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Orion Starblast 62mm

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#26 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 04:31 PM

Haha - 

 

 

Playing devils advocate here but the used price doesn't change that they weight 2 pounds more then the Starblast which for many use cases is significant.     Another *feature* on the StarBlast is that it only has a 1.25" focuser so I won't be tempted to put my 35mm Panoptic in it and end up buying a bigger mount and then a bigger tripod and then a bigger car and then a bigger house :p   

 

In that same vein, the smaller aperture and less perfect optics means one is less likely to waste time viewing the planets and splitting double stars.. :)

 

Jon

 

Haha  - Touche!

 

My $279 priced Starblast gets here tomorrow so I'll give a full report if the snow, clouds, rain, high winds ever stop...   I've owned both a ZS66 and a SV66 which other then 6mm aperture are pretty much the same scope as the AT72ED so at least I'll have some vague memories to compare to  :grin:

 

 

The main difference between the SV66, the ZS 66 (which I owned but didn't particularly like) and the AT-72ED is the 2 inch focuser.  I bought the ZS66 as a replacement for a TV Pronto but the inability to use 2 inch eyepieces was a problem.  Also, the step up from the 66's to the 72 is significant, its almost as big a jump as the step from a 72 to an 80.. 

 

Jon



#27 MitchisMitch

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 08:33 PM

Has anyone ever noticed that Orion says the highest theoretical magnification on this scope is 124X, yet deliver the scope with an EP that gives 130X?

#28 ChristianG

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 11:07 PM

Hi Jon and all.

 

I once bought a Regal M2 80ED, this one:

 

http://www.amazon.co.../dp/B00BQ52RDQ/

 

I thought it would make a fine travel/camping telescope. It is well built, the dual-speed focuser works (how?) and the objective has no chromatic aberration to speak of and it can use any 1.25" eyepiece. The supplied 8-24 mm zoom eyepiece is nice but AFOV is still fairly narrow.

 

Two problems, which might be related or just a consequence of the intended daytime use of the instrument:

 

--Stuck with image erecting 45 degrees prism. 90 degrees is better for astronomy.

 

--Un-fixable rather obvious miscollimation (maybe compounded by prism?) limiting magnification to about 60X. The star test was really bad, showing a large amount of lateral misalignment. I expected to be able to go at least up to 120X, but was severely disappointed.

 

I ended up selling it to someone who was going to use it as intended, i.e. as a daytime instrument up to 60X.

 

For what it's worth, I once had an AT72 at the same time as a (now discontinued) Stellarvue SV70ED, sold both unfortunately. While the former may have had equal or better optics than the latter, the focuser action on the Stellarvue (made by United Optics) was noticeably smoother and the telescope was overall better built.

 

I regretted selling either of them, so now my littlest travel telescope is a Lunt LE70ED, which is the same as the old Stellarvue SV70ED. Cheers!

 

--Christian



#29 beanerds

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 06:51 AM

I receintly grabbed a Long Perng 60mm f7 triplet for $499aud delivered , super build quality and it came with a nice case as well .
A few weekends ago at our dark sky night we put it up against an AT 66mm quad and it held up very very well , nothing between the views on all objects .
Omega Centarui was over head and both small scopes hinted at granulation , M42 was spectacular in both , I am more than happy with mine .
It is so small , my Tak sky90 looks big by comparisim , I use the 60mm mainly for white light solar viewing.

Brian.

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#30 Binojunky

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 01:40 PM

 

 

Jon, I have both the Orion 62mm Starblast and the Celestron Regal M2, the Orion is a far more competent scope for higher magnifcation night sky  once you replace the supplied diagonal which is 45degree unit with a 90degree one, the Celestron  which uses a two speed focuser will not handle higher magnifications as well as the Orion. You can improve it by replacing the stock zoom eyepiece with other types. Price wise it seems the Orion can be bought for less than the Celestron Regal, however if you are looking for a scope that is mainly for daytime use and weather proof the Celestron Regal is an excellent buy for the money, DA.

 

I am interested in how the Regal performs with standard astronomy eyepieces.. How does it compare to the Orion?  I was figuring both scopes would be used with eyepieces other than those supplied.

 

Jon

 

In my case I find the Orion performs better after say x45, daytime views are dependent on daytime heating , the main upgrade on the Orion is the diagonal , either the suplied 45 which is a high quality one or a good 90 degree. I think the Celestron is using a prism internally mounted. My Regal by the way is the 65mm version, I use it with the suplied zoom and a older Made In Japan Celestron zoom which is superior and a few TV Plossls. To be honest other than a few quick looks at say the moon when I first got it its main purpose is daytime for birds and such.

