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Baader Hyperion 8-24mm zoom (1 Viewer)

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Just to give everyone who doesn't follow astro forums a heads-up, there is an interesting new entry from Baader into the world of zoom eyepieces.

http://alpineastro.com/Eyepieces_Accessories/Eyepieces_Accessories.htm#Zoom

For those who don't know, the Baader Hyperion line is (like the Orion Stratus) a clone of the Vixen LVW's, but the Hyperions are considered to be superior to the Stratus's because of Baader's propriety coatings (which Baader refers to as their "phantom group" coatings).

Well, Baader's brand-new 8-24mm zoom just went on sale in the U.S. two days ago through their US retailer, Alpine Astro.

The specs look very interesting -- it appears to be an attempt to mimic the Zeiss Vario zoom. The most important characteristic (to me) is that the Hyperion zoom provides true wide-field views, ranging from 50* AFOV up to 68.5* at 8mm (just like the Zeiss, which is the king of wide-field zooms).

I conversed with Bob (owner of Alpine Astro) and he said he is extremely impressed with the zoom, and that while it is only 50* at 24mm, he said it opens up really fast and looks to be close to 60* AFOV once you're past 21mm or so! He said at 8mm it feels just like the fixed-fl Hyperion 8mm in terms of FOV.

In addition to the AFOV specs and physical appearance, another reason I believe it's a clone of the Zeiss is that this Hyperion zoom can be mated directly to the Zeiss Diascope bayonet mount by unscrewing the 1.25" chrome barrel -- you can see this in the stock image at the bottom of the description.

So, to make a long story short, I bit the bullet and ordered one, so I can be the official first-adopter/guinea pig for the Pentax crowd. I have the PF-65EDa, so this zoom should effectively be 16X-49X.

I'm currently using the 14mm Pentax XL and the 9mm TMB/BO planetary, so this zoom will have stiff competition. I also have a cheap Scopetronix 7-21mm zoom that I got for $30 off eBay, to give me a zoom comparison.

With the Scopetronix and other zooms, that narrow FOV is a huge disincentive for me, since the XL14 provides such beautiful widefield views. I had originally thought that my only option for a widefield zoom ep was to drop $400 on the Zeiss Vario, plus another $100 on a 1.25" adapter, which doesn't sound like any fun at all, especially since I'm not even sure it will reach focus in the Pentax scope.

I'll let you guys know if this new Hyperion zoom is the solution I have been looking for, at a relatively measly $189. Ideally, I'll bump into someone who is birding with a Zeiss Diascope and ask to swap in the Hyperion. If this zoom can be 95% of the Zeiss at less than half the price, I'll be very happy.
 

Graham Osborne

Well-known member
Hi

I have recently bought three Baader Hyperion fixed focal length eyepieces (8, 13 & 17 mm) for astronomical use. Since I bought them I have only had the chance to try them out on one occasion (due almost constant cloud, wind & rain). However, my initial impressions are very favourable. They give a very comfortable wide-angle view (68 degrees AFOV) and appear to be very good value for money (£75 each). I was interested to note their compatibility to various makes of spotting scope.

Regards
Graham
 

HokkaidoStu

occasional moderator
Staff member
Supporter
eitanaltman said:
For those who don't know, the Baader Hyperion line is (like the Orion Stratus) a clone of the Vixen LVW's, but the Hyperions are considered to be superior to the Stratus's because of Baader's propriety coatings (which Baader refers to as their "phantom group" coatings).

I also have a cheap Scopetronix 7-21mm zoom that I got for $30 off eBay, to give me a zoom comparison.

With the Scopetronix and other zooms, that narrow FOV is a huge disincentive for me,.

Hi. This new zoom sounds interesting.

I live in Japan where Vixen products are pretty cheap. I'm currently using a Pentax XF12/Seben 8-24mm zoom as my main eyepieces. I keep meaning to upgrade. I'll probably get the Vixen LV zoom but may be tempted by this one. I await your verdict with interest.

You say the Hyperions are "clones" of the Vixen LVWs. Does that mean they are exactly the same? They're much cheaper than the Pentax XWs over here and I may consider one.

