My first telescope was an Orion Short Tube 80. I consider this as a very good telescope for a beginner being in the same time very good value for money.
Optical design: refractor
Clear aperture: 80mm
Focal length: 400mm
Focal ratio (photographic speed): f/5
Resolving power: 1.3 arc secs
Super Multi-coatings: standard
Maximum practical visual power: 100x
Telescope mounting: photo tripod screw 1/4"
Finder scope: 6x30
Tube body: aluminum
Telescope dimensions: D=100mm x 390mm
Telescope aprox weight: 3kg
Orion Short Tube Telescope is a very good first telescope choice. I bought this telescope after I read a very good review in Sky & Telescope magazine, and I wasn't disappointed.
- Portability is not heavy, and its small focal distance makes Orion Short Tube, very easy to pack in small case together with its accessories. The most difficult to carry will be the tripod. You don't need a car to take all your gear with you. The reason I know is because I do not own a car.
- Price it is just a little bit more expensive than one of the telescopes sold in Super Markets but you get a lot more in quality, features and performance.
- Dew cap it is fitted with a dew cap insuring dew protection and also the protection of the front lens.
- Good optic quality for its price it is surprisingly good quality. The optics is good and also the focusing system. The whole construction is robust and look neat.
- Good Viewfinder Not bad quality and easy to look through.
- No Manual All you receive with the telescope is a pathetic sheet of paper, giving you hints about the product.
- No 90° Diagonal Prism You receive only the 45° diagonal prism which is suitable for terrestrial viewing, not for astronomy
- Only a 25mm Eyepiece
- No Tripod You need to buy a decent tripod, that will cost you probably as much as the telescope. But look at the bright side: you will own a good tripod that will be useful for photography, video and astronomy. Buying a cheap tripod will cost you in the end more, because you will buy a good tripod anyway. I recommend you a Manfrotto for video with a so called fluid head.