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moondog

Mini Review - Revelation 80ED Refractor

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I wanted a wider field, lower focal length scope, firstly to use for DSLR imaging and secondly as a better ‘grab and go’ scope to replace my small Mak.

I chose the Revelation 80 ED scope as it had, for me, the ideal focal length of 550mm, half the TAL’s. Obviously there is one manufacturer in the far east making the scope, just with different tube colours for each reseller. I happened to like the red Revelation !

I’d seen reviews of the scope in Cloudy Nights – the AT ED 80 (black tube) so I knew what to expect.

I’ve used the scope on DSO’s, stars, moon and (briefly) Saturn.

The object lens seems very good, easy snap to focus, good resolution, and most importantly it’s definitely apochromatic. When the scope is properly focussed I’ve not detected any false colour in any stars or around the limb of the moon or Saturn. The colour is a bit warmer than my small Mak but so what? For years I’ve noticed that one of my eyes sees colours ‘cooler’ than the other eye, and what is ‘normal’ anyway. The opticians’ have got tests for acuity of vision and colour blindness but not (I guess) for colour perception.

As supplied the 2 ins focuser couldn’t hold a 2 ins diagonal and 2 ins eyepiece in place when pointing at the zenith. On the flip side of the focusser giving the recessed hex bolt an eighth turn sorted the tension out. Also when pointed at the zenith the metal dew shield slides down with a ‘thump’!. Fixed it with an elastic band ( high tech remedy!)

Likes

1) Quality finish and construction

2) Solidly built

3) Good quality apochromatic object lens

4) Useful 550mm focal length

Dislikes

1) Dew shield slips down when pointed at zenith (I guess this is not typical)

2) Internal baffles could be better (some problems on bright moon)

3) Needs an extension tube to focus a Barlow with the DSLR.

4) Could be lighter for a grab and go.

MD

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Nice one MD

The shorter focal length is a plus in my opinion.

One things for sure, when you look around, there's a huge number of fantastic

astro images taken with that killer combination of ED80 and DSLR 8)

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1) Dew shield slips down when pointed at zenith (I guess this is not typical)

My Sentinel did the same thing when pointing up. So perhaps it maybe more common than you thought.

A great report, really useful. And your report ties in very nicely with what Practical Astronomer had to say about the Moonfish 80ED. So that's two good reports.

Regards

Russ

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Nice review.

Did you try to make a photo with it.

I'm thinking of buying an 80ED, I am still choosing between the Orion/skywatcher 80ED and the Revelation/Moonfish 80ED. The SW uses the FPL-53 glass wish is better than the one Revelation uses (FPL-51). But telescopes that have FPL-51 can be batter than ones that use FPL-53, it depends on how well the (in our case) dublet is made.

I really don't know which one to get. I would use it for widefield photography and for photographing comets.

Regards

Peter

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Peter

I have taken a few images with the Revelation, although I haven't had the scope long nor the skies to take many shots.

I did consider the SW ED80, which gets good reviews. There are some great images taken with the SW ED80 on the SGL website.

The reason I chose the Revelation is, I mainly wanted it for imaging wider field objects than firstly my TAL at 1125 mm Focal Length and the SW ED80 at ( I think 700 mm).

As I stated I couldn't fault the Revelation object lens for false colour.

I have posted an image taken with the Revelation, this was in Deep Sky (Imaging) under 'Lyra Stars & M57' dated 22 September 2006. This is taken at prime focus with the Canon 350, no Barlow. Zoom into the image to look at M57 in the centre of the screen and you will see a good colour image of the Planetary Nebula. This was the first image I took with the scope, and my digital image enhancing skills are still pretty limited !

8)

MD

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Got a look at the image, I can see some coma on the bright stars, but can't see any CA and it's nice and sharp!

Looks god. It would be interesting to see how god it is compared along side with a WO Zenithstar 80ED II. The Zenithstar 80ED II characteristics are the same, the optics are probably from the same manufacturer.

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Peter

Quote "I can see some coma on the bright stars"

Do you mean the elongated stars or the blue halo around the bright stars ?

The elongation is due to the bad tracking, the blue halo around the bright stars is usual ( I think!)

I can't see any of the types of coma you get at the edge of a short focal ratio reflector, but then I'm only a beginner.

Looking at the Zenithstar 80ED, I would put a bet on it being from the same manufacturer. You just pay an extra £50 for the Williams name. It could be Williams are sent a batch, they cherry pick the best and the rest goes to the others! All I can say is that my scope had a slack focuser and a dew shield that won't stay in place, but the optics seem fine. I didn't want to send the scope back because of the dew shield, as I might have got one back that had poorer optics!

MD

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Looking at the Zenithstar 80ED, I would put a bet on it being from the same manufacturer. You just pay an extra £50 for the Williams name. It could be Williams are sent a batch, they cherry pick the best and the rest goes to the others! All I can say is that my scope had a slack focuser and a dew shield that won't stay in place, but the optics seem fine. I didn't want to send the scope back because of the dew shield, as I might have got one back that had poorer optics!

There was something a few months back. A certain UK retailer posted something to that effect regards their 80ED (which is the same as the Moonfish and Revelation) and William Optics very quickly slapped them down. And they removed the wording from their advert.

The Original Relevation 80 (semi-apo version) was a William Optics clone. But it's the only version to be so I believe.

I was having this conversation with Steve with reference to the Revelation/Antares Crayford focuser. He was under the impression they too came from the same factory as the William Optics Crayford. Having owned all three, I can safely say they do not. The WO is a thing of beauty, extremely well engineered and with a nice finish too. At first glance, the Revelation and Antares look okay with their polished metal finish. But in operation i found the Antares offered no improvement over the standard Synta crayford. If anything, it's not quite as good as the Synta. The focuser can be sticky. And the 360 rotation simply doesn't work. Knocking out the optical alignment each time.

Where as the William Optics most definitely is a big improvement.

Regards

Russ

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Rus

Have you compared the 3 scopes you had to the Revelation I've just reviewed ?

This new Revelation is obviously a completely different scope to the Antares semi-apo or to the previous Revelation semi-apo.

I have an old advert from Telescope House and the old Revelation looks just like the current Antares Sentinel.

MD

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Hi MD,

Sorry i caused a bit of confusion there. I was talking about replacement focusers not the scopes. Ignore me completely.

You have a cracking scope. Practical Astronomer highly rated the Moonfish Apo 80 which off course is identical to your Revelation Apo.

You are right about the original Revelation 80. Identical to the Antares Sentinel and licence built by William Optics. They were the same as the William Optics Zenithstar 80 non apo.

Russ

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Hi Rus

No problem

I didn't want anyone else reading the review to think your comments were about the Revealtion ED80 !

Thanks

8)

MD

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