Author Topic: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"  (Read 392 times)

synchanrimyp

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« on: December 24, 2017, 08:06:39 AM »
Hello Everyone,

I'm looking at getting an 8" Dob and was looking for some guidance.  The two I'm thinking about are theOrion SkyQuest XT8 or the Sky-Watcher 8".  I only wanted to know if anybody has experience with either and can tell me how it performs.  Can it be better than another?  I'm leaning towards the Orion for the kit it comes with since it would prob allow me to learn to navigate the sky, also it comes with a Barlow Lens.  I have read that the finder scope isn't the greatest on the Orion and is much better on the Sky-Watcher, but this is replaceable correct?  If I were to go with the Sky-watcher, can I construct a similar kit for the price of the Orion?  The links to each are below.

Orion XT8:
http://www.telescope...roductId=116324

Sky-Watcher:
https://www.bhphotov...m=Y&sku=1141702

Thanks for the inputsignal,

-Spriggs



bamrocorna

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 111
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2017, 11:52:20 AM »
Which color do you like better? IMO, I would go with the Skywatcher, for the $ and it gives you 2 eyepieces. The 'included accessories' with the Orion are not worth the extra $, and would be better spent on a better barlow or more eyepieces.

tingdermeli

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 123
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017, 01:00:17 AM »
You can find XT8's off Craig's list. I got mine for $150 because it was "broken" (the secondary mirror was pointed backwards and primary was covered in dust). I spent about 4 hours washing mirrors, flocking, blacking out reflections, and covering all contact points with sticky Teflon pieces. Putting in an extra $100 in upgrades for focuser and a RACI finder off CN classifieds, I feel like I have a tricked out Oldsmobile, it's not a sports car but it gets me there. Skip the part where you buy a bunch of cheap eye pieces and invest in one bad **** EP.  This route is definitely riskier but it was well worth it.

ulpehaco

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 110
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2017, 03:59:51 AM »
Zhumell Z8 is far better equipped then either of those scopes.  A much better value.

Antonio Garrity

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 109
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2017, 02:31:59 AM »
One question,

Do you live in a light polluted area?I also wanted to buy a 8" dob,but after posting a thread,I realized I woulden't be able to see much with it.That's why I decided on the celestron Nexstar 6se,so it'll find what I want for me.There's no point in having a 8" scope if you can't see the things it is used for.

Cheers,
Raghul

Joe Hall

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 110
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2018, 12:17:59 PM »
I agree on the Zhumell. Better focuser, better finderscope (although you'll still want a telrad on any of them eventually).
https://www.telescop...ector-telescope
I got my 8" Orion off Craigslist for $75. It can be done for a lot less.
Incidentally they're all made either by GSO or Synta. Optically they will be very similar and any variation would be due to manufacturing error.

Richard Ross

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 132
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2018, 03:31:31 PM »
Thanks for the input everyone. I'll definitely look into the Zhumell Z8 now. The reason I've been looking at Orion is I've heard they have great customer service after the point of sale. They seem to have a good rep from what I've seen. With the Zhumell, I should be good to go with it out of the box correct?

handvestlazo

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 135
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2018, 07:17:48 AM »
Yes. What you get with the Zhumell is for the most part useful. The seller of the Zhumell had some rough patches in the past but it's my understanding they've improved a lot over the past few years.
If you get the Z8, the only things I'd consider getting are a telrad or Rigel Quickfnder, and a replacement for the 9mm plossl. Maybe an xcel-lx 9mm-12mm. The small plossls are hard to use.

David Varnavas

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 108
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2018, 03:49:20 PM »
Orion XT8
Skywatcher 8"
Z8

All will provide similar performance at the eyepiece so the accesories make the difference.

I like the RACI, right angle correct image finder that I have on my Orion XT8 Intelliscope.  The Z8 has one, the others don't

I wish I had a two speed focuser. The Z8 has one the others don't.

They all come with acceptable eyepieces that will get you started.  You will add and may eventually replace these but I consider them a wash.

Many feel the Z8 has a better bearing system providing smoother tracking.  I don't have one but my friend has and it is nice.

I would get the Z8 over the other two.'Now, if you like Orion's reputation for service, then the Orion Skyline 8" is the identical scope to the Z8.  While it is $50 more it comes with a full length cover and three planetary charts/maps.

Of the 4, I would get the Z8 or the Orion Skyline 8"

You can add a barlow later.  Go for the two speed focuser, smoother tracking bearing system, and the RACI finder. These are not things that can easily and inexpensively added later.  And the Z8 and Skyline 8 come with a laser collimator.  The others don't.Later you can add:

2X barlow  $25 to $50

Telrad which is an EXCELLENT complement to the RACI finder and easy to add. It goes on with double sided tape. $40.  I added a red dot finder but a Telrad would be a better choice for a manual scope.Over the life of your scope you will likely spend more on eyepieces than you paid for the scope. I would recommend your first eyepiece be a Celestron 8-24 Zoom.  $63  I love mine.

