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Baader Hyperion 8-24 mm Zoom versus Celestron 8-24mm Zoom

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#1 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 11:15 AM

Like the title says, I'm wanting some practical, hands-on comparisons between the Baader Hyperion 8-24 mm Zoom versus Celestron 8-24mm Zoom.

 

It's not that I don't already know the Baader is superior, but I've owned multiple Celestron 8-24mm zoom EP's and the QC is always different, and I've had both good ones and bad ones. 

 

I do mostly visual, but also some AP and the zoom EP is my most frequently used EP (obviously for the zoom capability). I already have a Meade UWA 5.5mm EP for high power and an ES68 - 20mm EP for wide field. I use the zoom for the in-between mags and the adjustability on the fly for seeing conditions. 

 

While I already have a Canon 30D DSLR bayonet to 2" barrel for prime focus, most of my AP work is of the Moon and my Celestron threads right onto my Canon 30D DSLR's adapter for direct afocal, higher mag photos. Unfortunately the Baader has M43 threads on the EP, while the Celestron has M42 threads. It's not a big deal to get the right M43 adapter for my camera, but my main question is...

 

Is the Baader Hyperion 8-24 mm Zoom (Mark IV) vastly superior to the Celestron 8-24mm Zoom? Am I going to notice a dramatic difference visually and photographically to justify the almost $300 price tag of the Baader? 

 

Thoughts, advice or suggestions appreciated.

 

Thanks. 



#2 Jeff Struve

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 11:21 AM

I've tried a lot of zoom eyepieces (for outreach) and the Baader is the only no-Televue eyepiece I own...



#3 JHollJr

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 11:35 AM

I own and use both the Baader Hyperion Mark IV 24-8 zoom and a Celestron zoom. The Baader Hyperion is better, but I would not say "vastly" better. Which one do I use most often? The Baader. It has less light scatter, the coatings being much better, and its ergonomics are also much better. I do use the Celestron zoom quite regularly with the Celestron Omni 102AZ and find that it is a pretty good eyepiece. When I first got the Baader I made some comments here on CN about the differences. You may be able to find that thread. I was using both with the Explore Scientific 102ED triplet.



#4 droe

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 11:38 AM

I love my baader zoom and by far the best eyepiece I even used. I also tried to use it for astrophotography but the problem I had was that the camera's weight made it hard for the zooming part of the eyepiece to stay locked in one spot. You can have it zoomed all in or all out but in-between powers were difficult. I would assume all zooming pieces would have this problem. If you want to do eyepiece projection, I would suggest fixed focus eyepieces.


Edited by droe, 30 October 2017 - 11:39 AM.


#5 Napp

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 11:54 AM

I love my baader zoom and by far the best eyepiece I even used. I also tried to use it for astrophotography but the problem I had was that the camera's weight made it hard for the zooming part of the eyepiece to stay locked in one spot. You can have it zoomed all in or all out but in-between powers were difficult. I would assume all zooming pieces would have this problem. If you want to do eyepiece projection, I would suggest fixed focus eyepieces.

Interesting, droe.  I have not had this problem with my Baader Zoom.  I have the Mark IV and I see that's what you have, too.  My camera is a Canon 5Ti (700D).  Are you using a bigger, heavier full frame?



#6 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 11:56 AM

I love my baader zoom and by far the best eyepiece I even used. I also tried to use it for astrophotography but the problem I had was that the camera's weight made it hard for the zooming part of the eyepiece to stay locked in one spot. You can have it zoomed all in or all out but in-between powers were difficult. I would assume all zooming pieces would have this problem. If you want to do eyepiece projection, I would suggest fixed focus eyepieces.

I have absolutely no issues with my Celestron zoom staying put with it attached to my camera. Most fixed focus EP's have no threads on them to screw onto an adapter. The zoom EP is identical as the zoom lens on a camera and I like to quickly zoom into the mag I desire and take photos. There is also an additional problem with EP projection in that not all EP's fit inside a projection adapter. The zooms threading directly onto the camera is my solution. I don't know if I'd have problems with the Baader staying put, but my Celestron does. 

