Getting a little tired of hauling out the BIG scope every time you want to take a quick look at something up in the sky? I know I did. My 10" dob never disappoints me viewing wise, but there are just times when I didn't feel like spending fifteen minutes getting everything set up, then waiting an hour for it to cool down just to take a five minute look. So I bought a 80mm short tube refractor. Orion and others sold them for about $250 to $275 but since I didn't need the extra ep's that they come with, and didn't like the quality of the light duty mounts that they came with, I was interested in just the OTA. Found that Bill Vorce of Telescope Warehouse was selling them for $125. Another $25 dollars on Astromart got me a good mirror diagonal and I was in business using my photo tripod! That worked for about a week and I realized that even though the magnification isn't that high, you need something a bit more sturdy than the tripod that I had. Didn't want to get yet another tripod but heavier duty, so I contacted Orion and bought a EQ-2 mount from their "seconds" department for $120. This small GEM works very well with this light scope and is stable and light enough to easily move around.The scope works far better than I even had hoped. Stars are focused down to pinpoints with no tails or distortions. There is virtually no color aberrations except on the very brightest of objects and even then I find that it is so slight that it is nothing to even speak of. I have read, that others have had far worse experiences with their various 80mm ST scopes due to pinched optics and what not. By visiting the 80f5 forum that Yahoo eGroups sponsors you can see what others say about and have done about their scopes. Maybe I was just lucky and got a winner right from the start? Maybe it's because I use good ep's (Meade 14mmUWA, 8.8mmUWA, 26mm Super Plossl) that I don't get bad views. I find that as long as you use the scope for what it was designed to do: give good low power wide field views, the operative word being low power, it works very well. Most of the time if you use this scope at 35x to 75x you will not be unhappy with it's performance.
Submitted by Eugene Artemyeff - email@example.com