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AlphaOrionis

Orion ED80 Apo or Explore Scientific ED80 Apo

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I'm looking to purchase my first astrophotography setup, and I'm conflicted about these 2 refractors.

Currently I can get the Orion at 499$, and the Explore Scientific at 749$. These scopes both have amazing reviews all around, and I know the Explore Scientific probably makes better optics than Orion.

My quesiton is, are the better optics of the ES significant enough for me to notice? Or would a beginner like me be fine with the Orion. I know I will be keeping this scope for a long time, so if I have to dish the extra 250$ for something I know will be significantly bettery, I will, but I'm just wondering if it is.

Thank you!
 

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My money would be on the Orion ED80, as they share the same lens cells like the other Synta ED80 Scopes. Also since they have a solid track record

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I went with the cheapest well-reviewed 80mm ED I could find (the Skywatcher 80ED since I am in Europe - similar to the Orion) and I have not regretted it, although I can see some difference when put next to an expensive triplet (I haven't seen through the ES specifically though). The ES is 50% more expensive, which is IMHO a big difference for a small increase in perceivable quality. I am of course talking about the case where your budget matters and you could use that extra $250 for something else. If you have no set budget, spend away, the ES should be a little better ;)

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I went with the cheapest well-reviewed 80mm ED I could find (the Skywatcher 80ED since I am in Europe - similar to the Orion) and I have not regretted it, although I can see some difference when put next to an expensive triplet (I haven't seen through the ES specifically though). The ES is 50% more expensive, which is IMHO a big difference for a small increase in perceivable quality. I am of course talking about the case where your budget matters and you could use that extra $250 for something else. If you have no set budget, spend away, the ES should be a little better ;)

Thanks for the reply!

Given that you own both cheap and expensive ED80's, would you mind telling me what the small perceivable quality would be?

Does it relate with the chromatic abbarition, the amount of focus across the field of view, the light gathering ability (do you see more details in the more expensive one?).

Cheers!

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Hi just adding my bit, I have just recently taken possession of a Explore Scientific 80 mm ed APO scope (cost £454.00) which you know is a triplet. I am told that triplets are better for imaging than a doublet!! Well that is for the really discerning of us. It is a nice scope, I bought just the tube and had to buy a star diagonal (Altair astro £70) a finder scope, I went for the illuminated ES which cost £135 and a storage case which I got from Maplins and cost £50, it has what they call 'pick and pluck' foam, the pieces are imo too small, I need to buy some foam spray glue as bits fall off and it becomes a mess but the scope and accessories are well protected. I live in the UK and getting things that are specific to ES is not easy. No instructions so I had to contact them in the USA as I could not work out how to attach the extension tubes (need to unscrew the collar that has three screws, put one or both ets in then refit the collar). But having said that I enjoy my views through it so imo go for the ES. I say that because you said the scope would be with you some time and as time goes on so do your wants/needs.

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Hi just adding my bit, I have just recently taken possession of a Explore Scientific 80 mm ed APO scope (cost £454.00) which you know is a triplet. I am told that triplets are better for imaging than a doublet!! Well that is for the really discerning of us. It is a nice scope, I bought just the tube and had to buy a star diagonal (Altair astro £70) a finder scope, I went for the illuminated ES which cost £135 and a storage case which I got from Maplins and cost £50, it has what they call 'pick and pluck' foam, the pieces are imo too small, I need to buy some foam spray glue as bits fall off and it becomes a mess but the scope and accessories are well protected. I live in the UK and getting things that are specific to ES is not easy. No instructions so I had to contact them in the USA as I could not work out how to attach the extension tubes (need to unscrew the collar that has three screws, put one or both ets in then refit the collar). But having said that I enjoy my views through it so imo go for the ES. I say that because you said the scope would be with you some time and as time goes on so do your wants/needs.

Thanks for the reply!

The ES really does seem like the better "long term" telescope, I doubt I will feel like upgrading for quite some time if I get that one... I know the feeling of regret thinking I could have just dished out a bit more money to get something more worth while.

Let's say I go with the ES, its listed weight says 7.5lbs. I dont know what setup you have it on, but would you, or anyone else know if the 7.5lbs telescope + dslr equipment would be too heavy for the Celestron NexStar 6ES mount? The mount says it has a 12lbs limit, but I'm finding it hard to gauge how heavy the whole DSLR setup will be, and if I might get some wobble... In which case the Orion at 5lbs might be the better bet...

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If you are going imaging then you really have to go with the triplet. The 80ED is nice but there are reports of CA on it, still a doublet and the title "apochromatic" is actually inconsistant with the definition of apochromatic, very minor CA but you could end up with a purple ring on something. The ES triplet should not show any.

I personally would go with the triplet, simply for the additional idea/expectation that it should be better. I do not image but still I would go for the triplet even knowing 100% that my eyes could not detect any difference.

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Hi the mount I have is a Skywatcher eq3-2 I think this is just about the minimum especially if you are going to seriously Pursue AP. When I am very much better at AP then I might upgrade to a HEQ5 but not yet. I have read loads of almost negative reports of that mount so hopefully when or if I upgrade, the issues would have reduced or gone. My camera is a Canon 600d and I also have a remote cable to help reduce any shake. When I see the pics some people take I can only dream but having goodish kit will help, so go for it.

I think you have to look into what you may want in the future so I would suggest you get the best you can now, as it will save in the long run.

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I'm looking to purchase my first astrophotography setup, and I'm conflicted about these 2 refractors.

Currently I can get the Orion at 499$, and the Explore Scientific at 749$. These scopes both have amazing reviews all around, and I know the Explore Scientific probably makes better optics than Orion.

My quesiton is, are the better optics of the ES significant enough for me to notice? Or would a beginner like me be fine with the Orion. I know I will be keeping this scope for a long time, so if I have to dish the extra 250$ for something I know will be significantly bettery, I will, but I'm just wondering if it is.

Thank you!

The only reason to go for the Orion ED is to save the $250.00 and put it towards the best mount that you can not afford. No that was not a typo, get the best mount that you could possibly get as it will be the backbone of the imaging system not the scope nor the camera. I have the SW 80 ED and the Ascension 80 Apo which is more or less the same scope as the ES but mine has tested optics with a reasonably high Strehl ratio. Of the two I rate the Ascension higher but the SW ED 80 has no right to perform so well for the asking price, it is that good, the focuser sucks BTW.

A.G

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Have to agree with AG here, the mount is the thing. Put the extra money towards a better mount, HEQ5 minimum. About the only negative thing I can say about my HEQ5 is that it isn't a Mesu.

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Thanks for the reply!

Given that you own both cheap and expensive ED80's, would you mind telling me what the small perceivable quality would be?

Does it relate with the chromatic abbarition, the amount of focus across the field of view, the light gathering ability (do you see more details in the more expensive one?).

Cheers!

I don't own an expensive APO, only the "cheap" one, but I get to see through my friends' more expensive ones. Visually, the biggest difference you can see are bright targets (i.e. planets) - for deep space I can't say I could discern a difference. E.g. Venus will get a bit of a small color tinge at one side, which would be less with a good triplet. The thing with CA though is that it is a matter of preference and usually people are not bothered by it when it is in very low levels like that on a Synta-made ED80 like the Orion. For example, in the aforementioned Venus watching session we had recently, right next to the Skywatcher 80ED I had my 127 Mak. While the Mak had zero CA, everyone who compared the two agreed the 80ED was better, due to the higher contrast. Sure, a triplet is still better, but the difference is not enough IMHO to make me want to "jump ship". I agree with the people who say keep the extra $250 towards a better mount in the future. The Nexstar 6SE mount is enough for the scope you want, however at some point you might want to go into astrophotography - something it cannot really do. (The iOptron ZEQ25 is a great match for the small APO).

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If you are going imaging then you really have to go with the triplet. The 80ED is nice but there are reports of CA on it, still a doublet and the title "apochromatic" is actually inconsistant with the definition of apochromatic, very minor CA but you could end up with a purple ring on something. The ES triplet should not show any.

I personally would go with the triplet, simply for the additional idea/expectation that it should be better. I do not image but still I would go for the triplet even knowing 100% that my eyes could not detect any difference.

Your always going to get some CA even the expensive scopes have them including Taks. How they control the CA is another thing. Check out Christen Roland essay on colour correction.

http://geogdata.csun.edu/~voltaire/roland/color.html

One has to wonder is it worth spending the extra money on a similar aperture. Even on an expensive scope will show some error correction in colour.  If you don't want CA buy a reflector.

You could have a triplet scope with a good strehl value but if the lens element does not perform, then its no better then a cheap decent doublet.

Al.

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Sorry I got his name wrong, it should read Roland Christen.

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Like Olly said , if you're going into imaging then save the money and put it towards an EQ mount , the 6se mount is alt az hence less than ideal for imaging .

All the best and good luck

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On 3/27/2015 at 09:23, AlphaOrionis said:

I'm looking to purchase my first astrophotography setup, and I'm conflicted about these 2 refractors.

Currently I can get the Orion at 499$, and the Explore Scientific at 749$. These scopes both have amazing reviews all around, and I know the Explore Scientific probably makes better optics than Orion.

My quesiton is, are the better optics of the ES significant enough for me to notice? Or would a beginner like me be fine with the Orion. I know I will be keeping this scope for a long time, so if I have to dish the extra 250$ for something I know will be significantly bettery, I will, but I'm just wondering if it is.

Thank you!
 

This is my opinion only. I have not looked through the Orion ED80 and the Explore Scientific scope side by side. My eyes aren't good enough to judge anyway. No matter what scope you buy there is always one better somewhere. I bought the ED80 based on these facts. .Lower price. . Great astrophotography.. Lightweight. It has great as reviews. I need the lightest weight because at 63 on disability every lb.added is a problem. I can use the saved money on other astronomy stuff.  My location is mediocre in a subdivision near town so sky glow makes more than 60 second exposure gets white out except on the darkest of nights. How much is a higher priced scope going to help me there? This will probably be the last scope I'll ever buy and I wanted one that would give the best ap, weight, and price available. If you have the money to spend you will be very happy with the more expensive scope, I'm sure. Most astronomers have a lot of telescopes. I'm avoiding that. I'm thrifty by nature but not afraid to make expensive one time purchases as needed. It's on a Celeston on AVX mount. I have the asi120mc  and Canon T5 DSLR. 

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