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Carl Zeiss Abbe Eyepieces continue to be regarded as the finest astronomical eyepieces ever made. Around 1995, Carl Zeiss produced a very limited number of a newly designed matching 1.25" 2X Abbe-Barlow. This doublet barlow incorporated a special high-quality ED glass, along with Zeiss' famous multicoatings, optical accuracy, smoothness, and surface quality. Discriminating planetary observers have found this to be the finest barlow ever produced. Unfortunately, due to their scarcity and unsurpassed performance, these barlows rarely surface on the secondary market, commanding extremely high prices - up to $1200 apiece!
Baader Planetarium is now elated to now offer again the legendary Carl Zeiss Abbe-Barlow, in a new redesigned housing. Carl Zeiss has produced a new run of these barlows for 2017, specifically for Baader Planetarium. The lenses have been mounted in the new housing, which incorporates Baader's own Clicklock eyepiece clamp that attaches to the barlow housing via T-threads. The marriage of these two parts makes an even finer barlow than the 1995 original style. The non-marring Clicklock holder makes interchanging eyepieces a snap, firmly clamping the eyepiece with a gentle twist of the top ring. The ID of the lens cell is fully sharp v-threaded to kill stray light. The top of the Clicklock holder is height-adjustable, and removable to expose an external T-thread. This enables use of the barlow as a superb projection barlow for imaging, or with an eyepiece for projection at higher magnifications (simply add any of our T-2 Extension tubes ). The front barlow housing may also be attached to any T-threaded camera. When attached to a DSLR, the resultant magnification is approximately 2.3X.
New for 2017, Carl Zeiss has updated the coatings to deliver the highest transmission and lowest scatter of any coating ever produced for amateur optics. The coatings have been optmized for visual use, with a phenomenally low 0.2% loss over the spectral region where the eye is most sensitive. These new coatings further help to make the Zeiss barlow literally 'disappear' in use.
Users of all 1¼" eyepieces will find the Baader Zeiss Abbe-Barlow to be the finest barlow they've ever used, increasing the magnification without introducing any detectable loss in sharpness or contrast. A side benefit is the increased eye-relief that comes from using longer focal length eyepieces, enabling a more comfortable and relaxed view. This compact barlow remains parfocal at 2X, minimizing the disruption to focusing when adding the barlow into the optical chain.
Baader has found that the Zeiss Abbe-Barlow works extremely well at magnifications up to 3X. Barlow users are no longer constrained to the typical 2X single magnification provided by standard barlows. The two-part housing enables users to vary the magnification of the Abbe-Barlow simply by using T-2 Extension Tubes in-between the barlow housing and the Clicklock clamp.
Owners of the prior Zeiss Abbe-I eyepieces now have an opportunity to finally complete their set, as Zeiss had intended. With the 2X Abbe Barlow, their available set of focal lengths doubles and fills-in the gaps between focal lengths (2,3,4,5,6,8,10,12.5,16,17,25,34).
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