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Baader VIP Barlow - Tips and Tricks


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The Baader VIP Barlow is one of the most versatile barlows out there thanks to the T2 system it uses. I've owned mine for awhile now and have been really impressed with it. There's lots you can do to tailor this barlow to work optimally with your setup. The following are a few of the ways that I've customised mine. Before I start out, I want to credit @Piero for all his help and advice, much of what I've done has come directly from him so big thanks to Piero!

The Standard VIP Barlow

IMG_5257.thumb.jpeg.8963435a4342de32e63baafba8e18a67.jpeg

In its standard format, the VIP is a 2x 1.25" Barlow. Excellent optical quality with no discernible impact to the optical performance of the eyepiece it's used with. The clever part comes from the T2 system. The VIP is made up of 2"-1.25" reducer, M48 to T2 adapter, two 15mm T2 extension tubes and a T2 to 1.25" adapter.

IMG_5259.thumb.jpeg.cfe532e9ebe3328efc168e9347668d45.jpeg

The T2 extension tubes can be removed to reduce the magnification factor or additional T2 extension tubes can be added to increase it. The exact amount of magnification can be calculated using a formula provided by Baader. Full details can be found here: https://www.baader-planetarium.com/en/downloads/dl/file/id/240/product/1062/calculating_different_magnifications_with_the_vip_barlow.pdf

The exact magnification factor is dependent on the field stop of the eyepiece but if we assume standard configuration is giving 2x then the table below gives an approximate guide to how this changes.

image.png.892a9c449b9e6002f5d27a82c423acc2.png

There is of course a practical limit to how many T2 extension tubes you can add before things get a bit too tall. 

Clicklock Adapter

One nice upgrade for the VIP is to replace the supplied 2" - 1.25" reducer with a Clicklock version for quick and easy eyepiece changes.

IMG_5260.thumb.jpeg.695ba87608f08fc7ddc2561bebcbbf2d.jpeg

Use as a 2" Barlow

With the purchase of the Baader Tak Adapter (2458199), the VIP can be converted to 2" mode. I found this helped with some eyepieces that couldn't reach focus with the VIP and my dob. The barlow element screws into the Tak Adapter (the top of the barlow element should cover the text on the adapter). Both parts can then be screwed into the bottom of the supplied 2" - 1.25" reducer.

IMG_5267.thumb.JPG.3e9915f30fb2bcdb6a91bf31aaa97a76.JPG

At the eyepiece end, the barlow can either be screwed onto another 2" - 1.25" reducer, such as the Clicklock or directly onto the filter thread of a 2" eyepiece.

IMG_5268.thumb.JPG.b22dbdc53f2b9cb93d294316fc7403e2.JPG

The supplied 2" - 1.25" reducer is quite heavy. To reduce weight, a Baader T2 2" nosepiece can be used. This is particularly useful when using it with small fracs to keep everything balanced.

IMG_5271.thumb.jpeg.53eb91ce0ed92ad90d9a2feca62b9b8f.jpeg

IMG_5270.thumb.jpeg.57e5db2a717615105e183fef48212841.jpeg

Baader Pushfit Adapter

One final adapter to consider is the Baader push fit 2" - 1.25" reducer (2408151). This can hold a 1.25" eyepiece in place using nylon threaded screws to hold it tight but allowing eyepieces to be pushed in and held firmly. It can be semi-permanently attached to an eyepiece using a grub screw onto the compression ring. In 2" mode this adapter can then be screwed onto the VIP. This adapter has only a 1mm optical path! I keep it semi permanently attached to a Noblex UWA 12.5mm and then keep the VIP setup to barlow that eyepiece down to an approximately 7mm eyepiece.

IMG_5272.thumb.jpeg.1090b40cf5392d60554732d227c98683.jpeg

Astrophotography use

I have also found the VIP to be useful for astrophotography, connecting directly to the Baader T-Ring for my Canon DSLR. 

IMG_5273.thumb.jpeg.c769d0a0a0c9cb088ae640e1aff8f290.jpeg

I consider the Baader VIP Barlow to be one of the most useful items in my eyepiece case.I hope this guide will prove useful to anyone who owns the VIP or who is considering buying one. 

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Very interesting piece of equipment.

I used to use one with a Leica ASPH zoom lens to get a wide range of powers, provided that I could remember the different spacer combinations !

The optical element on the VIP is very high quality I think.

Baader's modular approach to their products allows a lot of flexibility and opportunity for those who like to experiment :smiley:

 

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8 minutes ago, Atomic said:

Perfect. A great review. 

I was looking for a decent barlow lens. I have just ordered one of these 

Thank you

Glad you enjoyed the review. Look forward to hearing how you get on with it :) 

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13 minutes ago, John said:

Very interesting piece of equipment.

I used to use one with a Leica ASPH zoom lens to get a wide range of powers, provided that I could remember the different spacer combinations !

The optical element on the VIP is very high quality I think.

Baader's modular approach to their products allows a lot of flexibility and opportunity for those who like to experiment :smiley:

 

I would think it worked very well with the Leica zoom, John. I actually created a spreadsheet for calculating the magnification factor and what that gave me with each of my eyepieces. I also struggled to remember what values I’d get from each of them. 

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Excellent review, Neil!

The VIP is a great piece of equipment. In my opinion, the 2" modded version is even more useful than the standard version as it is sold. As the former configuration does not extend inside the focuser, it does not have all the focus issues of the latter.

Just to balance things, as far as I know, the finding of the tak adapter to get rid of the 1.25" nosepiece is credited to @YKSE (Yong).

I only started using the pushfix adapter with the docter because a) I like 2" nosepieces in medium large eyepieces, and b) it allowed me to screw the VIP Barlow into it in the same way I do with the Zeiss zoom I have ( which uses another Baader adapter). Both connect via T2.

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5 hours ago, Littleguy80 said:

The Baader VIP Barlow is one of the most versatile barlows out there thanks to the T2 system it uses. I've owned mine for awhile now and have been really impressed with it. There's lots you can do to tailor this barlow to work optimally with your setup. The following are a few of the ways that I've customised mine. Before I start out, I want to credit @Piero for all his help and advice, much of what I've done has come directly from him so big thanks to Piero!

The Standard VIP Barlow

IMG_5257.thumb.jpeg.8963435a4342de32e63baafba8e18a67.jpeg

In its standard format, the VIP is a 2x 1.25" Barlow. Excellent optical quality with no discernible impact to the optical performance of the eyepiece it's used with. The clever part comes from the T2 system. The VIP is made up of 2"-1.25" reducer, M48 to T2 adapter, two 15mm T2 extension tubes and a T2 to 1.25" adapter.

IMG_5259.thumb.jpeg.cfe532e9ebe3328efc168e9347668d45.jpeg

The T2 extension tubes can be removed to reduce the magnification factor or additional T2 extension tubes can be added to increase it. The exact amount of magnification can be calculated using a formula provided by Baader. Full details can be found here: https://www.baader-planetarium.com/en/downloads/dl/file/id/240/product/1062/calculating_different_magnifications_with_the_vip_barlow.pdf

The exact magnification factor is dependent on the field stop of the eyepiece but if we assume standard configuration is giving 2x then the table below gives an approximate guide to how this changes.

image.png.892a9c449b9e6002f5d27a82c423acc2.png

There is of course a practical limit to how many T2 extension tubes you can add before things get a bit too tall. 

Clicklock Adapter

One nice upgrade for the VIP is to replace the supplied 2" - 1.25" reducer with a Clicklock version for quick and easy eyepiece changes.