Combine the 2X barlow and the 8-24 zoom and you have every magnification between 50X and 300X.  All of them!

Naturally your smileage will vary.

carewemi

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2018, 01:28:27 AM »
Hi
I have the Skywatcher 8" truss tube. Personally iam not happy with the views I get especially on planets. I can see almost the same detail as my Nexstar SE4. The images are exceptionally bright but resolution not which was a disappointment after going up in aperture. I am reconsidering whether a refractor would have been a better choice.
It has a great finderscope 9x50 with clear views easy to find objects. Navigation is quick just rotate and tilt. The Crayford focuser has a thread to connect a DSLR camera T ring so you can take short < 1 sec exposures at high ISO. You will pick up stars as faint as magnitude 11. Stars are pin point across the field of view no noticeable seagulls. The truss tube design is more compact but you need a shield to block out side light.
The scope is quiet heavy and usually requires removing the tube from the base to carry it in two parts to a new location.
Ive used eyepieces down to 40 mm for wield field views. Planet views highest 9 mm eyepiece and 2xbarlow.
Digital setting circles are something you should get to find objects faster else you have to star hop and compare software simulations with eyepiece views.

Deandre Fulce

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2018, 11:46:58 PM »
SpaceXS ....

You might want to look at dob setting circles, for 1/10 the price of digital circles I can put objects in my finder, then a little tweaking to get them in the main scope.

The barlowed 9mm is probably too much power.  That is 266x.  There are not many nights where the atmosphere will allow that.

Also check you collimation.  If you are just starting out I suggest the barlowed laser technique.

I hope that helps.

smalmonica

  • Jr. Astronomer
  • **
  • Posts: 88
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2018, 11:50:59 PM »
I would agree that 266 is a lot of power.  The limiting factor is the atmosphere, not the telescope.  Many nights I top out around 220 X and some nights can't push past 200X

Gregory Plummer

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 137
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2018, 10:07:19 AM »
Yup.

Most at of the time my 12" planetary views are no better than my 4" due to atmospherics. But when they're better. . . I'll see most all of the detail on Jupiter that's possible with the 12" while the 4" doesn't get a whole lot more detail.

outatnoha

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2018, 10:59:18 AM »
One difference re XT8 versus Skywatcher solid tube is the primary mirror collimation setup. XT8 (AFAIK) has the standard setup with springs on the collimation screws and locking screws. So, you back out the locking screws and adjust the spring-loaded collimation screws, then re-tighten the locking screws. Quite possibly that last step may produce some shift in the primary mirror, but the springs provide two-way motion during the collimation, that is, you can move the mirror in or out just using the collimating screw. One downside is the springs may be too weak and are often replaced with stiffer aftermarket springs.

The Skywatcher 8" dob (which I have) employs a subtly different arrangement. No springs on the collimation screws. There are rubber gaskets in place of the springs, but they donot act like springs during the collimation. So with the Skywatcher it is a push-pull operation: each time you want to make an adjustment you need to use both the collimation screw (the "pull") and the locking screw (the "push") to make the adjustment. I have never collimated using the XT8 design, but I can say collimating with the Skywatcher push/pull arrangement is tedious. It helps a lot to use the Barlowed laser technique with something like the Orion Lasermate II so you can see what your adjustments are doing from behind the primary mirror. (Not sure you can actually trust the output of that laser arrangement, the key is you can see the movement and then check with a collimating cap or Cheshire at the end).

I will say, at first I was disappointed with the Skywatcher arrangement, but I have found it holds collimation extremely well, by which I mean over a period of weeks to months including trips to dark sites. I picked up some Bob's Knobs for it, and plan to put them in next time I need to adjust the primary -- but I'm wondering if that will ever occur.

As far as the views, I have been very pleased with the Skywatcher, though I do not have any other dobsonian to compare it against.

One other option, Orion has an XT8 Plus (blue OTA) at $499 which gives a lot of what the Zhumell provides, including a RACI, dual speed focuser, and knobs on the primary/secondary. One possible advantage of the XT8 Plus is that the base has cutouts and I think may be lighter in weight than the Zhumell base - if weight is a concern for you this might be a consideration.

Todd Treser

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 114
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs Sky-Watcher 8"
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2018, 11:19:43 PM »
I have the XT8i so I know the collimation arrangemet. Can't comment on the Skywatcher but my XT8i gets a lot of use and holds collimation extremely well.  I only check it every few months and often don't have to do any any adjustments.  The scope is used at the house and is put in the car to be taken to darker sites or club observation nights.