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Ed Ting's Orion 120 Review

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#101 Mitrovarr

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Posted 04 September 2020 - 03:23 PM

I think it is because people compare across apertures, even when it doesn't make sense due to cost or size. Like, does the ST120 do as well as a 5" doublet apo? No! Obviously not. But does it do reasonably well for a $240 telescope? Yes. I mean, it's not perfect, I'm sure a 6" dob would beat it, but it's your only telescope you will still be able to do some planetary work.
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#102 zirkel 2

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Posted 05 September 2020 - 03:50 AM

I would have liked his take on a visual filter for suppressing chromatic aberration in a fast scope such as the one being reviewed

 

I tried on my Bresser AR102 / 1000 achromat with a Celestron neutral variable polarizing filter, finally using only one of the two filters on Jupiter ...
... surprising result , disappearance of the little CA present without the filter (F / 10), in particular in the blue while preserving the details and the contrast.
With just one of the two filters, little light is lost, which on Jupiter is uncomfortable.
Sometimes the tests bring good surprises.


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#103 RLK1

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 12:55 PM

I happened upon this mini review on youtube that some may find interesting:

https://www.youtube....h?v=f6gMnGPwbY4


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#104 LDW47

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 01:11 PM

I happened upon this mini review on youtube that some may find interesting:

https://www.youtube....h?v=f6gMnGPwbY4

Couldn’t be more correct ! Take it for what it is and enjoy its great views, thats all that counts for that absurdly low price.


Edited by LDW47, 07 September 2020 - 01:12 PM.


#105 bobhen

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 01:52 PM

Had the Orion 120 F5 about 11 years ago and really liked the scope, as most people do. I sold mine because I also had (and still have) a 102mm F5 achromat as well and decided the portability of the smaller 102mm just met my needs better.

 

There are more than a few threads about the 120 F5 here on CN and most posts agree with Ed’s conclusion.

 

Ed’s reviews are informative and entertaining. And when researching an astronomy purchase, any buyer should consider Ed’s reviews with confidence and they should be included along with other reviews in order to build-up a consensus of opinion about a scope or product.

 

Ed’s also a fine live speaker.

 

I’ve enjoyed reading his reviews since the beginning and hope he keeps on keeping on. Great to see him doing the YouTube thing.

 

Bob


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#106 Heywood

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 02:44 PM

Shockingly, the $3000+ telescope performs better than the ~$240 telescope.


LOL

#107 johrich

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 03:17 PM

Just to add to the fray, back in January, 2018 when I had only been doing AP for about a year, I took the attached image of M31 with my Orion 120ST and an unmodified Canon SL1.  It is a stack of 26 subs, each 10 seconds.  I probably was using my old Starseeker IV Alt AZ mount, which I have since sold. I think I only calibrated it with darks.   I still have the 120ST and it is upgraded with a crayford focuser, though I have other ED refractors I now use for AP.  The CA is pretty evident, but if you overlook that, it wasn't too bad for only about 4 minutes of exposures.

 

johrich

Attached Thumbnails

  • 01132018 M31 120ST SL1 26L 10Sec small.jpg

Edited by johrich, 07 September 2020 - 03:43 PM.

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#108 Mitrovarr

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 04:14 PM

I bet a minus-violet filter would help a lot for AP.

#109 LDW47

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 06:08 PM

Just to add to the fray, back in January, 2018 when I had only been doing AP for about a year, I took the attached image of M31 with my Orion 120ST and an unmodified Canon SL1.  It is a stack of 26 subs, each 10 seconds.  I probably was using my old Starseeker IV Alt AZ mount, which I have since sold. I think I only calibrated it with darks.   I still have the 120ST and it is upgraded with a crayford focuser, though I have other ED refractors I now use for AP.  The CA is pretty evident, but if you overlook that, it wasn't too bad for only about 4 minutes of exposures.

 

johrich

Probably a bit more editing would have fixed it up even more but as is it speaks well for your skills at the time and for the scope that many, many non perfectionists love !


