Summary: Good for looking at the moon. Otherwise don't waste your time with the mount, it is trash. EQ's are a little touchy and this mount is what you pay for...Not very good. Scope is nice...calibrated as promised.
Summary: My young son got this scope for Christmas several years ago and we've both used it a lot since. I own a 5" f/9 ED refractor, a 9.25" f/10 SCT and have experience with other scopes. The StarBlast is solid and a good deal for the money. Everything works as advertised. I would, however, note that my son finds its fast focal length (f/4) rather limiting for up-close observation of the Moon and the planets.
Summary: Great little scope for the money. Ihave an old long tube 4.5 reflector on a heavy EQ mount and an old Meade ETX90. For viewing objects with a Dob mount, this scope is every bit as good as the other two and much easirt to lug around than the EQ mount. Well worth the money, even for an experienced star gazer.
Summary: I ordered two of these for my classroom, hoping for the best. They are on the small side (18 inch) and I figured at least they'd be portable. They are FANTASTIC. so easy to use that the kids get right in there. Great optics, (LED) finder. I recommend them to any student looking for a good intro scope. No bells and whistle...instead they are so easy to use, the are not hobbykillers! they draw you in further!
Summary: Overall this is a great scope but one thing keeps it from getting 5 stars. The good: The optical tube is outstanding. The images I've seen through it have been sharp and clear, even up to magnifications in excess of 200x. This was the only scope in this size/price category which had a parabolic primary instead of a spherical. The included eyepieces are really good, well built with good eye relief and a wide FOV. The bad: The finder scope.
Summary: Having looked for something in budget I finally choose the Starblast 4.5. It works great, especially when you add a barlow lens. I am still having the time of my life looking at the rings of saturn and on the best nights it's moons and a couple nebula. Wonderful scope!!! If I could change one thing, it would be the color of the tube, but since I'm out at night for the most part, it doesn't matter.
Leonard D. Ferguson, Orion Telescopes & Binoculars
25 June 2010
Summary: Terrific little scope! I own a 16" reflector for my more serious observing sessions, however, I wanted a small scope for some quick and easy observations...the Orion StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector is just what I wanted. I even took it to work one night to show co-workers Saturn. (Hope my employer doesn't read this...Ha!) They were very impressed...as was I! The optical performance of the StarBlast 4.5 is overall very good! Would make a GREAT first telescope!
Summary: As a wide field scope, it is pretty good. But for high magnification, a better mount is needed. A bit of wind will cause the image to vibrate at high magnification. As far as the optics is concerned, it is good for casual observation. There is some amount of coma as expected from an F/4 scope, but not too distracting. EQ-1 mount should be replaced by something sturdier like an EQ-3 or at least an EQ-2.
Summary: I just got this telescope a few days ago and I am in awe of the viewes i get, even from light polluted los angeles I can still see the rings of saturn with the 2x (barlow).......great telescope for the money.