Meade’s Infinity 80AZ is probably the cheapest serious tripod-mounted telescope I would really recommend to a novice. It offers extreme convenience, simplicity, and portability with the only drawback being poor planetary and double star performance. 80mm of aperture is also about the minimum size you really need to start getting into deep-sky observation.
Overview of The Infinity 80
The Infinity 80 optical tube is identical to the sadly-discontinued Orion ShortTube 80, which for 25 years was a favorite among beginners on a budget and amateurs looking for a cheap grab n’ go telescope. The ShortTube 80 has been sold in some format by almost every brand under the sun – Celestron marketed it as the FS80WA and the scope is still sold by them on an alt-azimuth mount and with awful accessories as the PowerSeeker 80AZS. Meade also markets a cheaper version of the ShortTube 80 as the Adventure Scope 80 – albeit with an unusable tripod. We consider the Infinity 80 to be the best of the current 80mm f/5 offerings out there as of the time of this writing.
Being an 80mm f/5 refractor, the Infinity 80 is really an instrument for wide fields and low ...