Orion Optics (U.K.) GX250


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Brand and Model:Orion Optics (U.K.) GX250
Price ($USD):$1,900
Type:Newtonian
Attributes: un-checked Go-To un-checked PEC
Aperture:250mm (9.8")
f Ratio:f/4.8
Focal Length:1200mm
Finder:6X30mm
Electric Power:DC Batteries
Mount:Vixen GP Polaris
Tripod:Aluminum Pedestal
Weight (lbs):28 kgm (62 lbs)
Dimensions (w/h/d):Tube - 11"X43"
Description:Long out-focus allows astrophotography as well as visual. Tube weighs only 8.6 kgm (19 lbs). Tube can be purchased separately. For a price, 50.8mm (2") focuser and/or 10X50mm finder can be substituted. Orion supplies a wide variety of accessories, primarily from Vixen. For $2,240, Orion also sells the DX250 which uses the same tube on a Vixen GP-DX mount.

Vote Highlights Vote
Orion Optics (U.K.) GX250
I have had this telescope for almost six months now and have had chance to do quite a bit of observing. I have done some basic star tests with my limited knowledge and they seemed O.K., stars snap sharply into focus and doubles are easily split when the seeing permits. However, this is not a scope for those who like to admire the subtle colours of delicate doubles. Orion Optics claim they manufacture there mirrors and guarantee their optics to 1/8th wave or better(Inded they even guarantee that if a similar make and model outperforms the scope they will buy the other scope and reimburse you and give you back your money, whether this is true remains to be seen and there have been no known cases in the U.K. as yet).The brightness of the most popular objects(such as the messier objects and the brighter NGC objects)is above satisfactory and offers some very nice views, especially from my light polluted urban sight.A good example would be the Great Nebula M42 in orion. This object is one of my favourites and I have spent many hours observing this object with the 10" scope. Even at moderate powers it presents an impressive sight giving of a very pale green glow and pale ghostly whisps extend out into the darkness and almost form a complete loop, at high powers 150x to 200x the scope still works very well and in good viewing conditions the 5th and 6th members of the trapezium are visible. Where the planets are concerned the telescope suffers a little in contrast and sharpness, however this may have more to do with my inadequate eyepieces rather than the scope itself( I will be able to give a better evaluation when my televue Naglers arrive!). The 10" scope is coupled to Vixens Great Polaris mounts and seems to handle the scope very well and has very good dampening characteristics, taking approx 1 second to settle down. In short the mount is very stable and the polar alignment scope is very accurate and I would recommend this mount to anyone looking for a very good quality but affordable equatorial mount(retailing for approx £450). One great advantage of the 10" OTA is the weight. It very light and takes me literally seconds to set up as the scope is easily attatched by a dovetail plate and is constructed from rolled aluminium. The scope does take a little time to cool down and adjust to the outside temperature, however as long as you set up the scope about an hour before you intend to observe there should be no problems. One inherent weakness of the scope is the 6x30 finder, it offers satisfactory views (that could be drastically improved with a better scope) but causes some discomfort when trying to locate objects at the zenith. It is for this reason that I intend to replace it soon with a larger preferably right angled model. Apart from this the scope is very good and I would certainly recommend it especially for those on a budget but want a large apature scope that can be added to at later date when circumstances and finances allow. The scope took about a month to arrive from ordering and a £250 deposit was required(the retail price in Britain is about £1090 for the mount and OTA). It arrived in two large cardboard boxs, with the OTA in one and the mount in another. Any fears I had about damage was soon aleviated when the boxs were opened and revealed an abundance of careful packaging and even more important a perfect mirror. The Scope was culminated in the factory and needed only minor tweaking by way of three solid wing nuts attatched to a solid metal plate at the end of the scope. The secondary mirror is held in place by a strut that does away with the conventional four vane spider. However, the central obstruction is kept to a minimum and is adjusted by a central bolt and three adjustable screws. The inside of the tube is sprayed mat black (if you have the time and desire the performance could be enhanced by applying another darker coat of paint)to ensure no stray light is reflected. The focuser is constructed to a high quality and cheap looking plastic is kept to a minimum, the focuser travels a longer than average distance in order to allow for accurate more comfortable focusing, especially on high power eyepieces. Overall a very good scope and I would rate it as 8/9 out of 10.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.185.139)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40323


Orion Optics (U.K.) GX250
A well built telescope with very good, sharp optics, very pleased as it only cost 695 second hand (just over a year old) with lots of extra goodies!

