Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor

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Brand and Model:Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
Price ($USD):$279.00
Type:Achromatic Refractor
Attributes: un-checked Go-To un-checked PEC
Aperture:80mm (3.1 in)
f Ratio:5
Focal Length:400mm
Electric Power:optional
Mount:EQ-1 (CG-2)
Weight (lbs):16.0
Dimensions (w/h/d):OTA: 15.0 inches
Description:Orion's Short Tube 80 page


Vote Highlights Vote
Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
Even though I have a Meade LX90, this scope gets plently of use. I carry it in the back seat of the car and whip it out for quick sessions. (Sometimes while driving cross county at night.) I recommend a 17mm and 25mm plossol, a barlow and an inexpensive Baader solar filter as accessories.

Try one out just for the fun!

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:8 Value:9
Weight: 10 (Trustworthy Vote)
By: PatAgnew
Link to this vote: http://excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=49307

Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
For the money, this scope is worth every penny. I bought it as a grab & go. In truth, it has become my primary scope. As has been said before, it can't handle magnification, but I have my Unitron for that. This scope is a whole lot lighter than a Unitron. Not a work of art....just functional.


Overall Rating: 8
Optics:6 Mount:6 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
By: juniorgirl
Link to this vote: http://excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=501917

Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
I had the Vista 508SE - a Canadian version of the ST80. Nice wide field views. Can't handle much power (dies at around 80x), but images are crisp. False colour is quite annoying on very bright objects like the Moon and Jupiter. M13 shows granularity, but no stars are resolved. Great little grab and go scope, if you can get one on an EQ mount, it's really worth the money. Build quality is so-so, but the 2 inch focuser is really smooth. VERDICT - Recommended.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:5 Ease of Use:7 Value:8
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
By: BBQedIguana
Link to this vote: http://excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=142058

Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
Hi All,

Taken the ST80 about as far as I can - without putting serious money (time yes, but not money) into it. Currently able to resolve Cassini cleanly, plus Saturn's SEB, posterior ring shadow, blue gray mottling in the SPR, and four satellites.
More of Ring A now visible than in the past.

Jupiter cleanly displays NTB, NEB, SEB, NTB. Rift is SEB on best nights and the GRS is seen as a huge white oval - but requires a bit more concentration than it should to make out...

(See one and only ST80 sketch at http://astro.geekjoy.com/sketchgallery/gasgiant_sketches.html)

220x now useable in resolving Dawe's limit doubles (Epsilon Arietis) and 120x for tough disparates (Alnitak and on the edge - Delta Cygni). Polaris-B visible half-hour after sunset...

False color still seen on Moon and Jupiter as a faint tracing of magenta along limb that must be looked for. (Improved by widening the doublet spacing to about half a millimeter - but it's still an F5 achromat!)

Stars to magnitude 12.5 can be held direct under 6.0 ULM, 8/10 stability at 120x.

Most 6th magnitude and brighter globular clusters show resolved outliers.

One problem along the way: Scratched the coating while re-spacing the doublet.
So be careful! (BTW: Only the first element's external face is coated. Ambitious owners may want to find someone to fully multicoat the object glass elements.)

Finally, two issues remain with this scope:

1. Too much slop in terms of focuser support for all the weight induced by barlow(s), diagonal and ep.

2. Inability to make controlled (micrometric) changes in object glass pitch and yaw (for collimation) due to a lack of adjustment mechanisms.

For serious ST80 owners (and prospective owners). I do not recommend the supplied EQ2 mount. Purchase the OTA only and get a Orion Skyview Deluxe (or equivalent CG4). If you go through all the trouble of "playing optical technician" with your shortTube you (and it) will earn the right to a decent ride...

To the manufacturers out there in opticsland: Import a version of this scope with properly spaced doublet and adjustable lens cell. Improve the grip the focuser has on the barlow / diagonal to eliminate sag. Provide an adjustable mirror diagonal. Add a three aperture stopped lens cap (F9 & F7). Charge $500 (to undercut the TV Ranger and add 10mms aperture.) Offer a complete package with CG4 mount (750) and see if you don't sell em like hotcakes...

Meanwhile, make the upgraded OTA (sans doublet) available for about $200 so those of us who wish to convert can do so! (If any manufacturer does either / both) of the above I will be more than happy to add a link from astro.geekjoy to their store!)

Clear and Steady,



Overall Rating: 7
Optics:7 Mount:4 Ease of Use:8 Value:9
Weight: 4 (Unreliable Vote)
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.246.179)
Link to this vote: http://excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=65358

Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
I rate the scope OTA and focuser a 10, and the eq mount with tripod a 6: that averages to an 8.

The scope itself is fantastic for an 80mm. Images slightly out of focus at edge of FOV but not terrible.

The eq mount is not very good - and I am easy to satisfy. If the dec slo-mo was better I would have rated everything a strong 10. Here is what is wrong:

The dec slo -mo does not use a gear. The RA does and provides excellent performance. The dec uses a large set screw with a piston and internal spring within the set screw that provides resistance on one side. On the other side is your slo-mo connection. It is a simple screw that turns and pushes against the other side of the dec and pushes the piston on other side f or tension(or allows it to expand in opposite direction). The problem is you can only go so far either way. If moving dec control counter clockwise and you reach the limit the connection on the cable side starts to unscrew itself. This is a major hassle. I found the only way to overcome this is to loosen lock screw and move dec manually where only clockwise movement is required. This means every time you want to move in opposite direction you must loosen dec lock and move manually, retighten, and then move clockwise with cable. I aslo wonder how long the screw will last internally - it pushes metal against metal.

