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Sky-Watcher ProED 80mm Doublet APO Refractor Telescope
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- 80 mm APO Refractor with ED Schott glass, 600 mm focal length (f/7.5), Dual-speed 2" Crayford-type focuser with 1.25" adaptor
- 20 mm and 5 mm 1.25, 8x50 RA viewfinder, 2" dielectric diagonal
- Tube-ring attachment hardware, Aluminum carry case
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|Item Dimensions||15 x 12 x 29 inches|
|Item Weight||22 pounds|
|Shipping Weight||22.2 pounds|
|Style Name||ProED 80 APO|
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This item Sky-Watcher ProED 80mm Doublet APO Refractor Telescope
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|Sold By||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Orion Telescopes & Binoculars||Amazon.com||Adorama Camera||Amazon.com|
|Item Dimensions||12 x 29 x 15 in||9.5 x 8.4 x 27.3 in||11.4 x 18.2 x 8.5 in||4 x 16 x 4 in||12.7 x 15.3 x 7.9 in||5.12 x 32 x 5.12 in|
|Item Weight||22 lbs||7.9 lbs||10.4 lbs||3 lbs||10.5 lbs||22.5 lbs|
Sky-Watcher PRO 80ED APO Refractor: Portable Optical Powerhouse! Due to their unobstructed textbook-like diffraction patterns and exotic optical properties, the ED-APO produces the sharpest, highest quality imaging obtainable from any telescope optical design. These breathtakingly pristine celestial views are coveted by experienced amateur astronomers.
Top Customer Reviews
I wanted a good sized APO, but something easy enough to limit grab and go. All my searches kept pointing to the Skywatcher 120ED. Here were the deciding factors:
Aperture: 120mm is a really nice spot. I have noticed a considerable jump in what you can see between 100mm vs. 120mm and having a good number of hours with 80mm, 100mm and 120mm refractors I really wanted the extra lightgrab
Price: I did not have a budget. My first choice was an NP-101. However the $1550 price tag for the SW was simply too enticing to pass up
Size: The SW is a doublet making it much lighter than 120mm triplets. In my research we are talking 11lbs vs. 20(ish) for 120mm triplets. That was a big factor. Also the 900mm focal length was still short enough to do some wide viewing (2.7degree true field with my 31mmT5)
Reviews: Many satisfied users and while some had complaints the consistent theme was incredible optics for that price level.
*** a note on the type of observing I do:
I am a nature lover first, scientist second. I love scanning the skies for stuff, and enjoying the pretty views along the way. Living in a light polluted area I love the open clusters and planets the best, but when at dark sites those still tend to be my favorite targets. I do most of my observing at the lowest magnifications the scope allows. My 24mm Pan is the work horse EP in my rotation. I will have hour long sessions and that EP doesn’t leave the scope. Next would be the 31mm Nagler. The big fella gets tons of love, but does push the optics of the ST120 and 9.25inch Evo OTA so the immersive feel is nice but it’s a bit soft around the edges. This EP does plays wonderfully with the ED80. A dark site joy. After those EPs the others are when I want more detail and I feel like studying. My patio (aka observing site) has tons of obstruction, so I observe first with what sky is available, and focus on targets after.
How often in life are things great right away? No adjustments, no telling yourself you will learn to love this or work around that… bam, just awesomeness right out of the gate? Rare in life but the Skywatcher did it. My first “peek” was at the moon for about 10 minutes and it wasn’t this night. It was while I was building the mount and it was pretty cloudy, but I caught some light through the clouds and wow. So I will include that in the list…
Moon – Well, the APO is supposed to be a clear, clean and crisp and the SW did not disappoint. No CA at all and razor tight outlines on craters and edges. My first thought was wow, my 2nd thought was at some point I should get a bino-viewer. I am really looking forward to more time on Luna
M36 (Pinwheel), M38(Starfish) and M37 – My eastern sky points to NYC and light pollution. My western sky is over rural NJ so it’s much darker. Starting there and scanning Auriga I found the brightest 3 open clusters easily. M37 is like someone dumped a chest of tiny sparking jewels into the sky. In the 2350mm Evolution these targets fill the EP. In the SW they are obviously not nearly as bright, but lovely to view. The surrounding sky also frames them. “Cluster” is the perfect name.
