Orion AstroView 120ST EQ


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Brand and Model:Orion AstroView 120ST EQ
Price ($USD):$499.00
Type:Achromatic Refractor
Attributes: un-checked Go-To un-checked PEC
Aperture:120mm (4.7")
f Ratio:5
Focal Length:600mm
Finder:6x30
Electric Power:DC (optional)
Mount:EQ-3 (CG-4)
Tripod:Aluminum
Weight (lbs):36.3
Dimensions (w/h/d):OTA: 24.5 inches
Description:Two (2) eyepieces included: 25mm and 10mm plossls
2 inch R&P focuser
1.25 inch diagonal mirror

Vote Highlights Vote
Orion AstroView 120ST EQ
I purchased the 120ST OTA for about $320 from Orion to be used as a RFT on my CG5 mount and HD Surveyor tripod that I also use for my CR150. I also use it as a low light spotting scope on a Bogen 3040 tripod with a 24mm UWA 2" eyepiece from TALscopes. For the maximum FOV I use a Rodenstock BW/Optik 40mm UWA eyepiece for a 4.67 deg FOV. It is a great finder scope for my XT10 .

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 10 (Trustworthy Vote)
Date:
By: jao
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=111684


Orion AstroView 120ST EQ
As per other posts,remove tripod, and replace with wooden legs, and mount is then quite adequate.I needed a 'grab and go' scope, and this does quite well;deep sky objects very good...not your scope for planets,yet gives fairly good images up to @ 150x.I am still shopping for a high end scope for CCD work, and will post when I decide.This scope is a good value for the money spent.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:9 Mount:9 Ease of Use:8 Value:9
Weight: 10 (Trustworthy Vote)
Date:
By: Bigredjet
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=72570


Orion AstroView 120ST EQ
I purchased the 120 ST to use in cooler weather because of the protracted equilibration time for my 6" Mak. I had several mounts so I opted for the OTA only. This scope has gotten some "bad press", notably the one on Cloudy Nights where it was belittled because it did not perform as well as high-end scopes selling for much more. I think that review is an odd one and one of the poorer reviews of astro equipment that I have come across. In any event, even though the scope is not designed for, and does not claim to give, quality images of the planets or moon,I have gotten surprisingly good images of Saturn, Jupiter, and the Moon with it using a high-quality diagonal and premium eyepieces. One night recently the seeing was very good, and using a 4mm Radian for 150X, the 120 ST showed me Cassini's Division very clearly. The subtle bands on the planet itself were obvious, and the crescent spaces between the rings and the planet were jet black and very sharp. The scope probably could have handled 200X well on that evening. No, the images were not the equal of the MK67 nor I imagine, that of a Tak or AP apo, but for $329 I was very happy with them. On deep sky, the 120 does very well too. Using a 17mm Type 4 Nagler for 35X, the views of "starry swaths" were incredible in a true field of 2.3 degrees. M57 was easily seen as a tiny ring shape at 35X. The 35mm Panoptic provides a 3.6 TFOV at 17X!
I often find myself reaching for the 120ST instead of the Mak, even when cool down is not an issue! This scope is highly recommended, especially for deep sky, but also for lunar and planetary viewing when sky conditions are optimal.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 6 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.14.11)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41223


