Astro-Tech AT80ED 3.1" f/7 ED Refractor OTA

$399.00

Availability: In stock

The Astro-Tech AT80ED is a fantastic value and incredible performer.
Our Product #: AT80ED
Astro-Tech Product #: AT80ED
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Product Description

This Astro-Tech AT80ED refractor has:

• 80mm f/7 fully multicoated doublet optics using FK-61 ED glass
• dual-speed 2" Rack and Pinion focuser

• 2" and 1.25" brass compression ring eyepiece holders
• split tube rings with detachable Vixen-style dovetail for installation on virtually any mount

Length:  18" dewshield retracted,  21.25"  dewshield extended

Weight:  6 lbs 3.2 oz with the rings and dovetail,  5 lbs 4 oz without rings and dovetail

The AT80ED is bringing ED optics to you at a fantastic price. When this scope was available in 2008 the retail price was $549. The reintroduction not only has a much lower price, but it has better mechanics as well as advancements in the optical assembly and polish. You get a 2" Rack and Pinion focuser with a microfine 11:1 fine-focusing ratio finished in our Aston Martin Grey body. You get dual split mounting rings with a detachable Vixen-style dovetail plate that lets you mount your AT80ED on virtually any altazimuth or German equatorial mount. The finely-machined Astro-Tech AT80ED comes with both 2" and 1.25" eyepiece holders using non-marring brass compression rings that won’t scratch your star diagonal or eyepiece barrels.  The AT80ED also comes with a retractable dew shield to make it as compact as possible.

As with all Astro-Tech scopes, the AT80ED gives you fully-multicoated ED optics that are essentially free of the annoying halo of unfocused violet light (chromatic aberration) that mars the bright-object images of lesser scopes, despite the fast focal ratio, and even at very high magnifications.

Features of this Telescope . . .

• ED doublet refractor optics: 80mm (3.1") aperture, 560mm focal length, f/7 focal ratio doublet optical system using an FK-61 ED (Extra-low Dispersion glass) element to reduce spurious color halos and fringing to vanishingly low levels.

• Fully multicoated optics: The AT80ED objective lens has the latest state-of-the-art antireflection multicoatings on all air-to-glass surfaces for high light transmission and excellent contrast. This can easily be seen by looking into the objective lens of the scope. Virtually no reflection of your face will be seen. It’s a sure sign that the high transmission coatings are doing their job, by letting virtually all the light enter the scope, rather than reflecting some light back to your eye.

• Internal light baffles: Contrast-enhancing knife-edge internal light baffles and a specially darkened tube interior provide truly dark sky backgrounds and high terrestrial contrast. The edges of the lenses are blackened to reduce internal reflections and further improve image contrast.

• Dew shield: A retractable dew shield slows the formation of dew on the lens in cold weather to extend your undisturbed observing time. It also improves the contrast, similar the lens shade on a camera lens, when observing during the day or when there is excessive ambient light at night, such as a neighbor’s backyard security light.  A slip-on metal dust cap for the dew shield is standard.

• 2" Rack and Pinion dual-speed focuser: The precision-made no-backlash dual speed 2" rack and pinion focuser is based off our EDT line of telescopes. Very smooth, and very robust. There are two coarse focusing knobs. The right knob also has a smaller concentric knob with an 11:1 reduction gear microfine focusing ratio. This provides exceptionally precise image control during high magnification visual observing and critical 35mm or CCD imaging. The focus knobs have ribbed gripping surfaces so they are easy to operate, even while wearing gloves or mittens in cold weather.

• Long focuser travel: The long 85mm (3.35") travel of the focuser drawtube helps keep the overall scope length reasonable for convenient travel and storage. The long drawtube length also permits switching between visual or photographic use with no add-on extension tubes needed. The drawtube has a scale marked in 1mm increments so you can note individual focuser positions for easy return to the correct focus when switching between visual use and photography. A drawtube lock knob underneath the focuser lets you lock in your photographic focus.

• Compression ring eyepiece holders: The focuser’s drawtube terminates in a 2" eyepiece holder that uses a non-marring soft brass compression ring to hold a 2" star diagonal and/or accessories in place. The compression ring won’t scratch the barrel of your star diagonal and accessories as an ordinary thumbscrew can.

