Tal X2 Barlow Review

A decent Barlow is an invaluable tool to the astronomer, especially in times where money may be a little tighter than usual. The Barlow is indispensable to the visual observer as well as the astrophotographer.

Firstly, for the visual observer a Barlow increases magnification by it’s stated number. In this case the power of any eyepiece is doubled. For example an eyepiece that gives 100x magnification will yield 200x magnification when used in conjunction with the Barlow lens. This has the effect of doubling your eyepiece collection with only a single added expenditure.

To attach the TAL you simply slot it into your telescope focuser tube (or into a star diagonal if you’re using one) then insert a chosen eyepiece into the top end of the Barlow, the eyepiece is then firmly secured by a single thumb screw.

As well as doubling your eyepiece collection the Barlow also has another advantage. Usually when oculars of a high power, the eye relief can become very tight and therefore uncomfortable to look through (eye relief is the maximum distance one can position ones head from the objective lens of the eyepiece). A Barlow will ramp up the magnification of lower powered eyepieces while retaining the more comfortable eye relief that’s synonymous with longer focal lengths.

Unfortunately in recent years the market has been flooded with cheap and far from cheerful Barlows meaning the budget category can feel like a minefield, many people are put off of Barlows altogether because they’ve used the wrong one and received inferior views for it.

The TAL x2 is thankfully one of the great cheap Barlows. First off it’s very light so it won’t cause balance issues when it’s added/removed to the telescope. Secondly and most importantly it performs incredibly well optically. There is no image degradation except at incredibly (and impractically) high powers. The dreaded vignetting associated with inferior Barlows is nowhere to be seen, views remain bright and crisp. When you consider the TAL costs only £30 you really are getting an absolute bargain for the quality this lens puts out.

The TAL performs exquisitely, it’s very light and the build quality is superb. It feels like it would survive a few drops in tact. A definite recommendation, one of the finer (if not the finest) budget Barlows available.

Whatever your application whether it be visual or astrophotographic the TAL will accommodate your needs.