 

I would consider upgrading but only if the Baader is significantly better. I could buy 6 Celestron zooms for the price of one Baader. 



#7 rowdy388

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 11:56 AM

I have both zooms but they are used as niche eyepieces, not my favorites or most used.

Since you use a zoom as your main eyepiece, I would go for the Baader. Is it $200+ better

than a good QC Celestron?  Yes would be my answer because it would be ,as you said,

your main eyepiece, and you enjoy its benefits every time out.


Edited by rowdy388, 30 October 2017 - 03:28 PM.


#8 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 11:58 AM

I have both zooms in my possession.  The Celestron is quite good at high magnifications, suffers badly at low magnifications, at least in faster scopes..

 

Jon



#9 Knasal

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 11:58 AM

Per Justin's comment on the thread, here you go.

 

This is the thread that convinced me to buy one and I'm one satisfied customer!

 

Regards,

 

Kevin



#10 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 12:03 PM

I have both zooms in my possession.  The Celestron is quite good at high magnifications, suffers badly at low magnifications, at least in faster scopes..

 

Jon

I've read where the Baader seems to be quite good all the way to the edge of the FOV. Is that the reason for it's superiority at lower mags? 



#11 aeajr

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 12:52 PM

I have the Celestron 8-24 and the original Baader Hyperion zoom, not the Mark III or Mark IV.

 

I like them both but the Baader is wider and cleaner at the edges.

 

Note that, with both eyepieces, I tend to use them mostly in the 18 to 8 mm range and much less in the 20 to 24 mm range. There I am usually using a 25 or 26 mm eyepiece with wider FOV.  Then I jump to the zoom and am going to be going up the mag scale so 24 to 20 tends to get skipped most of the time.   I only use this range when I am moving from target to target.

 

 

When the Celestron was my main eyepiece I continued to use and accumulate 82 degree eyepieces in the 9 mm and shorter range.   I would often work with the Celestron and a barlow, but shift to the Explore Scientific 82s or a Meade 82 or a Meade HD60 when I was going to stay on a target at high power.

 

Once I got the BHZ that ended.   Now I use the BHZ ( with and without a barlow) almost exclusively with the ES 82s and the Mead 82 and 60s staying in the eyepiece case most of the time.

 

 

The way I characterize them is that the Celestron is like my Plossl eyepieces, good workhorse eyepieces that I could use all the time if that was all I had.

 

The Baader Hyperion is like my Explore Scientific eyepieces.  A bit better, sharper and cleaner to the edges. 

 

I have swapped the Baader and the ES 8.8 eyepiece back and forth to compare and, other than the FOV, I find the BHZ provides every bit as good a view as the ES.  Any difference is not evident to my eye.

 

In my Orion XT8i I have compared the BHZ in my 2x GSO 2" barlow to the ES 82 6.7 and Meade 5000 82 degree 5.5  and likewise find that I prefer to stay with the zoom.   Not as wide as those ES or Meade 82s but I am willing to give up some FOV for the incredible convenience of the zoom.   Also, with the zoom I am always at the best magnification for this target.  With the single FL eyepieces I am almost always off the optimal magnification.

 

I still tend to use the Celestron in my ETX 80 as it fits better in the focuser.  The BHZ, the original, is wide enough that it blocks the locking screw.  I can fiddle with it but the Celestron seems to fit better on that scope.   I understand the BHZ Mark IV has addressed this and is narrower than mine. 

 

So, if you are on a budget and want a zoom I highly recommend the Celestron 8-24. ( $65)

 

If you have the budget, go right to the BHZ Mark IV ( $289)


Edited by aeajr, 30 October 2017 - 12:58 PM.


#12 Napp

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 01:11 PM

Baader makes a 2.25 Barlow that screws onto the Baader 8-24 zoom with a t adapter.  If you are interested you can save some bucks by buying both together with the t adapter as a kit.



#13 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 01:23 PM

I have the Celestron 8-24 and the original Baader Hyperion zoom, not the Mark III or Mark IV.

 

I like them both but the Baader is wider and cleaner at the edges.

