Especially if you plan on using high magnifications, this generally means a stand that has double that number on the box. Orion StarBlast 6 Astro Reflector Telescope The Orion StarBlast 6 Astro Reflector Telescope exemplifies the perfect combination of well-rounded performance and convenient portability. At this point, you can use the included (unmagnified) red dot finder for precision alignment and finally start hunting your target through an eyepiece of your choice. Don’t make this molehill into a mountain, though: it may seem confusing at first, but it takes only a few tries to get comfortable with the process. Each of these purchases makes sense and will most certainly expand your capabilities. Though the Orion StarBlast is on the expensive side, it’s really a perfect starter scope; a breeze to get started with even if you have no stargazing experience whatsoever. What it isn’t is an all-in-one solution for someone who plans to be the next Edwin Hubble. User-friendliness is the name of the game with the Orion StarBlast series. Astrophotography is this scope’s only true weak point, and this only really applies if you already own a high-end DSLR. With the Orion StarBlast, panning around the heavens more or less by eye is a joy; with a little practice, you can even find and see Messier objects, meaning the brighter galaxies and star clusters visible from Earth. In other words, you will have a great time exploring the surface of the moon or trying to locate brighter nebulae, but objects like double stars and planets will be a little more challenging to make out. You don’t need a degree from MIT to operate it; even children can figure it out and will have a whale of a time using it to scan around the night sky. Which features you can actually discern depends heavily on how much light pollution you have to contend with and on how good your eyesight is). Stabilizing the camera/scope combination isn’t that much of a problem, especially if you invest in a tripod mount that includes a counterweight. Orion comes back to an old favorite with this telescope. The Orion StarBlast in a Nutshell. Considering its overall quality, including the sturdiness of the base and how easy it is to collimate, the Orion StarBlasts offer pretty good value. If taking picture easily is one of your primary requirements for a telescope, however, you will probably want to look at something like the Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ instead, which has a similar aperture size, a longer focal length and an equatorial mount. Thankfully, this is very easy to do with a StarBlast and shouldn’t take longer than two or three minutes, even without a laser collimator or other special tools. What if, on the other hand, you could treat people to something interesting and unusual while broadening their horizons at the same time? There are plenty of ways to entertain your guests after dinner: board games, karaoke, or, if all else fails, turning on the idiot box. Here’s a good video from Orion on how to use it: A major point in favor of this line of telescopes is that the base tracks smoothly: moving it is easy, but it also tends to stay in position unless you deliberately apply pressure. Now that you can see more objects that are difficult to find using the naked eye, it just makes sense to spring for the IntelliScope upgrade or even a compatible auto-tracking mount. When it comes to estimating the viewing power of any telescope, the first thing to look at is its aperture size, followed by its focal length and the quality of its optical components. This size and the relatively low weight (24 pounds) of this telescope makes for comfortable viewing when it’s placed at tabletop height and somewhat less so when it’s resting directly on the ground. While you can hook up a smartphone or even a DSLR to the StarBlast, anything weighing more than a few ounces is bound to unbalance your setup. At the same time, many older folks love its ergonomics and relatively low weight. The seemingly small increase in aperture size to 150mm actually offers 33 percent more light gathering ability resulting in brighter and sharper images. The costs add up, though, so you should also consider saving up a little longer and going for a more capable, full-featured telescope like the Celestron NexStar SE right from the get-go. And here for the latest prices of the Starblast 6 Astro: compensate for the telescope’s focal plane being too shallow, Pretty expensive once you add all the bells and whistles. None of these activities is likely to be the highlight of the evening, though. The StarBlast 6 Astro telescope has not been classed as a Dobsonian by Orion who does specialize in Dobsonian telescopes. Taking truly high-quality photos with it is next to impossible. The telescope itself is usually the limiting factor with regard to what you can see – in many cases, a simple filter may be way more effective at bringing out details. So, what’s the catch, and is it even something you might care about? This is certainly not the cheapest reflector of this size you can buy, but it’s also far from the most expensive. For now, he lives in a Latin American surfing town and maintains a science blog. This is available as an add-on module you can install yourself, though only on the StarBlast 6 and not the smaller 4.5-inch model. Exceptionally easy to set up and use, it’s perfect for the casual backyard astronomer who wants to see incredible views without having to do a lot of work to get them. Contact Us, Orion SkyQuest XT6 Classic Dobsonian Telescope, Meade Infinity 102mm AZ Refractor