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#110 Jeff B

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 06:53 PM

Just to add to the fray, back in January, 2018 when I had only been doing AP for about a year, I took the attached image of M31 with my Orion 120ST and an unmodified Canon SL1.  It is a stack of 26 subs, each 10 seconds.  I probably was using my old Starseeker IV Alt AZ mount, which I have since sold. I think I only calibrated it with darks.   I still have the 120ST and it is upgraded with a crayford focuser, though I have other ED refractors I now use for AP.  The CA is pretty evident, but if you overlook that, it wasn't too bad for only about 4 minutes of exposures.

 

johrich

Actually, I think the intense blue stars are rather pretty.  But I also really like that intense core ball surrounded by those ghostly dust lanes.

 

Well done!

 

Jeff


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#111 turtle86

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Posted 08 September 2020 - 08:20 PM

Just to add to the fray, back in January, 2018 when I had only been doing AP for about a year, I took the attached image of M31 with my Orion 120ST and an unmodified Canon SL1.  It is a stack of 26 subs, each 10 seconds.  I probably was using my old Starseeker IV Alt AZ mount, which I have since sold. I think I only calibrated it with darks.   I still have the 120ST and it is upgraded with a crayford focuser, though I have other ED refractors I now use for AP.  The CA is pretty evident, but if you overlook that, it wasn't too bad for only about 4 minutes of exposures.

 

johrich

 

Not bad at all!  I never really considered trying any imaging with mine, but after seeing images like yours and Ed Ting’s, I just might give it a whirl.  


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#112 Tyson M

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 10:09 PM

Ed Ting's website is a wealth of info.  I have enjoyed going over and reading about various premium scopes he has observed through and compared against others. 

 

Count me in a subscribed. 


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#113 aa6ww

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Posted 10 September 2020 - 11:55 AM

Its good to see Ed Ting active again.  

 

...Ralph


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#114 Cpk133

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Posted 10 September 2020 - 12:41 PM

Where is Ed Ting?



#115 Jeff B

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Posted 10 September 2020 - 02:46 PM

Where is Ed Ting?

He's next to Waldo.


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#116 helpwanted

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Posted 10 September 2020 - 10:17 PM

I had one of those ST90s he talks about in the beginning, wish I still had it, it seems rare!  Yes, st90 ninety!!!! 


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#117 Mitrovarr

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Posted 10 September 2020 - 10:26 PM

There's some model of 90mm Chinese-made achro you see online on Ebay, etc. under names like Aquila. That's probably a good substitute if you want something similar. A lot of them even come with the standard inexpensive but decent double speed crayford that you'd probably want to upgrade your ST80 to if you used it for long. Naturally, they cost a bit more.


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#118 jcj380

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 07:44 AM

I had one of those ST90s he talks about in the beginning, wish I still had it, it seems rare!  Yes, st90 ninety!!!! 

Omegon sells an ST90.


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#119 thesubwaypusher

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 06:40 PM

I like his reviews a lot, he's great! waytogo.gif


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#120 Echolight

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 08:59 AM

Just out of curiosity, doesn't this start to defeat the main pro of this scope?  That it is very good for the cost?  If you have to start adding things on, why not just get something better to begin with?  It's been mentioned a couple of times that someone added a better focuser for $150–200.  That is getting on par with the cost of the scope.  Again, just curious about where to draw the line on add-ons.

What's the next step up in a similar 5 inch scope with a better focuser for $4-500? A FOUR inch F7 ED for $600 that weighs 4 pounds more and needs a bigger mount usually?

 

And you don't have to change the focuser. You can still get the scope and rings for $300 and use it as is, which is what most do.


Edited by Echolight, 15 September 2020 - 09:03 AM.

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#121 Echolight

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 09:55 AM

I found it a fun review but think he is getting kinder and gentler as he ages. He has been really very critical of some of the cheaper scopes he has reviewed. The Celestron 6" refractor comes to mind.

