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Thread: Baader Zoom first night out impressions

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    Default Baader Zoom first night out impressions



    I received the new Baader Zoom yesterday in the mail and the night was looking to be clear so out the 8SE came and the zoom was played with.

    I enjoyed the ability to change the zoom by just a twist of the eye piece. I also compared the zoom to my Celestron Plossl's and at the end of the day with my limited viewing experience I did not give up anything that I could tell. I was limited to viewing Jupiter eariler in the evening and just as it was finally getting dark the clouds rolled in and shut me down. Rain started shortly after that.

    I will say as nice as this piece is for the mechanics the threads for the eye piece where the filters screw in is poor at best and I found this surprising. I will be calling Highpoint the place I purchased the unit from and discuss this with them to get a replacement component. It might not be the threads but the black coating on the part that is causing the issue, not sure yet but I will figure it out. I am not worried as I did not damage any filters as far as I can tell and nothing got stuck. But it clearly is not right as the filters screw in smooth in all the other EP's I own.

    There was also a lot of stuff that came with the EP and some are things I will never use but they will stay in the plastic holder that was a bonus from Highpoint.

    Bottom line its to early to tell but I sure did like using one eye piece for changing the magnification instead of popping EP's in and out. I also liked using my barlow with it (first time barlow use) again as I could go in and out to find the best view. I think the biggest issue is I need to learn how to look at the objects in the EP to see detail. Its a new hobby for me and lots to learn and learn I will. Just need some clear nights.
    Celestron 8SE scope, Ham radio enthusiast, Camping and Jeeps. All hobbies that Just Empty Every Pocket
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    Don

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    Default Re: Baader Zoom first night out impressions

    Filter threads are notoriously finicky. There are quality control issues, lack of standardization, you name it. If you're trying to use non Baader filters, replacing the filters might be the solution. I wouldn't be surprised or skeptical if your vendor suggests that.
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    Default Re: Baader Zoom first night out impressions

    Thanks for sharing your experience Gold. I don't believe it is the black coating on the threads, rather as nFA suggested slight variations in filter and barrel threads.

    It is not just Baader, on occasion I had difficulties attaching certain filters to certain EPs.

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    Default Re: Baader Zoom first night out impressions

    I agree. The thread is very fine, and sometimes there is a manufacturing issue. I couldn't attach filters to my Televue 18mm Radian, but I never bothered to chase it up as I had too many traumas getting it in the first place! (This was after I sent a 19mm Panoptic back because it had an air bubble in one of the lens elements!) A barrel from another (super cheap) eyepiece that was lying around did the job. So even the "better" manufacturers can have issues...

    Good to hear it is performing well otherwise!

    With regard to seeing more detail etc: I would suggest you start keeping notes on the objects you view and even do some sketches so that you train your eye and get the most out of your viewing. Enjoy!!!

    All the best,

    Dean

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    Default Re: Baader Zoom first night out impressions

    My Baader zoom is in with my grab n go kit and is a really useful item to have. Mine is the Mk3 version and haven't found an issue with any filters although I do not use them very much. Great for planetary and lunar use and also use with a white light wedge and easy to attach one of the Nikons for a few quick pics. Weak points on mine are the lack of a wide view at 24mm and a bit fiddly to tighten down on 1.25 star diagonals but none of these things are deal breakers. Overall the views are pretty sharp and decent close to the edges on my 72mm and 80 mm refractors. A brilliant item to have if you are travelling light or flying somewhere. Some might say its a jack of all trades and master of none and there could be an element of truth in this however it is far more than the sum of its parts and is a genuinely useful addition to have.
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    Default Re: Baader Zoom first night out impressions

    I have the Mark-IV version of the Baader Zoom. It's a fine eyepiece for what it does. I will echo the sentiments of narrow AFOV at the 24mm setting. I tested mine using the "flashlight arctangent" method, and come up with 45° @ 24mm and 70° at 8mm.

    It's by no means a perfect eyepiece, and a head-to-head battle with various BZ focal length settings and their fixed Delos counterparts at 12mm and 8mm shows the winner in terms of contrast and off-axis correction. But as a good "utility infielder" / "supporting cast" role, it can't be beat for the price. I mostly use mine as part of a quick-strike, "guerrilla astronomy" setup to take advantage of breaks in the clouds or very quick observing sessions from my back deck. Most of the time, I use it with a 2.5X Powermate for lunar/planets, where the relatively narrow AFOV at the "24mm" (effectively 9.6mm with the Powermate) isn't as big an issue. The ability to quickly dial in and fine tune the optimum magnification based on atmospheric steadiness alone makes it a useful addition to my lineup.

    Clear Skies,
    Phil

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    Default Re: Baader Zoom first night out impressions

    The BZ-MK4 is, from my recollection, a bit better corrected than the fixed-length Hyperions I've looked through. It seems softest at 24mm and sharpest at 8mm.

    One thing I've also found with the BZ-MK4: much of the off-axis softness in fast scopes is field curvature, not off-axis astigmatism. It's okay in a 110mm f/6 doublet, but was better in a Genesis-SDF (4" f/5.4). The Petzval arrangement of the SDF is faster, but the Petzval's inherent flat field definitely improved the BZ's performance.

    Similarly, the performance in my 8" f/4.9 is night-and-day with/without a Paracorr. The Paracorr not only eliminates the coma, it also adds 15% to the focal length (thus, reducing off-axis astigmatism) and flattens the field. With the Paracorr, it's surprisingly sharp.

    Clear Skies,
    Phil

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    Default Re: Baader Zoom first night out impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by PCreed View Post
    The BZ-MK4 is, from my recollection, a bit better corrected than the fixed-length Hyperions I've looked through. It seems softest at 24mm and sharpest at 8mm.
    That's a good observation. It is certainly more satisfactory than the fixed 24mm Hyperion.

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    Default Re: Baader Zoom first night out impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by not_Fritz_Argelander View Post
    That's a good observation. It is certainly more satisfactory than the fixed 24mm Hyperion.
    The fixed 24mm Hyperion had a distinct, "Godfather III" / "did not need to be made" feel to it. The other Hyperions made for a decent set, especially at f/6+, and it's not like they didn't have enough focal lengths to choose from.

    Clear Skies,
    Phil

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    Default Re: Baader Zoom first night out impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by PCreed View Post
    The fixed 24mm Hyperion had a distinct, "Godfather III" / "did not need to be made" feel to it. The other Hyperions made for a decent set, especially at f/6+, and it's not like they didn't have enough focal lengths to choose from.

    Clear Skies,
    Phil
    True. I used to have the set complete plus the aspherics.

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