Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor


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Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
This scope is an outstanding value for the money. While not at the optical quality of a Ranger or Pronto, for a quarter the money, it's easily 80+% of the performance. One note, the supplied eyepieces give a false impression of the capabilities- upgrading the eyepieces significantly improves performance. The 20mm TV plossel is a very good match.

As a 'knock around' light weight go anywhere second scope, it's tough to beat for the money.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.233.4)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=37746


Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
Good value for the money, especially considering the two eyepieces and finder.

View is best near the center of the field, significant blurring noticed near
the edge.

Built-in dew shield is a nice touch. Focuser moves smoothly.

Overall Rating: 7
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.149.210)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=37747


Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
This is just the scope that I was looking for. It gives incredible views of extended astronomical objects as well as terrestrial objects. Just right for my limited budget. It makes a great companion to my reflectors. A right angle instead of 45 degree diagonal would work better. My 10 rating is because it suits MY needs perfectly.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.39.74)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=37748


Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
Great little scope. The stock eyepieces are good, but Meade and Celestron plossls really match well with it. I tried the TV Panoptic 19mm with it and really like that combo. More portable than most other scopes. The construction is nice, and the focuser is very smooth.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.193.2)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=37749


Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
i've got this unit under the VISTA label- same as the orion except a dark
blue tube and it comes with a 20mm plossl and tripod mounting cradle.

i was unsure what to expect, but this little unit is very impressive for the price. haven't tried it on planets yet, but at 15-20x it gives wonderful views,
quite crisp to the edge of field.

the finder is a little on the maddening side- fixed focus. works ok if your eyes
are perfect, but no compensation for eyeglass wearers.

still, good value for the money, especially if you've already got a good
tripod to stick it on.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.72.127)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=37750


Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
I have the Vista 508 version of the scope; blue OTA, mounts with tube rings. The optics are very nice, and the fit and finish are very nice too. The scope is a fantastic deal for 290$ Canadian. It's a great little grab&go scope. Would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a portable scope.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.172.143)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=37751


Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
I have the Celestron version of this scope,it came with a tripod, decent little equatorial mount, 90 diagonal, 25mm SMA ep, 6x30 finder all for 280 bucks from POCONO. What a great deal, the mount is pretty steady and the optics are pretty good, and unlike my 10" LX-50 it sets up in an instant. GET THIS SCOPE!!! You will not be disapointed.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.93.119)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=37753


Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
The Orion Short Tube 80 is a great value for shoppers searching for a portable telescope for a modest price. Orion equips the wide field telescope with two Kellner eyepieces, a 45 degree diagonal, and a 6x30 finder. I also purchased a 90 degree star diagonal to improve the ease of viewing near the the zenith. The addition of a 15mm Plossl eyepiece, a short Ultima Barlow lens and a simple eyepiece extension tube completed a compact kit that gives me a wide field telescope that can reach 120x magnification for planetary viewing.

The quick and simple setup and teardown procedure coupled with the light weight and small dimensions of this wide field telescope make it my first choice for camping or impulse observing sessions. The fact that I already had a Bogen tripod encouraged me to choose the Orion telescope over some of the other versions of this model. The Celestron FS 80 WA with the equatorial mount appears to be another well priced model. Many users may prefer the GEM (German Equatorial Mount) to a tripod and the Celestron scope comes with the preferred 90 degree star diagonal.

Any version of this f5 80mm telescope is much better than the typical department store 60mm "high powered" toy telescope. It is sad that so much money and potential interest gets wasted when parents, or potential astronomers select those well marketed models instead of more capable telescopes with larger apertures better mounts.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.22.114)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=37755


Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
I bought the Celestron version of this scope. The optics are plenty good and deep sky and lunar viewing are quite good. However, the skimpy assembly instructions included are wrong in some places and less than clear in others. The wooden tripod is not terrbily sturdy and the equatorial mount is less than foolproof. Overall, it isn't nearly as portable nor easy to use as an Astroscan and for deep sky viewing no better than a 'Scan. It does double-duty however as a spotting scope. The maindrawbacks are the tripod and mount. If you can get past those it's a good first scope.

