Friday, January 7, 2011

Orion SkyQuest XT8 Classic Dobsonian Telescope

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This is a deep sky telescope option that will amaze you.  It has quality optics that will provide clear crisp views of objects in our solar system.

Because of the large optics and long focal length you can view extra-terestrial nebulae, galaxies, gas clouds and distant star clusters.

I have written an article for you to read concerning the differences between the Dobsonian design and other Newtonian reflectors.  You can click here to read it and determine if this telescope is the one for you.  Dobsonian Telescope Primer

This telescope is very affordable at $329.95 through  You can read additional reviews on this telescope on Amazon's website.  Click Here To Shop at Amazon
Click Read More  for a Review of this telescope model.

If you look at my review for the XT6 I gave that instrument 5 stars but cautioned readers not to buy it. At that time I said that, given a chance, I might jump up to an XT8. I got the chance, and I grabbed it. Here is what I learned.

The 6 has a slightly longer focal length. This means that if your main purpose for viewing is to see object within our solar system, i.e. planets, moon, etc. It won't make much difference which scope you purchase. the 6" is cheaper and lighter. Solar system objects are bright and look good at about 200X, which either scope can deliver on a good night and neither can deliver on a bad night.

But I don't look mainly at solar system objects. I like to look at deep sky objects, like nebula, galaxies, double stars, etc. For these, the more aperture, the better. 8" is notably more aperture than 6". It is true that the 8" weighs more than the 6. I am 52 years old. I can lug either around my yard, but I added a cart for the 8". My yard is nearly an acre and I would rather pull it around than carry it. In my earlier review I said that I might keep my XT6 as a travel scope. That wasn't necessary. The 8" is easy take apart, place in its bag, and carry to other locations. The bag is necessary for travel. I did keep my 6". I began teaching seminars and now have 5 scopes. I regularly use reflectors, refractors, composites, EQ mounts, alt./az. mounts, and dobsonians. The XT8 is my favorite. I think I'll keep this one for awhile.

I've tried the goto scopes. They are handy, but given the choice of spending my money on electronics or aperture, I'll go with the aperture. I have some scopes with EQ mounts. Given the choice of spending my money on a fancy mount or aperture, I'll take aperture and the simple dobsonian mount. EQ mounts are only necessary for photography. This scope is about as big as an inexpensive portable scope gets and about as small as a serious visual scope gets. It is a great beginning and intermediate scope.

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