Explore Scientific ED80CF Review

The Explore Scientific ED80CF is a tiny little refractor weighing in at only 5 lbs and is only 15 inches long with the dew shield retracted! This small 80mm telescope excels at delivering very widefield views and widefield images, but can be used for other purposes also. The telescope is great for birding, or to be used as a general spotting scope. It can also serve additional uses for astronomy as a finderscope or a guidescope for astrophotography. At 5 lbs it can also easily be piggybacked on another telescope!

The telescope has a quality dual speed 2 inch focuser with a focus lock. This makes focusing a breeze and allows you to get a really clear, crisp focus. The ED80CF comes with 2 extension tubes, so you can bring an eyepiece or a camera to focus.

Explore Scientific also includes a 2″ Dielectric coated 90° star diagonal with the telescope that includes carbon fiber panels to match the optical tube. The diagonal is 99% reflective and is a great addition to the telescope.

The telescope has a focal length of 480mm, and a diameter of 80mm, giving it a focal ratio of 6. This is moderately fast for astrophotography and the telescope is capable of delivering beautiful images. Many astrophotographers with DSLR or CCD cameras can produce detailed widefield images using the ED80CF.

The image I feature in the video that I took suffers from field curvature at the edges. The ED80CF would definitely benefit from the use of a field flattener or focal reducer/field flattener combo to correct the edges of the field.

All in all this telescope is an extremely small, lightweight, and portable apochromatic refractor that delivers very widefield views and images.


jm ar says:

Thanks a lot for this review. There are very fews out there that provide a thorough and well documented video reviews, specially for ES products.

jory odom says:

I’m new to astronomy and telescopes I have about an $800-$1,000 budget. Do you have a suggestion for a good first scope? I’m looking at a Celestron Nexstar 6 Se. Any input you have would be much appreciated!

Wayne Parker says:

Hay..Check out the stellarvue telescope line…it would be a worth while review especially the new 102 trip and or 80

Sigh Phi Guy says:

that IS a finder scope! lol
would also be nice if they could print the label straight.

John Sojka says:

Dude, I wil bow down to your greatness if you can tell me how to attach those 2 short extension tubes supplied with the scope. I can’t figure how to attach them.  They are too big to attach to anything.

Richard Favinger, Jr. says:

Would you consider the ES 80mm FCD100 Air-Spaced Triplet ED APO Refractor “better” , a step up? Over the Carbon Fiber? – The FCD100 80mm is not available in Carbon, yet…Would you expect them to release one?

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