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.148.102)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40327


Orion Optics (U.K.) GX250
A great British made telescope providing excellent deep sky views and good to very good planetary/lunar views.When well collimated will split double double in Lyra with ease at medium magnifications (80-100x).Light-weight metal tube is 18lbs and 1200mm focal length (f4.8) means this scope is easily transportable to a dark site by lying across the back seat of most small/medium cars.Setup time is minimal and no more difficult than a 4-6"(f8) achromatic refractor. 1.25" focuser is standard as is 6x30 finder.The scope holds collimation very well.
Scope comes on a Vixen GP mount as standard that works well for visual views.CCD imaging and photographers may which for a beefier mount such as Vixen DX.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.61.51)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40326


Orion Optics (U.K.) GX250
My impression is that, optically and mechanically, this make is somewhere between entry-level reflectors (such as Meade and Discovery) and premium reflectors (such as Parallax and OGS). I purchased the tube without the mount and loaded it on a G11. I included the 2" focuser and 2" finder. Star test revealed no apparent astigmatism, turned edge, or interior zones (which is very good) but did show 1/4-wave spherical undercorrection (which is typical in affordable tubes). Contrast looked good, especially compared to Schmidt-Cassegrains. Mirror is 1/10 thickness, but I never detected a certain instance of warpage. Thin mirror explains lightness of tube. Collimation of primary was easy and accurate, but cell was unventilated. Secondary mounting was crude but effective, using two thick struts rather than vanes. Secondary mirror was only a 25% obstruction. Collimation appeared to hold rock-steady, suggesting guidescope astrophotography might work. Vixen 2" focuser worked well but has some small focus shift. 2" finder was sharp on-axis but poor off-axis. For someone seeking an affordable Newtonian that is better than an entry-level scope, the GX250 is a good option.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.107.224)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40319


Orion Optics (U.K.) GX250
I have only just purchased this scope so i shall give my initial thoughts and perhaps add another comment later. Also i will not rate the scope yet. I am new to astronomy, and was hoping to have the scope out of the box and in the backyard with expectations that may have put a top of the end telescope to shame. However, i was initialy very dissapointed as when i looked at the brightest object i could find it was a blur (Vega). Collimation was way off this actually stopped me using the scope for a few days as i had no idea how to collimate my scope the Vixen manuals that came with the scope are not written with the beginer in mind. Finaly i Phoned Barry at Orion and somewhat dissapointed explained the problem. Here i began to be impressed Barry had given me his home number and told me to give him a call and he will talk me through it. Within 15 minutes and what seemed like a very simple proccess we had the telescope about right. That night i went out with the same enthusiasm as though i had just had it delivered. However due to my own fault i could not locate a single object the moon was difficult anything smaller impossible, I had not realigned my finder-scope. Rain followed for the next few days. Then came the night i turned the scope on the lunar landscape with a 25mm eyepiece and a 2* barlow both plossi, superp lunar landscapes, fine detail could be seen at the terminator, found ring nebula with the same setup even in a 3/4 moon the ring nebula was clear. I have used the telescope at every possible momment and have found it a joy to work with i have it mounted on the GP/DX mount which you should consider seriously as others have said that the GP mount just won't do. The scope is light and to attach the telescope to the mount is one of those simple but very effective ideas. So far so good, two bad points to date is a) the scope is quiet easily knocked out of collimation replace the wing nut's b) the finderscope will need replacing.

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.1.22)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40329


Orion Optics (U.K.) GX250
The Orion Optics GX-250 has a super light weight tube assembly and super mirrors but the mechanical construction is total rubbish , focuser is a cheap rate affair which is not set at 90 degrees with the tube making collimation a major problem . the two vaned secondary mirror assembley is nothing else but rubbish. Many people who I chat too on the internet all have to same problems and even worse is the dreadful after sales service which is second to none , matter of fact there is no after sales service. So unless you want problems please buy somethink else from another source. Not a very happy astronomer.

