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Orion Apex 127mm Mak-Cass Spotting Scope


Recently I sold my Orion SyQuest XT8 dobsonian. This is not something I would recommend - the XT8 is better than fantastic! I had to sell mine because I was getting no more value out of it. I can't do much viewing with it because of where I live (and the 18kg weight), and to use it properly, I would need to travel with it. This was never a problem, but my daughter was born recently, so if I do travel the scope will need to stay at home. Thus, I needed a telescope which would satisfy my star-watching needs as well as be portable. I couldn't afford this if I didn't sell the XT8.

My choice? Apex 127. Reasons are:
1. Portability
2. Focal length (for planetary viewing)
3. Orion (I'm a fan)
4. Brighter DSOs

It did cost me more than I had planned, but my budget could thankfully stretch so that I could afford it. I also decided the extra R was worth it in the long run for a 5" over a 4" because I do love to look at DSOs and the extra focal length also suited my eyepiece collection.

I am very happy so far. The sky is full of beautiful things to view at the moment and the Apex has shown them to me with ease. The contrast is fantastic! And the sharpness of the stars is incredible. I believe this scope is sharper than the XT8. It also has better contrast, but isn't nearly as bright (like any other review says). Set up is super-easy and it is so convenient to store in the really high quality bag it comes in.

The 6x26 finder is great! It's easier to use a red dot finder, but the 6x26 is much more accurate. At 308x I could pinpoint the target with the finder and it was in my FOV, so I don't have to find with the finder, then find at low power and then increase power. This makes the viewing much more actual viewing and less finding. The 6x26 is also a nice little scope for bird watching.

I have an old EQ3 mount, which isn't the greatest quality, but it works. I must be honest, I do have to get into very strange positions to do some viewing with an equatorial. But it's lovely to follow an object.

I have also put the telescope onto a photo tripod to use as a spotting scope and it's excellent for that too. The only thing I don't really like for this use is the focusser. It takes many turns to change the focal point. This makes it very accurate, but the bird is likely to have flown away by the time you've focussed.

For a 5" that is reasonably sharp at 308x and that is built with a quality that cannot be faulted, I can't give any negative marks. The field of view is obviously not as wide as the 8", but price and quality considered with the extra portability, I must give 5 stars.
Date Added: 07/01/2013 by Marc Klynhans
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