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Orion 80mm ED (3.15") Multipurpose Apochromatic Refractor
Above: Orion 80 mm ED Apochromatic Refractor Telescope.
Sold as an Optical Tube Assembly only as shown above with 2" Focuser, and Reducer to 1.25" (56,374 Bytes).
Click on image to see enlarged view (108,275 bytes)
The first moderate cost Apo Company Seven chose to place on line!
The 80mm ED is available as the Optical Tube Assembly only described on this page for use on third party mounts. Or, it may be purchased as a complete astronomical telescope with German Equatorial Mount and visual accessories as the Orion SkyView Pro 80mm ED EQ telescope. This telescope has become so well regarded for its balance of performance and value in its class that we hoped the design would be scaled up to produce a telescope with a larger aperture, one that would be even better suited for astronomical applications. And finally on 6 August 2004 this new telescope was introduced to the world at Company Seven as the 100mm ED telescope.
In the battle of who makes the best compact, multipurpose telescope an aspect has been lost in all the rhetoric - 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. The Orion 80 mm ED Apochromatic refractor telescope is in that class of telescope, and it has earned its space in Company Seven's showroom.
Orion has developed a multipurpose telescope that can be readily produced economically overseas (solely for Orion) and which delivers a very rewarding experience. Its compact arrangement provides the telescope is suitable for variety of applications including:
The 3 inch (75-80mm) Apo refractor is regarded as a highly desirable multipurpose compact telescope - an excellent start into the hobby and a good lightweight alternate for those who own larger telescopes. These Apos get used more often than larger alternatives because they are readily managed, even useful on simple Alt-Azimuth mounts. They can deliver the light gathering and high contrast resolving power necessary to reveal many celestial objects with a very natural almost three dimensional appearance. Moderate aperture Apos provide a wider span of Field of View than any Reflecting or Catadioptric design with an aperture that can show similar detail, while they can reach the critical 200x threshold of planet and lunar observing that reveals details and changing features from night to night. And with their 2" Focusers, these telescopes can interchange accessories with larger telescopes which one may take out only on the steadier and more transparent nights.
ED Glass the air spaced doublet objective lens of the 100 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.
This technical materials improvement improves one of the critical aspects of refractor performance: reduction of chromatism. This means when one looks through the 80mm 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.
The good performance and 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. While this ED lens is not as esoteric in deign or materials as those of our most advanced Apos such as the Astro-Physics 92 f7 triplet Apo, and TeleVue 85 f7 Doublet Apo, the cost of the complete Orion 80 mm ED telescope will be a fraction of the cost of its superior cousins. The Orion 80mm ED will remain a lightweight, user-friendly, quick set up an go telescope capable of providing a lifetime of good service.
Also this lens design permits the construction of a more compact and improved alternative to traditional Achromatic f11 to f15 refracting telescope designs. This makes it practical to use the 80 mm ED on optional relatively lightweight Equatorial Mounts, and Photographic Tripods.
What does it do? The Apochromatic refractor has been the traditional top 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 expensive designs such as the 5" Catadioptric and 6" Newtonian telescope. And the versatility of field of view and range of magnification is unrivaled by all other telescope designs except high performance Apochromatic refractors.
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.
left: Orion 80mm ED locking 2" Focuser and Reducer to 1.25". Notice the innovative arrangement of the Focuser Lock, this prevents marring the drawtube as is common with many other moderately priced telescopes (52,574 Bytes).
2 inch Focuser Aside from brilliant performance at higher magnifications possible with 1.25" diameter eyepieces, the telescope is quite at home with 2" eyepieces sweeping the Milky Way or Comet hunting. This is an easily manageable telescope with the unobstructed 80mm 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, the Andromeda Galaxy. See the entirety of immense nebulae including the Veil. Seek out more deep-sky wonders including Star Clusters, and Planetary Nebulae, etc. Try a TeleVue 55mm Plossl eyepiece on for size, working at 11x provides a true field of 4.4 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 22mm Nagler at 27x showing 2.3 degrees - suitable for both astronomy and nature watching, with a view akin to looking out of a port hole!
The relatively short focal length of the 80mm ED is made even shorter still with the optional focal reducer (offered by Company Seven to our 80mm ED customers), delivering wide-field views and allowing use of the 80mm ED for astrophotography too.
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 adjustable set screw applies pressure to the Focuser Pinion thereby preventing the marring of the drawtube as is common with many other telescopes. The downside of this arrangement is that it requires a bit of getting used to for someone used to conventional focusers, the proper adjustment of the friction control is critical.
Features of the Orion 80mm ED Apochromat Refractor:
* The Mounting Block permits the 80 ED telescope to be installed onto a conventional photo tripod head 1/4"-20 tpi attachment bolt. This single attachment point does not facilitate balancing the instrument, nor does it prevent the instrument from yawing (swinging left to right) in some circumstances. To attach those 80 ED telescope's sold by Company Seven onto equatorial mounts or dovetail platforms we offer optional Mounting Rings 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 80ED's will fit the telescope, with Rings and our typical Dovetail Plate attached. Please contact us to discuss the available choices.
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 80mm 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: Our first choice of mount for casual observers using the 80mmED is the TeleVue Telepod or the evolutionary Universal Astronomics heads. These mount heads are each relatively lightweight, easy to set up and use, can be fitted to most 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: If you seek 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 German Equatorial mount that will provide a much easier 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 80mm ED, you may wish to start off considering a suitable economical German Mount such as the Orion SkyView Pro system.
German mounts are heavier and complicated to set up and use than 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.
Several of these mounts can accept a variety of optional encoder and digital display systems to help one navigate around the night sky or connect to a personal computer planetarium software program. These computerized aids to celestial navigation are distributed by Orion, TeleVue, Losmandy, and JMI among others (see our section at
Please call us to discuss the available choices.
Please call us to discuss the available choices.
b) Alt-Azimuth or 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 150 to 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 2)
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.
80mm ED TELESCOPE SPECIFICATIONS:
* Specifications are subject to change without notice.
C-7'S QUALITY CONTROL SERVICE:"a series of subtle improvements"
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.
But for those who buy their 100mm ED from Company Seven, they do so with the assurance that their telescope will be "ready to rock" that critical first night out! For no additional fee Company Seven will assemble and check through the telescope for you. This is similar to the standard service we have offered for more than twenty years on our more costly telescopes, and it is at times misunderstood and unappreciated by those who are ignorant of what we do. This all starts and ends with our technicians who have many years of experience building amateur and industrial telescopes; our services provide a telescope that realizes its highest potential. As we unpack each arriving 100mm ED we evaluate cosmetics, often cleaning off surplus glue or dirt. We make adjustments to assure each optical and mechanical component is nominally installed and aligned; we are happy to provide you with the optional tools to check this on your telescope if it becomes necessary and more importantly we will teach you how best to proceed. We know the tricks to make the telescope perform better: how to reduce glare or ghosting, etc. We work so that our telescopes will perform as well as experience shows they can, and as we process the telescope we perform some tests that will reveal to our experienced eye whether or not the optics were made as they could be. And finally, we generate additional information that is provided to the owner which characterizes the potential of the telescope for visual and photographic applications.
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: