Orion Starblast 4.5 review

In this article we perform an Orion Starblast 4.5 Review and see where it stacks up.

 

Telescopes have been with us for many hundreds of years. It is believed that the first telescope was used way back in 1608 that is almost 321 years ago. However, since then there has been an evolution as far as technologies are concerned. 

 

This has led to the manufacturer of new models with improved technologies. Hence, if you are in the market on the lookout for a suitable telescope, you will have many options to choose from. 

 

But making the right choice is not easy because there are so many makes and models available out there in the marketplace. Hence, it would be a good idea to look for some good makes and models of telescopes that have stood the test of time.

 

One such model is Orion Starblast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope. In this article, we will be going through a reasonably comprehensive Orion Starblast 4.5 review. We hope that it will help the readers to make the right choice. The review pertaining to Orion Starblast 4.5 is based on facts and figures and we have stayed away from judgmental and opinionated review. 

Orion Starblast 4.5 review

 

 

Link to purchase on Amazon

However before we dive in, we will briefly talk about the few things that we should bear in mind before we choose the right telescope. This will be general in nature so that the readers are sure that they are buying the right telescope keeping in mind their specific needs and requirements.

 

How to choose the right telescope

Telescopes are good investments and often they are quite expensive. That being said, you should make sure that you are getting the best value for money. Here are a few important tips that may help you in buying the right telescope. 

 

Telescopes can also be a good gifting option and therefore as a friend or relative or family member, you would like to make sure that you buy the best telescope that remains in memory for the receiver for a significantly long period of time.

 

It might be difficult to zero in on a perfect telescope just as you can never perhaps find a perfect car. You must therefore keep in mind a few things when buying a telescope. The most important points to consider or your specific areas of interest, budget and lifestyle. 

 

Good telescopes for beginners could cost around $400 but if you look around, do some window shopping and information gathering you may be able to come up with telescopes priced at around $250.

 

Mount and High Quality Optics

Whenever you decide to buy a telescope, you must bear in mind two important points. Make sure that it has the best optics and the mount should be smooth and steady. Big microscopes are easier to install and use when compared to the small hand-held ones. However, make sure that the telescope is convenient to handle and portability should not be an issue. A good telescope is the one that you should be able to use easily.

 

Importance of Aperture

The aperture is one of the most important fixtures as far as a telescope is concerned. This defines the capability of the light-gathering as far as the mirror or lens are concerned. This is also referred to as the objective. The diameter of the aperture will be mentioned in millimeters or in some cases in inches. 

 

For information sake one inch is equal to around 25.4 mm. Any good telescope should have an aperture of at least 2.8 inches and if it is bigger you will find it better and the imaging and viewing will be much clearer.

 

When you choose a telescope with a larger aperture, you will be able to see fainter and distant objects much better. You will be able to have a finer and more complete detail when compared to a telescope with a smaller aperture. However, a reasonably small aperture can still show you the galaxy and the milky-way quite clear. But for this to happen, you have to be away from glaring city lights.

 

 In fact if you are in a dark location with no city lights and other such things to disturb you, you will be able to see dozens of galaxies in the milky-way. This can be done with an aperture of around 3.1 inches or around 80 mm in size.

 

However, if you wish to see the milky way from your backyard you need telescopes that have apertures ranging from 6 to 8 inches. It is therefore quite obvious that telescopes that you buy should have a decent aperture size.

 

It would be better to stay away from telescopes that seemingly magnify the subject. 

 

Beyond a certain point magnification does not work and therefore any decent telescope with a decent aperture size should do the job. All said and done, the darker the surroundings, the better will be the quality of telescope viewing.

 

We are sure that the above would have given our readers an idea about the most important things to be kept in mind when you are planning to buy a suitable telescope. Let us now get into the review of the Orion StarBlast II 4.5 telescope.

 

It is a No-Frill Quality Telescope

If you are on the lookout for a telescope that does not have many frills but still performs decently well, then you have many reasons to have a closer look at the Starburst 4.5. It is quite popular and many astronomers who are beginning their journey are happy choosing this. This is because a number of factors and price of course is one of the most important reasons for choosing this telescope. 

 

The telescope has been around for around fifteen years and therefore it has stood the test of time. But the question is how does it compare with other telescopes that are of the same price range and other features and attributes? Let us find the answers for the same over the next few lines.

 

Optical Performance

Let us start by getting to know more about the optical performance of this telescope. Most customers and experts are ready to give a rating of 4.5 out of 5 as far as the optical performance is concerned. We would like to mention here that this particular brand was initially made to compete with the much talked about Edmund Astroscan. 

 

However, Astroscan was discontinued due to some unknown reasons. It would not be out of place to mention here that the StarBlast 4.5 has some awesome features that are comparable to the Astroscan. This particular telescope from Orion has been able to score over many other similar brands as far a reliable and proven wide-field telescope. 

 

It offers an impressive 4 degree field of view. This is equal to the view of eight full moons. Further, the buyers also have the option to go in for a 24 mm Plossl or what is known as a wide-field eyepiece. However, this is an extra expense and it is not part of the overall deal when you decide to buy the StarBlast Orion 4.5 telescope. 

 

Though there could be other such models like Zhumel and Meade (Lightbridge Mini), they have tried to copy this version of StarBlast. However, all of them make use of the same 114 mm f/4 OTA.

 

It performs more than its promise

Orion has always believed in under-scoring the performance and capability of their products. It would not be out of place to mention here that the Orion StarBlast 4.5 has delivered much more than what has been promised by the manufacturers. It has been marketed as a low-magnification and wide field telescope. However, many end users are of the view that the telescope is capable of providing the best of views at high magnification. 

 

However, please make sure that as an end-user, you collimate the telescope properly. This could take some time and quite a bit of learning, especially if you are a beginner who has been asked to handle an f/4 telescope.

 

It does come with eyepieces

Though the telescope offers 17 and 6 mm Kellner eyepiece they may not be of the best quality when it comes to widening your view. The eyepieces may also not be able to the lower elements of power. This is essential if you are keen on getting the best view as far as the wide field is concerned. 

 

According to experts and end-users there are other brands and makes of telescopes that offer eyepieces that are far more powerful when there is a need for wide-angle viewing. The eyepiece is not sharp and the field of view is narrow. Further, it does not come with eye-guards and there are some customers who believe the eyepieces also do not come with a cap. 

 

The focuser of this telescope is also made from plastic. However, given the price at which it is being made available, this is acceptable and there should not be too many things to grumble about.

 

But one thing is clear. If you want to make the best use of the scope, you may have to invest in quite a few eyepieces. When you factor the cost of these investments, you may feel that you may have rather gone in for a higher priced and more advanced telescope. 

 

As mentioned above, there are enough reasons to believe that as a beginner you should not have too many reasons to complain as far as this telescope is concerned.

 

Red Dot Finder

The StarBlast II 4.5 also comes with a quality red-dot finder. Though this may not be of the best quality, it is quite adequate because it has an impressively wide field of view.

 

Overall the design features of the scope are quite good. But if you are a professional space gazer and would like to attach DSLRs or shoot photos, then this may not be the right choice for you. You should be clear that the hardware that is part of this telescope is not designed for the purpose of astrophotography.

 

A look at other features

The telescope comes with a Dobsonian tabletop mount. This is similar to other such scopes in the market within the price range. Hence, as far as the mount is concerned, you can be sure that it has stood the test from most customers who are using it. The mount comes with a wider footprint when compared to most competing models that are of the same price range. This goes a long way in making the telescope quite steady and there is reduced risk of the scope being knocked over.

 

However, there are some users who feel that there could be a milk crate or a chair to make comfortable and efficient use of the scope. You also can make use of a bin or Rubbermaid and they will work perfectly as a stand. But again, if you are looking for easy portability of the scope then you certainly have a problem in hand.

 

It would also be pertinent to mention here that you cannot make use of a standard tripod to mount the telescope. The scope has not been designed that way. However, some users have been able to find ingenious ways of using the telescope with a temporary and makeshift mount.

 

Tensioning Knob

Let us also try and have a look at the tensioning knob. Overall, the feedback from customers is quite positive and upbeat as far as this is concerned. They seemingly like the shape, size and the altitude of the knobs. It goes a long way in making the telescope ergonomically and the user-friendliness also increases quite significantly. I

 

It also comes with a rotating tube. Though many users may consider this not to be of big importance, it certainly is a welcome addition. This along with the carrying handle goes a long way in making the use of the telescope even easier and convenient.

 

How powerful is the Telescope?

At the end of the day, we spend money buying a telescope to ensure that it performs the main task for which it has been built. Yes, we are talking about the things that can be viewed with the help of the Orion Starblast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope. We would like to get started by stating that the StarBlast has been built as well as optimized for wide fields. 

 

Further, it is a reflector type telescope. It is therefore perfectly suited for those who are keen on deep-sky viewing. It comes with a focal length of 4.50 mm. Therefore, based on reviews and feedback, it is quite obvious that it has impressive optical power. It compares extremely well with other telescopes in the same price range and this certainly is a big and positive takeaway.

 

The viewing efficiency and power of the telescope is also quite outstanding even when you are using it from the suburbs with some bit of light in the horizon and in the background. The view of Veil Nebula is fantastic and the quality could be unbeatable if the telescope is fitted with a UHC filter or Oxygen-III filter.

 

The users also will have a lot of fun exploring the Milky Way and this applies to both summer and winter months. There are enough reasons to believe that exploring open clusters is also quite exciting, joyous and fun-filled. If the sky is dark, the telescope will give you a memorable gift. You will be able to view the many dark nebulae. 

 

These are common during the Summer Milky Way occurrence. It also allows you to identify challenging objects and not many telescopes would be able to do it.

 

If you are keen on getting to know more about the Andromeda Dust Lane Galaxy as a beginner, you will have reasons to feel happy that you have chosen the StarBlast 4.5 telescope. It will help you to explore a few things about Andromeda Dust Lane though the small details may be out of bounds. This could perhaps be because of the not so big aperture of the StarBlast 4.5 telescope.

 

Though it does not have the best of eyepieces, these are good enough for beginners to have a reasonably clear look at the Great Red Spot of Jupiter and the cloud belts associated with it. The moons of Jupiter may not look very clear but on a clear day when the horizon is dark, you may be able to have a hazy look at Jupiter’s moons. 

 

You also may be able to have a reasonably clear view of the clouds that pass through this majestic planet.

 

You will have no issues when it comes to viewing the Cassini Division of Saturn. The brightest moons of Saturn can also be easily viewed. The various phases of Venus can also be seen clearly and you also will be able to explore a few of the dark regions of Mars. You also may be able to see the icy caps of Mars when it is at the opposite side.

 

Hence, when we take the above into consideration, there are enough reasons to believe that you will be investing in a quality product that is designed to offer you the best value for money.

Orion Starblast 4.5 review

 

Link to purchase on Amazon

Pros and Cons

However like all products this telescope StarBlast 4.5 also has some positives and negatives associated with it. Let us have a look at the most important pros and cons for the benefit of our readers.

 

Pros

  • It is portable and compact.
  • It is easy to set up and generally customers feel that it is user-friendly.
  • It comes pre-assembled.
  • The mount also has some convenient features.
  • It is a good buy for beginners, kids and starters.
  • Has wonderful focal length that offers the best possible light gathering capabilities.
  • Competitively priced

 

Cons

  • DSLRs cannot be attached.
  • A bit expensive when compared to similar models in the market.
  • Eyepieces are inadequate and cheap
  • Suitable only for beginners and students.

 

 

Conclusion

If you are a beginner or a student who is keen on exploring the space, you have many reasons to find the Orion Starblast 4.5 a reasonably good buy. It has all the features that are expected from a beginners’ perspective. 

 

It offers good value for money though there are some issues with regard to eyepieces, mount and a few other things. Overall, the quality of light and the quality of zeroing in on celestial things is quite impressive. 

 

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