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SkyWatcher Deluxe 2x Barlow


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The other night I took a punt at a 2x barlow going fairly cheap on eBay, I placed a low bid of £8 and waited for the auction to end. I won it on Sunday night and received in the post on Tuesday in good condition.

First impressions were that it was of good build quality, the barrel was unscratched and the glass of the barlow element was undamaged but did have a few dust marks, nothing a lens pen can't solve.

The lens housing is also removable so there is the possibility that the tube on its own could be used as an extension tube for a particular low power DIY eyepiece that I inherited from the telescope's previous owner. It fails to come to focus in the stock eyepiece adapter as there is not enough outward travel. It is a camera lens of some sort which is in the order of about 50mm.

I like the addition of an integrated T-Thread which could prove useful in some future imaging setup (you never know :rolleyes:)

I naturally wanted to try the barlow out immediately but as these things go seeing conditions were awful last night with about 70% cloud cover with breaks coming and going but I did manage to try the it on a few objects.

Venus was the obvious first choice for me as it was prominent in the west in amongst the breaks in the clouds but sinking lower above a neighbour's roofline. I suppose the heat currents rising of the house, the low altitude and the fact that I didn't have time to let the scope cool down fully may have degraded the results in some way but anyway.

The planet was wobbling about the FOV even without the barlow but I could just about make out the gibbous disk. My first combo was the barlow plus the 14mm Speers-Waler which provided me with around 171x magnification and a TFOV of just under 0.5 degrees. I observed no negative effects of using a wide angle eyepiece with a 1.25" barlow, I am unsure what things I was to be expecting.

With the barlow and everything trained on Venus, I was able to make out a much more substantial sized disk. The image was blurred slightly but I think this was down to the seeing conditions, but I did notice a fair bit of CA on the edges of the disk which I think is down to the extra elements in the light path taking into account that the Speers-Waler has 8 optical surfaces (I think???) Overall though the barlow was a good addition and it gave a more pleasing view of Venus with only a minor amount of image degradation.

I did try this setup on two other objects but the image was bad due to deteriorating seeing conditions and I don't think including the details would be a fair test of the barlow. I did though manage to finally split the double double at 171x with Speers-Waler combo but the star were smearing by that time.

I did also attempt to use my 10mm plossl in the barlow to give me 240x but this proved to be too much for the seeing that night and it just degraded the image even more.

I will try to use the barlow again another night when the skies are better to give it a proper test. But all in all I think that the barlow is of good quality and doesn't harm the image too much assuming that seeing is good and that too much magnification isn't used :)

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These are the barlows that seem to come with a lot of new scopes I believe!?

I received one with my 200P, but haven't used it much as I went mad and bought a Celestron Ultima x2 barlow!!

Not too bad a purchase for £8 i'd say!


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