422 of 423 people found the following review helpful
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I bought this telescope for my girlfriend for Christmas. She had been wanting a telescope for sometime so I decided this would be the perfect gift. I was looking for a scope that wouldn't break the bank but wouldn't be a piece of junk either. I looked at models from Meade and Celestron but ultimately decided on this one.
I chose this over the refractor telescopes mainly because it seemed that to look into the refractor scopes would require a lot of bending over whereas this one has the eyepiece closer to eye level which makes viewing easier. Also, go for the equatorial mount, it's much easier to track things in the sky using it as we quickly found out.
Ok, so how was it? Well it came in a big box (which made the g/f crazy with this HUGE gift under the tree!) and everything was nicely and neatly packed. Everything appeard to be of high quality and good build; which is typical of Orion products from what I've read. The instruction maunal on assemble was pretty scarce. Anyone who's pretty handy at building things will be able to figure it out; but it's not the easiest thing either. This is mainly because of a lack of pictures to go along with the assembly steps. Well we got it assembled and waited for dark.
It was pretty cold and we just did some viewing of the moon and a couple of stars from the front yard. A hazy night with tons of light from the street didn't provide the best viewing conditions. That being said the moon looked amazing!! The detail was outstanding. We were able to also see the Orion Nebula and looked at other stars. I can't even imagine what it will look like on a good clear night. We're looking foward to bringing it camping with us where there will be some great viewing. The included software is also extremely useful and fun to use. The software alone is easily worth more than half of the price of this scope. Even if you hate the scope; you can learn a lot of great information from the software.
Overall this is a great scope for the amateur astronomer. It's cheap enough that it won't break the bank (good especially if you're not sure if astronomy is for you) but still plenty good enough for some great viewing. The instruction manual could be better but the quality of the software and of the scope itself more than makes up for the poor manual. I would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone looking for a good budget scope!
*Update* We've had this scope for about 16 months now, and it's fantastic!! We have taken it with us several places camping and have gotten to see some really great stuff. It's fairly easy to find the planets and even a galaxy or two. The only downside is that it takes up a lot of room in the car when we camp; but this would be true for any decent telescope. So not so much a problem with this one specifically, but with telescopes in general. Even to this day, we're still amazed just looking at the moon. The details and "awesomeness" of it never get old. Really looking at everything never gets old. I'm so glad we have this scope!
*December 2010 Update* I thought I would give an additional update. We have had this telescope for 4 years now. It's fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. I cannot recommend it enough. Recently we were looking at Jupiter and could make out all of the Galilean moons as well as being able to make out red striping of the planet itself (still haven't been able to see the great spot!). All of this from the front of our yard in the city. A buddy of mine got a 7" reflector scope, and while his can see much deeper and give better resolution, this one is still tops in my book. It's easy to transport and move around and still provides great viewing. We just love taking it camping with us - get 50 miles out of the city and the "awe factor" grows exponentially. Try taking a huge super powerful scope camping, or seeing anything cool with one of the cheap toy-store ones. For price and features, you can't beat this one.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 4, 2012 9:28:32 PM PDT
Great review. Thanks for drawing the readers' attention to the equatorial mount. I looked up the definition on Wikipedia and my decision went from "hmm, very interesting" to an enthusiastic "yes!". Thanks.
Posted on Dec 2, 2012 10:53:01 AM PST
Thanks for the up-to-date review of this product. I'm looking for a telescope for my mom, and your review definitely helped in my decision making. It's one thing to buy the product and give a review based on initial use. But to give "glowing" updated reviews over a period of time after a number of uses definitely helped sell this product. Thanks again!
Posted on Dec 4, 2012 2:25:47 PM PST
S. Pu says:
Wow! Thank you. Reviews are usually just after you get something...first impressions, etc. This one really went the extra mile and this review sold me the telescope. Hope my son loves it!
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 6, 2012 7:11:55 PM PST
E. Beckstrom says:
Righit on. Updated reviews are so very helpful!
Posted on Dec 10, 2012 3:26:40 PM PST
Thanks for updating.. I'm really excited about this Scope!
Posted on Jun 6, 2013 7:33:37 AM PDT
Thank you for updating this review. It really helps to know how an item function over the long run!
Posted on Nov 16, 2013 11:11:15 PM PST
Debra Martinez says:
Wonderful review...I am sold on it now.Thanks for the information. Am buying it tonite:)
Posted on Nov 17, 2013 2:58:38 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 17, 2013 2:59:03 PM PST
Sara Leland says:
Great review, I'm going to buy this for my husband this Christmas. Leaves me wondering if you and your girlfriend are husband and wife now?
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2013 7:19:54 AM PST
M. Meckfessel says:
Glad you found the review helpful. Your husband is going to love it!
And yes - my then girlfriend is my now wife!
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2013 8:00:29 AM PST
I agree with you! I have just purchased this telescope for my husband for Christmas. The updated reviews sold me on this telescope!
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