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Looking for a good quality and affordable Barlow

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#26 N3p

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 01:34 PM

I purchased the Celestron X-Cel LX 3x barlow to give it a try.  I wouldn't argue with your point, N3p, that this is often too much power.  For my 10mm BCO, I tend to agree with your assessment.  It's rare in my skies, that they'd support a 3.33mm-simulated eyepiece in most of my scopes.  Possible, especially on a target like the moon, but for most things, even double stars that require a steadiness in atmospheric cooperation, rare, indeed.  However, with a 3x barlow, eyepieces like my 20mm or 17mm Long Perng Plossls, or an 18mm BCO (which I might pick up to check out), begin to have planetary implications they otherwise would not possess.  The 3x barlow opens up that realm in the medium to low power eyepieces.  One must be careful with this.  Barlows tend to increase eye relief, and with something like a 25mm plossl, the eye relief can render the eyepiece-with-barlow prone to blackouts.  But in the 20mm and below sizes, they can become planetary contenders that they otherwise wouldn't really be.  9mm is good, but 6mm is planetary, and, of course, 18mm is not, so a 3x barlow can have a place in the eyepiece case.  And it's always there should the Sky Godesses unveil their heavenly bodies and allow sub 5mm-equivalent-barlow-combos to reveal their celestial glories.  Always ready.  The 3x barlow, kind of like a condom.

I have to agree with that in red.


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#27 Peter Besenbruch

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 02:06 PM

I did some critical on axis testing at crazy high power yesterday using the X-cel x2. 850x with my C8!

Never sell that C8!

 

I have the Highpoint Scientific 2x barlows which are made in Taiwan and is of excellent quality and quite affordable. I think it's around $45.00.  I've used them at very high mags on the planets in my 4"F9 apo and in my former 6"F8 Newtonian and they performed extremely well.

GSO strikes again! That company seems to produce good quality at a low price point for a whole range of goods.


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#28 AxelB

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 12:29 AM

Never sell that C8!

...


It’s not going anywhere;-) I have yet to observe through a better one.

It’s been customized so much, most people would be affraid to buy it anyway... that is, unless they get a chance to star test it.

Of course at 850x, not much else than collimation can be done but I could imagine using 600x on close doubles. For planets, 425 (my unbarlowed 4.7mm) is the maximum I would find useful on a good night. Usually I settle for the 8.8 mm.
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#29 CeleNoptic

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 03:25 PM

I never directly compared a Seibert to the GSO.  But I did compare the 2.5x Seibert Telecentric to the 2.5x Powermate and found the Seibert to be clearer, sharper, and easier to pull out fine lunar details.  

 

The Seibert barlows and telecentrics are excellent if you don’t mind the price and the wait time.  I also recommend the self centering mechanism even though it adds to the cost.

 

Dave,

Thanks for your info, really helpful. I'm thinking about the Sieberts because they are cheaper than the new 1.6x Nikon EIC and 2x Baader VIP. Slim chance to get those two used since both are rare in classifieds. Well, recently there was one VIP hanging for a long time in CNC and AM but I thought it would be too heavy with its native adapter/extender. Don't know how/if it works without the adapter though, if it's screw-in I don't like that type. And the Sieberts seem lighter and more affordable.

 

I used to use a Howie Glatter Paralyzer for centering 1.25" EPs so I'm not sure what is the self-centering mechanism you're recommending for. Centering an EP in the Barlow?



#30 Pcbessa

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 08:18 AM

At the moment, it seems that I can also wait a bit with buying a Barlow or high power eyepiece.

Saturn, Jupiter will lie low this summer as seen from north Scotland, only at 10deg altitude at best, and then there are also the bright nights of June and July.

Mars will not look good in the year ahead.
But even in 2020, all these three planets will bw visible quite low in the southern horizon, due to my northern location!!


So practically speaking in the year ahead, I will only use high power for galaxy details, globular clusters and the moon. I may do just fine with the 10mm Plossl.

On a few nights I will observe Saturn and Jupiter just above horizon.. but I don't think I will get much above the 120x provided by the 10mm Plossl.