 

Note that, with both eyepieces, I tend to use them mostly in the 18 to 8 mm range and much less in the 20 to 24 mm range. There I am usually using a 25 or 26 mm eyepiece with wider FOV.  Then I jump to the zoom and am going to be going up the mag scale so 24 to 20 tends to get skipped most of the time.   I only use this range when I am moving from target to target.

 

 

When the Celestron was my main eyepiece I continued to use and accumulate 82 degree eyepieces in the 9 mm and shorter range.   I would often work with the Celestron and a barlow, but shift to the Explore Scientific 82s or a Meade 82 or a Meade HD60 when I was going to stay on a target at high power.

 

Once I got the BHZ that ended.   Now I use the BHZ ( with and without a barlow) almost exclusively with the ES 82s and the Mead 82 and 60s staying in the eyepiece case most of the time.

 

 

The way I characterize them is that the Celestron is like my Plossl eyepieces, good workhorse eyepieces that I could use all the time if that was all I had.

 

The Baader Hyperion is like my Explore Scientific eyepieces.  A bit better, sharper and cleaner to the edges. 

 

I have swapped the Baader and the ES 8.8 eyepiece back and forth to compare and, other than the FOV, I find the BHZ provides every bit as good a view as the ES.  Any difference is not evident to my eye.

 

In my Orion XT8i I have compared the BHZ in my 2x GSO 2" barlow to the ES 82 6.7 and Meade 5000 82 degree 5.5  and likewise find that I prefer to stay with the zoom.   Not as wide as those ES or Meade 82s but I am willing to give up some FOV for the incredible convenience of the zoom.   Also, with the zoom I am always at the best magnification for this target.  With the single FL eyepieces I am almost always off the optimal magnification.

 

I still tend to use the Celestron in my ETX 80 as it fits better in the focuser.  The BHZ, the original, is wide enough that it blocks the locking screw.  I can fiddle with it but the Celestron seems to fit better on that scope.   I understand the BHZ Mark IV has addressed this and is narrower than mine. 

 

So, if you are on a budget and want a zoom I highly recommend the Celestron 8-24. ( $65)

 

If you have the budget, go right to the BHZ Mark IV ( $289)

Thanks. I've read some of your other comments about the two. I already own the Celestron 8-24mm zoom. I think it's the 5th one I've owned (so I am more than familiar with its capabilities). I've sold it in the past as part of a package deal. I sold one to a friend who was starting out and in need of EP's but didn't have the budget for any decent multiple fixed EP's, so the zoom was perfect for him. I kept two at the same time even...one I kept the eyeguard off and it was at the ready for threading onto my DSLR while the other one was my go to visual EP. I kept the two because they're cheap and just so I didn't have to keep removing or adding the eyeguard as needed. I only have the one Celestron zoom EP now (the best and highest quality one of the 5 I've owned).

 

I have a 2X Barlow, and I also have a Meade UWA 5.5mm for my high mag EP (my favorite EP, but obviously not practical as it is a high mag EP). I also have an ES68-20mm for my wide field EP. My Celestron is my "tweener" and most used EP just because of the ability to vary the mag on the fly as conditions or preferences warrant. I don't think I ever spent more than $50 for any of the Celestron zooms I've owned (new on sale, or used). I don't like having to pull the eyeguard off when threading it to my DSLR, and then put it back on after (the cap won't fit without the eyeguard), so in some ways I almost might just buy another Celestron just for the DSLR. I mostly take photos of the moon. 

 

I guess my question really is, is the Baader six times better than the Celestron (is the cost worth that difference) given that the zoom is my most used EP, for visual and for photography? 


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 30 October 2017 - 01:24 PM.


#14 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 01:38 PM

 

I have both zooms in my possession.  The Celestron is quite good at high magnifications, suffers badly at low magnifications, at least in faster scopes..

 

Jon

I've read where the Baader seems to be quite good all the way to the edge of the FOV. Is that the reason for it's superiority at lower mags? 

 

 

I am not sure of the reason.  One hypothesis is that a zoom has strong similarities to a Barlow. Clearly the zooming happens in the front portion of the the eyepiece.  If the main, magnifying section is not well corrected for off-axis astigmatism, then this would be most apparent at low magnifications where the Barlow effect is minimal.

