Sky-Watcher EvoStar 80 APO Doublet Refractor Review is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

This telescope is a strange beast. Instead of being a complete telescope kit set up for instant use right out of the box, this is only the optical tube with a few accessories. This is a telescope geared at professional or semi-professional astronomers and astrophotographers.

The Sky-Watcher EvoStar 80APO Refractor is an optical tube dedicated entirely to image quality. This is not a telescope made for the casual skywatcher but instead is a powerful tool created to give people the best image quality possible.

Sky-Watcher EvoStar 80 APO Doublet Refractor Specs

  • Image refractor telescope
  • 80mm objective lens
  • f/7.5 focal ratio
  • 157x highest theoretical magnification
  • 22lbs tube weight

For the average person, the difference in good optical quality and great optical quality might be minimal or even unnoticeable. But for people who are doing skymapping or serious astrophotography, the difference can be huge.

In Depth Optical Specs

  • Dawes limit: 1.45
  • Rayleigh limit: 1.75
  • Limiting magnitude: 12

If you are looking for some of the best optical quality on the market, and are willing to pay the price for it, this is a phenomenal telescope that really does offer some truly stunning views. Anyone who is not looking to eke out every ounce of optical quality from their telescopes might be better looking elsewhere.

Sky-Watcher EvoStar 80 APO Doublet Refractor Review
  • Simply stunning optical image quality
  • Perfect for anyone who does professional astrophotography
  • Attention to detail in the optics rarely seen
  • Not great for casual viewing
  • Does not come with a mount or base
  • Cost prohibitive for many
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Professional Optical Quality

If detailed optical information strikes your fancy, you are in for a treat. This telescope has had all of the time and attention put into the very smallest details of its optical quality and optics. The result is nothing less than amazing.

For example, the official description of this telescope reads in part: “The objective lens cell is light-baffled to reject stray, unfocused light. The draw tube is likewise baffled to insure optimum contrast. The tube interior is flat blackened to help prevent unfocused internal light reflections from reaching the focal plane.”

If that gets you going, this telescope may be the one for you.

But in all seriousness, every detail has been painstakingly attended to with this optical tube. It is focused on those who depend on getting as close to perfect images as possible for their hobby or profession. The result is a scope that takes, literal, out of this world photos.

The style of photos you can create…

If you want NASA-style quality of images, this is the telescope to do it with. You can attach your own, professional grade, camera to this telescope to get amazing shots of the heavens. The focuser is an upgraded 10:1 slow speed focuser which allows you to get extremely crisp images whether you are looking through it with your eye or with your camera.

Every glass surface is double coated with the highest grade coatings to cut down on diffusion, giving you the clearest possible light from the most distant objects.

Even the lenses are professionally polished by hand and checked for absolute quality before being shipped so that there are no imperfections that might get in the way of the pure image quality of the Sky-Watcher EvoStar 80APO Refractor.

You can even use this as a lens for your camera terrestrially as well. If you want to take long shots or wide shots of landscapes from a distance you can also use this right here on the ground. It really is an all around great tool for anyone who does this kind of photography. The minimum magnification level for this scope is 11x so there could be use as a telephoto lens as well.

What Can You See?

This telescope is going to perform best while taking in wide shots of deep space objects. You are going to be able to get extremely crips and clear images of nebula, star fields and galaxies with this telescope. The 80mm aperture is decent but not overly powerful. All of the most recognizable features in the sky are going to be able to be seen in great detail with this scope.

Things such as the moon, Saturn, and Jupiter are also going to show up great. The ultra-high image quality of this optical tube means it can give some super high contrast shots of our favorite views in the solar system.

Poor contrast in other telescopes leads to muddled images where Saturn’s rings blend into the rest of Saturn or the bands of Jupiter appear indistinguishable. The Sky-Watcher EvoStar 80APO Refractor gives super high contrast so things like the deep dark craters of the moon and Saturn’s rings really pop when they wouldn’t in other telescopes.

Evostar ED80 Deepsky Picture Video

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What’s The Catch?

The catch is this telescope does not come with a mount or base. You will have to supply those yourself. For anyone who has a lot of experience with telescopes or telephoto lenses, this won’t be much of a problem but for someone relatively new, or who hasn’t had to pair an optical tube and a mount properly might struggle with this.

You do not want to bungle setting this telescope up because it does not come cheap. For a professional or semi-professional who is really into astrophotography, the price might seem reasonable for the quality provided. Or it might be more affordable for someone who has everything they need to set this scope up with minimal investment. For the average person, there is going to be some sticker shock.

If you do not have a goal of starting an astrophotography business or if you are someone who wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between good and great in terms of deep space image contrast, you can find perfectly good telescopes for half the price of this one and be content for years to come.

However, if you have a deep passion for image quality, dabble in astrophotography, or has a large collection of camera lenses and accessories, this might be one that is worth a second look.

The image quality really is head and shoulders above the competition for a telescope aimed at amateur astrophotographers.

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