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Skywatcher Pro 80ED vs. Orion ED80

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#1 MattT

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 11:48 PM

I think these are basically the same Synta-made scope, but just to double check:

SW advertises Schott glass for the crown element; the fact that Orion doesn't name Schott doesn't mean the optics are actually different....does it?

SW now outfits their scopes with a two-speed crayford focuser. I'm guessing this is just an added reduction gear on the same clunky crayford still offered as a single speed on the Orion....right?

The SW still uses the same oversized, 100mm diameter tube as the Orion....right? (BTW, why do they do this??? These scopes would be so much more handy in more compact OTAs, with retractable dew shields. What would that add, $10-20 per unit?)

Is there any consensus on relative consistency of optics or quality control, between the two brands?

What are the dimensions of the case included with the SW Pro? The case Orion offers for the ED80 is almost as big as the one Stellarvue offers for their 102-105mm scopes.

Thanks!!

#2 KWB

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 12:11 AM

Matt

The ED-80 isn't a state of the art telescope as far as the ergonomics go. This scope delivers very well corrected optics at what I think is a well defined price point-an entry level apochromatic refractor in 2011. I don't think it fair to compare to a SV as to build quality.

IME a simple crayford focuser is more than adequate visually to obtain a fine focus at F/7.5. IMO this telescope still rates a real bargain,especially when purchased used.

#3 MattT

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 12:29 AM

Thanks Kenny. I can vouch for the optics - I had one of the first Orion ED80s, and found it a wonderful performer. Never should have sold it, but it was so big and clunky that when the 80mm f6.25 Eon came out I sold the original ED80 and "upgraded." But the Eon had a lot more unfocused color, and even with a fringe-killer filter put up a softer image than my ED80.

I sold the Eon in turn, years ago, and have been without a small refractor since. Every time I see a used ED80 on the classifieds I'm tempted, but keep remembering how bulky they are for the aperture. If the Skywatcher (not Stellarvue) is any smaller/better - or even if the case is appreciably smaller - I'd be extra-tempted. I guess I could adapt a non-standard case, maybe a Stellarvue C7 or even a toolbox lined with foam...

The Stellarvues are tempting too, but I'm guessing (never having viewed through one) that the ED doublets probably have color similar to or worse than the Eon, which used FPL-53 but had a level of color I found objectionable. And while I'm sure the SV triplets are very nice, I don't have that kind of $$$ to drop on a small refractor.

I'm looking at the Orion ED80CFT, too. But that Synta 80mm f7.5 FPL-53 doublet is so nice, I keep waiting for somebody to offer it in a classier OTA. Waiting, and waiting.....

#4 KWB

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 12:38 AM

I'm looking at the Orion ED80CFT, too. But that Synta 80mm f7.5 FPL-53 doublet is so nice, I keep waiting for somebody to offer it in a classier OTA. Waiting, and waiting.....

So do I,Matt. :fingerscrossed:

#5 Binojunky

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 03:03 AM

Different prices as well the Orion goes for $399, even with a set of rings, dovetail and finder etc its still a bargain, the other scopes are a good bit more, DA.

#6 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 05:59 AM


I'm looking at the Orion ED80CFT, too. But that Synta 80mm f7.5 FPL-53 doublet is so nice, I keep waiting for somebody to offer it in a classier OTA. Waiting, and waiting.....

So do I,Matt. :fingerscrossed:


I also had an ED-80 and it was a wonderful scope optically and adequate mechanically. About 4 years ago I stumbled upon a Craigslist ad for an 80mm WO Megrez II FD. It was new, the seller had purchased the scope but no tripod.. I paid $425 with a 2 inch diagonal and ended up selling the ED-80.

The Megrez II FD is an 80mm F/7 FPL-53 based doublet. I am quite sensitive to chromatic aberration and I never see any and I am a big fan of viewing Venus. Optically it is very similar to the ED-80. Mechanically this scope is much nicer than the ED-80s, the sliding dew shield, the rotating focuser, the machined and anodized finish. The only difficulty has been the focuser, finicky with heavy eyepieces, I finally was able to replace it with a used focuser from a AT-106...

I think a Chinese 80mm F/7 with the FPL-53 based objective is a nice way to go... This one is a keeper...

jon

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#7 jmiele

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 09:22 AM

Awesome vista there Jon.. Joe

#8 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 11:18 AM

Awesome vista there Jon.. Joe


I thought you were going to comment on the scope... :)

I think that's the Spider Rock overlook in Canyon De Chelly.

Jon

#9 MattT

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 02:05 PM

That is a nice scope! I have looked through some Zenithstars, and I think the 80mm f6.25 Eon was equivalent to one model of Megrez or another, but that f7 might be just right.

#10 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 04:37 PM

That is a nice scope! I have looked through some Zenithstars, and I think the 80mm f6.25 Eon was equivalent to one model of Megrez or another, but that f7 might be just right.


I don't think that William optics ever sold an 80mm F/6.25 Megrez doublet with ED glass.

Jon

#11 MattT

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 07:13 PM

Not sure, maybe a Zenithstar? Is there a Family Tree of WO scopes anywhere? They've gone through so many models in the relatively short life of the company! I just recall that when the Eon came out, it looked like and was specced similar to a WO scope that was also on the market, but I bought the Orion label because they're local for me.

#12 chuck56

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 01:06 PM

I don't think Orion sells a case for the 80ED. I'm been looking for a case Orion 80ED and can't find one. I think the Skywatcher come with a nice deluxe case. The views out of my scope are awesome after some little adjusting of the objective spacing( too tight) and collimation of the focuser.

#13 MattT

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 07:28 PM

Maybe they don't anymore, but then I bought my ED80 several years ago Orion sold a foam-lined aluminum hardcase. It was very sturdy and durable, but much larger than the telescope - which is already much larger than an 80mm f7.5 needs to be. I sold it a few years ago along with my OTA but am guessing it was about 30" long, and with the scope inside weighed close to 20lb.

Thanks for the comment on your objective. I think you meant it as a positive but I'm tired of scopes that need fixing right out of the box....think I'm going to save for a Stellarvue, TMB or ???






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