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Orion 120mm ED (4.7 Inch) f7.5 Apochromatic RefractorFaster and about the same physical length as the Orion 100mm ED, and still incredibly light weight!
Above: Similar Orion 100mm ED Apochromatic Refractor Telescope.
Available as an Optical Tube Assembly as shown above with 2" Focuser and Reducer to 1.25" (61,288 Bytes).
Click on image to see enlarged view (99,351 bytes)
The Orion 120ED telescopes went on display in Company Seven's showroom in September 2006; again we were the first in the nation (maybe in the world) to show a new upper end Orion telescope.
The introduction in late 2003 of the Orion 80mm ED telescope was greeted with much praise and enthusiasm. The Chinese maker contracted by Orion to produce this new telescope proved China was becoming a force to be reckoned with, in some terms tickling the more upscale market areas of optics. The 80 ED demonstrates it is possible to buy a telescope that does not claim to be the finest in the world but is one heck of a good balance between aperture, focal length, overall optical performance and cost. Not long after the introduction of the 80 ED we assumed the design would be scaled up to produce a telescope with a larger aperture, one that would be even more suited for astronomical applications and in 2004 Orion introduced the Orion 100mm ED telescope. In response to the demands for even greater light gathering power to make an Apo even more useful on deep sky objects, the 120 ED was revealed. The 120 mm is sold as an optical tube assembly only, one has to add Finderscope and Mounting Rings and other accessories as desired.
right: Orion 120mm ED OTA on optional SkyView Pro mount, with optional Finder and Mounting Rings (184,571 Bytes).
This is not simply a larger version of its predecessors but a different design that provides an incredibly compact arrangement - even shorter than the Orion 120mm f8.3 Achromat that had previously been their largest refractor.
Orion developed the ED telescope lens design so that it can be readily produced solely for Orion and deliver a rewarding experience on the planets or deep sky. It is available when sold separately as the 100 ED Optical Tube Assembly (OTA) and Company Seven also offers it packaged with a variety of mounts including the Orion SkyView Pro or Sirius "Go To" computer controlled German Equatorial Mounts.
The low cost of the telescope is made possible in part by the low wages paid in China, the ready supply of cheap crown glass, and to degrees of automation and speed in manufacture. This process produces a lens made to a prescription that is good enough to provide views free of false color that are acceptable at up to about 60x per inch of aperture which is somewhat less than premium Apos. So while this is not as esoteric in deign or as perfect an optical figure as our most advanced Apos such as the Astro-Physics 130 f6 and TeleVue NP127 f5.2 Apos, the cost of the complete Orion 120 mm ED telescope and mount represent a good value being only a fraction of the cost of its superior cousins: one gets to that point where sheer size makes up for some qualitative differences!
The 4 inch (10cm) Apo refractor has long been regarded as the most perfect single telescope providing the best compromise of portability and usefulness in amateur astronomical applications. The Orion 120 ED makes up with aperture what it make lack in perfection, and yet with the 900mm focal length the useful fields of view are broad enough and the high power performance good enough that anyone who buys this should be pleasantly surprised.
This Apo can 1. deliver the light gathering and high contrast resolving power necessary to reveal many celestial objects with a very natural almost three dimensional appearance, 2. can provide a wider span of Field of View than any Reflecting or Catadioptric design with an aperture that can show similar detail, and 3. can cross to well above the critical 200x minimal threshold of planet and lunar observing that reveals subtle details and changing features from night to night.
