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Celestron Ultima 2X Barlow - Some Thoughts

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#1 M11Mike

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 10:07 PM

Spent a lot of $$$ on eyepieces the last couple years - trying this and that to see what works best with the scopes and eyepieces I have / what works best for ME. Recently purchased (here on C/N's from a fine gentleman from CA) a Celestron Ultima 2x Barlow SV Series Celeston P/N 93506 (Japan) - $50 bucks!!! An old acquaintance (Terrance Dickenson in his book "NIGHTWATCH") recommends it and I MUST say that Mr. Dickenson is (IMO) "right on the money"!!! This thing is fantastic - I never was a believer in barlows (I don't know exactly why) but I wasn't. What a mistake - for $50 I just doubled my eyepiece collection and at least in my case with MY scopes and eyepieces - every one works perfectly with this barlow. In fact without mentioned any specific manufacturers names - my barlowed combinations actually work BETTER than some of these more modern / sophisticated / and expensive stand alones at a given FL.

Might I suggest for my fellow CN'ers who were like me (a non-believer) - GIVE one a try. I strongly recommend the Celestron Ultima above. Worth a shot. And it won't break your bank account. Worse case - if it doesn't work for you - put in CN's and get all or most of your $$$ you spent to get BACK!!! Not much - if anything - to lose here - and potentially - like I discovered - a LOT to be gained for almost no investment.

Mike P (Ballston Lake, NY)

Observing notes: Looked at just TWO subjects tonight - Jupiter and M13. The images of both subjects were just as good (for example) in a barlowed 32mm eyepiece vs. a 16mm stand alone eyepiece (on one end) - to a barlowed 10mm vs. a 5mm stand alone eyepiece (on the other end). In fact - at least my old eyes, I found the images possibly slightly superior!!! I also found the sweet-spot eye positioning to be easier with a barlowed longer focal length eyepiece. Barlowed images were crisp across the field, excellent near edge definition, similar resolution, etc. Planetary detail on Jupiter - was as good or better BARLOWED for a given FL.
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#2 M11Mike

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 10:15 PM

Oh - forgot to mention the scope I was using - a BRAND NEW (received Monday) Stellarvue 102 Access Super ED APO F7 Doublet, serial #2...yes #2 (Strehl 0.985). It was "FIRST LIGHT" for the new scope and I was not disappointed. Thank you Vic for #2 and the super optics!!! Mike (Ballston Lake, NY)

#3 GOLGO13

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 07:00 AM

I agree completely. I've had multiples of these and they are very good. If someone is on a budget I cannot think of a better barlow. And I see them on used websites quite often.

 

I bought one new just before they discontinued them. I've donated a few of them over time to people I provided telescopes. But, I keep picking one up and currently have a good one.



#4 Astronought

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 08:55 AM

Got one as well, had it for years but rarely used it.  I took it out the other night to test a couple of new EPs and was pleasantly surprised at the views.  I had thought of selling it a while ago, but I've decided to hang onto it now.



#5 SteveG

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 09:43 PM

It was a very good design, perhaps one of the best short barrows available. You will notice that it actually magnifies at about 2.2 x, depending on eyepieces used. I still have mine, from my very early eyepiece collection. I replaced the small, metal set-screw with a much larger nylon screw.


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#6 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 01:00 AM

It was a very good design, perhaps one of the best short barrows available. You will notice that it actually magnifies at about 2.2 x, depending on eyepieces used. I still have mine, from my very early eyepiece collection. I replaced the small, metal set-screw with a much larger nylon screw.

 

:waytogo:

 

I have a Celestron Ultima as well as a Parks Gold Series and a Orion Shorty Plus, they're all the same Barlow, I have had the Ultima for close to 20 years.  That 2.2x always bugged me as did the tight fit..  I think it's a good Barlow but I normally use the 2x TeleVue, it's close to Parafocal..

 

Jon


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#7 photoracer18

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 05:57 PM

There are 2 versions of this Barlow, 93504 (long version) and 93506 (short version). I have had my 93506 for quite some time and until recently did not know about the long version. The Nightwatch text is talking about the short version. I don't know of the quality of the long version. Supposedly the short version is the same as the APO version, meaning its a triplet lens group.



#8 MortonH

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 06:57 PM

There's really no such thing as an apo Barlow. In a full length design like a Tele Vue you only need two lenses. When you make a short version like the Ultima you need a third lens to compensate for the shorter design or performance would be horrible. Calling a Barlow 'apo' is just marketing.


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#9 martinl

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 03:44 AM

The Ultima barlow is very good indeed. The only thing I don't like about it is the amount of refocus required, which is why I prefer the 2.5x Powermate for visual. For planetary imaging the Ultima rules, as you can easily adjust the magnification with extensions. 

 

I've measured the magnification (X), as function of distance between the Ultima shoulder and the focal plane (d, in mm), to be X~2.2+0.02d. 

 

For most EPs, with the field stop at the shoulder, the magnification thus comes to ~2.2x. For Televue group "B" ~2.07x. For ASI cameras (d=12.5mm) ~2.45x. For imaging I often use it with a total of 70mm extension for 3.6x. 



#10 RussL

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 10:16 AM

Been enjoying mine since 2008. I always recomend it. It IS good.

#11 REC

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 10:34 AM

You should do a review of it for the CN review section.

 

Glad you enjoy it, never used barlows that much, but maybe I'll keep an eye out for a used one.



#12 Richard Whalen

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 02:22 PM

Years ago (1990s) I spent a week testing over a dozen barlows in 3 different scopes, the Celestron Ultimate SV Series model 93506 was the winner. Still have it. Not a fan of barlows most of the time, but if you need an 1-1/4" Barlow, I can recommend it.



#13 LMO

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 03:03 PM

I think the Ultima SV 3-element 2X Barlow is the same as the Orion Shorty-Plus 2X Barlow (3-element, Orion #05121).  The Orion Shorty-Plus is also discontinued, but occasionally available on the used market.

 

   Larry

 

Edit:  Oops, I see that Jon Isaacs noted this earlier.  I missed that note in a too-quick read of the thread.


Edited by LMO, 29 July 2017 - 03:07 PM.


#14 Deep13

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 04:35 PM

There's an Antares-branded 3x model too. I bought my Ultima Barlow new for about $80 from a local dealer in 2001. No complaints.

#15 bridgman

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 11:53 PM

It was a very good design, perhaps one of the best short barrows available. You will notice that it actually magnifies at about 2.2 x, depending on eyepieces used. I still have mine, from my very early eyepiece collection. I replaced the small, metal set-screw with a much larger nylon screw.

Huh... until I read your post just now I never realized there was a setscrew hole... just a bit unhappy because my eyepieces rattled around. Picked it up & turned it around, and there it was.

 

Doesn't seem to be a standard eyepiece setscrew thread... M4 seems too big and M3 only goes in about 1/2 turn - you wouldn't happen to remember what the size/thread was, would you ?

 

Thanks,

John


Edited by bridgman, 17 April 2019 - 11:53 PM.


#16 martinl

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 10:36 AM

Huh... until I read your post just now I never realized there was a setscrew hole... just a bit unhappy because my eyepieces rattled around. Picked it up & turned it around, and there it was.

 

Doesn't seem to be a standard eyepiece setscrew thread... M4 seems too big and M3 only goes in about 1/2 turn - you wouldn't happen to remember what the size/thread was, would you ?

 

Thanks,

John

I use a nylon M3 set screw with mine with no binding or other issues. Perhaps try a different M3 screw?


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#17 25585

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 05:45 AM

Got a pair of the Japanese made shorties which I use for bino viewing with.




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