 

An analogy would be an Erfle used with and without a 2 x Barlow.  In an F/6 scope, without the Barlow, the Erfle sees the F/6 light cone and the off-axis stars are not sharp. With the 2x Barlow in place, the Erfle sees F/12 and performs quite nicely.

 

These questions of worth are subjective.  I was quite pleased with the high magnification performance of Celestron zoom but was dismayed when I began to use it at it's lowest magnifications. Others might be more tolerant than i am but for someone wanting a zoom that's a solid performer across the full 24 mm to 8 mm range, I think the Baader zoom is worth the money.

 

Jeff said his zoom is the only non-TeleVue eyepiece he owns. My first string is all TeleVue except the Baader zoom.  There maybe a slight loss of contrast and sharpness across the field of view with the Baader but the reason I use the fixed focal length TeleVues is they provide a wider field of view.

 

Jon



#15 droe

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 01:54 PM

 

I love my baader zoom and by far the best eyepiece I even used. I also tried to use it for astrophotography but the problem I had was that the camera's weight made it hard for the zooming part of the eyepiece to stay locked in one spot. You can have it zoomed all in or all out but in-between powers were difficult. I would assume all zooming pieces would have this problem. If you want to do eyepiece projection, I would suggest fixed focus eyepieces.

Interesting, droe.  I have not had this problem with my Baader Zoom.  I have the Mark IV and I see that's what you have, too.  My camera is a Canon 5Ti (700D).  Are you using a bigger, heavier full frame?

 

I used the Nikon D7100. Again this is my experience with the zoom. As far as if it is a good eyepiece, it is an awesome eyepiece. I do use the 2.25x barlow that attaches to the camera and eyepeices; that works great. Also all the Baader Hyperion and Morpheus lines of eyepieces have threading for a camera adapter. I have attached my camera to the Baader 4.5mm Morpheus and it worked great.



#16 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 02:02 PM

 

 

I have both zooms in my possession.  The Celestron is quite good at high magnifications, suffers badly at low magnifications, at least in faster scopes..

 

Jon

I've read where the Baader seems to be quite good all the way to the edge of the FOV. Is that the reason for it's superiority at lower mags? 

 

 

I am not sure of the reason.  One hypothesis is that a zoom has strong similarities to a Barlow. Clearly the zooming happens in the front portion of the the eyepiece.  If the main, magnifying section is not well corrected for off-axis astigmatism, then this would be most apparent at low magnifications where the Barlow effect is minimal.

 

An analogy would be an Erfle used with and without a 2 x Barlow.  In an F/6 scope, without the Barlow, the Erfle sees the F/6 light cone and the off-axis stars are not sharp. With the 2x Barlow in place, the Erfle sees F/12 and performs quite nicely.

 

These questions of worth are subjective.  I was quite pleased with the high magnification performance of Celestron zoom but was dismayed when I began to use it at it's lowest magnifications. Others might be more tolerant than i am but for someone wanting a zoom that's a solid performer across the full 24 mm to 8 mm range, I think the Baader zoom is worth the money.

 

Jeff said his zoom is the only non-TeleVue eyepiece he owns. My first string is all TeleVue except the Baader zoom.  There maybe a slight loss of contrast and sharpness across the field of view with the Baader but the reason I use the fixed focal length TeleVues is they provide a wider field of view.

 

Jon

 

Thank Jon. No doubt the question of worth is subjective. While I don't really think going to a Baader is a lateral move, I'm more interested in whether or not one considers the difference being like moving up a few steps on a staircase towards the second floor, or jumping right up to the second floor. 

 

For my interests, if I'm typically viewing around 20mm,  I'll just use my ES68-20mm as it's just better in every way. My Celestron 8-24mm zoom probably gets the most use in a range of about 14mm on up to 8mm. If I need to go any stronger in mag than that, I'll swap it out for my Meade UWA 5.5mm rather than Barlow the zoom. Now that is for strictly visual.

 

For lunar photography, I use the full range of 8-24mm on the zoom as it is then used as my camera's telephoto lens essentially. 