The 120mm ED approaches 280x in term of light gathering power over the unaided human eye and this is about a 1.44X increase over the throughput of its smaller cousin the Orion 100mm ED. It is possible to glimpse the entire "Messier Catalog" and a number of "Hershel Catalog" deep sky objects even from reasonably moderately light polluted suburban skies. One of the finest advertisements ever published for the smaller 4 inch Apo telescope is the book Deep-Sky Companions: The Messier Objects by Stephen O'Meara. To produce the highly detailed drawings of these deep space objects Stephen observed with an older generation TeleVue "Genesis" telescope of 500mm f5 with Fields of View approaching 5 degrees! This book is among the best advertisements for the versatile, readily transportable fast refracting telescopes. He equipped the telescope with only a modest selection of accessories: TeleVue 22mm "Panoptic" eyepiece 23X, 2.85 Degrees Actual Field of View), a 7mm Nagler eyepiece (71X, 1.08 AFOV), and a TeleVue Barlow lens to increase the magnification by 1.8X. The 120mm ED views can surpass those shown in O'Meara's book although it can not attain as wide a field of view as the Genesis, but for many who seek their first practical Apo the 120mm ED will do nicely. And if one is willing to step up to the effort of setting up a German Mount, then this is even more reason to put manageable aperture on that platform.
Company Seven recommends the 120mm ED for variety of applications including:
ED Glass the air spaced doublet objective lens of the 120 mm ED is designed to provide precise optical color correction, and it is multicoated to improve contrast and transmission across the visual spectrum. The objective lens incorporates an Extra-Low Dispersion Fluorocrown FPL-53 extra-low dispersion "ED" optical glass from Japan; this is a glass crown element developed under laboratory conditions. Colors of the spectrum have differing wavelengths, to see this notice how in a normal optical glass prism the red and blue rays are bent at slightly different angles as they pass through. This dispersion results in color fringing that when looking through a telescope or telephoto lens usually appears as a slight violet halo around one object that contrast one against the other, and this can cause an overall lack of sharpness. In camera normal and wide-angle lenses this is imperceptible or can be corrected with other techniques, but telescopic lenses magnify the variation in focus between red and blue light rays. So the camera lens making companies (Carl Zeiss, Nikon, and Canon) pioneered Extra-Low Dispersion glasses and Fluorite crystal technologies to solve this problem. This ED glass material provides reduced chromatic aberration over similar f ratio achromatic designs in portions of the spectrum from the D (yellow), through C (red), F ( blue) and G (purple) Fraunhofer lines.
Left: Business end of the Orion 120mm ED OTA (91,020 Bytes).
This technical materials improvement improves one of the critical aspects of refractor performance: reduction of chromatism. This means when one looks through the 120mm ED to a study a black bird contrasted against a light blue sky, or a green leaf in the distance, or the planets or Moon overhead then there is no perceptible false color fringing or violet halo around these objects; the colors are more properly rendered and finer details are seen. And since the colors ore more precisely brought to focus, then the color intensity is better - the more subtle variations in the tonality of the bands on Jupiter are more obvious, and fainter stars may be revealed than in a similar aperture achromatic telescope.
What does it do? the Apochromatic refractor has been the traditional choice of visual astronomers. The combination of thermal stability, best view per pound of telescope, clear high contrast images, and apparent brightness can surpass more bulky designs such as the 8" Catadioptric and Newtonian telescopes. And the versatility of field of view and range of magnification is unrivaled by all other telescope designs.
A real, and relatively affordable multipurpose telescope...
This portable telescope provides stunning lunar and planetary observing; it can clearly reveal the major changing features on several planets through out observing seasons. You may imagine you are seeing details on the moon as if you were in orbit - even though the smallest object you could see with this telescope will actually be about 6 kilometers in diameter! And yet it is so compact and lightweight that a child can manage it.
The focal length of the 120mm ED is made even shorter, and the image quality improved with the optional focal reducer offered by Company Seven to our 120mm ED customers. This photograpic accessory delivers a wider field of coverage at f6 for terrestrial or astrophotography. These and out other Telecompressors provide added versatility for CCD imaging too!