A supplied 1.25" accessory adapter slips into the 2" eyepiece holder to let you use a 1.25" star diagonal, image erecting diagonal, or photographic accessories. Like the 2" eyepiece holder, the 1.25" adapter also uses a non-marring soft brass compression ring to hold 1.25" star diagonals and accessories in place. If you are partial to 1.25" eyepieces and need an outstanding diagonal for this scope, consider the 99% reflectivity Astro-Tech 1.25" dielectric diagonal #AT1D. It's a Sky & Telescope Hot Product for 2007.  An optional Astro-Tech 2" dielectric star diagonal #AT2D will give you the same 99% reflectivity performance with 2" eyepieces.

• Tube finish: The optical tube and lens shade are finished in a durable high gloss automotive-grade white paint, the same as that used on scopes several times the price of the AT80ED. The focuser and trim are Aston Martin Grey anodized. 

• Tube rings and dovetail mounting plate: The AT80ED comes with a pair of hinged split mounting rings and a detachable dovetail mounting plate. The dovetail plate fits directly into the head of many equatorial and altazimuth mounts. It will fit, without modification, Celestron AVX and Meade LXD-75 go-to mounts; the Vixen Porta altazimuth mount; and Vixen Great Polaris and Sphinx mounts, among others. This lets you quickly accommodate changing balance conditions as you exchange an eyepiece for a camera, a 1.25" diagonal for a 2" diagonal, etc.

In addition, the dovetail plate can be unbolted from the split rings to allow you to mount the rings directly on other equatorial mounts – for example on the D-plate used on Losmandy mounts – something that is difficult to do with the short mounting foot on competitive clamshell rings. The dovetail plate also has a 1/4"-20 thread mounting hole that allows it to be installed on any suitable heavy-duty camera tripod that has a standard 1/4"-20 thread mounting bolt.

Tech Details

Aperture 80mm
Focal Length 560mm
Focal Ratio f/7
Heaviest Single Component 6 lbs 3.2 oz.
Weight 5 lbs 4 oz without rings and dovetail
Optical Coatings Multi-coated
Supplied Eyepiece None
Telescope Type Refractor
View Finder None
Warranty 1 year

Reviews

Review by:
Overall, this is likely the best scope available for imaging unless you're willing to spend at least twice this much on a small triplet. The build quality is much better than I expected, from the solid retractable dew shield to the heavy duty rings included to attach it to your mount.

Visually it's very well corrected, showing no false color that I can see at multiple magnifications. I used it to look at M31 and M42 the first clear night I had with it, both of which were well resolved from my suburban skies. When imaging later in the night it paired very well with my APS-sized mirrorless camera, rendering a beautiful image of Orion and capturing some detail in the arms of Andromeda before the clouds rolled in.

That all being said I'm going to nitpick a bit, but don't let this detract from the fact that this is a fantastic scope.
When imaging, there is some slight false color that appears around brighter stars in longer exposures. It's pretty mild, but some bright stars do have a slight purple fringe around them. Much less than a similar speed achromat but more than a fully reflecting system (I have no experience yet with triplet APOs). The focuser, while being the best rack and pinion focuser I've ever used, still has a slight bit of shift when locking which made me take a couple tries to get it spot on. Not a big deal, just something to be aware of. My last nitpick is the lack of a finder shoe. Some users on Cloudy Nights reported a finder shoe being included with theirs, but mine did not nor did I expect one as it was not listed as included or shown in the pictures. I can't fault AstroTech for this as it arrived as advertised, I just wish they would include one so I didn't have to purchase one separately (about $14).

Slight detractors aside though, this is a fantastic scope and is destined to become my wide field refractor to compliment my longer focal length RC, and I'll enjoy not having to deal with the RC's convoluted collimation process. I'd definitely recommend this if you're getting started in astrophotography as I can't think of a better deal that will provide this level of performance. (Posted on 2/20/2021)
Review by:
I have not had a refractor in over thirty years, and I figured it was time to purchase one. I am into visual astronomy. I was doing research on a good grab and go refractor. After viewing reviews and other opinions, I ordered the AT80ED. I am glad I did! I was very impressed with the views on my first light.

