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  1. #1
    WWPierre's Avatar
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    Default Nice surprise from cheap barlow



    At one point, I thought zoom eyepieces were the answer for viewing under my conditions, which I consider average, but now I am leaning more towards barlows, combined with longer F/L plossls, for the retained eye relief the combination affords. I seem to need pretty close to 20mm ER.

    Some time ago, I bought a cheap 90mm Meade refractor OTA from Bill Vorce, at Telescope Warehouse, and equipped it with a new crayford focuser from Crawford Machine Shop. (documented in this thread)The Crawford crayford effectively shortened the tube length of the scope, so I was in need of a spacer, approximately 1". Spacers, per se, seem to be not only scarce on the internet, but fairly pricey, for what they are. I have found that if you unscrew the lens element from a short barlow, you end up with a nice spacer, and a neat multiplier lens you can drop into another barlow to gain extra power.

    So I set about to find the cheapest barlow, and this is the one I ordered. It came into my mailbox a couple of weeks later, packed in a well padded mailing envelope, complete with male and female caps. The element unscrews, so it is at the least, a good spacer.

    I had been looking at the Chief with my Vixen ED80, so the obvious move was to chunk the new barlow into the diagonal, put my best EP, a Siebert 30mm Ultra, into the barlow, and see how bad it really is, before removing the element. I focused on a dead branch, about a mile away, and the smallest twigs, maybe 1/8 inch, were sharp as tacks in the center of the FOV, and almost as sharp at the edge.

    Wow! Not expected, at all. I wondered how it would stack up against my other 2x barlows, all more expensive and pictured below.

    Surprisingly, all gave similar view quality in the center to the cheapie, but all were very noticibly out of focus at the edge. Those 1/8 twigs easily seen at the edge of the FOV of the cheap barlow, were a mere blur in the FOV of ALL the others.

    If the quality of these is consistant, these plastic barreled barlows have to be the best bargain in optics
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Meade 16" LightBridge; Celestron G-8N Bird-Jones/motorized EQ5; Orion 127 Mak/go-to EQ5; Burgess 127f8 refractor; Sky-Watcher 5" F/5 collapsible dob; 90mm Mak/motorized EQ2; Royal Astro 76/910-GEM; Meade 60x700 refractor/alt/az; Zhumell 25x100 Coin Ops; GalilleoScope. Celestron 8mm-24mm zoom; lots of fixed EPs,some good, some..not so much. A small collection of surveying instruments; a forest of tripods; Canon Rebel Xti. Confirmed gadget junkie; Custodian of the Magnetic North Pole (Send $1.00 to Pierre each time you use a compass.)
    49-41-37.03N 123-09-29.61W Calculated magnetic declination: 17° 39' East

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  2. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to WWPierre For This Useful Post:

    astrobl (11-23-2011),lamppis (11-26-2011),mplanet62 (11-23-2011),rory (11-24-2011),tmohr (11-23-2011)

  3. #2
    mplanet62's Avatar
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    Default

    Yep, Barlows offer their bang for the buck. More of that, many hi-end eyepieces are much like their cheaper "brothers" clones with Barlow incorporated. Would not doubt their value for top end telescopes, but on simpler and cheaper ones plossl plus Barlow may be most cost effective solution.

  4. #3
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    Default

    Hi WW, thanks for the info. Btw, the link you posted is no longer available. Can you let us know what brand the barlow was, and or, the sellers link? Thanks.

    Paul
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  6. #4
    WWPierre's Avatar
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    Default

    Heh, I had linked to my own sales report. You have to be me to see it. I don't think you are, so here's another link.

    Seben Barlow Lens BA1 proven quality 31,7mm (1.25") | eBay
    Meade 16" LightBridge; Celestron G-8N Bird-Jones/motorized EQ5; Orion 127 Mak/go-to EQ5; Burgess 127f8 refractor; Sky-Watcher 5" F/5 collapsible dob; 90mm Mak/motorized EQ2; Royal Astro 76/910-GEM; Meade 60x700 refractor/alt/az; Zhumell 25x100 Coin Ops; GalilleoScope. Celestron 8mm-24mm zoom; lots of fixed EPs,some good, some..not so much. A small collection of surveying instruments; a forest of tripods; Canon Rebel Xti. Confirmed gadget junkie; Custodian of the Magnetic North Pole (Send $1.00 to Pierre each time you use a compass.)
    49-41-37.03N 123-09-29.61W Calculated magnetic declination: 17° 39' East

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  8. #5
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    Default

    Ah, I bought the same one from the same seller some time ago. It's pretty good, true.

  9. #6
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    Default

    i managed to get a second hand tal x2 barlow for £20.00 inc post. (half the price of a new one) arrived today,but cant test it due to cloud. feels really solid ,all metal. i here they are the best within the price range .
    hope its as good as ww pierre's find .

 

 

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