Overall Rating: 6
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.69.37)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=37757


Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
Celestron 80 WA version from Eagle Optics, $248 with Equitorial mount and 25mm SMA. The first scope I've owned. Looked through several, want 8" Schmidt, but wanted to see if astronomy interest lasts long enough to justify spending that much money. This scope is my low cost foray into astronomy. First impressions are favorable. Very portable (makes me realize how much space an 8"Schmidt is going to take up!). Seems to be robust and well-engineered. Two complaints...First, reports on the 'net about purple halos are not exagerrated. Second, instructions (as someone previously noted) are sketchy at best. They also indicate a Barlow can be placed after the 90 degree diagonal for normal magnification of barlow (i.e. 2X), and say it can also be placed in front of diag for 1.5X mag of barlow (2X becomes 3X). This is NOT true. Although this is viable for some scopes, the short focal length and travel of the focus mechanism make this impossible with even relatively low power 25mm eyepiece. A call to Celestron confirmed it cannot focus properly that way... no big deal, just buy a 6.3mm Plossl for the 2X Barlow or buy a 3X Barlow. The point is, the instructions are obviously a little less than perfect. That having been said, for the price I am very pleased. If you want the purple to go away, spend the extra thousand dollars. If you can tolerate it, this is the little scope for you! This is the perfect little scope for me. Bigger things later.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.218.93)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=37758


Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
The Orion Short Tube 80, Celestron 80 WA and Vista 508 can indeed use a short Barlow lens such as the Orion Shorty Barlow or the Celestron Ultima to achieve 3X magnification. The solution for the focus travel problem created by placing the Barlow before the diagonal is a simple 1 1/4" extension tube (Orion part # 05123).

With an extension tube and Barlow the supplied 10mm ocular yields 40X, 80X, and 120X depending on the configuration of the components. When the extension tube is inserted into the focuser with the Barlow inserted into the extension tube attaching the diagonal and finally the eyepiece WILL give three times the magnification of the eyepiece and diagonal alone.

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.22.238)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=37759


Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
Great scope for the money. Good for all kinds of observing; from planets, the Moon, Sun (with proper filters, of course), to clusters, nebulae, and some of the brighter deep sky stuff. Also make a great birding scope, small enough to hang on a window mount. And because it didn't cost thousands, you'll actually take it places.

Good star test results. The optics seemed alittle pinced at first but as the scope cooled off everything was perfect, or close enough I couldn't tell. There's quite a bit of chromatic abberation a high power, not a problem for me.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.98.67)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=37760


Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
I am quite impressed! For someone who has owned the Meade LX-200 f/6.3, I was amazed with the performance of this little scope that has a price tag of 1/10 of that big LX! It is a value NOT to be turned down...

Pros:
Having owned a big SCT, I was not expecting the quality of image that this little scope provides and found that the overall value of the Short Tube 80 was outstanding! Planetary and lunar viewing exceeded my expectations to the extent that I found the image quality superior to that of my LX-200! The moon seemed to be three dimentional and Jupiter showed clearly the dark tropical belts at 40X with the supplied 10 mm Keliner eyepiece! Saturn showed definate space between the rings and the disk, with a hint of shadow from the rings falling on the planet's surface... and very little atmospheric turbulence compared to my bigger scope was apparent (this is due to the smaller aperature, I am sure). Deep sky objects such as the Andromeda galaxy and the Orion nebula were surprisingly bright for such a small scope (the LX-200 did out perform this little scope, but the LX-200 IS a light bucket, after all) and with the 10mm eyepiece I could clearly see four stars in the Trapezium of M-42.

Ease of setup and use couldn't be better and the high quality rack-and-pinon focuser made operation smooth and a joy. I was most impressed with the fact that the focuser/rear housing was made of an aluminum aloy and not plastic (plastic can be found in scopes that cost twice as much). The balance was very good being just a little tail heavy and setup/breakdown times are less than a minute (try that with an LX series scope)!

Cons:

My scope came with absolutely no users manual or directions whatsoever... Not a problem with a scope this simple except I spent a few minutes pondering what the little O-ring was for that was slipped over the finder-scope mount. After caefuly examining the scope and mount, I determined that it was for the front mounting surface and is used in the place of the three front adjustment screws that are usualy found on finder scopes. The O-ring slips over the rear of the finder scope and sits in the forward of two groves found on the surface of the scope tube; the scope is then inserted through the front of the scope mounting ring until the O-ring seats against the inside of the ring. The rear three screws are of good quality and have jamb nuts to lock them in position once the scope is zeroed in. Overall a good design, just frustrating to figure out without an instruction sheet.

