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Showing 1-10 of 99 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 111 reviews
on January 5, 2015
This telescope is quite impressive for a beginner scope. I personally think this is great for the price, assembly was extremely easy and I'm not even a person who is very technically inclined(Of course watching the Youtube video on assembly was probably what made it so easy).

I had a problem with the reflex sight, so I went on the Orion website and used the live customer service chat. The person immediately helped me in figuring out how to take the casing off and put the battery in. I thought the reflex sight wasn't working when I turned it on because when I looked through it I couldn't see the red dot, I told the help lady this and she offered to ship me a new one free of charge. That's when I discovered I had simply not angled the sight correctly and it was all due to my stupidity.

Once I finished assembly, I waited for night to fall. Unfortunately, living in a very humid area, I've only gotten two good nights of viewing with this telescope. The views however, were great. It brings you back to reality, the astrophotographs that you see online are doctored and not necessarily what you see with your own eyes in a real telescope. I personally think that's what makes it more majestic, to view it through your own personal telescope.

Mars was the first object I looked at, it was a small red star through the telescope. This at first hindered my interest, but after more research I discovered that viewing conditions weren't proper for viewing Mars and any surface detail. You will most likely see Mars the clearest and best when it is closest to Earth every two years. After Mars, I looked at the moon with an Orion 13% transmission moon filter. The view was breathtaking, the craters were clear and sharp. The equatorial mount made it all the easier to track objects as they moved across the night sky, if I had purchased an alt-azimuth mount I would have spent more time adjusting than viewing the object.

As the night went on, I finally got to see Jupiter. In the sky to the naked eye, Jupiter looks like a very bright star, very distinctive and easy to find. I first used the 25mm eyepiece and saw a large white disc with four bright dots around it, the four Galilean moons. I then put in the 10mm eyepiece and the view was truly epic. I could see two dark cloud bands around Jupiter, and the Galilean moons were bright dots of light. I could even make out the reddish color of Io, the closest moon of Jupiter.

Later I saw the Orion Nebula, which was a large gray smudge. It too, was beautiful.

This is a great scope that I would recommend to anyone interested in beginning astronomy. I encourage ANYONE who is interested to DO YOUR RESEARCH. I've learned so much about telescopes, and it's not that hard to do some reading about what kind of telescope is best to get and what to search for when purchasing a telescope like aperture size and focal length. NEVER buy a telescope if it flaunts or advertises magnification. I will be buying more accessories for this telescope like a solar filter and a Barlow lens, and I will be buying from Orion in the future. Great product. Great Service too.
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on December 26, 2006
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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on May 22, 2015
Its the best you can ever had for the price. Refactor with equatorial mount.
All objectives are coated glass, good mirror, metal encasing, coated finder. You can not get any of that for less than 150 on any other brand, period. Then again its made in china. Everything is good heavy metal, but the finish can be rough.
The markings on the mount are not very precise.
The manual is USELESS. Dont worry about the complex Polaris alignment. Here is how to use it->
1) Understand what you need to do: The telescope will turn following the earth's rotation. So the telescope will turn over the right ascension barrel. Thats the big can thing between the base and the telescope. It needs to be aligned to true north horizontally, and for latitude vertically. Then you lock it and done!
1) Balance the telescope: put the telescope in one side, wight in the other, move weight until they are balanced: lock it.
2) Use a FLAT surface, or alignment will not work.
3) Put it roughly facing north, lock the base so it does not turn. Azimuth.
4) Take your phone, find your latitude in google maps, gps, or compass, and erect the mount to the latitude as precise as you can, if you are not doing the polaris thing. This is a one time thing so once set, lock it well with the knobs. Remember that if you move far from home you need reset. Check the manual to locate the latitude adjust.
Ok, that fixes the vertical orientation, now for the horizontal alignment:
6) Identify the right ascension barrel. Thats the big can between the telescope and the base. The front is the side with the telescope on top, and the dial.
7) Point to the geographical north, not the magnetic north! -> Do not use a compass!. This is how :
Open google maps or whatever car map app and switch to map facing forward, where the little compass moves. Maps/charts are aligned to geographical north, so you can use that arrow.
8) Align the, the main barrel, towards the north as pointed in the map as precise as possible. Not the telescope, that moves, but the right ascension barrel, that will always be fixed to the earths rotation axis.
9) Done!
10 ) So, again to use it: Move the telescope to point wherever you want but dont move the barrel! To point, either turn around with the rotating base at the top of the barrel (declination) and then rotate over the barrel, but what ever you do, the barrel needs to keep pointing north and erected to your latitude. Then as things move out of sight just turn the right ascension knob slowly (the one that rotates the telescope around the barrel / the one that moves the screw under the barrel, as it is aligned now to the earth rotation axis) and the telescope will nicely follow for hours of fun!
Now this is a little rough so, from time to time, use the declination knob to keep things in sight.
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on March 9, 2016
So far I like it. I have not really had a chance to get out of the city lights to really use this yet but it is a really great beginner scope. My only issues, and why I dinged it a star, is the assembly instructions. They are horrible. They tell you to put all this stuff together but there are no diagrams or parts list. All they refer you to is a picture of the fully assembled telescope and just have a few arrows pointing to a few pieces. It is up to you to try to figure out what thumb screw goes where or what direction the scope tube needs to be mounted. They do have toll-free support you can call for assistance but you shouldn't have to for what should be a simple assembly. I imagine of you know you way around telescopes, it would be an easier,.but for the beginner, which is what this telescope was designed for, it is a guessing game. Other than that, I think it is a great scope for beginners.
Note: The tripod legs really do not fold up if you install the accessory tray. The tray is held in by 3 thumb screws so it is not that big a deal to remove the tray if needed, but it is still a few extra minutes of tear down and setup.
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on December 30, 2011
I bought this telescope as a Christmas present for my family. My daughter (soon to be 12) is a bit of a science geek, and I have always been interested in astronomy, so I figured we would give it a try. My daughter helped me to put it together. Thankfully the mirrors did not need to be installed, or for that matter, adjusted. We took it out to the deck in our back yard and were very disappointed! I couldn't find anything in the night sky, and my sight didn't work. Later that night I re-read the instruction manual. I guess I didn't read it very closely the first time, because it was filled with directions on how to properly sight the scope and a bunch of different ways to adjust the telescope.

