Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Tips for buying my first Zoom EP?

  • Please log in to reply
56 replies to this topic

#26 LIVE LONG

LIVE LONG

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 130
  • Joined: 27 Feb 2020
  • Loc: Connecticut

Posted 15 January 2021 - 12:01 PM

We started off with the Celestron 8-24mm and we were quite happy with it for the price. However we upgraded later to the Baader Hyperion 8-24mm, and now we can't go back. The things that made the difference for us are:

1. FOV, never noticed how narrow the Celestron was until now, especially at 24mm. The Baader gains ~10° AFOV across the board.

2. It's nearly parfocal, sometimes we don't even have to touch the focuser. This didn't bother us when using the Celestron, but it's actually pretty nice.

3. The click-stops. It's really nice knowing what power you're at in the dark on the fly, makes it easier to analyze and take notes which I feel helps you get more out of what you're observing.

In summary, for a fraction of the price the Celestron was a fine place to start. But if the Baader is in your budget that's what I'd recommend. If you're going to have a zoom, which is already a sacrifice in certain respects to fixed EP's, you might as well have a nice one.

 

I have owned a few zooms in the last years (Meade 8-24, no name 7-21 and Daytson 7-21) and i ended with the Baader Zoom Mk IV. The worst was the no name with a narrow field and poor optical quality. the Meade and the cheap Daytson were ok.

 

The Zoom is for me a specialized tool for planetary and doubles, but in some cases when i feel lazy, the Baader is very competitive against fixed focal lenght eyepieces in DSOs. I tend to forget the 24 mm FL and use it from 20mm to 8mm where it really excels. 

 

I have not seen the Sbovny, but i can imagine is not far from the Baader. It could be narrower, but optically should work ok as the Sbovny line of ep´s.

 

Carlos

   After reading these two responses, I am seriously thinking about purchasing the Baader zoom MkIV. I do a lot of double star viewing/ splitting. This might come in very handy, for me.

 

   Bill



#27 SeattleScott

SeattleScott

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11,252
  • Joined: 14 Oct 2011

Posted 15 January 2021 - 02:44 PM

The point of paying a premium for the BHZ is for the wider AFOV, to use it more as a general purpose eyepiece. If you are mainly going to use a zoom for double stars, you don’t need the AFOV and would be just as well off with a cheaper zoom or maybe a parfocal one instead of paying a premium for a feature you won’t use much.

Scott
  • vtornado likes this

#28 sevenofnine

sevenofnine

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 621
  • Joined: 16 Apr 2016
  • Loc: Santa Rosa, California

Posted 15 January 2021 - 03:22 PM

In case it's not obvious, you really need a wide finder eyepiece like 28-35mm too. The 24mm setting on these zooms is at the narrowest field of view. It widens as you zoom to higher powers. I don't spend too much time at 24mm and usually use the zoom range 18-8mm the most. The Baader zoom is better than the Celestron but I like them both. The Baader is wider at all focal lengths but they are both sharp in the center. Good luck on your choice!


  • Second Time Around likes this

#29 SloMoe

SloMoe

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,856
  • Joined: 23 Dec 2016
  • Loc: Washington State

Posted 15 January 2021 - 03:34 PM

The Baader Mk IV has a tiny rattle to it when not at 8 or 24, that rattle is from the bearings they use in the zoom mechanism, very normal.

 

Baader uses roller bearings where all the others use a bushing, just provides a finer feel to the operation of the zoom.

 

I use fixed focal length eye pieces for my celestial view because I found my self at either 8mm or 24mm, rarely ever between, the zoom effect is kind of fun at first, but I used fixed focal length eyepieces for a wider fov.

 

I used it for a while in terestiral viewing but missed the fov of my Naglets so I moved it to my solar kit.

 

I do use the zoom in my H-alpha scope, but that's a different type of viewing, the Sun doesn't need a wide field of view so zooming in is better than buying a bunch of TV plossl's, cheaper too.


  • scotsman328i likes this

#30 LDW47

LDW47

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7,545
  • Joined: 04 Mar 2012
  • Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada

Posted 15 January 2021 - 04:45 PM

The Baader Mk IV has a tiny rattle to it when not at 8 or 24, that rattle is from the bearings they use in the zoom mechanism, very normal.

 

Baader uses roller bearings where all the others use a bushing, just provides a finer feel to the operation of the zoom.

 

I use fixed focal length eye pieces for my celestial view because I found my self at either 8mm or 24mm, rarely ever between, the zoom effect is kind of fun at first, but I used fixed focal length eyepieces for a wider fov.

