Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor


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Brand and Model:Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
Price ($USD):$499.00
Type:Achromatic Refractor
Attributes: un-checked Go-To un-checked PEC
Aperture:120mm (4.7 in)
f Ratio:8.4
Focal Length:1000mm
Finder:6x30
Electric Power:optional
Mount:EQ-3 (CG-4)
Tripod:Aluminum
Weight (lbs):39.0
Dimensions (w/h/d):OTA: 40.5 inches
Description:

Vote Highlights Vote
Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
Hi just me the photon busting scope guy. I have the 120 F8.3 from Orion older model skywatcher newer ones are called astro view same scope just adjustable lens cell. First of all the mount is ok but could be better the tripod is mostly the vibration problem. Sand in legs and degreaseing the mount head and lubeing with good lithium or moly lube is better and tighten up the slop in RA and DEC. Drill hole in center tray and put bolt and nut through to help wiggle at this point and also where the tray legs three of them put rubber spacers between both sides of long screw will help too. The scope is very good for a non apo the 4.7 is ideal in size not to big and light to handle. The 150 version skywatcher or celestron same scope is quite big and front heavy makeing use some what cumbersome. The 4.7 is only 30mm smaller and the F ratio slightly higher which is a big plus. Large refractors that are non apo or florite need to be in the range of F15 or higher to make color correction aceptable. But this would make the scope so long and heavy it would be impratical for portable use ,nice for a permanet mount or pier. but for real everday use not a good choice. That is why 99% of all large refractors on the public market are in the F7 too F10 or mabe 11 range. Its size, people arn't going to buy a 5' or 6' refractor thats 30+lbs and 5 feet or longer. Not practical. So I think the 120 at F 8.3 is better than the 150 at F8. Do the math. The color correction is better on the 120 but the power is better on the 150 but not a great big jump but noticable. I read reviews on the 150 and some say 250x to 350x the scope crashes which is about par for a 150mm non apo. My 120 is good to about 266X on average seeing nights but on those very steady nights jupiter and saturn are absolutly stunning at 300X. I had it up to 318X but it gets grainy and dim. For a 120mm achromat I nust say what a deal for the modest 500 dollars which is a better bargin than the 150 at 800 dollars which is heayer bigger not as well corrected at F8 for it size the 120 at F8.3 would be like the 150 at F9 or slightly higher. Overall for 300 more dollars and a small improvement in power and loss in color correction the 120mm wins hands down for weight/size/ ease of use/ color/ price. Very nice scope for the money concidering not a mega bucks apo. I had some optics problem with astigmatism on one side of focus and was able to correct 80% of that and aligned the focuser and lens cell and its is a real gem of a 120mm. On certain objects and seeing conditions it beats my very well corrected and perfectly collimated 9,25 which is one of those few that every thing was matched and the optics so tight.Not many out there. Most suffer from some aberations alignment/turned edge/astigmatism/coma lsa or hsa or worse zones in mirrors. Most problems can be tweeked out but zones and astigmatism not much can be done. Lsa and hsa are not a big problem unless very bad. coma can be fixed with alignment most of the time. Turned edge is very common and un fixable but a tiny mask can be made to cover edge of mirror and its gone but you lose a tiny bit of apature.Unless the turnsd edge is bad you wont notice it. Most mass produced sct and refractors all have some of the problems listed either one or many in varying amounts.Most of the time it is within defraction limit for the apature and your views will be nice and clean much to enjoy. But if on good nights steady skys your views are poor provideing you are not pushing the optics too unrealistic powers then you have a problem. As a rule power should never exceed 60X per inch for a cheaper scope like most syntas. On high end scopes like apos from the best makers 70x or even 80X per inch on good seeing is common. Just thought I would throw in some tech talk with this review. Hope it helped some of you to understand about optics and scopes. Happy As a tip on getting the 120mm I would recomend getting it through skywatcher or one of the importures. I git it from Orion and they wouldn't respond to my problem with astigmatism I think they don't hand pick there scopes and some good and some bad. Hands on optics has good reputation for good units and APM also hand picks there scopes all syntas they have and you will get a good scope no hassles HappyPhoton Busting

