Mag One Portaball 8"


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Brand and Model:Mag One Portaball 8"
Price ($USD):1380 +
Type:Newtonian
Attributes: un-checked Go-To un-checked PEC
Aperture:200mm (7.9")
f Ratio:f/6
Focal Length:1200mm
Finder:1x
Electric Power:optional
Mount:omnitorial
Tripod:
Weight (lbs):31 lbs.
Dimensions (w/h/d):
Description:

Vote Highlights Vote
Mag One Portaball 8"
If you're looking for the ultimate grab n go, put down the tiny refractor and get this scope. All kidding aside, refractors are great, but I'm very happy I sold my 5" Tak. I was tired of the set up more than anything else, and the Portaball gives new meaning to grab n go. I simply pick up the whole thing with my hands under the fabulously machined tripod. Dave, the owner of Mag 1 talked me into the blue tripod, and I'm glad he did.

The views? I was quite surprised initially. The contrast is shockingly dark. Jupiter: Unreal. I was wishing I had the Tak for a side by side, but I knew the Portaball was throwing up a brighter more detailed image. The curved spider is fantastic. It seems to me that it helps greatly especially with doubles. Which by the way I couldn't find a double it couldn't split. Mars: I've never seen detail on Mars like that. Unbelievable. I need higher power eps'. 214x is not enough for these optics. Saturn: I glimpsed the Cassini division with the rings at 3 deg. M42: 6 stars every time. Nebulosity is equivalent to a 10" in a dark sky. I'm currently comparing the scope to a popular 8" Chinese dob. Which is quite good to be honest, but it's overcorrected compared to the Portaballs essentially perfect Zambuto mirror.

The integrated fan and dew heaters for the secondary and Rigel finder are genious. They make the scope so much easier to use. It's nice to not have to worry if the secondary is going to dew up. The helical focuser is great. I was a bit unsure about at first, but it's grown on me. It's kind of like having a fine focuser built in. As far as eps', I have a 31 T5 that at first didn't come to focus. But after tightening the collimation bolts, which raised the mirror, it comes to focus and gives me a 2 deg fov. But being so heavy, I can't use it below about 30 deg.

If there was a weakness I'd say it would be the shroud. I had one custom made and it's much easier to use.
Overall, this is a lifetime scope. I've used it no less than 50 times in 4 months being so easy to set up. I also have a 14.5" Starmaster that's been used twice in that same time.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Mount:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:7
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.143.67)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=593412


Mag One Portaball 8"
Exceptional 8" scope. Not counting a 60mm refractor I had as a teenager, this is my third scope after a C5+ and TV102. I have the 8" F/5 version with 2" focuser and curved spider. Though I've only had this scope less than a year I have seen things I never saw in my previous scopes. The views in many ways remind me of the TV102. The "refractor like" contrast is delivered by the zambuto mirror but much brighter and more detailed than the view delivered by the 4" APO. Substantially more detail on the moon, Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn. For example I easily saw the Encke minumum in the A ring a few nights ago. The larger caterlets in Plato on the moon appear as craters not just detected as with the C5 and TV102. I especially enjoy the ball mount, a real joy to use compared to the fork mount on the C5+ and the equatorial I used for the SP. I do suggest a tracking platform for this scope if you intend to do a lot of planetary observing, manual tracking at 300x or 400x is doable but I tend to waste half my viewing session bumping and waiting for the image to settle at these powers.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Mount:9 Ease of Use:10 Value:9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.70.67)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=347699


Mag One Portaball 8"
This scope is truly superior because of its great optical system, its light weight, its really superior portability, its very great comfort in use (sit down in an easy chair) and its visual bang per buck relative to all else that is out there. This scope usually trumps virtually all else of equal or lesser aperature and in many cases does so at a small fraction of the price. Comfort in use, deriving in part from its size, seriously increases viewing time and the amount therefore seen. Much for little. The only reason left for a refractor is to have a smaller refractor as a "go to," rich field and finder scope.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Mount:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.44.169)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=180172


Mag One Portaball 8"
The perfect all-round visual scope for the person who does not need tracking and GOTO options. Excellent planetary scope and strong double star splitter, but also excellent for low power, wide field work. Extremely portable, ergonomically unbeatable, customer service worth a 10+. I rated the mount an 8. It is stable enough, but you can not lean on the scope.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Mount:8 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.222.25)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=87297


Mag One Portaball 8"
Excellent optics. Star test shows identical patterns on
each side of focus. Breath-taking views of Jupiter and Saturn.
Holds collimation very well. Eyepiece position always convenient.
Very portable; carry outside in one or two trips. Very well
thought-out and engineered. 1x finder is fine for me.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.197.96)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40769


Mag One Portaball 8"
The Zambuto mirrors in these telescopes are amazing. I've seen shadow transits on Jupiter that blew me away, and Saturn has never looked better. Yet, there is enough aperature to see many deep sky objects as well. (I can see structure in M51 with a little effort.) Even star fields are striking, and star colors are absolutely beautiful in this telescope. On nights of steady seeing, the stars focus to tight pinpoints.

On top of all of that, the Portaball is so easy to use that it makes the entire observing experience FUN, the way it's supposed to be. I get a silly grin on my face every time that I think of my observing sessions with this telescope.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.240.23)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40768


Mag One Portaball 8"
I can't say enough about the scope, the service, and overall pleasure this scope has delivered. I bought this second hand and Pete Smitka treated me as a new customer. He answered all my questions and even provided the shipping containers we needed to complete the deal. This scope easily outperformed bigger and more expensive scopes. It gave better planetary views than some larger SCT's. Stars are pinpoint images with alot of contrast. Eyepiece always convienent. Scope is very stable with little vibration at high powers. It's very easy to assemble and transport. I've used a 32mm Erfle and 7mm Nagler with great results. The 19mm Axiom would not focus with this scope. The only way I'll part with this scope is to trade or buy up for a 10" or 12.5" Portaball!!!

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.145.85)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40766


Mag One Portaball 8"
I bought this scope for three reasons:
1. Portability - scope is a cinch to carry around in one had assembled. Disassembled, it fits into a very small space.
2. Optics - Jupiter and Saturn look much better than they did in my previous 8". Moon shadows on Jupiter's surface look like black holes punched in the image. I am NOT an expert in this area - but I am very pleased with what I am seeing.
3. Ease of Use - It is absolutely effortless to find and track objects. Being able to find and track objects at zenith is great. Mount is extremely stable - no shaking or wobbling after adjustments at high power.
This scope has delivered in spades and is a keeper! I just hope to own a 12.5" Portaball someday.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.177.146)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40765


Mag One Portaball 8"
Unbeatable scope for visual observation. Awesome optics. Resolves according to Dawes'limit when sky conditions permit. Truss design that easily can be disassembled. As disassembled the scope is truly portable. As assembled it is very stable. Eyepiece position always convenient. Service by manufacturer is very excellent.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.222.21)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40764


Mag One Portaball 8"
I was able to use one of these scopes at a local astronomy convention. The owner had recently purchased his instrument. I feel that the movement at medium to high magnification was too sticky. This made it difficult to track objects. The owner was also having a difficult time finding anything with his zero power telrad, and I'm sure mounting an optical finder would affect the instrument's balance. Although seeing was only average, I was not able to discern any of the advantages claimed in other reviews of Zambuto equipped scopes. Do to the fact that I do not have more extensive experience with this scope, I will not add a numerical rating. I will say that my experience did not leave me wanting to go out and buy a Mag 1.

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.215.127)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40767

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