Orion SkyQuest XT8 Dobsonian Telescope Review

(Last Updated On: March 18, 2018)

Orion is one of the most respectable brand names in the field of the telescope. Established in 1975 Orion is well known for its high-quality optics. Even today if we talk about the top two or three brands in the field of stargazing, Orion is right there. Here we will talk about one of the best seller “SkyQuest XT8 Dobsonian Telescope” from Orion in details. Its pros, cons, specification and every other aspect that users should keep in mind before making a buying decision.

 

Specification

Optical design: Reflector

Aperture: 203mm

Focal length: 1200mm

Focal ratio: f/5.9

Optics type: Parabolic

Eyepieces: Sirius Plossl 25.0mm (1.25″)

Magnification: 48x

Lowest useful magnification: 29x

Highest useful magnification: 300x

Optical quality: Diffraction limited

Finder scope: EZ Finder II

Focuser: 2″ Crayford

Mount type: Dobsonian

Tube material: Steel

Tripod material: Wood

Length of optical tube: 46.5 in.

Weight, optical tube: 20.3 lbs.

Weight, mount/tripod: 20.7 lbs.

Weight, fully assembled: 41.0 lbs.

Price: 380$ approx.

 

Optics

SkyQuest XT8 offers an 8-inch aperture (largest in its price), a focal length of 1200mm and a focal ratio of f/5.9 thus captures 73% more light over 6” reflector thus results in brighter, clearer view of the moon, planets, nebulas. Thanks to large 8-inch diffraction limited parabolic mirror, it gathers enough light from distant celestial objects such as galaxies, clusters, nebulas to provide a great astonishing view.

SkyQuest XT8 comes with 25mm eyepiece that offers a magnification of 48x and 52degree apparent wide field of view. 25mm Plossl eyepiece is made up of solid material and yield extremely sharp image but it does not do the full justice to the high-end optics of the telescope. To use the device at a full potential buy a separate eyepiece or Barlow lens (more on that in recommended accessories section).

Bundled Orion EZ finder II red dot scope make the process of aiming at the object so easy. After aligning finder scope, just aim at the object you want to view through red dot finderscope. Once it is perfectly positioned on the red dot, look through your eyepiece for magnified view, so simple!!!

 

Pros

Biggest selling point of this telescope is its Aperture. An 8” aperture below 400$ dollar is a deal you just cannot miss.

Being a Dobsonian design telescope its great benefit is its sturdy base. Just keep on any surface and you are ready to go. No need to carry a tripod separately.

Enhanced aluminum and silicon dioxide coating increase the reflectivity to 94% and thus result in better image quality.

Orion CorrecTension heavy duty spring helps to easily attach the tube and the base and also provide resistance to keep the telescope in constant balance during observation.

 

Cons

Once fully assembled the Orion XT8 weighs about 40 pounds. A bit heavy and bulky for an average user to take it to the observation site.

 

Like any other reflector, it also needs to be collimated once in a while. Don’t worry, it will not take more than 2 minutes once you understand it process clearly.

 

Recommended accessories

Included 25mm eyepiece provides a great wide view of Andromeda galaxy, nebulas or even Jupiter and its four moons in a single frame but to get the more magnified view get a 2X Barlow lens.

Orion 08711 Shorty 1.25-Inch 2x Barlow Lens

Price: 46$ approx.

 

 

To minimize the extra brightness and glare coming from the moon and to get a better contrast and pleasing image we recommend you to buy a moon filter separately.

 Orion 05662 1.25-Inch 13 Percent Transmission Moon Filter

Price: 25$ approx.

 

 

Summary

Orion SkyQuest XT8 is a powerful and durable telescope that is ideal for any beginners or intermediate users who want to explore the night sky with their family in their backyard without investing a serious amount of money. A type of telescope that can give great view even in highly light polluted areas.

 

(Take a look at more features and the best price on Amazon right now!!!)

 

 

 

some useful links:-

How to collimate a telescope.

Best books for astronomy.

 

 

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