Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor


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Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
This is one hell of a scope for $600, star tested well with only a slight amount of color on the outermost ring inside of focus but for a this price range it perfomed the same CR150HD I compared it to. On deep sky it does much better than
the meade&celestron refractors in the same price range and gave my nephews Meade 203 a run for the money as well. Planatary performance was outsanding, at powers from 150 to 300X ( during stable and clear nights ) its sharp and even up to 375X on the moon it still holds together well. The focuser is smoth with no slop at all, I recomend changing the star diagonal plus getting some better EP's. The EQ3 mount needs a little work but once you get it adjusted its fine for visual, but I feel a beafer mount would be in order for photo work. Its not a AP but compares very well against scope's selling for 2 times the price, plus Orion has the best customer service I have ever seen.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.93.72)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39699


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
I own the Telehoon version of this, which is virtually the same telescope. I'm very impressed. Planetary detail is excellent, and much beter than in my old
C8. Deep space is fairly impressive, and the Orion Nebula is stunning. Faint objects are noticeably brighter than in a 4 inch refractor. The mount is stable, especially since I ordered it with a wooden tripod instead of the standard aluminum one. The star test is good; images inside and outside of focus are nearly identical, which is somewhat surprising for a scope in this price range. Perhaps I lucked out and got an especially good lens. The only problem is some chromatic aberration on bright objects, but this is an F/8.3 system. I have found that stacking a light blue and light yellow filter on the eyepiece effectively eliminates spurious color without changing the natural color of objects significantly. On a whole, a very good value.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.197.181)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39700


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
This is my first telescope since I was a child. I wanted a refractor due to the light pollution in my Boston suburb. The quality of this instrument is excellent, especially for the money. Yes there is a haze around bright objects, but the cure for that is to spend 10 times as much. I did some quick star tests on this unit, and it seems fine to me. I have noticed no coma to the edge of the fov. The almost 5" aperature is great on deep sky. My first target was the Orion Nebula. With the 100x eyepiece the fov is filled with high detail delights. The mount is fine for eyeball, but I would think a better mount would be in order if I were to do photography.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.233.238)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39701


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
Bought one not expecting too much for only $600 but was still very disappointed. Very undercorrected, outside of focus there was only a blob, no rings at all. False color was obvious on anything brighter than 3rd mag. Mount is not stable enough and the diagonal is of very poor quality and was not aligned properly. Wasn't bad on deep sky though. M42 was very nice and I knew I was viewing through a refractor. Good light grasp for only being a 4.7" objective. Scope looks very nice and is inexpensive but not of the optical quality I am looking for. Maybe I got a bad one or maybe I expected too much. I returned it and Orion apologized and gave me a full refund. Great customer service.

Overall Rating: 6
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.207.211)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39703


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
For being a "cheap" Chinese telescope it offers excellent views. The moon is crisp and on mine chromatic abberation is extremely managable. I saw well over six small craterlets on the floor of Plato during slightly above average seeing (at 133x w/ Orion Ultrascopic 7.5mm). Jupiter however shows much more chromatic abberation but once again it is managable. Once you get over this slight inconveinience planetary views are breathtaking. At lower powers (below 50x w/ supplied Plossel 25mm) slight banding is easily visible on Jupiter and the rings are easy targets on Saturn. I have not yet used my higher power eyepeices on the planets but I am really looking forward to pushing the magnification as high as this scope can go. Deep sky has so far been dissapointing except for some surprisingly crisp and detailed views of the Orion nebula. The deep sky dissapointment undoubtedly stems from the fact that I live barely five minutes away from downtown (I live in a city of nearly 1 million).
The accesories supplied with the scope are a mixed bunch. The Plossel ep's are of much higher quality than I expected (significantly better than the Kellners supplied with similar telescopes in this price range). The mount is too small but decent for visual (what do you expect for 599.00). The scope could also use a larger finder, the 6x30 really is too small for this scope. However the focuser is great, 2" and extremely smooth, objects seem to snap into focus effortlessly.
Overall impression: great deal and upgradeable. I personally plan on adding a 2" diagonal soon and getting out to some dark skies this summer. For the price this scope easily deserves its 9.0

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.207.62)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39704


