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Ed Ting's Orion 120 Review

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#201 LDW47

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 01:57 PM

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.

I thought one of the virtues, the advantages of any size refractor was that they did not have to climatize like the other types of scopes ? Thats what I have found with all of my refractors vs my several reflectors and an 4se I used to have.



#202 RLK1

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 02:00 PM

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

All that without doing a DPAC evaluation first and without a detailed analysis from a scanning electron microscope for optical defects at the molecular level? Heresy!

PS: Other than an automated email reply sent to me a moment after my inquiry regarding whether not Orion has upgraded its focuser on the scope, I still have not received an answer from their technical department. It's not as if I was asking them to debug a faulty code in one of their computerized scopes and/or trace a faulty circuit or repair a piece of equipment. I can't even get a simple answer to a simple question.


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#203 turtle86

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 02:05 PM

All that without doing a DPAC evaluation first and without a detailed analysis from a scanning electron microscope for optical defects at the molecular level? Heresy!

 

 

funnypost.gif



#204 tony_spina

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 02:33 PM

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.

I don't disagree with your points. I was just adding additional attributes of the ST120 has over the C6. As for cool down it's no contest on which cools faster



#205 LDW47

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 03:43 PM

All that without doing a DPAC evaluation first and without a detailed analysis from a scanning electron microscope for optical defects at the molecular level? Heresy!

PS: Other than an automated email reply sent to me a moment after my inquiry regarding whether not Orion has upgraded its focuser on the scope, I still have not received an answer from their technical department. It's not as if I was asking them to debug a faulty code in one of their computerized scopes and/or trace a faulty circuit or repair a piece of equipment. I can't even get a simple answer to a simple question.

Maybe its because you are asking a lot of them for a simple $250 achro ?



#206 Jeff B

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 03:59 PM

All that without doing a DPAC evaluation first and without a detailed analysis from a scanning electron microscope for optical defects at the molecular level? Heresy!

PS: Other than an automated email reply sent to me a moment after my inquiry regarding whether not Orion has upgraded its focuser on the scope, I still have not received an answer from their technical department. It's not as if I was asking them to debug a faulty code in one of their computerized scopes and/or trace a faulty circuit or repair a piece of equipment. I can't even get a simple answer to a simple question.

Sorry but a SEM analysis just won't cut as it's waaaaay too crude.  It can't even measure a decent endoplasmic renticular level in the glass.  

 

When mine arrives next Tuesday, after some preliminary checks, I'm going to shine high intensity red, blue and green LEDS through it for a week or so to break the glass in.  Makes the views smoother, less edgy, with a greater sense of depth.



#207 tony_spina

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 04:13 PM

Sorry but a SEM analysis just won't cut as it's waaaaay too crude.  It can't even measure a decent endoplasmic renticular level in the glass.  

 

When mine arrives next Tuesday, after some preliminary checks, I'm going to shine high intensity red, blue and green LEDS through it for a week or so to break the glass in.  Makes the views smoother, less edgy, with a greater sense of depth.

I would also rinse it with some fluoride to give it that extra boost in performance lol.gif



#208 Mitrovarr

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 04:21 PM

I thought one of the virtues, the advantages of any size refractor was that they did not have to climatize like the other types of scopes ? Thats what I have found with all of my refractors vs my several reflectors and an 4se I used to have.


Nah, big refractors have cool downs. They're less affected than SCTs and reflectors by air currents because light only goes through them once vs. 2x or 3x and they're usually smaller, but 4"+ refractors do have some cooldown.
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#209 LDW47

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 04:28 PM

Nah, big refractors have cool downs. They're less affected than SCTs and reflectors by air currents because light only goes through them once vs. 2x or 3x and they're usually smaller, but 4"+ refractors do have some cooldown.

Not my 3 or 4 up to 127mm, believe me, out the door and basically start looking for the nite. What exactly are the symptoms, heat waves or what ?



#210 Jeff B

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 07:28 PM

I would also rinse it with some fluoride to give it that extra boost in performance lol.gif

Good point Tony.  Now where did I put that fluoride mouthwash........?


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#211 Tyson M

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 09:06 PM

Nah, big refractors have cool downs. They're less affected than SCTs and reflectors by air currents because light only goes through them once vs. 2x or 3x and they're usually smaller, but 4"+ refractors do have some cooldown.

Agreed, my 5" takes a solid 1.5 hours for med to high power work



#212 LDW47

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 10:10 PM

Agreed, my 5" takes a solid 1.5 hours for med to high power work

If you don’t what are the symptoms ? 



#213 Mitrovarr

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 07:31 AM

Not my 3 or 4 up to 127mm, believe me, out the door and basically start looking for the nite. What exactly are the symptoms, heat waves or what ?


Yep, heat waves, same as a SCT. My 4" F/15 has them quite badly in the winter and my SW150ED definitely has a cooldown time.
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#214 LDW47

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 07:38 AM

Yep, heat waves, same as a SCT. My 4" F/15 has them quite badly in the winter and my SW150ED definitely has a cooldown time.

I’ll have to watch a little closer specifically for that to see if it is there in my scopes at all powers. 



#215 bobhen

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 07:45 AM

Not my 3 or 4 up to 127mm, believe me, out the door and basically start looking for the nite. What exactly are the symptoms, heat waves or what ?

ALL telescopes have cool down issues when brought from inside to the outside into air that is cooler or colder. When it comes to acclimation, some designs are better than others.