Telescope Review, Orion SkyQuest XT6 Classic Dobsonian Telescope Review, Orion StarBlast 6 Astro Reflector Telescope Review. However, some DSLRs simply will not be able to give you clear pictures – just because you set the focus ring to ∞ doesn’t mean much when the camera has to compensate for the telescope’s focal plane being too shallow – one consequence of having a small f-ratio. If you’re mainly interested in seeing what you can see, and not winning any photography competitions, the StarBlast may be exactly the telescope for you. It’s pretty rugged and requires almost no assembly to set up. Though the Starry Night software package you get with the scope will come in handy at that point, it’s reassuring that you can also buy the IntelliScope upgrade if locating these targets proves more difficult than you expected. Just make sure that it’s designed to keep a load of 6 pounds or so (the weight of the tube) rock steady. This has a major effect on your ability to discern dim objects and, hence, on the maximum useful magnification you’ll be able to achieve. The Orion StarBlast, on the other hand, will get you up and running in minutes, even without referring to the included Starry Night software. Assuming that you can find somewhere suitable to put it, the base is more stable than the average tripod, with almost no way of tipping it over without really trying. Aiming is accomplished simply by pushing the tube or the knob at the front around with your fingers. In practical terms, you may be able to make out Saturn’s rings and the moons of Jupiter with the 4½”, but actually seeing them clearly will require the larger 6″. What it isn’t is an all-in-one solution for someone who plans to be the next Edwin Hubble. In other words, there are no small-scale screw controls to help you make fine adjustments, but aiming it at roughly the right patch of sky is not difficult to do. It can help to blow up an image, but it’s worthwhile remembering that size and clarity aren’t always the same thing. Standard accessories for the package include a 25 mm and 10 mm eyepiece (17 mm and 6 mm for the 4½-inch), translating to magnifications of about 30x and 75x. In reality, this is the result of many hours of practice. After some time, you’ll probably graduate to more distant, smaller objects and eyepieces that offer higher magnifications. Many people are intimidated by the collimation process common to all reflector telescopes. Victor Owen has owned a dry cleaning business, traded in zebra skins, worked as an electrical engineer, chef and earthworm farmer, has written five books and still isn’t quite sure what to do with his life. This scope is available as either a 4.5″ or 6″ reflector. Alternatively or in addition, you may also want to get a better finder scope: the EZ Finder II that comes standard with the StarBlast is actually just a simple reflex sight and doesn’t magnify your view through it. No affordable telescope can be good at every job you might want it to do – for every task its design makes easy, something else becomes hard. Two holes in the base serve as carry handles, and there’s a convenient holder on the side for up to 3 spare eyepieces. Another thing many people will appreciate is the option of adding an IntelliScope upgrade kit to the mix to make stargazing even simpler. You’ll need nothing more complicated or exotic than a screwdriver. Still, some (and perhaps most) people will be perfectly happy with using an iPhone to share their finds on Facebook and leave stuff like f/stops, calibration frames, and ISO ratings to those who actually care about such things. This is particularly true if you plan to use eyepieces with very short focal lengths for highly magnified views. With an appropriate bracket, you can capture pretty impressive images through the eyepiece just with a smartphone. If you’re interested in seeing dim objects like most of the Messier catalog, though, you’ll be far more satisfied with its larger 6-inch cousin, or perhaps an 8″ Dobsonian like the Orion SkyQuest. The Orion StarBlast 6i IntelliScope Reflector Telescope is an upgrade over their solid standard StarBlast 6 model. Something that makes many people leery of buying a reflector telescope is the chore of collimation, i.e., adjusting the mirrors to get a clear image. (Note that this is a pretty risky statement to make and not any sort of guarantee. The 10mm and 25mm Orion Sirius plossl eyepieces that came with the scope are good eyepieces, but have a limited 52 degree field of view. Its only drawback is that it does not work well with cameras. With some scopes, simply getting even a bright star into view requires patience and know-how. That’s not to say that you will not be able to take photos with the StarBlast: it’s indeed possible and the results are often more than acceptable. Although the StarBlast 6 does have a large central obstruction compared to longer focal length reflectors with similar sized apertures, the r… Alternatively, you can pay a little extra and opt for the 6I version to begin with. Simple and extremely easy to use, the Orion StarBlast is a tabletop telescope perfect for spending a few interesting hours pondering the mysteries of the universe. The main difference between the two is, of course, that the 6″ lets in almost twice as much light as is possible with a 4½-inch aperture. Inches wide, this is available as either a 4.5″ or 6″ Reflector s magnifying and focusing role screwdriver... Bracket, you ’ ll need nothing more complicated or exotic than a screwdriver which... 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