Jump to content


Photo

New Meade 80mm ED APO


  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 MTaylor

MTaylor

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 61 posts

Posted 01 April 2007 - 12:15 PM

I've been a long time user of the Orion 80ED and 100ED telescopes, I also currently own a William Optics 66mm ED APO and have in the past owned the Meade 102mm ED APO. Today I had the chance to finally unbox my new Meade Series 5000 80ED APO & out came a scope of a different breed. I've only had the chance to test the scope out during the day so far, I'm hoping for a clear night so I can further test, but as we say here in God's Country (Oklahoma to most of you) if you don't like the weather just wait a minute.

First, this scope is a real looker! The photos you see of it in the mags & online do not do it justice. It's bright white with contrasting Meade blue trim with a bit of bright sliver makes for a handsom scope indeed. I also have the matching diagonal & when it's all put together and a nice fat 2 inch eyepiece is installed the thing looks like eye candy! Yup, pure nerd nervana....  if you know what I mean. The build quality is tops, this scope shows quality of material and build workmanship from every angle!

Of course pretty is as pretty does, so on to the mechanics. The only other 80mm scope I've ever had my hands on is the Orion 80ED, the WO scope I own is a 66mm version. With this as my point of referrence I can say that in every way, stem to stern, the Meade scope is far far above the Orion scope in build and quality, so much so that I feel they are hard to compare. I even think the Meade scope edges the WO scope I own in this regard, but they are very much more comparable in quality and build. But, since there are a lot of Orion 80ED owners out there like me who are probably looking at the Meade scope and wondering about the upgrade, I'll try to use the Orion scope as a frame of refference more so than the William Optics scope.

First, at the front of the scope there is a screw on machined metal dust cap rather than a push on plastic one. Mine is anodized black, I think I would have liked it better in Meade blue, but I think I'll like it more after a trip to the local trophy shop for some engraving, I'll have my observatory's name put on it (Antique Photons Observatory) and the date the scope was put into service. Next, the dew shield is a sliding type (yippee!!) in bright white with the Meade blue sliding coupler at it's base. The sliding action is smooth and firm with no hint of any wiggle at all. As small as the scope is when the dew shield is slid all the way down I think this scope will make a perfect travel companion, easily fitting in overhead compartments on airplanes and such.

Much to-do has been made about the Orion 80ED's doublet objective by those who are into astrophotography including myself. Meade one-ups the Orion scope by installing a triplet in the Series 5000 80ED APO which purportedly will offer a high class of color correction. As most are aware the Orion doublet suffers from residule CA, this new triplet design should all but eliminate this. The Meade scope also one-ups the Orion scope in field of view at 480mm as opposed to 600mm, the extra will be nice to have when imaging larger nebula as I do often. For purely visual use I would expect to see better color correction across the field and especially on brighter objects. Colorful double stars at high power should be awesome using this scope! Time will tell, I hope the weather holds!!

One area where higher quality will effect all concerned is in the focuser. Many many Orion 80ED owners, including myself, have spent extra money upgrading the focuser on the Orion scope. No doubt this is the one area where that particular scope fails to meet expectations. Not so with the Meade 80ED APO. First, the focus knobs do not have those silly rubber grip rings around them, you know, the ones that dry rot in the first season of use then crack & fall off leaving behind what feels like a tire rim to the touch. I've gone through 3 sets of them & finally just wrapped the darned things with electrical tape, yikes! The Meade knobs are solid machined metal, as they should be. Other than the knobs there are 4 things I look for in a focuser, as a user I must be able to adjust critical collimation of the focuser to the objective in some way be it via adjustment screws, shims, or whatever, it must not wiggle at any point in it's travel, it must offer smooth operation under load, and it absolutely positively must hold it's critical focus postion under the load of a heavy camera or eyepiece. To the extent that these four things can be tested in daylight I can report that the Meade focuser meets or exceeds all of these expectations, in my opinion Meade has even outdone themselves as this focuser is even better than the one that was installed on the Meade 102ED that I owned a while back.

Questions that remain unanswered at this point include those of triplet collimation, focuser to objective collimation, field curvature edge to edge of the objective, and to what extent the new triplet corrects CA. These of course will have to be answered via star testing at night. Now I'm off to the observatory to mount this new beauty on the pier mounted MI-250 & get it ballanced & ready for what looks like a good night here in Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain almost constantly.  As testing progresses I'll add more to this thread and welcome the thoughts & observations of other owners of this scope.

