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Barlow upgrade ... or not?


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I picked up a Celestron Omni last year quite cheaply and had originally been using that with stock eyepieces, which was fine.

Since then I've bought a couple of BST Starguiders and a Hyperflex zoom, and I'm now wondering if I'd notice any difference with a better barlow (this is now being used on an F/5 150mm Newtonian). Otherwise, the pennies can be directed elsewhere.

I'd not considered it before as the next rung up seemed to be around the £90-£100 mark, which seemed out of line with the rest of the spend. But I've seen some positive reviews of 3-element models in the region of £35-£40.
In particular, I've read good things about the Revelation/GSO Astro 2.5x (though apparently closer to 2.2x) and the Baader Classic Q 2.25x.

- does anyone have experience with both of these, and have a preference?
- would I notice any significant difference with either, compared with the Omni?
- I read somewhere that the Baader in particular required focussing the tube into the OTA to an extent that caused some image degradation. Obviously I'd want to avoid this if true, so is this a feature of the Baader, or of both, or of all (shorter?) barlows? (to be honest, I'd not thought to see whether this was happening with the Omni, I'll try to remember to check, if this weather ever breaks).

Thanks in advance.

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I have a Skywatcher Delux costing only a few pounds that when attached to the nose of a binoviewer, allowed a pair of very cheap orthoscopic eyepieces to perform better than a single TMB Super monocentric. And that same Delux barlow when used with a single eyepiece,  gave views that were every bit as good as a 2X Takahashi barlow costing around £125. I'd be surprised if you noticed any improvement in image quality if you upgrade your barlow, unless you aim really high such as Zeiss, then you may find you'd need to upgrade your telescope to benefit from any improvement in the barlow. It can be a slippery slope! 🏂

Edited by mikeDnight
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I doubled up my televue 3x with a cheap 20 year old unbranded 2x barlow and it still gave excellent results.  Saying that I'm sure there are some bad ones. I would have thought any mid range ones from FLO or similar these days will be good. 

Edited by AbsolutelyN
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Wish I had read this before.

Having had the same Barlow for about 10 years, after making a purchase to upgrade my eyepiece today to a BST Star Guider 8mm - I bought at the same time, what I considered to be, an upgraded 2x Barlow - the BST Starguider 2x Barlow ( https://www.firstlightoptics.com/bst-starguider-eyepieces/bst-starguider-2x-short-barlow-lens.html)

Have I just wasted £50 that I could have spent on something else?

My existing Barlow is a Seben Achromatic Super Barlow 2x that I picked up with a 2nd hand scope a few years back.

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I had a cheap SW barlow (£20). It was rubbish and caused an obvious deterioration to the view. I only bought it for barlowing a laser (I wanted to try out for collimation). Even with that it was no good, as the lack of any anti-reflection coatings meant that the laser light was reflected  straight back and ruined any view.

So - cheap barlows can be poor barlows

Try them both out and compare. I'm sure FLO will take it as a return.

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The Skywatcher Deluxe 2x barlow is quite good optically.

My current barlow is the Baader Q-Turret 2.25x which works very well with the 7.2 - 21.5 zoom eyepiece that I have. I don't tend to use a barlow with any other eyepieces that I have.

 

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1 hour ago, Pixies said:

I had a cheap SW barlow (£20). It was rubbish and caused an obvious deterioration to the view. I only bought it for barlowing a laser (I wanted to try out for collimation). Even with that it was no good, as the lack of any anti-reflection coatings meant that the laser light was reflected  straight back and ruined any view.

So - cheap barlows can be poor barlows

Try them both out and compare. I'm sure FLO will take it as a return.

I seem to remember that SW offered a cheap single lens barlow, so not even an achromatic doublet lens. The Delux version is achromatic and also has an unscrewable lens cell that can be screwed directly onto a binoviewer nose piece. That also liberates the now lensless barlow tube to double as an extension tube if you need that little bit of extra outward focus travel. 

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Bought my Opticstar 7.2 - 21 Zoom & Baader 2.25X Barlow combination after reading a great review by @John a couple of years back. It works very well with my Tak FC-100DL and the two together were relatively inexpensive at the time.  Copy of John's review below.

 

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14 hours ago, John said:

The Skywatcher Deluxe 2x barlow is quite good optically.

My current barlow is the Baader Q-Turret 2.25x which works very well with the 7.2 - 21.5 zoom eyepiece that I have. I don't tend to use a barlow with any other eyepieces that I have.

 

Sorry John didn't see your reply about the Zoom & Barlow combination....dughh!! 

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