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Comments on Orion's new ED-X2 refractors?

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#51 Mr. Mike

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 05:14 AM

Waaayyyy overpriced. Orion doesn't make anything, they import only. For my $3k I'd wait, save up another grand, and watch the used market for a premium scope (Tak for example).

 

Dustin

Even though I’m a fan of the quality import scopes there IS a price ceiling that they have to stay under to remain a viable  choice and $3500 bucks for a 4” scope is NOT cutting it.  For that much you can have a larger refractor from ES, SkyWatcher, Stellarvue and others that will be just as good optically.  Or, as you called out, just hit the classifieds for a high end used scope or ante up a few more bucks and get a TAK.  



#52 gustavo_sanchez

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 07:50 AM

Even though I’m a fan of the quality import scopes there IS a price ceiling that they have to stay under to remain a viable choice and $3500 bucks for a 4” scope is NOT cutting it. For that much you can have a larger refractor from ES, SkyWatcher, Stellarvue and others that will be just as good optically. Or, as you called out, just hit the classifieds for a high end used scope or ante up a few more bucks and get a TAK.

Do you know that the 104 costs under $2200 now right?

Orion EON 104mm ED-X2 f/6.25 Triplet Apo Refractor Telescope https://www.amazon.c...i_XfAXCbWZAMX6G

Edited by gustavo_sanchez, 28 April 2019 - 07:51 AM.


#53 mrsjeff

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 08:24 AM

Do you know that the 104 costs under $2200 now right?

Orion EON 104mm ED-X2 f/6.25 Triplet Apo Refractor Telescope https://www.amazon.c...i_XfAXCbWZAMX6G

And yet, if I had that amount of money to spend on a ~100mm refractor, I would go for one of the Tak FC-100 telescopes. [Maybe someday...]



#54 gustavo_sanchez

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 08:32 AM

And yet, if I had that amount of money to spend on a ~100mm refractor, I would go for one of the Tak FC-100 telescopes. [Maybe someday...]

I guess that's valid, but the same can be said of other very nice 4" triplets in that price range, such the WO GT102, the Esprit 100, the APM 107, and the SV 102T Raptor... And no one seems to be bashing those scopes compared to the Taks (the doublets you are referring to). They seem very good value for what they are, fast imaging apo triplets (like the Orion). Seems like the initial too high price of this line has given them "eternal" bad blood with users.

Edited by gustavo_sanchez, 28 April 2019 - 08:34 AM.


#55 mrsjeff

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 10:00 AM

I guess that's valid, but the same can be said of other very nice 4" triplets in that price range, such the WO GT102, the Esprit 100, the APM 107, and the SV 102T Raptor... And no one seems to be bashing those scopes compared to the Taks (the doublets you are referring to). They seem very good value for what they are, fast imaging apo triplets (like the Orion). Seems like the initial too high price of this line has given them "eternal" bad blood with users.

I cannot speak to what others think, and I certainly do not feel any animosity toward the Orion, but if I had the money to spend on any of these scopes, my preference would be to get the Tak. My apologies if my comment was taken as "piling on" these Orion scopes. 



#56 gustavo_sanchez

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 10:16 AM

I cannot speak to what others think, and I certainly do not feel any animosity toward the Orion, but if I had the money to spend on any of these scopes, my preference would be to get the Tak. My apologies if my comment was taken as "piling on" these Orion scopes.

Sorry if my comment seemed directed at you specifically, not at all. It was more like the perception that I have that other scopes like the examples I gave you previously doesn't get that same amount of unfavorable comparisons to Taks; on the contrary, they seem to have good qualities users want. Those qualities are the ones usually discussed.

Maybe the Orions (Long Perngs) have some issues I'm not aware of, or maybe the bad first impression due to their initial outrageous pricing doomed them. But almost every post I see about them is how expensive they are compared to a Tak (Even after becoming aware of the price reduction).

