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The traditional right angle prism star diagonal has long held a reputation as a budget low-quality star diagonal. Given the extremely poor quality star diagonal prisms included with budget priced import refractors and domestic SCT telescopes, it is no surprise. Their prisms are horribly made, with incorrect face angles, non-flat rough optical surfaces, and poor coatings. Housings are crudely made from weak plastic, with poor angular accuracy and weak attachment of fittings. However, the prism star diagonal is capable of views which meet or exceed even the finest mirror star diagonals, and deliver them for lifetimes of use.
One of the main features of Baader T2 diagonals is the large free aperture they offer, but they are also amazingly flexible in their ability to adapt to almost any telescope system on the market today, without the usual problems of bottlenecking and vignetting during challenging applications. It is for this reason that Baader offers their T2 System diagonals without adaptors, so that you can have the freedom of designing a diagonal that fits your needs perfectly.
The telescope side of Baader T2 diagonals accepts a wide array of adapters, including standard items like 1.25" or 2" focuser, or more esoteric items like an original M44 Zeiss thread to connect to a Russian Mak or a Vixen OTA. On the eyepiece side many people use the Baader Quick Change Ring #6 so that they can mount the Mark V binocular viewer in a way that achieves the shortest possible back focus distance between their telescope and the binocular viewer, but of course you can do whatever you need to do...that's the beauty of the Baader T-2 System.
The Baader Planetarium T-2 Prism Star Diagonal is easily the finest prism star diagonal available today. The right angle Zeiss-Spec** prism is identical to the prism that Zeiss supplied for use with their exquisite APQ telescopes. The famous Baader 7-Layer Multi-Coatings ensure the image is bright and contrasty, and the oversized prism provides an oversized full clear aperture of 1.34” (34mm)! The precision machined aluminum housing provides a stress free mounting and precise location for the prism, unlike the typical weak plastic or crudely cast housings found on lesser diagonals. Extremely low scatter and high contrast images are the hallmark of this prism diagonal. The end result is a lifetime diagonal that matches or exceeds the brightness and image quality of the finest mirror star diagonals. Users of fine refractors over f/7 as well as SCT users have found that the Baader T-2 Prism Star Diagonal provides the sharpest and highest contrast images they have seen from any star diagonal, mirror or prism.
* PLEASE NOTE: The Baader T-2 Prism Star Diagonal incorporates standard T-2 threads at the input and output faces, and is provided as a basic component, without any input or output fittings. This permits the diagonal to be used as a compatible component along with the other Baader Planetarium T-2 accessories, like the VIP Modular Barlow or digital cameras. This also enables you to configure the diagonal to exactly suit your needs, and to fit 2" or 1¼” eyepieces, and focusers. The effective optical path length of the base T-2 Prism Star Diagonal is 47.5mm. Please see Eyepiece Adapters, Rings for applicable fittings, and the T2 Diagonal Configuration page for detail on specific configurations.
** Many production divisions of the former government owned Carl Zeiss Jena have been privatized. The Zeiss core enterprise today concentrates on production of finished ultra-high end optical and medical devices. Many of the thousands of standard components are delivered to Jena "just in time" like any car factory works today. The opticians and skilled people that once made up the company are still alive (and kicking) and as a result many highly capable optical companies have developed in this region, still producing optics in the old Zeiss tradition. Baader has people employed who formerly worked at Zeiss Jena and they still use their contacts to existing optical shops there for the production of their prisms and all optical components for the Mark V binocular, all produced to the original exacting Zeiss specifications and processes.