I used both 86 and 21x for my observations. This scope is an incredible star splitter! I split Meissa cleanly, and saw the E star in the Trapezium. Sigma Orionis looked beautiful too! I was amazed with the details of the moon as well. The pinpoint stars against the velvet background is breathtaking. The focuser is so easy and precise, and the scope is sleek and attractive looking.

The price is unbeatable for such great views of the heavens. This scope is a personal favorite! (Posted on 2/7/2021)
Review by:
I have not had a refractor in 30+ years, and I thought it was about time. I figured I wanted something small, but with a punch. I did some research on many options that would satisfy a visual astronomer like me. Additionally, I was looking for something I can use as a grab and go.

I settled on the AT80ED after researching and hearing great experiences from other folks on CN. I also loved the scope's look.

This scope was MORE than I expected! Shortly after I focused at 21x on Sirius and dropped down to M 41. What blew me away were the pinpoint stars. The view was crisp and wonderful. I cleanly split Miessa (in Cr 69) at 86x. I looked at the stars in the Trapezeum in M42. I managed to see the E star (with little averted viewing). These were just a few examples of this scope pushing the envelope of excellence. Overall a big bang for the buck.

Thank you Astronomics for your hallmark customer service, and the quick shipping. This scope is a keeper! (Posted on 1/31/2021)
Review by:
I can't tell you how satisfied and pleased I am with my recent purchase of the AT80.
Last night I spent more time with it under semi-poor seeing conditions and viewed the Orion nebula for about 30 min with various eyepieces.
Best view of this nebula I've ever had with a small scope. Sharp crisp stars in the trapezium and very nice nebula structure that I didn't expect to see in a small scope.
Using a low power wide angle eyepiece with OIII filter the Veil nebula was easily viewed.
My emphasis is on the excellent and satisfying performance of this scope. Very impressive on the moon, planets and double stars.as well.
I have not noticed any false color.
Excels with quality eyepieces.
The build quality is very good. Nice and compact with the dew shield retracted.
On nights where I don't have a lot of viewing time I can take this scope from my house, place it on a small mount, view for 20 mins and be done and very happy with memorable views.
Highly recommended. (Posted on 12/13/2020)
Review by:
I've had a good chance to test this little 80mm APO telescope and I can honestly say this scope has exceeded my expectations. This scope with FK-61 ED glass has really performed.
I have owned some really excellent 3 inch class instruments in the past, including a TeleVue Oracle 3, Tak FS78, Vixen ED81SII and four different Orion ED80's. They all have performed quite well. I was surprised at the images this AT80ED revealed. They are amazingly sharp and color free.
I've looked at Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and the double double the last two nights. All the images very sharp and very clean. The planets showed great detail. The double double was very cleanly split at 100x to 180x. No complaints here.
The build quality is really excellent. The focuser is tight but the fine focus works very smoothly. It is visually a very beautiful telescope to look at. The build quality is above the ED80 by a long shot. I think it performs optically at least as good. That's my honest opinion.
For $399 you get a real bargain. Great scope with quality rings, a rack and pinion 2-speed focuser, and mine even included the Vixen dovetail mount. The fit and finish is wonderful. To those of you who are considering this offering, I can say go for it. (Posted on 10/10/2020)
Review by:
This is an amazing deal for $400. The build quality is top-notch, and the views are excellent. I'm sure it would beat many scopes costing significantly more. On my first night out with it, Saturn looked great, with equatorial banding and a sharp Cassini division. Jupiter showed numerous cloud bands, and I clearly noticed a faint black dot on Jupiter that turned out to be the beginning of an Io shadow transit. The contrast and detail on the Moon were impressive, and CA on the limb was barely noticeable when I actively tried to look for it. Vega showed a bit of false color, but how often am I going to be looking directly at zero-magnitude stars? I was able to cleanly split both components of epsilon Lyrae, and am looking forward to trying for some even closer doubles. I bought this scope to put on an alt-az mount in the hopes that I'd observe more often, on nights when I was feeling a bit too lazy to set up my larger refractor and equatorial mount, and I can already tell it's going to serve that purpose well! (Posted on 7/30/2020)
Review by:
"You get what you pay for... unless you buy this scope, in which case you get better than you pay for." I just got mine today, and only had a few minutes to test it out on Jupiter and Saturn. Wow! Only the slightest hint of violet on Jupiter, but doesn't degrade the view at all. I bought the 80mm as a secondary scope to ride with my 8" ACF LX65. Good call! The little refractor delivers big views that beat the 8" for contrast and sharpness on planets. F7 seems a good compromise--fast enough for wider field views with the right eyepiece and small enough to be super portable, yet long enough to give solid planetary views with my 6.5mm eyepiece. I bought the 2" dielectric diagonal and am using it with premium 2"eyepieces. Really performs well and build quality is excellent. I have bought the whole set up during COVID, so I have been stuck in the suburbs of L.A. Looking forward to some dark skies to really put things through to the test. their paces. (Posted on 7/14/2020)
Review by:
I bought this 80 mm ED scope in may and have only used it a couple of times in my parking lot of my apartment complex which is light city, I was about to send it back because I could not get a very good view of the sky. I finally had to pack it clear across the parking lot which is not a very safe place in my area around midnight to 2 in the morning but was glad I did because Jupiter was up high in the south and also Saturn. I was shocked when I looked at Saturn with a 6mm expance eyepiece which I believe is about 93X and it was a beautiful golden yellow so sharp and clean it made my 4 inch Celestron refractor and my 6 inch reflector look inferior. I will not be getting rid of this scope because it does what they say it will do, It gives crisp no false color views and it sits perfectly on my CG-4 mount, thank you astro tech (Posted on 7/9/2020)
Review by:
I recently acquired the Astro-Tech AT80ED. It is a beautiful scope, with the glossy white paint job and the Aston Martin gray focuser. I dressed the scope up a bit, using Gold pin striping on the dew shield along with a reflective silver pin stripe over that. I added a William Optics 8.3" Gold dovetail to the tube rings, a black William Optics 4" handle with finder scope dovetail to the upper portion of the tube rings, I also added a Silver ringed black dovetailed finder scope mount to the handle dovetail and mounted a Gold William Optics 50mm finder scope with helical focusing. I took out the included 2"/1.25" eyepiece adapter and replaced that with a Gold William Optics 2"/1.25" adapter instead. Also, I added the William Optics 81mm front cover/bahtinov mask too. It makes for a very nice looking telescope.

