Author Topic: I tried to kill off my Pentax/Delos with a Baader Zoom. I failed...  (Read 217 times)

adlamontma

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There is a battle going on in my eyepiece case right now...

A while back I got a Pentax 10mm XW and a Televue 14mm Delos. There has always been a small voice in the back of my head telling me that this was overkill for an f10 8" SCT, (but sometimes overkilling is fun). Anyway, I picked up a Baader 8-24mm MkIII zoom, hoping to let go of the Pentax and Delos, and save some space in my eyepiece case, some money in my wallet, and some time at the scope from not having to switch eyepieces back and forth, not to mention gaining several usable focal lengths between 8mm and 16mm.

I figured that in an f10 scope, the Baader zoom would be good enough. I knew that a Pentax and Delos would beat the pants off a zoom at anything faster than f7, but I thought at f10 it wouldn't really matter. After spending a night trying to convince myself that the Baader zoom is good enough, I have come to the conclusion that in it terms of correction for most optical aberrations at f10 the Baader is indeed good enough, but the Delos and Pentax are better in a few critical areas that I still can't bring myself to let go of them in favor of the zoom.

I use the Pentax for planetary. In my scope, it gives 200x, which is perfect on most nights for me. The Baader zoom actually kept up quite well with the Pentax, and the utility of being able to vary magnification as seeing conditions permit is a winning factor. But, on bright objects such as planets, I find the Baader zoom has a lot of internal reflection. It is annoying to me. The Pentax controls this a lot better. In terms or resolution and contrast, however, I couldn't tell much of a difference between the two. Yes, the Pentax is more comfortable, but the Baader is just fine. If not for the internal reflections, I might have been fine replacing the Pentax with the Baader.

I use the 14mm Delos for galaxies. In DSO viewing territory, there was a much wider gap for me between the Delos at 14mm and the Baader (at somewhere between 12-16mm). Besides the obvious difference in the AFOV (72deg vs approx. 62-58deg), I felt that galaxies in the Delos were brighter than the Baader. I spent a lot of time looking at the Sombrero Galaxy, and while both the Delos and the Baader revealed the central dust lane, the rest of the galaxy seemed like a slightly bigger and brighter smudge in the Delos. Same with the Whirlpool galaxy. It wasn't a huge difference, but combined with the lovely ergonomics and AFOV of the Delos, it made me feel that I would one day seriously regret giving up the performance Delos for the convenience of the Baader Zoom, f10 scope or not.

Why would I even be thinking about replacing 2 of the best EPs of all time at their focal lengths with a zoom anyway? Well, I have come to really love binoviewing recently, and I thought that I should just radically simplify my monovision collection and reduce it to only what I need for DSO, so that I can focus on building up my binoviewing pairs. Thus, I was hoping to keep just one cyclops zoom, and the Baader was going to be the One.

Alas, the Delos is a jealous eyepiece, and would have no other eyepieces before it. And if I am going to keep the 14mm Delos, I might as well keep the Pentax 10mm XW. And if I keep the Pentax, I might as well get a Vixen 22mm LVW to complete the Holy Trinity of eyepieces between 10-22mm...

Maybe it was an impossible task for the Baader, but I was really hoping it would be the path to simplification. I need a zoom that holds up really well in the back half of its magnification range. Maybe it's time to turn to the cult of Leica...



praccelreber

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Re: I tried to kill off my Pentax/Delos with a Baader Zoom. I failed...
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2018, 03:37:43 PM »
Think of the Baader zoom as a supplementary / G&G eyepiece for the cold winter nights, not a competition contender !

Pentax XW and Delos are the kind of eyepieces that grow on you like a fungus you just can't get rid of. Not because you

can't, but because you don't want to without feeling guilty about it.

George

redsfilrerig

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Re: I tried to kill off my Pentax/Delos with a Baader Zoom. I failed...
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2018, 01:52:01 PM »
Quote
Think of the Baader zoom as a supplementary / G&G eyepiece for the cold winter nights, not a competition contender !

Pentax XW and Delos are the kind of eyepieces that grow on you like a fungus you just can't get rid of. Not because you

can't, but because you don't want to without feeling guilty about it.

George

I agree and will add that I use my Zoom's to dial in the best magnification possible (for Planetary).

Mike

bamrocorna

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Re: I tried to kill off my Pentax/Delos with a Baader Zoom. I failed...
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2018, 03:43:47 PM »
Quote
A huge part of the fun is replacing EPs in the barrel ....


Now where is that "Don't Like This" button ....?Mike

Dave Fair

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Re: I tried to kill off my Pentax/Delos with a Baader Zoom. I failed...
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2018, 11:00:45 AM »
Quote
There is a battle going on in my eyepiece case right now...

