Sky and Telescope's Hot Astronomy Product for 2008! The Baader Planetarium Hyperion 68° Modular Eyepieces offer world-class performance and unique photo-visual features at an unheard of price. No longer do amateurs need to spend more on their eyepieces than their primary instrument, in order to get true high-end performance in a wide-field eyepiece. Not just a different branded version of their highly regarded cousins, the Hyperions have been totally redesigned to deliver better transmission, contrast, and useful new features. Baader Planetarium of Germany has worked hard to give the Hyperions the world's finest optical coatings, superb mechanics, and their unique multifunctional design.
As a visual eyepiece, the Hyperions deliver superb sharpness and color fidelity across their 68° wide, flat-field even in fast telescopes. In comparison to the Pentax XL eyepieces, the Hyperions matched the Pentax in every regard, and at just over 1/3 the price! From their superb on-axis and off-axis sharpness to their pitch-black high contrast field, the Hyperions really work. Viewing through a Hyperion is notably comfortable and relaxing due to their forgiving eye-position, 20mm of eye-relief, extra-large eye lens, and an optical design that is free of annoying 'kidney-beaning' and blackouts.
Some highlights of the Hyperion Eyepieces:
• Consisting of 8 elements in 5 groups (3.5mm - 21mm), the Hyperion optical design delivers outstanding sharpness and color correction over a 68° wide apparent field (65° for the 21mm). The Hyperion optical design has been chosen to deliver a exceptionally comfortable view, thanks to its 20mm of eye-relief, large eyelens, and a pupil free of the kidney-beaning and blackouts common in many wide field eyepieces.
• The new 24mm uses a different optical design and delivers outstanding performance over its 68° wide apparent field. It is totally free of blackouts and other annoying exit pupil behaviors, delivers long eye relief (17mm), virtually zero distortion, and is sharp to the edge even in fast telescopes. Its flat focal plane is particularly suited to very fast newtonians that use coma correctors. The 29mm field stop makes the 24mm Hyperion the widest 24mm eyepiece we know of. The 24mm Hyperion is also the smallest and lightest of the Hyperions.
• High grade water-white glasses are used throughout to deliver a crystal clear view with low scatter and excellent color fidelity, free of the yellow or bluish coloration imparted by many other eyepieces. Use of high-index glasses delivers low distortion and astigmatism, even on scopes as fast as f/4.
• Baader Planetarium has gone to great lengths to give the Hyperions the most advanced multicoatings ever used on amateur telescope eyepieces (please note: these are not the same coatings other manufacturers use on their similar clones of these eyepieces..). The Hyperion Phantom Group multi-coatings and coating equipment are proprietary to Baader and have been designed by German coating engineers specifically for the Baader Hyperions and optimized for each of the glasses used. These coatings are applied with the latest thin-film German coating equipment, training, and process controls. The result are coatings that truly rival the best in the world - including the famous Zeiss Abbe Orthoscopic! The difference is clearly visible - users report that the Hyperions clearly show fainter stars and darker sky than the competitive clones.
• The proprietary Hyperion housings have been engineered by Baader to incorporate careful opto-mechanical design and execution of internal baffling to eliminate stray light and ghost reflections. Uncapping the eyelens reveals a pitch black interior, with no distracting and contrast-robbing glints of light from unbaffled lens or metal surfaces.
• Superb fit and finish - eyepiece barrels are accurate to size, nicely machined, and hard anodized.
• Works in both 1.25" and 2" focusers. The 1.25" barrel is threaded for filters and kept short (0.94") to work well in binoviewers and spotting scopes. Baader's new housing incorporates a full-length 2" barrel (0.94" long) and provides a specially designed tapered locking recess. In addition, the Hyperion field stop locations have been re-designed and optimized to give the shortest focus position possible (important for binoviewer use).
• Soft folding rubber eyecups work for both normal and eyeglass users. Each Hyperion comes with protective lens caps and leatherette storage pouch.
• All Hyperions accept popular Astigmatism Correcting Lenses (not available in the USA though). The Hyperion eyelens housing is compatible with the full range of correcting lenses from 0.25 to 3.5 diopters. Observers with any astigmatism will really appreciate this feature, no longer needing to wear eyeglasses to see stars as true pinpoints. The long 20mm eye relief of the Hyperions works particularly well with these corrector lenses, without forcing the observer to press their eye close to the lens in order to see the entire wide field.
• Removable Negative Lens Element permits variable focal lengths using Baader's new 14mm and 28mm Finetuning Rings (sold separately). NOTE: The 24mm Hyperion is a different optical design and does not permit the use of Finetuning Rings to decrease focal length.
• Great for Binoviewing! Baader has tried most of the wide field eyepieces on the market that are suitable for binoviewing, and the Hyperions are at the top with the very best. When compared to some wide field eyepieces developed especially for binoviewing, they found the Hyperions were superior in every aspect: more comfortable view with better eye relief, smaller housing diameter at the eyelens gives more nose-room, better coatings (=better contrast), wider field, and half the cost. Their favorite wide field bino eyepieces are the 8/13/17/21/24mm Hyperions. The new 24mm Hyperion works superbly in binoviewers, and delivers the widest true field of any 24mm wide field eyepiece. Some users with narrow interocular separation may find it is necessary to remove the thin rubber M54 protective ring in order to increase the 'nose clearance'.
Baader Hyperions incorporate some unique and innovative aspects, which are designed to make them the ideal projection eyepieces for imaging applications:
• The optical design of the Hyperions enables them to work as an extremely sharp wide-field projection eyepiece for even large chip CCD and DSLRs.
• The eyelens barrel has been provided with two different external threads, M43 and M54 (these are covered by the removable rubber eyecups). A wide variety of adapter rings enables cameras to be directly and rigidly close-coupled for afocal projection photography, or variably extended for classical eyepiece projection imaging with T-Adapters and Extension Tubes. A series of 16 threaded rings (sold separately) provides compatibility with just about every digital (CCD/DSLR) and video camera made, even large and heavy 3-chip video cameras.
• The front negative lens element is designed to be removed (and exposes an M48 2" filter thread). This converts each Hyperion into a longer focal length high-quality projection eyepiece, giving the imager two choices of focal length with each eyepiece. NOTE: The 24mm Hyperion is a different optical design and does not contain a removable front element. However, the Front Barrel can still be removed in order to attach 2" filters in-between the 1.25" and 2" barrels. This is particularly convenient for users of 2" filters.
Table 1: Combinations of Hyperion Eyepieces with Finetuning Rings (FTR) to Modify the Focal Length
|Effective focal length in mm
||With 14 mm FTR
||With 28 mm FTR
||With 14 + 28 mm FTR
||Without first group of lenses