Thanks so far all,
Right now this is mainly to be used for planet spotting, especially outreach with the kids, where it's super convenient to have a zoom, back out, locate the planet, then zoom to higher magnification without fumbling with eyepieces. So for this purpose, I'm willing to give up a better eyepiece to the convenience of a zoom. Most of my eyepieces are Paradigm Dual EDs. I don't have anything fancy or high end, mostly effective entry options like that. I have all kinds of scopes, including long refractors, short refractors, SCTs, long reflectors (F6), etc. I usually binoview with my C8 Edge for this in my observatory. But, this purpose is to have a scope on a manual mount with a zoom so that nothing has to be changed out or fiddled with and little fingers can mess with it and it not be a problem. 8mm would get me anywhere from 150x to 250x magnification on my longer scopes (1200mm F6 and 2000mm F10) which is plenty for general planetary for me with average seeing (Florida seeing is decent enough for 100~150x at any given time usually).
I'd like to get the Baader. But, at the same time, this is not for intense long session study. It will mostly be for glances, short looks, minutes maybe tops. So it makes me think a budget eyepiece zoom would be fine and fill in that role.
Contrast would be very important, but compared to convenience, for this purpose, convenience may just win out at the cost of a better eyepiece.
So, knowing that, does that change anything for anyone?
Given this additional information, I would recommend picking up a used 8-24mm Zoom from AstroMart or Cloudy Nights Classifieds. The Vixen Zoom design (rebranded as Televue, Meade, etc.) would work well enough given your use model in my opinion. I have a Vixen that I bought new for $200 and several more that I bought used (for less, even much less) on AstroMart. All work well and I feel that buying used helped me justify having and keeping several especially for outreach and star parties.
Ed (aka eblanken)
Edited by eblanken, 30 May 2020 - 06:10 PM.