As far as optical testing, everything appeared to be as they described. I did not look at many bright objects, Vega appeared nice when focused, not very much CA. Focus was smooth albeit robust, like it could handle almost any weight attached. I was startled to notice that it was not a true crayford focuser, as it had a rack and pinion focuser attached, which I happened to like. The dew shield moves with a very tight sliding movement. It is not sloppy in anyway. The glass coating is phenomenal and the added baffle rings helps with off axis light. I did not notice any issues with the FK-61 glass that was paired with the other glass in the AT80ED. This scope is light weight, very easy to carry and stow. I am very tempted to purchase the AT102ED scope to go with my AT60ED as well as this scope. (Posted on 5/23/2020)
Review by:
Bought this for general observations of the terrestrial and celestial kind and am very happy with it, the optics are very good indeed and the focuser very smooth and overall for the price this scope ranks a ten. The paint and componants that make up the whole of this unit are well executed and really are a touch above other offerings at greater expence, Astro-Tech posts some awesome looking photos of this scope here and the scope I recieved did those photos justice and then some. I would certainly consider this an excellent buy at this price and it looks fantastic on the observation deck as well under the stars. Thanks for the awesome deal Astronomics! (Posted on 5/7/2020)
Review by:
I haven't taken mine outside yet, but mechanically it's very impressive. The focusing mechanism is very smooth, with good "weight" and no slack in either the coarse or fine focusing. The whole scope seems well built, and I expect the optics to be equally good. This scope is shaping up to be a real bargain. Highly recommended! (Posted on 1/28/2020)
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