#17 aeajr

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 02:34 PM

snip


 
I have a 2X Barlow, and I also have a Meade UWA 5.5mm for my high mag EP (my favorite EP, but obviously not practical as it is a high mag EP). I also have an ES68-20mm for my wide field EP. My Celestron is my "tweener" and most used EP just because of the ability to vary the mag on the fly as conditions or preferences warrant. I don't think I ever spent more than $50 for any of the Celestron zooms I've owned (new on sale, or used). I don't like having to pull the eyeguard off when threading it to my DSLR, and then put it back on after (the cap won't fit without the eyeguard), so in some ways I almost might just buy another Celestron just for the DSLR. I mostly take photos of the moon. 
 
I guess my question really is, is the Baader six times better than the Celestron (is the cost worth that difference) given that the zoom is my most used EP, for visual and for photography? 

$65 vs $289 = 4.4X the price.   Is it 4X better?    Well, how would you measure that?
 
Is my ES 82 8.8 ($150) 4X better than my Meade 9.6 Plossl ($39)?    How do you measure that?
 
 
I have characterized this in the past is this way:

  • To get to 70% of perfect ( say the average Plossl) is fairly easy and cheap and the result is functional.
  • To get to 80% of perfect costs a lot more, say an ES 82 but costs 4X as much.  
  • To get to 90% of perfect costs a lot more than 80%, say a Tele Vue whatever, which is 2X the & of the ES and 8X the Plossl.
  • To get to 100% of perfect, which can't be achieved, would probably be `10X the cost of 90%.

This is true in optics, electronics, mechanicals, and pretty much everything else in life.   We build to a price, not to perfection.  And to get to that next level of excellence typically costs a lot.   
 
That Ferrarri may cost 10X what my Ford Escape costs, but they both get me to the grocery store and back.  Is the Ferrari 10X better than my Escape?  Someone seems to think so or they wouldn't make it. 
 
 
Here Is one way to measure this.   For me, the fact that I stopped buying more $150 eyepieces when I got the Baader meant that the Baader actually saved me money.   In fact, based on how I am using my eyepieces today, I could sell off my ES 82s and Mead 82 and HD60 and actually come out way ahead and be quite happy with the BHZ alone which is how I am using it anyway.  So, was the BHZ worth the price?  Absolutely!
 
Now, would I do that with the Celestron?   No.   Can I quantify why?  No, but if I did not have the BHZ, if I only had the Celestron as my main zoom eyepiece, those ES and Meade 82s would still be getting more eyepiece time than they are today and I would be looking at 11 and 14 mm for next purchases.

 

That is how I measure it.   I LIKE the BHZ and it is going to save me big bucks!
 
Naturally your smileage wll vary.


Edited by aeajr, 30 October 2017 - 02:43 PM.


#18 aeajr

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 02:48 PM

Note a pattern in the answers, many people have both.   Why?

 

Because they bought the Celestron zoom to try it out.   They found they liked it but it didn't quite measure up to what they were getting from their "better" eyepieces.    So they tried the BHZ and found that balance that said, I like this and will want to use it.    

 

The Celestron gets pushed to the side, not because it is a bad eyepiece but because it performs with the good eyepieces that preceeded the "better" eyepieces that people have become used to.  Typically the displaced eyepieces are Plossls.  

 

That is why I group the Celestron with the Plossls.  Very good eyepieces, but I have moved on to the next level which, for me, is the ES and Meade 5000 line. And so my Zoom has to move on to that next level too.

 

And the zoom does something the single FL eyepieces can't, it disappears in my observing experience.  I no longer think of FL or magnifications or which eyepiece to change to.   I just drop it in and observe.  The eyepiece is no longer part of what I am thinking about when I am observing, other than to note the setting for my observation reports.  If not for that I would have no idea what setting I was at.   

 

The other night I left the zoom in the case and pulled out my other eyepieces.   Now I remember why I like the zoom so much.  No more swapping or deciding or trying only to fall back.  No more swapping filters.    Like a pinch zoom in on a tablet.   Now I just observe.

 

Naturally your smileage will vary.


Edited by aeajr, 30 October 2017 - 02:55 PM.


