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Orion XT8 Classic Dobsonian telescope w Crayford style focusser


I've had a K-Way Celestial telescope for some time, and although the optical quality was surprisingly good, it was difficult to find objects and the telescope would shake about as you try to focus on an object. This wasn't ideal, so I started looking for something proper.

With much advice from Andrie, I decided to look at the SkyQuest telescopes from Orion. I initially wanted the 6" because the 4.5" is too low to the ground for comfortable viewing. For the little extra money I went for the 8" because the accessories can come later, and then I have a better (bigger) telescope.

I have now had a few relatively clear nights, and the viewing has been better than I expected! At 300x Jupiter is as sharp as anything (and that's with a low quality 4mm eyepiece). I have managed to easily find some DSO's - I look up a cluster that I would like to see (the software I use is Stellarium), look where it is relative to some stars, and then I find it within a minute. The EZ Finder II is fantastic to use; the only problem is that I always forget to switch it off. The 2" focuser also allows that extra field of view, which is nice to have. The Sirius eyepiece that comes with the telescope is decent quality, and I do most of my viewing with it.

The SkyQuest XT8 definitely offers great bang for buck. The only difficulty is that it weighs 18kg, and is quite hefty to move around. I do most of my viewing outside (as opposed to on the patio under a roof where only the northern sky is visible), and outside is down a narrow flight of stairs. Hefty as the telescope is, it is easy enough to carry down the stairs.

I highly recommend this telescope for its quality, robustness and ease of use, not to mention the bang for buck.

Thank you, Andrie, for the advice and guidance!
Date Added: 01/12/2011 by Marc Klynhans
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