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on August 25, 2012
OK, this set is a bargain at the price, but you are kind of at a loss if you are a novice with a telescope. This set will pretty much see you through whatever viewing you want to do, although a 4 or 3mm lens would give you more magnification, if you want it later on.

This set doesn't come with either a list of the contents or any sort of description of what you have. The video at the company website is sort of helpful, but not as much as I want to know about what these do. Actually, the Orion telescopes website does give this information if you go to the more info, but it would have been nice to have had it in the box rather than dig at the website (Note: I bought another set of filters from Orion which came with a manual).

I bought this on the recommendation of the other reviews and I am sure that these are worth the money, but it's a bit frustrating for the neophyte who has no idea of what they are for and then have to go to the website and hunt for the information.

Actually, I can say that this is a pretty good set for the money and will allow you to get quite a bit out of your telescope if you have something similar to what I have (Orion SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope). If you have a backup scope like the Go Scope, these are also pretty useful.

I will say this about Orion, they are incredibly helpful. The website has more, and better, information than what comes with the scope. And customer service will answer any question you have.

But, the reason I give this set a 4 instead of a 5 is that it would have been nice to have had this info come with the set.

BTW, after figuring out what I have here, this is a good set for the money. The Barlow Lens will do the trick--especially if you are a neophyte! This is OK for beginners, someone starting out with a telescope.

But, as I said, you are going to have to hunt to figure out how to use them.

BTW, this is the info:

Five 1.25" Sirius Plossl eyepieces - 40mm, 17mm, 10mm, 7.5mm, and 6.3mm focal lengths
Five 1.25" color eyepiece filters - #12 Yellow, #23 Orange, #25 Red, #58 Green and #80A Blue
1.25" 2x Shorty Barlow Lens
1.25" neutral-density 13% transmission Moon filter for telescope eyepieces
Foam-lined hard (aluminum) carry case
Five 1.25" Sirius Plossl Telescope Eyepieces
Using different eyepieces enables you to "zoom in" on details with low focal-length high-magnification eyepieces to view, for example, a specific cratered region of the Moon. Conversely, using moderate to long focal length eyepieces provide a wider field of view to take in larger swaths of the night sky to view, for example, the entire disk of the full Moon, or a wide-field open star cluster or gaseous nebula. Five Sirius Plossl eyepieces are included to provide a comprehensive variety of viewing magnifications. Plossl eyepieces feature four-element optics that are multi-coated and a pleasantly wide 52° apparent field of view (43° for the 40mm eyepiece).
The 40mm focal length eyepiece will show a very wide area of sky in most telescopes. The 17 and 10mm eyepieces provide a moderate viewing power for taking in more detail on target objects. The high magnification 7.5mm and 6.3mm Plossl eyepieces yield very high viewing powers.
1.25" 2x Shorty Barlow
The included Shorty 2x Barlow doubles the magnifying power of any 1.25" eyepiece used with it, providing an easy way to effectively double the number of magnification options at your disposal. The Shorty's 2x amplifier lens is an achromatic glass doublet that is multi-coated with anti-reflection coatings to ensure excellent light transmission. The machined and anodized aluminum housing is internally baffled to eliminate unwanted reflections and increase contrast, and features filter threads to accept any 1.25" Orion eyepiece filter.
1.25" 13% Transmission Moon Filter
A neutral density Moon filter reduces distracting glare during brighter phases and optimize contrast of lunar landscape features. Not only will you see more surface features, but you can study them in greater comfort. This telescope filter reduces irradiation, which is the distortion at the boundary between light and dark areas, such as along the lunar terminator.
Five 1.25" Color Eyepiece Filters
Five color eyepiece filters are included to accentuate lunar and planetary features and details as indicated below:
#12 Yellow
* Enhances contrast of lunar features
* Coaxes out details of dark features of the Martian landscape and cloud detail in Mars' thin atmosphere
* Improves contrast on the crescent of Venus
* Helps resolve the cloud belts and polar regions of Jupiter
#23 Orange
* Adds contrast to lunar features
* Enhances edge surface detail on Mars
* Improves contrast of Jupiter's cloud belts, festoons, and the red spot
* Helps define the belts and poles of Saturn
#25 Red
* Enhances Martian surface details
* Augments bluish cloud regions on Jupiter and Saturn
* Increases contrast of Mercury against blue sky
* Improves cloud definition on Venus