For galaxies and clusters, what would you say? I think I may invest the money in a better midrange eyepiece rather than the Barlow

#31 NorthernlatAK

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 02:12 AM

May be a good choice to hold off due to your latitude. Barlow was my last purchase but only because I can't afford the midrange ep I need still. The barlow was only 38$ so I got that instead. My latest ep is an old 9mm t1 nagler, but I also need perhaps 12.5mm and 17mm. I'm thinking morphei... great product for the price.
The highest altitude planets can get @ my 61°N latitude is roughly 50° high. It'll be a little wait until that happens.
Often times when it's real clear stars are twinkling madly to naked eye over 50°. Good planet viewing opportunities are few and far between but there are those magic nights...very rarely at such a latitude. The moon is my most barlowed target right now. Planetary nebula are very good barlow targets as well if you do get one sooner.
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#32 Pcbessa

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 06:59 PM

I need something for high power. My 10" only has a 25mm and a 10mm eyepiece.

I do not expect much planetary observation, but I need something to see planetary nebulas at say 250x upwards. Otherwise they appear small.

 

At the moment, I am considering a cheap Barlow, whilst I wait to save more cash to buy a better quality Barlow down the road. A 2x Barlow would effectively turn my 10mm into 240x.

 

Examples could be something like this Celestron Barlow for £23, or this Neewer Barlow for just £10. Or I could try a Celestron 6mm eyepiece for round £24. Or for also £25, there is this barlow from Astro Essentials. And for £39 I could get this Baader barlow, which should be of better quality.

 

One concern is I got in focusing, another is bad image quality or unconfortable view, or too dim view.

 

Any comments with these cheap barlows?

Please feel free to add suggestions for under £40.


Edited by Pcbessa, 11 March 2019 - 07:04 PM.


#33 nicoledoula

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 07:13 PM

https://agenaastro.c...arlow-lens.html



#34 BDS316

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 08:01 PM

Hi!

I am looking for a good quality Barlow, for my newly bought F4.7 scope, an Orion XT10i (10inch Dobsonian).
As this is a fast scope, I am searching for a good quality Barlow to be used combined with some good quality eyepieces (they will be either ES68 or used Televue). The scope only came with two Plossl 25mm and 10mm.

I heard good things of the 1.25" Orion Ultrascopic Barlow 2x. Any experience with it?

Is the Celestron X Cel Barlow also of good quality? Would the 3x be equally good?
Thanks,


Hi, Orion's fully baffled, fully multicoated Barlow, shown in the picture you linked, isn't the same as their Ultrascopic Barlow which actually says "Ultrascopic" on the tube.

I'm going by the picture of the Ultrascopic Barlow in the book "Astronomy Hacks" by Thompson on page 264  and my memories of the old Orion Catalogs.

The fully baffled Barlow got nice reviews but it's not the Ultrascopic.  It has 2 elements not 3.  Both are made in Japan.

 

We should give Telescope House the benefit of the doubt that this is an honest mistake rather than an attempt at deception provided they change the description.


Edited by BDS316, 12 March 2019 - 07:30 AM.


#35 Peter Besenbruch

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 12:08 AM

I need something for high power. My 10" only has a 25mm and a 10mm eyepiece.

I do not expect much planetary observation, but I need something to see planetary nebulas at say 250x upwards. Otherwise they appear small.

 

At the moment, I am considering a cheap Barlow, whilst I wait to save more cash to buy a better quality Barlow down the road. A 2x Barlow would effectively turn my 10mm into 240x.

 

Examples could be something like this Celestron Barlow for £23, or this Neewer Barlow for just £10. Or I could try a Celestron 6mm eyepiece for round £24. Or for also £25, there is this barlow from Astro Essentials. And for £39 I could get this Baader barlow, which should be of better quality.

 

One concern is I got in focusing, another is bad image quality or unconfortable view, or too dim view.

 

Any comments with these cheap barlows?

Please feel free to add suggestions for under £40.

Cheap, small Barlows have the following issues: poor off axis correction, poor light management. On axis optical performance usually isn't an issue, unless you go with the Svbony, or other single element Barlows.

 

I especially did not like the Baader Q Barlow, as it injected off axis color in some eyepiece views, and vignetted a lot of eyepieces.

 

When searching for Barlows on the Amazon Web site, I especially like the Celestron for the extra lens element (needed on a short Barlow) and the superb light control. The fat top is actually hollow, and it acts like a light trap. This is a Barlow that disappears in use. The other Barlow that gets raves is the longer Orion Tri-Mag. Since you have a Newtonian, you can use a longer Barlow easily.


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#36 Pcbessa

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 03:56 AM

Hello, I am quite decided for a 2x GSO Barlow. The achromatic 2 element 2x costs £25 (around $35) and could be a good option. Is this barlow a good quality one?

The apochromatic GSO 3 element costs about $60 here in the UK. Not sure if it's worth the extra quality as the other barlow (2 elements) is already quite good.

I need the Barlow mostly to see planetary nebulae and second to see small distant galaxy clusters (which are also sometimes are also located near stars, and thus require powers of 300x to see).

My scope is a f4.7 1200mm Orion XT10i 10" Dob. It only has a 120x 10mm Plossl so far as max power. So I definitely need a Barlow.

Will probably buy a ES82 8.8 and a Meade 5.5 UWA down the road...

#37 Pcbessa

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 03:59 AM

I also considered a 3x Barlow
https://www.365astro...h-ED-glass.html

But I think it's not the best starting option.

The 2x will give me 240x with the 10" (perfect for small galaxies) and 440x with a 5.5 (perfect for planetary nebulae)

The 3x will give me already 360x with the 10mm and then I wouldn't have a 250x is option.

 

However buying both a 2x and 3x would cost me only £50 and would give me both 240x and 360x

 

Are the achromatic GSO Barlows good enough?


Edited by Pcbessa, 14 April 2019 - 04:02 AM.


#38 AxelB

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 08:45 AM

I also considered a 3x Barlow
https://www.365astro...h-ED-glass.html

But I think it's not the best starting option.

The 2x will give me 240x with the 10" (perfect for small galaxies) and 440x with a 5.5 (perfect for planetary nebulae)

The 3x will give me already 360x with the 10mm and then I wouldn't have a 250x is option.

However buying both a 2x and 3x would cost me only £50 and would give me both 240x and 360x

Are the achromatic GSO Barlows good enough?

Get a very good 2X barlow and work your eyepiece collection around that.

The seeing rarely allow magnification above 250x in my area. If it’s the same where you live, I would plan to acquire eyepieces that shows up to 250x and use the barlow to go above that.

An ES82 4.7mm would be an awesome planetary eyepiece in your dob. Get one while it’s still 20% off!

Edited by AxelB, 14 April 2019 - 08:50 AM.

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#39 Pcbessa

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 02:50 PM

I can get 250x with a 2x Barlow. I am planning buying the GSO 2element 2x Barlow. I hope its quality is good enough and a good fit for my Orion XT10i. The price is quite attractive.


Edited by Pcbessa, 14 April 2019 - 02:52 PM.


#40 izar187

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 05:19 PM

IMHO pass on a 2x barlow right now.

 

You are only gaining one real magnification option with it.... that of 10mm plus 2x barlow = 5mm.

Your 25mm plus a 2x puts you at 12.5mm, and that is honestly very close to the 10 you have.

The 25mm plus 2x does yield a bit better corrected field than the 10mm, with longer eye relief. That's legit

But it's not much an alternate exit pupil, nor magnification step, or at least not a very significant one.

 

Additionally, you have a mount that does not track.

That 10mm plus 2x combo is a very modest field high power 5mm.

You will wish eventually, sooner or later, that you had more field of view at 5mm.

 

Spend more.

Not hundreds more, and certainly not all at once.

But there are many little more expense multi-element built in barlow type ep's available these days.

They have wider than plossl field of views, plus fast focal ration astigmatism correction.

Go slow, build funds for weeks or months at a time. 

For specific focal length, reasonably well corrected wider field  ep's.

With a eye towards eye relief in the short ones, if you find the 10mm tight.  



#41 Pcbessa

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 06:21 PM

I heard that the GSO shorty Barlow requires quite a lot of inward focusing on a XT10 which is my scope. So perhaps not a good idea to buy it.

Any other option for a good quality affordable Barlow?

#42 russell23

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 07:27 AM

I heard that the GSO shorty Barlow requires quite a lot of inward focusing on a XT10 which is my scope. So perhaps not a good idea to buy it.

Any other option for a good quality affordable Barlow?

That is certainly possible.  The 2.5x GSO APO barlow requires a lot of infocus.  So one you might consider if you can go 2" is the 2.5x Celestron Luminos barlow.  I thought it was very good - and it is very lightweight for a 2" barlow.



#43 CollinofAlabama

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 11:43 AM

Pcbessa,
 
I would recommend the GSO 2.5x barlow over just any ole GSO barlow.  I have found that one to be lightweight and very, very good.  It's not expensive, but it works, and works well.  However, if your intended barlowing eyepiece is a 10mm, you might want to consider the StarGuider/Paradigm Dual ED 5mm.  It goes by lots of names, and the two I reference are from California and Oklahoma, respectively (the second is our sponsor, btw).  But since you're in Scotland, it's probably worth finding a local source there, one that looks the same, since all these come from the same factory in China.  You'll get your 5mm-style performance in a small, lightweight package.  I haven't used this one, yet, and just received it a few days ago, but got it on the recommendation of people here on CN whose opinion I value, so suspect you could do worse.  And the cost is pretty good, too.  Just one more way to slice this apple.  Good luck.