Orion AstroView 120ST EQ
I bought this used for $125.00. This is one of the very first Short Tube 120's sold in the 90's. The optical quality is a bit
difficult to give an Apples to Apples rating when you have ED lenses, Flint and Crown, 3 element APO all in the same size but not even close in performance. So I have decided to judge these as a specific optical configuration. so if I were grading a Simple $395.00 Achro against a 3 Element APO that costs 4-5 times more. that wouldn't be fair.
I also have it mounted on a Modified Celestron NexStar SLT Go-To mount.At F5 this should have so much Chromatic Aberration that color would overwhelm. IT DID NOT!
As soon as you get one of these tubes you will immediately notice things like, the draw tube is too looseor it strips, Since mine was used the rack and pinionhad been out, there are thin strips of lead as lube. those needed to be replaced. Once back together it was as smooth as new.
Another Mod done on the tube was cutting it 2" short by a Machine Shop. We had him cut the holes NOT circular but as Ovals, this can be used to align the optics if the are off.
Upon inspection of the objective and cell there were smudge marks, dust, and slivers of metal from the cutting.
I needed to remove the Opjective from the cell. so I unscrewed the ring and gave it a little shake and good news it rattled! Some lenses are in the cell fit quite tightly!
The trick is to have a level area to work, find a roll of Toilet paper that are about the same diameter of the Objective.
If I can find any markings on the sides of the lenses, I mark them on the cell for a home mark.
I put the roll under the cell centered on the objective.
NOW slowly slide the cell down reying to keep it Horizontally FLAT! If it feels like it is getting hung up
stop immedietly, you can JAM the elements and it isn't pretty getting them out without Clam shell chips in the lens
getting it out I used my cleaner, then White Kleenex pulling one way per tissue,repeat this on all sizes, wearing new white cotton gloves helps.
Each element goes together 1 way only so take notes, a camwer shot while they are an inch apart to see which curv etc..bigger curve goes to the smaller. I aligned the side pencil marks, then I put one strip of fat Scotch tape all the way around. I put the Objective in the same way as coming out. Once the scope was clean aligned and put back together
I put it on and even tho the tube is 2 lbs over "suggested load the SLT Mount worked fine!
after aligning the Go-To the Double Double was punched in perfect with a 70 degree 20mm Plossl. The dark sky was Inky Black and the object was dead center.. So far so good.
I used the tour option and it sent us on a pre decided group of pbjects, The Owl looked like an owl, same as the Blue Snow Ball. I chose a tight double and swung over and there was the tiny double, I used my ED 1.25" Barlow and televue 7.4mm eyepiece. as I guessed collimation was slightly off.
I loosened the fociser and I slowly used the oblong holes perfectly. scope is in perfect alignment.YES!!!
Next is Jupiter, with the Barlow and 10mm Jupiter looked better than i had hoped for! a bit Greenish/Purple, so i put on a Minus Violet filter Vblock, now jupiter is Yellow, so I put my lightest blue filter stacked with the Yellow, this time it is good. end results are a greatly portable rig with Go-To,
that can be used for deep sky or Planetary. the Airy disks and Diffraction rings look good. now I get to play with the Bino viewer, but before that a heavy set of Wooden Super Polaris legs, My next thing is get the Baffles in proper position. These have a standing 3 month back order wait for new ones. I got lucky, so when somebody tells you your new scope is on 90 Day back order, time to say YEAH!
I hope I have helped people out.
Larry Duane

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:9 Mount:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: Orion61
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=610692


Orion AstroView 120ST EQ
I recently purchased the OTA from Orion. My main scope is a Celestron 9.25 equipped with a standard 2" William Optics diagonal fitted to a 2" TeleVue extension tube. This scope was to serve for wide field, poor seeing and grab and go observing.

As stated, there's plenty of false color when attempting to push the magnification, and on bright objects in general. owever, as a wide field telescope, I was VERY pleased with the views. This is my first experience with a wide field scope, and the views with a Siebert 36mm 2" Observatory Class wide field eye piece reminded me of why I originally wanted a telescope. Views along the Milky Way were unreal; it felt like thousands of stars were visible at any one time, along with milky tendrils in the background. Sagitarius was also incredible; the scope/eyepiece combination captured the entire Sag. star cloud, and then the Lagoon and Trifid in the same starry field.

There are some minor issues with the OTA; it could use additional baffling, and the end of the focuser tube required blackening - it is glaringly bright went looking down the tube. Also, the relatively short focuser tube does not fit tightly in the focuser housing, allowing some light to creep through the back of the scope. As with all the cheap chinese refractors, the focuser has the gunky 'grease' that makes focusing somewhat sticky.

All things considered, I plan on enjoying this scope for a long time. I plan on purchasing a 2" barlow for direct insertion in the focuser tube, providing essentially a dual focal ratio instrument. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Aries will come out with a chromacor for fast achros, but until then I'll probably get either a 2" Baader, Sirius or Williams violet reducing filters.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:8 Ease of Use:8 Value:8
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.224.70)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=374334


Orion AstroView 120ST EQ
I have used a lot of telescopes over the last 12 months, buying and trading and selling scopes to see which one's I like. For $319 for OTA, this scope is hard to beat.