At night other scopes come out, to be honest Jon I have a soft spot for scopes in the 60 to 80mm range, I have too many thats for sure, Dave.



#31 caheaton

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 04:02 PM

Starblast 62mm is here!  (Will post photo's later).  One thing I'm pleased to discover is that the focuser is graduated...that should be helpful for imaging (pictures I saw of the Long Perng version did not have graduations).  Also, the dew shield is relatively long relative to the scope diameter...another plus.  Focuser is smooth, but only has an adjustment for tension...no separate lock (so I'll just have to tighten the tension to lock).  Overall a very pretty scope and quite light, but yet still feels solid.



#32 beanerds

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 06:34 PM

Good to hear yours arrived I am looking forward to the photos , yes the build quality of these little 60mm scopes is terrific a great focuser and sliding dew shield .
My LP has graduations on the draw tube , here it mine with the visual back removed , and the moon in day time at about 40x , ( phone hand held over eyepiece ) .
Brian.

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#33 aa6ww

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 01:32 AM

Its probably more usable in the 20x to 80x range, but I'd guess you shouldn't have any issues taking it that high or even more as long as you have a good eyepiece to get you there and your trying to get a split on some tight stars.

I bet it also makes a nice simple white light solar scope also.

With a 24mm Panoptic or ES 24mm 1.25" eyepiece, your getting about 3.25 degs actual field of view. Thats pretty good for most everything that large you can detect with 60mm ie, Andromeda, Pleiades. Some of the larger asterisms, and its probably nice on comets too.

Its so small, you can probably get away with just holding the scope up to your face and using it, to hunt down a comet at 20x. Straight through viewing would be more fun.

I did that last night with my ST-80 and a 24mm ES 1.25" eyepiece. It works well at 16x just holding it up and using it.

...Ralph

Has anyone ever noticed that Orion says the highest theoretical magnification on this scope is 124X, yet deliver the scope with an EP that gives 130X?


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#34 David E

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 07:56 AM

As the author of one of the "vague and useless" reviews of this scope at the Orion site, let me try to be a bit more specific: This is an excellent travel scope, easily portable with diagonal and eyepieces in your carry-on luggage. The optics are very sharp with a flat field and very little CA--at least to my eyes. It is excellent for lunar observation with copious detail and vivid contrast. It also excels on brighter deep sky objects, such as the Perseus Double Cluster. The stars in open clusters are pinpoint across the field. I find the 520 mm focal length to be a convenient middle range between the very short and the very long. The single-speed focuser is very smooth and you should not have any trouble achieving perfect focus even at higher magnifications. The coatings on the objective are highly effective. The objective nearly disappears when you look straight down the tube, which is also well baffled. I prefer to use a 90 degree dielectric diagonal rather than the 45 degree one supplied with the scope. The scope comes with a very sturdy case and some good accessories. I paid $399 for it, and definitely consider it worthwhile.At $280 I would consider it a steal. BTW, it also fits perfectly on the Orion XHD photo tripod, for convenient viewing.  

You covered that very well. I purchased the Long Perng  dealers sample some time back and did this mini-review here. I understand that some people have a bit of an aversion towards achromats, especially in this day and age of inexpensive ED glass. But I personally would rather look through my Stellarvue 80mm Nighthawk with hand-matched 1/8" wave optics than a mass-produced ED doublet with a lens full of optical issues. Sharpness and proper alignment are what I look for. If you get past the fact that is does show some CA, I like the design for a number of reasons: excellent coatings and baffling, very good fit and finish overall, and portability. I also think $399 is a good price with the included accessories. My main issue with my example is the slight astigmatism, which hopefully has been addressed in the production units. This scope is what it is, I own better scopes purchased in this price range but I've certainly acquired some that were worse, optically and mechanically. Although there are some issues, I have an overall positive opinion about this refractor.


Edited by David E, 08 January 2015 - 08:00 AM.


#35 mikee

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 09:23 PM

I received mine yesterday and the skies were clear for about an hour after sunset tonight and before the moon rose so I was able to take a quick look.   It was below zero already (-15 with the wind chill) so the  operative word here is "quick"..  

