Orion Observer 80ST Review - 80mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope

Orion Observer 80ST Review: 80mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope

The Orion Observer 80ST telescope is a window to the stars for budding astronomers and curious minds. This 80mm equatorial refractor telescope offers a clear view of the night sky, making it a fantastic tool for exploring the wonders beyond our planet.

Whether you’re taking your first steps into astronomy or looking to upgrade your stargazing experience, the Orion Observer 80ST combines ease of use with quality performance. Let’s dive into what makes this telescope a standout choice for celestial observation.

Orion Observer 80ST 80mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope – Overview

The Orion Observer 80ST 80mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope is designed for anyone who loves to look at the stars. It has a lens at the front that is 80mm wide. This lens helps to bring in a lot of light. This means you can see objects in the night sky more clearly.

The telescope is set on a special stand. This stand helps you follow the stars as they move across the sky. The telescope is not too heavy. You can move it easily. It is great for beginners who are eager to learn about the stars and planets.

Key Features of The Orion Observer 80ST

  • Explore the planets and scan the heavens for bright deep-sky gems with the compact and low-cost Orion ShortTube 80mm refractor telescope.
  • An ideal refractor telescope package for the observer on-the-go, the compact Observer 80ST packs a lot of performance into a petite telescope design.
  • 80mm f/5.0 rich-field refractor telescope delivers sharp and bright wide-field views of the cosmos – great for exploring the Moon, wide views of bright planets and their closeby moons, star clusters, bright nebulas, and galaxies.
  • The included EQ-1B equatorial mount and adjustable-height tripod allows smooth slow-motion movement to easily track objects in the sky.
  • Includes 90-degree star diagonal, two anti-reflection coated 1.25″ Kellner telescope eyepieces, red-dot reflex sight, and the Orion MoonMap 260.

Technical Specifications of The Orion Observer 80ST

Model NameOrion Observer 80ST 80mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope
Eye Piece Lens DescriptionKellner
Objective Lens Diameter80 Millimeters
Telescope Mount DescriptionEquatorial Mount
Batteries1 Lithium Metal batteries required
Is Discontinued By ManufacturerNo
Product Dimensions157.48 x 81.28 x 157.48 cm; 4.54 Kilograms
Item Weight4 kg 540 g
Item Dimensions LxWxH157.5 x 81.3 x 157.5 Centimeters

What’s in the box?

  • 1 X Orion Observer 80ST 80mm f/5 refractor telescope optical tube
  • 1 X EQ-1B Equatorial mount and tube clamp
  • 1 X Aluminum tripod
  • 2 X Slow-motion control cables
  • 1 X Accessory tray
  • 1 X Red dot finder scope
  • 1 X 25mm Kellner eyepiece, 1.25″
  • 1 X 10mm Kellner eyepiece, 1.25″
  • 1 X 90-degree star diagonal, 1.25″
  • 1 X Orion MoonMap 260
  • 1 X Orion Star Target planisphere
  • 1 X Orion Telescope Observer’s Guide book
  • 1 X Orion Shorty 2x Barlow Lens, 1.25″
  • 1 X Orion RedBeam Mini LED keychain flashlight

Reviewing The Orion Observer 80ST Telescope

The Orion Observer 80ST telescope package presents itself as a fantastic starting point for anyone new to astronomy or looking for a portable option to complement their stargazing hobbies.

Our hands-on experience revealed that it offers an impressive easy setup process, allowing us to quickly marvel at celestial bodies such as Jupiter and its moons, Saturn, and its rings, and the detailed craters on the Moon. The wide-view feature of the telescope is particularly beneficial for spotting bright planets and deep-sky objects, enhancing the overall viewing experience.

However, the journey with the Orion Observer 80ST is not without its hurdles. We encountered a few issues with the infrared finder scope’s defective switch and the equatorial mount’s complexity, which may pose challenges for younger users or those unfamiliar with such mechanisms.

Moreover, the tripod and mount presented some stability and adjustment difficulties, potentially impacting the quality of celestial tracking and viewing. Despite these drawbacks, the responsive and helpful customer service from Orion stands out, offering quick solutions and replacements when needed.

In conclusion, the Orion Observer 80ST serves as an excellent gateway into the world of astronomy, offering a balance between portability, ease of use, and the ability to view a wide array of celestial objects.

While there are certain aspects that could be improved, particularly for more experienced astronomers, the telescope’s affordability and the inclusion of a variety of useful accessories make it a worthwhile investment for beginners. As with any hobby, there’s a learning curve, and the Orion Observer 80ST is a commendable companion for those starting their celestial journey.

Positives and Negatives of The Orion Observer 80ST

Easy setup and immediate celestial viewing.Infrared finder scope switch can be defective.
Ideal for beginners and portable for dark site visits.Equatorial mount may require adult help for operation.
Wide view suitable for bright objects and deep sky exploration.Tripod stability and mount adjustment can be challenging.
Excellent customer service with quick replacement parts.Limited gear movement and possible need for mount readjustment.
Comes with useful accessories for enhanced viewing.Some components feel cheap and may disappoint experienced users.
Assembly guides and support materials are helpful.Image mirroring issue without corrective accessories.

What can you see with The Orion Observer 80ST

  • The Moon (But not very sharp).
  • Mercury
  • Venus
  • Mars
  • Jupiter With Moons (Challenging to see The Great Red Spot)
  • Saturn With Rings (Cassini Division might not be clear)
  • The Orion Nebula, Andromeda Galaxy, various other large emission nebulae, bright galaxies, and numerous star clusters

Final Verdict

In our comprehensive Orion Observer 80ST review, we found this telescope to be a valuable entry point into the realm of astronomy. It strikes a commendable balance between affordability, portability, and user-friendliness, making it a prime choice for beginners.

The 80ST’s ability to deliver wide-field views enables users to explore a variety of celestial bodies with relative ease. However, its journey is marked by a learning curve, particularly with the equatorial mount and tripod stability.

Despite these challenges, the support and responsiveness of Orion’s customer service notably enhance the overall user experience.

Some Alternatives to The Orion Observer 80ST

For those considering alternatives, here are a few options that cater to similar needs and preferences:

  • Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ Telescope: Offers a user-friendly setup with no tools required for assembly, ideal for beginners looking to observe the moon, planets, and even some deep-sky objects.
  • Meade Instruments Infinity 80mm AZ Refractor Telescope: This model is known for its ease of use and includes several eyepieces for varied magnification, making it suitable for families and entry-level astronomers.
  • Sky-Watcher Heritage 130P FlexTube: Although slightly more advanced, this tabletop telescope provides excellent portability and ease of storage, along with superior light-gathering capability for deep-sky observation.

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