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
Just purchsaed this scope and I love it. M13 and M57 where stunning at 240X and 280X (2.8 klee barlow and UO 12mm Plossl and 10 mm that came with scope).
I have used my 20 yr old 6" F-8 often and find the views of deep space far nicer in the 120 Skywatcher.
Difraction rings either side of focus look the same, nice lens no nasty aberrations but bright objects do show Halo. Mount is nice for visual use (which is all I do nowdays). The ep's are very nice but my university optics plossls (10 + yr old ep's) Realy shine in this scope.
In 30 yr's of building buying and using telescopes this is by far the best 600 bucks I have spent :)

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.224.232)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39706


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
Just bought this scope on astromart and the fellow also had a 5" Astrophyiscs scope and compared the two for me(I've never looked throught an AP, so I cannot comment). This was his evaluation:
"Performance wise there is some color on very bright objects but my AP also has some. The difference sure isn't worth the extra money and if I had to do it over again, I would probably put the money difference in a new SBIG ccd camera and a used laptop with money to spare. The Hoon doublet will not equal an AP triplet but does real well in the shaprness and contrast department"
My own take is that the optics are first rate and I get great detail on the moon and M13 is sharp but dim due to my surburban location. I also have a 6" f12.5 and the performance is better on the Orion (Hoon makes it), especially in the contrast department. I have only the OTA and cannot comment on the mount.

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.193.189)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39707


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
I have the unbranded version of this imported by an Australian supplier straight from the Synta factory in China, and it is terrific. It is on the much beefier EQ4 mount (used on the Celestron 150HD from the same factory), which is much more stable than the lighter EQ3 mount. It has an 8x50 top quality finderscope (coated optics etc). As supplied in this version it has no eyepieces or star diagonal, which is exactly what I wanted (I already have a quality 2" star diagonal and Nagler eyepieces), so the money goes into a good finderscope and mount. I agree with all the previous comments about the quality of the optics; good sharp images with some degree of colour, particularly in or out of focus. It is not an AP or Takahashi, but in Australia the OTAs of these scopes cost about ten times the cost of the Synta OTA, which makes it one of the great astronomy bargains. (It is worth cleaning the gunk out of the focus rack and pinion gears with a toothbrush and turps, and replacing it with high quality grease, which gives it a very smooth buttery action). A very happy astronomer!

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.250.98)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39708


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
I have the Bresser Pulsar version and am very pleased with its solid metal construction, excellent EQ-4 mount and quality of eyepieces, diagonal, 6x30 finder and 2x-3x Barlow lens provided for just 475 (English pounds). Optically, I rate it a good achromatic refractor (about 1/6 wave undercorrected). It gives very pleasing views of the moon and planets and the magnification can be taken up to x300 on the Moon with sharp detail still visible. I have seen 2 craters on the floor of Plato, easily resolved double stars down to 1.2 arcsec-mu Cygni- (with a space between the components), seen the E star in the Trapezium and easily resolved Cassini's division plus 4 inner satellites of Saturn in less than ideal urban conditions.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.57.66)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39710


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
Thanks to Orion's excellent return policy I came out of this lousy scope OK. But be warned if you're thinking of getting one. Yes they are inexpensive (for its optical size in the refractor class) as most Chinese refractors are these days, but they are of very iffy optical quality... meaning if you get one of decent optical quality you're lucky. The star test of this scope was...well how can I put this? How about complete mush on either side of focus! Yes that describes it. Collimation was completely out of whack (and there is no convenient method to adjust for it). Combine that with the spherical aberation and all to be seen was a blob of light... inside of focus, outside of focus, or at focus. And the mount! What a complete joke for a scope this size (woefully undersized). Can you say VIBRATION!!!!! Well you'll learn what it is all about if there is so much as a slight breeze to the air or you touch the focuser or attempt to track without the additional cost motor drive. I would have rated this scope lower but in fairness to Orion, thanks to their nice people and excellent return policy, I gave it a higher rating than I probably should have.