Edited by gustavo_sanchez, 28 April 2019 - 11:12 AM.


#57 HydrogenAlpha

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 10:54 AM

I guess that's valid, but the same can be said of other very nice 4" triplets in that price range, such the WO GT102, the Esprit 100, the APM 107, and the SV 102T Raptor... And no one seems to be bashing those scopes compared to the Taks (the doublets you are referring to). They seem very good value for what they are, fast imaging apo triplets (like the Orion). Seems like the initial too high price of this line has given them "eternal" bad blood with users.

Agreed. I'm assuming that most people who are in the market for one of these are imagers, and there isn't really a comparable tak out there at this price/aperture range. The closest I can think of is the TSA102, which is considerably slower at f/8. 

 

I guess the question is whether having 2 ED elements is justified, or if it is just marketing. The images from the esprits and APMs seem absolutely colour-free to me, and given that there are very few image samples from the ED-X2 online, many people might simply pick the safer option of going for the tried and tested tubes. 


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#58 Mr. Mike

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 11:01 AM

Do you know that the 104 costs under $2200 now right?

Orion EON 104mm ED-X2 f/6.25 Triplet Apo Refractor Telescope https://www.amazon.c...i_XfAXCbWZAMX6G

I didn’t.... I was going by the prices shown in a few posts above mine.  Sorry if I messed that up.  Either way,  I still feel that’s a lot for that scope.  The market will determine if its a good buy or not, right? If they sell well then so be it! 



#59 gustavo_sanchez

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 02:51 PM

I didn’t.... I was going by the prices shown in a few posts above mine. Sorry if I messed that up. Either way, I still feel that’s a lot for that scope. The market will determine if its a good buy or not, right? If they sell well then so be it!

What do think would be a fair price for this scope?

#60 Mr. Mike

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 06:32 PM

What do think would be a fair price for this scope?

I dont know.  I just go by what else is out there for the same/similar cost and determine value that way.  I cant possibly answer that.  Im just saying that I personally wouldnt pay $2200+ bucks for it.  It also seems to be geared towards photography whish I have zero interest in so thats another factor. 



#61 TNmike

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 11:44 AM

Anyone have one of these ED-X2 scopes, especially the 85mm? Apparently they have brought the prices down considerably. Would like to hear how they do. Thanks


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#62 gnowellsct

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 03:46 PM

While I love my Orion products, I'd never associate Orion as a premium brand. For that sort of money, I think a Tak would be more inline at that point. Nothing against Orion at all, I just feel that sort of money for a scope of that size is crazy. The next question I'd ask is if they've actually sold many? They do look nice with the black/red combo, but I can't help but see a resemblance to other scopes such as the new Astro-Techs for quite a lot less.

Maybe not too crazy.  CFF 105s sell in this price range.   I'm just not sure Orion and its mainland vendor would be designing and manufacturing to the same standard.  

 

Greg N



#63 gustavo_sanchez

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 04:29 PM

Anyone have one of these ED-X2 scopes, especially the 85mm? Apparently they have brought the prices down considerably. Would like to hear how they do. Thanks

I've got the 85mm. It's a very nice performer. The focused is very sturdy and uses some sort of "roto-lock" features to hold eyepieces/diagonals/cameras, instead of the usual screws. I like mine a lot. No color (CA) at all in any objects whatsoever. Its black and red accents match well with ZWO cameras lol. I use it with both the Orion flattener and the 0.8x reducer/flattener.

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#64 TNmike

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 10:10 AM

Thanks gustavo. Did you have any other scopes to compare it to? It sounds like a solid scope and pretty much in line price wise with other offerings.

 

Also, have you used it visually? I wouldn't be doing AP.


Edited by TNmike, 15 September 2020 - 10:18 AM.


#65 gustavo_sanchez

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 12:16 PM

Thanks gustavo. Did you have any other scopes to compare it to? It sounds like a solid scope and pretty much in line price wise with other offerings.

