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Ed Ting's Orion 120 Review

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#176 RLK1

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 10:56 PM

I was curious if any interferometry reports are available on this scope so I did a search and found one on a similar, albeit early, chinese sourced synta 120mm f5 model. The mechanics are an issue as you'll read in the report and presumably these issues have been upgraded in the Orion-specced model but once corrected by the tester, the performance of the sample improved to the point an artificial star test appeared decent with a 5mm eyepiece:

http://r2.astro-fore...g-zum-takahashi


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#177 LDW47

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 09:38 AM

I was curious if any interferometry reports are available on this scope so I did a search and found one on a similar, albeit early, chinese sourced synta 120mm f5 model. The mechanics are an issue as you'll read in the report and presumably these issues have been upgraded in the Orion-specced model but once corrected by the tester, the performance of the sample improved to the point an artificial star test appeared decent with a 5mm eyepiece:

http://r2.astro-fore...g-zum-takahashi

Can’t find where you can switch translation to English ?



#178 RLK1

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 10:39 AM

Can’t find where you can switch translation to English ?

I don't know what to tell you on that; it's coming up English for me...



#179 LDW47

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 11:07 AM

I don't know what to tell you on that; it's coming up English for me...

Maybe try linking that site again ? Did you try your link after posting it ?



#180 mic1970

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 11:08 AM

He just started the telescope reviews on Youtube

 

I'm very surprised that he has so few subscribers to his channel. 



#181 Mitrovarr

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 11:19 AM

I was curious if any interferometry reports are available on this scope so I did a search and found one on a similar, albeit early, chinese sourced synta 120mm f5 model. The mechanics are an issue as you'll read in the report and presumably these issues have been upgraded in the Orion-specced model but once corrected by the tester, the performance of the sample improved to the point an artificial star test appeared decent with a 5mm eyepiece:
http://r2.astro-fore...g-zum-takahashi


Can confirm that sag in the stock focuser will cause noticable collimation issues at high power. You will really want to either replace the focuser or mod it with teflon strips if you want to use it at high power.

I wouldn't consider this a necessary change as there is little reason to force this telescope out of its comfort zone except just to test it or play around, unless it's your only scope.

#182 turtle86

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 11:28 AM

I was curious if any interferometry reports are available on this scope so I did a search and found one on a similar, albeit early, chinese sourced synta 120mm f5 model. The mechanics are an issue as you'll read in the report and presumably these issues have been upgraded in the Orion-specced model but once corrected by the tester, the performance of the sample improved to the point an artificial star test appeared decent with a 5mm eyepiece:

http://r2.astro-fore...g-zum-takahashi

 

For what it's worth the mechanics seem to be OK on mine, which I bought used.  I've been able to verify that the focuser is centered and that the optics have stayed in good collimation.  (Which is good since I don't think the collimation can be adjusted anyway.)   



#183 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 11:32 AM

Can confirm that sag in the stock focuser will cause noticable collimation issues at high power. You will really want to either replace the focuser or mod it with teflon strips if you want to use it at high power.

I wouldn't consider this a necessary change as there is little reason to force this telescope out of its comfort zone except just to test it or play around, unless it's your only scope.

I have a Moonlite focuser on mine...works great.  Got it for cheap as it's an early model for Synta without interchangeable adapters.



#184 Mitrovarr

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 11:36 AM

Yeah, I used a Synta or GSO (can't remember which) dual speed crayford. Unfortunately I think the excessively long drawtube cuts into the light path and I might be losing a little aperture.

#185 turtle86

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 11:41 AM

Can confirm that sag in the stock focuser will cause noticable collimation issues at high power. You will really want to either replace the focuser or mod it with teflon strips if you want to use it at high power.

I wouldn't consider this a necessary change as there is little reason to force this telescope out of its comfort zone except just to test it or play around, unless it's your only scope.

 

Mine came with an Antares focuser installed by the prior owner, and there's a still little bit of sag.  I might get eventually around to addressing that but I'm not particularly motivated to do so, as this scope is fine as is for rich field observing and I have plenty of other scopes for high power viewing.


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#186 Jeff B

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 01:13 PM

Mine has shipped from Orion and should be here next Tuesday (famous last words...).

 

Jeff



#187 RLK1

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 01:51 PM

I sent an email to Orion technical support asking if any improvements have been made to the focuser, given some of the comments relative to it in the reviews on their site as well as on the web.

I'll post their reply when I receive it.



#188 mic1970

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 02:18 PM

Anyone used this scope with a Baader Fringe Killer or the semi-APO?


Edited by mic1970, 24 September 2020 - 02:22 PM.

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#189 CQDDEMGY

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 08:06 PM

Anyone used this scope with a Baader Fringe Killer or the semi-APO?


You may find this an interesting thread

https://www.cloudyni...aader-semi-apo/

#190 Mitrovarr

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 11:29 AM

Personally my recommendation is that if you want better planetary views than the stock ST120 can provide, buy a "C6 filter" and put that on the mount instead. That way you get almost completely color free performance and at about $300 for a used one it's only a little more expensive than messing around with new focusers and filters.

