Explore Scientific ES80 80mm f/6 ED "Essential Series" FCD-1 ED APO Triplet Refractor


Availability: In stock

This 80mm Explore Scientific "Essential Series" ED triplet apochromatic refractor is loaded with features and is priced hundreds of dollars less than many competitive 80mm triplet scopes - and even less than many competitive doublets . . .
Our Product #: ES80B
Explore Scientific Product #: ES-ED0806-01
Recommended Accessories

Product Description

This Explore Scientific ES80 "Essential Series" refractor has:
80mm f/6 fully multicoated triplet optics using a Hoya FCD-1 FPL51-equivalent ED element
Dual-speed 2" Crayford focuser with 10:1 ratio fine focusing
2" dielectric star diagonal with 2" and 1.25" brass compression ring eyepiece holders
Vixen-style dovetail mounting foot
Pre-mounted base for finderscope (finder not included)
Extended lifetime warranty

The Explore Scientific ES80 "Essential Series" refractor uses a premium Hoya FCD-1 ED glass element and state-of-the-art optical multicoatings in its apochromatic air-spaced ED triplet optics. The result is images that are essentially free of the annoying halo of unfocused violet light (chromatic aberration) that mars the view of bright stars and solar system objects in lesser scopes, despite the fast focal ratio of the ES80, and even at very high magnifications.

At only 5.95 lbs, the Explore Scientific ES80 is a natural as a lightweight grab-and-go scope for spur-of-the-moment backyard astronomy. It also makes a top-notch travel scope to take across town or around the world. In addition, it's a nifty fast focal ratio astrograph to piggyback on a larger scope for serious wide field imaging, or you can even use it on a big altazimuth or equatorial mount as the heart of your observing system.

Considering its surprisingly low price for an apochromatic triplet, and in view of the great optical performance that comes as standard equipment, the 80mm Explore Scientific ES80 is a terrific buy!

Features of this telescope . . .

Air-spaced ED apochromatic triplet refractor optics: 80mm (3.1") aperture, 480mm focal length, f/6 focal ratio three-lens air-spaced optical system. The optics use a center lens element of Hoya FCD1 (Dense Fluor Crown) glass, the Hoya equivalent of FPL-51 ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass. This ED element produces superior sharpness and color correction by minimizing the chromatic aberration, the "false" color fringing seen around bright objects when light rays pass through standard crown-and-flint doublet objectives. The result is to reduce spurious color halos and fringing to vanishingly low levels.

Fully multicoated optics: The ES80 triplet objective lens has EMD™ (Enhanced Multilayer Deposition) antireflection multicoatings on all air-to-glass surfaces for high light transmission, minimal light scatter, and excellent contrast.

Internal light baffles: The aluminum tube has contrast-enhancing internal light baffles and a specially darkened tube interior to provide dark sky backgrounds and high terrestrial contrast.

Collimatable optics: One of the bonuses of owning a refractor is that, compared to standard reflector telescopes, they almost never require realigning of the optics (collimation). However, any air-spaced refractor telescope may require optical recentering if the lens elements are knocked out of alignment by a heavy blow during shipping or use. Removing the dew shield will give you access to the lens centering screws in the sides of the lens cell, which you can then adjust yourself by referring to the supplied instructions. You can also send your scope to Explore Scientific's Service Center for precision alignment. A standard service charge applies for factory realignment.

Dew shield: The supplied removable 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 to the effect of 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 single thumbscrew holds the dew shield in place, allowing the felt-lined dew shield to be removed from the scope, reversed, slid back onto the optical tube, and stored for transport in only a few seconds. The optical tube measures a compact 18.5" long, including the dew shield. A thread-in metal dust cap for the optical tube is standard.

Dual speed 2" rack and pinion focuser: The precision-made no-backlash focuser has dual-speed focusing. There are two coarse focusing knobs. The right knob also has a smaller concentric knob with a 10:1 reduction gear microfine focusing ratio. This provides exceptionally precise image control during high magnification visual observing and critical DSLR or CCD imaging. The large focus knobs have ribbed gripping surfaces so they are easy to operate, even while wearing gloves or mittens in cold weather.

The focuser drawtube has a scale marked in centimeters and 1mm increments. This lets you note individual focuser positions for easy return to the correct focus when switching between visual use and photography. Two knobs underneath the focuser lets you adjust the tension on the drawtube to accommodate varying eyepiece/photo accessory loads, as well as firmly lock in a photographic focus. The focuser has a non-marring 2" brass compression ring equipment holder.

2" dielectric star diagonal and compression ring eyepiece holders: The supplied standard equipment 2" mirror star diagonal of the ES80CF slips into the focuser drawtube's 2" eyepiece/accessory holder. The 2" diagonal has 99% reflectivity dielectric mirror coatings for high light transmission. The star diagonal uses a non-marring soft brass compression ring to hold 2" eyepieces in place. The compression ring won't scratch the barrel of your 2" eyepieces as an ordinary thumbscrew can.

A supplied 1.25" accessory adapter slips into the 2" diagonal to let you use 1.25" eyepieces in the 2" diagonal. The 1.25" accessory adapter can also be inserted into the 2" accessory holder on the focuser drawtube to let you use a 1.25" image erecting diagonal, or 1.25" photographic accessories. Like the 2" eyepiece holder on the diagonal, the 1.25" adapter also uses a non-marring soft brass compression ring to hold 1.25" star diagonals and accessories in place.

