Vaonis Vespera II Review: Recommended Smart Telescope for 2024

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vaonis vespera II review

The Vaonis Vespera II is a premium portable smart telescope which was released in January 2024 as a successor to the original Vaonis Vespera.

But what is the Vespera II and how does it compare to the first Vespera and other smart telescopes?

I got my hands on a Vespera 2 and have put it through its paces for this review. Here’s what I learned.

Key Points

  1. The Vaonis Vespera II was released in January 2024 and is an update to the original Vaonis Vespera which was released in 2022
  2. It is the same compact size and weight as the original and the telescope is very similar with 50mm aperture but slightly longer focal length
  3. The main difference is that the built-in camera is much better with an 8.3 MP resolution sensor, most other specs and features are the same as the original
  4. It retails at $1,590, which is only slightly more expensive than the original Vespera. This does not include a tripod (but it is compatible with any regular tripod)
  5. The Vespera Pro was released at the same time with even higher specifications but also a higher price

What is the Vaonis Vespera II?

The Vespera II is the 2024 upgrade to the original Vaonis Vespera, which was released in 2022.

It is a smart telescope, which means that it is a fully automated astrophotography telescope with a camera built-in.

You control it via app on your smartphone and it takes images of astronomy objects for you at the press of a button and sends them to your phone.

In this review, I share my first-hand experience of using the Vaonis Vespera 2

Ease of Use

The Vespera II excels with regards to ease of use.

This has been one of Vaonis’s big strengths – the near-perfect user experience where you seamlessly set it up and connect to your phone and then are ready to go with the app guiding you.

The Singularity app is simple to use and great for planning and executing your imaging.

Portability

The Vespera II is the same size and weight as the original Vespera – weighing just 5kg with 48cm height.

There is also a backpack available for the Vespera that ensures that it packs away securely and snugly for travel, but this is not included and so it an extra cost.

The small size and light weight are great in comparison to the larger premium smart telescopes, but now that we have the even smaller and lighter budget models like the ZWO Seestar S50 and the Dwarflab Dwarf 2 we have to compare the Vespera II in that light.

Imaging Quality

This is where the Vespera II excels, particularly in comparison to the older Vespera and the two budget smart telescopes mentioned above.

It has an 8.3 megapixel camera sensor which is a substantial upgrade from the 2MP of the original Vespera.

One of the additional great features of the Vespera II (and all the Vaonis models) is the mosaic mode (CovalENS) which can build a much wider image of an astronomical object of up to 24 megapixels.

Value for Money

The starting price of the Vespera II is $1,590.

This is only slightly more than what the original Vespera sells for and so seems like a good deal given the much improved camera, but there are some things to consider:

  1. It does not include a tripod in the package and the standard one from Vaonis costs an extra $100. However it is compatible with any regular camera tripod (using a standard 3/8-inch thread) and so maybe this makes sense to sell separately.
  2. No charger is included, but it is now using a standard USB-C connector instead of the proprietary connector with the original Vespera so, again, maybe this makes sense.
  3. It does not include backpack which costs $169 to add. This wasn’t included in the original Vespera, but we now have to compare it with models like the Dwarf 2, which is substantially cheaper and does include a good quality carry case.

Therefore you need to consider these things when looking at the cost as you may want them.

Versatility

The Vespera II doesn’t have the liveview eyepiece which is the selling point of the Unistellar eVscope 2 or Unistellar Odyssey Pro, nor is it usable for non-astronomical purposes.

However, it is great for users of all levels and the mosaic mode means that it can bypass any issues with field of view to capture much larger images.

Vaonis Vespera II: Pros and Cons

Vaonis Vespera II Advantages

The pros of the Vaonis Vespera II are:

  • High resolution camera
  • Mosaic mode to capture widefield images
  • Ultra-slick design
  • Great usability
  • Light, compact and portable

Vaonis Vespera II Disadvantages

In terms of the downsides:

  • Expensive in relation to the budget smart telescope options of similar specifications
  • No tripod included in the package
  • Lower spec than premium smart telescope alternatives, especially with regards to aperture

Vaonis Vespera II Alternatives

The alternatives to the Vaonis Vespera II are the:

  1. The Vespera, Vespera Pro and Unistellar Odyssey for premium compact smart telescopes.
  2. The Dwarf 2 and ZWO Seestar S50 for budget compact smart telescopes.
  3. The Unistellar Odyssey Pro and Unistellar eVscope 2 for premium smart telescopes with eyepieces.

See our overview of the Best Smart Telescopes to see how they all compare.

Vaonis Vespera II Specifications

  • Aperture: 50 mm (2 inches)
  • Focal Length: 250 mm
  • Focal Ratio: F/5
  • Weight: 11 lbs (5 kg)
  • Height: 48 cm (18.9 inches)
  • Sensor: Sony IMX585
  • Resolution: 8.3 MP (3840 x 2160 px)
  • Year of release: 2024

Our Verdict

In my view, the Vespera II is a fantastic smart telescope that straddles the line between the premium smart telescopes like the eVscope 2 and eQuinox 2 and the compact/budget smart telescopes like the SeeStar S50 and Dwarf II:

  1. It is comparable to the premium models in terms of beautiful design and ultra-slick usability and is cheaper than them
  2. It is comparable to the budget options in terms of size and key specifications like telescope aperture and focal length and camera resolution, but is more expensive than them

I think this makes sense and there is a space here in the market.

Some might not want to pay $3,000-$5,000 for the top models or might just prefer the smaller size but still want the premium performance.

If you value the simplicity and beauty of this model over a more budget option that is a bit more work then the Vespera II is probably for you.

Buy Now
Vaonis Vespera II
$1,590.00

Premium Compact Smart Telescope

Pros:
  • Brand New in 2024
  • Easily photograph astronomical objects with a press of a button from your smartphone
  • Small, light and portable
Cons:
  • More expensive than some budget alternatives
  • Lower spec than some premium alternatives
  • No tripod included (although you can use any regular tripod)
Buy on Amazon Check All Stores
03/06/2024 06:04 pm GMT

Sources and further information

Vespera II comparisons:

How we reviewed the Vaonis Vespera 2

This Vaonis Vespera II review is based on first-hand experience.

If you own (or have used) a Vaonis Vespera II, you can submit your review and ratings to us via this form to be incorporated into this article:

Vaonis Vespera II
vaonis vespera II review

Premium Compact Smart Telescope

Product SKU: VAO-VE50-II

Product Brand: Vaonis

Editor's Rating:
4.95

Pros

  • Brand New in 2024
  • High resolution camera
  • Mosaic mode to capture widefield images
  • Ultra-slick design
  • Great usability
  • Light, compact and portable

Cons

  • More expensive than some budget alternatives
  • Lower spec than some premium alternatives
  • No tripod included (although you can use any regular tripod)

About the Author

Anthony Robinson is the founder and owner of Skies & Scopes, a publication and community focused on amateur astronomy and astrophotography. His work has been featured in publications such as Amateur Astrophotography, Forbes, the Guardian, DIY Photography, PetaPixel, and Digital Camera World - read more.

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