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Short review of my Orion 120st f/5 scope

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#1 George Methvin

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 08:30 AM

Just a quick review of this scope after a few weeks of use, first let me say that the other reviews on this scope are mostly on the money. Frist this scope is well built and nice looking the optics are very nice and clean with good coatings. This make a very nice grab and go scope I use this scope on my Orion starseeker IV mount so its not a heavy setup at all. The optics on this scope are very good sharp image at both low and higher power, at f/5 I get very nice wide field views its a great scope for scanning the skies. Now I hear a lot about false colors in these scope and with this scope there is some false color but really not to bad and only on very bright objects, for me I just put a 2 inch no 8 yellow filter on and just leave it on the scope all the time and this clears up most of the false color on the brighter objects. This scopes take higher power just fine I have no problem using a 4mm eyepiece with this scope and the views of the Moon and planets are very sharp no CA around the Moon or Jupiter to be seen at all using the filter and when viewing Jupiter I could see several band on the planet and very sharp view of Saturn and its ring were to be seen. I really like this scope it so easy to use, this morning around 5 am I got up carried my scope out side for a quick look at the planets and after about 45 mins of viewing I carried the scope back in and went back to bed it was just that easy. I really like and enjoy using this scope its a fun scope for me and at my age very easy on my back. So there you have it so clear skies and stay safe.


Edited by George Methvin, 25 March 2020 - 08:36 AM.

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#2 eyeoftexas

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 09:20 AM

Sounds like the scope is perfect for you, which makes it the best scope.  Clear Skies to you.  Last night was the first clear ones we've had in central Texas in a long time.



#3 coopman

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 10:19 AM

Thanks George.



#4 aa6ww

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 10:58 AM

These seem to be excellent telescopes for the more experienced observers. People who have figured out that there is more out there then a few bright stars and 3 or 4 planets to observe.

These are excellent for observing large objects in the sky. Objects like the North America Nebula, double and triplet galaxy systems. Like the Leo triplets or M81 /M82 side by side. Objects like the owl nebula and M108 side by side. For observing Markarians chain also.

This is also an excellent binoviewer refractor since even when using a 2x Optical corrector, you are still only at 1200mm FL, so wide field views are still excellent.

...Ralph
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#5 bobhen

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 11:04 AM

Just a quick review of this scope after a few weeks of use, first let me say that the other reviews on this scope are mostly on the money. Frist this scope is well built and nice looking the optics are very nice and clean with good coatings. This make a very nice grab and go scope I use this scope on my Orion starseeker IV mount so its not a heavy setup at all. The optics on this scope are very good sharp image at both low and higher power, at f/5 I get very nice wide field views its a great scope for scanning the skies. Now I hear a lot about false colors in these scope and with this scope there is some false color but really not to bad and only on very bright objects, for me I just put a 2 inch no 8 yellow filter on and just leave it on the scope all the time and this clears up most of the false color on the brighter objects. This scopes take higher power just fine I have no problem using a 4mm eyepiece with this scope and the views of the Moon and planets are very sharp no CA around the Moon or Jupiter to be seen at all using the filter and when viewing Jupiter I could see several band on the planet and very sharp view of Saturn and its ring were to be seen. I really like this scope it so easy to use, this morning around 5 am I got up carried my scope out side for a quick look at the planets and after about 45 mins of viewing I carried the scope back in and went back to bed it was just that easy. I really like and enjoy using this scope its a fun scope for me and at my age very easy on my back. So there you have it so clear skies and stay safe.

Had one years ago and really liked the scope, as most owners do. I have owned the 120’s baby brother, the 102mm F5, for 16 years.

 

Just one quibble with your review, with a 120mm refractor, 150x is not high power.

 

Bob


Edited by bobhen, 25 March 2020 - 11:04 AM.


#6 George Methvin

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 11:06 AM

Yea the skies were very clear last night I  had the 120mm out for a few hours last night put some music on got a cup of coffee and took a tour of the night skies, a very nice evening indeed. Tonight I plan to do the same I may even haul out my C-8 just for the fun of it.



#7 George Methvin

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 11:12 AM

Yea you are right Bob about 150x not being high power that's why I am going to dust off my 2x barlow and see how far I can push this scope might be fun, even though I am happy with the amount of detail I can see at 150x. If I really want to go with higher power I will get out my C-8.


Edited by George Methvin, 25 March 2020 - 11:15 AM.


#8 vdog

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 11:41 AM

This is also an excellent binoviewer refractor since even when using a 2x Optical corrector, you are still only at 1200mm FL, so wide field views are still excellent.