The supplied 45 degree prism is a bit of a chore to use due to the fact that viewing becomes increasingly difficult the closer to the zenith you scan the sky. And the prism causes quite an obvious difraction spike when looking at a bright object such as jupiter. I replaced the prism with a 90 degree star diagonal mirror and the spike disapeared. I also found out, much to my dismay, that the housing for this prism is made of black plastic; not a problem for any viewing situation except solar eyepiece projection. After observing some very beautifuly rendered sunspots in this time honored manner, I noticed a dark spot on the glass of the prism. After taking the cover plate off the underside of this housing and cleaning the spot off the prism, I found that the plastic had been scorched and bubbled around the front opening that accepts the chromed 1 1/4 inch tube that inserts into the rear cell of the focuser! The damage seemed to be superficial and has not affected the quality of the image, however, I shall not use this prism again for solar projection viewing ...

There is a pronounced bluish-purple halo seen around bright objects such as Jupiter, and just a hint of this chromatic aberation is to be seen along the edge of the Moon if you look hard for it. This is not unexpected for a high quality achromat lens element such as the one in this scope. I really shouldn't list this as a con as it is something to be found in all refractors that do not have flourite lenses (and, by the way, flourite costs about five times as much) but I did need to say that it is present.

Summary:

All things considered, the Short Tube 80 is an excelent value, and a steal at the current street price of around $220! I would rate this little scope a 10 except for the fact that it comes with such a poor prism diagonal. For astronomical viewing, a 90 degree mirror diagonal is esential and the use of plastic instead of metal for the housing of the prism is a no-no, especialy if solar projection viewing is to be performed...

I rate the Orion "Short Tube 80" a SOLID 8! Run out and buy one today and be the first kid on your block to own one!

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.118.64)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=37761


Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
Nice little scope for the money.

Surprisingly little color on Jupiter and Saturn. About what you'd expect on the Moon.

Finder is next to useless. I replaced mine immediatly with a Telrad and all is fine.

Used as a telephoto on my camera with a T adapter it gives great shots with nice contrast.

Can't beat it for the money ($230 this xmas). This thing is the only real alternative for folks who think that all they can afford is a dept. store telescope.

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.126.168)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=37762


Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
I got the Celestron EQ WA version. Finder scope isn't as worthless as it first seems, though newbie users will probably not know how to use or install it. You are suppose to take apart the finder in order to put the finder in correctly. The rubber ring is supposed to go in the indention nearest the center so that there is little movement. You will also need to play with the screws a little to align the finder properly so that it points in the exact same position as the scope. You can focus the finder by playing with the lock ring and partially unscrewing the finder. I also heard that you can get "tac-sharp" images by somehow playing with the objective mirror (I heard it on dejanews). If I understand this correctly, this simply means taking off the dewsheild (it comes right off with no screws), and partially turning the ring that holds the objective in place until you get the image you want. I tried it this and it didn't do too much to the image for me.
I was also somewhat annoyed at the wooden tripod legs as well as the sticky stuff that was on the metal tripod. But I can't really complain as I paid
$268 for this at Eagle Optics. Mount is adequate, but has a lot to be desired.
There were also some pieces that came with the scope that I didn't know where to put. Apparently the scope functions well without these pieces making me wonder what their function is (one is a wooden T-shaped block with screw-holes in it, another is an extra screw and round thing that came on top of the ring that holds the scope). The one screw focuser makes it difficult to handle if you plan to put a lot of eyepiece and barlow weight at the end of the scope.
Don't expect a whole lot out of the scope in terms of what you can get out of
larger or better scopes. I like this scope because of its portability. I've
played with a Celestron C8, and despite the C8's better images, I prefer this
scope because the C8 takes too long to set up and is too bulky for me, despite it's relative low weight. It's a good beginner's scope as well as a good
"quick-look" scope if you are on a tight budget. Be prepared to spend a lot more on eyepieces since if you only use the 1 eyepiece that is included, you will only get 16x magnification. If it weren't for the manual (which isn't drawn correctly nor does it explain everything), I'd give this scope 10.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.144.53)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=37764


Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
I love this scope. It's perfect for my needs (portability and ease of use). Under dark skies, I recently detected structural detail in M81 - that was probably my best observing experience so far (I've been using this scope for about 8 months now). I just upgraded to Plossls. This morning the waning crescent moon was fantastic - at 133x, the "coming in for a landing" view was great!

I do see some color on the moon, but a filter takes care of that completely. I plan on getting some filters for planetary viewing in the near future.

I would recommend this scope (especially to beginners) without any reservations!

