Scanning the Sky with the 38mm Orion Q70

Astronomy does not have to be a hobby that breaks your wallet. As much as some may say, and as great as they may be, you do not have to buy eyepieces that are more expensive than your telescope to enjoy the beauty of the night sky. Reading Astronomy Forums, researching what to buy for my first 2 in eyepiece, I was given suggestions such as the Televue Nagler Eyepiece Series which receives rave reviews for its quality but also costs between 350 and 570 dollars. I began to worry that I would never be able to afford a nice high quality eyepiece and that I would notice the optical flaws mentioned so often in forums of cheaper designed eyepieces. Putting those fears aside, and after extensive internet searching and reviews read, I decided to buy the 2in. Orion 38mm Q70 Eyepiece. I considered this to be my first “premium/high dollar eyepiece” purchase. With Orion holding a post Christmas 10 percent off sale in January,  90 dollars got me this wide angle, low powered 2in. eyepiece.

Optical Quality
Peering through the large 2 in. eyepiece for the first time gave me the perception of looking out the window of a space ship. The field of view was tremendous, showing just over 2 degrees of space. One of the main reasons, I had wanted this eyepiece was to view large area objects such as the Pleiades Open Star Cluster. The seven stars of this cluster appeared beautifully, with ghostly hints of the Nebula of Taurus around several of them, as they only could in binoculars or an ultra wide eyepiece design. Not being a super high dollar eyepiece design, there is some astigmatism present (star stretching) near the extreme 5 to 10 percent of view, but it is something that would probably go unnoticed to most casual observers and is only noticeable to me when I think to look for it.

Use
I find myself using this eyepiece most often when hunting for deep sky objects (Nebulae, Star Clusters and Galaxies). A few days ago, I used it nearly exclusively when hunting down some messier objects and doing detailed viewing of the Veil Nebula and Dumbbell Nebula. Most often though, I enjoy putting in this eyepiece and just slowly scanning parts of the Milky Way.

Build Quality
The 5 element aluminum design weighs in at 1.3lb and feels as sturdy as it looks in promotional images. Blackened lens egdes and a fully multi-coated design means that you will recieve maximum light transparency with little to no glaring or ghosting of dim or bright objects. This is by far the biggest eyepiece in my collection, make sure your telescope and carrying case can accommodate a 2 in eyepiece before buying.

With the amount of money put into this new product, I was anxious that the higher quality I felt I had paid for might not be apparent. After nearly 6 months of use I can thankfully say that this, my first “premium/high dollar” eyepiece, has given me the quality that I hoped for and more importantly it has amazed me with its wide open views, as though I am looking through a portal, into the impressive sights of our universe.

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2 thoughts on “Scanning the Sky with the 38mm Orion Q70

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