Good to know.  I wouldn't mind something I could use still use as a sweeper even when in bino mode, and these come up pretty often in the classifieds.



#9 George Methvin

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 04:59 PM

Yes they do come up quite often in the classified but then you read about folks that sell there's only to regret it then buy another, some several times lol. I did something like that many years ago sold my C-8 and soon realized that was a mistaken and quickly bought another.  I had a very nice 120mm ed scope years ago it had very nice optic cost me $2000 ota only and had it for many years but just did not use it that much because it was heavy and had to ride on my Meade LXD 75 mount which is not light weight, it was too nice of scope not to be used so I sold it and have never had any regrets. This scope is lighter and shorter and rides on a much lighter mount and shows DSO about the same as the 120mm ed scope plus the views of the Moon and planets are not really that much behind the 120 ed scope but at a fraction of the cost. The scope and tube rings and other odds and ends plus the mount cost around $650 dollars for the whole rig so not a bad a deal at all.  Its clear skies here tonight so I will be out with the 120st and a cup of coffee for some more viewing, tonight I view M81 and M82 and of course M42. Clear skies to all.


Edited by George Methvin, 25 March 2020 - 05:55 PM.

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#10 vkhastro1

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 06:15 PM

Thoroughly enjoying my Orion 120 f/5 OTA for a grab and go with my Stellarvue M2C mount/tripod extension and Oberwerk heavy duty wood tripod.

 

The original rack and pinion focuser was OK for low to mid power observing.

The original “Chinese gooey” grease was gelling in my -10° C and colder temperatures. I removed the sticky grease with acetone and replaced with white lithium low temperature grease. It was a nice improvement, however still not to my liking.

 

I just updated the original 2” rack and pinion focuser.

Replaced it with a “used” ( basically brand new ) Skywatcher 120ED dual speed 2” Crayford focuser. Replaced the 2” end adapter with 2 metal set screws (I still have no idea Skywatcher has not changed to a compression ring design) with a Scopestuff 2” compression ring adapter with 2 set screws. This “new to me” 2” Crayford is buttery smooth in both coarse and fine focusing. It is easily as good as my GSO 2” Crayford (non linear bearing). It really transformed the 120 f/5 OTA.

 

Recently had a decent early evening observing session before the clouds rolled in. It really a wierd Clear Sky Clock combination - Transparency 4/5 and seeing of 1/5. I tried several 2” and 1.25” eyepiece combinations. Maximium acceptable power was with a 7mm DeLite (86X) - the poor “seeing” conditions was really evident. The APM 2” 30mm was excellent for widefield low power viewing.



#11 ItsMeTony

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 02:56 PM

I picked up one of these scopes a short time back and absolutely love it. The wide sweeping views of space are always an incredible sight for these old eyes.

I too, use a #2 yellow filter to cut down on some of the CA.  I have bought and sold a lot of scopes in my life but this one is definitely a keeper.  It's too much fun smile.gif

 

 

Clear Skies,

Tony

 

 

120st.jpg


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#12 stevew

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 03:06 PM

I  It's too much fun smile.gif

 

 

Clear Skies,

Tony

 

 

attachicon.gif120st.jpg

If you enjoy using it, and are having fun with it, that's all that counts...waytogo.gif


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#13 George Methvin

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 10:46 PM

Yea I also am enjoying my scope a lot I find that this scope is really made for those low power rich field views and it does that very well but when need be can show some nice detail on the Moon and brighter planets. I just keep the # 8 yellow filter on my scope all the time it gets rid of most of the CA and seem to sharpen the images some what especially on the moon at higher powers, the highest power I use the most is a Meade 5.5 UWA I could go higher but rarely do because thats not what this scope is made for, I have other scopes if I want higher power views of the Moon and planets. Its a fun scope to use, easy to set up and easy to carry back into the house when done viewing oh did I mention the scope looks good to. Clear Skies to everyone, stay safe and be kind to others and be careful its a jungle out there so keep your love ones close but keep your toilet paper closer LOL.


Edited by George Methvin, 30 March 2020 - 08:16 AM.

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#14 jcj380

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 01:10 PM

Love mine.  I don't care much for the stock R&P focuser compared to a Crayford, but that's easy to replace when I get around to it.



#15 George Methvin

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 01:36 PM

My stock focuser has been replaced with a GSO crayford and it works nicely..


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#16 Jetfuel

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 07:52 PM

I love mine as well. I have it on an EQ3. I bought mine as a demo without a dust cap.  I bought a Lens Coat cover for it.  I found these basic craft containers and the lids fit perfectly snug.  One I cut with a 60mm (f10) hole and the other 80mm (f7.5) to tackle CA on occasion.  I've added a 495LP for insurance.20200330_183553.jpg 20200330_183613.jpg


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#17 turtle86

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 09:06 PM

These seem to be excellent telescopes for the more experienced observers. People who have figured out that there is more out there then a few bright stars and 3 or 4 planets to observe.

