Author Topic: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"  (Read 152 times)

Eric Graf

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 127
  • Activity:
    19.33%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2018, 10:31:48 AM »
I live in the farming regions away from the major cities so visibility is quite good. 266x has been the best ive seen though usually I work with just the 25 mm eyepiece. My Skywatcher is only used at home. Ive never touched the collimation screws so the scope is pretty much in the same condition as when I purchased the unit. It is good for spotting DSOs but resolving faint globulat clusters is difficult.  Ive seen the Cassini division so this should give an indication of the collimation state. Although I think it may be a few percent off.

Mark Rivera

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 123
  • Activity:
    20.67%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2018, 02:00:27 AM »
i don't mean to offend, but I don't know what you know and don't know.

Skies can be broken down into three conditions.
1 - light pollution. Since you live in farm country light pollution is probably very good. (I'm jealous).

2 - transparency. This is the haziness of the sky, how clear it is. This does not matter if you live in rural america or not.
I think it is largely a function of how much water is in the air. There are sunny days for me where the sky is not crystal blue, it is milky.
That is because of high ice crystals in the sky. These are hard to detect at night, except when you have your scope out and wonder why the views aren't great. I use the GOES weather satellite page and use the water vapor view.  If not only shows current condition, but also shows what is coming. It stinks to have all your gear out and 20 minutes later the clouds roll in.

3 - seeing. This has to do with atmospheric turbulence. I live in the midwest where there is a constant battle between arctic flows which are cool and dry, and gulf flows which are warm and wet. This makes the mixing atmosphere like looking down an asphalt road on a hot day.  Usually during prolonged hot or cold spells lasting many days the air is at its most stable.  Sometimes you can detect the turbulence by looking at a bright star and seeing it "twinkle"

Todd Topcic

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 109
  • Activity:
    19.33%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2018, 12:52:41 PM »
I usually check the horizon east and west at sunrise and sunset. If the atmosphere looks murky and reddish then I know night viewing is not good for photography.
A clear light yellow horizon tells me the night will be clear. Skyglow is the only headache together with three street lamps which I have no control over. Otherwise on some days visibility is really good. For example ive spotted the ring nebula even through a Celestron 15x70 binoculars. Iam in the Southern hemisphere in Potchefstroom. Stars dont twinkle at night at this altitude whereas they do if I am in Durban.

Antonio Garrity

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 109
  • Activity:
    18%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2018, 01:47:41 PM »
Wow Durban! very exotic, I bet the sky looks completely different.

Can you see the mellagalanic clouds at night?
I was on a float trip on the Amazon, in the jungles of Peru. Stunning sky. That is the farthest south I have ever been.

brentioscaraph

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 109
  • Activity:
    18%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2018, 12:34:40 AM »
If you can swing it look at the Orion XT8 Plus, it has some useful upgrades like a two speed focuser, collimation knobs for the secondary, solar filter and a better tension system than the standard XT.

I had an XT8i that was attacked by a dog....three times....same dog. It's a long story. I replaced it with the XT8 Plus and am very happy with the purchase.

Danny Cruz

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 119
  • Activity:
    19.33%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2018, 03:59:59 PM »
Thanks for the continued input everyone. I'm still looking at the scopes but I hope to make a decision soon.

Ryan Lawlor

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 122
  • Activity:
    17.33%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2018, 01:26:39 AM »
Weight is a key specification for me because i need to move my telescope several time an hour to dodge trees. Check weight specifications carefully if this is important to you. The Orion XT8 is several pound lighter, so easier to move in one piece.

Chad Fithian

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 120
  • Activity:
    18.67%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2018, 04:38:02 AM »
Quote
Weight is a key specification for me because i need to move my telescope several time an hour to dodge trees. Check weight specifications carefully if this is important to you. The Orion XT8 is several pound lighter, so easier to move in one piece.

Actually that is one of the reasons I have an XT8 rather than a Z8. I can easily pick up the entire unit and move it to adjust for trees and such.  It lives on a cart.  I only lift it on and off the cart or to move it a few feet to get a better view.

XT8 is 11 pounds lighter than the Z8.

Andre Stubblefield

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 121
  • Activity:
    17.33%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2018, 12:11:02 AM »
And also think carefully about the weight. I have heard some hulksters here saying I can lift ... A telescope is a different beast to lift than a bar bell.
I find a gem much harder to move than a dob. All the weight is at the top.  The tripod is long and spindly.  You are also walking in the dark, maybe in the yard or park and there may be new gopher holes or sticks to make you stumble.  and setting down a scope hard can knock it out of collimation if it is a reflector.