 

I used it for a while in terestiral viewing but missed the fov of my Naglets so I moved it to my solar kit.

 

I do use the zoom in my H-alpha scope, but that's a different type of viewing, the Sun doesn't need a wide field of view so zooming in is better than buying a bunch of TV plossl's, cheaper too.

Where did you find the specs ie roller bearings vs bushings for the rest ? Very interesting !



#31 LDW47

LDW47

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7,545
  • Joined: 04 Mar 2012
  • Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada

Posted 15 January 2021 - 04:48 PM

The point of paying a premium for the BHZ is for the wider AFOV, to use it more as a general purpose eyepiece. If you are mainly going to use a zoom for double stars, you don’t need the AFOV and would be just as well off with a cheaper zoom or maybe a parfocal one instead of paying a premium for a feature you won’t use much.

Scott

As I mentioned elsewhere the TFOV is small decimals of a degree wider for the $’s ! Not very noticeable when viewing and zooming.



#32 Voyager 3

Voyager 3

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 973
  • Joined: 20 Jul 2020
  • Loc: Near Bangalore, India

Posted 15 January 2021 - 11:22 PM

As I mentioned elsewhere the TFOV is small decimals of a degree wider for the $’s ! Not very noticeable when viewing and zooming.

I think the AFOV is only ≈5° wider than the SVBONY / celestron /Orion etc . But it's advertised as 50°-68° ... 



#33 vtornado

vtornado

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,515
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2016
  • Loc: Northern Illinois

Posted 16 January 2021 - 02:32 PM

Not mentioned here is that the celestron's zoom has a removable rubber eyecup which reveals male threads that can

thread into a t adapter to mount and SLR.   This makes eyepiece projection photgraphy easy and fun in that I have all powers available.

I used this to photography the great conjunction with good results.   The zoom allowed me to adjust the power

to match available seeing conditions.

 

I'm not sure which eyepieces have and don't have this feature.  It is often not mentioned in the feature sheet.

 

SteveG  does the svbony eyepiece have the threads?  I'm interested in picking one of these up.

 

VT.


Edited by vtornado, 16 January 2021 - 02:34 PM.


#34 ngc6352

ngc6352

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 104
  • Joined: 04 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Boise, Idaho

Posted 16 January 2021 - 02:56 PM

I have an eyepiece case full of TeleVue Pans and Naglers and I'm quite happy with the Baader 8-24 Hyperion.


  • clearwaterdave likes this

#35 SeattleScott

SeattleScott

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11,252
  • Joined: 14 Oct 2011

Posted 16 January 2021 - 03:26 PM

I think the AFOV is only ≈5° wider than the SVBONY / celestron /Orion etc . But it's advertised as 50°-68° ...

So it is 50-68 instead of 40-60 but the actual AFOV only averages 5 degrees more? Not 8-10 degrees more? That would kind of suck.

#36 Voyager 3

Voyager 3

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 973
  • Joined: 20 Jul 2020
  • Loc: Near Bangalore, India

Posted 16 January 2021 - 11:04 PM

So it is 50-68 instead of 40-60 but the actual AFOV only averages 5 degrees more? Not 8-10 degrees more? That would kind of suck.

In the lower end , the Baader too is 43-44° which was measured by someone here in CN . So 38° Vs 43-44° . In the upper end the Baader is 68° whereas the SVBONY is 58-60° so the upper end maybe usable in the Baader but in the lower end , it's no slouch.


Edited by Voyager 3, 16 January 2021 - 11:06 PM.


#37 sahstim001

sahstim001

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • Posts: 48
  • Joined: 31 Dec 2020
  • Loc: Braidwood, IL

Posted 17 January 2021 - 12:29 AM

Sometime when you have nothing else to do, try calculating the difference in TFOV between the Baader and what many call the not as goods ! Then you tell us whether that difference is very noticeable in the ‘ nice one ‘ ? 

Someone (not me) has actually calculated the AFOV already over at this post:

 

https://www.cloudyni...iece/?p=7821540

 

For me having used both side by side it's definitely noticeable through the full range. One easy way I can tell is because in my 8" f/6 the Celestron at 24mm *just* fit the full moon in the view, but the Baader at 24mm has room to spare. 



#38 SteveG

SteveG

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9,761
  • Joined: 27 Sep 2006
  • Loc: Seattle, WA

Posted 17 January 2021 - 03:15 AM

Not mentioned here is that the celestron's zoom has a removable rubber eyecup which reveals male threads that can

thread into a t adapter to mount and SLR.   This makes eyepiece projection photgraphy easy and fun in that I have all powers available.