127mm ED APO - Just a note here. I've read on Yahoo Groups that this scope has been delayed for various reasons. I want one so bad I can't stand it, just like the rest of you nervana seeking nerds, but to be honest I want it to be right when I get it so if it takes a little longer to come to market because Meade is demanding high quality performance then I say so be it. I'd rather wait for a really good scope than get something that was rushed to market and does not meet the high level of quality performance I've come to expect. OK, off the soap box & on to the observatory!!
Matt Taylor
Antique Photons Observatory
Claremore, Okla.
DSI Gallery http://www.pbase.com/mataylor

#2 MTaylor

MTaylor

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 61 posts

Posted 02 April 2007 - 07:05 PM

First night of testing, 04-01-2007

Having mounted & balanced the new scope on the MI-250 I prepared for a night of testing under zero wind conditions with clear sky. I wanted to test both visual and photographic ability, seeing was about 2.5 out of 5 which is typical for this time of year and the moon lit up the area almost as if it were day time.

First for visual. I used a 35mm Panoptic, 17mm Nagler, 9mm Meade, and 6.4mm Meade eyepieces. Since the moon was super bright I went to it first. Regardless of the eyepiece I saw a faint yellow halo on the edge of the moon. I tried to reach critical focus to see if it would fade away, it didn't ... or I didn't, but it did become so faint that one would have to really look for it to notice it at all. I spent about an hour on the moon, running the focuser in and out slightly chasing seeing and also used the 6.4mm eyepiece to see what could be resolved. Inner ringlets of craters are easily resolved, but seeing had them fading in and out so I didn't bother with smaller details than this. I'm very happy with what I saw through the scope and can only imagine how well it will perform under better conditions!

At this point my clear sky was being eaten up by a cloud bank rolling in from the West so I hurried to install the DSI Pro II & slewed over to NGC4565 which was not far from the moon. I shot & stacked 20 exposures of the galaxy at 30 seconds per exposure. I was not actually trying to image the galaxy but was more interested in the surrounding star field. I had round stars all the way to the edge of the test photo, and dust spots.....  no time to clean the camera with the clouds rolling in. Flats will be required, the center of the photo is brighter than the edges as I expected but man what an awesome field of view! Perfect for large nebulas in HA and open clusters! I can't wait to get back out there and give some 10 minute HA exposures a try!

So far so good, nothing I didn't expect other than the clarity and resolving power of this little scope on the moon. I'll be doing some further star testing in the near future and will post photos taken with it as time permits. In my opinion this scope is a keeper! Good quality inside and out and one would be very hard pressed to find another like it for the same money. It makes me want the 127mm even more!
Matt Taylor
Antique Photons Observatory
Claremore, Okla.
DSI Gallery http://www.pbase.com/mataylor

#3 redvis

redvis

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 46 posts

Posted 09 April 2007 - 11:22 AM

Thanks for the awesome review Matt - now I want one! 

In fact...well let's just see how the summer finances go, but in the meantime a question for you:

How does the new 80mm APO connect with the DSI PRO II?  Can you thread the Pro II into the 80mm APO?

Any advice on this would be helpful since I would be using this scope for at home imaging with the Pro II and film imaging when I can get out to dark skies.

Thanks in advance for your great review and any advice! 

Cameran
Meade 4M Solar Advisor

Posted Image

#4 Mark Sibole

Mark Sibole

    Advanced Member

  • Administrators
  • 2002 posts

Posted 11 April 2007 - 07:39 PM

Ill concur with Matt on this
The 80 mm APO is a very nice scope.
The dsi can connect to it via the 1.25 barrel and 2 inch to 1.25 reducer or you can pick up a 2 inch to T thread adapter.
Ive captured many images with the DSI -80 mm APO combo.

regards


Mark
Mark Sibole
MTSO Observatory
Fife Lake, Mi.

http://astronomy.qteaser.com

#5 redvis

redvis

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 46 posts

Posted 12 April 2007 - 01:10 PM

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your advice.  I've checked out your photos through the 80 APO and they are just amazing!! ;)

It looks like a great scope and I think I'm going to be putting it on my list of things to get.

Cameran
Meade 4M Solar Advisor

Posted Image

#6 Mark Sibole

Mark Sibole

    Advanced Member

  • Administrators
  • 2002 posts

Posted 12 April 2007 - 06:32 PM

Thanks for the compliments Cameran.
You wont be dissapointed.

regards

Mark
Mark Sibole
MTSO Observatory
Fife Lake, Mi.

http://astronomy.qteaser.com

#7 MTaylor

MTaylor

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 61 posts

Posted 14 April 2007 - 07:00 AM

I connect mine using a T adapter and a 2" barrel, works great.