Overall Rating: 3
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.244.106)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39712


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
I would honestly say that at this level, you may have to try more than once to get a good product. I returned my original purchase for an exchange(same model) and was pleased at the outcome. Sure the optics are limited and the mount is a bit shaky but with a few revisions, I have a scope that I will gladly use for many years to come. I began by investing in various thicknesses of plate aluminum.($20.00) I noticed unwanted flexability where the legs attatch to the tripod.15 to 20 hours later, I have what I would contend is a fairly solid mount. I Also re-threaded the main pivot points for heavier bolts, and larger teflon washers. I then topped the mount with a heavier plate with a top brace and now the tube sits on rings that are an inch futher apart in both directions. Next step was to use ultra flat krylon spray paint on all inner surfaces of dew shield, main optics tube, focuser tube, and the objective lense edges. (Be very carefull if you try it.)
With this done I took a widefield gander along the arms of the milkyway with my Meade
super-wide 40mm (67deg) for an overall view of about 2.45 degrees. All I could say is WOW. I got a lot of favorable Ah's and wow's at a star party up in Mt Pinos a month ago. I have also taken a few early morning views of Saturn and
Jupitor and M42 M31 and a few other gems. The planets have tested crisp and well defined up to about 280x from my back yard (This is limited to my small eyepiece collection)
I was able to watch two of it's moon become shadows in front of the planet which was clearly displaying 4-5 cloud bands. Boy do I need a TV Radian. There is a lot more that I could say in favor of the scope, it's easy to use. True it,s not a Takahashi or an AP but isn't the star test more for the ego than anything else. Until I do own one of the aforementioned, I'll be happy to share
a view through my 120mm Acromat.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.98.69)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39713


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
The Orion 120mm f/8 is a good scope for the price. At $599, you get decent optics, a solidly built OTA, smooth focusing and a decent mount with a built-in (and nicely done) polar alignment scope. The tripod is OK. It is the same tripod that is shipped with the Celestron 150mm scope and in which most people toss aside due to the size of the C150. However, the tripod is "just" good enough for the Orion 120 - at higher powers, the vibrations take about 3 seconds to dampen out. Since I was on a budget and a heavier tripod was not an option, sand bags on each of the legs seems to keep her steady. I do plan to upgrade the tripod, but for now, with the weight on the legs, it suffices.

Optically, there is some chromatic aboration. Not enough to bother me but some people may not like it. I found that when lunar observing, a moon filter takes care of the residual color. Planetary obervations also have some color, but as mentioned before, it's not something that I mind.

Double star observing is a treat with this telescope. Alcor and Mizar split very nicely as well as the true double in this system. Globular clusters are stunning. Orion's nebula and the Trapizium are incredible - something that I can look at for hours - and have with this telescope.

The telescope will take 2" eyepieces. It came with a 10mm and 25mm plossl eyepieces. Very nice quality at that. Also included was a 90 degree prism. One item I did upgrade right away were the slewing cables. I'm on the short side so the longer slewing cables make tracking a little easier.

The Skywatcher will take a powered tracking configuration. I don't have one on mine, but a club member who has the same set up, has one on his and it tracks very nicely as balancing is quite easy.

Contrast through the telescope is good. LIving in a severly light polluted area, it's amazing that I get any contrast at all. However, testing it in the field (the high Sierra) as well as some suburban sites, showed that contrast was good as some of some other higher priced scopes I've looked through.

Overall, I rate the Orion 120 an 8. The tripod is what brings this down a couple notches. The is a serious entry telescope and one that will bring many years of enjoyment.

Comments may be emailed to stacyjo@space.com.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.58.254)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39716


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
For those of you who ar concerned with tube ballance. I have made quite a few upgrades to my Skywatcher, most of it labor and I am very happy with it. But if you replace stock diagnal with a 2" (dont settle for less than 1/10th wave and 96-98% reflectivity) and replace the 6x30 viewfinder with a U.O. 8X50 right angle finder and mount it as near to the place intended for the finder, you will for one thing be happier with the right angle change it being a 40 inch tube but you will also be able to get 60-65% of the tube in front of the rings where it belongs. It really counts when you view at zenith. Be prepared to do a few mods on the mount and tripod as I have (mentioned above in previous review comments) it really makes a difference and it's a pleasure to use.
I maintain an 8+ rating.

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.98.69)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39714


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
I have owned the 120 for about a year.
The optics are ok (bit of false color on bright objects)
The eyepieces included are of questionable quality.
The Mount Is PooP.
One of the the clutch pads often finds it's way into the gears "YUCK".
Looking into this scope when aimed high is a real pain in the neck!!!
Eyepiece is way to low to the ground.

the mount is not very stable.

I would not buy this scope again.

lots of luck!