Also, have you used it visually? I wouldn't be doing AP.

I don't use it much for visual, but those times I actually used it, it was very clear with very sharp images of the moon. I have also used it for spectroscopy, and I didn't observe any widening of the spectrum towards the UV (blue) region, so CA is very controlled. I also have a SV 90mm fluorite triplet, and had an Orion 80 CF triplet and WO GT81 triplet in the past. The EON compares very well with the latter two, and the mechanics are much better than the CF, more like the new WO focusers, but not as heavy as the GT81 (that was my impression).

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#66 daquad

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 10:35 AM

Even though I’m a fan of the quality import scopes there IS a price ceiling that they have to stay under to remain a viable  choice and $3500 bucks for a 4” scope is NOT cutting it.  For that much you can have a larger refractor from ES, SkyWatcher, Stellarvue and others that will be just as good optically.  Or, as you called out, just hit the classifieds for a high end used scope or ante up a few more bucks and get a TAK.  

Yeah Mike, not even for a few more bucks.  The TAK FC-100DZ is $2850.  You can probably get away with about $3500 after you add the finder/bracket and rings.

 

Dom Q.


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#67 SeattleScott

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 11:03 AM

Thanks gustavo. Did you have any other scopes to compare it to? It sounds like a solid scope and pretty much in line price wise with other offerings.

Also, have you used it visually? I wouldn't be doing AP.

The X2 is overkill for visual. You don’t need two ED lenses just for visual. Save some money and buy a Vixen. The price drop does put it lower than a TV85 at least. With the X2 you are paying for a second ED lens that you don’t need. With the TV or a Tak you are paying for premium quality and name brand reputation. Maybe the X2 is as sharp as a TV85? Maybe not. Certainly with the Vixen you are getting fantastic optics at a much lower price. Focuser might not be as good as X2 but works well for visual.

Ultimately you have a certain amount of money to spend. Say $2000 it would appear. A Vixen, TV or Tak doublet will give near perfect CA correction for visual use with two lenses, one ED. The X2 has three lenses, two ED. Clearly designed for maximum CA control for imagers. So do you want to spend your money on CA overkill or premium quality optics? If the X2 is offering two ED lenses at that price, they don’t have as much left over to spend on quality figure and polish.

Ok now the argument for the X2. By getting CA overkill you get a faster F ratio and potentially wider views. Also, if you assume that the current price is a reflection of poor sales and trying to liquidate some inventory rather than the true cost of manufacturing, the X2 could be similar optical quality as Tak, TV or Vixen. But no way to know for sure.

Ok this is nitpicking but look at that picture of the X2 in the case. To fit it in the case you have to remove the dovetail bar, slide the rings together and slide the dew shield down. Not exactly grab and go! Now when you are spending an hour setting up everything for a long exposure AP session maybe that doesn’t seem like a big deal. But a major hassle if you just want to quickly pull a scope out for a quick look. That being said you can always toss the case and get a padded bag instead, but now you are paying for something else you don’t need.

Scott

Edited by SeattleScott, 16 September 2020 - 11:42 AM.


#68 daquad

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 12:30 PM

Maybe everyone already knows this, but I'll say it anyway.  Both the Orion 104 and 85 X2's are the same scopes offered by First Light Optics of the UK under the name, Stellamira.  I

 

I was considering the 80 mm f/10 for visual, but as SeattleScott points out for the 104 and 85, two ED glasses are not needed for visual. And in the case of the 80 mm f/10 doublet, FPL53 is overkill for this focal ratio and aperture, driving the price up unnecessarily.  The fit and finish, however, for all of the scopes in this line appear to be excellent.  Despite the price, I'm still considering the 80 mm f/10.

Dom Q.


Edited by daquad, 16 September 2020 - 12:37 PM.

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#69 Mr. Mike

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 12:46 PM

Yeah Mike, not even for a few more bucks.  The TAK FC-100DZ is $2850.  You can probably get away with about $3500 after you add the finder/bracket and rings.

