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New medium length refractor

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#1 GeoAnn

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 10:04 AM

I am researching medulla length refractor in the 500~800 80 mm focal length range.  I plan to only use the telescope for astrophotography.  I will be attaching a field flattener and if necessary a focal reducer.  My short list requiring further research includes all the well known manufacturers.  I keep coming back to the Orion EON 85mm ED-X2.  It seems to have the necessary features I'm looking for as far as price, weight, focal length, and of course a triplet design.   But I am hesitant to commit to the brand based on other posts I've seen on this site.   My questions are: (1) is this a brand known for quality  (2) is this particular telescope uniquely designed or gimmicky.  Bottom line to be blunt should I be afraid?


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#2 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 10:23 AM

I am researching medulla length refractor in the 500~800 80 mm focal length range.  I plan to only use the telescope for astrophotography.  I will be attaching a field flattener and if necessary a focal reducer.  My short list requiring further research includes all the well known manufacturers.  I keep coming back to the Orion EON 85mm ED-X2.  It seems to have the necessary features I'm looking for as far as price, weight, focal length, and of course a triplet design.   But I am hesitant to commit to the brand based on other posts I've seen on this site.   My questions are: (1) is this a brand known for quality  (2) is this particular telescope uniquely designed or gimmicky.  Bottom line to be blunt should I be afraid?

 

I think there are better choices. It's $1800.  On paper it looks nice but dual ED is unnecessary and you would be relying on Orion for support.  Not long ago, I worked on the focuser of a Orion 80mm CF triplet.  The owner had sent it in because it was loose. 

 

Orion said they couldn't fix it and sent it back.. rattling around in a box. The two speed shaft was bent and the only solution I had was to disable to the two speed.. which had worked.  

 

Pre-pandemic, $1800 would nearly buy an NP-101.. I'd buy something from someone who support their equipment.

 

Jon


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#3 petert913

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 10:37 AM

By something from Astronomics.  They are our Cloudy Nights host and the Astro-Tech refractors are excellent.


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#4 bobzeq25

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 10:58 AM

Two well regarded choices in your budget.

 

https://www.astronom...ractor-ota.html

 

https://www.teleskop...AP-Focuser.html



#5 scadvice

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 11:48 AM

I've never been a fan of Orion scopes. But my opinion is from looking through and at others scopes. There is something to be said for buying scopes made in the country you live... even it you have to pay more. I have owned scopes considered "upper end" and problems with service is a serious issue. Dealers sometimes try to fix them just making it worse because sending overseas and back to the factory takes months. So you the customers are very unhappy. With the pandemic shortages and political tariff fights going I don't see an improvement in the market for imported scopes any time soon. Prices are going to stay high and possibly even go higher.

 

If your budget is tight then your limited to the market range Bob above suggest.  However, do not forget the examples still require FF or FR and mounting accessories which too add to the cost. So in comparing these scopes that has to be taken in consideration.

 

Certainly an AP scope by reputation (NP101) would be a good choice. But again include the FF or FR and accessories cost;

 

Stellarvue has a scope I've suggested a number of times for your application and yes I am a bit bias toward their scopes as I own two. They are a US company and all scopes are made and serviced in house. The Stellarvue SVX080T-3SV is my suggestion for you to look at.

 

https://www.stellarv...0t-3sv-deposit/


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#6 GeoAnn

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 03:10 PM

Vanguard I do think you have completely captured my concerns.   I did consider the StellarVue SVX80-25-FT.   And I would be interested in hearing more about your experiences with the brand.  There does not seem to be a lot of conversation regarding them here.


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#7 bobzeq25

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 03:48 PM

Vanguard I do think you have completely captured my concerns.   I did consider the StellarVue SVX80-25-FT.   And I would be interested in hearing more about your experiences with the brand.  There does not seem to be a lot of conversation regarding them here.

I own two Stellarvues.  SVQ100Q and SV70T.  Excellent scopes.  The company is somewhat unique, one of the few in the US that has the equipment and expertise for manufacturing optics.  Exactly what parts and operations they do in house on any specific scope has always been somewhat murky.  But, the optical reports they do on each specific scope are reassuring.  And, they have the capability to fix most issues that may arise in house.

 

They're very far from the usual reseller in the US, who are basically just sales clerks for some foreign manufacturer.  A problem will likely have you shipping the scope back overseas.

 

The only reason I did not recommend that scope is that delivery times are uncertain.  For $2000, it looks like a bargain (as Stellarvues go <smile> ).  The equipment and expertise does not come for free.  Some would find it, compared to the $1000 TS 80 or the $1800 AT92, overpriced.


Edited by bobzeq25, 25 July 2021 - 03:51 PM.

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#8 scadvice

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 04:28 PM

I suggested looking a the Stellarvue SVX080T-3SV.  The Stellarvue SVX80-25-FT is a fine scope however in the long run the SVX080T-3SV is a well thought out upgrade specific for imaging later on which includes a 3" focuser, the Field Flattener, Riser blocks and the larger mounting rail. 

