Meade Adventure Scope 80

Meade Adventure Scope 80 Review: Metal

Adventure Scope 80 elegantly provides what it promises; a highly portable scope. 

7.7

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Review

Meade Adventure Scope 80 is a great optical tube that comes with useless accessories and a weak mount. This not a telescope for astronomy. It is more of a terrestrial viewing device.

Adventure Scope 80 Cover in Garden

Optics

Keep in mind this is a refractor that is being sold for 100$. At this price range, most other companies send plastic optical tubes with “usable” eyepieces. Meade, however, decided to cut the cost by sending “useless” eyepieces and provide a solidmetal optical tube

The result is a surprisingly good viewing experience. The 80mm aperture is able to gather enough light to view popular Solar System objects in detail. This includes Moon’s of Jupiter, Rings of Saturn as disks attached to the planet, and Mars as a red dot.

With an expensive, small aperture eyepiece, I’ve managed to see stripes on Jupiter. But the eyepiece I’ve used costs more than the telescope itself.

Viewing the Moon is a joy with this telescope. Considering how short the optical tube is, the amount of color defects around the image is pretty low. Most beginners probably won’t even notice.

Deep space viewing is where this telescope shines. At low magnifications, Adventure Scope 80 gathers enough light to provide sharp images of Pleiades Star Cluster, Orion Nebula, and Andromeda Galaxy. The short optical tube, combined with a relatively wide lens, provides wide-field views incredibly well.

I can easily say the optical performance is among the bests in the under 100$ range.

Keep in mind this is a refractor that is being sold for 100$. At this price range, most other companies send plastic optical tubes with “usable” eyepieces. Meade, however, decided to cut the cost by sending “useless” eyepieces and provide a solidmetal optical tube

Mount

The mount, however, is another story. It is so frustrating to use I can’t describe it in words. 

A telescope mount should provide enough stability for a decent viewing experience at mid-level magnifications. At this price range, you shouldn’t expect anything else from a mount. Only tabletop Dobsonian’s can provide a rock-solid base at this price range.

But the mount that comes with the Adventure Scope 80 can’t even provide a decent amount of stability. 

To be fair to Meade, they have manufactured the mount so that it can fit in a backpack. To be able to do this, Meade put a lot of connection parts in the tripod, and the mount itself is a tiny plastic part. As you might expect, it wobbles in the slightest breeze. And the plastic parts start to move around as soon as you try to change the direction of the optical tube.

The result is a confusing combination of great optical quality and a terrible base. 

Meade Adventure Scope 80 With Accessories

Accessories

The accessories are not good at all. The 10mm and 20mm eyepieces that come with the telescope have the shortest eye-reliefs possible, and they don’t even have a cap around the lens to block the incoming light from outside. They are barely usable.

In my opinion, this is a sacrifice to be made with a budget telescope. As months pass after you’ve purchased the telescope, the extra 30-40$ you spend on new eyepieces won’t bother you. The images you are going to get are going to be vastly better with an above-average eyepiece. 

In the end, you will have a telescope that you will use for a lifetime.

The red dot finder is usable. It is a simple device that projects a red dot on a screen. It is easy to align, and it doesn’t bring up any complaints. A telescope this size wouldn’t need a finder most of the time anyway.

The diagonal is usable for terrestrial viewing. It lowers the image quality too much for astronomical observations.

The backpack resembles most other budget backpacks in the market. It has a nice, solid feel to it. I personally like the logo and design. 

Drawbacks

The tripod is annoyingly unstable.

The mount is merely a small plastic part.

The eyepieces are the cheapest versions you can get.

Conclusion

The choice is yours. You can get a Celestron Travel Scope 80 for the same price, and don’t worry about getting new eyepieces.

Or you can get a Meade Adventure Scope 80. In that case, you should get better eyepieces and probably a better mount to use the amount of optical power that you are going to get.

My preference would be Adventure Scope 80. You can’t change the optical tube with a telescope. After all, it is the telescope itself.

But the eyepieces and the base are easy to change. You probably won’t mind the extra money you are going to spend in 6-7 months. Adventure Scope 80 is more of a long-term investment, and you should always think long-term in life.

7.7

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