A while back I got a Pentax 10mm XW and a Televue 14mm Delos. There has always been a small voice in the back of my head telling me that this was overkill for an f10 8" SCT, (but sometimes overkilling is fun). Anyway, I picked up a Baader 8-24mm MkIII zoom, hoping to let go of the Pentax and Delos, and save some space in my eyepiece case, some money in my wallet, and some time at the scope from not having to switch eyepieces back and forth, not to mention gaining several usable focal lengths between 8mm and 16mm.

I figured that in an f10 scope, the Baader zoom would be good enough. I knew that a Pentax and Delos would beat the pants off a zoom at anything faster than f7, but I thought at f10 it wouldn't really matter. After spending a night trying to convince myself that the Baader zoom is good enough, I have come to the conclusion that in it terms of correction for most optical aberrations at f10 the Baader is indeed good enough, but the Delos and Pentax are better in a few critical areas that I still can't bring myself to let go of them in favor of the zoom.

I use the Pentax for planetary. In my scope, it gives 200x, which is perfect on most nights for me. The Baader zoom actually kept up quite well with the Pentax, and the utility of being able to vary magnification as seeing conditions permit is a winning factor. But, on bright objects such as planets, I find the Baader zoom has a lot of internal reflection. It is annoying to me. The Pentax controls this a lot better. In terms or resolution and contrast, however, I couldn't tell much of a difference between the two. Yes, the Pentax is more comfortable, but the Baader is just fine. If not for the internal reflections, I might have been fine replacing the Pentax with the Baader.

I use the 14mm Delos for galaxies. In DSO viewing territory, there was a much wider gap for me between the Delos at 14mm and the Baader (at somewhere between 12-16mm). Besides the obvious difference in the AFOV (72deg vs approx. 62-58deg), I felt that galaxies in the Delos were brighter than the Baader. I spent a lot of time looking at the Sombrero Galaxy, and while both the Delos and the Baader revealed the central dust lane, the rest of the galaxy seemed like a slightly bigger and brighter smudge in the Delos. Same with the Whirlpool galaxy. It wasn't a huge difference, but combined with the lovely ergonomics and AFOV of the Delos, it made me feel that I would one day seriously regret giving up the performance Delos for the convenience of the Baader Zoom, f10 scope or not.

Why would I even be thinking about replacing 2 of the best EPs of all time at their focal lengths with a zoom anyway? Well, I have come to really love binoviewing recently, and I thought that I should just radically simplify my monovision collection and reduce it to only what I need for DSO, so that I can focus on building up my binoviewing pairs. Thus, I was hoping to keep just one cyclops zoom, and the Baader was going to be the One.

Alas, the Delos is a jealous eyepiece, and would have no other eyepieces before it. And if I am going to keep the 14mm Delos, I might as well keep the Pentax 10mm XW. And if I keep the Pentax, I might as well get a Vixen 22mm LVW to complete the Holy Trinity of eyepieces between 10-22mm...

Maybe it was an impossible task for the Baader, but I was really hoping it would be the path to simplification. I need a zoom that holds up really well in the back half of its magnification range. Maybe it's time to turn to the cult of Leica...


Have you informed your Khaki Scout troop of this epic and terrible eyepiece tragedy?

reilpipohen

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Re: I tried to kill off my Pentax/Delos with a Baader Zoom. I failed...
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2018, 12:55:22 PM »
hard to beat the xw and delos eps

elunmolunch

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Re: I tried to kill off my Pentax/Delos with a Baader Zoom. I failed...
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2018, 08:20:02 AM »
TheBaader Zooms in the stall doesn't "have a lotofinternal reflections".

MarkIII & II at left

The Delos is great, almost flawless - love mine absolutely, but as Mike (Sarkikos) had said before,
It just doesn't zoom.

Delos &BaaderZoom

Best,

Jeffrey Hunter

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Re: I tried to kill off my Pentax/Delos with a Baader Zoom. I failed...
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2018, 09:23:53 PM »
I have not noticed internal reflection issues in the zoom.

Have you considered going to a Denkmeier power switch diagonal?

Of you love your Delos, you could turn it into something like seven different eyepiece focal lenghts.

I could never go back to swap till you drop form of observing again. If I were ever to go back to SCTs, I would so have a power switch diagonal. I kick myself for not trying variable magnifcation setups in the past.

I used to think that it was simply way to expensive, but when I realized that you could turn one excellent eyepiece into a half dozen, it really made me re-think the value proposition of this kind of setup.