First of all, let me say that a purchase from Orion is risk-free. They offer a 30 day guarantee and will happily refund or exchange your scope. In my case the first 120ST I ordered had paint flakes between and behind the objectives. In talking to some other scope manufacturers like Bill Burgess this is common in all scopes, as objective lens cells are painted and the paint flakes when objectives put in place. I called Orion about this on a Monday and I had my replacement scope on Thursday - they sent it before I even had a chance to return the first scope. Not only that, but they paid for shipping the replacement+shipping other scope back to them. They even had a tech inspect replacement scope prior to shipment to make sure it was problem-free.

The replacement scope is problem free. It is awesome, baby. Stars are pinpoint refractor jewels against a jet black background. Consistent images both sides of focus.

The images were superb of the DSO's I observed with it the first time the clouds cleared. The Orion Nebulae with 16mm UO Konig II was the best image I have seen of it since I had a 6" Criterion Dynascope with 1/10 wave mirror. It was very bright and contrasty with a lot of detail. The trapezium was there and clean. It was every thing one would expect to see with a 5" achromat.

It reminded me of images seen in a friends Intes MN61. The Intes provided more detail owing to 1" more aperture, but pinpoint stars and black background and sharpness of images/contrast were very similar.

M81 and M82 were first found with a cheap 25mm ep, but then I used the 16mm UP Konig II and I felt like I had "fallen" into space - the view was spectatular. These were not just faint fuzzies - you could view both in the same fov and see some details - at least easily discern the structures were different in each galaxy. It was a great 3-D view of these objects.

I tried more maginfication with both the Orion Nebulae and M81/M82 using UO Orthos (12.5mm and 7mm) but views of these DSO's was most pleasing with the 16mm UO Konig II.

Open clusters were truly remarkable - you just have to see the Pleaides through a nice wide field refractor and an ep like the UP Koneg II to appeciate the view. It is hard to describe.

Planets were a mixed bag - but this is not a planetary scope at 120mm and f/5. Jupiter had a purple glow that interferred with viewing. Two bands were clearly visible as were 4 moons. The definition of this scope and great optics were evident, though, as a small pinpoint moon on one side was just either coming out or going behind the planet.

Saturn was better. No false color or annoying purple glow. Rings wide open and Cassini Division clear. The image of Saturn is small in this f/5 scope, but it took magnification well. In the 7mm and 12.5 UO Orthos one band on planet was clearly visible.

I think the views through this scope on DSO were better than in a Vixen 120 NA refractor I used last month. Stars were more pinpoints in the Orion and focus was better to edge of FOV. In Vixen only the center 1/3 of FOV was in sharp focus. The Orion was in focus through most of fov except for very edges. Not bad for a f/5 that costs $1,100 LESS than the f/6.8 Vixen !!!!

The Vixen waqs much better on Jupiter - I did not see any of the purple glow on Jupiter in the Vixen. I could also resolve more details on Jupiter in the Vixen. But, for $1,100 more I should get a better view of something !!!!

I must say that observing conditions were very good tonight. Transparency was excellent, and location was a dark suburban sky. Not a dark site by any means, but darker than my front yard !

It is a great grab and go scope at only 8 lbs, and will reveal so much more detail than a 3" or 4" scope.

I would have given the scope a 10, but weak point is focuser. It works well and does the job - no problems or obvious flaws, but scope will perform much better with a replacement focuser allowing micro adjustments.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: skymark
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=202225


Orion AstroView 120ST EQ
I bought the 120 ST as the OTA only. For $319 and shipping I figured I couldn't go too wrong. I did not have high expectations for the scope. I knew there would be secondary color, probably lots of it at higher magnifications. I knew I was taking a chance on optical quality too since the Synta scopes seem to be a 50/50 crap shoot as to getting one of good optical quality. But I was willing to take that risk thanks to Orion's excellent return policy.

Let me preface this by saying this is not my first scope, nor my only scope. I also own a Takahashi FS102, as well as a 3" Zeiss f/15 and several other scopes. I figure I can recognize decent optical quality when I see it. When the 120ST arrived I was pleased with its fabrication quality. Black tube paint was very high gloss, with a nice depth to it. The dark gray toned hammer finish paint of the focuser and objective cell were very nicely done and well set off by the deep glossy black tube.

The objective appears to be multi-coated but perhaps not on every air/glass surface since I can see a combination of green surface and purple depth reflections.

