So I finally decided to get off my duff and get my own OTA to pair with my Orion Atlas EQ-G mount. Up until now, I’ve been getting my feet wet with my dad’s Stellarvue 80mm APO, and while it is a pretty sweet instrument for wide-field AP, it is not (in the words of Sammy Hagar) “mine all mine”.
As I am relatively green to the hobby, and not inclined to dive right into the full wallet-emptying, hair-pulling and tapestry-of-obscenities-weaving that typifies hardcore, specialized astrophotography, I determined that my first OTA should provide me some flexibility: something with modest deep sky AP potential, but also decent wide-field observing, and comfortable aperture for planetary contrast for those times when my camera isn’t hogging all the photons.
Enter the Orion EON 110mm ED APO refractor.
As of this writing, there are virtually no reviews of the EON 110 outside of Orion’s own marketing write-up and a short video overview. That may be due to a combination of the product’s relative “newness” in the Orion portfolio, and the fact that it’s aimed at the beginner to intermediate AP hobbyist. That alone makes this something of an impulsive roll of the dice, but I have yet to be disappointed by an Orion offering, so it seemed a safe bet. Some of the things on the brag sheet that convinced me to pull the trigger:
- 2.7″ hybrid focuser – combines a rack & pinion with a rigid rail construction to support gobs of imaging giblets (up to 17 Lbs, they say) without slippage or image-shift.
- 110mm f/6 – faster than almost every other 110mm I’ve seen in its class and price point
- Fully-coated ED APO doublet – I’m not likely to achieve (or, with my experience level, even appreciate) higher optical performance and color correction without the costly leap to a triplet design.
In Orion’s own words, this scope aims for the elusive “sweet spot” -not too wide for detail, and not so long as to require constant field reduction. So how does it perform?
First light was Jupiter, and by Jove, it was every bit the religious experience first light should be. Crystal clear bands, moons like a string of diamonds. Naturally, it was 6 degrees outside, so the worship service was truncated a tad
Next up, mounting the camera!