In the past decade, astrophotography has changed radically. The renaissance in this field is due to the widespread use of digital imaging, including affordable charge-coupled device (CCD) and digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras. In the past few years, a mismatch has developed between these modern imaging devices and telescopes designed primarily for visual use. Such instruments are either too slow optically, too expensive, or lack the precision necessary for sharp images of celestial portraits.
Recently, Orion Telescopes and Binoculars introduced a high-speed imaging telescope — the 8-inch f/4.0 Newtonian Astrograph Reflector — at the almost unbelievable price of $449.95. Would this potentially groundbreaking instrument live up to its billing? I decided to put it to the test and find out.