Orion 9005 AstroView 120ST Telescope Review

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If you love refractor telescopes then you are going to love the Orion 9005 AstroView 120ST Equatorial Refractor Telescope. It is one of the beefiest refractors on the market and it comes with a whole host of upgrades that most manufacturers don’t bother putting on their refractor models. Reflectors are more popular than refractors nowadays but if you are one of the people who prefer the classic refractor design over the newer reflector designs, this telescope has a lot to offer.

Orion 9005 AstroView 120ST Specs

  • Refractor style scope
  • 120mm objective lens
  • f/5 focal ratio
  • 240x highest theoretical magnification
  • 36lbs assembled weight

It is clear that a lot of love and attention went into crafting this upgraded refractor telescope. It has a large aperture, a mount built for object tracking, multiple counterweights for balance, an internal polar axis finder, and fully coated optics throughout. This is the pinnacle for refractor enthusiasts.

Orion 9005 AstroView 120ST Telescope Review
  • A fully upgraded and powerful refractor telescope
  • Excellent image and view quality
  • Comes with a lot of quality of life accessories
  • You can get a lot more power for the price with a reflector
  • Needs precise counter balancing to keep it steady
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Upgrades At Every Turn

This telescope was clearly designed by someone who loves refractor telescopes and has made their love of them apparent. It has a ton of quality of life upgrades that only those who have used a refractor telescope for a long time are going to truly appreciate it.

The first and most obvious is the glass. It is a high grade Crown variety that is fully coated for the best image quality possible. This helps to create crisp and super clear images no matter what you are looking at.

It comes with an internal polar alignment scope which makes aligning the telescope easier than ever by taking a lot of the guesswork out of it. This pairs nicely with the slow motion enabled mount which allows for accurate and slow tracking of celestial objects.

Lastly, the Orion 9005 AstroView 120ST Equatorial Refractor Telescope is a 2” telescope with a 1.25” adapter which means that you can equip this telescope with the full range of astronomy accessories on the market. Accessories are an important part of any refractor enthusiast’s loadout. Making this scope 2” compatible means that you will never be closed off from purchasing whatever accessories you want.

These are upgrades and details that you just don’t see in refractor kits these days and the targeted audience is clear.

What Can You See?

This telescope is going to be able to show you a little bit of everything. However, the large primary lens (4”+) and the low focal ratio means that it is going to perform best while viewing deep space objects. The designers at Orion know this telescope’s strengths which is why they made all of the glass fully coated and the optics are air spaced which work to present the clearest images possible.

Many other refractors with smaller lenses or non-coated glass simply cannot produce the image quality needed to get great views of deep space objects. These upgrades go a long way in ensuring that every image is clear.

What this means is you get a full range of views out of this telescope. You can see Andromeda or Jupiter. You can look at the Crab Nebula or Mars. Either way, this telescope is going to be able to give you stellar views.

Best of all, if you find something you really enjoy viewing, the whole thing is set up to hone in on and track objects for long term viewing. If there is a particular night where Saturn’s rings are prominent, you can track it throughout its journey across the sky with minimal effort.

Or recently, the comet NEOWISE passed overhead for a once in a lifetime view. This telescope would have been perfect for tracking it as it moved across the evening sky.

A lot of work went into this telescope to gain ground that refractors usually lose to reflectors, especially at this price point. This telescope is very hardy and versatile and can produce excellent views of your favorite space objects, all night long.

Overview of the AstroView 120ST

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Who Is It For?

This telescope is not a beginner’s scope. This kit is going to broadly appeal to astronomers who are intermediate or advanced users. It would be a great next step upgrade for someone who has some experience under their belts and has fallen completely in love with refractor setups.

With a low focal ratio, the user is going to have to be familiar with locating and focusing a refractor on the objects they want in order to get the best views out of it. It is not as easy as point and shoot like some more user friendly models.

This telescope also fares best when you have a good grasp of equatorial and polar alignment schemes. If you can get this telescope aligned properly, it becomes much easier to use and that is what unlocks its robust tracking abilities but again, those are not things a novice is going to be able to do with any confidence.


If you know how to appreciate it properly, you are going to love this telescope. It is wonderfully designed and everything has been put together with a lot of thought. However, if you do not know how to appreciate it, it is going to seem overpriced and overly complicated.

If you have a large accessory collection for refractors or have a cheaper base model refractor that you can’t get enough of and you want to take the next step, this is an excellent next step. This telescope has enough in the tank to keep you occupied for years to come.

If you do not have any inclination for refractor telescopes, you can get a lot more power and usability out of a similarly priced reflector or Dobsonian reflector that might suit the mainstream user a little better.

Either way, this is a refractor telescope that checks all of the right boxes.

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