Orion 8945 SkyQuest XT8 Classic Dobsonian review

Orion 8945 SkyQuest XT8The SkyQuest XT8 is a 8″ aperture classic dobsonian telescope from Orion.

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Some people would regard a dobsonian as a beginner telescope, but I’d have to argue that it very much depends on the age of the “beginner” and how much do they plan on using the telescope and what they intend to view.

The best Dobsonian reflector

Dobsonians are without a doubt a very good type of telescope that can deliver the best price/value ratio. And this model is a top of the range when it comes to getting out the most power for each dollar. Far away galaxies and nebulea like the Orion nebulae are within the power range of this telescope. You get some of the most amazing images of the night sky, and at a price you can afford. Only there are some pros and cons to such a telescope, especially when compared to the refractor telescopes or a smaller aperture reflector. I regard this as a good second option down the road if you’re an absolute beginner but you can go ahead and purchase this telescope as a first one if you are really passionate about astronomy and know you are going to get bored of the closer celestial objects. But do know that some extra accessories are recommended that would make this telescope really shine.

  • 9.9/10
    Manufacturer - 9.9/10
  • 9.9/10
    Optics - 9.9/10
  • 9.9/10
    Value - 9.9/10
9.9/10

The package for the Orion XT8

But let’s take a closer look at some of the specifics of this model and see why the Sky Quest XT8 from Orion is considered one of the best in it’s range.

The package contains two boxes which contain the optical tube with all it’s accessories and another one which contains the pieces which make up the base.

orion xt8 telescope package

One of the great things about a Dobsonian is that even for a beginner, the assembly process for such a telescope is still relatively easy and even if this is your first telescope, you will not encounter any problems setting it up. Orion has made it very easy for everyone to assemble this telescope and be ready for use in double quick time. You start by assembling the base after which you attach the optical tube and the springs.

orion_xt8_assembly

Once you have it set up, the first things you will notice is just how stable the stand is and there in no wobbling which is exactly what you want.

orion xt 8 assembled

And even outdoors (where you’re most probably going to use it the most) it’s stable enough to offer the best images with as little wobble as possible.

orion xt8 outdoors stand

Other things included

The package also includes the 25mm Sirius plossl eyepiece

orion xt8 eyepiece

that is attached to the 2″ Crayford focuser that accepts both 1.25″ and 2″ telescope eyepieces

an EZ finder II relfex sight

orion xt 8 EZ Finder II Reflex sight

collimation cap

orion xt8 collimation cap

and the starry night software which can be very helpful especially if you are a beginner.

orion xt8 starry night software

Conclusions

Overall as stated earlier, this is the top telescope to get if astronomy and star gazing is a long time passion. Orion is a well known brand that delivers great products and telescopes with very good to excellent optics and this telescope is a fantastic product from them. If you are an absolute beginner, I would suggest maybe going for the Orion XT8 model which also includes the Beginner Barlow Kit which is slightly more expensive but you’re basically getting the barlow lens at a discounted price (plus other beginner accessories which you will enjoy).Or you could choose to add the Orion Premium telescope accessory kit which sooner or later you will get as it’s the logical purchase along with this telescope.

Either way you simply cannot go wrong with purchasing this telescope, and we’ve placed it high on our recommended list. Enjoy amazing night sky images at an affordable price.

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Technical specifications:

Optical design: Reflector
Optical diameter: 203mm
Focal length: 1200mm
Focal ratio: f/5.9
Optics type: Parabolic
Glass material: Low thermal expansion borosilicate glass
Eyepieces Sirius Plossl: 25.0mm (1.25″)
Magnification with included eyepieces: 48x
Resolving power: 0.57arc*sec
Lowest useful magnification: 29x
Highest useful magnification: 300x
Highest theoretical magnification: 406x
Limiting stellar magnitude: 14.2
Optical quality: Diffraction limited
Finder scope: EZ Finder II
Focuser: 2″ Crayford
Secondary mirror obstruction: 47mm
Secondary mirror obstruction by diameter: 23%
Secondary mirror obstruction by area: 5%
Mirror coatings/over-coatings: Aluminum & Silicon Dioxide
Mount type: Dobsonian
Astro-imaging capability: Lunar & planetary
Computerized compatibility: Not compatible
Bearing material: PTFE and UHMW bearings
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.
Other features: CorrecTension system, 2″ Focuser, 1.25″ eyepiece adapter