Maybe the zoom is not the right eyepiece for you, but maybe there are other ways to simplify your observing.

fibcapoti

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Re: I tried to kill off my Pentax/Delos with a Baader Zoom. I failed...
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2018, 06:47:07 AM »
I haven't seen a lot of internal reflections in either of my Baader Zoom Mk III's.  I use them for binoviewing planet/lunar, and separately for deep sky.  Eddgie has a pair of Baader Zooms as his default binoviewing eyepieces for planets. I don't think he has a problem with them either.

The Delos might well have somewhat better light transmission than the Baader Zooms. Alvin Huey gave high marks to the Delos in that department, better than the Ethos and XW's and nearly as good as the ZAO-II's.

I haven't compared the Baader Zooms against other eyepieces for light transmission. But I've finished the H400's using Baader Zooms, and I'm at least half-way through the Herschel 2 and 3 lists. This is with a 10" Dob at a yellow zone site. So the Baaders must not be too bad for deep sky.

In any case, I'd gladly give up a modicum of transmission for the ability to dial in image scale, exit pupil and perceived contrast on-the-fly when viewing DSO. Much better than switching among eyepieces, especially when going through a list of objects that might vary widely in size, magnitude and surface brightness.

Mike

stunfalriave

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Re: I tried to kill off my Pentax/Delos with a Baader Zoom. I failed...
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2018, 09:31:45 AM »
Well, my primary observing eyepiece pair is a set of Denk D21s, and I get my variable magnification from the power switch on the binoviewer.

In my 5" Apo (that I rarely use), the only eyepieces I use are a pair of ES 24s, and the Baader Zooms. In this scope, they see a lot of duty simply because in binoviewers, changing eyepices is like four times the work of changing a single fixed focal length eyepiece.

I do use the zooms more and more for the 5" Apo because it is simple, but mostly that scope is a wide field scope.

When I do planets with the 12" dob though, I do pull out the D21s and put in a pair of Baader zooms.  With these and the power switch, I have a magnification range of 85x to 570x!!!

My own experience is that seeing conditions and the telescope being used are far moreinfluentialin the amount of planetary detail that I can see than the eyepieces I am using and the zooms and power switch make it possible to maximize my observing time (no eyepiece replacement) and the more your eyes are on the target in a given session, the more likely you are to have moments of good seeing that you can respond to immediately with the zooms.

If the OP is crusing along with his 14mm Delos because average seeing is limiting him to this power, and suddenly there are 20 seconds of stable seeing, by the time he can get his 10mm XW into the game, the moment is gone.

This is where the Baader (or any good zoom) plays in the observing game with little peer.

It does not matter how much better the other eyepiece is for planets if it is not in the eyepiece holder when you need it, and often you need it fast, but only for 20 seconds.

I have had the best planetary views of Jupiter in my life in the last couple of months. It wasn't because my eyepiece had the best optical performance of any eyepiece made, it was becauseseeing is our principle obstacle to resolving a lot of planetary detail and the zoom always allowed me to get the most from seeing by allowing an almost continuousvariabilityto ride thecycles of seeing up and down over the session.

Ben Marquez

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Re: I tried to kill off my Pentax/Delos with a Baader Zoom. I failed...
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2018, 08:55:26 PM »
I'd like to think of the zoom as complementary to the fixed EPs - that way I could keep them all. But I find that whenever I have redundant or similar focal lengths, I end up changing EPs even more. I keep switching back and forth to see which view is better, etc.

As for the power switch diagonal - that is an intriguing thought, but I'm trying to keep my lightpath optimized for binoviewing. Thus, I have a T2 prism with a short adapter, and I would be too lazy to change diagonals for monoviewing. Right now I use a quick change to switch between a 1.25 EP holder and a Binotron with a dovetail adapter.

I might be using the term "internal reflections" improperly. In the pictures attached here, I am shining a small light through the field lens of the EP and taking a picture of the eye lens. You will see that "line" of pale purple dots extending back through the elements of the eyepiece. I understand that shining a flashlight through an eyepiece is a harsh test, but I do see these reflections when looking at Jupiter and Venus specifically. I don't really see it on Saturn or Mars, so really only the brightest objects cause this. It's not terrible, but I notice it and it's just a bit annoying. It's almost as if there is a small insect buzzing around my eye or something.

The second picture is the Pentax. Of course it shows reflections too, as would any eyepiece if you shine a flashlight through it, but when actually using the Pentax and Delos, the phenomenon is much more muted. It's there, but pale and faint (and also green, not purple)

To be clear, the Baader keeps up with the Pentax just fine on Jupiter and Saturn. The "reflections" are a distraction, but nothing more than that. I don't perceive a difference in contrast or resolution in the Baader vs Pentax on planets (different story on galaxies vs the Delos), but I do admit there is probably some psychological factor in the sense that if the internal reflections are stronger, then performance must be suffering somewhere even if I can't see it.