So the next day armed with this knowledge, I sighted in the finder on an object about a mile away and I played with the different adjustment knobs to get more familiar with the telescope. My daughter and I tried again that night. The moon was in the first quarter. I sighted it in and.....there it was in the lens! My daughter was very impressed. Next I sighted in on Venus, but it was partially obscured by some trees, as it was lower on the horizon. Directly above us was Jupiter, so I decided to try that next. I sighted it in and sure enough, there it was right in the middle of my lens! We then switched to the 10mm lens and looked at Jupiter...beautiful! We could even see a few of Jupiter's moons! My daughter was very excited seeing all these objects! It's nice to see her interested in science, and I think this telescope will really help with that!

I cannot stress enough the importance of reading the instruction book (multiple times if you are as dense as I can be!). It seems every time I read it, I find something else that helps me. Also take the time to learn the different parts and how to adjust them. The Equatorial Mount is really nice, but if you don't know what you're doing, it's useless.

I think this product is perfect for the beginner astronomer who is willing to take a little time to learn to use the product.
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on January 16, 2012
I am alway reading reviews to help me decide on buyng a product, especially spending this much for a gift. But after reading the other revies I decided to take a chance. I was very excited to give this to my husband for christmas. On other reviews the only issue folks seem to have was putting it together, Nut my husband had no issue at all. I am very glad I bought this. It's a great Telescope!
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on August 6, 2012
I bought this item for my boyfriend's birthday, so I had to wait until he opened his gift so I could see this product. He loved it, absolutely loved it!

It arrived on time, and to be honest, it's larger than expected, it came with so many appliances, and it was really easy to assemble. We saw a few stars, but we couldn't see the moon, it was full the day we try it.

If you're starting in astronomy, I would recomend this telescope, it's a very complete product and has good quality, for this price I really doubt I could find something similar, plus, you can buy more accesories that adapt to it, I find that quite useful.

Great buy, my boyfriend was really happy -still is- so it was worth the waiting.
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on January 22, 2014
just got it today and put it together straight out of the box and waited for it to be dark. when it did get dark i took it right out and the first thing i was able to see through the 10mm eyepiece was Jupiter and some of its moons and even two or three of the cloud belts! the next thing i looked for was the Orion nebula and with the help of the easy finder(which works fairly well) was able to get in focus within about 30 seconds and it looked great. the only problem i have with it is that every time i move the scope up and down in latitude i had to keep tightening the T-bolt on it but that is my only complaint. i sadly was not able to see the moo because clouds decide to role in but i cant wait to see it. i do recommend getting a Barlow lens so you can farther. over all it is a great telescope that i would highly recommend this to anyone who is into or want to get into star gazing.
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on January 20, 2015
We bought this as a gift for our 10 year old and she absolutely loves it! We havent been able to use it much because its been so cold, but the first night we used it Jupiter happened to be extermely close to earth and it was so cool. It is a bit hard to get all the adjustments right, but we had never used a telescope before, and its just going to take some practice. The only reason I gave it 4 stars is because we haven't been able to use it enough to see what it can really do, or how well it will hold up with a 10, 8, and 6 year old using it. Seems like a great little starter telescope though.
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on March 16, 2013
Five out of five stars... although it was really simple to assembly (half hour, as advertised), the components (equatorial mount, tripod, adjusters) are light gauge and of moderate quality, but if treated right (not abused) should provide years of enjoyment and this is still a great product for kids yearning to see the stars with their own eyes. Contents of box was missing one lock screw for one of the tripod legs, but this was quickly remedied with a trip to local hardware store (didn't feel the need to burn time trying to contact customer support for this little item). Half an hour out of the box and a quick user-guide primer on how to use the easy finder II sight (which is really cool, by the way) and we were looking at our moon, the planet Jupiter and its four major moons, the plieades, and some of the more common double stars. Of course this only wetted my appetite, so have just ordered a 2x Barlow lens and a moon filter. The included Starry Night software is amazing and will help us to find even more events in the sky. I've yet to tap into the software's full capabilities, but the ones I have used make the whole purchase well worth the money spent. May even have to look into getting the electronic telescope drive, which apparently can be driven by this software.
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