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Orion High power 5x 4-Element barlow

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#1 Hax

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 10:30 AM

Hi all, noob to astronomy here.. Quick question, from my research I think ive seen that some eye pieces are better suited for different types of scopes, any my girlfriend picked me up a 5x 4-element barlow eyepiece for my birthday. I currently own an Orion spaceprobe 130ST, and a Celestron C6R. im just wondering if this eye piece is a good match for either scope, as I haven't had a chance to see for myself yet, and the weather isnt looking good this week.. plus am a noob astronomer, and if the eye piece is good for those scopes, what kind of observation would it be best at? Lunar, solar, DSO? 

Thanks in advance for any and all info!



#2 Hax

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 10:38 AM

I suppose i should mention i have looked into the description on a couple websites, but i wanted to get astronomers input first hand, because often times advertisements can be misleading



#3 SarverSkyGuy

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 11:18 AM

Welcome to astronomy!

 

First, a clarification: a barlow is not an eyepiece. It is used with an eyepiece to increase the magnification.  So, if you were getting 25x with a certain eyepiece, then you would get 125x with that eyepiece+barlow.  While the increased magnification sounds wonderful, it comes at a cost - your field of view will be much smaller.  So you will want to use lower power to get the object in the field of view, then switch to the higher power.  The higher power/smaller field of view also means that objects will drift out of the field faster if your telescope is not 'tracking' the stars well.

Barlows are typically used for the Moon & planets.

The other reality of higher magnification is that the steadiness of the air ("seeing") becomes more important.  If you don't have good seeing conditions, then you will be looking at a bigger, mushier object.

 

My opinion: While it was a thoughtful gift, I think the 5x is too much.  But give it try.  You will learn some new things.


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#4 Hax

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 11:34 AM

Welcome to astronomy!

 

First, a clarification: a barlow is not an eyepiece. It is used with an eyepiece to increase the magnification.  So, if you were getting 25x with a certain eyepiece, then you would get 125x with that eyepiece+barlow.  While the increased magnification sounds wonderful, it comes at a cost - your field of view will be much smaller.  So you will want to use lower power to get the object in the field of view, then switch to the higher power.  The higher power/smaller field of view also means that objects will drift out of the field faster if your telescope is not 'tracking' the stars well.

Barlows are typically used for the Moon & planets.

The other reality of higher magnification is that the steadiness of the air ("seeing") becomes more important.  If you don't have good seeing conditions, then you will be looking at a bigger, mushier object.

 

My opinion: While it was a thoughtful gift, I think the 5x is too much.  But give it try.  You will learn some new things.

Thank you for the info! So assuming i had great atmospheric conditions, would this barlow be good to use on Jupiter or Saturn for details? or would that be like looking through a needle hole? assuming my mount is tracking well of course.. And do you think id would be good for seeing close up details of the moon?



#5 Sketcher

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 12:37 PM

I have an older version of what might be the same Barlow.  I had to modify mine a little due to an issue with how the "safety" recessed cut in the 1.25-inch sleeve/barrel interacted with an eyepiece holder.  But in looking at the Orion website, it appears that they've since made some modifications to the outward appearance (and how it holds eyepieces) of this Barlow (if it is the same Barlow).

 

Anyway, the 5x Orion Barlow I have works fine for my own needs -- since filling-in the undercut.

 

In my opinion, a 5x Barlow is a bit of a "specialty" item.  As long as you use it with eyepieces that provide "reasonable" magnifications when combined with the Barlow, it ought to be perfectly usable.  But at 5x, it's very easy to go overboard with the magnification and end up with mushy images -- depending on seeing conditions and telescope quality.

 

I purchased mine for a very specific purpose and for use with a single, specialized (Celestron Micro-Guide) eyepiece.

 

That being said, if I recall correctly, I've used (tested) my 5x Barlow with each of my 'major' eyepieces -- all the way down to a 3mm eyepiece -- just to have a record of the true fields-of-view that the various combinations provide.  So I feel OK saying that the Barlow does pretty much what it's supposed to do.

 

If I was a bit less pressed for time, I could look up more of my own details -- including the true amplification factor as used with certain eyepieces; but such details would be little more than "numbers" to many people.

 

I don't use Barlows a great deal, but I do use them from time to time when they can provide something I can't otherwise achieve; but even then, I make use of a 2.8x Barlow most often, followed by a 2x Barlow.  My 5x Barlow is reserved as more of a specialty item -- for me.

 

I suppose it's primary weakness is the ease at which an unsuspecting user can end up with magnifications that are too high for their telescopes and/or seeing conditions; but in my experience, the Barlow itself does fine as long as it's not used to push telescopes and seeing conditions beyond their limits.

 

Use it for whatever objects you find the resultant magnifications useful for, and for whatever eyepieces you have that, when combined with the Barlow, provide reasonable results for you, your telescope(s), etc.

 

Basically, there's no substitute to getting out, trying the Barlow out, and arriving at your own conclusions.  That which works for one person, telescope, object, etc. may not be desirable for another person, telescope, object, etc.  In other words, it doesn't matter what any of us have to say.  In the end, it will all come down to your own experiences.


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#6 RichA

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 12:46 PM

Thank you for the info! So assuming i had great atmospheric conditions, would this barlow be good to use on Jupiter or Saturn for details? or would that be like looking through a needle hole? assuming my mount is tracking well of course.. And do you think id would be good for seeing close up details of the moon?

As long as total magnification with the barlow and eyepiece don't exceed about 50x to 80x per inch of scope aperture and the seeing conditions are good (stars are steady not twinkling maddly) the barlow is useful. About 300x to 480x on your scope.  You may find lower powers are sufficient to see all the detail there is to see on a planet.


Edited by RichA, 06 June 2020 - 02:21 PM.

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