The DWARFLAB Dwarf II is among the most popular smart telescopes currently available, so it was our duty to finally review it!
The Dwarf II is a very small, lightweight, easy-to-use telescope that is unique by having two lenses instead of one. Can this be useful for astrophotography?
The Dwarf II is also the most affordable smart telescope out there, but how does it compete in this new age of smart telescopes? In this review, we will try capturing the beauty of space using the Dwarf II smart telescope, and see what results we can get from it.
Table of Contents:
What's in the box?
Specs & Price
Size, Weight, and Mounting
How to Set Up the DWARF II
Deep Sky Objects with the DWARF II
Planetary, Lunar, and Solar Astrophotography with the DWARF II
Final Verdict | Pros & Cons
DWARF II: What's In The Box?
The Dwarf II, along with its tripod and included accessories are shipped in a single small box. We received the Deluxe Edition for this review, which has a few more accessories than the cheaper classic edition. Below you can see what exactly comes with each edition.
In the box we received:
The DWARF II Telescope
One Carrying Bag
One Battery (inside the telescope)
One 64GB microSD Card
One Mini Tripod
The Deluxe edition also includes, in that same box:
One Extra battery
One UHC Filter
Two ND Solar Filters
One Filter Adapter
The Tripod that comes with the DWARF II telescope looks great and almost alien-like, which is preferred over generic mass-produced tripods.
The tripod has a tiny ball head built at the top, but that's pretty much it in terms of functionality. The legs open but do not extend, making the tripod very short overall. This is in our opinion not an issue since the whole point of the DWARF II telescope is to be as tiny as possible, but you might feel like it sits too low to the ground if the sky from your backyard isn't very open.
To counter this, you can either get a taller tripod elsewhere, or place the telescope and tripod on a chair or table, which is what we do as our backyard is mostly surrounded by trees and tall houses.
The Carrying Pouch
The DWARF II smart telescope comes with its own carrying bag, which is awesome considering the already-low price of the unit! Yes, the pouch comes with both the classic and the deluxe edition, and feels very nice in hands.
The telescope fits perfectly in there, along with every single accessory (tripod, filters, filter holder, extra battery...)
As we said in several other reviews, we truly appreciate when companies include a carrying bag or case with their telescopes, cameras, and other products, so good job on Dwarflab for including this bag at no extra cost!
The DWARF II smart telescopes comes with either one lithium battery (for the classic edition) or two (for the Deluxe edition).
Each battery is 5600mAh and will last about three to four hours. If you're planning on imaging all night long, we strongly suggest getting a second battery if you do not already have one.
Extra batteries cost about $60 and weigh 150g.
Filters are available for the DWARF II and can be attached using a magnetic filter holder. There are two main filters you can purchase:
ND Solar filters
The filters are very easy to attach and remove, as all you need to do is snap them to the lenses using the filter plate.
In case you are unsure as to when to use which filter, let us clear things out for you:
The UHC filter is a light pollution filter that can be used to reduce the effect of light pollution gradients and overall unwanted brightness. This filter can be good if shooting from the city but, in our experience, only works well with a few types of targets, and emission nebulae aren't one of them. You only need to cover the telephoto lens for this. The UHC filter has a 97.48% transmission rate at the 656nm hydrogen-alpha.
The ND solar filters need to be used as a set of two, as both the wide-angle and the telephoto lenses should be protected before pointing at the sun. These solar filters work well for the sun and are of course only designed to image the sun.
The filters are very easy to attach or remove thanks to the magnetic plate as you can see above. This filter plate has a standard 1.25'' screw thread, making it compatible with any 1.25'' filter. This means that you can, if you like, purchase a dual-band or other 1.25" from any company and use it on the DWARF II.
DWARF II: Specs and Price
What are the exact specs of the DWARF II smart telescope, and how much does it cost?
The DWARF II telescope has a periscope design and comes with an IMX 415 Starvis sensor. It has two lenses, one wide-angle lens and one telephoto lens. It has an aperture of 24mm (0.9 in).
The wide-angle lens has a focal length of 48mm, a focal ratio of f/2.4, and a resolution of 2 Megapixels. This lens has a field of view of 50° and is meant for either widefield daytime photography, or to help you aim at your target manually at night. Aiming at bright objects like the moon or planets with this lens is very easy and quick.
The telephoto lens has a focal length of 100mm, a focal ratio of f/4.2, and a resolution of 8 Megapixels. This lens has a field of view of 3° and is used for imaging deep sky objects, or for close-up daytime shots if you are for example into bird photography.