#58 Green
* Improves contrast of blue and red structures on Jupiter
* Reveals melt line detail around Martian polar caps
* Enhances views of cloud belts on Saturn
#80A Blue
* Enhances details in Jupiter's cloud belts and Red Spot
* Increases contrast of high clouds and polar caps on Mars
* Highlights lunar surface details
* Adds contrast to cloud features on Venus
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on January 3, 2012
My husband bought this kit for me after I began using my Orion SpaceProbe 130 ST. I am new to astronomy, and this was my first scope. However, after reading a lot of reviews and playing around with my scope for a couple of nights, I realized I wanted (and needed!) some additions. I was planning on getting a Shorty 2X Barlow and moon filter for sure, but I also wanted some higher magnification eyepieces (namely a 7.5mm or 6.3mm) for planet/deep sky viewing. Buying separately would be about $117, so for a few extra dollars, I ended up with even more for the money. It comes with a sturdy carrying case with a cushioned interior, and there is room to add a couple of filters and a spot for a finder scope. It even comes with lock and keys.

This set gives you a wide variety of magnifications when using the Barlow, so it's like having 10 eyepieces in one kit in addition to the eyepieces you already have. I didn't think that having more than a couple of eyepieces would be important, and I figured that having one low and one high magnification would be sufficient for finding what I was looking for then getting a closeup of it. However, after using several different eyepieces for viewing the moon, it does offer a lot of views that wouldn't be seen otherwise. For example, my 17mm with the Barlow allowed me to see the entire moon in the field of view with enough detail to get a great picture through the lens. Using the 10mm with the Barlow allowed me a great closeup of a portion of the moon's surface. With all these different options, I can find the right magnification to best see what I am viewing.

I haven't tried all the filters yet, but the neutral density filter for moon viewing is a must. Without it, the glare is blinding! Even at less than a quarter full, my eyes were hurting after just a few minutes, and I had a headache the rest of the night after my stargazing session. I haven't tried the other color filters yet, but I am still learning! I am sure they will work as well as the moon filter though.

If you can spare a few extra dollars, I would definitely recommend this kit. It's great for those who have more than just a passing interest in astronomy. If you are planning on making a regular hobby out of it, then investing in some quality pieces will make viewing the heavens much more enjoyable!
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on April 14, 2012
I wanted to avoid accessory fever with my new SkyQuest XT8 but after a few nights of observing I decided I need more eye pieces and filters to get the most out of the scope. I was on the wire between this and the similar Celestron version with an extra eye piece/filter or two for $30 less. I did a bit of research and felt that the quality of this kit must be better. Reviews mentioned that the Barlows in the Celestron kit essentially duplicated a lot of the larger eye pieces and others mentioned the Orion accessory kit was better suited for the XT8 due to the focal lengths. I went a head and got this one.

Shipping was pretty fast (3 days) and the package was well packed. The small lock and key mechanism on my case does not work, but it is not a deal breaker because I have no intention in ever using it. The case is also plastic, not aluminum but I did not expect this kit to go that far. It does feel pretty solid though. On the inside is plenty of room for filters, extra spotting scope, and maybe two 1.25" or one 2" eye piece if you cut the foam right. I used the space for a spotting scope for some laser pointers and a (red) flash light instead. I also was able to tuck the XT8 manual and tools under the foam just in case.

The eye pieces and filters seem pretty good quality for the price. They are all metal bodied and feel of solid construction. I was impressed with the difference between the eye pieces. Going from the stock XT8 25mm EP to the 40mm was like the difference between a 19" monitor and a 40" tv. The image was also surprisingly bright. The smallest EP is great for looking at tiny objects. I was able to read a bill board on the Las Vegas strip from about 12 miles away with it. The filters impressed me quite a bit too. I was expecting the same effect you get as looking through cellophane but they were all very clear.

I would recommend this to anyone new to astronomy without a club near by to sample different EP's/filters.
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on August 25, 2014
For beginners and novices, it's a great temptation to get hold of accessories like eyepieces and filters. And when they're offered in 'groups', packed in a sexy case, that temptation can suddenly appear overwhelming.

In reality, these promotions always include items that will be used only once, or not at all, and unfortunately, are often the cause for buyer's remorse.

