80mm telescopes – Buying guide & Comparison
If you’re short on time and you just want to find the best 80mm telescope, this short paragraph should help you get exactly the model you need. According to our research, the Orion 10013 GoScope is the best because it is designed to be easy to use, while still being powerful enough to bring distant nebulas and planets into view. It comes with two eyepieces so you can get started viewing the night sky right out of the box. You will also appreciate its lightweight construction that ensures easy portability. See the stars and planets from different locations around town or take it with you when you travel. If the Orion 10013 GoScope is not available, your second option should be the Sky-Watcher ProED.
Finding the right 80mm telescope can be confusing. Even though you know the size of the aperture, there are still other aspects to consider, and this is when it can seem overwhelming. To make the shopping for a telescope a little less stressful, we have included the following tips in this informative buying guide.
One of the first aspects to consider is your budget, and this will also help you narrow down your options. You can find 80mm telescopes at a variety of price points, but you probably don’t want to buy the cheapest model you find. In most cases, these telescopes simply won’t have the power you need to see anything other than bright stars, and possible the surface of the moon.
Who is going to use the telescope will also help you determine your budget. Beginners typically need fewer features than experienced stargazers. Limiting the number of features the telescope comes with is a good way to ensure you find one with enough power, while still staying within your budget.
There are three main types of telescopes, and each comes with its advantages. Refractor telescopes are the most common, especially with astronomers. These models are capable of producing bright and crisp images, even under high magnification. Refractors also boast a rugged construction that makes them ideal for younger astronomers, and for traveling. The main downside to these telescopes is that they typically come with a long tube, and this means that you will need a larger tripod.
One of the main advantages of a reflector telescope is that it is able to produce “correct reading” images. This is a definite bonus when you are trying to compare the image in the eyepiece with the constellations on a star chart. Reflector telescopes also come with a smaller tube, which can make them a little more portable than refractor models. Reflector telescopes do require a little more maintenance than other types since they do come with an open tube. This will allow dirt and dust to accumulate around the lens.
There are also compound or catadioptric telescopes, and they combine the features of a reflector and refractor. While they are usually compact and powerful, these models do come at a higher price.
Since you already know that the aperture has an 80mm diameter you just have to concentrate on the focal length and magnification of the eyepieces. If you are planning on viewing objects under high magnification, you will want the telescope to come with a longer focal length. This ensures that distant planets and stars will appear crisp and clear through the eyepiece.
Shorter focal lengths are ideal for viewing larger patches of the night sky. If you want to be able to clearly see individual celestial bodies and amazing wide views of the Milky Way or Pleiades, a telescope with a mid focal length will probably be the best choice for you. In this case, you will want to look for one with a focal length of f/5 to f/8.
The eyepieces will also play a role in magnification, and most 80mm telescopes come with one or two. This is usually enough for you to get started, and you can always add more to your collection as your proficiency with the telescope progresses.
Top 80mm telescope reviews in 2017
Now that you know what to look for in an 80mm telescope, choosing the right one should be a little easier. While we can’t make a choice for you, we can help you make a smart purchasing decision, which is why we have the best 80mm telescope showcased below.
Orion 10013 GoScope
It’s not hard to see why this is often considered the best 80mm refractor telescope. Since it is manufactured by Orion, you know that it comes with high-quality optics and sturdy construction. It also assures you that it is a good value for your money.
It’s compact size, and lightweight design makes this telescope perfect for the astronomer on the go. The GoScope also comes with a sturdy mount that can be placed on the table or easily attached to a tripod.
Since it comes with an 80mm aperture images will always appear crisps and clear, even at a distance.
Experienced and beginning astronomers will also appreciate how easy this telescope is to use. The EZ finder sight makes it easy to accurately aim the telescope. It also comes with two eyepieces so you can use the telescope right out of the box.
Perfect for wide-field viewing, this telescope is a refractor type of instrument with its internal glass surface protected from the outside elements so it is unaffected by air currents, the changing temperature, and dirt for accuracy and a decreased need for cleaning.
The compact size of this 5.65-pound telescope facilitates easy carrying and storage, making it a genuine grab-and-go instrument for beginning stargazers.
This 80mm refractor telescope gathers up to 30 percent more light compared to a 70mm model and can collect over 70 percent more light than a 60mm model.
The scope also lets you view more objects in the deep sky compared to models with smaller diameter optical components.
Included in the package are 10mm and 20mm 1.25-inch eyepieces that deliver the needed magnification that aids in the study and exploration of our galaxy and its various denizens.
At higher magnifications, the chromatic aberration is more pronounced, as is the case with similar instruments,
Buy from Amazon.com for ($149.99)
According to the best 80mm refractor telescope reviews, this model is a great choice for astronomers on the go. It’s lightweight and compact size ensure easy portability. Sky Watcher even included a protective aluminum carrying case with this telescope.
Thanks to the 80mm aperture images under high magnification will appear bright and clear.
It’s mid range focal length is ideal for wide and narrow views, and it comes with two eyepieces, so you don’t have to wait to get started watching the sky.
Durability isn’t a problem with the ProED. Its sturdy construction ensures that it can withstand the rigors associated with travel. The telescope also comes with all of the hardware you need to easily attach it to a tripod.
