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Pros and Cons of 2" Barlows

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At present I have a "no name" 2x barlow and a 3x Tal barlow. I've started thinking about buying a better quality one, since I have just bought a good quality 2" diagonal.

Some of the barlows I have looked at are available with 2" barrels. I only have one 2" eyepiece and I don't normally want to barlow it, but it did get me thinking and I have two questions:

Assume whatever I buy will be used for visual and imaging and ignore price as an issue.

  • [li]What are the pros and cons of buying a 2" barlow rather than a 1.25"?[/li]
    [li]At present, I have the Meade 5000 Super Plossl set. If I replace those eyepieces with ones that provide a wider FOV, does that make any difference?[/li]

Thanks for your help.


PS I am leaning towards a TeleVue Powermate. Does that make any difference?

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I can't answer all your questions as I have not tried a 2 inch barlow. I use a Celestron Ultima 2x barlow which I have found to be very good indeed (it's actually more like 2.2x I believe).

With regards to wide angle eyepieces, I barlow my Tele Vue Naglers and that works extremely well - you get the power increase and retain the eye relief and the very wide field of view.

If you can run to a Tele Vue Powermate then you will not be dissapointed (in either the 2 inch or 1.25 inch size). I believe that they are simply the best "amplifying lens" (Tele Vue prefer that term to barlow) around.

Personally, if you do not wish to use it with 2 inch eyepieces, I can't see any reason to buy a 2 inch barlow - someone will probably now provide me with a good reason of course :wink:


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Hi Mike

I'm thinking about a 2" barlow too after I recently purchased one of these:


and one of these:


I was pretty impressed with the SWA EP; so much so that I thought I might buy a couple more, hence I'm thinking of a 2" barlow to get a wider range of magnifications. I bought the diagonal and EP from Astronomica's stall at the recent Stirling astro soc shindig and whilst I was there I had a play with their own brand barlow. Seemed pretty well made for the price. The specs are here:


HTH, Martin

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Some Barlows also have uses in addition to their amplification. I have used my Televue Barlow without the actual lens, it effectively becomes an extension tube, allowing focus for imaging without the need for a diagonal. This could also apply to 2" Barlows too (assuming they include a 1.25" adaptor).


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