I used this to photography the great conjunction with good results.   The zoom allowed me to adjust the power

to match available seeing conditions.

 

I'm not sure which eyepieces have and don't have this feature.  It is often not mentioned in the feature sheet.

 

SteveG  does the svbony eyepiece have the threads?  I'm interested in picking one of these up.

 

VT.

No threads. It has a twist-up rubber eyecup. I think somebody pried theirs off, to fit a Dioptrx. Maybe they’ll chime in. 



#39 LDW47

LDW47

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7,545
  • Joined: 04 Mar 2012
  • Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada

Posted 17 January 2021 - 08:04 AM

Someone (not me) has actually calculated the AFOV already over at this post:

 

https://www.cloudyni...iece/?p=7821540

 

For me having used both side by side it's definitely noticeable through the full range. One easy way I can tell is because in my 8" f/6 the Celestron at 24mm *just* fit the full moon in the view, but the Baader at 24mm has room to spare. 

I am talking the TFOV not the AFOV, as you know its the actual view seen through the ep, that should tell the real tale ! If you are viewing something as large as the moon, as long as it fits in its entirety what more could you want, try not to split hairs, that argument could go on forever ! No one said there wasn’t a different but the question is, a slight bit of difference and it is slight for 4-5x the cost ? Now theres the issue because for all intents and purposes the view quality is very close for any good astronomer but not for a perfectionist or nit picker or ........ !



#40 sahstim001

sahstim001

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • Posts: 48
  • Joined: 31 Dec 2020
  • Loc: Braidwood, IL

Posted 17 January 2021 - 10:34 AM

I am talking the TFOV not the AFOV, as you know its the actual view seen through the ep, that should tell the real tale ! If you are viewing something as large as the moon, as long as it fits in its entirety what more could you want, try not to split hairs, that argument could go on forever ! No one said there wasn’t a different but the question is, a slight bit of difference and it is slight for 4-5x the cost ? Now theres the issue because for all intents and purposes the view quality is very close for any good astronomer but not for a perfectionist or nit picker or ........ !

Isn't the TFOV proportional to the AFOV? You can figure one with the other, depending on your scope.

 

Whether the FOV improvement is slight or not I'd say depends on your budget, only you can answer that. As I said in my original post I was happy enough with the Celestron Zoom, especially considering the cost. But for the reasons I listed the Baader was worth the $ for me, and I'm happy with it. 



#41 SloMoe

SloMoe

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,856
  • Joined: 23 Dec 2016
  • Loc: Washington State

Posted 17 January 2021 - 11:03 AM

The Baader has many options for use, and included adapters to make it much easier to set up for your intended use.

 

Here is a review of the Baader Mk IV Zoom with explanations about it that you won't find here, not that most here are pretty through explanations of their pro's & con's but most never list all the options of use this zoom has,

 

https://astronomycon...binoviewing.66/

 

So why do some have the BHZ ?

For the options the BHZ Mk-IV is designed for, like the removable 2" skirt, the twist up eye cup, the various styles of eye cup's included with Mk-IV, it's eye relief, it's fov, it's edge correction and crisp images, the precision engineering.

 

If you are just wanting to try out the zoom effect, I'd suggest an inexpensive brand, then if you want more out of a zoom then step up in quality and engineering.

 

Simple tips for buying a zoom, not really one above the other, you get what you pay for,  



#42 FoxIslandHiker

FoxIslandHiker

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 33
  • Joined: 19 Oct 2020
  • Loc: Fox Island, Washington

Posted 17 January 2021 - 12:01 PM

The BHZ can be used as either a 1.25" or 2".  Is there an advantage to either option?



#43 LDW47

LDW47

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7,545
  • Joined: 04 Mar 2012
  • Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada

Posted 17 January 2021 - 12:50 PM

Isn't the TFOV proportional to the AFOV? You can figure one with the other, depending on your scope.

 

Whether the FOV improvement is slight or not I'd say depends on your budget, only you can answer that. As I said in my original post I was happy enough with the Celestron Zoom, especially considering the cost. But for the reasons I listed the Baader was worth the $ for me, and I'm happy with it. 

The difference in TFOV between the 2 zooms according to my random calcs was 0.1-0.5°, not much so how much more do you think you see in the outer width of the view, to make any difference ?? As to whether you like the Baader for the 4-5x the price is not the issue, just how much more you are getting out of it, for those others that are trying to decide.