 

First off the build quality is excellent.      The dew shield is slightly stiff to move up and down as is the lens cap but I'd rather they be stiff then loose.   It's really light too.     I didn't realize that 2 pounds (the difference between this and my ES80 triplet) would be so significant.

 

I had my 24mm Panoptic in the diagonal which gives a 3 degree FOV.  I was out for around 10 minutes so I wasn't dark adapted but was able to see the following:

 

M45 - looked amazing and easily fit the entire cluster in the FOV. 

 

M31/32/110 - M31 was very bright and  M110 and M32 were easily spotted without averted vision and in the same 3 degree FOV. 

 

Double Cluster -  Looked beautiful.  I've seen it in all size scopes and I think it really looks best in a small scope like this.

 

Comet Lovejoy - Large coma easily visible (the comet is starting to be naked eye visible as a fuzzy patch from my yard) and some detection of a tail but it's possible my mind was playing tricks on me.  Others on CN though are reporting seeing the tail in binoculars though.   

 

M42/43 - very bright and the nearby NGC1981 jumped out at me and all in the same FOV 

 

I also did a quick scan of the milky way near Cass and it was a joy.  Lots of knotty clusters of pinpoint stars everywhere.

 

Optically the stars were very sharp out to the edge in the 24mm Pan and on the targets I was looking at including Rigel I noticed no false color.    One weird thing I thought I saw though was some extremely light "haze" in the bottom right of the FOV but I didn't get a chance to figure out if it was the atmosphere, fog on the lens or the eyepiece or what.   I'll have to do a deeper investigation of it tomorrow during the day to see if I can detect it again.  I didn't notice it anywhere but that one small location.    The wind was gusting up to 30mph so I didn't even try and do a star test.   

 

I hope to get the scope out again tomorrow night and do a more detailed run through as it's going to be a balmy 10 degrees and I should be able to view for longer then 10 minutes.   I want to try my 12mm Delos and my new 5.5mm Meade UWA as well on the moon and Comet lovejoy among other things.

 

All in all I'm really happy with this little scope.  It's so light it feels like I'm carrying around a clarinet!  For the price of $279 it was a great buy.   

 

I'll post some pictures and more observing reports after I get a longer time outside with it hopefully this weekend.

 

Mike


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#36 mikee

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 09:33 PM

BTW has anyone tried putting a 2" diagonal on one of these by using a 2" SCT Visual back? I noticed you can remove the 1.25" one. Not sure if you could reach focus with one though.

#37 caheaton

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 11:38 PM

As promised, here are some photos of the Starblast 62.  In taking the photos, I became even more impressed with the build quality of this little scope.  First, here's the scope mounted on an Orion XHD tripod, with the dew shield extended and retracted.

 

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#38 caheaton

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 11:46 PM

And here are some more shots that show some of the details.  The tube is well baffled.  The inside of the dew shield is nicely blackened with flat black paint.  When extended, the dew shield extends 3 5/8 inches from the front of the scope.  The inside of the focuser tube has a number of shallow grooves (threads?) to control scatter. 

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#39 caheaton

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 11:56 PM

As mentioned previously, the focuser is graduated which will aid in imaging.  Also, the question was asked if it offers a rotatable focuser.  I'm glad to say it does (in a way)...the visual back threads onto SCT threads.  If one needs to rotate the focuser, one can loosen the collar that goes onto the SCT threads and then rotate the eyepiece portion, then retighten.  (That explanation will be more clear when you look at the photo that shows how the visual back is made).

 

Also, the dust cap is of nice solid metal construction and fits snugly over the end of the scope.  Likewise the dew shield is quite snug in the way it slides up and down on the optical tube.  Motion is smooth but does take a firm grip to slide.  

 

I've also included a photo that shows the lens system (Petzval?) mounted in the focuser.  

 

And finally, a photo of the case.  The scope comes with 2 ep's (Sterling plossl design) of 20 and 4mm.  There's also a quality roof prism correct image 45 degree diagonal.  The hard case has slots for the scope, diagonal, 2 ep's and a small gap at the end (that does have a foam bottom) which could be used to carry some filters or similarly thin accessories.

 

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#40 beanerds

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 01:11 AM

Just one question David E ,on this 'Mass produced ED doublet with a lense full of optical issues ' , What ? ,, how can you say this keeping a straight face ? ,,, c-mon man how dare you judge this scope or do you own one ??? I dont think so , bad form .
Brian.
 