#191 mic1970

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 11:34 AM

Can you provide some context to "C6 Filter".  Dr. Google sends me to a bunch of Corvette websites.  LOL

 

 

Personally my recommendation is that if you want better planetary views than the stock ST120 can provide, buy a "C6 filter" and put that on the mount instead. That way you get almost completely color free performance and at about $300 for a used one it's only a little more expensive than messing around with new focusers and filters.



#192 Mitrovarr

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 11:37 AM

It was a bit of a joke. My suggestion was that instead of messing around with filters to try to kludge the ST120 into something it will never truly be good at, just buy a small, inexpensive SCT and use that instead.

The C6 is Celestrons 6" SCT. Nice, cheap, and commonly available, but has a long focal length and does not cope well with 2" eyepieces so it has a major weakness in large fields. So it goes great with the ST120.

Edited by Mitrovarr, 25 September 2020 - 11:37 AM.

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#193 turtle86

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 11:56 AM

Anyone used this scope with a Baader Fringe Killer or the semi-APO?

 

 

I think you’d be better off not messing with one of these filters.  They aren’t really needed for the scope’s intended main strength and purpose—rich field viewing at low power.  They might clean things up with brighter objects, but at the expense of dimming things a bit.  Plus, the 2” ones cost over $150.  I’d rather put that $ toward something like a C6, as Mitrovarr suggests.


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#194 Jeff B

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 01:08 PM

Actually, assuming no moderate or worse zones in the middle of the lens (a 70/30 assumption based upon my overall DPAC experience), stopping the 120 to 80 or 90 mm would reduce the out of focus CA a lot and might make for good high power viewing, though with some residual out of focus CA.   

 

Jeff



#195 turtle86

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 08:09 PM

Actually, assuming no moderate or worse zones in the middle of the lens (a 70/30 assumption based upon my overall DPAC experience), stopping the 120 to 80 or 90 mm would reduce the out of focus CA a lot and might make for good high power viewing, though with some residual out of focus CA.   

 

Jeff

 

That’s certainly a less expensive solution than springing for a filter, though going down to 80 or 90mm would sure be taking a bit of an aperture hit.  


Edited by turtle86, 25 September 2020 - 08:10 PM.


#196 tony_spina

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 08:32 PM

It was a bit of a joke. My suggestion was that instead of messing around with filters to try to kludge the ST120 into something it will never truly be good at, just buy a small, inexpensive SCT and use that instead.

The C6 is Celestrons 6" SCT. Nice, cheap, and commonly available, but has a long focal length and does not cope well with 2" eyepieces so it has a major weakness in large fields. So it goes great with the ST120.

....And it doesn't give you the pinpoint stars you get with a refractor, nor is it ready to use without being acclimated to the outside temperature 



#197 Jeff B

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 08:49 PM

That’s certainly a less expensive solution than springing for a filter, though going down to 80 or 90mm would sure be taking a bit of an aperture hit.  

Very true but you can still see plenty of planetary/lunar/solar detail at 90 MM aperture, not to mention splitting many doubles, which I sometimes prefer aesthetically at smaller apertures.

 

Jeff



#198 skygazer66WA

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 10:24 PM

I have read Ed's informative and well-written reviews on his website since 1998 and have learned so much about scopes and astronomy from his expertise. He is knocking it out of the park with his youtube video presentations.


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#199 tony_spina

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 09:39 AM

WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT BELOW 

 

I used the ST120 on Mars last night with the Tele Vue Nagler 3-6mm zoom.  Very nice views with surface details of the dark regions and of course the south polar cap

 

No harm was done in cranking up the magnification on a bright object to the viewer or the equipment 

 

Also had the 8" refractor out as well and confirmed what I was seeing in the ST120.   

The differences was that the colors in the ST120 were more saturated (red) and obviously due to the difference in size the reflector had more resolution and had better definition of the dark regions. 

 

What was annoying on viewing Mars in the reflector are the bright diffraction spikes

 

Enjoyed the views in both scopes


Edited by tony_spina, 26 September 2020 - 09:46 AM.

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#200 Mitrovarr

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 01:33 PM

....And it doesn't give you the pinpoint stars you get with a refractor, nor is it ready to use without being acclimated to the outside temperature 

No, it doesn't (although the ST120 is big enough it doesn't acclimate instantly, either). And the ST120 is much better on double stars than it is on planets. Nonetheless, as someone who has both, I can safely say the C6 pretty much destroys the ST120 on planets.

 

It's not that the ST120 is that bad, but the C6 is actually really good. I think SCTs are easier to manufacture in small sizes so the smaller ones are more reliably good. Between the extra aperture and the no CA and having a good focuser out of the box, the C6 is just the superior planetary instrument over the ST120. But it can never get the nice wide fields the ST120 can (not even close!) so it's not like it is superior all around.




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