#44 LDW47

LDW47

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7,545
  • Joined: 04 Mar 2012
  • Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada

Posted 17 January 2021 - 12:58 PM

The Baader has many options for use, and included adapters to make it much easier to set up for your intended use.

 

Here is a review of the Baader Mk IV Zoom with explanations about it that you won't find here, not that most here are pretty through explanations of their pro's & con's but most never list all the options of use this zoom has,

 

https://astronomycon...binoviewing.66/

 

So why do some have the BHZ ?

For the options the BHZ Mk-IV is designed for, like the removable 2" skirt, the twist up eye cup, the various styles of eye cup's included with Mk-IV, it's eye relief, it's fov, it's edge correction and crisp images, the precision engineering.

 

If you are just wanting to try out the zoom effect, I'd suggest an inexpensive brand, then if you want more out of a zoom then step up in quality and engineering.

 

Simple tips for buying a zoom, not really one above the other, you get what you pay for,  

Some of those features a good astronomer can live without quite easily, twist up eye cups are quite common on many lesser priced eps these days incl zooms, what does the skirt mean they are still 1,25” views not a big deal to slip an adapter in and out of the focuser. And the biggest difference is that ‘you get what you pay for’ doesn’t mean as much, very little in these times, the much lesser priced are not junk as in decades gone by but the attraction to a name still exists and we all know why !



#45 LDW47

LDW47

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7,545
  • Joined: 04 Mar 2012
  • Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada

Posted 17 January 2021 - 12:59 PM

The BHZ can be used as either a 1.25" or 2".  Is there an advantage to either option?

In the actual views not a thing ! The views should be what counts !



#46 sahstim001

sahstim001

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • Posts: 48
  • Joined: 31 Dec 2020
  • Loc: Braidwood, IL

Posted 17 January 2021 - 01:00 PM

The difference in TFOV between the 2 zooms according to my random calcs was 0.1-0.5°, not much so how much more do you think you see in the outer width of the view, to make any difference ?? As to whether you like the Baader for the 4-5x the price is not the issue, just how much more you are getting out of it, for those others that are trying to decide.

In terms of TFOV 0.5° is quite a lot in my opinion, even 0.1° is significant. It allows you to zoom further while keeping an object fully framed (seeing permitting), and it allows you to get more context which I often appreciate. It also keeps the object in the FOV longer without nudging (for a dob). 



#47 SloMoe

SloMoe

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,856
  • Joined: 23 Dec 2016
  • Loc: Washington State

Posted 17 January 2021 - 01:30 PM

Some of those features a good astronomer can live without quite easily, twist up eye cups are quite common on many lesser priced eps these days incl zooms, what does the skirt mean they are still 1,25” views not a big deal to slip an adapter in and out of the focuser. And the biggest difference is that ‘you get what you pay for’ doesn’t mean as much, very little in these times, the much lesser priced are not junk as in decades gone by but the attraction to a name still exists and we all know why !

I find your replies rather combative, but it's a public forum, everybody has an opinion, yours is not the only one that counts.


  • spaceoddity, clearwaterdave and sahstim001 like this

#48 LDW47

LDW47

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7,545
  • Joined: 04 Mar 2012
  • Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada

Posted 17 January 2021 - 02:17 PM

In terms of TFOV 0.5° is quite a lot in my opinion, even 0.1° is significant. It allows you to zoom further while keeping an object fully framed (seeing permitting), and it allows you to get more context which I often appreciate. It also keeps the object in the FOV longer without nudging (for a dob). 

If you say so ! As they always say ‘ to each his own ‘.



#49 LDW47

LDW47

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7,545
  • Joined: 04 Mar 2012
  • Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada

Posted 17 January 2021 - 02:20 PM

I find your replies rather combative, but it's a public forum, everybody has an opinion, yours is not the only one that counts.

As I have always said they are only my opinions, my findings ! But if I have a point to make based on that I will put it out there, if expressing that appears combative in your eyes well then ......... !  PS: I always thought thats what these forums were for, back and forth points of view ?


Edited by LDW47, 17 January 2021 - 02:22 PM.


#50 LDW47

LDW47

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7,545
  • Joined: 04 Mar 2012
  • Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada

Posted 17 January 2021 - 02:27 PM

I find your replies rather combative, but it's a public forum, everybody has an opinion, yours is not the only one that counts.

Your post 41 was excellent I just wanted to show the other side of the coin, we all think differently ! Clear Skies fellow astronomer !




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics