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Orion Optics (UK) Europa 8-inch Reflector

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Date: 7-24-2001
Price: ???
Design: 8-inch Newt. Reflector at f/6
Description: Classic equatorial mounted Newtonian reflector

The Review

I actually acquired this scope in a straight swap for my ETX 90 EC. 
Basically I wanted a Larger scope. 

Description. 
Not to be confused with Orion Telescopes and Binoculars (USA), Orion Optics is a British telescope company. 
Their scopes have British made optics on Far Eastern built equatorial mounts. 
Orion Optics have a reputation for great hand figured optics. 
The Europa range is the cheaper range of Newtonians that Orion optics produce. The range contain 4.5 to 10 Inch Newtonains, including two 8 inch sizes F/4.4 or F/6 . 

First impressions

Before I got the scope I was worried about the mount. In the magazines the mount looked too light -weight to support a 8 Inch scope. I was happily surprised to find that the mount was quite solid and stable. 
The older mount previously supplied with this scope had a reputation for being not stable enough for the larger scopes. But the new mount which is now supplied with the telescopes seems quite good. 
So I can give the mount a big thumbs up. 
The telescope has a rolled steal tube , it is equipped with a 30mm Finder scope and a 1.25 Inch rack and pinion focuser . 
My scope came with the optional Dual Axis drive which seems to work fine. It has automatic RA tracking and 2x and 8x speeds in both axis. Its reassuring that the drives have nice solid looking cooper fittings. No plastic in sight. 
The focuser seems quite solid and it moves with a smooth steady action. The are no sudden jolts in the movement. 
The scope is also supplied with a polar alignment scope in the mount which is quite useful for making a correct alignment. 

Test

Fortunately the first clear night to use the scope was the 2nd night after getting the scope. (quite lucky if you know British weather). 
So excitedly I struggled outside with this rather large scope. The counterweight weighs the most. 
First I viewed the moon. Wow, even with a 25mm eyepiece a lot of detail was shown, defiantly more detail than seen in my smaller 4.5 Inch Newtonian. 
When it got darker the Ring Nebula was the next target. 
Again I was amazed at the detail shown at low power. Then I put my 6.3 Plossl in, there was no loss of detail and the ring looked great. 
Finally I had a look at the Andromeda Galaxy M31, this was good too it was large and bright. Although not a exciting as the Ring nebula. 
Due to the weather further test have not occurred yet. 

Final Verdict

This scope has a lot to offer. The optics are first class and detail they show is amazing. The mount could be slightly more solid, but it is still very good as it is. 
I think this scope is great for all types of astronomy, especially deep sky observations. 
I hope to build a small building for it and maybe mount it on a pedestal instead of the supplied tripod. 
I would recommended it to any serious observer. 

Final word : It is interesting to note that because of the high tax in the UK, Orion Optics Europa's which have equatorial mounts are cheaper than imported American made Dobsonians of the same size aperture. 

Submitted by James Silvester - James@jimmysilvers.worldonline.co.uk - UK

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