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Orion 3.6 Clear aperture Reflector

Posted by Tim Abbott   07/17/2008 12:00AM

Orion has the 3.6 off axis newt on special for thier 33rd anniversary sale. I've waited for the price to come down on these and they are now $234. !! I couldn't resist at that price. And I'm glad I didn't!

The ota arrived safely with no damage. And to my surprise in perfect collimation. I only needed to snug up the lock screws a tad. Perfectly concentric diffraction rings in and out of focus - No astigmatism noted.

I've only had it out once so far under the stars and it performed very well. As good as my DGM scopes. Jupiter was first with a 16mm Russell eyepiece and was extremely crisp and clear. My 13mm Hyperion produced similar results. What blew me away was the double double - Easily split at 95X with the hyperion - but with my 2.8 Klee barlow at 267X it was amazing. Such a clear split of the closer components with only the absolute faintest of diffraction rings - just tiny perfectly round orbs - I really had to look for a ring. My Intes scope with 33% obstruction throws up a bright first diffraction ring and usually a faint second. The 3.6 was just pure stars- no rings to speak of to muddy up the view. I've played with it in the daytime some too and it really takes some ridiculous power. I like to test on a small tag hanging on a telephoe pole down the street - it's a numbered tag about the size of a quarter - About ten numbers on it so there pretty small.

With a 9mm ortho and a 3X barlow I get 413X - and it's crystal clear. So I added my 2X barlow to the mix - 826X and I can still clearly read the tag - although the heat waves disturb that somewhat.

It's a tiny mirror but I know I can expect great things from this scope. More testing to come for sure.
The tube is a seamed (like flue pipe tube) that dosen't thrill me - but it is sturdy enough. I like the cell, secondary holder and the fact it has a front end ring better than the DGM scopes. It just an 1-1/4 focser, but the motion is solid if not a tad stiff with no image shift noted at high power. So a good rating for the focuser.
I was skeptical of this scope for a while - the price was too high and was it just a cheap copy of a DGM scope? But once I got it I'm a believer. And at this price you just can't beat it. Can you get a 90mm apo for $234 ? I don't think so. Yes, the tube is much bigger but I can deal with that.

If you're like me and the price held you back before, now's the time you might want to try one out - before they're gone. Maybe the price will even go lower but I didn't want to take the chance on waiting.

I am not affiliated in any way with Orion telescopes, just a happy customer with a great new scope.