Helios Evostar 150

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Brand and Model:Helios Evostar 150
Price ($USD):£499.00
Type:Achromatic Refractor
Attributes: un-checked Go-To un-checked PEC
Aperture:150mm (5.9")
f Ratio:f/8
Focal Length:1200mm
Electric Power:optional extra drives
Mount:CG-5 (EQ-4)
Weight (lbs):lbs.
Dimensions (w/h/d):
Description:Monster size refractor on heavy duty EQ5 mount.

Our top of the range multi-coated refractor is a superb, high performance instrument for the advanced astronomer. Its huge 150mm objective lens provides a phenomenal 116% more light gathering power than the 102mm models resulting in truly breathtaking views of lunar and planetary surfaces & other night sky objects. Supplied with the heavy duty deluxe EQ-5 equatorial mount for excellent precision and stability.

Helios Evostar 150 Refractor with EQ5 mount and 9x50 finderscope

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Helios Evostar 150
[Note: Vote moved from description by scopedreamer2032]

Chinese refractors have been causing a bit of stir in the astronomical community of the past 18 months. Helios is one of the brands under which such 'scopes are sold in Britain and Europe. The Evostar 150 is the 150mm (6 inch) 'scope in the range, with the heavy-duty EQ-4 (aka CG-5) German Equatorial mount and aluminium tripod.

Much has already been said about this 'scope under the Skywatcher 150 and Celestron CR-150HD entries, so I won't go into fine details about star tests etc. Suffice to say that the optics of the Evostar 150 I received a little over two weeks ago match up to the best standards reported of those other two Chinese achromatic refractors from the Synta factory in Taiwan.

Physically, it's identical to the other 'scopes, with cast aluminium and steel parts where some others have used plastic, but interestingly the Bresser Phoenix refractor, which also uses the same OTA, seems to have a lighter mount in photos I have seen. The Helios paint job is black, with a black 'hammered' finish on the heavy-duty EQ-4 mount and the plastic covers over the drive connections and polar alignment scope.

Optically, I have no complaints bearing in mind the achromatic spec. Contrast is high, star images pin-sharp across the field and chromatic aberration considerably less than expected, even on bright objects like Jupiter and the limb of the Moon - and noticeably less than in a 120mm Konus (also Synta) refractor I used to own. Views of Jupiter and Saturn are excellent, and the Moon is a spectacular sight. General impressions are that contrast and sharpness are significantly better than an 8" Meade SCT I had a few years ago, and also better than various low f-ratio reflectors up to 12" I have tried - not surprising.

I live in a heavily light-polluted area - I even have my own sodium street light just outside the garden - so I wanted a high-contrast instrument for Lunar and planetary use, for which this scope does not disappoint. The Pleiades is also one of my favourite targets at this time of the year and this scope gave a breathtaking view with pinpoint star images. Suits me!

The 10mm and 25mm Plossl eyepieces included are fine, but I also have some Konus Chinese Plossls, 6.3mm, 25mm, and 40mm, bought with my previous scope, which are all very good, especially the 40mm, and work very well with the Evostar. The scope comes with a 2x Barlow which I haven't tried yet because I have a Celestron Ultima SV Barlow, which actually seems to reduce any residual chromatic aberration, presumably because it increases the F-ratio to 16!

Special notes:

Generally this scope is very well put together for the money. Very nice points are the inclusion of built-in T-mount camera adaptor threads on the smooth 2" focuser and the supplied Barlow, which will come in very useful! Another nice touch is the camera piggy-back mount built into the front ring of the tube mounting rings.

The EQ-4 German equatorial mount is excellent, but the sooner I get my run-off roof observatory erected the better, because the whole assembly is extremely heavy! Stability of the aluminium tripod, which is great on smaller scopes, is however suspect as it twists under the weight of mount and OTA. So, my next priority is to get a pier and mount it permanently. The tripod may come in useful for another project...


OK - the bottom line! If you want a decent affordable refractor for Lunar and Planetary work, with the occasional dabble with deep-sky - buy it. If you live in a light-polluted area and want a good quality 'scope that will show everything you can see from such sites and more - buy it! If you want a good refractor but can't afford the prices for the perfection of Astro Physics and Takahashi - and are happy to live with a little residual chromatic aberration - buy it! Oh yes, and if you are into retro and want to find out how the Victorian and Edwardian amateurs observed, this is a great way of time-travelling... :-) Buy it!

My rating is: Value for money, 10. Quality, 9 (let down by that tripod!).

'Nuff said!

Stuart Williams

Bloxwich, England

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
Link to this vote: http://excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=221365

Helios Evostar 150
Nice scope if you want something that requires very little maintenance and will last you for the rest of your natural days.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:9 Mount:4 Ease of Use:9 Value:9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Link to this vote: http://excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=367555

Helios Evostar 150
Contrast gives the best images of deep sky I have ever had from any of my scopes (13.5" down) at my lite poluted site
planets and lunar are fantastic up to 500x seeing is more of a problem from heated houses apature is no help hear
I do use a Celestron/Baddar bino head this helps
the mount or head is good motors track well (vixen) very useable on a 5'6" pier
the tripod is crap or not up to the job but look at it this way in the uk a ETX90ec costs the same with Autostar and no tripod (I have one)the ETX can find things but you cant see them the Evostar has a great finder that helps and the views are fantastic so the tripod is free sell it and get the money for a pier no comparison realy.
For the money its the best most useable scope ive had in 18 years
please note Vixen Skysensor 2000 or the Stellar Guide + encoders fit straight on

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Link to this vote: http://excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40982

Helios Evostar 150
Very good telescope for the price.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Link to this vote: http://excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40980

Helios Evostar 150
This was my first decent telescope, up until a few months back I used binoculars. As it was my first scope I went in on a budget as I didn't want to be lumbered with a very expensive GoTo catadioptric which came out below my expectations. So I must admit, I bought the Evostar 150 not expecting much in terms of performance. This was probably a good thing as I am very impressed with the scope. Jupiter (and moons), Saturn, and the Orion Nebula - all far far better than I have ever seen before. Aberration - better than a pair of zoom 70mm binoculars I have. Tripod - yes a bit unstable, but I'm not annoyed given the overall price. I bought the two motor drives - be careful what you're doing when mounting these, I must have manually driven the scope with motors engaged and caused the gearbox some grief - fortunately my mates in the machine shop fixed it. I'm about to try photography using an Olympus OM10 SLR, and am getting a connector made up so I can mount my Canon digital camera on the focuser. Rating 10/10 bearing in mind the price, 9/10 if I were being picky about the tripod.

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Link to this vote: http://excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40981

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