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:8 Mount:8 Ease of Use:10
Weight: 10 (Trustworthy Vote)
Date:
By: pjsviolin
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=90893


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
First of all, I love this scope. It was relatively inexpensive and is very easy to setup or transport plus I really like the optics. I get stunning views from mine. If you buy or own one of these, do yourself a favor and buy the dual axis clock drive. We all know how bad the mount is that comes with this scope. I put the clock drive on and the shaking scope days were over, except for focusing, which shaking lasted about 1 second. It was like a new scope. And after getting spoiled with my clock drive I needed to get rid of the last of the shaking, the focusing. So I built an electric focuser using some vaccuum cleaner drive belts, hose clamps, assorted parts from Radio Shack, an old model airplane servo and one of the two focusing knobs on the scope. It may sound ugly but it looks like it belongs there and works fantastic. Now my scope only shakes in a pretty good breaze. I was very pleasantly surprised how well the polar scope in the mount worked. My first attempt to align with the pole star took about ten minutes and went without a hitch. Now It's done in about five with four of those minutes consumed in leveling the tripod. If you are a picky viewer and dont like a hint of purple, shy away from this scope, after all it's not an apo and mine shows a hint of purple. I personally don't mind and don't realize its even there on most objects anymore, and I actually like the purple tint on the brighter stars such as Sirius, which turns out to be a purple gem. I've upgraded my finder to Orion's straight 9x50 and have gotten a few of thier Lanthanum eyepieces which I love for their long eye relief. About the only thing I don't like about my scope is that the tripod is too short for comfortable viewing of objects at zenith. For those of you who get a bad one of these scopes, apparently there are some out there, all I can say is return it and have Orion replace it. For the money you're going to have to look long and hard to beat it. The 8 I gave for the mount is with the clock drive, with out it I would give it a 3.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:8 Mount:8 Ease of Use:9 Value:9
Weight: 10 (Trustworthy Vote)
Date:
By: bluemax63
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=62760


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
I am from Canada and I bought mine for cheap from B.C. Telescope and Nature out of Ladysmith, British Columbia. Shipping was free, which made the bargain even better. This scope is wonderful and I impress my deep sky friends with it all the time now. The mount is solid (EQ5 w/steel tripod). A great planetary scope without the consideration of selling ones house!

Michael

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:8 Mount:8 Ease of Use:9 Value:10
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: aurora
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=324171


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
easy to use great views and inexpensive

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Mount:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.196.234)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=593041


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
Focuser stiff and loose. Mount is a little shakey. Optics mediocre.

Overall Rating: 6
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.250.161)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=351558


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
About 3 weeks ago I receved my Astroview 120. The Difference between the Astroview and Skywatcher is that the Astroview now has a adjustable Lens cell. I will explain the pros and cons of it later on in the review. I guess i should say I live in Auburn Washington, A suburb of Seattle and have mag 2.5-3.0 skys on top of the hill where there are less street lights. At my House in the Valley Castor and Pollux are dim and Polaris requires averted vision. My poor Sky conditions is part of the reason im getting a Refractor. It is also important to note that this is my second telescope and have had a Meade 4500 with a POOR mount. I have only gotten M42 and M31 with the 4500.

I recieved the scope 3 days after the order was placed. The box appered in good condition at the door except the Orion Catalog was partially hanging out of the Box. After draging the Box (55lbs. and 50 or so inches long) inside I opened the box and removed the contents which were all in perfect condition. Setup was remarkably simple takeing only 30minutes to assemble.

The Finderscope (6x30) is of good quality, and far far supirior to the meade Ceral-Box 6x30 which i also still own. The best thing though is that the bracket which the finderscope is aligned in is So easy to set up, Only 2 minutes and the scope was aligned.

