Baader SunDancer II 3x Telecentric System TZ-3S
Telecentric systems are mainly used in H-alpha filters for solar observation, where the 1/100 lambda plane-parallel etalon in the H-alpha filter requires a perfectly parallelised beam of light over the entire image. These telecentrics deliver very sharp images, but are usually only optimised for the H-alpha wavelength.
This achromatic SunDancer 3x telecentric is designed for the entire visible spectrum and can therefore not only be used on H-alpha systems, but also replace a Barlow lens. Due to the parallel beam of light, it is very good-natured with regard to the working distance: While the magnification factor of a Barlow lens changes with the distance to eyepiece or camera (zoom eyepieces are also based on this principle), the magnification factor and image quality of the TZ-3 do not change, even if the new focal point deviates very significantly from the working distance of the optical design (65 mm).
The achromatic SunDancer II TZ-3S illuminates an image circle of 35mm at a distance of 65mm from the base body, ideal for the small sensors of modern, fast planetary cameras that require high magnifications for photographing the moon and planets. The contrast is better than with simple barlows or the eyepiece projection often used for high magnifications. With the 3x telecentric system, the high magnifications which are necessary for visual observations can also be achieved with long focal length orthoscopic eyepieces. The interpupillary distance of the eyepieces used does not change either.
The connection on the telescope side is made via a dual 1.25"/2" nosepiece with safety kerfs (these prevent tilting due to an incorrectly positioned safety groove and at the same time provide a secure hold). On the camera side, the T-2 thread provides a tilt-proof, fixed connection even to heavy cameras or to T-2 eyepiece clamps. For the T-2 thread, adapter rings are available for almost all common connection systems (e.g. M48 / 2"/ M68).
A telecentric system extends the focal length similar to a Barlow lens, but with parallel rays of light. This means that the working distance is almost the same, and the quality and image scale remain the same. At the same time, the TZ-3S delivers a high-contrast image. For the following comparison shot, a church steeple was photographed with an APS-C DSLR with the same camera settings; once with a Baader Q-Barlow, which was brought to a triple magnification factor with spacer sleeves (you can find more about this in this PDF), and once with the TZ-3S. On cameras with less than 35mm image circle, edge shading is no longer a problem and you benefit from higher contrast of the telecentric.
Comparison of Baader SunDancer II H-alpha-Filter and Baader SunDancer II TZ-3SThe 3x Telecentric System with integrated blocking filter is only available with the SunDancer II H-alpha filter.
The telecentric system of the Baader SunDancer II H-alpha Filter (#1363056, € 3345,-) is the same as the Baader SunDancer II 3x telecentrics TZ-3S, but additionally contains a 2nm (FWHM) blocking filter. It shimmers golden when you look into the SunDancer from the telescope side. This blocking filter is absolutely necessary to protect the actual H-alpha filter from solar radiation. The 3x telecentric system is available as Baader SunDancer II 3x Telecentric TZ-3S without block filter, e.g. for use with other H-alpha filters. The blocking filter, however, is not available separately.
The blocking filter reflects the sunlight just before the etalon and the telecentric system. This protects the etalon from excessive heat. In addition, an etalon also transmits wavelengths that are a multiple of the desired transmission line; these are also blocked by the blocking filter, too.
IMPORTANT NOTETZ-optical systems are essential for undeteriorated performance of heated SolarSpectrum filters:
Please note that for H-alpha observations below 1 Ang halfbandwidth (FWHM) a telecentric lens system is absolutely mandatory, in order to achieve the recommended focal ratio of f/30 to (preferably) f/40! Because only with a telecentric approach you can create a perfectly parallel optical path which is essential for the unrestricted function of such a complicated etalon.
A TZ-lens-system is an ESSENTIAL prerequisite. One could also optically - or by means of a Barlow lens - bring a telescope to a focal ratio of f/30, but this does not mean at all that a parallel optical path is created. And mind you, a still slightly conical optical path with f/30 sent into an etalon with 0.5 Ang FWHM would only provide the contrast as if the filter had a FWHM of 0.7 Ang or much worse.
It doesn't have to be a TZ-4. The 2" Research Grade TZ-3 Telecentric System (3x focal length) (#2459257, € 420,-) with 46mm clear aperture is much better in terms of optical calculation than the 20 year older TZ-4. So it makes sense for the user to start with a TZ-3 RG and rather stop down the telescope aperture to get to f/30. This will bring out the real contrast of the chosen SolarSpectrum-filter much better than with a poorly matched system where, for example, the older TZ-4 has a smaller clear aperture than the Solar Spectrum-Etalon would require. In the long run, a newly calculated, large RG TZ-4 is in preparation - it is worth to wait for it and to get familiar with H-alpha observation with the TZ-3 first. In the end one will certainly need both systems (RG-TZ-3 and RG-TZ-4) and adjust the telescope aperture individually - as the system would require to enable an f/ratio of f/30 at minimum or f/40 as optimum.
Only AFTER the H-alpha etalon you can extend the field size by reducing the f-ratio with adding the new ResearchGrade telecompressor 0.4 into the optical train.
Basically - a Barlow lens has no place in an H-alpha system!
|Focal length extension||3x|
|Usage||for H-alpha observation with SolarSpectrum filters|
|Outer Connection (lens sided)||Barrel, 1¼", 2" (50,8mm)|
|Outer Connection (eyepiece/-camera-sided)||Thread, T-2 (M42 x 0,75), 1,4"(35mm)|