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User Review: Orion Premium 110mm ED Refractor

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#1 Olivier Biot

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 05:55 PM

User Review: Orion Premium 110mm ED Refractor

#2 Al Miller

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 05:24 PM

Nice review! I can't agree more that this is a "sleeper" scope from Orion. I love mine, and it's my primary imaging OTA. Love the nearly non-existant CA, and the excellent build quality. I've had mine up to 308x with a 5mm Nagler and 2x Barlow with little image breakdown. The double stars Porrima, and the double-double in Lyra were textbook perfect Airy disks and diffraction patterns while separated by dark sky. Very nice. Jupiter and Saturn displayed very good detail also. The Moon? Oh man what a wealth of crisp detail! Not bad at all for a 110mm lens. I too am surprised there aren't more folks using these.

On edit: While I have not experienced the problems you have pointed out in the "Not so Good" part of the review, I will agree that a case should be included. I did purchase the case for the scope from Orion but, I'll say I had to modify it before I could use it. The case is designed for the OTA but I could not place the scope in the case without removing my dovetails for the OTA itself and the one for the guidescope. I ended up cutting out parts of the foam to accomodated the OTA without removing them. This meant the cutouts for eyepieces had to go but keep my eyepieces in a separate case anyway.

#3 LBartolomei

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 01:38 PM

Finally a review on the 110ED. I and many others have been hoping to read one.

The scope sounds like a winner, and it may very well be my next (8mm) aperture upgrade.

Thank you, Will!

#4 Wol

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 09:25 AM

Thankyou for that review. Out of curiosity, you say
"The build quality is well above average and the optics on mine perform very well."
What in your experience is average or below average build quality for this general size refractor and did any you tried have optics which did not perform at least well?

regards

#5 Will

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 12:21 PM

I hope folks find the reivew to be of help it seems to have been needed.

WOL,
The "well above average" comment may be a bit generic. I think though, if you look at the first section of the review you will see a partial list of telescopes I've owned and understand where my experience base comes from. I can only add that I have also had some exposure to some high end scopes but not owned them. The review is opinion from my personal experience, nothing more.

I think I also qualified my opinion of the optical performance and was careful to state that I'm not an expert, that I use it mostly for imaging and that others may see something different. I feel comfortable comparing this 110 to my own ED scopes and a few other ED doublets I've had the pleasure to look through. I can't recall ever putting my eye up to other 110mm ED (or larger) doublets though.

Clear Skies.

WD

#6 Clive Gibbons

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 02:21 PM

Hi Will.

Thanks for the review.
It answered some questions I had about the Orion 110ED.
Gotta be one of the best deals in a good-sized ED refractor these days.
What's the highest magnification you've used with the scope?

#7 Will

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 07:42 PM

Clive
I have used a 9mm Burgess TMB paired with an inexpensive Barlow with some frequency. This gives near to 180x. Not really "pushing" and no sign of breakdown to my eye. Keep in mind that most of my use is AP not visual. We have a few clear days coming up and if I can I'll see about pushing it visually and reporting here in this thread.

As for being "one of the best deals in a good sized ED" I tend to agree. They won't be putting Takahashi out of business any time soon but for the price I think it's a very respectable scope.

#8 Wol

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 11:12 PM

Thanks Will,
I have no issue with your assessment in any way. Just trying to establish a baseline from which to try and judge where you are coming from. It was a most useful review.

I saw the partial list of scopes and wondered how exhaustive it was, and more importantly, where the average sat, or at least which of those, all things considered, to be 'average'. This applied both to build quality and optics.

The only thing I have from Orion is a 6x30 RACI finder which seemed to me of better finish than my small Skywatcher reflector components but otherwise I have seen little of the range available.

regards and thanks

#9 Will

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 07:58 AM

Wol
Sorry if my post sounded overly defensive. I see what you're driving at here but no. I would not say it's an exaustive list so far as estimating build quality is concerned. I have owned a few other refractors and a good number of reflectors by Meade, Orion, Telescopics, and Celestron. Since I've no way to truely quantify the build quality I have to rely on comparison. If I had to compare directly I would say the sturdy feel, fit and finish of the 110mm most closely matches to the Nighthawk. I'm also certian that no scope from Orion is likely to have the close attention before it ships as one from Stellarvue.

I think you'll find that Orion's offerings run the gamut. To try to answer your question I'd call the Meade refractors "average", good but not fabulous. Not department store junk either. I think the fit/finish of my Premium 110 is better than my Meade AR6 was. It's better than the Celestron C 80ED but the optics on my C 80ED are the best I've owned.

I originally purchased the EON 120 which is a very nice telescope and widely reviewed. I've also used much less sturdy Orion scopes. The EON used FPL-53 the Premium 110mm FPL-51 I believe. The EON had a different focuser but I like the one on the 110 better.

I lack the expertise to test the optics and since there are not a good number of 110mm ED scopes around as there are 80EDs it's a bit harder to be precise. It's apples and oranges in some respects but I hope this post helps to give you an idea of my mindset.

#10 Wol

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 10:15 AM

Thanks Will - really helpful response. It gives me a feel for 'what it's really like'.

regards and clear skies

#11 stevew

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 06:33 PM

I know this is an old thread but am very curious as to why there is so little information on the internet about this scope.
I hope to rectify this in the next few months, as I have one of these on the way to me.
I'm not expecting Televue quality, just a decent lightweight refractor with well controlled color correction.

Steve

#12 SkyHound

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 08:10 PM

Steve,
It's a great scope..You will love it...

#13 stevew

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 10:10 PM

A few years back I sold my beloved Genesis SDF to help fund a TMB130.
I still have the TMB, and could not be happier with it's stunning views, however its much heavier than a four inch, and I don't take it out in sub freezing temperatures, so I have been searching for a light weight inexpensive 4 inch ED refractor for short sessions. Of course these 4 inch ED doublet scopes have become very rare in North America these days. I found someone selling a used Orion 110 ED and jumped at the chance.
I believe the Orion 110mm ED scope were manufactured by Kunming Optical, the same optical house that manufactures the Asto Telescope 152 F-5.9, and 102 F-11 achromats that people rave about.
I'm looking forward to receiving it, and will post my thoughts after a few weeks of use.

Steve

#14 Robo-bob

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 10:38 AM

I'm not expecting Televue quality, just a decent lightweight refractor with well controlled color correction.

Steve


I have one and while the optics are indeed decent, the scope is not what I would call lightweight. In fact, I also owned a TMB 130SS and the 110ED, while lighter, is not a lot more compact. Compared to my 102 triplet, the 110 is a monster and I had to move from a cg5 to an HEQ5 class mount.
Don't get me wrong, I am really enjoying the scope. I replaced the factory focuser with a SV2.5" R&P and it has really enhanced the user experience for me. I think you'll really like it. It does show color on bright objects. It is on par or slightly better than the old Meade 127F9 Apo I used to have but in a shorter tube.

Definitely a keeper until I find a deal on a 115 triplet.






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