 

A lot of us consider the Stellarvue scope comparable to AP and other high end scopes. There are a number of owners here on CN.  I've been very happy with mine. They are certainly a step above the best imports. They are also a number of videos on you tube.


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#9 rockstarbill

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 05:45 PM

A lot of us consider the Stellarvue scope comparable to AP and other high end scopes.


Absolutely not. How on Earth did you come to that conclusion? I'm all for people supporting products they have enjoyed, and word of mouth is huge in this business, but this claim is outrageous.

Edited by rockstarbill, 25 July 2021 - 05:55 PM.

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#10 bobzeq25

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 07:16 PM

Absolutely not. How on Earth did you come to that conclusion? I'm all for people supporting products they have enjoyed, and word of mouth is huge in this business, but this claim is outrageous.

Hardly outrageous.  Especially the new stuff with lenses made and/or figured in their own shop.  They're somewhere in between TEC and Skywatcher, and where they are along that scale is something that reasonable people can disagree on reasonably.  I'd say it depends on the scope.

 

Their new 140, in particular, looks to be world class.  The dedicated available flattener for it has an image circle of 90mm.  A worthy competitor for the legendary TEC.  Unsurprisingly it costs about as much.


Edited by bobzeq25, 25 July 2021 - 07:22 PM.

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#11 rockstarbill

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 07:25 PM

Hardly outrageous. Especially the new stuff with lenses made and/or figured in their own shop. They're somewhere in between TEC and Skywatcher, and where they are along that scale is something that reasonable people can disagree with. I'd say it depends on the scope.

Their new 140, in particular, looks to be world class. A worthy competitor for the TEC. Unsurprisingly it costs about as much.


Sorry we'll have to agree to disagree on this. I know of at least one owner of an SVX that sent it back for a refund it was so poor for imaging. If that person decides to share their story, I'm sure some folks would take a step back on these claims. That person now owns an AP scope and is thrilled with it. Having owned or used many of the top of the line refractors I can easily attest that the AP scopes are head and shoulders above the rest for imaging. Stellarvue is not making AP quality scopes in their shop. No matter how much you want to believe that, it's misleading and untrue.

#12 scadvice

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 09:17 PM

We all have our own opinions. However, my claim is based on comparisons between similar sized 130mm Stellarvue and AP scopes  (F/7 v.s. F/6.3 )  at a Bortal one site using the same eyepieces.  All on site were advanced viewers and imagers and the consensus was that both scopes were pretty much equal in sharpness and contrast to the point that not knowing which was which, you could not identify one scope over the other. 


Edited by scadvice, 25 July 2021 - 09:25 PM.

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#13 rockstarbill

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 10:05 PM

We all have our own opinions. However, my claim is based on comparisons between similar sized 130mm Stellarvue and AP scopes  (F/7 v.s. F/6.3 )  at a Bortal one site using the same eyepieces.  All on site were advanced viewers and imagers and the consensus was that both scopes were pretty much equal in sharpness and contrast to the point that not knowing which was which, you could not identify one scope over the other. 

Show me the data and we can have a discussion. Not trying to be rude or anything, but some subjective visual astronomy work leaves much to be desired. Some AP data or perhaps some bench tests would be helpful in quantifying what you are saying.



#14 bobzeq25

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 11:38 PM

Show me the data and we can have a discussion. Not trying to be rude or anything, but some subjective visual astronomy work leaves much to be desired. Some AP data or perhaps some bench tests would be helpful in quantifying what you are saying.

That's one approach.

 

But scadvice's data is surely good enough to say the comparison is not "outrageous".


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#15 rockstarbill

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 12:32 AM

That's one approach.

 

But scadvice's data is surely good enough to say the comparison is not "outrageous".

Yes it is outrageous. I dont think Stellarvue has had enough time making scopes for people to make outlandish claims that they are on par with Astro-Physics. That is an insult to Roland. 


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#16 bobzeq25

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 08:55 AM

Yes it is outrageous. I dont think Stellarvue has had enough time making scopes for people to make outlandish claims that they are on par with Astro-Physics. That is an insult to Roland. 

And your statement is an insult to Vic Maris and his fine people, who have also been at this for a long time.   What I  know, from personal experience, is that Vic and his team are very good.

 

This is good.  I recommend it to anyone that wishes to better understand what Stellarvue offers.

 

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

 

Suggesting that comparing Stellarvue to AP is outrageous, is outrageous.  <smile>  Maybe it is that for you, it is definitely not that for most people here. 

 

The key thing is.  Both significantly exceed the quality of mass market telescopes, the differences between them are small compared to that gap.


Edited by bobzeq25, 26 July 2021 - 09:24 AM.


#17 ChrisWhite

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 09:42 AM

I'm not a visual guy, so I dont really know how much better a better scope is supposed to look, but I am an imager and I know how much better stars can be with better optics.  Star size, artifacts, color management, and in particular how these characteristics present (or don't) off axis is what separates a great scope from a good one. 

 

I've owned a fair number of refractors, (Teleskop Express, Stellarvue SVX, Sky Watcher Esprit, William Optics, Astro Tech TMB92, and Astro-Physics) and while some of these were quite good, only the Astro-Physics is truly exceptional.  I'm a pixel peeper, and I'm looking for perfect stars to the corners.  Throw a large imaging chip into the mix and most of these scopes fall apart pretty quick... not the AP. 

 

My Astro-Physics scope is in a different league than the SV SVX scope that I owned.  But, I am a very discriminating imager.  Depending on your tolerance and goals YMMV. 


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#18 GeoAnn

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 10:36 AM

Thanks to all that have replied so far.  This level of brand passion is admirable and what I'm hoping to achieve with my purchase.  Realistically anything much over $2000-USD is out of scope for me.  Circling back to the original questions I'm sensing that the brand in question does not seem to have a reputation for quality refractors.  And I should apply the old adage of "if it sounds too good to be true...." to the specific telescope.  I do like the idea of purchasing domestic purely from a support standpoint.



#19 ChrisWhite

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 11:05 AM

Thanks to all that have replied so far.  This level of brand passion is admirable and what I'm hoping to achieve with my purchase.  Realistically anything much over $2000-USD is out of scope for me.  Circling back to the original questions I'm sensing that the brand in question does not seem to have a reputation for quality refractors.  And I should apply the old adage of "if it sounds too good to be true...." to the specific telescope.  I do like the idea of purchasing domestic purely from a support standpoint.

Sorry for going off topic.  Yes, you are correct... I agree with the other posters that you can do better than your original selection. 

 

I was a huge fan of the Astrotech AT92.  It's a widefield short refractor that has excellent optics.  You need a field flattener for imaging, and the best match is the Sky-Watcher Esprit 100 field flattener.  This comes in at around $2000.  With any scope, you may need to wait until stock becomes available but you can often find these pieces on the classifieds and save a little money.  There is a thread over in Beginning Imaging that extensively discusses the AT92 for imaging. It is at the lower end of your focal length range that you are looking for but it is my recommendation.  https://www.cloudyni...-imaging-scope/


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#20 bobzeq25

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 11:50 AM

Thanks to all that have replied so far.  This level of brand passion is admirable and what I'm hoping to achieve with my purchase.  Realistically anything much over $2000-USD is out of scope for me.  Circling back to the original questions I'm sensing that the brand in question does not seem to have a reputation for quality refractors.  And I should apply the old adage of "if it sounds too good to be true...." to the specific telescope.  I do like the idea of purchasing domestic purely from a support standpoint.

I'll revert to my #4 post.  Domestically produced scopes are not good value for you.


Edited by bobzeq25, 26 July 2021 - 11:51 AM.


#21 rockstarbill

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 12:22 PM

I'm not a visual guy, so I dont really know how much better a better scope is supposed to look, but I am an imager and I know how much better stars can be with better optics.  Star size, artifacts, color management, and in particular how these characteristics present (or don't) off axis is what separates a great scope from a good one. 

 

I've owned a fair number of refractors, (Teleskop Express, Stellarvue SVX, Sky Watcher Esprit, William Optics, Astro Tech TMB92, and Astro-Physics) and while some of these were quite good, only the Astro-Physics is truly exceptional.  I'm a pixel peeper, and I'm looking for perfect stars to the corners.  Throw a large imaging chip into the mix and most of these scopes fall apart pretty quick... not the AP. 

 

My Astro-Physics scope is in a different league than the SV SVX scope that I owned.  But, I am a very discriminating imager.  Depending on your tolerance and goals YMMV. 

This is a fair take on the matter. People saying SVX scopes are equal to AP clearly have not personally owned, used, and imaged with AP scopes. They are a completely different animal in terms of overall imaging quality -- especially when you consider larger chips like the IMX455 and 16803. The only thing that comes close to them with larger chips are the TOA scopes (130, 150) and the TEC scopes. Everything else is a few rungs down the ladder from them -- and that's okay. They have been at the optics game far longer than Vic's crew has been, in terms of actually figuring optics on their own.

 

Me saying its an insult to Roland is correct, and its not an insult to Vic at all. AP, TEC, TAK -- these are high end proven optical systems. They are the tried and true, battle hardened scopes that consistently deliver quality. Can the SVX line hit that mark? Sure, but we don't have enough data nor time to prove that out. At least not at the level of the more experienced and premium players on the market that have been doing it for decades.


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#22 RajG

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 03:00 PM

The AT92 is a great scope but you will have to wait a while before it comes back in stock. In the sub-2000 range, if you insist on US-made, your only choices are Stellarvue or (a used) Televue, I think.

 

If you are willing to take a chance on a used scope, check out the CN classifieds. There is a Televue 85 on sale there for $1800. Add a 0.8X flattener and you'll be set.


Edited by RajG, 26 July 2021 - 03:22 PM.



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