Hi This review has been taking from my Website : backyardscope.org.uk, with kind permission presented on insideastronomy.com
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.
A nicely contained packaged scope showing the Carry Case.
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.
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...
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.
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.
The Beautiful scope in it's wrapping.
Edited by DENEB, 14 February 2013 - 08:12 AM.