Well-equipped and easy to use, Orion Skyquest xt8 classic Dobsonian Telescope is considered one of the best choices for those making their entry in the astronomy field. It’s a mid-range telescope that provides a perfect balance between affordability, efficiency, and portability. Orion Company has built a good reputation, and their products are known for their durable, sturdy frames and high-resolution images.
What makes the best products in the market is their ease of use which is also the biggest selling point of the Orion Skyquest xt8. The optimal combination of features makes it rank as one of the best Dobsonian telescopes for beginners, making it ideal for kids who want to explore the blue skies and adults who wish to explore the celestial objects.
Orion Skyquest xt8 classic Dobsonian Telescope key features
The American retail company, Orion Telescopes & Binoculars has been supplying astronomers with durable, high-quality telescopes since 1975 making them one of the most recognized brands both in the United States and rest of the world. Here are the key features that make the Orion xt8 stand out.
Large 8” Aperture:
This unit boasts an 8-inch aperture that allows sufficient amount of light to penetrate the lens for viewing both local and celestial bodies. This means that you get excellent results when exploring the stars, moon, and other planets. The large size aperture also means that you get high-resolution images when viewing objects such as galaxies, star cluster, and the colorful nebula.
The Orion Skyquest Xt8 with a 25mm eyepiece that gives x56 magnification, so you get a high-resolution view of the rings of Saturn, the cloudy atmosphere of Jupiter and ever the ever-colorful space objects such as galaxies, star cluster from the comfort of your backyard.
Also included in the package is a small finder scope that makes it easier to locate objects before you can look them with a powerful xt8 classic telescope. This will save you time and make it easier to set up the telescope facing the direction of your target object.
A strong base ensures a firm grip on the ground and less movements during stargazing. The sturdy base provides stability to the telescope and if you want you can even hold your smartphone or digital camera and take quality videos, photographs. The strong Dobsonian base is easy to assemble out of the box (thanks to the instructions manual), durable and can withstand some knocks against the doorway when taking the unit out for observation. Once assembled, the base offers stability, and you won’t have to worry about shakiness and wobble while exploring beyond the blue skies.
Orion Skyquest XT8 Classic Dobsonian telescope overview
Maintenance & use
Because the xt8 is reflecting telescope, it is equipped with internal mirrors. The mirrors need to be aligned (collimated) from time to time as they may slip out of alignment due to knocks, bumps or even expansion and contraction of the metal casing as a result of temperature changes.
Adjusting the internal mirrors is easy and simple and should only take a beginner from 5-10minutes. There are simple tools and instruction booklets included in the package to ease the maintenance and usage process. You can buy a laser collimating tool to help you align the internal mirrors, but it’s not a necessity but maybe more convenient for people without experience using telescopes.
To ease the transportation process, the Orion Skyquest xt8 includes an optional padded bad which some consumers have found makes its transportation quite easier.
For high-resolution images, the Skyquest xt8 comes with a myriad of accessories. Barlow lenses, eyepieces and filters are just a few of them that will enhance your space exploration adventures. There are also special designed cases to protect the telescope when transporting and in the storage room.
Here’s a list of the popular accessories:
-The Orion padded telescope case.
-Shorty Barlow lenses from Orion.
-Orion LaserMate Collimator
Colors choices and dimensions
The Orion xt8 is only available in a glossy black finish and has the following dimensions.
– Focal length: 1200mm.
– Optical diameter: 203mm.
– Focal ratio: f/5.9.
– Lowest useful magnification: 29x.
– Highest useful magnification: 300x.
– Weight: 41 pounds fully assembled.
One of the selling points of the xt8 telescope is the ease of use. Compare this telescope type of mount to the standard equatorial mount, and you’ll note the difference. However, this does not mean that the EQ doesn’t have a place in the astronomy field, but not everyone wants to work with an overly-complicated mount. Most people, especially beginners want a telescope that’s easy to use.
The telescope features a large mirror that’s affordable unlike other telescope mirrors prices with the same specifications. The 203mm mirror comes with benefits as well. It allows the user to get high-resolution images of the nebular even in light polluted areas.
This unit is ideal for people of all ages, from kids to adults. The assembly is easy and makes astronomy interesting and appealing to learn.
The company has been around for decades, and most reviews unanimously agree that buying an Orion Dobsonian telescope pays off down the road. You get a durable and high-quality design that is guaranteed to last you through the years.
The accessories that come with Orion Skyquest xt8 classic Dobsonian telescope are more than what a beginner would need to start off. One of the Amazon verified buyer remarked that the accessories make for a semi-proficient kit great for both amateurs and experienced users.
Despite being one of the best Dobsonian telescopes, the Skyquest xt8 has its drawback, but these drawbacks can be subjective.
Some users claimed that the unit is pretty heavy (weighs 41lbs when fully assembled). The weight can be a challenge especially if you love to hike to elevated places for better star gazing. But this can overlooked especially if you don’t plan to take the telescope wherever you go.
While this telescope will serve its purpose for amateurs with little astronomical experience, it is not suitable for expert users.
Some customers claim that the azimuth bearings leave a lot to be desired. The user complained that instead of a smooth motion, the bearings give a rough motion.
As stated earlier the Orion Skyquest xt8 classic Dobsonian telescope is one of the best mid-range Dobsonian telescopes if stargazing and astronomy is your longtime passion. Orion Company has been known to manufacture high-quality products, and xt8 is a fantastic telescope from them. If you are starting out and like the idea of being able to see the international space station and the rings of planet Saturn from the comfort of your light polluted backyard, then the XT8 deserved a place in your shopping cart.
Finally we encourage you to read our buying guide: How to choose a telescope.