The 2" focuser is a nice addition and racks fairly smoothly, though there is a bit of stickiness (but I already know the cure for that). Image shift is very very slight when racking back and forth. Overall it's a right decent focuser considering the overall cost of the scope. And if one is willing, the focuser can be made even better without much effort.

For whatever reason Synta/Orion are not supplying the 120 ST with the objective cell that is adjustable for collimation, which is extremely odd since the other 102, 120, and 150 Synta models (both short and long focus) are now supplied with that upgrade. I say odd because the short tube scopes need to be spot on in collimation even more so than their longer focal length counterparts. And that is where the 120 ST I received fell down. In the initial star test I could see quite nearly identical out of focus rings on either side of focus, much better than I had expected to be honest with you. In fact the start test was quite impressive, with the one exception, collimation was off slightly. I unscrewed the objective cell from the tube one full turn then started turning it back down towards tight about 1/16 of a turn at a time then I would then redo the star test. I reached a spot that was about 1/4 turn off of being tightened to the tube again where the collimation came together. I repeated the star test and was truly impressed with what I was seeing. I was able to split the double double at 80x (7.5mm Takahashi LE).

I had no intention of using the original 25mm or 10mm supplied Sirius Plossl eyepieces or the 1 1/4" mirror diagonal so sold them shortly after testing the scope, though I did try each out and found them to be more than serviceable.

Secondary color? The subject very often discussed when this scope is brought up in conversation. Yes it is there, and yes there is a fair amount of it at higher magnifications (above 120x). But on my scope it just wasn't all that objectionable in the 20x to 120x ranges, even on the brighter objects. Above 150 and the color starts to intrude and planetary detail begins to lose some sharpness, but not terribly so to about 175x. In my area of the country good seeing is fairly elusive and it is not often I can use any scope above 200x so large aperture for planetary use isn't as great an issue with me as it might be for others. Because of that I tend to get the most use out of my 3 and 4 inch refractors. With that in mind I tried the scope with the objective dust cap in place and the central cap removed, giving me the equivalent of about a 52mm f/11.5 refractor.

Stopped down to 52mm I ran the star test again and what a surprise! The intra and extra focal images were close enough to one another that I couldn't tell a difference under the seeing conditions. But a 52mm scope wasn't my plan so I opened the stop to 75mm giving me a roughly 3" f/8 scope. At 75mm and f/8 Saturn views sharpened up significantly at all powers and at 150x (Takahashi 4mm Hi-Ortho eyepiece) the view was quite stunning. I dropped in the Takahashi 2.8mm Hi-Ortho eyepiece (214x) but the seeing would barely support it, though very impressive views did fade in and out as I waited out some good and poor conditions.

All in all I am quite impressed with the scope. Yes, I probably got somewhat lucky and got a decent one, but had I not it would have been returned for exchange time and again until I did get a good one. I like having this easy to setup and use scope of 120mm aperture (I use it on an al/az mount) for deeper sky observing or can instantly stop it down to 75mm for some stunning planetary views. No it's probably not the ideal scope for either but it is a very convenient to use “grab and go scope” and does a pretty darn good job for both at a very reasonable price. To those that suggest getting the 102mm version because they think it is sharper I say nonsense. The 120 can be stopped down easy enough to 4 inches, 3 inches, or even 2 inches to sharpen the views on planets, or be let to run wide open at 120 for greater deep sky light gathering. With the larger 120 aperture you have that versatility at very little price difference compared to the 102mm version.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:7 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.173.41)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=161308


Orion AstroView 120ST EQ
I first read the ratings in this site about this scope, they were good. I was happy as I selected this scope as an alternative to our Nexstar 8 by Celestron. Basically I gave my son the Nexstar for his birthday, christmas and graduation present all in one. I was jealous and hurt that I gave my son the scope that I had picked out for myself. But I felt bad when his scope did not work, and it would take weeks to fix from celestron. It was a Nexstar 4. I sold it and gave him mine. Well I needed areplacement scope, however no way nears the $1600 I paid for the 8, I then ran into this scope the 120 ST in the new mailing from Orion. It soundd like a scope that I could use. It had it all, except that I was worried about the quality. Well I just received it today after an excellent night last night of viewing, and tonight dang near as good. Last night with teh Nexstar 8. Awesome views, awesome night. Well tonight I thought what the hell let's take it out, it was just sitting there put togther and the weather forecast was not looking to good. Took it out, hooked I up with Jupiter and WOW!! My son said WOW! I mean we had this thing on a wooden deck just outside my patio doors, cold that's why, but the Stabilty was awesome!, less than a second. the Cloud rings blew the Nexstar to shame and this scope is a 4.7" and the next star and 8" CLEAR SHAR STARS, CLEAR Planets, a little color, but surprising not bad. Quality was awesome. It looks like I paid more than $519.00 Shipped. Easy to handle cause it's short. But I cn't wait to use it for what it was made for, Deep Space. I can only say that I'll be more impressed. And I have owned alot of scopes. Now my son feels bad, the nexstar does'nt compare in image quality. I could spend more, but why?

