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Explore Scientific ED80 Triplet Vs Televue76

Astrophotography Optics Refractor
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#1 Mikeiss

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Posted 25 May 2022 - 11:22 PM

This is just kind of a curiosity, but I've been looking for a refractor in the 80mm range that is faster than my current Celestron ED80. I'm on a fairly strict budget so that pretty much rules out any Televue scope. I'm just wondering, if the Televue 76 is a doublet and the ES ED80 is a triplet, why is the Televue so much more expensive? This would be for imaging as I'm not much of a visual astronomer anymore. I know that the Televue is going to be much better mechanically, or at least it should be for that price. I'm wondering specifically about how the optics compare. Thanks for any and all feed back.

 

Mike


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#2 KWB

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Posted 25 May 2022 - 11:36 PM

I couldn't comment on the what is the better imaging rig as I'm no imager nor have I viewed through either of those scopes.

 

I think you have partly answered your own question. I have had my hands on a TV-85 and viewed through one example. These scopes are designed like a Swiss watch and built like an Abrams tank. Excellent color correction. Terrific resale value. Prestige of ownership. Mr. Nagler knows this and charges accordingly for them because there is enough of a demand that discriminating buyers will pay for.

 

He does produce top of the line refractors. Often times in life, you do get what you pay for.



#3 Jon_Doh

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Posted 26 May 2022 - 10:28 AM

I don't know what your budget is, but our sponsor offers an 80mm ED refractor for $899.  These are known for their high quality and better build than the ES line.  


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#4 Mikeiss

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Posted 26 May 2022 - 12:04 PM

To my knowledge all of the Orion, Celestron and Vixen etc 80ED F7.5  APO doublets were made by the same Chinese company called Synta. It just seems a little strange that a Televue 85 costs more than the Explore Scientific ED127! For that kind of money the scope should be bullet proof with x-ray laserssmile.gif I've never looked through one myself, so I can only speculate, but I did read just about all of Ed Ting's reviews on every high end refractor as well as his review of the Orion ED80, and he claims that the optical performance was on par with a Televue 76! Which is kind of mind blowing that the much lower costing ED80 is even in the ball park with a scope that costs about three times as much. 

This just reminds me of being a kid and wanting to get the newest pair of Air Jordans. Sure you could get the regular NIkes for $80, but there's no bragging rights associated with wearing plain old Nikes. You need to fork out an extra $120 to get shoes with the same functionality as ones that cost less than half, but they don't have the Jumpman logo.

 

I couldn't comment on the what is the better imaging rig as I'm no imager nor have I viewed through either of those scopes.

 

I think you have partly answered your own question. I have had my hands on a TV-85 and viewed through one example. These scopes are designed like a Swiss watch and built like an Abrams tank. Excellent color correction. Terrific resale value. Prestige of ownership. Mr. Nagler knows this and charges accordingly for them because there is enough of a demand that discriminating buyers will pay for.

 

He does produce top of the line refractors. Often times in life, you do get what you pay for.


Edited by Mikeiss, 26 May 2022 - 03:24 PM.

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#5 GOLGO13

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Posted 26 May 2022 - 12:39 PM

One thing I can say is my Takahashi 76DCU is the best telescope optically I've ever had or looked through. And that's out of a lot of telescopes over the years. Aperture is very small, but wow it's a great scope. I figure the TeleVue 76 would be similar quality. So basically you are paying for a few things. 1) consistent high quality optics 2) little higher fit and finish 3) markup from importing the scope 4) markup for name brand recognition.

All that being said, lessor costing scopes can be 85 to 90 percent as good nowadays. But I do believe it's worth the money assuming it's in someone's means. Many times these high quality scopes can be had for great deals on the used market.

#6 KWB

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Posted 26 May 2022 - 12:41 PM

To my knowledge all of the Orion, Celestron and Vixen etc 80ED F7.5  APO doublets were made by the same Chinese company called Synta. It just seems a little strange that a Televue 85 costs more than the Explore Scientific ED127! For that kind of money the scope should be bullet proof with x-ray laserssmile.gif I've never looked through one myself, so I can only speculate, but I did read just about all of Ed Ting's reviews on every high end refractor as well as his review of the Orion ED80, and he claims that the optical performance was on par with a Televue 76! Which is kind of mind blowing that the much lower costing ED80 is even in the ball park with a scope that costs about three times as much. 

This just reminds me of being a kid and wanting to get the newest pair of Air Jordans. Sure you could get the regular NIkes for $80, but there's no bragging rights associated with wearing plain old Nikes. You need to fork out an extra $120 to get shoes with the same functionality as ones that cost less than half, but they don't have the Jumpman logo.

 

To my knowledge all of the Orion, Celestron and Vixen etc 80ED F7.5  APO doublets were made by the same Chinese company called Synta. It just seems a little strange that a Televue 85 costs more than the Explore Scientific ED127! For that kind of money the scope should be bullet proof with x-ray lasers:) I've never looked through one myself, so I can only speculate, but I did read just about all of Ed Ting's reviews on every high end refractor as well as his review of the Orion ED80, and he claims that the optical performance was on par with a Televue 76! Which is kind of mind blowing that the much lower costing ED80 is even in the ball park with a scope that costs about three times as much.

This just reminds me of being a kid and wanting to get the newest pair of Air Jordans. Sure you could get the regular NIkes for $80, but there's no bragging rights associated with wearing plain old Nikes. You need to fork out an extra $120 to get shoes with the same functionality as ones that cost less than half, but they don't have the Jumpman logo.

I did see see Ed Ting's review. I own an Orion ED80. I have viewed through a TV-85. To be honest, optically there isn't enough difference to make a difference between these two telescopes as to which one I'd prefer viewing through. The 5mm aperture advantage of the TV-85 almost negligible to my eyes. My scope serves my purposes optically, though it is painfully large for a birding scope. Make mine a TV-76.

 

The comparison ends there AFAIK. Nothing strange about about the build quality of this oversized Synta scope being rather a crude beast in comparison to a precision instrument which is a TV refractor. A precision dual speed focuser and a marvelous finish comes at a cost. Focusing one of these telescopes is a joy. A TV scope well cared for will last a lifetime and is backed with an outstanding warranty and fantastic factory support if ever needed. My Synta refractor is out of warranty and basically backed with no support because it is out of production. Anything happens to it and I'm just out of luck. There is more to owning a telescope than just viewing through it. 

High quality is never cheap. The higher cost is worth it to me and our preferences are different. Whatever works for you is great. smile.gif

 

Want to guess again which is the superior telescope and why it costs a lot more money? 



#7 GOLGO13

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Posted 26 May 2022 - 12:43 PM

And by the way Synta makes high quality scopes from my experience. Maybe not quite as good as the top brands, but quite good. Consistency may not be as high between samples, but they seem to be a pretty consistent company as far as telescopes go.

#8 Mikeiss

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Posted 26 May 2022 - 03:31 PM

I'm a little sleep deprived, forgive my weird doubled comment. I'm sure there's more than just superb build quality that comes with that price tag, it's just a lot of dough.



#9 Mikeiss

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Posted 26 May 2022 - 03:36 PM

One thing I can say is my Takahashi 76DCU is the best telescope optically I've ever had or looked through. And that's out of a lot of telescopes over the years. Aperture is very small, but wow it's a great scope. I figure the TeleVue 76 would be similar quality. So basically you are paying for a few things. 1) consistent high quality optics 2) little higher fit and finish 3) markup from importing the scope 4) markup for name brand recognition.

All that being said, lessor costing scopes can be 85 to 90 percent as good nowadays. But I do believe it's worth the money assuming it's in someone's means. Many times these high quality scopes can be had for great deals on the used market.

If I were too spend $2,000 for a small refractor, which I probably never will, it would almost certainly be one of the Takahashi scopes.



#10 Spikey131

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Posted 26 May 2022 - 06:24 PM

I had an ES 80mm triplet, the “Essentials Series”.  When I first got it, the views were excellent.  After a year or so, something happened to the optics.  I think the lens elements in the triplet shifted.  The telescope would no longer take high magnification.  To make a long story short, after 3 trips to ES, the scope was a little better, but the views were awful above 100x.  I gave it to a friend who uses it as a spotting scope.

….And bought a TV76.  I do not do any astrophotography, but this scope has traveled all over North America with me by car, airplane and canoe.  It is my main solar scope at home, where the focuser is frequently encumbered with a Daystar Quark and binoviewers.  It handles all of this with aplomb.  The optics give me all I can expect from a 3” aperture on solar system objects and DSOs.

 

It is expensive, but no more so than other quality brands.  It is more compact, tougher and has a better focuser than most of them.  On the used market, it is a relative bargain.  And I like knowing that if anything ever did go wrong with it, I can send it to Chester, NY, and it will come back to me good as new.


Edited by Spikey131, 26 May 2022 - 06:25 PM.

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#11 gnowellsct

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Posted 26 May 2022 - 08:08 PM

To my knowledge all of the Orion, Celestron and Vixen etc 80ED F7.5  APO doublets were made by the same Chinese company called Synta. It just seems a little strange that a Televue 85 costs more than the Explore Scientific ED127! For that kind of money the scope should be bullet proof with x-ray laserssmile.gif I've never looked through one myself, so I can only speculate, but I did read just about all of Ed Ting's reviews on every high end refractor as well as his review of the Orion ED80, and he claims that the optical performance was on par with a Televue 76! 

People should be aware that there is in fact a Vixen 80 mm that is a rebranded China import.  Vixen however has its own entry in the class, which is the f/7.7 SD81s.  These little jewels get very good reviews.

 

Greg N



#12 gnowellsct

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Posted 26 May 2022 - 08:09 PM

If I were too spend $2,000 for a small refractor, which I probably never will, it would almost certainly be one of the Takahashi scopes.

You will get there.  The gods of astronomy take care of their devotees, from the point of view of equipment.  --GN



#13 gnowellsct

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Posted 26 May 2022 - 08:23 PM

I had an ES 80mm triplet, the “Essentials Series”.  When I first got it, the views were excellent.  After a year or so, something happened to the optics.  I think the lens elements in the triplet shifted.  The telescope would no longer take high magnification.  To make a long story short, after 3 trips to ES, the scope was a little better, but the views were awful above 100x.  I gave it to a friend who uses it as a spotting scope.

….And bought a TV76. 

Two points that newcomers to refractors need to bear in mind.

 

1.  There are some doublets which outperform some triplets.   Be alive to this possibility when the advertising copy is glitzy and the price is too cheap.  And that's just the optics.  There are other elements of the scope, including the focuser and the quality of the paint job, the innards of the optical tube (what kind of baffles etc.) are all things that one does not pay much attention to when making one's first refractor purchase.

 

2.  The inexpensive scope whose performance you think is as good as anything put out by Televue or Astro-physics may not be performing that way two or three years down the line.  That's because the lens cell is a critical element of the design and execution of the telescope's hardware, an inglorious subject if ever there was one, but worth at least as many forum electrons as the glass, and yet gets only a fraction of the attention.  

 

Greg N


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#14 Spikey131

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Posted 26 May 2022 - 08:41 PM

And a third I would add is support.  You are buying a piece of the manufacturer.  ES was incapable or unwilling to fix my scope.  In another saga of mine, Tele Vue did fix my NP101 and sent it back as good as new.  It wasn’t free and it wasn’t cheap, but at least the support was there.


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#15 MortonH

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Posted 26 May 2022 - 09:00 PM

Tele Vue scopes are expensive at least partly because they're made and supported in the USA.  They have excellent optics but I tend to think of their doublets as visual apos more than perfectly corrected imaging scopes.  Having said that, people do image with the TV-76 so it must be good enough.

 

I'm repeating what I read somewhere on CN a while back, and it echoes what Spikey131 and gnowellsct say above: if you have a problem with a Tele Vue scope, even one that was discontinued years ago, they can fix it for you.  They even still have spare parts for discontinued models.   With the cheaper brands if something goes wrong down the track you're probably on your own.


Edited by MortonH, 26 May 2022 - 09:01 PM.

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#16 gnowellsct

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Posted 26 May 2022 - 09:47 PM

And a third I would add is support.  You are buying a piece of the manufacturer.  ES was incapable or unwilling to fix my scope.  In another saga of mine, Tele Vue did fix my NP101 and sent it back as good as new.  It wasn’t free and it wasn’t cheap, but at least the support was there.

The thing is that ES is basically a retailer for an overseas production operation.   Scott Roberts (ES founder) is, I think, a dedicated individual, and he knows more than many of us about a wide variety of telescope gear.  He has also done some interesting things (like selling an ES version of the Losmandy G11) and has branched into other product lines (such as Vixen).

 

But I don't think--and if someone knows, correct me if I'm wrong--that ES has the depth of expertise that one would find at AP or Televue (not just the owner founders, but the staff).   

 

Greg N




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