First light was the 2001 TLSP Star Party. The optics are a real winner. I tried finding M81 82 51 101 102 skies not too good north low to horizon. No luck. Found NGC 869 and 884. Nice double cluster. Lots of tiny stars. Andromeda Galaxy was also a treat in this scope. Took up a lot of the FOV edge to edge. Moderately bright and good definition and was super easy to find. Also saw Saturn - very very bright. Almost too bright. Very small image but rings visible. No details seen. The next night I found awesome little 6-7 mag clusters M52 and and NGC 7789. These were interesting finds. With 25mm ep M52 looked like a small out of focus area - tiny tiny. Would not focus like other stars. With 10 mm you can resolve tiny tiny dim stars - hey I found M52! Same with NGC 7789. 7789 looked better with the 17mm ep. I watched them each for like 30 minutes - I was very proud! Saturn looked better the second night - sharper and more definition of rings.

The metal rack and pinion focuser (with lock screw) performed flawlessly. Smooth and holds focus.

No dew problems - the scope has built-in dew cap.

So, for the money, I don't think you can do better in an 80 mm OTA than the Orion 80 mm short tube. Because of the focal length it is easy to find objects, although they are small and hard to distinguish from stellar background. The mount would be good if they made the dec differently. I got it all from Orion for about $399 including hard case, 2 eyepieces, OTA, eq mount, and tripod. That is half the price of the super high quality Stellarvue. Obviously a big difference in quality between the two, but you can buy a lot of accessories for the other $300. The Orion ST 80 is a lot of fun for the money.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 2 (Unreliable Vote)
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.125.15)
Link to this vote: http://excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=37812

Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
I got the OTA only, as I already had a photo-tripod. My goal was to have a portable wide-field telescope I could take on trips, one cheap enough that if it got trashed in a bad airplane luggage experience, it wouldn't break my heart.

The ST-80 does exactly what I wanted it to. I can set it up, take a look and tear it down in twenty minutes. I have taken it on car and plane trips, and I don't mind checking it as luggage in the special ST-80 fitted case Orion sells. It's also a nice second scope to have around in case you want to do some wide-field viewing.

Optically it's ok. Resolution-wise, I can see that Saturn has rings, but I can't see the Cassini division; I can see two belts on Jupiter but no more, I can't resolve the outer stars of M13. I can do all those things in my 4.25-inch Newtonian. Wide-field-wise, it's just what you want: a 25mm eyepiece gives you 16x (using all 80mm of aperture) and a true field of view over 3 degrees: good on big open clusters and star-clouds.

I made a solar filter using Baader film, and it's good for seeing sun-spots.

There's some color on the Moon -- a slight purple or lime-green rim -- but the color isn't annoying. The Orion minus-violet filter removes that color, but I prefer the unfiltered view as it seems sharper.

I've upgraded to the Orion mirror diagonal and replaced the finderscope with a Rigel, and am now very happy with the ST-80. For the price, it's a good performer.


Overall Rating: 9
Optics:7 Ease of Use:9 Value:9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.52.10)
Link to this vote: http://excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=462403

Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
Vastly superior to department store scopes. I even think it's views are superior to a 6" refractor I use to own.

The optics are quite good: pinpoint star images - albeit with purple halos. The rings of Saturn are crips, banding on Jupiter is evident. The image is small (50x) but you can see these things. It's also very portable: I often throw it in my suitcase and take it on trips with me. It's sturdy: my 4-year old uses it to watch the neighbor's dogs and it's surviving just fine. It light enough to mount on a camera tripod use as a spotting scope. On the minus side, it has problems with chromatic aberation. In daylight, birds, etc. have a purple fringe. At night, it's limited to about 50x due to false color.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:7 Mount:5 Ease of Use:8 Value:8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.242.231)
Link to this vote: http://excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=408669

Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
Great scope for the money. I actually acquired mine on a trade on Astromart. I got it OTA without a finder. I put on a red dot finder and use it on an Orion Paragon tripod. I loosened up the lens cell and it helped the optical quality a bit. I use it primarily as a solar scope with a baader fitler. It gives nice views of the sun when I use my Ultima 12.5mm ep. I also use it as a travel scope. It give nice wide field views. High power views are another story. It gives a nice view of the moon if you don't push the power too much.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:7 Value:9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.23.37)
Link to this vote: http://excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=186858

Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
Great scope for the money. I use it piggyback on my 8" SCT and it provides an excellent wide FOV.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:7 Value:9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.203.221)
Link to this vote: http://excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=142812

Orion ShortTube 80mm EQ Refractor
Good scope for price,reasonable optics ,poor quality 45 degree diagonal ,get decent 90 degree diagonal for astronomical use.A lot of false colour is apparent on brighter objects,but a Baader Neodymium filter significantly improves this problem.I own a Konus Vista 80mm f5,which is identical to the Orion short tube 80 and the Celestron FS80.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:7 Mount:5 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.112.1)
Link to this vote: http://excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=139251

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