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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

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.

#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.



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


    Mariner 2

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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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