 

Dom Q.

Oh?  Well if the cost is the same "out the door" then that complicates it a bit.  Its still a triplet vs a doublet so for absolute color correction the triplet should edge it out.  But still.  Hard NOT to go for the TAK.  I get it. ;)


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#70 SeattleScott

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 01:12 PM

The difference is the 104 X2 is now being offered for $2400, much less than the Tak out the door. Still pricey but cheaper than Tak when you add accessories.

Scott
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#71 gustavo_sanchez

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 01:15 PM

I would say that for visual, yeah, it may be a bit overkill, but if then a more expensive Tak doublet is not overkill? I would say that the 104 is somewhat in line with the current WO offerings of a similar size, so it seems a fair price to me. I just think it's a good scope, but if "import" or "brand name" is being considered, then yeah, that could factor in your decision.

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#72 gustavo_sanchez

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 01:16 PM

The difference is the 104 X2 is now being offered for $2400, much less than the Tak out the door. Still pricey but cheaper than Tak when you add accessories.

Scott

I agree. I think people is no realizing this is an old thread and got stuck with the old prices.

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#73 SeattleScott

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 03:11 PM

I would say that for visual, yeah, it may be a bit overkill, but if then a more expensive Tak doublet is not overkill? I would say that the 104 is somewhat in line with the current WO offerings of a similar size, so it seems a fair price to me. I just think it's a good scope, but if "import" or "brand name" is being considered, then yeah, that could factor in your decision.

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I was referring to overkill as paying for something you aren’t using or taking advantage of. Like buying a Land Rover to commute downtown. There is no real advantage of dual ED for visual use, other than maybe to go a little faster and wider (and then deal with the resulting FC). There is an advantage in premium figured glass from a top brand for visual. That being said maybe the quality of these is similar to top brands, based on the old price. We just don’t know because at the old prices few people bought these so there aren’t many reviews or comparisons to top brands. If the optical quality is comparable to top brands, the price is now right to make it a consideration even for visual. But that’s a big if.

And of course for visual use one might not want such a fast refractor, and the associated FC. Vixen was no dummy when they settled on F7.7.

To put it another way you can get a 4” FPL53/La doublet from China with good if not excellent optics for $1100 or so. About half the price. Neither one is a name brand. Or you can get a Vixen SD103S for $1700. Still a considerable discount and the Vixen is known for outstanding optics. The X2 is probably better mechanically but the Vixen is far from deficient in that regard. A 100mm Tak would cost about the same except you would still need accessories, which could be expensive if you go Tak. So with the X2 you are basically paying name brand price but not getting a name brand. Instead you are getting dual ED, which might be a good trade off for AP. But for visual I wouldn’t trade my Vixen 103 for this thing. I’m confident it won’t outperform my Vixen visually. And if I were a betting man I would bet on the Vixen. For AP the X2 would likely be better.

So if a name brand isn’t important, there are much cheaper alternatives. If one is willing to pay name brand price, why not get a name brand?

Scott

Edited by SeattleScott, 16 September 2020 - 03:38 PM.

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#74 TNmike

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 06:40 PM

Thanks to everyone for the replies. It does appear Orion's opening prices scared everyone away, and though now the prices seem to be fairly in line with comparable offerings hardly no one is coming back to look. I also detect there is not a lot of love for Orion, maybe a lot of it is justified. Nevertheless I thought the ED-X2 scopes were interesting and worth looking into. Gustavo is well pleased with his 85mm. I was hoping there would be more who had bought one and could share their evaluations, but it was not to be.


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#75 SeattleScott

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 07:01 PM

Just to be clear, at current price they should be attractive to imagers. But for visual I personally would go with a Vixen or similar instead of the relatively unknown X2. The X2 looks like a very reasonable value but they really are aimed at imagers.

Scott
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