#19 drneilmb

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 02:49 PM

I'm glad to see that OP has also had inconsistent experiences with the quality control of the Celestron zoom. That is my interpretation of the situation with these eyepieces as well.

 

For one example, I trust Jon Isaacs's skill and experience completely, but my instance of the Celestron zoom has the opposite quality from his, being better at low magnifications (and narrow FOVs) and worst at the highest magnification. If I thought it would make a difference in public opinion, I'd be happy to mail my eyepiece to Jon to compare two different examples side-by-side. A couple of people here (including myself) who have recommended against the Celestron zoom because of their poor experiences have been (relatively) shouted down by those who had good experiences with their examples.

 

I think that people who recommend these eyepieces (especially to newbies) should remember that those who take their recommendation may have a different experience with the eyepiece that they actually receive. Unless a buyer is ready to go back and forth with Celestron customer service, or their dealer, or try before they buy, I don't think that I would recommend the Celestron zoom.

 

Of course, the OP already knows that he has a good example or two, so he'll have to make his own decision on whether the slightly larger FOVs are worth the 300% price increase.

 

-Neil



#20 aeajr

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 03:01 PM

I'm glad to see that OP has also had inconsistent experiences with the quality control of the Celestron zoom. That is my interpretation of the situation with these eyepieces as well.

 

For one example, I trust Jon Isaacs's skill and experience completely, but my instance of the Celestron zoom has the opposite quality from his, being better at low magnifications (and narrow FOVs) and worst at the highest magnification. If I thought it would make a difference in public opinion, I'd be happy to mail my eyepiece to Jon to compare two different examples side-by-side. A couple of people here (including myself) who have recommended against the Celestron zoom because of their poor experiences have been (relatively) shouted down by those who had good experiences with their examples.

 

I think that people who recommend these eyepieces (especially to newbies) should remember that those who take their recommendation may have a different experience with the eyepiece that they actually receive. Unless a buyer is ready to go back and forth with Celestron customer service, or their dealer, or try before they buy, I don't think that I would recommend the Celestron zoom.

 

Of course, the OP already knows that he has a good example or two, so he'll have to make his own decision on whether the slightly larger FOVs are worth the 300% price increase.

 

-Neil

That would be true with any eyepiece from any manufacturer.  It would be just as true for every telescope and every car and every refrigerator.   In any production run there are always variations within the set.   

 

We can only hope that the higher priced models will have better QA checks and more rigorous rejection standards and therefore more consistent results.  But there are no guarantees.  

 

As I note in many of my posts, "your smileage may vary."   It may vary based on product inconsistency or it may vary because we value different things in the product.



#21 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 03:07 PM

 

snip


 
I have a 2X Barlow, and I also have a Meade UWA 5.5mm for my high mag EP (my favorite EP, but obviously not practical as it is a high mag EP). I also have an ES68-20mm for my wide field EP. My Celestron is my "tweener" and most used EP just because of the ability to vary the mag on the fly as conditions or preferences warrant. I don't think I ever spent more than $50 for any of the Celestron zooms I've owned (new on sale, or used). I don't like having to pull the eyeguard off when threading it to my DSLR, and then put it back on after (the cap won't fit without the eyeguard), so in some ways I almost might just buy another Celestron just for the DSLR. I mostly take photos of the moon. 
 
I guess my question really is, is the Baader six times better than the Celestron (is the cost worth that difference) given that the zoom is my most used EP, for visual and for photography? 

$65 vs $289 = 4.4X the price.   Is it 4X better?    Well, how would you measure that?
 
Is my ES 82 8.8 ($150) 4X better than my Meade 9.6 Plossl ($39)?    How do you measure that?
 
 
I have characterized this in the past is this way:

  • To get to 70% of perfect ( say the average Plossl) is fairly easy and cheap and the result is functional.
  • To get to 80% of perfect costs a lot more, say an ES 82 but costs 4X as much.  
  • To get to 90% of perfect costs a lot more than 80%, say a Tele Vue whatever, which is 2X the & of the ES and 8X the Plossl.
  • To get to 100% of perfect, which can't be achieved, would probably be `10X the cost of 90%.

