Unlike most spotting scopes or telescopes, the Orion 80mm ED Semi-Apo Binocular Spotting Scope sports two eyepieces. And viewing with two eyes instead of just one makes observing the night skies much more comfortable and provides an incredible 3D-like depth of field. Orion calls it a spotting scope, but in fact this instrument is a high-quality, wide-field refractor telescope for both terrestrial and celestial observation.
The scope features an 80mm (3.1″) refractor objective doublet lens of 500mm focal length (f/6.25) that includes one element of Ohara FPL-53 extra-low dispersion (“ED”) glass. This optical glass helps minimize chromatic aberration to render sharp images.
But it is what’s at the “eyepiece” end of the telescope that is unique – the Orion Premium Linear BinoViewer which has a full 360-degree rotation collar, allowing you to quickly orient the eyepieces to a comfortable angle no matter where the telescope is pointed. This is especially useful for astronomical viewing using an equatorial mount, on which the telescope will rarely be oriented parallel to the ground. The BinoViewer incorporates a dielectric-coated, beam-splitting mirror — not a prism — which reduces aberrations and improves contrast.
The BinoViewer offers a sliding “linear” housing for adjusting the interpupillary distance (IPD). You just slide the two halves of the housing inward or outward to set the IPD from 58mm to 74mm, and there’s a handy IPD scale laser engraved on the housing so you’ll know exactly where to set it the next time for your (or anyone else’s) eyes.
The BinoViewer’s twin twist-tight collars securely hold a pair of included 12.5mm Orion Edge-On long-eye-relief 1.25″ eyepieces, which provide 40x magnifying power. Their flat field design ensures sharp focus out to the edge of their 55-degree apparent field of view. With a generous 20mm of eye relief, the Edge-Ons provide comfortable viewing even with eyeglasses on, and are threaded to accept Orion 1.25″ filters. Of course, you can swap out the included eyepieces with pairs of 1.25″ telescope eyepieces of other focal lengths, to give you more magnification options.
A built-in mounting bracket on the 80mm ED Semi-Apo Binocular Spotting Scope has 1/4″-20 threaded holes for attachment to a photographic tripod. Also included is a Vixen-style dovetail bar for attachment of the spotting scope to an equatorial mount equipped with a Vixen-style saddle.
The 80mm ED Semi-Apo Binocular Spotting Scope, the two eyepieces, and the dovetail bar all fit inside the included waterproof polypropylene storage case, which has extra plugged holes for two additional pairs of 1.25″ eyepieces.
– Optical design: Refractor
– Magnification: 40x
– Optical diameter: 80mm
– Field of view – angular: 1.4°
– Field of view – linear: 72.2 ft./1000 yd
– Eye relief: 20.0mm
– Exit pupil: 2.0mm
– Near focus: 26 ft.
– Coatings: Fully multi-coated
– Magnification with included eyepieces: 40x, 40x
– Lowest useful magnification: 11x
– Highest useful magnification: 160x
– Highest theoretical magnification: 160x
– Eyepiece angle; 45°
– Camera adaptable: No
– Waterproof: No
– Tripod adaptable: Yes
– Mount type: Optical Tube without Mount
– Tube material: Aluminum
– Length of optical tube: 14.2 in.
– Weight, optical tube: 5.2 lbs.
– Additional included accessories: Waterproof hard case, Tethered objective cap
– Other features: Linear binocular viewer, Extra-low dispersion FPL-53 glass, 1.25″ eyepieces are interchangeable
The scope package is priced at $1,299.99US.
And if really big binoculars are your thing, Orion has taken binocular telescopes to the next level with the release of its GiantView BT binocular telescope series. Offered as a BT-70 45-degree, BT-82 45 degree, and the BT-100 ED 90-degree configuration, these instruments offer an immersive deep sky experience allowing both eyes at the eyepiece.
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