The Scopetronix zoom has also intrigued me price-wise. I understand it has a narrow FOV but how is the image quality?
 

henry link

Well-known member
I ordered a Baader zoom eyepiece yesterday. It certainly resembles the Zeiss, but isn't really a clone. The Zeiss has 8 elements, the Baader 7. The Zeiss focal length range, eye relief (if the Baader spec is accurate) and apparent field at high magnification are different from the Baader. I have read good things about the Baader multi-coatings so I am hoping for higher light transmission and contrast from it.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
henry link said:
I ordered a Baader zoom eyepiece yesterday. It certainly resembles the Zeiss, but isn't really a clone. The Zeiss has 8 elements, the Baader 7. The Zeiss focal length range, eye relief (if the Baader spec is accurate) and apparent field at high magnification are different from the Baader. I have read good things about the Baader multi-coatings so I am hoping for higher light transmission and contrast from it.

I'm hoping too! It will be good to have a second opinion to review the merits of this zoom. Which Pentax scope do you have (I'm using the 65ED)?
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
stuprice68 said:
You say the Hyperions are "clones" of the Vixen LVWs. Does that mean they are exactly the same? They're much cheaper than the Pentax XWs over here and I may consider one.

As far as I know, they are pretty much the same design but with different multi-coatings (the Baader "Phantom group"). Astro guys tend to consider the Hyperion/Stratus to the absolute best "bang-for-the-buck" in wide-field eyepieces.

Here's a review of the Baader vs. Stratus vs. LVW:

http://www.svenwienstein.de/HTML/hyperion_-_english_version.html

This review, as well as other opinions that I've read, consider the Hyperion to be slightly better than the Stratus, with the LVW being a tiny bit better. If you can find the Vixen versions cheaper in Japan than it would cost to import a Hyperion or Stratus, I'd go that route.

I compared the XF12 to the Stratus 13mm when I first bought my scope. I though the Stratus was brighter and more "pleasing" to look through, partially because it has a much wider AFOV (68* vs. 60* for the XF12). I went with the XF12, however, because it was much smaller and the case for the PF-65 barely closed over the Stratus. Of course, now I've traded in the XF12 for an XL14...


stuprice68 said:
The Scopetronix zoom has also intrigued me price-wise. I understand it has a narrow FOV but how is the image quality?

I've never used the Seben zoom, but I doubt the Scopetronix would be any better. It really loses it at mags above 10mm in my PF-65. It also has a very narrow FOV -- I would estimate it at 35* to maybe 50* at the high end. At it's lowest mag setting (24mm or 16X), I can see appreciably less FOV than with my XL14 (at 28X). I did some back-of-the-envelope calculations and that's where I came up with my 35* estimate.

I did some comparisons between my 9mm TMB/BO (60* AFOV), and to see the same FOV with the Scopetronix Zoom, I had to back out to around 18-19mm or so.

I thought about the Vixen zoom, but the Hyperion zoom attracted me for it's widefield views. We'll see how it performs!
 

henry link

Well-known member
eitanaltman said:
I'm hoping too! It will be good to have a second opinion to review the merits of this zoom. Which Pentax scope do you have (I'm using the 65ED)?

I don't have a Pentax scope, but I have the Zeiss, Swarovski and Nikon zoom eyepieces, adapted for use on astronomical scopes. I'll compare the Baader to those on an f/6.6 AP Stowaway and an f/5.6 Takahashi Sky 90. That should pretty well cover the same range of focal ratios it would encounter in birding scopes like the Pentax and Zeiss.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
henry link said:
I don't have a Pentax scope, but I have the Zeiss, Swarovski and Nikon zoom eyepieces, adapted for use on astronomical scopes. I'll compare the Baader to those on an f/6.6 AP Stowaway and an f/5.6 Takahashi Sky 90. That should pretty well cover the same range of focal ratios it would encounter in birding scopes like the Pentax and Zeiss.

Henry - I'm really looking forward to your comparison of these four zooms. Many have noted that spotting scope reviews are flawed because eyepiece quality is difficult to separate from objective optics quality.

You have the distinct advantage of being able to try all four zooms on the same scopes, removing one big variable. The Zeiss, Nikon, and Swaro zooms are pretty much considered the class of the field (along with the Leica), so I think we can all get some good insight on the quality of the new Hyperion zoom.

I am especially interested to see if the Hyperion hangs in there in terms of sharpness, contrast, and detail at high powers, and how you compare it's "feel" as far as a widefield ep.

A question on adapters -- did you buy pre-fabbed 1.25" adapters, or make them yourself? You don't, by any chance, know if the adapted zooms will reach focus in a Pentax scope?

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

henry link

Well-known member
eitanaltman said:
A question on adapters -- did you buy pre-fabbed 1.25" adapters, or make them yourself? You don't, by any chance, know if the adapted zooms will reach focus in a Pentax scope?