Edited by CollinofAlabama, 16 April 2019 - 07:54 PM.

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#44 NorthernlatAK

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 03:18 PM

I have no problem for infocus with the gso 2.5× apo barlow in my xt8i. I only have 4 ep's which are the 25mm plossl(I don't count the 10mm plossl) 32mm plossl, 9mm t1 nagler and 6.5mm morpheus. I can achieve focus with all of them with the stock orion focuser. The 9mm with barlow were perfect the other night for the moon! Hesiodus and gassendi craters in such detail it blew my mind! 25mm with barlow was a sweet spot on the sun for ar2738. I think this barlow works great in the orion dobs. And btw, it's probably more like 2.1× or so rather than 2.5× as advertised.

Edited by NorthernlatAK, 17 April 2019 - 03:21 PM.

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#45 gnowellsct

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 04:30 PM

Hi!

 

I am looking for a good quality Barlow, for my newly bought F4.7 scope, an Orion XT10i (10inch Dobsonian).

As this is a fast scope, I am searching for a good quality Barlow to be used combined with some good quality eyepieces (they will be either ES68 or used Televue). The scope only came with two Plossl 25mm and 10mm.

 

I heard good things of the 1.25" Orion Ultrascopic Barlow 2x. Any experience with it?

 

Is the Celestron X Cel Barlow also of good quality? Would the 3x be equally good?

Thanks,

I've always liked the Vixen DX barlow in 1.25 inch format and note that there is a barlow section on Astromart.  I have moved exclusively to two inch format, however.



#46 Starman1

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 05:02 PM

Hi!

 

I am looking for a good quality Barlow, for my newly bought F4.7 scope, an Orion XT10i (10inch Dobsonian).

As this is a fast scope, I am searching for a good quality Barlow to be used combined with some good quality eyepieces (they will be either ES68 or used Televue). The scope only came with two Plossl 25mm and 10mm.

 

I heard good things of the 1.25" Orion Ultrascopic Barlow 2x. Any experience with it?

 

Is the Celestron X Cel Barlow also of good quality? Would the 3x be equally good?

Thanks,

Your picture isn't the Orion barlow everyone raves about.

It was the Orion Shorty Plus (not the Shorty) 2X Barlow everyone loved.

It was also sold as the Celestron Ultima Barlow, the Parks Gold Series Barlow, and several other names.

It was a made-in-Japan 3 element barlow.

 

You've already gotten a lot of good advice.

If looking for affordable 2" Barlows, try the ones from Olivon, GSO, etc., advertised as being "ED Barlows"  These work fine.

 

Stick with 2X so you don't run the magnification up too high to where seeing conditions keep the image blurry.


Edited by Starman1, 17 April 2019 - 07:09 PM.


#47 SteveG

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 06:50 PM

Your picture isn't the Orion barlow everyone raves about.

It was the Orion Shorty Plus 2X Barlow everyone loved.

It was also sold as the Celestron Ultima Barlow, the Parks Gold Series Barlow, and several other names.

It was a made-in-Japan 3 element barlow.

 

You've already gotten a lot of good advice.

If looking for affordable 2" Barlows, try the ones from Olivon, GSO, etc., advertised as being "ED Barlows"  These work fine.

 

Stick with 2X so you don't run the magnification up too high to where seeing conditions keep the image blurry.

Don, is this the same as the Shorty Plus & Ultima?

https://agenaastro.c...arlow-lens.html

 

I know it states 2.5x, but reviewers are saying it's more like 2.1x or so. My Ultima multiplies by about 2.2x. That GSO sure looks like it.



#48 Jond105

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 06:59 PM

I own the Celestron Xcel 2x Barlow. I seemed to have enjoyed the view through it more than the shorty Barlow. 



#49 Starman1

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 07:08 PM

Don, is this the same as the Shorty Plus & Ultima?

https://agenaastro.c...arlow-lens.html

 

I know it states 2.5x, but reviewers are saying it's more like 2.1x or so. My Ultima multiplies by about 2.2x. That GSO sure looks like it.

No, that's China, not Japan.

Though, it might be a copy.



#50 SteveG

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 07:18 PM

No, that's China, not Japan.

Though, it might be a copy.

I just ran the spec's against my copy using a caliper. The GSO states a 22.4 mm clear aperture, and my Ultima has 26.5 clear, so these are different units for sure.




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