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etx-80 or Orion Starseeker 80

Need our opinion on a telescope Optics Planet has on sale, go ahead and ask! Post some hints and tips on various telescope brands and configuration.

etx-80 or Orion Starseeker 80

Postby caheaton on Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:40 pm

First off, I'd like to give a bit of background. I already own an old F11 Newtonian on a heavy GEM, but I rarely use it due to the inconvenience of lugging it outside and setting it up. This has led me to search for a lightweight and portable scope, and I've decided to go with a fast scope to complement the Newtonian.

With that said, I've narrowed my search down to the following scopes:
Meade ETX-80 and the Orion Starseeker 80. (They appear to use the same OTA).
How do these two scopes compare? Both meet my minimum requirements...wide field of view, ultra portable, goto mounts, cheap (will not get too upset if broken when traveling). As I see it, the ETX has the advantage of nicer included eyepieces, more accessories and a large user support base. The Orion seems to have the nicer goto control.

What I would like to know...which tube has better optics or are they about the same (my guess...). Which scope has the better focuser. I've read of quite a few people having difficulty with the awkwardness of the ETX focusing...the Orion appears to use rack and pinion which I personally would find easier to use.

Finally, how are the stock mounts on the two scopes...which one offers greater stability?

Thanks for the advice,
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Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 1:35 pm

Re: etx-80 or Orion Starseeker 80

Postby Jne_K on Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:12 am

Sorry, we don't carry Orion, so can't get you any kind of comparison. However, the ETX-80 is more about portability than performance. If you are concerned about optics, focusing and ease of use, I strongly recommend stepping up to an ETX-90 - better scope in terms of otpics, construction, mount and computer and still very portable.
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