Well I beat the curse mostly. I say mostly because last night was one of the best nights I had all summer so I was able to use the scope but Only with one ep (25mm) (the jerk who stole my scope last week made off with ALL of my ep's as well). I was upstate NY with my new C8 that I received yesterday.
OK The Good the Bad and the Ugly.
Ugly first- There is no handle on this scope!! I think that the tube was meant for the SE (it says SE on the dovetail) hence supposedly no need for a handle. The problem is that I am using it on a GEM. No handle can be a recipe for VERY ugly. I gotta be carefull.
The bad- (well not too bad) There was no instruction manual. I don't really need one as I don't do AP but it would be nice to know how to remove and but back the secondary. Also, there was a red dot finder not a finder scope- nothing terrible but I'm used to using a finder scope.
The Good- Image shift was non existent when focusing. Now granted I only used a 25mm ep (Did I mention that the jerk that stole my scope last week made off with ALL of my eyepieces ! Oh well, I'm sorry,I still need to vent!) but the image stayed put!!!
Focusing was very smooth.
The scope arrived in collimation, but again I was only able to judge using a 25mm ep for 80x
Targets: Saturn way too low to be exciting
I took a look at the ring nebula it was clear and wonderful
The Swan nebula was clearly a swan (even first time viewers saw the swan right away)
Hercules Cluster was phenomenal with individual stars clear across the cluster.
Andromeda was clearly more than a core but an extended object connected to the bright core.
The Butterfly- Low in the sky and affected by light pollution but a real jewel.
The Double Cluster was just wow wow wow wow! Did I say wow? I just couldn't stop looking at it!
M81 and M82 showed more than just smudges but I need to spend more time with them.
By the time I got to the double double the sky wasn't as steady but it was clear that there were two stars x two even though the split wasn't seen all of the time.
All in all it seems to be a great scope. I will continue to test it patiently and thoroughly, and hopefully post my results.