The 80ED refractor telescope from Stellarvue compared less favorably to other astrophotography beginner telescopes. Make no mistake. This telescope has some great quality optics and includes wonderful features, but for our money there are better telescopes for the aspiring astrophotographer.
This telescope is packed with features. The lens is mounted in an adjustable cell designed to maintain alignment. The fully retracting carbon fiber dew shield will help you during long viewing sessions and the 2-inch, dual-speed focuser with compression ring and 1.25-inch adapter will make sure you can find exactly the image you seek. The details on this telescope are impressive. The locking ring is crafted to be red in color so it is visible when using a red flashlight. You just have to loosen the ring and rotate the focuser to the right orientation, tighten the ring and observe. A clamshell mounting ring will lead to easy balancing and a Vixen-style dovetail foot will make the 80ED compatible with many mounts.
The doublet design has been promoting quality viewing experiences since Chester Moor Hall discovered it in 1733. Hall figured out how to bring more wavelengths to a common focus by using two lenses — a concave flint glass lens and a convex crown glass lens. This design leads to sharper images in all telescopes with the doublet optical design. The 80ED by Stellarvue is no exception. Expect a pretty sharp picture and get ready to love the smooth moves of this well-designed focuser.
The designers were thinking a lot about portability as they created the 80ED. The tiny tool is 50 percent lighter than other Stellarvue 80mm products. Thanks to its featherweight carbon-fiber tube it does not even weigh 5 pounds. The clamshell and Vixen-style rail only add 1.5 pounds. It does not get more portable than that. Stellarvue also includes an airline carry case lined with C7 foam designed to hold the telescope itself, star diagonal, reflex finder and several eyepieces. This company is pretty serious about their cases. The nylon ones, like the one included with the 80ED, are great for travel. They protect your investment but are much less clunky than the metal ones.
Stellarvue has some pretty stellar backup for their products. Optical and mechanical parts are under warranty. Stellarvue president Vic Maris personally tests each telescope before it can be experienced by the public. Such a personal interest inspires confidence in this product.
The 80ED refractor telescope from Stellarvue is a quality piece of equipment. We think there are better astrophotography beginner instruments overall but this one is worth a look if you are very concerned with portability. It could become a business travelers’ best friend and will suit anyone who wants to be able to take their hobby on the road. Throw it in the overhead bin and take a little bit of heaven with you when you travel.