This is true in optics, electronics, mechanicals, and pretty much everything else in life.   We build to a price, not to perfection.  And to get to that next level of excellence typically costs a lot.   
 
That Ferrarri may cost 10X what my Ford Escape costs, but they both get me to the grocery store and back.  Is the Ferrari 10X better than my Escape?  Someone seems to think so or they wouldn't make it. 
 
 
Here Is one way to measure this.   For me, the fact that I stopped buying more $150 eyepieces when I got the Baader meant that the Baader actually saved me money.   In fact, based on how I am using my eyepieces today, I could sell off my ES 82s and Mead 82 and HD60 and actually come out way ahead and be quite happy with the BHZ alone which is how I am using it anyway.  So, was the BHZ worth the price?  Absolutely!
 
Now, would I do that with the Celestron?   No.   Can I quantify why?  No, but if I did not have the BHZ, if I only had the Celestron as my main zoom eyepiece, those ES and Meade 82s would still be getting more eyepiece time than they are today and I would be looking at 11 and 14 mm for next purchases.

 

That is how I measure it.   I LIKE the BHZ and it is going to save me big bucks!
 
Naturally your smileage wll vary.

 

That is actually a great way to look at it. If the Baader is really good throughout it's range and I use my zoom far more than any fixed EP, it might be worth my while to just sell my Meade and the Celestron zoom and be halfway to the cost of getting the Baader. I love the UWA Meade 5.5mm. It's easily my favorite EP, but it is also my least used one. I like my ES68-20mm EP, but again it is only a 68 degree EP and only used for wide field. 



#22 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 03:14 PM

 

I'm glad to see that OP has also had inconsistent experiences with the quality control of the Celestron zoom. That is my interpretation of the situation with these eyepieces as well.

 

For one example, I trust Jon Isaacs's skill and experience completely, but my instance of the Celestron zoom has the opposite quality from his, being better at low magnifications (and narrow FOVs) and worst at the highest magnification. If I thought it would make a difference in public opinion, I'd be happy to mail my eyepiece to Jon to compare two different examples side-by-side. A couple of people here (including myself) who have recommended against the Celestron zoom because of their poor experiences have been (relatively) shouted down by those who had good experiences with their examples.

 

I think that people who recommend these eyepieces (especially to newbies) should remember that those who take their recommendation may have a different experience with the eyepiece that they actually receive. Unless a buyer is ready to go back and forth with Celestron customer service, or their dealer, or try before they buy, I don't think that I would recommend the Celestron zoom.

 

Of course, the OP already knows that he has a good example or two, so he'll have to make his own decision on whether the slightly larger FOVs are worth the 300% price increase.

 

-Neil

That would be true with any eyepiece from any manufacturer.  It would be just as true for every telescope and every car and every refrigerator.   In any production run there are always variations within the set.   

 

We can only hope that the higher priced models will have better QA checks and more rigorous rejection standards and therefore more consistent results.  But there are no guarantees.  

 

As I note in many of my posts, "your smileage may vary."   It may vary based on product inconsistency or it may vary because we value different things in the product.

 

Yes, I can say I have a lot of experience with the QC on the Celestron zoom. Some have felt too stiff, while others just seemed to not be as clear or crisp in the view as others. Same company, same EP, different results. The one I have is nice, but again it isn't "Meade 5000 UWA or ES" nice. That isn't to say it's a bad EP, but for around $50 it's a capable $50 EP.

 

And I agree that if one is spending $300 on a single EP, one could probably expect some assurance that QC is built into that price as well. 



#23 rowdy388

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 03:45 PM

I remember reading nothing ever about inconsistent quality issues with the Baader zooms.  Even between the

different series they are more alike than different.  Therefore you may find a used bargain Mk 3, Mk 2, or even

Mk 1 Baader zoom.  Aeajr has the original Mk 1 and is crazy about it.  He paid significantly less than $289.



#24 drneilmb

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 03:52 PM

That would be true with any eyepiece from any manufacturer.  It would be just as true for every telescope and every car and every refrigerator.   In any production run there are always variations within the set.   
 
We can only hope that the higher priced models will have better QA checks and more rigorous rejection standards and therefore more consistent results.  But there are no guarantees.  
 
