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Orion BT80 80mm Binocular Telescope???

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#1 Scott Beith

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 11:53 AM

I have read the comparrison review on these, but it didn't offer a lot of information as it was geared towards reviewing the Apogee's.
Does anyone own one of these? I would like some more information before I start seriously saving my pennies.
Are they a Vixen product, rebadged by Orion? Are the tubes well baffled? And can it handle the same magnifications that a regular 80mm f/11 achromat can handle?

Scott

#2 Scott Beith

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 12:10 PM

Please disregard my last post - with a little more searching I found the other reviews. Thank you.

Scott

#3 EdZ

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 02:00 PM

Scott,

The Orion BT80 lists for $869, but that's without the mount. the mount is another $549, without tripod. Add another $150-$200 for tripod. That's really a total of about $1600 for a full setup.

For that much you should also take a look at Oberwerk's FMC BT100. Comes complete with mount and specially modified surveyor's tripod for $1595.

Same type of non-rotating helical focuser, individual focus. Accepts any 1.25" eyepieces. Comes with two sets of WA eyepieces. It's FMC as opposed to Orion's MC. Very well baffled with coatings that rival Fujinon. BT100 has a shorter focal length. the BT100 is 620mm f6.2, the Orion BT80 is 900mm f11.2. The fov in the Orion will be much narrower, unless you get a good set of very long focal length eps. The Orion has 45° eyepiece viewing, a big plus. The BT100 is straight thru. But the BT100 is 100mm. Man, you should see what that view looks like.

I've had the BT100 at seven different magnifications from 26mm plossls = 24x, to 9mm orthos = 69x. One CN article author writes he has used them with barlows. I'm working on a set of 30mm Ultimas to get 21x with 2.5° fov and 4.8mm exit pupils. In the Orion BT80, a pair of 30mm Ultimas would only get you down to 30x with exit pupil of 2.67mm, very small exit pupil for a wide angle low power view. The two sets of WA eyepieces that come standard with the Oberwerk BT100 are 24.8mm = 25x 2.5°fov and 10mm = 62x 1°fov. Both sets are pretty good, I like the WA, but Teleview plossls see more stuff, especially my pair of TV20mm plossls. I think the 30mm Ultimas are going to be a good match.

The BT100 tripod is not very tall and the binocs weigh 26#. I haven't tried any other mounting setup (Danny has). So I've been doing all my viewing with them from a seated position. Yeh, I need to bend my neck, but that's no different than every other binocular I own.

Considering a Binocular Telescope? have a look at the Oberwerk BT100.

edz



#4 Scott Beith

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 06:49 PM

Thanks Ed,
I have been looking on the Oberwerk site for a while.
The other options I am considering are:

Oberwerk 22x100 binos
Oberwerk 20x90 binos

Either would be mounted on the Orion Fork Mount ($549.00).
Just checked in Orion's catalog - the Fork mount includes the tripod. The 20x90's are a full $100.00 less than the 22x100's. Does the performance jump by 10mm aperture/2x justify $100.00 for a person of limited means?

I have read good things about both bino's, and after reading all of the reviews I could find on the BW80, it is not in the running anymore.

Scott

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 07:54 PM

I don't think there would be very much difference between the views offered by the two. Even so, I prefere the 22x100mm, with these you cannot upgrade to a better pair without spending much more, so they should keep you satisfied. On the other hand, so would the 20x90mm for $100 less. Unless, if like me, you start thinking telescopes are useless when you have a good pair of binoculars available, then you might wish you had gotten the best you could for a reasonable price.

#6 Scott Beith

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 08:12 PM

I am a "Telescope" guy, with a mild intrest in Bino's. Definitely not the other way around. :)

Scott

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 08:17 PM

Then I think you'd be perfectly satisfied with the 20x90's and you can save yourself $100.. perhaps for a third pair of binoculars(15x70's).

#8 Scott Beith

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 08:41 PM

Daniel,
I like the way you think.
Astro Equipment is always "Good Stuff".

Scott

#9 jrcrilly

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 09:53 PM

Are they a Vixen product, rebadged by Orion?


I'd say yes; the Orion looks identical to my Vixen-labelled BT-80M. It was a winter purchase so I can't say anything about how mine works, though.