As the author of one of the "vague and useless" reviews of this scope at the Orion site, let me try to be a bit more specific: This is an excellent travel scope, easily portable with diagonal and eyepieces in your carry-on luggage. The optics are very sharp with a flat field and very little CA--at least to my eyes. It is excellent for lunar observation with copious detail and vivid contrast. It also excels on brighter deep sky objects, such as the Perseus Double Cluster. The stars in open clusters are pinpoint across the field. I find the 520 mm focal length to be a convenient middle range between the very short and the very long. The single-speed focuser is very smooth and you should not have any trouble achieving perfect focus even at higher magnifications. The coatings on the objective are highly effective. The objective nearly disappears when you look straight down the tube, which is also well baffled. I prefer to use a 90 degree dielectric diagonal rather than the 45 degree one supplied with the scope. The scope comes with a very sturdy case and some good accessories. I paid $399 for it, and definitely consider it worthwhile.At $280 I would consider it a steal. BTW, it also fits perfectly on the Orion XHD photo tripod, for convenient viewing.

You covered that very well. I purchased the Long Perng  dealers sample some time back and did this mini-review here. I understand that some people have a bit of an aversion towards achromats, especially in this day and age of inexpensive ED glass. But I personally would rather look through my Stellarvue 80mm Nighthawk with hand-matched 1/8" wave optics than a mass-produced ED doublet with a lens full of optical issues. Sharpness and proper alignment are what I look for. If you get past the fact that is does show some CA, I like the design for a number of reasons: excellent coatings and baffling, very good fit and finish overall, and portability. I also think $399 is a good price with the included accessories. My main issue with my example is the slight astigmatism, which hopefully has been addressed in the production units. This scope is what it is, I own better scopes purchased in this price range but I've certainly acquired some that were worse, optically and mechanically. Although there are some issues, I have an overall positive opinion about this refractor.


Edited by beanerds, 09 January 2015 - 01:17 AM.


#41 Peter Besenbruch

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 01:17 AM

Has anyone ever noticed that Orion says the highest theoretical magnification on this scope is 124X, yet deliver the scope with an EP that gives 130X?

 

If it's a good scope optically, you can flog 100x/inch when looking at double stars. The moon is another high contrast target that takes magnification well, and will let you exceed 50x/inch. Jupiter is a different story. There you will mostly stay under 50x/inch, though a 60mm isn't a planetary instrument, anyway.



#42 aa6ww

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 03:59 AM

Its a really good report Mike. Everything you mentioned is why this scope exist. You can get set up and use it on a moments notice, its very light weight and portable, and it does an excellent job with the eyepiece you've used so far, and should do well with the others you have. Best of all, you basically used it realistically, instead of immediately trying to turn it into a larger powerful refractor.

A 5mm very good eyepiece sounds about right for approaching the magnification ceiling. It should do well using your 5.5mm Meade UWA and more so, I think your 10mm Delos would be an ideal eyepiece for your scope and all you need for most quick back yard exploration.

Also, 3.2 degs at 21x is pretty wide for most everything this scope can see with 1.25" eyepieces. A 2" diagonal and 2" eyepieces would really throw off the balance and probably require you to add a dovetail so the center of balance could be over the focuser instead of where it is now. If you can't detect Lovejoys tail in your location, more than likely your not also going to be able to detect the North America Nebula, or the full east and west side of the veil nebula, both of these are large and could benefit from 4 degs field of view to capture these entire objects, but again, 60mm will only allow you to detect so much, at least at your location. The Pleiades and Andromeda would be just fine in your scope at 3.2 degs with your ES 24.

The 66mm William Optics scope I had, similar to the one you just got, had a dedicated 2" diagonal made just for screwing onto the back of the scope. It was hideous, a complete after thought to try and satisfy those thinking they needed 2" eyepieces with this scope. If there's a way to do it and it looks clean and doesn't kill the extreme portability, it could be worth trying just because its fun with something this small. I added a single speed crayford to my ST-80 since I had one and it just took 3 screws to replace it and it was a perfect fit but I still use a 1.25" diagonal and eyepieces. Adding a 2" adapter, a 2" diagonal and 2" eyepieces are going to add an additional 2 or 3 pounds to the back of your scope in addition to a longer dovetail bar to balance your scope out depending on the eyepieces you use. That will basically double the weight of your tiny scope. It would still be very light, but it would change the personality of your tiny scope.