Rosette Nebula – Whiff on nebulosity. *Maybe* I caught a little but I would not swear on it. However the handful of NGC open clusters were great to pick out so this was still a rewarding view.
M45 Pleiades – Stunning. The view in the 31mm was perfect to show the brightest stars, the whole cluster and enough of the surrounding space to frame it. If you didn’t know there was nebula you might have thought there was some haze around the brightest stars… I didn’t get any contrast but the nebulosity added to this lovely site. The overall contrast was stunning. The brighter stars were crisp, but easily seen were also the fainter stars, and while I don’t think they are any carbon stars there are a couple with a nice deep orange in the 5-6 mag range that showed nicely. This is what I mean by “nature lover.” Like looking out at the Grand Canyon… this is simply a lovely view with great optics.
Double Cluster, Owl Cluster, Caroline’s Rose, M52 – Poking around Cassiopeia is another great area to simply get lost and find stuff. The Double Cluster is a great test for optics and EPs. These clusters have tons of stars with contrasting colors and luminosity. The SW and Nagler did not disappoint. The scope really shows off great contrast. Caroline’s Rose was perfect. Its large and lacks the bright stars like the Owl Cluster, but it was lovely none the less. Pinpoint delicate stars everywhere. Really rewarding views.
M31 (Andromeda) – One of the best views I have had of this from my patio. It was cold and crisp which really helps with the light pollution and it showed this night. The core was an alien and exotic glow with the extended dust lanes showing plenty of luminosity as well. The pair of dwarf galaxies were easy finds and served to add contrast to our closest neighboring galaxy.
Orion (the whole thing) – Like most I love this constellation. Everything about it. I love the bright stars. Betelgeuse is one of my favorite stars to look at. It just so bright and pretty and I love the color. Alnitak’s companions were easy to pick out and there was plenty of nebulosity in that area with some good contrast. M42, the great Nebula (see pic) was amazing. The milky bright layers of the nebula showed lovely contrast, and the stars in the trapezium were pristine pinpricks working hard to light the whole thing up.
Sirius- Finally the dog.. I tried to split it and see if I could make out the little pup. The 7mm Delite showed the best contrast, but I didn’t get separation. It looked like a blazing star with a little pimple popping out, so it was there, but not what double star fanatics (Im not one) would call a clean split.
Finally when I had my fill I popped off the diag and put on the wife’s DSLR. I am not an AP guy, but I do like to get some basic photos of bright things. Getting the data is fun, but I have no stomach for the post processing or setting up auto guiding. At least not yet anyway.
In any case thanks for reading. I really look forward to many years under the sky with this scope. I was shooting for a nice mix of portability, aperture and great optics and I feel like I really made a great choice. Optically this scope far exceeds anything else I have. This is everything I could have expected. Great APO optics. Pin point stars across the entire FOV. Even the 31mmT5 showed perfect stars in 95% of the view… only at the very edges was there any softening and nothing distracting. With the rings, dovetail and diag its about 15lbs.
Attached photo is Orion Nebula M42, 30 second exposure
My final decision was made after reading a review on an astronomy website in which the reviewer had been using an 8" Cassegrain for years and at a star party got some time on the 120ED. He realized that he was seeing both moon images and deep space images better and easier on the 120 despite the smaller aperture. He reported doing some research and concluded that between the blockage that the front mirror causes in a short tube reflector and the light loss from the extra trips though glass at each reflection, the 120ED was actually transmitting more light to his eye than was the 8" Cassegrain!
If there is a drawback it is that this scope is long. That means that in an overhead shot it is possible to have a camera or diagonal hit a tripod leg. That, of course, throws off the alignment and requires a complete new set of alignment shots. The problem is generated by a combination of the overall length and the need to extend the Crawford focusing tube, particularly when doing astrophotography. The solution is to balance the scope with the camera or diagonal mounted and the tube extended. That will move the scope forward in the mount and avoid the problem. If a person has been using a short reflecting tube the issue of scope balance is a whole new problem. The way the mounting rings are set up on this scope makes it a piece of cake. Just loosen the thumb screws a little and the scope slides smoothly up and down in the padded ring mounts. The perfectly machined and polished tube surface aids this process immensely.
Overall the scope is very solidly built from the heavy metal dew shield to the Crawford mount and tube. This is a piece of craftsmanship on sale for about half what I would have expected to pay.