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 09:59 PM

I agree with Daniel. If you are only "mildly" interested in binocular astronomy I would then save the extra $100 with the 90mm purchase. I personally felt that the 22x100 obies offered the most bang for the buck and plus, like Daniel said, it seems that this sized aperture is right on the limit of where the price really starts to sky rocket. So given this, it was the best purchase for me.

#11 Scott Beith

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 10:12 PM

NightWatch,
Thanks for the advice. I think if I go with Giant Obie's, the 20x90's will be the choice.


John,
I am so envious of the VX120NA that you have, I never read further down on your list to see you had the BT80's. :lol:
I found out that they are the same. In fact, in the Orion catalog, if you look closely - you can see the little red "Vixen" sticker on the tube. You seem to be collecting all of my "I Wants"... :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:
What EP's do you plan to use with the BT80?

Scott

#12 jrcrilly

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 10:16 PM

What EP's do you plan to use with the BT80?

Scott


Hi, Scott.

I fooled around looking at the thermometer by my office door across the parking lot and decided the included EP's are way too narrow. I'll probably use my binoviewer pairs; 24mm Pans and 16mm T5 Naglers. Dunno why they decided to make the darn thing F/11 ???

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 10:20 PM

Dunno why they decided to make the darn thing F/11 ???

Probably to get away with smaller prisms. :mad:

#14 jrcrilly

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 10:29 PM

Dunno why they decided to make the darn thing F/11 ???

Probably to get away with smaller prisms. :mad:


Hi, Ken.

Yes, I suppose you're correct. The business of using a very fast doublet (ensuring maximum chromatic aberration) and slowing it down later is the exact opposite of my other two refractors, which use a slow doublet to control CA and speed it up later! If I must live with the CA I'd rather it stayed fast.

I've read the reviews and don't expect to fall in love with it, but I really wanted a 45 degree binoscope and tripped over this one. I suspect I'll like it well enough to keep it for a while.

#15 Scott Beith

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 10:35 PM

It does seem to be the opposite design theory of the VX120NA doesn't it?

Scott

#16 jrcrilly

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 10:38 PM

It does seem to be the opposite design theory of the VX120NA doesn't it?

Scott


Yup. You guys are making me lose my enthusiasm for it before I ever get it outside! I wonder if they'd kick me out if I have a little tailgate yard sale at NEAF?

#17 Scott Beith

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 10:49 PM

John,

What is it mounted on? Reviews weren't that bad. Don't lose hope yet - unless you want to sell it really cheap!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

If that is the case: "It is a horrible, Horrible, HORRIBLE piece of astro gear!!!" :roflmao:

But out of self sacrifice - I will "Save" you from it...

Scott

#18 Scott Beith

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 10:50 PM

And keep that VX120NA!!!!!!
It goes to me in your will... :lol:

Scott

#19 jrcrilly

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 10:54 PM

John,

What is it mounted on?


Hi, Scott.

It's on this homebrew fork mount that I tripped over at about the same time.

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#20 jrcrilly

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 10:56 PM

And keep that VX120NA!!!!!!
It goes to me in your will... :lol:

Scott


I just can't bring myself to put that one up for sale; don't see many of 'em. I don't mind letting stuff go if I know I can find another one later when I change my mind...

#21 Tom L

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 11:46 PM

(keep it John)

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Posted 08 March 2004 - 12:13 AM

To be fair, the fast objective keeps the size and weight down. I saw one at a shop and it's a lot more compact than I expected. It seems to me the niche for this product is quick grab-and-go backyard use. Under a light-polluted sky you probably want moderate to high power anyway.

#23 Scott Beith

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Posted 08 March 2004 - 11:32 AM

John,
That is a good looking setup.
If you report that it performs well, my finances may be in trouble...

Scott

#24 jrcrilly

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Posted 08 March 2004 - 11:36 AM

John,
That is a good looking setup.
If you report that it performs well, my finances may be in trouble...


Hi, Scott.

My observing schedule just took a step backward - went out the door this morning and was astonished to see several inches of snow on the ground! :flame:
I'll get 'em outside sooner or later. :foreheadslap:

#25 Scott Beith

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Posted 08 March 2004 - 05:04 PM

John,
That is what shovels are for... :grin:
Getting a little late for snow isn't it?
I know Tina wanted some.

Scott


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