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Orion ED Vs Skywatcher ED Refractors - is there any difference ?


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Hi,

As far as I can see the Orion 80 and 100mm ED refractors look more or less identical to the Skywatcher versions of the same. While I'm sure they come from the same source there are rumours that the Orion units are slightly better quality and may be subject to more stringent QA. Is there any evidence for this from experiance of owning and using them ?.

Also does anyone know where the Williams Optics / Antares / Revelation 80mm "semi-apos" sit with regard to their Orion and Skywatcher equivilents performance-wise ?.

I'm thinking about buying one of these (I'd love a Tele Vue / Takahashi / Astro Physics but can't justify the £'s) and the market is getting quite crowded in this department at the moment.

A decade or so ago the only readily available "apo" was the Vixen flourite range but these don't seem to come up very often and when they do we seem to be talking lot's of £££'s.

John,

North Somerset

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Hi John,

You're right, the Orion/ Skywatcher EDs are the same scope, Orion have an excellent reputation for customer service but if you can a SW from a dealer that also has a good reputation then you can take your pick.

The ED scopes are superior to the other (ahem! :lol:) "semi-apos" you mention, but then again they are also larger and more expensive.

Gaz

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Thanks Gaz,

I can see from other posts that the term "semi-apo" is a tad controversial !. My working assumption is that none of the scopes that I have listed is a true apo - just better corrected than normal achromats.

I notice that Telescope House currently have a deal for a SW ED80 on an EQ5 mount for £450 delivered and Pulsar Optical have an SW ED 100 Pro OTA for about the same price. Choices, Choices !!.

John,

North Somerset

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LOL John, yep "semi-apo" is open to interpretation. The difference (to me) between the EDs and the other scopes is that the EDs use an extra lens element of FPL53 glass to correct for colour whereas the Revelation/Sentinal use the same lens system (and glass) as normal achromats, they are just well made and well coated achromats (which is no bad thing of course).

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If I go for an ED80 then it will be used as a wide field, grab and go type scope and on holiday for some lunar and planetary viewing. It would in effect be an upgrade to the ST80 I have now. If I go for an ED100 then it will need to be more of an all round scope due to the additional cost (with a decent mount) as I probably can't afford another serious scope as well (ie: my Nexstar 5 would have to go).

From the reviews that I have read it looks as if an ED100 on a decent mount and with good eyepieces (I use Tele Vue's) could fulfil the role of a general purpose scope .

A further key factor for me is portability - I have to move my scope around a lot to avoid street lights, trees etc. This is why I have tried to avoid apeture fever - so far !.

John,

North Somerset

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For grab and go, i'd say it would have to be the ED80 rather than the ED100, as Arthur says the ED100 is a long scope...

I have a 120 refractor..i'ts not really grab and go...You tend to bang it on door frames on the way out!!

Out of the three scopes I have the ED80 is the one which gets "Grabbed" First.

ED80 on a EQ5 would be fairly portable...

I'll get my coat!!

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Thanks for the info Arthur and Phattire.

Is the ED80 much longer and heavier than the ST80 ?. Currently my ST80 is on an EQ2 mount which seems stable enough for the scope but is still pretty portable - I'm wondering if it might cope with an ED80 ? (for visual use, not photography).

Cheers,

John,

North Somerset

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Thanks again for the feedback folks - I'd be very interested in the vital statistics of your ED80 Greg, when you get a moment to sort that out. I'm away for a few days from tomorrow but I'll look in again when I'm back.

Cheers,

John,

North Somerset

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