For about the same cost, you can buy a quality 28 to 35mm eyepiece, a 2x Barlow, and a Moon filter. That's really all you'll need to do 90 percent of your observing. And trust me -- you'll find that you rarely use the color filters if you observe in average locations and conditions.

The 'mid-quality' manufacturers pack their accessories into a snazzy case to sell in packages like this, because they don't sell well on their own merits.

Don't be fooled. Do it right.

Not recommended
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on April 16, 2013
This is a must have for anyone getting into astronomy! You will not need to buy any more eyepeices when you get this kit. the neutral density filter works really well when you look at the moon, makes it bearable to watch! The only downside is that the other colored filters don't help too much. They give whatever you're gazing at a different color, but does not make the features of the object much more vibrant. Get it for the eyepieces, but don't expect to be amazed by the color filters.
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on March 17, 2013
I bought this for my boyfriend for a birthday gift and he was super pleased! We just had the pleasure of being able to use it last night and it was pretty cool to play around with and test out all the different eyepieces. For all that you get, it really is worth buying! The only downside I would say about the kit is there is no accessory guide as to what eyepiece is what and etc.. so we had to look it up on the Orion website but other than that if you're an amateur telescope navigator, I'd definitely recommend this kit.
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on July 18, 2013
As a beginner to a telescope, I knew I would want more than just the 25mm eyepiece (EP) that came with my 8" Orion Dobsonian. This kit from Orion is the PERFECT fit for someone like me. The planetary and moon filters, along with the various magnifications from the multiple eyepieces give you a lot of versatility. The 40mm EP is great for wide views and helping make the first identification of your observation target.

As the focal lengths decrease and magnification increases, the exit pupil (size of the hole you're looking into) also decreases on these EPs. As an eyeglasses wearer, I can only go down to the 17mm EP with my glasses on. the 6.3, 7.3 and 10mm EPs have short enough eye relief that I must remove my glasses. Fortunately for me, my glasses are mostly for reading, so I can still get crisp enough views without my glasses. If you wear glasses and cannot see well without them, this kit might not be a good fit.

The EPs are not par focal, you will need to make small focal adjustments with each change. This is not a big deal, but worth mentioning. The filters can be a tad tricky to get started into the EPs at times, but also not a big deal. The case is wonderful and everything is well protected.

Of course, with more money, you can get par focal EPs that do not require refocusing with each EP change. You can get EPs with wider apparent fields of view, which show more width at a given magnification. You can get EPs with larger exit pupils / more eye relief, so that you can comfortably wear your eye glasses even with short focal length, high magnification EPs. All of these things do cost much more money, which is why I find this kit a great value for a beginner.

After using this kit, I have a better idea of what EPs I would like to upgrade to in the future. At the present, this kit is very functional in its own right and gives me the versatility that I want now. For the money, this is truly the best option for a beginner.
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on July 15, 2015
As mentioned by others before (but I choose not to believe):

The range of filters is rather unuseful. The grey filter for watching the moon is good, but the rest is not really helpful and just 5 min fun play.

The eye lenses are many, but really you can not use them, for the biggest magnification lense you have to put your eye on th elense to see anything and it delivers grey and blurry pictures - not useful. Of course this depends on your scope a little, but I think the only useful part is the 25 mm for wide(r) angle viewing and maybe the 15-17 mm for closer up views that are still crisp - the rest is redundant and some have barely any difference in view.

In general the ploessel eyepieces have a bad quality rubber rim, I already have one broken off because the dust lid forces them inward and using them takes the lip out - after a ocuple of uses they quality of the rubber is bad.

Purchasing select eye pieces and filters would have been the better choice.
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on December 4, 2013
Excellent kit. Like others have stated, a manual with even a brief explanation of each item would have been nice. However, with phones, tablets etc I was able to get the info pretty quickly.

For those who are wondering, the case is NOT cheap plastic, but instead feels durable.
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on July 31, 2013
And I am so glad I did. I love the telescope. I see things I never knew existed. At one point we saw a planet and rings so clearly, we almost felt like it was CGI or fake. IT was simply incredible. I am just starting to get into it, but I already love it. I would recommend the kit as I would have bought it anyway after realizing that I wanted different fields of view. I strongly recommend the kit if getting the dobsonian telescopes. Well worth it!
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