 

If you defocus a star at mid to high power, you can see the heat plumes. The plumes usually rise from the center to the top and are usually slower moving than seeing turbulence.

 

Like ALL aberrations, they are less noticeable at low powers.

 

Bob



#216 LDW47

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 07:56 AM

ALL telescopes have cool down issues when brought from inside to the outside into air that is cooler or colder. When it comes to acclimation, some designs are better than others.

 

If you defocus a star at mid to high power, you can see the heat plumes. The plumes usually rise from the center to the top and are usually slower moving than seeing turbulence.

 

Like ALL aberrations, they are less noticeable at low powers.

 

Bob

Thats my problem I guess, I don’t look for plumes I just look up at the black sky. And I must say I very rarely observe at anything over 100x max, I don’t like what I see above that. I guess my wording, my meaning is a little out, I realize there is some heat dissipation / climatizing lead time but it is very, very short compared to reflectors / dobs etc. In my climate by the time I get all set up the scope is ready to go, depending on conditions the views are great.



#217 Echolight

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 09:00 AM

I store my refractor outside, in a bin. So I probably have less cool down issues.

 

Now the C8 I store inside. And it has dewed up quickly a couple of times. And it hasn't seen a winter with me yet.


Edited by Echolight, 27 September 2020 - 09:00 AM.


#218 Jeff B

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 09:42 AM

Not to get back on topic...but I will.

 

My unit is scheduled to arrive tomorrow and, of course, during windy and rainy conditions (but we really do need the rain).  However, it seems I will have some decent observing weather to take it for some visual rides during the week.

 

The mounting rings are on back order so I'll have to dig through my, ahhh, "inventory" to see what I have that might work.

 

Jeff



#219 RLK1

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 11:04 AM

Even with the 120mm, I'd do the following for cooling: simply invert the tube so the objective faces downward to the ground and remove the diagonal so the heat in the tube rises and vents out the open focuser. I do the same thing with my Antares 6" F6.5 refractor. Ditto for SCc.



#220 Mitrovarr

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 07:46 PM

Thats my problem I guess, I don’t look for plumes I just look up at the black sky. And I must say I very rarely observe at anything over 100x max, I don’t like what I see above that. I guess my wording, my meaning is a little out, I realize there is some heat dissipation / climatizing lead time but it is very, very short compared to reflectors / dobs etc. In my climate by the time I get all set up the scope is ready to go, depending on conditions the views are great.


Realistically if you don't go looking for plumes and never use your scope at high power, you'd probably have little problem with any design. I can do low power work just fine with a cooling dobsonian or SCT, it's only a mid to high power problem.

IMO refractors get a lot more credit for being short cooldown scopes than they deserve. Small scopes cool down quickly. Most of the reflectors/SCTs that take so much longer to cool do so because, well, they're drastically larger telescopes. Of course a 10" SCT takes far longer to cool than a 4" refractor. It also takes a lot longer to cool down than a 4" SCT.

#221 payner

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 10:59 AM

Cool-down of course is based on one's climate and where the telescope is stored. My TOA-150B is stored in a climate-controlled basement where the temperature is kept about 60 to 65 deg F this time of year and about 70-deg F during summer. I was out using 314x in 5/5 seeing on Mars the early morning of 9/27 and could use that power successfully within about 30 minutes of being outside. Of course the ambient temperature that early morning was about 63 deg F.

 

Wow, is Mars prime for observing now!


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#222 peleuba

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 01:08 PM

Wow, is Mars prime for observing now!

 

Randy - I keep looking for these kinds of observing reports from your TOA150.  I really want one.



#223 payner

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 02:40 PM

Hi Paul: Yes, I actually made a sketch (sketch does not equal made observation!) and need to post a report in the Observing - Solar System forum. 


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#224 Eddgie

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 02:05 PM

I am not a fan of these.  Poor star colors, bad field curvature, below par on limiting magnitude, and poor contrast. Throw in a focuser designed half a century ago... (Do a side by side with the 102ED if you want to see the difference in limiting magnitude.  The 120ED is still teasing out tiny pinpoints after the ST120 has run out of encircled energy.)

 

While more expensive, something the AT 106 is a far better instrument. Yes, it costs much more, but used these can be had for $800 in pristine condition.

Even a used Orion or Stellarvue 11O are much better than the ST120. They have flatter fields, and as a bonus, with a T2 binoviewer, you can reach focus without a Barlos.    

And when you are done with the used AT 106 or 110ED, if you have taken care of it, you can sell it for what you paid for it.  So, you use it for a year free

 

I see people put upgrades on these too, and I think to myself "Why are they investing in a telescope that does not do anything with authority when they could be buying excellence for a few hundred dollars more?"

 

Just me, but I have owned several fast achromats and none of them could match slightly smaller ED or APO telescopes.


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#225 Mitrovarr

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 02:23 PM

The ST120 does do something with authority - wide fields. And I think it does them pretty well.

Most of the cheaper 100mm-ish ED scopes wouldn't be as fast. Many of then will be F7, which means about 100mm of additional focal length. That extra 100mm of focal length plus 20mm of less aperture is going to hurt on large, extended objects like the Veil or North American Nebula.

Plus it's hard to handwave away the large price difference. Even if you recoup your initial price, you still have to have the $600+ to tie up for years, and the scope could get broken or stolen (and buying and selling used stuff isn't totally safe either), so you have to be willing to deal with losing the money.

Even with something like the AT102ED on the market I think it's still worthwhile. I've really liked mine, although to be fair I don't have a small apo to compare it to.


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