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Orion AstroView 6 EQ Reviewed – Recommended Scope

For those who must have an equatorially mounted telescope, the Orion AstroView 6 used to be a solid budget pick. Unfortunately, after the 2022 revision to the scope, that's no longer the case.

NOT included in the Ultimate Telescope Shortlist

Like Celestron’s Omni XLT 150, the Orion AstroView 6 draws on a century of heritage from the common 6” equatorially-mounted reflector, widely regarded as the main “serious” telescope until the 1970s. Besides the price difference, these two telescopes are largely similar, but the AstroView offers some advantages to the beginner as well as some disadvantages to the more experienced astronomer which will be explained in this review.

How It Stacks Up

Ranked #14 of 25 ~$700 telescopes

Rank 14
Orion AstroView 6 EQ
3.6

NOT included in the Ultimate Telescope Shortlist

What We Like

  • Good optics
  • Wide field of view
  • 2” focuser


What We Don't Like

  • Plastic components
  • Inadequate mount
  • Poor value for the price


Bottom Line
Recommended Product Badge

The AstroView 6 is more expensive than most other 6” reflectors but provides an objectively inferior experience, thanks to its shaky mount. Other 6” f/5 reflectors are cheaper and better; a 6” f/8 will provide better lunar and planetary views and doesn’t need a table if that’s what you’re after. An 8” isn’t much pricier either. We would steer clear of the AstroView 6 under most circumstances.

Shop Now

For purchasing this telescope, we’d recommend Orion’s Telescope.com, since it’s the manufacturer’s own e-commerce platform. Telescope.com also offers a 30-day price match guarantee, 30-day money-back guarantee, free technical support, and next-day shipping.

The Optical Tube Performance of AstroView 6

Orion AstroView 6 EQ Telescope

The AstroView 6 is a 6” f/5 Newtonian. Compared to a longer scope like the regularly-offered 6” f/8 Dobsonians, the AstroView will be more difficult to collimate and it may show slight amounts of coma at the edge of the field at low power, but it’s still pretty easy to collimate and you’d be hard-pressed to find the coma in the first place, let alone actually care about it.

The AstroView 6 is provided with a 2” all-metal Crayford focuser with a brass compression ring and a 1.25” adapter (which also has T-threads to attach to any T-ring and DSLR/mirrorless camera you wish). A 2” focuser combined with the scope’s short 750mm focal length allows it to achieve a huge field of view with 2” wide-angle eyepieces, though you’ll probably want a coma corrector if you plan on using those.

The scope’s tube rings have a Vixen-style dovetail attached to the bottom, which allows for easy attachment and removal from the mount saddle, and ¼ 20 captive knobs for piggybacking a camera on top of the telescope for wide-field photography.

Are the Accessories Good?

The AstroView 6 comes with two eyepieces: a 25mm Sirius Plossl providing 30x and a 10mm Sirius providing 75x magnification. These are excellent eyepieces, though you may want a 6mm “gold-line” eyepiece and/or a 2x Barlow to get the most magnification this scope offers for lunar and planetary viewing.

Additionally, the AstroView 6 comes with a simple collimation cap to align your optics with, and a 6×30 finderscope. I don’t really care for this 6×30 and would recommend swapping it for a 9×50 finder or Telrad, as the 30mm of aperture makes it hard to see much of anything – it’s arguably harder to use than a zero-power sight like a Telrad!

Aftermarket Accessory Recommendations

The main items we’d recommend adding to the AstroView 6 are a better finderscope and a “6mm “goldline” eyepiece” for higher magnification (125x). For a finder, an 8×50 traditional finderscope, Telrad, Rigel Quikfinder, or an inexpensive red dot sight are all good choices.

The included finder is a simple red dot design, the same as is provided with countless other beginner scopes and really all you need with a small, wide-field instrument like the AstroView 6.

About the AstroView EQ-3 Equatorial Mount

The new AstroView equatorial mount is a woefully undersized design, lacking the cast metal parts, polar scope capability, or beefy tripod legs of the original pre-2022 version. It is shaky, hard to balance, and poorly manufactured, no different from the mounts on many “department store” telescopes. These unfortunate revisions to the AstroView 6 in 2022 continue Orion’s trend of selling radically different and often low-quality products under well-known brand and model names to deceive consumers. Thanks to the low quality of this mount, we simply can’t recommend the AstroView 6 unless you get it cheaply and/or are willing to perform significant DIY modifications to make it more stable.

Astrophotography Capabilities

Any notions of serious astrophotography with the AstroView 6 can be discarded entirely thanks to the bouncy, nearly unusable mount; the lack of any ability to accurately polar align thanks to the removal of the polar scope and hole from its mount; and the difficulties of actually balancing a camera on such a lightweight mount.

Should I buy a Used Orion AstroView 6?

Unless the price is very low and you’re planning on purchasing or building a good mount for it, don’t buy the newer version of the AstroView 6 used. The older, pre-2022 design with square aluminum legs is easy to differentiate and is a great scope. 

Alternative Recommendations

For the price of the AstroView 6, we’d also recommend:

What can you see?

The AstroView 6 is a great wide-field deep-sky instrument thanks to its f/5 focal ratio. It’ll show you lots of open star clusters, begin to resolve the brighter globulars, and deliver fantastic detail in bright nebulae such as the Orion, Lagoon, and Swan, as well as many planetary nebulae such as the Ring, Dumbbell, and Cat’s Eye. Under dark skies, you’ll also be able to delve into viewing many of the brighter galaxies, and some such as M31, M33, M64, and M82, will actually show detail with effort.

Within the Solar System, the AstroView 6 will, of course, show the phases of Venus and Mercury, loads of craters, mountains, ridges, valleys, and other details on the Moon, and the ice caps and dark regions of Mars when it’s close to Earth. Jupiter’s cloud belts, Great Red Spot, and its 4 brightest moons look great, and you’ll be able to see the shadows and disks of the moons when they eclipse or transit the planet. Saturn’s rings, dull cloud bands, and around half a dozen moons are visible, and on a good night, you can see the Cassini Division as a small gap in the rings. Uranus and Neptune are merely pale bluish dots, but with effort, you might just be able to glimpse Neptune’s moon Triton.

Performance Score Of Orion AstroView 6 EQ

3.6

Quantitative measurements of how the telescope performs in various performance categories:

Optics

4/5

Focuser

3/5

Mount

3/5

Planetary

4/5

Rich Field

5/5

Accessories

4/5

Usability

4/5

Portability

3/5

Value

4/5

Aperture:6"
Optical Design:Newtonian Reflector
Mount Design:Equatorial
Focal Length:750mm
Focal Ratio:f/5
Focuser:1.25" Rack-and-pinion
Fully Assembled Weight:37.1 lbs
Warranty:1 year

An amateur astronomer and telescope maker from Connecticut who has been featured on TIME Magazine, National Geographic, Sky & Telescope, La Vanguardia, and The Guardian.

2 thoughts on “Orion AstroView 6 EQ Reviewed – Recommended Scope”

  1. Hello Zane,
    Would you recommend this over a Sky-watcher 150/750 for a totally beginner? Why?
    Thanks a lot!
    Best regards
    Diego

    Reply
    • They are basically the same scope but the Sky-Watcher has a superior 2″ focuser so I’d buy it instead.

      Reply

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