 

I am glad he has found new pastures...thanks for sharing RLK1

I've seen this stated before about his review of the CR150 aka C6R.

https://www.scoperev...m/page1i.html#3

 

Usually you'll see excerpts from middle of these quotes. I have bolded the part that usually gets left out,

 

"We had the scope out next to an Astro-Physics Star 12ED, a 120 mm f/8.5 

apochromat.  The cheap Celestron made out far better than either of us expected.  Once you get past the false color, the images are razor sharp, and the generous aperture allows you to resolve 

some incredible detail on the planets.  On a dimmer target like Saturn, the brighter images in the CR150 actually made detail like the C ring, as
well as detail in the rings themselves, stand out better.  It was also

easier to count Saturn's moons in the Celestron." 

 

"The first, obviously, is in the CR150's false color, which I think becomes intrusive
around 175X-200X around brighter objects.  The entire FOV in the eyepiece is purple-
colored when looking at Jupiter at 253X.  However, if you can look past this, the scope
will show you a lot of detail.  Seeing is an art as well as a skill, and tuning out the
false color in any achromat is a part of this skill."

 

"On an inexpensive scope like this one, images remain sharp as you push
the power up, then they crumble and break down rapidly after a certain point.  On
this particular CR150 sample, this "cliff effect" occurs around 300X.  The star test
begins to look pretty bad at 350X.

Still, in the end, 300X is nothing to laugh at.  The CR150 is a telescope with
optics solidly in the "very good" category, and which, happily, sells for a very
reasonable price."

 

Sure you can get a 6 inch apo with superb build quality for 4 to 10 g's or more. But is that really worth it is a question I'd be more likely to ask. Not to most I suspect.

 

The biggest problem for me with the big cheap achro is not it's ability, but the imbalance of it and the mounting requirement for a steady image.

 

An ST120 would be a fun alternative that is much easier to mount and also in eyepiece position. Though surely falling short on high power. 


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#122 RLK1

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 11:02 AM

I've seen this stated before about his review of the CR150 aka C6R.

https://www.scoperev...m/page1i.html#3

 

Usually you'll see excerpts from middle of these quotes. I have bolded the part that usually gets left out,

 

"We had the scope out next to an Astro-Physics Star 12ED, a 120 mm f/8.5 

apochromat.  The cheap Celestron made out far better than either of us expected.  Once you get past the false color, the images are razor sharp, and the generous aperture allows you to resolve 

some incredible detail on the planets.  On a dimmer target like Saturn, the brighter images in the CR150 actually made detail like the C ring, as
well as detail in the rings themselves, stand out better.  It was also

easier to count Saturn's moons in the Celestron." 

 

"The first, obviously, is in the CR150's false color, which I think becomes intrusive
around 175X-200X around brighter objects.  The entire FOV in the eyepiece is purple-
colored when looking at Jupiter at 253X.  However, if you can look past this, the scope
will show you a lot of detail.  Seeing is an art as well as a skill, and tuning out the
false color in any achromat is a part of this skill."

 

"On an inexpensive scope like this one, images remain sharp as you push
the power up, then they crumble and break down rapidly after a certain point.  On
this particular CR150 sample, this "cliff effect" occurs around 300X.  The star test
begins to look pretty bad at 350X.

Still, in the end, 300X is nothing to laugh at.  The CR150 is a telescope with
optics solidly in the "very good" category, and which, happily, sells for a very
reasonable price."

 

Sure you can get a 6 inch apo with superb build quality for 4 to 10 g's or more. But is that really worth it is a question I'd be more likely to ask. Not to most I suspect.

 

The biggest problem for me with the big cheap achro is not it's ability, but the imbalance of it and the mounting requirement for a steady image.

 

An ST120 would be a fun alternative that is much easier to mount and also in eyepiece position. Though surely falling short on high power. 

