Burgess Optical 80mm
Iíve been a refractor user for some 30 years now and have a soft spot for well made refractors in the size range of 80mm on up. This particular 80mm scope definitely is in the AP and Tak made range of quality. Itís optical tube is fully machined from T6 aluminum and brass with a super smooth fully machined 2" B & D Crayford focuser. The focuser is pure Artistry in metal with a fully articulated yoke assembly. There is a fine focusing system that enables adjustment of the focusing tube by .0025" per revolution of the Fine focus knob. This typ of fine focusing is essential for easy CCD focusing and the advantages it also brings to visual observing, is a must be used to appreciated kind of thing. I had the chance to put this focuser up against an AP and Tak. unit one night and both owners of those scopes totally fell in love with the Crayford focuser on my scope. The nice thing, is that Burgess Optical can have focuserís made for just about any scope out there. There is also a choice of 2", 2.7" and 4" focusers of this type that can be custom made for your scope. Well, now on to the tests that Iíve done with the scope at hand.
One look at this scope and you think itís a four inch scope and not an 80mm. The tube is 100mm and very well baffled. Iíve only seen AP and Tak. scopesís this well baffled and this scope is as black on the inside as a Tak. scope is. The blackness and the great baffling of this scope sure had my hopes up about this scope. Now the big question was how about the optics and coatings on the objectives. The objective lens is fully coated and the coatingís are smooth and clean. One big plus is that there was no dust or metal particles between or behind the lens, and it looks to have an adjustable lens cell (everything is looking great so far). I just can not get over the fit and the finish of this scope. It is very solid with no cheapness built into it at all. You should have at lest a CG5 mount if you plan on using this scope for astrophotography and nothing less than a CG4 for doing visual work. The reason I said to use a CG5 or CG4 is that these mounts when adjusted properly work great, so way spend $800 or more on a mount when these mounts work just as good. I know if you have the money go ahead and spend it on a mount so you can say you have one that cost you $800+ .
Now the optics test. I did the star test at 200x power and the in focus and out focus where as good as it gets. On first magnitude and brighter stars I had to really look for false color which is so slight that it made me feel like this was a full blown APO scope (looking good). Jupiter was still high in the sky and the seeing and transparency were at lest around a 7+. Using a 7mm custom made planetary eyepiece (yes I do have high quality eyepieces made for planetary observing) and a 2.5 PowerMate with a power of 200x, Jupiter showed five bands and again I had to look for false color, which was so very slight. The false color had to be looked for so hard that there is really no reason to even talk about it. Maybe Iím lucky and got a great objective lens in this sample, but I have a feeling that with the great care that goes into these scopes that all will be as great as this one is. As far as power goes Iíve had this scope up to 300x with no brake down at all, and there are not many 80mm scopes out there that can do this. Saturn was as sharp as Jupiter with the division in the rings sharp and clear all the way around. Back ground blackness when observing star clusters made me think I was looking at diamonds on black velvet. Even if the image scale of the planets are small, you can do some good detail drawings, and some serious astrophotography work if you want to. This scope loves high quality eyepieces and high quality 2" mirror diagonals.
Burgess Opticalís owner Bill Burgess is a great person to do business with, and every question will be answered. There is a five inch refractor on the drawing table along with a 6" f/10 planetary reflecting scope with a 7/10 of an inch secondary. Please Bill I can not wait to see one of those 5" Refractors. I just wish and hope that Bill will some day offer this 80mm scope in a brass tube. As for the asking price of $899.00, this scope is worth every penny. You get good quality tube rings and a two inch diagonal.
Review by Don Regan Director of the Deep Sky Observatory located in upstate New York. Using 6" f/8 custom made Refractors for Planetary observing, and a 12"SCT for super novae research.
Submitted by Don Regan - firstname.lastname@example.org - New York