Parks Optical Newtonian reflectors

Parks Optical's 6- and 8-inch Newtonian reflectors deliver top-notch optics at a reasonable price.
By | Published: May 19, 2009 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
Parks Optical AZ6 6-inch f/6 Astrolight Newtonian reflector
Parks Optical’s AZ6 6-inch f/6 Astrolight Newtonian reflector rides on an alt-azimuth mount atop a steel pier. This puts the scope at eye level for most observers. High-quality optics and ease-of-use are the hallmarks of this scope.
Astronomy: William Zuback

This review, “Astrolight reflectors offer quality optics,” appeared in the November 2007 issue of Astronomy magazine

The Astrolight AZ6 and AZ8 Newtonian reflectors from Parks Optical combine quality optics with a simple mount at a price that won’t break the bank. What more could a cost-conscious amateur astronomer ask for in a scope?

The 6-inch f/6 AZ6 and 8-inch f/6 AZ8 both feature the company’s trademark glossy white tube assembly and American-made Pyrex mirrors. But instead of massive equatorial mounts, each rides on a basic alt-azimuth mount on top of a pier. Like a Dobsonian mount, the Astrolight mount moves left and right in azimuth, and up and down in altitude. This makes the scope simple for novice stargazers to use almost right out of the box.

Both Astrolight scopes address the complaint that most small Dobsonian-mounted reflectors are too low to the ground. When aimed vertically, the AZ6’s eyepiece stands 58 inches (1.5 meters) high, while the AZ8’s is 67 inches (1.7m). When aimed horizontally, the eyepieces are 43 inches (1m) off the ground. I like to observe standing up, so I appreciate this convenience.

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