Skywatcher 80ED Refractor Telescope – First Impressions

skywatcher 80ed pro refractor

My new telescope was delivered two days ago, so here are the first impressions.

It’s a Skywatcher 80ED refractor from the Evostar Pro series. This means it has an 80mm diameter, high quality objective lens, made from fluorite glass.

This special glass material is used to eliminate false color as much as possible from observations and keep them sharp.

ED1 OTA Version (optical tube assembly only)

It’s the first high-quality (apochromatic) refractor I’ve owned. Before purchase, I asked experienced astronomers and this telescope was well-recommended for it’s image quality and value for money.

Skywatcher 80ED showing necessary extension tube

Skywatcher 80ED showing necessary extension tube

I bought the ED1 version – this is the bare optical tube (OTA) only. You can also get the ED2 version. It’s exactly the same optical tube, but comes also with 2 eyepieces, finderscope, diagonal and case.

I already had eyepieces so I decided to save money and just get the OTA, which cost £235 (about $420) delivered.

Attaching To A Mount

First impressions were good.

The tube assembly is a handy size and weight. And with a focal length of 600mm (f7.5), it’s fairly short.

It was easy to attach to the equatorial mount, I already had.

You can see from the photo, I have used the white Skywatcher tube rings it was supplied with, but have attached them to the existing bar on the mount.

Because of this, the rings are rather too close together.

I have retained the Skywatcher supplied (longer) dovetail bar and will use it on the next mount. (I intend to get a much better quality, motorised polar mount for this telescope, in the next few weeks)

First Light Through The Scope

Observing Chair and Skywatcher 80ED

Observing Chair and Skywatcher 80ED

Amazingly, the sky was very clear on the first night, so I did some observing.

First thing to point out, is the focus tube is too short to allow use of an eyepiece, ‘as is’.

You need either an extension tube or a star diagonal, to lengthen the optical path and bring the image to focus.

Remember I mentioned above, the ED2 version comes with a 90 degree diagonal attachement.

I used an extension tube I already had. I have annotated the photo above, to highlight this extension.


Jupiter is bright, but rather low in the South at present. It made a good first target for the new refractor.

I was very pleased to get a good sharp image of Jupiter, using a 9mm eyepiece. I could clearly see the darker bands on the planet.

The crayford focuser of the scope is very smooth and nice to use.

I really needed higher magnification, but the 9mm eyepiece is the shortest focal length I have at present. With the 600mm focal length of the telescope, it gives only 66 times magnification. (600 divided by 9)

I’m confident I will see clear views at much higher power, so I am well pleased with the new refractor.

I will report progress over the next few weeks.

2 Responses to Skywatcher 80ED Refractor Telescope – First Impressions

  1. Pingback: The International Year Of Astronomy Is Here! and to celebrate… | Supporting IYA 2009 The International Year of Astronomy

  2. Pingback: Vixen Flip Mirror Plus Skywatcher 80ED Pro Refractor | Supporting IYA 2009 The International Year of Astronomy

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