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Skywatcher ED80 DS Pro Outfit Review by Nadeem Shah - PARTS 1-3


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#1 DENEB

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:04 PM

Hi This review has been taking from my Website : backyardscope.org.uk, with kind permission presented on insideastronomy.com

 

Disclaimer:
 Please remember that these reviews reflect my opinion and my opinion only.  They hold no ties to the product or company or their views or thoughts.  Nor have they endorsed me or sent me these products or anything of the sort.

Welcome to my Review, were looking at a Classic Scope this being a 80ED Doublet, as many know this scope has been cloned in many Branded flavours, be it in the Celestron, Skywatcher, Vixen or even in the Apogee flavouring. Even though optically the design has not been changed, I would like to present this review to you folks about a scope, which many of us use but surprisingly not much is written about it. I will however try to keep this review unbiased as possible. One thing we all have to agree with, is that the Chinese have given us is mass produced scopes at costs which are a lot more affordable to the general public.

Some general information about the scope, well out of the box, the scope has a focal length of 600m with a focal Ratio of f/7.5. It's weight is around 2.5kg, even with tube rings & Dovetail. It is equipped with FPL - 53 Glass with its crown mating element being of Schott Glass. Now just a quick note here, many people believe that having a scope with FPL glass corrects the colour wavelengths in the scope & that alone determines the colour correction in scopes - well actually to make it work, the FPL element has to be mated with a crown element with the correct spherical tolerances. The FPL element has no corrected properties itself unless it is mated with a corrected element regardless if it is FPL-51, 53 or Hoya FCD1 Glass.

When the scope is used with a 0.8x Reducer, the focal length is 479mm with a focal ratio of f/6.
For this review, I have used a Skywatcher 80ED DS Pro, bought from First Light Optics at the price of £459.00 . Two mounts were used in this review, the 1st initial Mount used was a Celestron CGEM & the latest image was obtained using a Celestron CG5-GT Mount , Guiding was done with a DIY 60mm Guidescope made from a Binocular Objective, Guiding was performed using PHD with a QHY5 Guide Camera, also a Televue TRF2008 Reducer 0.8x reducer which knocked the scope from a ratio of f/7.5 to f/6. The Main imaging camera used initially was a Atik 383L+, the last image was taken with a Atik 314L+ in conjuction with a 5x1.25" Manual Brightstar Filterwheel. Image aquisition software used was Atik's Artemis. All images were processed in DeepSkyStacker, Photoshop, GradientXterminator & Paintshop Pro. If there is any questions you would like to know about this scope, please use the 'Contact Me' in the Navigation section above.
So folks here we go !!

Okay, after ordering the scope online, I had the delivery next day via Fedex, thats a good start.

 

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A nicely contained packaged scope showing the Carry Case.

 

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You are presented with a Nice case, just a note to mention - The carry case handle is a lot better made for the Skywatcher 80ED cases then 120ED Versions. As it feels a lot more stronger, the 120ED case handles flex while being held.

 

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Inside the scope case. Now this is a surprise. On previous purchases of Skywatcher 80ED Scopes the case is usually packed with White hard foam, not black.
I would have preferred if they would have retained the white stuff, even if the cost was slightly higher of the package then this cheaper stuff. But Something is better then nothing...
 

 

Now, don't we just love it, opening our new gear, especially when their nicely wrapped up. The smell of something New...

 

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It's nice to see Skywatcher improving their products, the Skywatcher 80ED DS Pro is now equipped with a better 7" Dovetail, then previously supplied. The dovetail is a lot more chunky feeling & has more ***** holes to fit your desired configuration.
Accessories listed from Left to Right.
9x50 Straight Thru Finder with Bracket, 2" Skywatcher Die-Electric Diagonal, 40mm T-Thread Spacer
2" - 1.25" Adaptor, 2" 28mm LET Eyepiece & Case Keys.

What else do you want ? Having a Diagonal & a finder is a saver in itself including equipped with Schott Glass & using Japanese Ohara FPL-53 Glass. Another plus point for Skywatcher.

 

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Now this is a bit of a shocker, cardboard being used as a divider, now seriously Mr. Skywatcher, could we have the case, but no cheap cardboard please, I personally think this has overall painted a dark stain over the quality of the case. But anyway it is just cosmetics, nothing which reflects the quality of the scope optics to be concerned about.

 

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The Beautiful scope in it's wrapping.

 

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Attached Thumbnails

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Edited by DENEB, 14 February 2013 - 08:12 AM.