2 inch Focuser aside from good performance at higher magnifications the telescope is quite at home sweeping the Milky Way, or Comet hunting. This is an easily manageable telescope with the unobstructed 120mm light gathering power and fields of view to recognize many of the popular bright deep sky objects. Tease subtle details out of the Great Nebula in Orion, see the spiral nature of the Andromeda Galaxy. Seek out more deep-sky wonders including Star Clusters, and Planetary Nebulae, etc. Try a TeleVue 55mm Plossl eyepiece on for size, working at 16x provides a true field of 2.9 degrees. The combination of field of view and light gathering power will make hunting the large deep sky objects very rewarding, even more so with optional light pollution rejection filters. Or take the plunge into awesome perfection of the TeleVue 35mm Panoptic at 26X showing 2.45 degrees - suitable for astronomy and nature watching, with a view that is crystal clear across the entire field of view!
Notice the innovative arrangement of the Crayford style Focuser and Lock; this a low maintenance friction drive which eliminates the conventional focuser's use of a Rack and Pinion and need for lubricants. The four adjustable set screws applies pressure to the Focuser Pinion to attain the proper adjustment of the friction control, this adjustment is critical. And a Drawtube Lock is also provided for astrographic applications.
120mm ED telescope lightweight, yet adequate mechanical construction of metal and aluminum:
* To attach the 120mm ED telescope onto an equatorial mount or other platform we offer optional Mounting Rings, these are sold by the pair. These hinged rings clamp onto the telescope optical tube and are secured with a hand knob. We offer Rings for simple visual uses, or more sophisticated rings with platforms drilled and tapped to accept accessories including photoguide telescopes. All our Rings can be bolted onto a Dovetail Plate to facilitate quick installation and removal from most of the mounts we recommend for the telescope. The optional carrying bag that we offer for our 120mm ED's will fit the telescope with Rings and our typical Dovetail Plate attached. Please contact us to discuss the available choices.
There is enough glass in this lens that one should plan to let the telescope reach thermal equilibrium when taking the telescope from a warm room into a cold location. To reach its best performance, the telescope may require only minutes or an hour or more depending on the amplitude of the temperature change.
Receive a FREE Starry Night Special Edition software suite. Both the highly acclaimed planetarium software by Imaginova "Starry Night Special Edition" with a bonus "SkyTheatre" DVD are included FREE with purchase of any Orion-brand astronomical telescope from Company Seven.
"Starry Night Special Edition" is a basic version of the more capable "Starry Night" version 5.0 astronomy software series; this software will help you learn the night sky, see what is up day or night, now or in past millennia, plan your observing sessions, and print out charts and information about the celestial wonders. The set also includes "SkyTheatre", a DVD by Imaginova so your television or PC becomes a spaceship on a voyage through our Solar System. The set is compatible with both Macintosh computers running OSX version 10.3 or later, and with Windows XP for PC. Your personal planetarium and guide to the night sky!
Left: CD-ROM "Starry Night Special Edition" with bonus "SkyTheatre" DVD suite (43,322 bytes).
PUTTING A SYSTEM TOGETHER: As you read this, keep in mind that the 120mm ED is sold as a bare optical tube assembly. So in order to complete a telescope system to the point that one may be able to really begin to enjoy a telescope such as this generally requires at least:
Alt azimuth: These mount heads can be relatively lightweight, easy to set up and use, can be fitted to a heavy duty rigid photographic Field Tripods, and are well engineered to provide years of good service. These are a first choice for uses which include terrestrial panoramic observing since the alternative German Equatorial mount is unwieldy in such applications. However, for some uses in astronomy such as when one approaches those magnifications necessary to see meaningful details on the planets, or when sharing a telescope among numerous observers it becomes more and more challenging to precisely manually move the Alt Azimuth mount smoothly and simultaneously in elevation and azimuth.