The suplyed Eyepieces are the equivilent of the Meade MA serires, and are to be replaced immendiately. Ordering a Epic ED-2 5mm Tommroo. The Mount Appered Giant OVERSHADOWED my Meade 300 mount which is recomeded to people who have filed Bankruptcy in the last year.

The OTA was in perfect condition and is of good quality. This is obviously a very durible scope.

The next Day the skys opened up and I got my first views. I took the Mount outside and then went to balence the OTA when the first flaw became apperent. The new Adjustable Lens cell also added a good hunk of metel to the Front of the scope. When Balanced the rings are toutching the Orion Logo at the Front. The Adjustable Lens cell I believe was a bad idea and well explain in more detail later. My first target was the 4 day old cresent moon. WHOA! The detail along the terminator is outstanding! Craters, More Craters, Mountains WOW! Very Impressive. Then I realized, wait, this is achromat? I didnt notice the false color. Back I go and there is a faint, well very faint ring of Purple huging the moon. This ring is barely noticeable and is close to the color correction of the Meade APO's. Then to the west Venus apperes! Unlock RA/DC, Center in Finder, Ah, nice! The First thing noticed is the Gibbous Phase. Then you notice that Venus at 100x is quite small and the need for the eyepiece intensifys.
Then Jupiter, low in the west comes in through averted vision and is readly visable through the finder. 2 Large Belts, 2 smaller ones with 4 moons are visable. False color is more obvious on Jupiter because it is more yellowish then white. Again not nearly as much as I thought. By the way, The Scope on Concrete is very unstable at 100x, I move it into grass and it steadys out better. I here that Sand in the Tripod helps It Stableize.
As Jupiter sinks under the tree line, I wait about 1 hour for the sky to Darken.

Sience the skys are NOT Dark yet I pan over to Vega to run a star test at 100x. All i know is that it was very symetrical.

With little deep sky experience, let alone when M42/31 arent visable I attempt M13, Which is near the Zenith in Mid June.

I though that viewing near the Zenith would be a good idea with my poor sky conditions. NOT! Rember how the scope is very front hevey... well What this mean is that with a undersized tripod I struggle to get under the finder scope. I try to Find it with my book Turn Left at Orion. No luck. This beginer will report what he finds when he finds on a later Date.

Over all on my limited observing targets the scope has great optics Ans Setup is EZ. all lost pts goto mount, Eyepieces, and A tiny Amount of False Color!

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Mount:7 Ease of Use:10 Value:9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.0.123)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=107974

>About 3 weeks ago I receved my Astroview 120. The Difference between the Astroview and Skywatcher is that the Astroview now has a adjustable Lens cell. I will explain the pros and cons of it later on in the review. I guess i should say I live in Auburn Washington, A suburb of Seattle and have mag 2.5-3.0 skys on top of the hill where there are less street lights. At my House in the Valley Castor and Pollux are dim and Polaris requires averted vision. My poor Sky conditions is part of the reason im getting a Refractor. It is also important to note that Iam 13 and this is my second telescope and have had a Meade 4500 with a POOR mount. I have only gotten M42 and M31 with the 4500. 
[wemaster note: quote snipped]


Addition: August 30/31st (Not sure!) 2002.

With the Planets gone and Venus sinking I have really learned how to find some objects. I can now find M13, Which is grainy at 100x and with the New Epic ED-2 5mm the Edges are a little resolved. M27 shows its distintive Dumbell Shape, and at 100x the Ring is a Ring with the Middle occasionly during good seeing seemingly falling out. The Double Double in this Scope is Easily split, as Is Alberio. I found M8/20 once and It was Awesome. I went out to my first deep sky event in July. I had never seen the Milky Yay and was ancous to see other scopes And do some real Observing. Sadly on the Way up the Locks on RA/DC broke and I didnt see a thing through it. Orion swiftly sent me a whole new mount with no charge that works just grate! Zenith observing is ALOT more confirotable with a Right Angle Finder, also from Orion and good quality. 

