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Thread: Baader VIP Barlow 2x against the Q-Turret Barlow 2.25x

  1. #1
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    Default Baader VIP Barlow 2x against the Q-Turret Barlow 2.25x



    Part 1: Main Characteristics

    Hello all,

    the recently acquired modular (T2) visual/photo Baader VIP Barlow 2x is a good reason to take a closer look and to compare it with the Baader Q-Turret Barlow 2.25x I am using since some time, see the report Barlowed BCO 6mm against the Pentax XW 3.5mm on the globular clusters M53 and M3

    The first picture shows the both Barlows in the size comparison.

    As the first thing to do, I have replaced the M48/T2-1.25” reducer with the Baader helical focuser #2458125, which is excellently suited for the fine focusing of the barlowed eyepieces.

    The tubes with the Barlow lenses assemblies can be unscrewed, as the last picture shows.

    The tube of the VIP Barlow has the 1.25” thread for the filters, and it is mounted with the T2 thread. The stray light reflections are suppressed with black anodized baffles, the lens rims are not blackened.
    The tubes with the optics of the both Barlows reveal comparable lens apertures close to 24mm.

    Optics design

    The first recognizable difference between the both Barlows are the colors of the multicoatings:
    The Q-Turret Barlow has pale amber and pale bluish HT (high transmission) multicoatings making it an excellent choice for the deep sky objects observing, when high magnifications are required.
    The VIP Barlow shows the “more conservative” blue and green multicoatings.

    And now to the lenses inside.

    The Q-Turret Barlow is the air-spaced triplet, putting it into the class of well corrected but still achromatic optics.

    The VIP Barlow has been claimed to be an apochromatized Barlow.
    Now, the problem understanding its optics comes from the drawing in the Baader Planetarium data sheet, https://www.baader-planetarium.com/d...ografisch.html , showing an air-spaced doublet (?), rising the questions what exactly the air-spaced negative lens assembly means, as discussed on other forums years ago.

    There is nothing simpler than to take a green laser pointer and to make the ray tracing.
    This sounds easy, and it is easy on the optics coming from other parts of the world, which leave a bright trace of the scattered light. It has turned out to be more difficult on the glass materials in the VIP Barlow, which show very faint laser traces, indicating a high grade of the glass materials used.
    I have been able to see visually these faint traces, but not able to record them photographically with my digital camera.
    All the camera has captured are the impact spots of the laser beam on the air-to-glass, and glass-to-air interfaces, and one diffuse spot on the cement in the doublet, as the third annotated picture shows.

    It looks like the optical system of the Baader VIP Barlow 2x consists in fact of 2 groups:
    A front a thin lens, followed by a cemented negative doublet: (1 – 2).
    The front lens looks in the ray tracing like a thin meniscus throwing a pair of faint symmetric reflections.

    Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for the Part 2,

    JG
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    Default Re: Baader VIP Barlow 2x against the Q-Turret Barlow 2.25x

    Good info JG! Looking forward for the field test. VIP should be damn good to beat utility of Q.

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    Default Re: Baader VIP Barlow 2x against the Q-Turret Barlow 2.25x

    Part 2: Terrestrial Tests, and Tests on Jupiter, 2nd June, 2018

    Hello all,

    tested have been the both Baader Barlows: the Q-Turret 2.25x and the VIP 2x,
    with the eyepieces: Leica WW Asph. 25x – 50x (9mm – 18mm) Zoom AFOV up to 80°,
    Takahashi Abbe Ortho 12.5:mm (KK Fujiyama), and Leitz Periplan GF 2x (10mm).
    The KK Fujiyama Abbe Ortho 5mm has been used for reference.
    The eyepieces are shown in the second attached picture.

    The telescope has been the Sky-Watcher 6” F/5 achromatic doublet, with the 99% reflecting dielectric diagonal.

    The Focus Travel Range


    As the Barlows change the focus travel range, this is the first test to do.
    The first attached picture shows the focus position with the Leica Zoom on the Baader VIP Barlow 2x, focused on the objects far away (infinity focusing).

    There is not much left for the focusing – just 1 mm towards the OTA, plus some play on the helical, enough for the fine focusing. Herewith I have quite a bit of luck, otherwise the practical filter wheel would have to go.

    The readings of the focuser on the Leica Zoom and on the Tak Ortho 12.5mm are:
    No Barlow: Leica Zoom: 15mm, Tak Ortho: 39mm
    Baader Q-Turret Barlow 2.25x: Leica Zoom: 29mm, Tak Ortho: 32 mm
    Baader VIP Barlow 2x: Leica Zoom: 1mm, Tak Ortho: 7mm

    These widely differing results have their reason:
    The Leica Zoom, and the Leitz Periplan GF, are both the intrafocal eyepieces with a better achievable apochromatization, the Abbe orthos are the classical extrafocal eyepieces.

    Now, the second look at the focus differences between the “No Barlow” and “Baader VIP Barlow 2x” against the “Baader Q-Turret Barlow 2.25x” indicates a different concept of the both Barlows, even if they both are the triplets.

    The Terrestrial Tests

    The performance comparisons have been made on the objects in the near field – the lichens on the roofs of the nearby houses, and on the apartment buildings 5km away across the valley.
    The apartment buildings offer high contrast tagets, also suited for checking the chromatic aberrations.
    At 17:00 and later, the turbulence of the low air masses has been thanks to some clouds minimal.

    Most of the tests have concentrated on the resolution and contrast of the electric switches, cables, and protecting metal mashes on the balconies.

    The both Barlows and all eyepieces have passed the tests successfully, even if with visible differences:
    1. Barlowed and not-barlowed, the best contrast reveal the Leica Zoom and the Leitz Periplan GF, closely followed by the Takahashi Abbe Ortho and by the KK Fujiyama Abbe Ortho.
    2. The Baader VIP Barlow 2x offers on all tested eyepieces a higher contrast than the Baader Q-Turret Barlow 2.25x. The maximum resolution of the finest details is easier to achieve with the Baader VIP Barlow 2x. It takes more time to worl out the finest details with the Baader Q-Turret Barlow 2.25x.
    3. The Leica Zoom at 50x (9mm), when barlowed with the Baader VIP Barlow 2x down to 4.5mm, is heads on with the KK Fujiyama 5mm Abbe Ortho.
    4. The chromatic aberration fringing on the bright-to-dark edges is best controlled through the Leica Zoom and Leitz Periplan GF on the Baader VIP Barlow 2x, leaving a thin red fringe. The CA is still acceptable through the Takahashi Abbe Ortho 12.5mm on the Baader VIP Barlow 2x.

    The Tests on Jupiter

    The skies have cleared from the sparse clouds, leaving just some high atmospheric haze visible with the naked eyes as a very faint bluish hue around Jupiter, when viewed from the observing site in the backyard.
    Practically no wind, outside temperature 18°C.
    Date and time: 2nd June, 2018, 21:30 – 23:30 local summer time.
    Jupiter size: 43.95 arcseconds, the Great Red Spot visible position expected

    The tests of the eyepieces with and without the both Barlows have confirmed the conclusions from the daylight terrestrial tests, both in the resolution and in the contrast.

    Through the Baader VIP Barlow 2x, the chromatic aberration has revealed a thin red fringe around the Jupiter disc, the blue CA has not been visible through the Leica Zoom and not through the Leitz Periplan GF. Missing the blue chromatic aberration may be also due to the brightened buish night skies during the Solstice season.

    After having completed the tests, the further observing has been made with the Leica Zoom set to 50x, and on the Baader VIP Barlow 2x, enjoying the comfort of the 80° wide field at the magnification of 167x and at the exit pupil of 0.9mm, and with a good seeing and no atmospheric turbulence.

    The best view has been through the Baader green(RGB) CCD filter, as the other filter, the Baader bright blue 470nm bandpass filter has been transmitting some more of the glow of the brightened skies.

    The view has been breathtaking!

    The both belts, the North Equatorial Belt and the South Equatorial Belt have revealed a good contrast with razor-sharp edges. The SEB with its sharp edge made the Great Red Spot looking like an “eye”.
    A remarkably good visible has been the Little Red Spot (the Oval BA), south of the SEB. I can’t remember to have seen it as good any time before.
    The two thin southern belts below the Oval BA, the STB and SSTB have been also well resolved, and followed by well detached (SSTZ tropical zone) from the slightly darkened South Pole Region.
    What I have been missing it has been the North Temperate Belt, but you can’t get everything, they say.
    The North Polar Region has revealed some ‘dusty granulation’.

    Ganymede has shown a small disc, definitely non-stellar.

    Jupiter with its details has been sharp across the full 80° AFOV edge to edge.
    Hence, the field flattening of the Baader VIP Barlow 2x has a good match with the aspheric field flattening of the Leica Zoom.

    The field flattening of the Baader VIP Barlow 2x is also good on the Tak Abbe Ortho, but less good on the Leitz Periplan GF, leaving 50% of the FOV sharp.

    Tests on the DSOs will be made as soon as the Solstice season of the bright night skies is over.

    Thanks for reading, and clear skies,

    JG
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    Default Re: Baader VIP Barlow 2x against the Q-Turret Barlow 2.25x

    Excellent review JG, I especially liked your 'ray tracing' image. Never thought to do that.
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    Default Re: Baader VIP Barlow 2x against the Q-Turret Barlow 2.25x

    Thanks for your thorough review.
    1.These kind of tests are very helpful and necessary to undo "hearsay stories" and advertising claims from their half-thruths.
    2. Nice to see that there are people who are willing to test these claims and report truthfully about it. Quite a relief when compared to average user-reviews. Thanks!
    3. It is nice reading too!
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    Default Re: Baader VIP Barlow 2x against the Q-Turret Barlow 2.25x

    Thanks very much.
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