Star trails with silhouette viewed with the Orion ST80 telescope

Orion ST80 Review

Astronomy // Telescopes

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Orion ST80

Orion ST80 Telescope Review

If you are in search of an amazing introductory telescope, to get the novice stargazer excited about the beautiful field of astronomy, then I might just have the right model for you today.

Hello! This is Dennis, and for some time now, a lot of my readers (as well as friends) have been asking me about what can be the best entry-level telescope out there. 

Most of them want to orient their kids into the field, and so for my review today, I have chosen a model that’s ‘older-kid’ as well as ‘grown-up amateur’ friendly. 

The Orion ST80 has been making quite a splash in the stargazing field in 2019, and it’s not all that surprising why.

So, let me take you through all of its amazing features in my review, as well as explain to you who it’s best suited for and what you can get out of it.

Orion ST80 Reviewed by Exoplanet Science

ST80 Telescope – What You Should Know?

In terms of manufacturing, this Orion model was specifically designed to be as portable and as easy to use as possible. 

It caters best to the needs of first-time telescope users and is exactly the reason why I had gifted it to my daughter a few months back on her birthday. 

However, this is not her first telescope. She had a kid’s Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Talking Telescope before, and so I thought that this would be a more preferable upgrade than going for a more adept model. Make sure to check out our best telescopes for kids buyer’s guide here.

Star trails with silhouette viewed with the Orion ST80 telescope

So what makes the Orion ST so very beginner-friendly?

Well, apart from the portable design, the Orion supports a wider field of view as well. 

It helps to provide a much more expansive view of the night sky, which is almost panoramic in nature to be perfectly honest. 

It helped my daughter hop from one celestial object to the next quite easily. And I will never be able to forget the thrill and excitement that I saw on her face when she was able to spot the Perseus Double Cluster for the very first time.

The aperture of the scope is small as well, and as a result, supports a shorter focal length. 

This also helps with widening the field of view and provide some amazingly crisp and clear images of closer celestial objects like the Moon and the surrounding planets of the Milky Way galaxy.

However, the shorter focal length is not ideal for deep-space viewing. But on the plus side, if you live in an area which suffers from a lot of light pollution, then this Orion model will fit your stargazing needs like a gem.

Unlike the more powerful models, it is not as light-sensitive, and you’ll be able to make out closer nebulae and star clusters perfectly well.

Orion ST80 Guide Scope

When it comes to performance, not many beginner scope models will be able to provide what the Orion ST80 is capable of bringing to the table. 

The scope has high-quality optics that provides some of the clearest views of the Moon, where you can very easily make out all of its crates along with the bumpy terrain.

Moreover, in terms of beginner-friendly features, the equatorial mount and the adjustable tripod are the two things which my daughter and I absolutely loved.  

These two aspects of the Orion scope helped her to keep track of the object that she wanted to view while they are moving through space. They are amazing for jumping from one object to the next and performs quite well even when using slow-motion controls.

However, astrophotography is a no go with this particular model, so if you’re searching for a scope with great object capturing prowess, then it’s better to go for a higher Orion model.

Stargazing to the moon with the Orion ST80 telescope

Stars to view and Installation

With the Orion ST80, my daughter was able to get some mesmerizing views of the Andromeda Galaxy as well as the Perseus Double Clusters, and also some bright deep space objects. 

The Pinwheel Galaxy is perhaps the farthest view you can get from this scope, but that’s only if you’re viewing the dark sky from a place which has negligible amounts of light pollution. 

Setting up the scope is incredibly simple as well. It’s straightforward and quick; even my daughter can get the whole thing up and running well within 30 minutes. 

Installation instructions are provided with the set. They are easy to follow, and as the telescope controls are uncomplicated, any amateur can begin to use the ST80 right from the get-go. 

The portable nature makes it a great hiking partner. And I have often taken my daughter out camping to Big Bend with the scope in tow for an amazing night under the stars. 

Orion ST80 Specs

The Orion ST 80 is a refractor telescope with an aperture size of 80mm/ 3.16 inches. It boasts a Focal Length of 400mm, along with an equatorial mount and two 1.25” Kellner eyepieces of 10mm and 25 mm respectively.

And weighing in at 4.5 kilograms, the Orion ST80 is going to be one of the lightest and most portable introductory telescopes in the market today. 

Who is the Orion ST80 for and should be getting it?

As I had mentioned before, the Orion ST80 is going to be an amazing scope of choice for older kids as well as amateur stargazers new to astronomy

It’s quite pocket-friendly, and though it might not be one of the more durable models out there today due to the plastic parts, with the proper care, this scope can indeed last you for years to come.

Perfect as a camping and hiking partner, the Orion ST80 can indeed make any trip an incredibly memorable one with friends and family alike.

I hope that you were able to enjoy my Orion ST80 review today.


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