Mounting foot: For serious astronomy and astrophotography, the ES80 has an L-shaped dovetail mounting foot that is shaped to fit directly into the Vixen-style dovetail slot on the head of many of the most popular light to medium capacity altazimuth mounts and Celestron VX Series go-to German equatorials, among others. In addition, the dovetail has both 1/4"-20 and 3/8" holes that allow you to mount the 7.5 pound scope (when including diagonal) directly onto any good photo tripod for casual astronomy or daytime terrestrial observing. A knob on the body of the scope allows you to rotate the tube assembly and focuser to line up a camera in either a landscape or portrait orientation (or any orientation in between), then temporarily lock the focuser in that position.

Extended lifetime warranty: This individually serial numbered Explore Scientific telescope is backed by a limited one year warranty, which will be extended to an Explore Scientific transferable Extended Life of the Product limited warranty when its warranty card is registered with Explore Scientific within 60 days of purchase.

Tech Details

Aperture 3.1"
Binary and Star Cluster Observation Very Good
Focal Length 480mm
Focal Ratio f/6
Galaxy and Nebula Observation Fair
Highest Useful Magnification 160x
Lunar Observation Great
Weight 7.5 lbs
Planetary Observation Very Good
Resolution 1.45 arc seconds
Telescope Type Refractor
Visual Limiting Magnitude 12.0
Warranty 1 year, extendable to lifetime


Review by:
The optics is very good for the price but the focuser needs improvement. I modified the mounting system to include a tube ring at the front portion of the tube body so that the scope is no longer cantilevered on the vixen plate. (Posted on 10/24/2019)
Review by:
I actually purchased this scope as a guide scope for my 10" SCT. Wow, I had no idea what I was getting! I decided to give it a go at imaging and I tried it out on the north america nebula... the results blew my mind. I have since upgraded to a ES ED115 FPL53 but I am really missing this scope. I plan to purchase another very soon. I took a lot of images with this scope and I still want to take some more. Really impressed with the quality of this little beauty. If you are looking for a great scope that doesn't break the bank this is the one. (Posted on 10/17/2019)
Review by:
This is a quality scope. The fit and finish is exceptional. Great optics. The price makes it irresistible. You can't do better unless you spend twice as much. Really the best bang for the buck. (Posted on 9/16/2019)
Review by:
I do love this cope for wide-view deep-space AP. The optics are amazing and for the value I can't imagine anything better. One star taken away due to constant focusing alignment shift as you focus, which does settle after the focus. The ES guys told me there was nothing they could do about it. BTW, despite this, their customer service is awesome. (Posted on 8/26/2019)
Review by:
This is an amazing little scope! I got this scope to start doing some astrophotography, and it has exceeded my expectations so far. Lots of reach for its small size, and its got a great price for apochromatic scope. It needs a field flattener to get the most out of your imaging with it, but otherwise this has been a great scope to image with right out of the box for a beginner like myself. (Posted on 7/27/2019)
Review by:
To get into long exposure deep sky object astrophotography (LEDSOAP) usually requires a substantial investment in equipment. Primarily you should focus on the best mount you can afford, the next step for the beginner is to get a small, lightweight, short focal length refractor. This type of OTA is the most forgiving when starting out in LEDSOAP.

With that in mind, this little ES80mm OTA is the most bang for the buck you are going to get. The optics alone are worth the cost for this OTA. The only reason it got 4 stars instead of 5 is that the focuser is just a bit lackluster. It is a tad sloppy, but it is lockable. Don't let the focuser stop you from purchasing this OTA. Your images from this OTA will be stunning. (Posted on 7/23/2019)
Review by:
This has been a great first scope for me to delve in to astrophotography with. The scope is certainly more capable than I am. (Posted on 7/22/2019)
Review by:
I used to use this scope for astrophotography before aperture got to me. I used this in my highly light polluted suburban place close to the city of Chicago so imaging was a challenge even with filters. When I used to use this scope I would get very wide field images of deep sky objects due to its somewhat low focal length. I used to image with my Nikon D5300 DLSR with it attacted to a Celestron AVX mount.
(Posted on 1/11/2019)
Review by:
I think this scope is a great value for the money. It’s a great grab-and-go scope for visual use and is supposed to be great for astrophotography too (I haven’t delved into it, but eventually...). The components are all of great mechanical quality. The views are super sharp (star clusters are amazing in this thing) and false color is virtually nonexistent. It comes with everything you need to get going except for an eyepiece. The focuser is 2” so you can use 2” eyepieces to get some phenomenal wide field views from its short 480mm focal length. It is an f/6 scope so you will want to invest in quality eyepieces to get the best views. Overall, this is a great way to get your hands on a good quality APO without breaking the bank! (Posted on 1/8/2019)
Review by:
I absolutely love this scope. I've taken some amazing photo's with it of the night sky. It's focal length is perfect for Orion Nebula and Andromeda Galaxy. The focus knobs are nice and the focus knob lock works great. The only problem I have with it is the illuminated recticle on the spotting scope. I can't seem to get it to glow a bright as I would like. However, that is kind of minor for most people. One of my favorite features is the case. Everything fits perfect and is a very tough case with a cleverly designed latching mechanism. (Posted on 8/4/2017)
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Supplied Accessories

  • Vixen-style dovetail mount
  • Rotating 2" dual speed rack and pinion focuser
  • Mounting shoe for optional finderscope
  • Dust covers.