Overall Rating: 5
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.11.232)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39717


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
Excellent scope, decent mount.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.189.92)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39718


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
I just recieved my Skywatcher 120 the day after Christmas. The scope came
well within the delivery time UPS ground track stated. It was packaged in
one large box with more than adquate padding. All the parts were there and
although it came with instructions, I didn't need them as the assembly was
pretty easy. I did mount it on the eq3 mount that came with the package but
only because the GP mount I order to put it on didn't come until the next day.
I ordered the GP after reading as many reviews on the scope as I could find.
It was a good move. I will use the eq3 with my ST90. the ota appeared in
good condition as did the rest of the equiptment. I haven't used the eps
that came with it but they look good, I just prefer ep's with eyecups on them.
The weather finally cleared off last weekend and I got a chance to use the new
toy. I was really impressed with the images. Everything I looked at was sharp and contrasty. I couldn't do much with the planets as the seeing held down
the amount of power I could use on them but I was like an anxious kid and was
so engrossed with the sharpe views that I honestly forgot to look for the
unwanted color that surrounds brighter objects. I guess that means it wasn't
to bad, huh. I short, the new scope and I will be together for a long time.
My eight rating was due to the size of the mount, not the ota. But, then, I
have wanted to upgrade the 90's tripod also so it worked out really well.
Even with the smaller mount, I'm sure I would call it a keeper.

Clear skys,

Bob Bowen...Clio Mi






gp

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.205.166)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39720


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
I bought one because of the low price for a decent sized refractor. Used it a few times and decided that the optics weren't as good as I hoped for and the mount was very shaky. Returned it within 30 days for a full refund, no questions asked. Orion has great customer service.

Overall Rating: 6
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.105.176)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39721


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
I bought this scope as a "first scope" after doing much research and I have to say that I was not very pleased with it....I found it a bit difficult to assemble after opening the boxes and thoroughly reading the instruction manual...the first night I took it out for a test drive I allowed it to cool for about an hour (mind you this was an exercise in patience since it was Christmas eve and I was anxious to get started)...but to my big disappointment it did not perform as I had hoped......Jupiter was a fuzzy blur and showed no detail, and Saturn was just a big fuzzy peach ball...forget about deep space objects, they just were not to be found.....most of this can be attributed to inadequate mount this scope came with....wobble, wobble, wobble.....on the brigher side, I returned this scope for the 8" Orion Newtonian Reflector and wow, what a difference!!!..the cloud belts of Jupiter shine through and I can easily discern the divisions of Saturns rings....I find myself spending hours observing the Orion Nebula...save yourself some time and money on this cheap overseas refractor and go for the 8" Reflector, you will be happy you did....clear skies...Scott

Overall Rating: 3
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.105.174)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39722


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
After the (3rd) exchange nearly identical star test also had to remove lens cell due to shavings and horrible collimation; lens cap cross threaded. replaced,screwed back correctly rala;;; perfect collimation as shown in my cheshire, Images are now outstanding. As good as any astro-physics iv'e owned Io sillouetted aganst jupiter's limb as sharp as iv'e ever seen it w. exception to my home built 8"m/n optical set from intes-micro. Just takes some additional exchanges,and only purchase from orion,(thanks orion)

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.226.13)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39723


Orion AstroView 120mm EQ Refractor
First off, no connection whatsoever with Orion except that I bought one of their 'scopes.

I got my telescope off of the "Seconds" list at their website (for a lot less than $600) and I got an incredibly good scope for the price. It meets or exceeds all of my expectations for an inexpensive (even at $600) 120mm refractor. Eventually I will be upgrading the eyepieces and probably the finder. Eventually (like this summer!) I will be replacing the stubby little aluminum tripod legs with some nice "LONG" wooden legs. I will even add on a few other niceities, but for now, the scope gives me very sharp star images, bright nebulas, great lunar and planetary views. Although I might whine about the mount or tripod, for the price. . . . .

Its not a 16" dob; the optics dont compare to the $6k apos, and the legs are too short! Hardly a capital offense in the lot! Anybody really interested in getting a serious amateur 'scope on a "department store scope" budget should check out the Orion "Seconds" web page and if you find a 120mm Skywatcher, grab it! ;-)

At the risk of repeating even the unfavorable telescope reviews, I do also have to complement Orion's courteous and honest staff (even for a cheapskate buying off of the "seconds" list!). First rate people selling good equipment at sometimes extremely good prices and willing to talk to a potential customer!

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.7.85)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39724

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