Ratings -10 total junk.

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.194.13)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40328


Orion Optics (U.K.) GX250
I have had this telescope for almost six months now and have had chance to do quite a bit of observing. I have done some basic star tests with my limited knowledge and they seemed O.K., stars snap sharply into focus and doubles are easily split when the seeing permits. However, this is not a scope for those who like to admire the subtle colours of delicate doubles. Orion Optics claim they manufacture there mirrors and guarantee their optics to 1/8th wave or better(Inded they even guarantee that if a similar make and model outperforms the scope they will buy the other scope and reimburse you and give you back your money, whether this is true remains to be seen and there have been no known cases in the U.K. as yet).The brightness of the most popular objects(such as the messier objects and the brighter NGC objects)is above satisfactory and offers some very nice views, especially from my light polluted urban sight.A good example would be the Great Nebula M42 in orion. This object is one of my favourites and I have spent many hours observing this object with the 10" scope. Even at moderate powers it presents an impressive sight giving of a very pale green glow and pale ghostly whisps extend out into the darkness and almost form a complete loop, at high powers 150x to 200x the scope still works very well and in good viewing conditions the 5th and 6th members of the trapezium are visible. Where the planets are concerned the telescope suffers a little in contrast and sharpness, however this may have more to do with my inadequate eyepieces rather than the scope itself( I will be able to give a better evaluation when my televue Naglers arrive!). The 10" scope is coupled to Vixens Great Polaris mounts and seems to handle the scope very well and has very good dampening characteristics, taking approx 1 second to settle down. In short the mount is very stable and the polar alignment scope is very accurate and I would recommend this mount to anyone looking for a very good quality but affordable equatorial mount(retailing for approx 450). One great advantage of the 10" OTA is the weight. It very light and takes me literally seconds to set up as the scope is easily attatched by a dovetail plate and is constructed from rolled aluminium. The scope does take a little time to cool down and adjust to the outside temperature, however as long as you set up the scope about an hour before you intend to observe there should be no problems. One inherent weakness of the scope is the 6x30 finder, it offers satisfactory views (that could be drastically improved with a better scope) but causes some discomfort when trying to locate objects at the zenith. It is for this reason that I intend to replace it soon with a larger preferably right angled model. Apart from this the scope is very good and I would certainly recommend it especially for those on a budget but want a large apature scope that can be added to at later date when circumstances and finances allow. The scope took about a month to arrive from ordering and a 250 deposit was required(the retail price in Britain is about 1090 for the mount and OTA). It arrived in two large cardboard boxs, with the OTA in one and the mount in another. Any fears I had about damage was soon aleviated when the boxs were opened and revealed an abundance of careful packaging and even more important a perfect mirror. The Scope was culminated in the factory and needed only minor tweaking by way of three solid wing nuts attatched to a solid metal plate at the end of the scope. The secondary mirror is held in place by a strut that does away with the conventional four vane spider. However, the central obstruction is kept to a minimum and is adjusted by a central bolt and three adjustable screws. The inside of the tube is sprayed mat black (if you have the time and desire the performance could be enhanced by applying another darker coat of paint)to ensure no stray light is reflected. The focuser is constructed to a high quality and cheap looking plastic is kept to a minimum, the focuser travels a longer than average distance in order to allow for accurate more comfortable focusing, especially on high power eyepieces. Overall a very good scope and I would rate it as 8/9 out of 10.

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.185.139)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40322


Orion Optics (U.K.) GX250
Additional comments on observing experience: I believe the tube is diffraction-limited at the eyepiece. Low-power views were sharp and pleasing using a Paracorr, and at 200X, M13 and the Moon were very pleasing. At medium-to-high powers (100+), the Paracorr was not really necessary. Unfortunately, I have not had a chance to view the planets. The greatest selling point is that this is the lightest tube for its size that I have ever seen. The tube is no more than 20 lbs.

For someone seeking a Newtonian that is affordable and still optically and mechanically superior to entry-level Newtonians, I would recommend Orion Optics.
Between the entry-level retailers and premium retailers, Orion Optics and Vixen are about the only real choices.

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.109.44)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40320

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