The Celestron zoom is $90 in the US while the BHZ is $290 and the matching Barlow is $120.  I see they are sold as a combo for $389 here.  That's roughly 4x as expensive in the US.

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Spile said:

It may seem strange to spend half a much on an eyepiece as I did on my telescope but I am so glad I did just that.

 

Could be worse you may eventually want an eyepiece that costs twice the price of the scope and a focuser that costs as much

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

The Baader is a great zoom, well made a optically very sound indeed. As you can see I have a rather minimalist outfit these days, the Zoom and with the Baader barlow has everything covered expect the wide field, my lastes purchase which I tried for the first time last night has my wide field needs covered too, and for not a lot of money either the 30mm TS Optics/TMB/SW AERO clones are really suprising good, I could not see any coma at all, but I did l have a very short session using it with my refractor. The Baader (returning to topic) is a very decent zoom indeed and well regarded on here. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, johninderby said:

I bought one of those a few years ago. I used it with the Baader VIP barlow, as many do.

I thought it might take over from my Pentax XW's and Tele Vue's and the performance was excellent but somehow I didn't take to it :dontknow:

I think I found the business of working out the various combinations of T2 extensions plus the barlow element to get a wide range of magnifications started to annoy me. There was no mistaking the build and optical quality though and the AFoV was considerably wider than an ordinary zoom across the whole range.

I'm glad I tried one though, having read so much about them from owners on here and elsewhere :smiley:

I think @Stu still has his ?

Link to post
Share on other sites

+ 1 on the Baader Zoom Mk IV 8-24 mm, worth every penny.

I am using this on a 127 Mak along with the associated 2.25x Baader barlow.   I am using one other EP which is the fixed Baader 24mm 68 degree to gain maxium AFOV in the Mak, which provides an interesting comparison.  

The fixed EP is a fraction crisper but its marginal & offset by the convenience of being able to zoom to the optimal magnification for seeing without changing EPs - found this to be particularly helpful for lunar & double star viewing. 

Haven't a huge amount of experience to draw from but the Zoom knocks spots off the 2 SW 25mm & 10mm (particularly poor) EPs that were supplied and means so much more time spent observing rather than fumbling with thumbscrews. 

Am sure other requirements will arise but for now I go out with one in each pocket and am sorted for the night! 

Edited by SuburbanMak
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't get me wrong, I really like my zoom, but recently when I was trying to split the close pair of Tegmine , only one of these worked (and it wasn't the biggun)

image.png.7efe676adf10f5638299e9afb2169613.png

 

It's so useful when trying to find a good magnification to say, split a pair or observe something 'fussy', but I then move to a prime EP to get the clearest view. In the above case, the simple glass of an Ortho was what was required.

For planets though, it the dog's danglies.

Edited by Pixies
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, John said:

I bought one of those a few years ago. I used it with the Baader VIP barlow, as many do.

I thought it might take over from my Pentax XW's and Tele Vue's and the performance was excellent but somehow I didn't take to it :dontknow:

I think I found the business of working out the various combinations of T2 extensions plus the barlow element to get a wide range of magnifications started to annoy me. There was no mistaking the build and optical quality though and the AFoV was considerably wider than an ordinary zoom across the whole range.

I'm glad I tried one though, having read so much about them from owners on here and elsewhere :smiley:

I think @Stu still has his ?

Indeed I do John, and use it regularly. I understand what you say about messing around with extensions, it can be a pain, so I normally just use mine on its own, or with an AP Barcon, that gives me sufficient range I find. In my 8” this gives me x90 to x360 which covers most requirements. I tend to use one of my Nagler Zooms if I want higher power.

Optically it is superb. I’ve viewed through mine side by side with a Baader Hyperion and it was definitely noticeably better. I’ve also compared with Televue Plossls and BGOs on the sun a lot and it beat both, which is amazing for a complex zoom vs simple designs renowned for sharpness and low scatter. I now use binoviewers which I prefer for solar, but the Leica gets regular use for planetary and lunar observing. It even works well in my Telementor as you may have read!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Try either the Svbony 8-24 or 10-30 zooms they are more than great for the price of less than $100 C ! They are very close to the Baader in performance for about 1/3 the price.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, LDW1 said:

Try either the Svbony 8-24 or 10-30 zooms they are more than great for the price of less than $100 C ! They are very close to the Baader in performance for about 1/3 the price.

Svbony is having a 32% off sale on ebay US right now on them.

  • Like 1
Link to post
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
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • 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.