This 80mm apochromatic refractor features extra-low dispersion Schott glass for durability and consistent performance.
The dual-speed 2-inch Crayford-type focuser ensures that you can easily get a fix on the celestial object you want to observe through the telescope.
The tube-ring attachment hardware provides easy mounting of the scope on a tripod to keep the device sturdy and supported on the ground so you won’t have to carry it in your arms.
The aluminum carry case keeps the components of the scope protected from impact and the elements while providing a convenient means to keep all the components of the package nicely stored and within easy access.
This APO-ED refractor provides high-quality, sharp images compared to other telescopes with a similar optical design so you get genuine value for money.
The carry case might not be a heavy-duty type but it still protects the telescope from the elements like a carry case should.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($649)
Orion 9946 ShortTube
If you’re looking for the best Orion 80mm telescope, you might want to consider the 9946 ShortTube. Like its name implies this refractor telescope boasts a compact design, making it ideal for travel. It even comes with a convenient carrying case so you can easily take it with you wherever you go.
Since this telescope is configured for daytime terrestrial viewing, it is perfect for bird watchers and nature lovers. The fully multi-coated objective lens combined with the 400mm focal length provides you with bright and clear wide-field views. It also comes with two Plossl eyepieces, so you are ready to go right out of the box.
Thanks to the correct image finder scope this refractor telescope is easy to aim accurately. This way you don’t have to worry about missing a view. Best of all it can be easily attached to an equatorial mount or a tripod when you’re out in the field.
This wide-field, take-anywhere refractor makes a great backup device for astronomy enthusiasts who already own a bigger telescope.
This telescope features fully multi-coated optics that only the highest-quality instruments come with, which means all the glass-to-air surfaces on this model are multi-coated to deliver the highest degree of light transmission.
The padded carrying case protects the components that are in the package, most importantly, the scope itself.
The new dovetail mounting block comes with a ¼-inch 20-threaded hole that provides quick and effortless attachment options for your choice of field tripods or equatorial mounts.
The 6×26 finder scope simplifies the accurate aiming of the Short Tube telescope at daytime, while the cast-aluminum 1.25-inch rack-and-pinion focuser makes it easy to fine-tune the images for a clear and vivid viewing every time.
One user who is into wildlife photography does not think this telescope should be used for that purpose since it can be difficult to focus on moving subjects.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($169.99)
Its durable construction, lightweight design, and powerful optics make it easy to see why this is the best Meade 80mm ETX telescope. Every aspect of this refractor telescope is designed for easy operation so you can concentrate on watching the nighttime sky.
The 80mm aperture, f/5 focal length, and multi-coated optics will provide you with stunningly clear views of planets, stars and distant galaxies. It also comes with two eyepieces so you can enjoy wide-angle views, and zoom in on celestial bodies.
You will appreciate the computerized mount that makes aligning the telescope a breeze. The sturdy tripod is also easy to adjust to the perfect height.
Best of all it comes with Auto Star Suite software so you can easily identify objects in the sky.
Equipped with multi-coated optics, this refractor telescope ensures that you can obtain razor-sharp images for easy viewing of essential details and for a great study.
The compact and lightweight tripod supports your need for portability and easy storage while providing adequate support for the scope during use.
The Auto Star Suite Software DVD provides adequate information on the various celestial objects that can be seen in the deep sky so you can study them with earnest.
The adjustable field tripod provides a sturdy means of supporting the telescope so you can keep your hands free from having to hold the device and just use them to work the controls of the instrument.
The durable deluxe backpack provides a means of carrying the scope and its accessories or storing them safely and efficiently.
One buyer says the scope needs some getting used to as there’s a learning curve involved to enjoy optimal functionality.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($299)
Celestron PowerSeeker 80EQ
The 80EQ is often considered the best Celestron 80mm telescope, and it’s not hard to see why. It boasts a sturdy construction, powerful optics, and an affordable price. Since it is manufactured by Celestron, you also know that it is a quality product.
The 80mm aperture ensures that distant objects are crisp and clear. This is further enhanced by the long 900 focal length. It also comes with two eyepieces, along with an erect image diagonal.
This will make it easier for you to compare celestial objects with star charts.
What sets this refractor telescope apart is the German equatorial mount. This allows for easy alignment, even if you are a beginner. With this telescope, you’ll have the power you need to see stars, planets and even nebulas, without paying a lot of money.
The 1.25-inch erect image Star diagonal delivers an upright image so you can view images comfortably and not have to twist your body every which way to see properly.
The 3X Barlow lens amplifies the magnifying power of the included eyepieces so you are able to to see more images with greater clarity and detail.
The 5×24 finder scope enables the easy locating of celestial targets so you can find what you want to find in less time.
The German equatorial mount provides smooth and easy maneuverability of the scope when tracking objects in the deep sky.
The aluminum tripod comes with a lightweight design that enables easy carrying and storage and also provides support to the scope during use.
The base is well-built but the tripod tends to wobble if not placed on a flat surface or if the controls are worked too hard. This makes the component seem unstable at times but is not a sign that the scope itself has a flimsy construction.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($126.67)