IMG_5260.thumb.jpeg.695ba87608f08fc7ddc2561bebcbbf2d.jpeg

Use as a 2" Barlow

With the purchase of the Baader Tak Adapter (2458199), the VIP can be converted to 2" mode. I found this helped with some eyepieces that couldn't reach focus with the VIP and my dob. The barlow element screws into the Tak Adapter (the top of the barlow element should cover the text on the adapter). Both parts can then be screwed into the bottom of the supplied 2" - 1.25" reducer.

IMG_5267.thumb.JPG.3e9915f30fb2bcdb6a91bf31aaa97a76.JPG

At the eyepiece end, the barlow can either be screwed onto another 2" - 1.25" reducer, such as the Clicklock or directly onto the filter thread of a 2" eyepiece.

IMG_5268.thumb.JPG.b22dbdc53f2b9cb93d294316fc7403e2.JPG

The supplied 2" - 1.25" reducer is quite heavy. To reduce weight, a Baader T2 2" nosepiece can be used. This is particularly useful when using it with small fracs to keep everything balanced.

IMG_5271.thumb.jpeg.53eb91ce0ed92ad90d9a2feca62b9b8f.jpeg

IMG_5270.thumb.jpeg.57e5db2a717615105e183fef48212841.jpeg

Baader Pushfit Adapter

One final adapter to consider is the Baader push fit 2" - 1.25" reducer (2408151). This can hold a 1.25" eyepiece in place using nylon threaded screws to hold it tight but allowing eyepieces to be pushed in and held firmly. It can be semi-permanently attached to an eyepiece using a grub screw onto the compression ring. In 2" mode this adapter can then be screwed onto the VIP. This adapter has only a 1mm optical path! I keep it semi permanently attached to a Noblex UWA 12.5mm and then keep the VIP setup to barlow that eyepiece down to an approximately 7mm eyepiece.

IMG_5272.thumb.jpeg.1090b40cf5392d60554732d227c98683.jpeg

Astrophotography use

I have also found the VIP to be useful for astrophotography, connecting directly to the Baader T-Ring for my Canon DSLR. 

IMG_5273.thumb.jpeg.c769d0a0a0c9cb088ae640e1aff8f290.jpeg

I consider the Baader VIP Barlow to be one of the most useful items in my eyepiece case.I hope this guide will prove useful to anyone who owns the VIP or who is considering buying one. 

Hi Neil , nice write up !

I've read somewhere that the VIP can't be used with 1.25" filters  ( Obviously with the eyepiece ) . Is that true ? Or are there may other hacks ? 😁

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4 hours ago, Voyager 3 said:

Hi Neil , nice write up !

I've read somewhere that the VIP can't be used with 1.25" filters  ( Obviously with the eyepiece ) . Is that true ? Or are there may other hacks ? 😁

Hi! Thank you :) Yes, it’s threaded for 1.25” filters. If you put the filter on the Barlow then you have the advantage that you can change eyepieces without needing to moving the filter between eyepieces. I actually use a similar trick with my dob. I always screw my 2” filters onto a Clicklock extension tube. This is a great way to experiment with finding the right magnification/exit pupil for a target without a lot of screwing/unscrewing of filters. 

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8 hours ago, Piero said:

Excellent review, Neil!

The VIP is a great piece of equipment. In my opinion, the 2" modded version is even more useful than the standard version as it is sold. As the former configuration does not extend inside the focuser, it does not have all the focus issues of the latter.

Just to balance things, as far as I know, the finding of the tak adapter to get rid of the 1.25" nosepiece is credited to @YKSE (Yong).

I only started using the pushfix adapter with the docter because a) I like 2" nosepieces in medium large eyepieces, and b) it allowed me to screw the VIP Barlow into it in the same way I do with the Zeiss zoom I have ( which uses another Baader adapter). Both connect via T2.

Thanks Piero! 

The 2” conversion resolved all the issues I’d had with my eyepieces reaching focus with the VIP in my both by Dob and Frac. Big thanks to you and @YKSE for this great tip.

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