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#2 DENEB

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:17 PM

Hi This review has been taking from my Website : backyardscope.org.uk, with kind permission presented on insideastronomy.com

 

Disclaimer:
 Please remember that these reviews reflect my opinion and my opinion only.  They hold no ties to the product or company or their views or thoughts.  Nor have they endorsed me or sent me these products or anything of the sort.

 

Part 2 - Star Testing the Scope.

 

As we follow on from the 1st part of the Review, we come to star testing the telescope. On this test I have used the following equipment, Atik 383L+ with 1.25" filters, Atik EFW2 filterwheel, Televue TRF2008 Reducer, Celestron CGEM Mount, Guided with a DIY 60mm Guidescope. Image aquisition software used was Atik's Artemis.  All images were processed in DeepSkyStacker, Photoshop, GradientXterminator & Paintshop Pro. Chosen object to show any problems with the scope, I have chosen the Double Cluster in Perseus, also known as Caldwell 14. Corner Crops are presented with the final image last.

Top Left

TOPLEFT.jpg

 

Top Right

TOPRIGHT.jpg

 

Bottom Left

BOTTOMLEFT.jpg

 

Bottom Right

BOTTOMRIGHT.jpg

 

Full Frame

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Another Recent image taken with the scope, M11 - The Wild Duck Cluster in Scutum.

TheWildDuckClustercrop.jpg

 

M11 - Full Frame.

M11.jpg

 

CCD Inspector Image showing the profile of the flat field of the scope used with a TRF2008 on the M11 Star Cluster.

ccdinspectorM11ED80.jpg

 

Here is another final image from the 80ED before we move onto the next section. Taken with an Atik 314L+ in Ha, with a Celestron CG5-GT Mount.

DarkHorsev21024.jpg



#3 DENEB

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:23 PM

Hi This review has been taking from my Website : backyardscope.org.uk, with kind permission presented on insideastronomy.com

 

Disclaimer:
 Please remember that these reviews reflect my opinion and my opinion only.  They hold no ties to the product or company or their views or thoughts.  Nor have they endorsed me or sent me these products or anything of the sort.

 

Part 3 - CCD SPACING.

 

So here we go again, finally to the last part of the review detailing spacing used. Since using two different CCD Camera based systems in this review I have uploaded two layouts showing the two different spacing requirements. Please note on the Atik Manual the back focus for the Atik 314L+ CCD Camera is listed as a measurement of 13mm, whereas the mechanical drawing on the Atik Website corresponds to 13.5mm. In my review I used the measurement listed in the CCD manual of 13mm. Using a Atik 383L+ CCD Camera with Atik EFW2 Filterwheel in Conjuction with Televue TRF2008 Reducer.

 

ED80Spacing383.jpeg

 

Finally using a Atik 314L+ CCD Camera with a Brightstar Filterwheel in Conjuction with Televue TRF2008 Reducer.

 

ED80Spacing314.jpeg

 

Thats the end of the review folks ! I’ll let the final decision rest with yourselves, for the price of the scope & accessories which are included you cannot get a better deal. Just remember a decent Doublet will always be better then a Cheap Triplet.



#4 Astro-Mick

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 10:54 PM

Nice review Nadeem.

Thanks for posting.

 

I have the Celestron 80ED,and its a cracker,with a study sensible Focusser.

Mick.



#5 MickD

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:05 AM

Good review. I've got the old "gold tube" version of this. It was the first decent refractor I bought. Still use it as part of my portable, star party setup. Just upgraded the focuser with a Baader Steeltrack in time for next years round of star parties. Mick (not the one above...)
WO FLT 98
Atik 383L
EQ 6 Pro
All in a RoR Shed thing.

#6 MickD

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:20 AM

Going to try and bodge my SW focus motor onto the Steeltrack, will let you know how it goes. Don't want to spend the money for a "SteelDrive" . Looks like TS have done something similar with their TS BAST motor, but again £150 is too much. Mick
WO FLT 98
Atik 383L
EQ 6 Pro
All in a RoR Shed thing.

#7 Neil

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:22 AM

Going to try and bodge my SW focus motor onto the Steeltrack, will let you know how it goes. Don't want to spend the money for a "SteelDrive" . Looks like TS have done something similar with their TS BAST motor, but again £150 is too much. Mick

Take some pictures Mick!!! For your own safety (So you know how it should go back together!) and then you can post them here later...



#8 Starlock

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 12:02 AM

Great review Nadeem, really thorough. I'm certainly enjoying my ED80 tonight.