Phenix D150F750

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Your rating: None
Magazine Verdict: 
74%
Phenix D150F750

Vital Stats

Price: 
£124.99
Aperture: 
150mm
Focal Length: 
750mm; f/5
Eyepieces: 
25mm, 10mm, 2x Barlow; 1.25-inch fit
Finderscope: 
6x30, straight-through
Mount: 
EQ3
Weight: 
17kg
Supplier: 
Sky's The Limit
Telephone: 
01707 322696
Website: 
http://skysthelimit.110mb.com
 
 
 

The Phenix carries a very tempting price tag, and it's compact and portable. But the finderscope is very disappointing


 

By Paul Money 

 

 

THE PHENIX D150F750 is very similar to Mira Ceti’s 150 1400, suggesting a common manufacturer. The mounts are identical in every way, but it is the tube that differs the most: the Phenix is a shorter focal length system – f/5 as opposed to f/9.3. Like the Mira Ceti, the Phenix is supplied with a basic EQ3 mount and slow-motion controls, two eyepieces (25mm and 6.5mm), a 2x Barlow lens and a 6x30 finderscope. Compared to other similarly-specced 6-inch Newtonians, the Phenix is very affordably priced – so the question is, does the price reflect lower performance? And can it still offer something to someone on a budget?

The answer to both questions is yes – just. Mechanically, the mount doesn’t have space for a polarscope but careful alignment of the RA axis allows reasonably good manual tracking of the stars. Unfortunately, the mount suffers from play in both axes. The whole system is also rather fiddly to put together, unlike the Bresser and Sky-Watcher models. For quick release, the mount rings are bolted to the main mount rather than having a dovetail arrangement. The complete telescope is also quite compact and reasonably lightweight, and so more portable. It can be moved around the garden or to another observing site with little difficulty.

The finderscope was disappointing. We found it was often easier to use the side of the finder to pinpoint targets rather than actually viewing through it! The eyepieces are a bit mixed: the 25mm is okay, with a magnification of x30, but the magnification that the 6.5mm eyepiece gives (115x) is too much for the optics. Testing the field of view using the supplied 25mm eyepiece on Capella showed the star to be pin-sharp across the inner 50 per cent of the view and acceptable out to 70 per cent before distortion crept in.

Planet spotter

Pointing the telescope at our selected targets, Jupiter revealed its two main belts and the Galilean moons, but higher magnifications didn’t seem to show much more in the way of detail. The Moon was reasonable, though, with plenty of craters to view at low magnification. We couldn’t split the multiple star Castor with the 25mm, but adding the 2x Barlow showed dark space between the two stars, albeit not as clean as we would have liked. Moving to our deep-sky targets, we could fit all of the Pleiades in the wider, low-power 25mm eyepiece and there was even a satisfying hint of the Merope Nebula using averted vision. The Orion Nebula also displayed a good deal of nebulosity. The galaxies M81 and M82 fitted easily in the view with some hint of mottling along the latter’s disc.

Summing up, we felt this telescope seemed to come into its own on the deep-sky views, despite some shortcomings.

Find out where to buy your equipment with our Retailer Guide.


This review first appeared as part of a Group Test in the March 2010 issue of Sky at Night Magazine

 

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