On comet Lovejoy 2014, in my suburban back yard, I was not able to detect the tail last night with my ST-80, but using my 100mm Orion F/6, I could just make it out by first wiggling the scope on the mount and noticed a thin nearly transparent tail moved with the coma. My 100mm Binoculars brought it out much better.

Since you were only out for 10 minutes, your eyes were not dark adapted, if that's even possible in your location, but that would definitely helps in detecting Lovejoys transparent tail.

Also, your focuser must be working fine. Some out here say it needs a micro focuser, and I think that's funny for a scope that will see most of its time under 80x. I noticed you didn't mention it, probably because you were using your scope instead of figuring out reasons why you shouldn't like it.

I also noticed, you didn't mention how horrible your optics were, because of the excessive chromatic aberration. Imagine that. Again, maybe because you actually used your scope and enjoyed it, instead of looking for reasons why you shouldn't like it. At F8.4, your scope has the color correction of an F/13 four in refractor which exceeds the Sidgwick Standard for color correction. In focus, you'll have to really really look hard to find any CA on anything, but that in itself could be something to hunt down, just like you would a deep space object. Check out our evening star Venus, or the moon when you can and see what you find.

My personal experience with Chromatic Aberration though, is after a scope exceeds the Sidgwick Standard for Color correction:

http://neilenglish.n...s/CA-index1.jpg

its more of a conversation piece than a reality, "in focus" especially if the scope used is using quality eyepieces like you have, in the 3 you mentioned and a quality diagonal.

That glare you mentioned could have been because your scope was cooling down so rapidly. I notice with any eyepiece Ive ever used, you gotta keep those eyepieces warm so you don't get internal reflections coming through the multiple lens of the eyepieces. Even the Nitrogen purged eyepieces have this. If you were using your stock 45deg diagonal, it could have come from that also.

Either way, that's an excellent first light report!

Good luck with your new toy!!



... Ralph



I received mine yesterday and the skies were clear for about an hour after sunset tonight and before the moon rose so I was able to take a quick look.   It was below zero already (-15 with the wind chill) so the  operative word here is "quick"..  
 
First off the build quality is excellent.      The dew shield is slightly stiff to move up and down as is the lens cap but I'd rather they be stiff then loose.   It's really light too.     I didn't realize that 2 pounds (the difference between this and my ES80 triplet) would be so significant.
 
I had my 24mm Panoptic in the diagonal which gives a 3 degree FOV.  I was out for around 10 minutes so I wasn't dark adapted but was able to see the following:
 
M45 - looked amazing and easily fit the entire cluster in the FOV. 
 
M31/32/110 - M31 was very bright and  M110 and M32 were easily spotted without averted vision and in the same 3 degree FOV. 
 
Double Cluster -  Looked beautiful.  I've seen it in all size scopes and I think it really looks best in a small scope like this.
 
Comet Lovejoy - Large coma easily visible (the comet is starting to be naked eye visible as a fuzzy patch from my yard) and some detection of a tail but it's possible my mind was playing tricks on me.  Others on CN though are reporting seeing the tail in binoculars though.   
 
M42/43 - very bright and the nearby NGC1981 jumped out at me and all in the same FOV 
 
I also did a quick scan of the milky way near Cass and it was a joy.  Lots of knotty clusters of pinpoint stars everywhere.
 
Optically the stars were very sharp out to the edge in the 24mm Pan and on the targets I was looking at including Rigel I noticed no false color.    One weird thing I thought I saw though was some extremely light "haze" in the bottom right of the FOV but I didn't get a chance to figure out if it was the atmosphere, fog on the lens or the eyepiece or what.   I'll have to do a deeper investigation of it tomorrow during the day to see if I can detect it again.  I didn't notice it anywhere but that one small location.    The wind was gusting up to 30mph so I didn't even try and do a star test.   
 
I hope to get the scope out again tomorrow night and do a more detailed run through as it's going to be a balmy 10 degrees and I should be able to view for longer then 10 minutes.   I want to try my 12mm Delos and my new 5.5mm Meade UWA as well on the moon and Comet lovejoy among other things.
 
All in all I'm really happy with this little scope.  It's so light it feels like I'm carrying around a clarinet!  For the price of $279 it was a great buy.   
 
I'll post some pictures and more observing reports after I get a longer time outside with it hopefully this weekend.
 
Mike



#43 mikee

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 08:05 AM

Thanks Ralph!