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.183.195)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=37765


Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
OTA only. So-so on star test. Moderate undercorrection, rough figure, lots of chromatic abberration. Spectacular wide fields with proper eyepieces. Very, very compact. Well built yet lightweight. Nice quick-release finder, nice long finder stalk. Smooth focuser with great travel. Close focus excellent (<20ft). Takes up to 80X well. Shows 4 bands on Jupiter, GRS even when it is pale (good nights only). Lots of glare, inadequate baffling. Performance and overall fit and finish absoluely, positively amazing for the price. Value is main reason for high rating. Perfect for beginners.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.73.52)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=37766


Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
I bought the Celestron FS80WA EQ-mounted version -- outstanding value from Eagle Optics, $229 complete w/ light-duty GEM. I wish more of these scopes would turn up in the department stores so more people were turned on to a good scope rather than junk. The quick star tests I performed were very good (Sirius in early AM, and Vega) -- no abberation, rings seemed fine either side of focus. Mine did not have pinched optics like others have described, but it seems easy enough to adjust that anyway (loosening the retaining ring on the objective -- described here or in DejaNews groups).

I've used it in both polluted skies (about mag 4.5) and ultra-clear mountain skies, and it does well in both. Wide-field views of Andromeda galaxy (M31), Orion Nebula were stunning, even with the cheap SMA 25mm kellner that comes with it. I've added some better-quality EPs (Orion Sirius 17mm Plossl, 5mm Ultrascopic) and the Celstron Ultima barlow, and it performs pretty well, even on the planets -- Saturn is stunning, for such a small, short-focus scope. I pushed it to 240x (w/ a focus tube extender and the barlow before the diagonal, es explained in the comments above) to view Saturn, and though it looked like I was viewing through soup, the image was plenty bright and steady enough for a $400 total outfit (w/ the extra EPs). The Ring Nebula is not outside it's grasp, but splitting the Double-Double looks like it is (so far...).

Some have knocked the cheap EQ mount on the Celestron model, but for a small, lightweight scope like this it's more than sturdy enough. Plus, it's light enough to move easily. My main complaint about it is how difficult it can be to view near the zenith -- I'm constantly moving the slo-mo cables around just to position the scope. Or, I've given up and resumed that view earlier the next night! Also, the accessory tray must be attached with supplied (extra small!) wing nuts for stability, which increases setup and breakdown time -- and worse, I've dropped the &^%$# wing nuts in the dark more times that I can remember. I'll probably rig some other fastener up for this prolem.

But these really are nits -- this is an amazing little outfit for the money. I can't wait to try some Naglers and other wide-view EPs on this scope and jsut sweep the Milky Way. Ultra portable -- I use an old soft-sided (but well-padded) briefcase/computer bag for the scope and accessories, and the mount is light and small enough as well to keep by the door or in my car. Though I've have a 4" f10 refrator for more serious planetary work and plan on getting a light-bucket-sized Dob, it will always be my quick-look scope and the one that travels the best/most. It's the old addage exemplified -- the scope that's easiest to use gets used the most. I give it a ten because it is definitely the best value for the money out there. For the price of one high-end eyepiece, you have a complete, versatile outfit. Tell a friend.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.43.13)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=37768


Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
More suitable for daytime observations.

Overall Rating: 7
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.205.77)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=37770


Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
Comments are for 80WA. I bought this scope as a portable richfield scope
to complement my 8" newtonian. My nits are that the GEM, while light enough,
doesn't lend itself to instant breakdown and setup (I leave mine setup all the
time. This is OK, but takes up more room in closet). Purple color on the
bright objects (this is f5 after all) is personally distracting on moon.

That being said, the GEM is stable, OTA is solid, the focuser smooth, and the optics terrific for f/5. I use Ultima eyepieces for wide angles which seem
to work well. The scope is really fantastic with the Meade 6.7 UWA (60x, 1.4 deg). I really like that combination - stars are pinpoints to the edge, Jupiter
shows two nice bands, and Saturns rings are sharp, and the ring nebula (that
was small!) was, well, ringlike. Star test looks good,
optics are not pinched. The 400mm focal length makes it easy to get
richfield views of 4 degrees or more that are bright and sometimes breathtaking.
For the price, these scopes compete and beat the oft recommended
binoculars - hands down - for bright, steady, richfield views.

I think Santa should send all his requests for telescopes to Eagle Optics
or Orion Telescopes for some version of this scope. If you own some
nice EPs such as Naglers or Meade UWAs, you might also find this scope
showing you a lot more than you expected.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.177.146)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=37771

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