Weather has not been good here for awhile now. Lot's of rain this time of year but I hope to get back out with the new scope and do some imaging soon.
Matt Taylor
Antique Photons Observatory
Claremore, Okla.
DSI Gallery http://www.pbase.com/mataylor

#8 MTaylor

MTaylor

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 61 posts

Posted 16 April 2007 - 02:40 PM

My chance to get back out with the 80ED APO came sooner than I thought, last night we had good conditions and I was able to get a couple of photos started. Number & durration of exposures plus other info is below each photo....

Leo Trio: http://www.pbase.com.../image/77288057

M51: http://www.pbase.com.../image/77290820

I'll get the color for these next time.
Matt Taylor
Antique Photons Observatory
Claremore, Okla.
DSI Gallery http://www.pbase.com/mataylor

#9 redvis

redvis

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • 46 posts

Posted 16 April 2007 - 09:02 PM

Matt,

Those photos are amazing!  Wow, I really can't believe that is your first light with the 80 APO and the Pro II!

Man oh man, too many good things out there right now...the 80 APO is on my list  :'(

Awesome first light Matt!

Cameran
Meade 4M Solar Advisor

Posted Image

#10 cannon

cannon

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 208 posts
  • LocationFlorida

Posted 10 September 2007 - 12:39 PM

Just ordered one today. 80mm ED APO. This was a hard puppy to find with the diagonal and case, but I came across one-NEW! :-[

#11 kevin56

kevin56

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 16 October 2007 - 12:31 PM

I just recieved a 80 APO as well ( or I wouldn't be here!) and have a couople of questions;

I seem to have some trouble with the focusser. When I tighten it up enough to keep control of the foccusser tube, the fine adjustment seems to go away and it becomes 'jumpy' and hard to turn. Is there something wrong with how I have adjusted it? If I back it off enough to make it smooth, it won't move the focusser tube.

Second thing, it seems Meade has cancelled the 127mm version of the scope_is this true?   

#12 Mark Sibole

Mark Sibole

    Advanced Member

  • Administrators
  • 2002 posts

Posted 16 October 2007 - 06:12 PM

The focusers can be a bit snug when new
It should loosen up with use.
And due to quality control issues Meade has decided to cancel the 127 apo.
They couldnt get the quality from the builders they wanted.

Regards

Mark
Mark Sibole
MTSO Observatory
Fife Lake, Mi.

http://astronomy.qteaser.com

#13 coliwabl

coliwabl

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 9 posts

Posted 20 December 2007 - 10:43 PM

I just received mine yesterday. I intend to piggyback it on my LX200 8" SCT. I'm a former, longtime user of the Orion 80ED and had no trouble getting the right mouting equipment, i.e., dovetail and rings.

However, with the design of the Meade 80ED Triplet, I cannot use the same setup because of the mounting bracket.

I know that one option is to remove the mounting bracket and use the rings but would like to know what dovetail and brackets other folks are using that support the mounting bracket on the scope.

Thanks - Dennis

#14 Mark Sibole

Mark Sibole

    Advanced Member

  • Administrators
  • 2002 posts

Posted 21 December 2007 - 06:54 AM

Dennis.
I removed the Mounting block Via the 1 screw and have mine mounted to the LX200R with the losmandy ring and rail system.
http://astronomy.qte...es/DSC02855.JPG
and
http://astronomy.qte...es/DSC02856.JPG

Regards

Mark
Mark Sibole
MTSO Observatory
Fife Lake, Mi.

http://astronomy.qteaser.com

#15 coliwabl

coliwabl

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 9 posts

Posted 27 December 2007 - 08:43 PM

Mark - Thanks for your helpful reply. With regard to removal of the mounting bracket, what tool did you use? The bracket on the scope I received seems to have something resembling a hex screw, although I don't think it is.

I look forward to your reply.

Dennis

#16 Mark Sibole

Mark Sibole

    Advanced Member

  • Administrators
  • 2002 posts

Posted 28 December 2007 - 09:06 AM

Dennis.
If I remember correctly it was a single screw.
It had a hax head so you can use an allen wrench to remove it.
Im not sure on the sixe right now.

Regards

Mark
Mark Sibole
MTSO Observatory
Fife Lake, Mi.

http://astronomy.qteaser.com

#17 coliwabl

coliwabl

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 9 posts

Posted 28 December 2007 - 06:22 PM

Mark - Thanks again for getting back to me. Right you are about the hex nut. After I found the right size wrench, not problem.

Dennis




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users