I have both the 1.25" and 2" adapters made by Zeiss. I use an APM 2" adapter for the Swaro zoom. It's actually intended for Zeiss eyepieces but works with the Swaro zoom if longer hex screws are substituted. My Nikon adapter is home made, but APM also offers a 1.25" adapter for the Nikon Fieldscope eyepieces. That combination possibly would work in the Pentax scopes. The Zeiss 1.25" adapter adds an extra 21-22mm to the front of the eyepiece which might demand too much in focus for the Pentax scopes. I'm wondering if perhaps the Baader 1.25" nose piece combined with the Zeiss zoom might require less in focus. I'll let you know.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
Good news... and bad news

Scrambled home at lunch because I knew the US postman was supposed to deliver the new Hyperion Zoom today, and there it was! I opened it up, drove to a nearby field to give it first light scanning for pipits and such.

First the good:

It's a beautiful ep, obviously high-quality construction. The lenses are big and nicely coated, and the zoom mechanism is smooth and well calibrated. The eyepiece provides really bright, sharp views, and it has an obviously wider FOV than my cheap Scopetronix zoom.

THE BAD:

The Hyperion Zoom does NOT reach focus beyond maybe 50 feet or so in the PF-65ED!! Booo!

I had a bad feeling when I opened the box and saw how short the chrome 1.25" barrel was, and after testing it clearly needs an extra centimeter or so of infocus. Staring at my scope in disappointment, I realized that the centimeter that I needed was sitting there in the form of the eyepiece-tightening ring, which doesn't allow the eyepiece to seat fully in the focuser tube.

So, back it goes. Sigh.

However, the Hyperion Zoom really seems like a nice zoom ep, and it might work in the PF-80 which allows an eyepiece to sit deeper.

Henry, I'm still curious to hear how good it is once you've had a chance to test it out, but don't say it's too good or I'll be really sad!
 

mmdnje

Jose
eitanaltman: does the eyepiece has a thread if you remove the eyecup?? Can you remove the eyecup at all?? I woul be ntereste in conecting the CP4500 directely to the eyepiece ( using step-rings)
Thanks in advance.
Jose
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
mmdnje said:
eitanaltman: does the eyepiece has a thread if you remove the eyecup?? Can you remove the eyecup at all?? I woul be ntereste in conecting the CP4500 directely to the eyepiece ( using step-rings)
Thanks in advance.
Jose

Yes, it does. One of the nice aspects of the whole Hyperion line (and a big reason a lot of astro guys prefer them) is that they are much more modular than the Stratus.

If you look at the alpine astro description, you can see an image of the Hyperion zoom couple directly to a DSLR:

http://alpineastro.com/Eyepieces_Accessories/Eyepieces_Accessories.htm#Zoom

"Like the fixed focal length Hyperions, the Hyperion Zoom eyelens barrel has been provided with an M54 thread (covered by the removable rubber eyecups). A complete system of adapter rings enables cameras to be directly (and rigidly) close-coupled for afocal projection, or variably extended for classical eyepiece projection imaging with our T-Adapter and Extension Tubes. A series of 16 threaded rings provides compatibility with just about every digital (CCD/DSLR) and videocamera made."
 

mayoayo

Well-known member
Maybe a Solution..

eitanaltman said:
Scrambled home at lunch because I knew the US postman was supposed to deliver the new Hyperion Zoom today, and there it was! I opened it up, drove to a nearby field to give it first light scanning for pipits and such.

First the good:

It's a beautiful ep, obviously high-quality construction. The lenses are big and nicely coated, and the zoom mechanism is smooth and well calibrated. The eyepiece provides really bright, sharp views, and it has an obviously wider FOV than my cheap Scopetronix zoom.

THE BAD:

The Hyperion Zoom does NOT reach focus beyond maybe 50 feet or so in the PF-65ED!! Booo!

I had a bad feeling when I opened the box and saw how short the chrome 1.25" barrel was, and after testing it clearly needs an extra centimeter or so of infocus. Staring at my scope in disappointment, I realized that the centimeter that I needed was sitting there in the form of the eyepiece-tightening ring, which doesn't allow the eyepiece to seat fully in the focuser tube.

So, back it goes. Sigh.

However, the Hyperion Zoom really seems like a nice zoom ep, and it might work in the PF-80 which allows an eyepiece to sit deeper.