I have a 6 inch refractor the whole setup weighs 50-60 lbs. I always take the tube off the mount. I can lift 60, but not with all the weight up high.

I have a 10 inch dob which weight about the same but I can move that as a unit,  A dob has all the weight on the bottom.  The top is just an open tube.

bamrocorna

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 111
  • Activity:
    18.67%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2018, 06:33:21 AM »
8" dob should blow away a 4" scope in planetary detail. Something's wrong with the mirror, the collimation, or the sky conditions!

Hyak, please tell us the dog story! By the way, how do you like the balance arrangement of the XT Plus? Is it tedious screwing int he side bearing knobs?

The weight difference between an Orion 8"-- 20 pounds for tube, 21 pounds for base--and a Z8 is large. Zhumell does NOT reveal its tube and mount weights separately, but the mount could be closer to 30 pounds.

Given that many, if not most of us, move dobs in two parts-- the mount, then the tube-- the heaviest component weight matters. Much rather schlep around 20 pounds than 30!

acbacema

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 126
  • Activity:
    26%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2018, 12:24:34 AM »
8" is the threshold for many for carrying the complete scope as one unit. I've been carrying mine. Granted, mine has a thin mirror and weighs around 40-41 lbs total. Like Ed, I recently bought a two-wheel dolly to move mine, not because I hadto, more because I just crossed a milestone birthday of six decades and figured there's no sense in risking hurting my back doing something I enjoy. I do often pick it up and move it a few feet to escape trees and to set in on the dolly. One reason I lift it as a unit is that the OTA cradle box is attached to the base via a slim DSC stalk--easy enough to detach in a pinch, but no real need to either.

Bottom line though: those pounds really do add up and anything you can do to eliminate them that doesn't compromise structural integrity is a smart move in my book.  Plus, if I take the scope as one unit it's one less trip. For me that's three instead of four.

Chesterguy

Charlie Collins

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
  • Activity:
    17.33%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2018, 12:05:23 AM »
Quote
8" dob should blow away a 4" scope in planetary detail. Something's wrong with the mirror, the collimation, or the sky conditions!

Hyak, please tell us the dog story! By the way, how do you like the balance arrangement of the XT Plus? Is it tedious screwing int he side bearing knobs?

The weight difference between an Orion 8"-- 20 pounds for tube, 21 pounds for base--and a Z8 is large. Zhumell does NOT reveal its tube and mount weights separately, but the mount could be closer to 30 pounds.

Given that many, if not most of us, move dobs in two parts-- the mount, then the tube-- the heaviest component weight matters. Much rather schlep around 20 pounds than 30!

It's essential to consider the observing site. Moving a 40# scope in two 20# pieces works well if you are just moving the scope from the house to the yard and returning it. However, if you must move your scope often during the observing session to dodge obstructions, moving it in two pieces becomes a problem, and a light weight scope that's EASY to move in one piece becomes highly desirable. For this reason, on this observing site, a 34# 6"f8 scope that I can easily move in one piece has replaced a 41# 8"f6 scope that I must move in two pieces.

obinspumtou

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 116
  • Activity:
    16.67%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2018, 07:54:03 AM »
My latest explorations of weights suggest that the Z8 base is closer to 25 pounds, not 30.

The similar (identical?!) Orion Skyline is 24 and 25.5 pounds. -- OTA and base.

Still, much rather schlep 20 than 25.

On the other hand, as Ed, Chester, and gwlee have pointed out, using a cart -- or a lighter scope movable easily as one piece -- makes real good sense. I once put wheels on a 10" dob -- worked like a charm for moving around the yard! Would love to get that scope back!

I may need to start exploring 10" dobs again-- and hand carts!

Kyle Styles

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 119
  • Activity:
    21.33%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2018, 10:08:18 AM »
Quote
My latest explorations of weights suggest that the Z8 base is closer to 25 pounds, not 30.

The similar (identical?!) Orion Skyline is 24 and 25.5 pounds. -- OTA and base.

Still, much rather schlep 20 than 25.

On the other hand, as Ed, Chester, and gwlee have pointed out, using a cart -- or a lighter scope movable easily as one piece -- makes real good sense. I once put wheels on a 10" dob -- worked like a charm for moving around the yard! Would love to get that scope back!

I may need to start exploring 10" dobs again-- and hand carts!

A cart is a good solution for many sites. If I could use a wheels here, I would use a larger scope.

Christopher Hess

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 112
  • Activity:
    20%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2018, 11:41:22 AM »
glee, too many roots? Stones in the yard? Larger wheels can handle much of that!

Wouldn't it be better to view with a larger scope?!

I do know what you mean about trips and motions; it would get tiring if one had to keep taking the OTA off and on many times per session.