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Cheapest 'ED APO' yet? (Barska Magnus)

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#1 stevethatsmyname

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 02:30 PM

I just noticed these floating around on ebay, and decided to try and find a review... doesn't exist.

The brand name is Barska, I believe it is a chinese company that makes all kinds of sporting optics (scopes, spotting scopes, binoculars, laser sights, etc). They appear to only recently have made an 'ED APO'. A 65 and an 80. They claim it's a triplet, and they are selling the 80 for $484 (with tube, diagonal, focuser, and a 20mm plossl). I havent been around forever, but this is definitely cheaper than any of the ED Doublets i've seen around.

However, considering until now this company has only been known for selling hundreds of different varieties of low-mid end hunting scopes and binos, I'm really not one to trust that it's really on par with the other ED scopes in the same price range.

Anyone heard anything about them?

#2 Takman

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 04:45 PM

I'll spare you the "you get what you pay for" diatribe and say this... For not much more money you can get a reputable refractor telescope, use or even new. Best to avoid potential headaches for the sake of saving a few dollars. Oh wait, didn't I just say I'd spare you the diatribe?

#3 darkbobb

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 07:48 PM

don't be afraid to pay too little; I bought one of these at $400- it came with a nice case-eyepieces were *BLEEP* but I expected that-optics are sharp with NO color-get one you won't regret it

#4 calypsob

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 11:25 PM

I have one and it is the most under rated triplet on the market, they run 383 right not and that is cheaper than some doublets. People complain about the focuser but all you need to do is use an eyeglass screwdriver to tighten the screws down which clamp the focusing axle. the focuser does not pull a dslr very well at zenith but I compensate by pushing the drawtube in and allowing the focuser to gently lower the camera into focus. I have to disagree with darkbobb on the eyepieces, Mine came with a 10-24mm ep and a 6mm plossl. The zoom ep is fully multicoated green and the plossl seems ok, I have never used another so I couldn't tell you. This scope is a true apochromatic triplet. The cell can be removed via a silicone filter wrench and there are indeed 3 elements that make up the objective. The same green coating on the ep is found on the front objective. the aluminum dewshield is built in and very nice. It has a W.O. style foot for mounting the scope but I bought some 90mm clamp rings to mount mine. Color correction is great, when used with a 5x apo barlow you can easily make out the cassini division of saturn with each color in very good focus. I use a hotech field flattener with this scope for imaging, and highly recommend this setup.

#5 PeterR280

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 01:38 PM

The optical performance is great. I bought one from Amazon for $368. they have since raised the price. I had a decent quality Crayford focuser with a Celestron C80ED adapter. The focuser on the Barska unscrews from the main tube. There is a 1 inch collar in front of the focuser assembly. The collar holds the small Vixen style mounting plate. The collar unscrews from the main tube (note that the rotation tightening ring unscrews as well, the collar sits in front of the tightening ring). The threads on the main tube are exactly the same as the C80ED. I put on the new 2 speed focuser and it works much better than the stock focuser. it also shortened the OTA by about an inch or so to make it even more compact. There is enough travel. Except for the focuser, the telescope is built very well. It's quite solid.

#6 dpippel

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 02:01 PM

I found the focuser on this telescope to be so poor that I returned it to Amazon for a refund. The OTA appears to be well made and it performs well optically, but IMO it's worthless unless the stock focuser is replaced with something usable. Suddenly it's not such a good deal any more. YMMV.

#7 PeterR280

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 02:03 PM

Works and looks and performs like a $1,000 scope with the new focuser.

#8 PeterR280

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 02:05 PM

By the way comparison with the C 80ED was very telling. the image control is much better than the C80ED. It's probably the 3 lens design.

#9 dpippel

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 02:10 PM

What do you mean by "image control"? I also compared the two instruments side-by-side and saw very little difference between them. If there had been I would have kept the Barska, upgraded the focuser, and sold the C80.

#10 KWB

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 02:30 PM

By the way comparison with the C 80ED was very telling. the image control is much better than the C80ED. It's probably the 3 lens design.

What exactly do you mean by image control? Is it the visable reduction of observable chromatic abberation? :scratchhead:

The C80ED is very well corrected for the visable reduction of observable chromatic abberation IMO and IME. In my viewing of the Moon with the C80ED,it produces a clean,white image,contrasted with deep blacks in the craters. When the sky is stable,Venus shows a very nice white image as well. Jupiter shows none of it to my eye,either.

For this telescope to show "much better" correction in terms of CA,I'd truely be surprised. I've never viewed through an NP-101 or a Tak-78 but those telescopes may well do a more easily noticeable job in controlling this visual abberation if a sharp,highly experienced eye was really looking for it. That wouldn't surprise me. For this Barska telescope to do it,that truely does.

#11 hfjacinto

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 03:10 PM

I'm with Kenny on this the 80ed is excellent in controlling chromatic Aberration.

#12 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 03:11 PM

By the way comparison with the C 80ED was very telling. the image control is much better than the C80ED. It's probably the 3 lens design.