BTW, I compared 3 samples of Baader zooms on Jupiter, and they all showed this at more or less the same intensity, so I don't think I have a bad sample.

Having said all that, I am happy with zoom. Just even happier with the Delos/Pentax

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reaipasjime

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Re: I tried to kill off my Pentax/Delos with a Baader Zoom. I failed...
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2018, 08:53:31 PM »
Quote
I'd like to think of the zoom as complementary to the fixed EPs - that way I could keep them all. But I find that whenever I have redundant or similar focal lengths, I end up changing EPs even more. I keep switching back and forth to see which view is better, etc.

As for the power switch diagonal - that is an intriguing thought, but I'm trying to keep my lightpath optimized for binoviewing. Thus, I have a T2 prism with a short adapter, and I would be too lazy to change diagonals for monoviewing. Right now I use a quick change to switch between a 1.25 EP holder and a Binotron with a dovetail adapter.

I might be using the term "internal reflections" improperly. In the pictures attached here, I am shining a small light through the field lens of the EP and taking a picture of the eye lens. You will see that "line" of pale green dots extending back through the elements of the eyepiece. I understand that shining a flashlight through an eyepiece is a harsh test, but I do see these reflections when looking at Jupiter and Venus specifically. I don't really see it on Saturn or Mars, so really only the brightest objects cause this. It's not terrible, but I notice it and it's just a bit annoying. It's almost as if there is a small insect buzzing around my eye or something.

The second picture is the Pentax. Of course it shows reflections too, as would any eyepiece if you shine a flashlight through it, but when actually using the Pentax and Delos, the phenomenon is much more muted. It's there, but pale and faint.

To be clear, the Baader keeps up with the Pentax just fine on Jupiter and Saturn. The "reflections" are a distraction, but nothing more than that. I don't perceive a difference in contrast or resolution in the Baader vs Pentax on planets (different story on galaxies vs the Delos), but I do admit there is probably some psychological factor in the sense that if the internal reflections are stronger, then performance must be suffering somewhere even if I can't see it.

BTW, I compared 3 samples of Baader zooms on Jupiter, and they all showed this at more or less the same intensity, so I don't think I have a bad sample.

Having said all that, I am happy with zoom. Just even happier with the Delos/Pentax

Saturnius,

When I look at Jupiter or Venus, I use a 25% transmission moon filter to cut the irradiation and it works wonders.....have you ever tried that? I also find those two planets too bright, but the filter helps 100%.

liomocharla

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Re: I tried to kill off my Pentax/Delos with a Baader Zoom. I failed...
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2018, 11:09:53 AM »
Quote
When I look at Jupiter or Venus, I use a 25% transmission moon filter to cut the irradiation and it works wonders.....have you ever tried that? I also find those two planets too bright, but the filter helps 100%.

Actually I have a Baader neodymium MS&G filter that I use for Jupiter specifically. It certainly helps a lot.

BTW - I also forgot to mention - this is something that is only an issue at 8mm to 12mm. It goes away at anything above that. Unfortunately, 8mm -12mm is where all the Jupiter viewing occurs. I have just assumed that this has something to do with the design implications of being a mechanical zoom. It's worth the price for the convenience on planetary.

Jairo Zilinskas

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Re: I tried to kill off my Pentax/Delos with a Baader Zoom. I failed...
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2018, 03:14:43 PM »
I set up last Saturday next to another club member and CN lurker with a C8. He had replaced another C8 (a Nexstar) with the more recent WiFi model because of the greater stability of the mount. He complained about the loudness of his mount, saying my CG-5 was quieter than his. I complained about the loudness of my CG-5, saying it was much louder than his...

On the eyepiece front, he had simplified, by using exclusively the Baader zoom. I'm not ready to go that far, but there are people who do, and the Baader zoom is a good way to do it. What were the eyepieces I don't want to replace? Paradigm/Starguiders, and TMB planetary types. Swapping light weight, 1.25" eyepieces out and into a star diagonal requires a lot of skill, skill I have spent decades acquiring. I don't want to throw all that effort away.

ringnasingsimb

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Re: I tried to kill off my Pentax/Delos with a Baader Zoom. I failed...
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2018, 09:28:17 AM »
I have the very same "issue" since I acquired the Leica zoom. I'm using it for close to 90% of my viewing. But every time I pick up the ES 14/100, once I have enjoyed the view, the next thought is; "there's no way I'm selling this thing"!

Having said that, I have gone nights with just the Leica, a 27 pan, and the 2" Denk OCS as a barlow. Once I get to a dark site and haven't brought all the other eyepieces, I have not missed them. Much.