Equatorial: this is our first choice of mount for the 120 ED since this telescope affords a notable increase in focal length and accordingly in physical length. Considering it is most likely to be used in astronomical applications we believe most amateurs will prefer it on a German Equatorial Mount. The German Equatorial mount can be motorized to permit automated tracking of celestial objects moving across the night sky. So to observe the planets or do other operations which require high magnifications, or if you wish to share the telescope with several others (especially young children), or if you hope to become involved in astrophotography, then we do suggest you place the telescope onto a that will provide the capability to stay on a target in the sky.
Company Seven does offer a good selection of practical and affordable German Equatorial Mounts for the 120 ED, you may wish to start off considering a suitable economical German Mount such as the Orion SkyView Pro system, or if you prefer a better tracking mount with more advanced electronics then we suggest our other Orion, Losmandy, or Vixen made mounts. The German mounts are heavier and more complicated to set up and use than most Alt azimuth mounts, and so some people may find there is no one perfect solution for every problem and they may wish to have both types of mount in time.
b) German Equatorial Mount with Tripod
c) Portable rechargeable Power Supply (for the German mount if furnished with motors)
Highly desirable accessories for telescopes such as this include:
d) High magnification (about 200X telescope) eyepiece for views of the planets
e) Low magnification eyepiece (for views of the faint deep sky objects)*
f) Middle Magnification eyepiece - usually between 80 to 120X, for views of the full Moon, Sun, Star Clusters, etc.
g) Neutral Density Filters for viewing Moon, planets (usually set of two)
h) Guide book (with Red L.E.D. flashlight for reading in low light)
i) Mirror Diagonal: refracting telescopes when furnished with a right angle mirror diagonal provide the sharpest and most clear image through a telescope. The image is correct right side up, but is reversed left to right. Few people using this for nature watching complain about this since the view is notably better at higher magnifications which may be used occasionally for birding and more often in astronomy.
Those telescopes provided with the optional 45 degree angled image erecting prism diagonal provide images which are correct right side up, and left to right. This tends to be selected by few of our customers, including nature watchers since the view is less crisp and clear (than the mirror diagonal) at higher magnifications which may be used occasionally for birding and more often in astronomy. The prisms do not tend to illuminate the full field of view of low magnification oculars (such as the 32mm Plossl), and so some vignetting may appear obvious at the edges of the field of view. These prisms can not support 2" oculars.
The telescopes furnished with our optional 2 inch diameter right angle mirror diagonal (or Zenith Prism) provide the combination of the sharpest and most clear image through a telescope, and this can also accept very wide angle 2 inch diameter oculars, and 48mm threaded filters (polarizing, etc.). This is highly desirable for panoramic views of the country side, large areas of night sky (sweeping through the Milky Way) and observing large Nebulae such as the "Veil" and "North American", etc. The image is correct right side up, but is reversed left to right.
120mm ED TELESCOPE SPECIFICATIONS:
* Specifications are subject to change without notice.
COMPANY SEVEN'S QUALITY CONTROL SERVICE:All of the information we provide on line and by phone, or by E-Mail, with our expertise and our unrivaled showroom and museum (an increasing rare sight), and the fact that one may buy the basic instrument from us or elsewhere at about the same cost should be enough to persuade one to choose Company Seven. However, we do even better; we make it in your interest to buy from us. While Orion has been quite good at having the factories overseas produce a great value, once in a while something less than perfect slips by; a part is not machined just right, something is installed a bit off, a contaminant gets into the lens, or a component is damaged in transit. If you receive one of these telescopes, and if you know enough to recognize an anomaly then it is a simple matter to call Orion for a prompt exchange or replacement parts. We both have very good reputations for after sale support and a money back guarantee.
One will never read a sad tale from someone who actually bought their telescope at Company Seven. We are so confident in our QC program that we promise if a telescope sold by Company Seven is ever returned to us with any manufacture related anomaly then we will correct it, return it to you at no charge, and reimburse your costs of returning the instrument for service!
SUGGESTED ACCESSORIESThese are optional accessories that are not included with the telescope that we highly recommend for your viewing pleasure and long term success: