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  1. #1
    helloyo53's Avatar
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    Unhappy What a Disappointment



    I have to make this message short and sweet since I'm not supposed to actually be on here right now. :P

    I tried my 3x Barlow Lens out tonight and I was rather disappointed. I had my 25mm eyepiece on the barlow, and no matter where I had the adjustment knob at, it would always be majorly out of focus. Is this just because it is a cheap department store telescope & eyepieces?

    On the bright side, I, for the first ever, saw Titan, one of Saturn's moons!

  2. #2
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    Most likely because of the department store optics.

    Congrats on saturn and titan it's a sight to behold.

  3. #3
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    While it could be cheap optics, it could also be a very tight focus spot that X 3 barlows can produce. Be very precise in your focus turning as sometimes you can go right through the focus plane without knowing. Tryturning slowly next time...
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  4. #4
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    Kind of hard to say BUT in all seriousness I kind of doubt it was the optics of the telescope... as even the cheapest of cheap department store telescopes are capable of doing much more then the telescopes used my Galielio and the other very early astronomers...

    In 50 years in this hobby I have personally never even found a Want..not alone a Need... for a 3x Barlow quite possible that your scope just can not handle the magnification ...

    Or like someone else said a 1/16 of an inch turn of the focus knob may be enough to completely miss the focus point...

    What scope did you use?

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  5. #5
    helloyo53's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob327 View Post
    Kind of hard to say BUT in all seriousness I kind of doubt it was the optics of the telescope... as even the cheapest of cheap department store telescopes are capable of doing much more then the telescopes used my Galielio and the other very early astronomers...

    In 50 years in this hobby I have personally never even found a Want..not alone a Need... for a 3x Barlow quite possible that your scope just can not handle the magnification ...

    Or like someone else said a 1/16 of an inch turn of the focus knob may be enough to completely miss the focus point...

    What scope did you use?

    Bob G.
    I guess it could have been that I just missed it. I was using a 4mm eyepiece later last night and focusing it really took some precision as it was ever so touchy.

    The scope I was using was just a 60mm National Geographic refractor. I don't even know how good the National Geographic scopes are, but I'm pretty sure they are considered the "department store telescopes". Next time I am out with it, I will try the Barlow Lens again, but I will focus very slowly.

  6. #6
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    High power is tricky to focus, and presents other difficulties as well. If you could get the 4mm to work well enough for you, then the barlowed 25mm should be even a little clearer, once you find the right spot to focus it. On the other hand, you could probably use more often a 12 or 15mm eyepiece, or equivalently a 2x barlow on your 25mm.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by helloyo53 View Post
    I guess it could have been that I just missed it. I was using a 4mm eyepiece later last night and focusing it really took some precision as it was ever so touchy.

    The scope I was using was just a 60mm National Geographic refractor. I don't even know how good the National Geographic scopes are, but I'm pretty sure they are considered the "department store telescopes". Next time I am out with it, I will try the Barlow Lens again, but I will focus very slowly.
    I don't know the focal length of your 60mm scope, but let's (for the sake of discussion) assume it's moderately short - say 500mm. That would make it an f8.3 scope.

    At that focal length, a 4mm eyepiece will give you a magnification of 125x. A 3x barlow with this combo will give a magnification of 375x - WAY greater than this little telescope is capable of handling.

    The 4mm EP alone with this scope (125x) will be pushing the magnification capabilities of the scope. If the focal length of the scope is longer, you're even worse off.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by helloyo53 View Post
    I guess it could have been that I just missed it. I was using a 4mm eyepiece later last night and focusing it really took some precision as it was ever so touchy.

    The scope I was using was just a 60mm National Geographic refractor. I don't even know how good the National Geographic scopes are, but I'm pretty sure they are considered the "department store telescopes". Next time I am out with it, I will try the Barlow Lens again, but I will focus very slowly.

    Actually the National Geographic scopes, while typically overpriced, are pretty decent telescopes.

    The major difficulty you have with your telescope is its small aperture will limit what you can see. Having said that, there is a lot of stuff that you can see with your telescope, enough to keep you busy for some time... years. Go to the site Tonight's Sky, enter your viewing location data and time, under difficulty, tick off naked eye and binoculars. Under objects tick off open clusters, globular clusters, nebula, galaxies, and double stars. You will get a very long list of objects that you can view with your telescope ...

    Keep in mind, as you increase magnification in a telescope, you decrease sharpness and brightness. Also, only on very few nights of the year will the seeing conditions be such that you can use a telescope at its higher limit. Most of the time will be substantially less.
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