 

BTW I think I discovered the cause of the 'haze' I was seeing as well.     After doing some digging around here on CN I found that the 90 degree 1.25" Orion mirror diagonal that I bought for this scope and was using last night has a 25mm clear aperture due to an overly large step down ring to keep eyepieces/barlows from hitting the mirror and causes both vignetting (the 'haze' I mentioned) and the reflections I noticed.    I'm going to return it and buy the GSO 1.25" dilectric that has a 27.9mm clear aperture and won't cause vignetting with my 24 Panoptic which has a 27mm field stop.

 

Here's a link to the post on this.  William Optics diagonals have the same problem

http://www.cloudynig...recommendation/

 

I'll report back here after I get the new diagonal. 

 

Mike



#44 David E

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 11:11 AM

Just one question David E ,on this 'Mass produced ED doublet with a lense full of optical issues ' , What ? ,, how can you say this keeping a straight face ? ,,, c-mon man how dare you judge this scope or do you own one ??? I dont think so , bad form .
Brian.
 

 

Don't put words into my posts that aren't there. I am not making criticism of any particular type of refractor or any brands. I was simply stating my priorities when judging the optics of a refractor. I understand that some people don't like it, but chromatic aberration in an achromat, as long as it is well controlled, doesn't bother me all that much. CA in an achromat is not a defect, it's the nature of the animal. But astigmatism and misalignment are defects and that I am much less tolerant of, regardless of the refractor's design.

 

And yes, I do own several ED doublets.


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#45 mikee

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 12:22 PM

I agree completely with David.    I got drawn into the ED doublet world as it became the norm for small scopes and having owned a SV Nighthawk II achromat with single speed focuser as well (wish I had never sold it) I would take that over any of the 66-80 mass market ED scopes in a second including SV's ED doublets which I never found to be any better then any other mid level scopes.    Yes there was a tiny bit of CA on Jupiter, Venus and the limb of the moon with the NH II  but the views were overall sharper and IMHO better when used visually (the nighthawk never claimed to be good for astrophotography).   Personally I think SV dropped the ball by jumping into the off shore 66-80mm ED doublet market instead of continuing to make the Nighthawk here in the US.  Not because US is better made products mind you but because the Nighthawk filled a niche better then any other achromat in that form factor..  Again all of this IMHO.

 

Oddly enough this little Starblast, while quite a bit smaller and lighter, reminds me of the Nighthawk in terms of quality of build and view.  I've only had it out once so time will tell if it holds up on brighter objects like the moon and planets although at 62mm it's not much of a planetary scope. 



#46 mikegro

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 12:35 PM

An interesting comparison to this scope would be the SV60.  Two different philosophies and approaches to the small form factor refractor.  Extremely wide field ED scope (SV60) versus the 4-element longer length achromat (Starblast 62mm).  Both appear to be fairly high quality designs.  I love all of the baffles in the Starblast!  I think the amount of available info on this little scope has increased tenfold just due to this thread on Cloudy Nights.  I'm looking forward to hearing more observing reports from you owners out there.  I'm kind of surprised Orion didn't brand this as an "EON" scope.

 

I'm leaning towards the SV60 to use as a super-finder and almost 8 degree sweeper (granted using my 2" 38mm Q70) but this little Orion is intriguing for sure.

 

-Mike



#47 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 01:11 PM

 

I agree completely with David.    I got drawn into the ED doublet world as it became the norm for small scopes and having owned a SV Nighthawk II achromat with single speed focuser as well (wish I had never sold it) I would take that over any of the 66-80 mass market ED scopes in a second including SV's ED doublets which I never found to be any better then any other mid level scopes.

 

 

That has not been my experience.  My first high quality refractor was a TeleVue Pronto.  Though only 70mm, it was of the same legendary build quality as the rest of the TeleVue products, and arguably the best small, fast achromat ever made, both optically and mechanically.   But there is no getting around the fact that chromatic aberration did affect the contrast and sharpness of the image.. It was never more clear to me than the day I compared it with an ED-80 a friend had loaned me. I was viewing a seed cluster on a distant palm tree and  at 120x, the ED-80 was crisp and sharp, at 80x-90x, the  Pronto was mushy by comparison.  

 

The Pronto was eventually replaced by a William Optics 80mm Megrez II FD (not really Fluorite, FPL-53), and the sharpness and performance at high magnifications has been excellent.  Of course, as far as I know, StellarVue never sold an 80mm FPL-53 doublet, I don't quite know why, the William Optics scopes were probably from the same manufacturer and they had both the FPL-51 and FPL-53 doublets with the 53's being noticeably better.