The Refractor puts up some surprising Deep Sky Looks and Is much more comfortable with a Right Angle Finder

Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
I got my 120 from the original owner who purchased it from Orion in December 2001. It was in new condition.

First, the appearance and 'look and feel' of this scope is wonderful. There is something about sitting behind a big refractor that makes you feel like you're really doing some serious astronomical work. Plus, this has a white tube, which I feel is the only color a refractor should have (yes, I'm a bit old fashioned). To me, it's a real showpiece.

The optics are very good, and as I learn more about collimation, will get better. Chromatic abberation is not objectionable, and I have not felt the need for a filter. Although a purple halo is displayed around bright objects like Jupiter, that does not affect viewing surface detail.

Jupiter shows a wealth of detail that rivals that of my 8" SCT. Stars show the classic airy disk. And deep sky objects are impressive - stars in M13 can be seen into the center.

My unit has the clock drive, and it is very accurate. That, combined with manual slow motion controls makes this a very easy instrument to navigate. In some respects, it makes star hopping a pleasure that you don't get from GOTO technology.

The mount and tripod are quite stable if you don't extend the tripod legs beyond their half way point, and if you use Vinration Suppression Pads under the legs.

One of the greatest attributes of this scope is its portability. Fully assembled, including counterweights, the weight is about 39 lbs. It's easy to carry as one unit. I got the soft carrying case from Orion, and was surprised to find I can put everything - OTA, mount and counterweights, into the bag and easilt carry it. This is a great grab and go scope.

In summary, this is an ideal instrument for the beginning to intermediate astronomer, or for the veteran who wants a second scope.

Since getting this instrument, I have used it 90% of the time, while my GOTO 8" SCT only gets used 10% of the time.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:8 Mount:8 Ease of Use:8 Value:9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.30.229)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=104045


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
My rating is for the stock set up. I love the scope. I replaced the eq3 with a gp mount and a better diagonal. I use the MV1 filter with it and will soon be getting the MV20 filter. Get really nice views of the planets and it ain't to shabby on dso's either. Under really dark skys, the scope does a great job. With the improvements I've made, I would give it a 9 overall.

Overall Rating: 7
Optics:7 Mount:5 Ease of Use:8 Value:8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.223.35)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=83170


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
The first thing I am going to say about this scope is its unbeatable value for money. The so called 'Astronomy Journos' from sky and telescope may have poo pooed it from the rarified air of their exhalted positions but most people I have communicated with can only sing its praises. Saying all that the Skywatcher is not Mr perfect by any means. My Scope came with the Beefier EQ-4 mount. It has a dampening time of about 3-5 seconds and is easy to use. my main grievence is the focusser. it is very hard to tweak the focusser because of the 'grease' gumming up the works. I am eventually going to replace the Knobs with machined steel ones and put a proper machine oil on the focassing rack. The Optics are pretty good, yes I know they are not Takahashi quality but for a f8.3 Achromatic large apeture lens it is supprisingly good. The skywatcher 120 in my opinion excells at deep sky viewing and can give you decent views of the planets if that is where your interets lay. The genral build of the Scope is top notch with minimal use of plastic and Its finish is up there with much more expensive hardware. I would reccomend the Skywatcher 120 to anyone.

Mick, Perth, Western Australia

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:8 Mount:7 Ease of Use:7 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.92.137)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=79140


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
All I can say is what a great scope. The only real grievance I have with this instument is the wobbles when I focus but that can be fixed with an electric focusser or swapping the Aluminium tripod legs with wood or even better a perminant pier. Chromatic abberation is only a mild problem on the very brightest of objects the majority of starfields wont suffer from any problem.I am very happy with my purchase and I will look forward to customising the Scope. Recomendation, for the price it is unbeatable.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:8 Mount:7 Ease of Use:7 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.108.146)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=78061

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