Henry, I'm still curious to hear how good it is once you've had a chance to test it out, but don't say it's too good or I'll be really sad!
Hi there...i had a similar problem with the Swarovski astro zoom not reaching infinity focus in the PF65ED at its lower power.i would be able to reach infinity as soon as i moved down in focal lenght......but that does defeat the purpose of the whloe thing..no one is going to be happy loosing the use to the scope at its lower power.....what i did,and worked ,is a little modification in the scope...if you noted the compression ring in the collar of the scope compresses the eyepiece upwards...,keeping the collar ring quite up in ITS range.If you take the eyepiece out of the socket and remove the plastic compression ring,you would see that the collar can go all the way down(probably that centimeter if not more)..i replaced the compression ring with a simple plumbing rubber ring(the little red ring with triangular profile).This new ring ,can be set in a position that would compress not upwards ,but downwards,therefore allowing the eyepiece closer to a usable focal lenght.....does this make any sense?...it works...
 

henry link

Well-known member
Baader zoom arrived today. I had limited time to test it, mainly comparing it to the Zeiss zoom. I'll post a more complete review, but I can safely say now that its light transmission, contrast and color accuracy are superour to the Zeiss zoom. It's comparable to the very best complex eyepieces in those categories. The clickstop indications are wildly inaccurate. 20mm is actually about 13mm, 16mm is about 10mm. The 8mm-24mm range appears to be about right. I'm trying to arrange to borrow a friend's Zeiss 85mm to see how it does on the Zeiss scope. Attachment to the Diascope is not like the Zeiss eyepieces. The Baader has a large thread rather than the Zeiss bayonet. There must be some large thread on the back of the Diascope (for camera attachment maybe?).
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
henry link said:
I can safely say now that its light transmission, contrast and color accuracy are superour to the Zeiss zoom. It's comparable to the very best complex eyepieces in those categories.

AHH!! You're killing me Henry! I don't want to know that the zoom that didn't work is the best zoom out there! |:||

Seriously, despite my disappointment, I'm looking forward to hearing a more extensive review. Looks like another winner for Baader.
 

mooreorless

Well-known member
henry link said:
Baader zoom arrived today. I had limited time to test it, mainly comparing it to the Zeiss zoom. I'll post a more complete review, but I can safely say now that its light transmission, contrast and color accuracy are superour to the Zeiss zoom. It's comparable to the very best complex eyepieces in those categories. The clickstop indications are wildly inaccurate. 20mm is actually about 13mm, 16mm is about 10mm. The 8mm-24mm range appears to be about right. I'm trying to arrange to borrow a friend's Zeiss 85mm to see how it does on the Zeiss scope. Attachment to the Diascope is not like the Zeiss eyepieces. The Baader has a large thread rather than the Zeiss bayonet. There must be some large thread on the back of the Diascope (for camera attachment maybe?).

Hi Henry,Thanks for this information.I bought a 5mm Baader Hyperion for my Celestron 80ED[600mm fl] scope off Astromart,but my wife says it is for me for Christmas so I couldn't try it out yet and she wrapped it.What little I saw of it I liked,it is a heavy eyepiece.For astro of course.I use 20mm Vixen LV for birding etc.
Regards,Steve
Regards,Steve
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
mayoayo said:
Hi there...i had a similar problem with the Swarovski astro zoom not reaching infinity focus in the PF65ED at its lower power.i would be able to reach infinity as soon as i moved down in focal lenght......but that does defeat the purpose of the whloe thing..no one is going to be happy loosing the use to the scope at its lower power.....what i did,and worked ,is a little modification in the scope...if you noted the compression ring in the collar of the scope compresses the eyepiece upwards...,keeping the collar ring quite up in ITS range.If you take the eyepiece out of the socket and remove the plastic compression ring,you would see that the collar can go all the way down(probably that centimeter if not more)..i replaced the compression ring with a simple plumbing rubber ring(the little red ring with triangular profile).This new ring ,can be set in a position that would compress not upwards ,but downwards,therefore allowing the eyepiece closer to a usable focal lenght.....does this make any sense?...it works...

Hi Manuel,

I actually thought about this already, as I remember you posting this a while back about that old Swaro zoom.

The problem is that I don't think this solution will provide enough in-focus travel. You mention that you could solve the problem by zooming in to a shorter focal length, but even at 8mm the Hyperion zoom doesn't focus past 50 feet or so! I don't think that compression ring solution will come up with much more than 5mm or so, and I'm betting it needs something like 11 - 13mm of extra travel.

I'll give it a shot though before I send it back, because I just read another first-adopter review of the Hyperion zoom and they were gushing about how great it was.
 

henry link

Well-known member
Thanks eitanaltman, for bringing the Baader zoom to our attention. I've posted a new thread comparing it to other zooms. If I were you I wouldn't be too quick to return it.

Henry
 

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