What exactly do you mean by image control? Is it the visable reduction of observable chromatic abberation? :scratchhead:

The C80ED is very well corrected for the visable reduction of observable chromatic abberation IMO and IME. In my viewing of the Moon with the C80ED,it produces a clean,white image,contrasted with deep blacks in the craters. When the sky is stable,Venus shows a very nice white image as well. Jupiter shows none of it to my eye,either.

For this telescope to show "much better" correction in terms of CA,I'd truely be surprised. I've never viewed through an NP-101 or a Tak-78 but those telescopes may well do a more easily noticeable job in controlling this visual abberation if a sharp,highly experienced eye was really looking for it. That wouldn't surprise me. For this Barska telescope to do it,that truely does.


Kenny:

I have not had a chance to look through the Barska ED scope, I did own an ED-80 and currently own a WO 80mm F/7 FD Doublet, both of which use the good FPL-53 glass, as well as an NP-101. To my eye, the ED-80 and the WO 80mm F/7 FD have very good color correction with no visible fringing around Venus, I find Venus the most revealing when it comes to chromatic aberration.

The Barska Magnus 80ED appears to be one of the scopes manufactured in Asia, probably by Kunming United. I know the web pages state it is a triplet, I would be interested in knowing if anyone has actually tested the objective with a laser to count the number of reflections?

From I have seen over the years, the Asian 80mm ED with the 560mm focal length are almost always a doublet based on HFK-61, a Chinese glass similar to FPL-51, this would be consistent at this price point. If it were a triplet, it would almost certainly have to be an HFK-61 triplet rather than an FPL-53 triplet, the HFK-61 could provide color correction similar to the C80ED.

Jon

#13 PeterR280

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 03:22 PM

The color control in my C80ED is very good. I may have some problem in the optics, perhaps misalignment or pinched optics. At high magnification on a bright star, the image through the Barska was sharper and cleaner than the C80ED..

#14 pdxmoon

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 03:27 PM

I only have observed La Luna and Saturn with my ED80. Color excellent.

#15 Binojunky

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 04:07 PM

Love my C80 ED, for the price its a steal, worth mentioning that a scope touted as a triplet will not mean that its better than a doublet, my Meade 5000 ED 80 triplet was a major let down optics wise,great mechanics but the image went soft above 100x, however my lowly Orion ED80 doublet has a great piece of glass in the front end, the Celestron C80 ED that arrived last week is still being evaluated but it looks just as good,DA.

#16 PeterR280

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 04:12 PM

i am just basing it on what i saw through the C80ED and the Barska.

I had a question. Using a 3mm eyepiece and looking at a bright star with the barska, at focus the star showed a fine diffraction ring fairly close to the star. i had not noticed that in other telescopes. is that normal?

#17 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 04:25 PM

i am just basing it on what i saw through the C80ED and the Barska.

I had a question. Using a 3mm eyepiece and looking at a bright star with the barska, at focus the star showed a fine diffraction ring fairly close to the star. i had not noticed that in other telescopes. is that normal?


The Airy disk and diffraction ring(s) are normal if the seeing is sufficiently stable. They are easier to see in smaller scope since they are larger. The size of the Airy disk and diffraction rings is inversely proportional to the aperture as well as to the exit pupil. With the 3mm, the magnification is 187x with an exit pupil of 0.43mm.

If that were a 10 inch, it would have required about 600x to see the ring structure in the same way, that takes some good seeing.

I would be interested in the laser test, shine a laser through the objective and see how many bright spots you see, those are glass surfaces.

Jon

#18 jrbarnett

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 05:53 PM

Hmm...seems to me like that's not such a great deal while Astronomers without Borders is selling Celestron C80 EDs for $349.

Regards,

Jim

#19 PeterR280

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 06:00 PM

I bought the C80ED also

#20 PeterR280

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 06:11 PM

I went on a bargain shopping spree. I bought the C102 GT for $59. (great scope regardless of money), the C80ED for $349 and the Barska 80ED for $368. I'm keeping the C102 and the Barska. I may give the C80ED as a gift to a nephew. image are very good in all of them. All of these purchases were some sort of a rebellious move in anticipation of the AP130GT that's supposed to come this month. AP hasn't sent shipping notice yet. I've been waiting 9+ years.

#21 PeterR280

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 07:56 PM

I checked the Barska with a laser pointer. There are definitely 3 sets of double reflections. It was hard to see because the anti-reflective coating. I took a picture of the lens.

#22 Derek Wong

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 11:12 PM

My uncle brought both of these scopes over on a day of mediocre seeing. I was very surprised at their build quality. The focusers on these particular scopes were not as bad as the ones described elsewhere in the thread. The 65 was OK but the 80 was really sharp. The color correction and sharpness was not as good as an AP Stowaway, but it was not that far off. My only hesitation with buying one would be unit to unit consistency.

Derek

#23 PeterR280

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 11:29 PM

I am seeing similar performance from my 80mm.

#24 jrbarnett

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 09:47 AM

AP130-GT = "One scope to rule them all, one scope to find them, one scope to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them."

:grin:

- Jim

#25 PeterR280

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 09:53 AM

Nice poem Jim Except I have been waiting for 9 years for the 130 and it still hasn't come. AP is supposed to ship it in August. I think some people have gotten them already. When I spoke to AP last month they said they would notify me when the lens goes out for coating. I may be the last one for the current production run.






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