As I note in many of my posts, "your smileage may vary."   It may vary based on product inconsistency or it may vary because we value different things in the product.

I think that your argument that "variation always exists" is facile. The problem with the Celestron zoom is that the level of variability is too large, ranging from unusable to very enjoyable.

 

If you and I buy the same model of refrigerator and mine dies after 6 days and yours lasts for six years, you wouldn't reasonably claim that "in any production run there are always variations within the set." There is a certain minimum standard of quality that we expect all examples of a product to meet. My six-day refrigerator would not meet that standard, and my suggestion is that there are an uncomfortably large number of Celestron zooms that don't meet that minimum standard of quality for a $50 eyepiece.

 

Said another way, I think that the experiences of people who got Celestron zooms that were not "a capable $50 EP" (as Mark the OP said) ought to be mentioned alongside your more glowing experience.

 

If you believe that the between-example variation for the Celestron zoom is entirely reasonable and that they meet the minimum standard of quality, then perhaps you would like to trade your zoom for mine? Or perhaps you would like to look through mine to get a better sense of the level of variability? ;) And I'll stop hijacking this thread now and agree that I have also seen no reports of poor quality for the Baader zoom.

 

-Neil



#25 aeajr

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 04:20 PM

Ya got me with Facile.  Had to look it up.  

 

fac·ile - [ˈfasəl]  ADJECTIVE  (especially of a theory or argument) appearing neat and comprehensive only by ignoring the true complexities of an issue; superficial.

 

 

OK, I think your statement that we need to warn people that the Celestron eyepieces might be inconsistent is just as superficial.  I would have to attach that warning to every product or service I discuss.  And in fact, as I have mentioned, I do.  Your smileage may vary.  Your experience may vary from mine.

 

 

It is true that I haven't sampled a wide variety of Celestron zooms so I can't say what the range of variation is.  I owned one.   After 11 months It went back for warranty service because a black fleck fell off the wall and right into the FOV.  No questions and no receipt requested.   Celestron took it back and sent me a new one.

 

The new one was a bit stiffer but was comparable in the view so I was happy with it.  It has loosened up over time.  Works quite nicely.  Not as buttery as the Baader but quite serviceable. 

 

I have tried two others that friends have.  One was a bit smoother than mine and one was about the same as mine.   All 4 had fairly consistent views.    That is my universe of experience with the Celestron, 4.  How many have you personally examined?  Perhaps more than I.

 

Now, if you took the same 4, that I pronounced as acceptable, and looked them over, would you draw the same conclusions I did?   Maybe, maybe not.   There is always variation on the part of the examiner when the assessment is subjective.

 

 

If your Fridge died in 6 days and mine lasted 6 years I would say that is why they have warranties.   Yours would be fixed under warranty and would be up and working maybe for the next 20 years.  Could be a $500 fridge or a $5000 fridge.  It happens.

 

 

Do I expect higher levels of consistency for a $289 eyepiece than a $65 eyepiece?   Absolutely.  Part of what I am paying for in that higher price is that quality control.

 

 

Likely the same can be said for the no name Plossls that you see on e-bay.   Likely they are the rejects that did not merit the Celestron or Meade or Orion name.   Are they awful and unusable?  Likely not.  Do I have the same expectations for a $16 no name Plossl from e-bay as I do for a $40 Plossl from Orion?   No!  I expect more quality control and consistency from Orion.  And if I get an unacceptable eyepiece from Orion, or Meade, or Celestron I expect them to fix or replace it.  And they do.

 

So, for all people who buy stuff, be warned, you might get a bad one.  How well the manufacturer or distributor honors their warranty should be part of your assessment as to whether you will recommend them or buy from them again.  And if you choose to keep and complain about that bad sample and not give the seller a chance to resolve the issue well, too bad on you.

 

 

BTW, I have purchased a lot of no name products on e-bay and have gotten some duds.  And you know what, on almost every occasion the seller made a good and honest effort to address the issue.  I knew I was buying on the cheap and my expectation were consistent with that.  In the end I have been quite satisfied most of the vst majority of the time.

 

 

Your smileage may vary.  ;)




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