 

The only problem with the 80mm WO is that at F/7, it's bigger than Pronto was.. These days, I am finding the AT-72ED to have sharp optics that are also color free in a compact package that is very reminiscent of the Pronto.  The other night I got a clean split on Eta Orionis, a 1.70 arc-second double, very close to the Dawes Limit of 1.61 arc-seconds.

 

It sounds like people are having fun with the 62mm Orion and are happy.  I would be interested to hear how it performs on tight doubles.  Eta Orionis is beyond the limit but Alnitak (Zeta Orionis) at 2.2 arc-seconds and magnitudes 1.8-4.0 would be a good challenge.  

 

YMMV

 

Jon



#48 caheaton

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 02:52 PM

That sounds like a good challenge, Jon.  I'm hoping to image the comet this weekend.  When I'm done I'll swing over to Alnitak and see how it performs.


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#49 David E

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 09:39 PM

That sounds like a good challenge, Jon.  I'm hoping to image the comet this weekend.  When I'm done I'll swing over to Alnitak and see how it performs.

I tried that tonight, but unfortunately my skies made Alnitak do a belly dance. :(  Now, you lose light really fast with a 62mm aperture. Anything above 100x really dims out. However, I think I found that with really steady skies this scope takes stupid high power better than I originally thought. 130x is not too much for my scope. And at 200x I think I was hampered more by the unsteady air than I was by the scope's loss of resolution. I could focus Alnitak between waves, but my sky never really steadied out enough to make a confirmed split. One thing I noticed about my factory sample vs. the Orion version. Although I like my gold tone focus knobs and drawtube, the graduated drawtube markings are a nice enhancement that Orion put on this scope. :waytogo:  



#50 David E

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 09:48 PM

 

 

I agree completely with David.    I got drawn into the ED doublet world as it became the norm for small scopes and having owned a SV Nighthawk II achromat with single speed focuser as well (wish I had never sold it) I would take that over any of the 66-80 mass market ED scopes in a second including SV's ED doublets which I never found to be any better then any other mid level scopes.

 

 

That has not been my experience.  My first high quality refractor was a TeleVue Pronto.  Though only 70mm, it was of the same legendary build quality as the rest of the TeleVue products, and arguably the best small, fast achromat ever made, both optically and mechanically.   But there is no getting around the fact that chromatic aberration did affect the contrast and sharpness of the image.. It was never more clear to me than the day I compared it with an ED-80 a friend had loaned me. I was viewing a seed cluster on a distant palm tree and  at 120x, the ED-80 was crisp and sharp, at 80x-90x, the  Pronto was mushy by comparison.  

 

The Pronto was eventually replaced by a William Optics 80mm Megrez II FD (not really Fluorite, FPL-53), and the sharpness and performance at high magnifications has been excellent.  Of course, as far as I know, StellarVue never sold an 80mm FPL-53 doublet, I don't quite know why, the William Optics scopes were probably from the same manufacturer and they had both the FPL-51 and FPL-53 doublets with the 53's being noticeably better.

 

The only problem with the 80mm WO is that at F/7, it's bigger than Pronto was.. These days, I am finding the AT-72ED to have sharp optics that are also color free in a compact package that is very reminiscent of the Pronto.  The other night I got a clean split on Eta Orionis, a 1.70 arc-second double, very close to the Dawes Limit of 1.61 arc-seconds.

 

It sounds like people are having fun with the 62mm Orion and are happy.  I would be interested to hear how it performs on tight doubles.  Eta Orionis is beyond the limit but Alnitak (Zeta Orionis) at 2.2 arc-seconds and magnitudes 1.8-4.0 would be a good challenge.  

 

YMMV

 

Jon

 

Jon, for some reason I see colors more vividly through achromats. Although I get my sharpest view of Jupiter through my 8" Dob, I get my most colorful through my Nighthawk. Same is true with star colors. I think you're right Stellarvue did not sell an 80mm apo doublet with FPL-53, but my SV85S doublet has a Russian OK4 element, almost there. The SV85S and SV85L were great scopes, and I think Vic might have marketed a doublet with FPL-53 but when he became a Televue dealer he quickly dropped all doublet apo's from his lineup, not wanting to compete directly with Televue's.




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