I have bought and tried many of Orionís refractors (ShortTube
80, ShortTube 90, Astroview100, and Astroview 120ST) and found the
90mm f/10 the most useful. Its 910mm focal length provides very useful
powers for most types of beginner to intermediate levels of observing.
With a 10mm eyepiece, and Orionís shorty barlow, Iíve
been able to go to 182X on the moon, on some nights, and still clearly
see the surfaceís detail.
Iíve watched Ioís shadow cross the face of Jupiter for
the first time in my life. On some nights I can detect details in
the Northern and Southern belts of Jupiter. Cassini Division on Saturn
is usually seen very clearly. Iíve been able to see Rhea, a
moon of Saturn, as well as Titan. All this in my backyard with streetlights
all around and my 51 year old eyes.
Unwanted colors, like a purplish hue, have not been a problem. Beyond
the edges of the Moon a slight purple ring (at higher powers) can
be noticed if looked for. None have been noticed in the area where
viewing is concentrated (like around the Moonís terminator).
No purple-halo has been noticed around Jupiter like Iíve seen
in the 120ST.
Orion sells this scope on a decent equatorial mount for $299. Vibration
does become an issue at higher powers but things like using the scope
on grass instead of cement will help. I owned a Skyview Deluxe (SVD)
Mount that I bought from Orion to use with the above mentioned scopes
and with the 90mm f/10 on it vibration is significantly reduced.
I use it on this mount mostly but it performs well on the EQ3 mount
that is supplied with it. Also, the EQ3 mount is lighter than the
SVD mount. Normally, at worst, it takes about 3 seconds to settle
down on the EQ3 after focusing on an object.
The focuser can be tricky to use at higher powers but this problem
could possibly be fixed by taking the focuser apart and putting in
a thinner grade of grease. With practice, Iíve been able to
focus at higher powers very quickly without doing the mentioned modification
to the focuser.
Iíve used a 32mm Sirius plossl, 25mm, 20mm, 17mm,
13mm, and 10mm Orion Explorer II (Kellner) eyepieces with this scope
been pleased with their performance. Used with Orionís 2X shorty
barlow this gives me a good range of useful powers.
I did buy Stellarvueís
enhanced , 1.25Ē, 90 degree diagonal
($49) which states about a 98% reflectivity. A standard diagonal
is usually around 89%. I realized about a 0.5 magnitude improvement
for the magnitude of stars I could see through the scope. With higher
powers (91X and above) I have seen down to 11.5 mag on average with
The computer program, The Sky (Student Edition) , Orion
provides with their scopes is very handy but mainly for smaller scopes.
6Ē and larger scope owners will want to upgrade to a larger
database version to have the program show the fainter objects and
stars they can see.
I live in Greensboro, NC and humidity is usual fairly high so desert
viewers should see even better performance out of this scope.
I also upgraded to Orionís 8X50 right angle, correct view,
viewfinder which fits easily in the dovetail mount on the scope.
I went to this because I can detect many of the Messier objects in
it where with the supplied 30mm finder this was not true. Also, the
right angle allows for more comfortable viewing when trying to find
One problem with this setup is that when you wish to look at objects
at the apex of the sky. Even with the mount fully extended (which
increases vibration) the eyepiece gets low to the ground. Chair viewing
becomes difficult unless you own one like Orionís Deluxe adjustable
chair which allows you to raise or lower seat height as needed. A
blanket on the ground will work as well.
If all the scopes perform like mine (Iíve read that these
Chinese made scopes can vary in quality) then I highly recommend
this scope. I feel this would be a much better beginner scope than
anything smaller in aperture and a 6 inch or larger dobsonian. After
the lure of the moon and planets wears off this scope will show more
of the deeper sky objects than the smaller scopes and this scope
is still light enough to move around and is easy to setup. It normally
does not require to be collimated as long as it was done properly
when made. The equatorial movement controls really help when tracking
Jupiter at higher powers and there is a motor control option for
the EQ3 mount from Orion.