These are excellent for observing large objects in the sky. Objects like the North America Nebula, double and triplet galaxy systems. Like the Leo triplets or M81 /M82 side by side. Objects like the owl nebula and M108 side by side. For observing Markarians chain also.

This is also an excellent binoviewer refractor since even when using a 2x Optical corrector, you are still only at 1200mm FL, so wide field views are still excellent.

...Ralph

 

+1 Just saw M81 and M82 the other night in mine. I often use mine with a filter and a 27 or 35mm Pan to view large objects like the Veil, Lagoon, Rosette, and North America Nebulas.  And without a filter, the Andromeda Galaxy is a spectacular sight, especially from a dark site.  I’ve spend many happy nights using mine to pan the Summer Milky Way.  


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#18 contrailmaker

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 11:01 PM

I had one for a few years after owning the 100mm version and it was one of the most fun scopes I’ve ever owned. Wonderful views of M31 and the Orion Nebula. It got me hooked on rich field observing when I lived on a location with very dark skies. Only sold it because I got the binoviewer bug and the only way to replicate what the ST120 could do with two eyes was with large binoculars. So that’s what I did. The lucky guy that bought it from me sent many messages saying how much he was enjoying the scope. Hope you do as well.

CM



#19 George Methvin

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 08:00 AM

I am finding now at the age of 68 that I a getting away from viewing through larger scopes been there done that I am tried of messing around with goto and power cords and heavy mounts. I really enjoy just being able to just pick up the ST120 scope mount and all and carrying it out side to the back yard and start viewing, no polar alignment no two star setup just simple set the scope in place pull up a chair and start enjoying the night skies its really not rocket science if it were I would not be in this hobby. I have four main scopes as of now a Orion 14inch goto which has not been used for over a year and may soon find a new home this summer plus my C-8 but its getting use less and less as of now my C-6 and 120St are my most used scopes and the ones I enjoy the most both light weight and easy to use. So I have a choice I can use my ST120mm for those nice wide field views and my C-6 when I need that little extra power all in all a great combo, wow think I have had too much coffee lol. Clear skies


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#20 Jeff B

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 08:37 AM

Ah, the humble, easy to use, effective but often maligned, misunderstood, and outright dismissed fast achromat.

 

How could there be any love for this scope?

 

Well, it seems there is plenty of love.  The 120 F5 has been in Orion's catalog for a looooooong time, decades actually.

 

That speaks volumes to me.

 

Jeff


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#21 ItsMeTony

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 08:49 AM

Love mine.  I don't care much for the stock R&P focuser compared to a Crayford, but that's easy to replace when I get around to it.

I picked up the GSO 2 speed focuser for it. It is much smoother than the stock focuser.  The more I used the scope the more I realized a better quality focuser was needed 

 

Tony


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#22 George Methvin

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 09:48 AM

Yes the fast achromat really I mean in this day and age how could anyone be happy with this scope yet alone be seen using one but this scope just want go away lol.  I mean if its not a ED scope or a fully blow 120mm APO costing thousands of dollars that's not included the mount then you are just a embarrassment to the hobby and you should just pack up your scope and go home, just joking LOL.  I believe the total cost of a Orion120st new plus tube rings and mounting bar can be had around $290.00 or so and if you upgrade the focuser that's another $150 so let say around $440.00 if all is bought new I got lucky and got mine from a fellow CN used with everything including the GSO focuser for $310 in like brand new conduction so good deals are to be found.  Yes the GSO 2 speed focuser is a nice upgrade for this scope and works well when using my heavy 2 inch eyepieces and yes this scope is a fast achromat and does show a little CA at higher powers but for the price and other benefits it offers I am happy with it.


Edited by George Methvin, 31 March 2020 - 09:57 AM.

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#23 Glass Man

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 10:01 AM

Hi George, I’m so happy you’re enjoying it! And since you are, could you send me some TP? lol.gif

Best regards and CS! Karl



#24 George Methvin

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 01:55 PM

LOL Karl you got it man let me go down to the vault and grab a few rolls hope I remember the password and then there's that dam retina scan lol  . Yes I am enjoying the scope very much thank you again.


Edited by George Methvin, 31 March 2020 - 01:56 PM.


#25 jcj380

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Posted 02 April 2020 - 08:44 AM

Border Patrol just found 500 rolls of toilet paper hidden in cocaine.


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