Ed Ting, indeed, frames it very nicely. But as Roland once explained to me in an AM forum on the subject, a good achromatic refractor can never be as good an equivalent Apo refractor because it isn't just the false color that's at issue here. You're not getting all the "information", ie all the data from the light from an achromat that you'll get from an equivalent apochromat. All that defocused blue light that you're seeing isn't focused in the image that you're seeing and while it can be filtered out, it's still not in the image where it belongs. So, while an achromat allows one to drink from that splendid refractor cup, it doesn't allow one to finish the cup. 

If one understands it's A LOT MORE than the color aberration that's at stake here, then one has a more complete understanding of the compromise in image quality that an achromat provides in comparison to an equivalent apochromat...


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#123 samovu

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 11:13 AM

Ed Ting, indeed, frames it very nicely. But as Roland once explained to me in an AM forum on the subject, a good achromatic refractor can never be as good an equivalent Apo refractor because it isn't just the false color that's at issue here. You're not getting all the "information", ie all the data from the light from an achromat that you'll get from an equivalent apochromat. All that defocused blue light that you're seeing isn't focused in the image that you're seeing and while it can be filtered out, it's still not in the image where it belongs. So, while an achromat allows one to drink from that splendid refractor cup, it doesn't allow one to finish the cup. 

If one understands it's A LOT MORE than the color aberration that's at stake here, then one has a more complete understanding of the compromise in image quality that an achromat provides in comparison to an equivalent apochromat...

 

To add, when different wavelength light come to focus at different points (different colors focusing at different distances from the lens cell), and you adjust the focus to what “looks best”, the “unfocused” light is not only not contributing information to the picture, it’s actually detracting from what one could see.


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#124 Mitrovarr

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 11:25 AM

Nobody is presenting these large, fast-ish achromats as being equivalent to top tier apochromats, though. Everyone knows those are better.

The question is more about whether the achromats are suitable for their purpose, worth what they cost, and competitive with things around their price point.
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#125 gjanke

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 11:33 AM

I've seen this stated before about his review of the CR150 aka C6R.

https://www.scoperev...m/page1i.html#3

 

Usually you'll see excerpts from middle of these quotes. I have bolded the part that usually gets left out,

 

"We had the scope out next to an Astro-Physics Star 12ED, a 120 mm f/8.5 

apochromat.  The cheap Celestron made out far better than either of us expected.  Once you get past the false color, the images are razor sharp, and the generous aperture allows you to resolve 

some incredible detail on the planets.  On a dimmer target like Saturn, the brighter images in the CR150 actually made detail like the C ring, as
well as detail in the rings themselves, stand out better.  It was also

easier to count Saturn's moons in the Celestron." 

 

"The first, obviously, is in the CR150's false color, which I think becomes intrusive
around 175X-200X around brighter objects.  The entire FOV in the eyepiece is purple-
colored when looking at Jupiter at 253X.  However, if you can look past this, the scope
will show you a lot of detail.  Seeing is an art as well as a skill, and tuning out the
false color in any achromat is a part of this skill."

 

"On an inexpensive scope like this one, images remain sharp as you push
the power up, then they crumble and break down rapidly after a certain point.  On
this particular CR150 sample, this "cliff effect" occurs around 300X.  The star test
begins to look pretty bad at 350X.

Still, in the end, 300X is nothing to laugh at.  The CR150 is a telescope with
optics solidly in the "very good" category, and which, happily, sells for a very
reasonable price."

 

Sure you can get a 6 inch apo with superb build quality for 4 to 10 g's or more. But is that really worth it is a question I'd be more likely to ask. Not to most I suspect.

 

The biggest problem for me with the big cheap achro is not it's ability, but the imbalance of it and the mounting requirement for a steady image.

 

An ST120 would be a fun alternative that is much easier to mount and also in eyepiece position. Though surely falling short on high power. 

Echolight, what a cool handle. Yes it would appear that he was more forgiving than I remember. I had the CR150 I bought it when it first came out long ago from Herb York. He was the only one who had it in stock. I used the 4 and 3 radians on it and it showed great views. I did sell it due to the fact I bought an AP 5" and came to love the true color views much better than the purple ones.


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