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 4 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.79.206)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41225


Orion AstroView 120ST EQ
I think the review of 12-10-01 from must be from an Orion insider. The 120ST
that I received was so poor optically that I thought that Synta-Tech must had
put the objective in backwards. Even at 20X I could not get a snap focus. 60x
was even worse. I thought this scope would be an upgrade over my Celestron 102
wideview but I had to send it back. Too bad because this scope looked very impressive as far as construction quality, fit and finish.

Overall Rating: 5
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.224.79)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41227


Orion AstroView 120ST EQ
This is my second scope and I intended it to compliment my Celestron 9.25 SCT. I purchased the OTA and was pleased with Orion in all aspects of the purchase. As I have a 9.25 f10 scope already I really wanted something to toss up quickly and have some nice wide fields to look at. With a 600mm f.l. 2, 3, and 4 degree FOV's are a snap and good fun. Infact you really don't need a finder. I placed the OTA on the mount that came with my SCT after upgrading. The CG5 mount is a good fit for this scope and I am happy with it now. As for the tube the mechanics are fine and things seems to be assembled well. The focuser has a good amount of travel, vert little shift, though is a little grainy feeling. Not enough to really bother me or affect viewing at all. This scope does have color when looking at a bright object like Vega or the Moon. With a 6mm Radian the purple haze around Vega is sort of pretty. I have yet to get a nice view at this mag (100X) so I would call the upper limit for my usage maybe 50X to 75X. I would like to see a little more contrast in the view as well. The tube has a single baffle and I think that some more are in order so I plan to put in some foam discs and see how that works.
In a nutshell I like this scope but I knew exactly what I wanted from it. If you are into planets of getting anal about fine detail on the moon or globulars you will be pissed. If you want a simple scope for some really wide field viewing you will be happy. Were this my first scope or my only scope I would rank it lower and kick myself for getting what is something of a specialized scope. Cheers

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.195.170)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41222

if you are saying that the upper limit for your usage is 50x to 75x you should be giving this scope a 4 out of 10!  this is a 5 inch scope!
yeah, a widefield, short tube but you should be using 150 - 200x without much problem.

maybe there is something up with yours?




>This is my second scope and I intended it to compliment my Celestron 9.25 SCT.  I purchased the OTA and was pleased with Orion in all aspects of the purchase.  As I have a 9.25 f10 scope already I really wanted something to toss up quickly and have some nice wide fields to look at.  With a 600mm f.l. 2, 3, and 4 degree FOV's are a snap and good fun.  Infact you really don't need a finder.  I placed the OTA on the mount that came with my SCT after upgrading.  The CG5 mount is a good fit for this scope and I am happy with it now.  As for the tube the mechanics are fine and things seems to be assembled well.  The focuser has a good amount of travel, vert little shift, though is a little grainy feeling.  Not enough to really bother me or affect viewing at all.  This scope does have color when looking at a bright object like Vega or the Moon.  With a 6mm Radian the purple haze around Vega is sort of pretty.  I have yet to get a nice view at this mag (100X) so I would call the upper limit for my usage maybe 50X to 75X.  I would like to see a little more contrast in the view as well.  The tube has a single baffle and I think that some more are in order so I plan to put in some foam discs and see how that works.
>       In a nutshell I like this scope but I knew exactly what I wanted from it.  If you are into planets of getting anal about fine detail on the moon or globulars you will be pissed.  If you want a simple scope for some really wide field viewing you will be happy.  Were this my first scope or my only scope I would rank it lower and kick myself for getting what is something of a specialized scope.  Cheers
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