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GPC/nosepiece barlow upgrade for Arcturus/Starguidsr Binoviewer


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Guest 12green

Hello, I have read that the nosepiece barlow (x3 & x1.85) that are included in this set are of poor quality and should be upgraded. What upgrade can you suggest. I am using with F10 SCT. Thanks.

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+1 for the William Optics one. I have a 1.6x version. I also have a Baader Hyperion zoom Barlow 2.25x, not cheap but excellent optically..

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/barlow-eyepieces/baader-hyperion-zoom-barlow.html

The top section marked T2 unscrews to reveal a 1.25" thread which threads into the nosepiece of the binoviewer. Of course, it can also be used in a Baader zoom eyepiece, should you ever buy one, by means of the T2 adapter mentioned above.

Dave

 

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I use the nosepiece from a vintage Meade 4000 #140 APO 2x Barlow screwed into the front of the Arcturus nosepiece for exactly 3x.  They come up fairly often on astro classifieds over here for $40.  I have no trouble reaching focus even with a low profile focuser.  The views are sharp and high contrast.  Most, if not all, versions were made in Japan.

Another vintage option are the Celestron Ultima/Orion Ultrascopic/Parks Gold Series 2x shorty Barlows.  I picked up a copy of the Parks GS second hand and use it as is.  It works out to about the same magnification and seems just as sharp and contrasty as the Meade.  They're a bit more expensive than the Meade in the used market, but the Parks tend to go for less because folks don't know they're the same as the Ultima/Ultrascopic.  There's even the Antares 3 element APO version found mostly in Canada.  In Europe, it was sold as the Baader Triplet 2x.  I don't know what brand they were sold under in the UK.  All brandings of it were made in Japan.

I don't know how well the newer Taiwanese and Chinese made Barlows with detachable nosepieces work with BVs.  There are certainly high end Barlows that would probably work well, but I'm trying to keep the price around $40 to $60 while maintaining premium level quality.

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37 minutes ago, jock1958 said:

I think your right, my WO BV’s came with the 1.6x nosepiece but haven’t seen it sold separately. 

You may be right John and Iain..I bought mine years ago from Astro boot..it was definitely sold to me as a WO 1.6x nosepiece, and I paid £20 for it! (that was in the good old days when Astro Boot were based in the UK and offered a lot of genuine bargains!).

Dave

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WO 1.6x comes with bino package but they do a WO 2x bino barlow nosepiece as well. FLO have them, about £40 I think. They have them on Astroboot for less but not in UK anymore.

www.firstlightoptics.com/binoviewers/william-optics-binoviewer-2x-barlow.html

Edited by Franklin
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I use an AE555 I picked up from Astroboot, which gives 2.1X and the nose from the barlow that FLO sell as the Astro Essentials Barlow, which gives 3.1X, but this does generate some reflections off an element inside the binoviewer when the moon (or some of it) is drifting out of the field of view. It wouldn't surprise me if the WO linked above is the same as the AE I have so that would be my choice if I was buying a binoviewer barlow now.

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3 hours ago, johninderby said:

listed as a 1.6x not 2x

When screwed to an eyepiece. Extending the light path increases the magnification and my drift time measurements gave a magnification of 2.1x when screwed to the binoviewer nose piece. I expected higher but that's what the timings say. 

3 hours ago, johninderby said:

Looks.different as well

Mine look identical to the photos for the WO barlow, which I assume is specified as 2x when attached to the nose of a binoviewer. 

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WO does two different versions. A 1.6x when screwed to the binoviewer. The stock part. And an optional 2x one when screwed to the binoviewer.

The WO 2x with the filter thread on the front And a pic of the AE one.

 

6BB6878E-B920-4C35-A4AB-B1AA75016730.jpeg

45377999-6134-4266-BEDA-1F9433503C71.jpeg

Edited by johninderby
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There are two designs of lens cell for the generic Chinese barlows, with and without filter threads. Brands can order the same barlows with and without the threads, and can even change their choice for different batches. Just because there is a picture of one without threads doesn't mean all of them are unthreaded. I've got two ae barlows and both of them have the cell with filter threads. 

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On 04/12/2021 at 06:27, johninderby said:

I strongly disagree.  When I reviewed a scope several years ago that used a William Optics Binoviewer as standard equipment, adding this Barlow to the binoviewers increased chromatic aberration horribly, added horrible spherical aberration, and added astigmatism and vignetting.  It was a trainwreck.  Adding a simple GSO Barlow was much better.

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3 minutes ago, Don Pensack said:

I strongly disagree.  When I reviewed a scope several years ago that used a William Optics Binoviewer as standard equipment, adding this Barlow to the binoviewers increased chromatic aberration horribly, added horrible spherical aberration, and added astigmatism and vignetting.  It was a trainwreck.  Adding a simple GSO Barlow was much better.

Sounds like my Arcturus supplied GPCs/OCAs/Barlows.  Both powers are abysmal.  Why are they even supplied if they are so bad?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've used a 2X SW Delux barlow and a 2X Ultima SV barlow for 14 years. Both provide excellent, stunningly sharp images in my cheap Revelation binoviewer, 16.8mm ortho's and 100mm apo, with zero noticeable CA on the limb of the Moon. With this barlow and cheap eyepiece combination, even the superlative TMB super mono can't compete. So I'm not convinced by the poor quality barlow claims, and believe any CA is from either the eyepiece choice, telescope, or atmospheric haze. 

Edited by mikeDnight
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