Review of the Orion XT8 8945 SkyQuest Telescope
The time has come to review the wonderful Orion XT8 telescope.
The telescopes manufacturer is, as you probably guessed, Orion Telescopes & Binoculars, which is well known for their high quality gear.
The Orion XT8 is a classic dobsonian reflector telescope, and is one of Orion’s most popular reflector telescopes. This telescope is recognized for its ease of use, simple assembly and not to mention; it is very beginner-friendly.
If you are more interested in a refractor telescope, check out our review of the Orion 9024 Astroview.
Features of the Orion XT8 Telescope
- User level: Beginner
- Optical design: Reflector telescope
- Optical diameter: 203mm / 8″
- Focal length: 120mm / 4.7″
- Focal ratio: f/5.9
- Weight: 18 kg / 40 lbs
- A very stable base: Wobbling while focusing will not be a problem with the Orion XT8.
- Includes: 2″ Crayford focuser (optimized for 1.25″ and 2″ telescope eyepieces), a 25mm Sirius Plossl eyepiece, an EZ Finder II reflex sight, collimation cap, and the Starry Night Software.
Pros of the Orion XT8 Telescope
One of the most obvious advantages of this telescope is the big aperture. The Orion XT8’s aperture is 8″ wide, perfect for viewing the moon and other planets to the smallest detail. The aperture also takes in enough light to give you the opportunity to see faint nebulas, galaxies and star clusters. We also want to emphasize that the Orion XT8 is very easy to install, which have proven to be a great feature for beginners and children. Our pro list for the Orion XT8 is as follows:
- Stable dobsonian base: The reflectors optical tube is perfectly balanced, giving you the benefit of a point-and-view ease of use.
- Aperture size: The aperture of the Orion XT8 is 8 wide, perfect viewing the moon and planets in in close up detail.
- Easy Setup: The setup of this telescope is surprisingly easy, and you are probably good to go within 30 minutes.
- Beginner-friendly: An easy setup and stable base makes the Orion XT8 a telescope well suited for beginners.
- Focal ratio: The focal ratio is f/5.9 – meaning you will be able to get a very clear view of objects like the moon and near-earth planets.
Cons of the Orion XT8 Telescope
Despite the fact that the Orion XT8 is a very good telescope with many distinctive features that distinguish it from its competitors, there are a few drawbacks that might not make this telescope suited for anyone.
- Heavy build: When stargazing, you’ll often want to travel to a particular spot and enjoy the evening. The Orion XT8 can be somewhat cumbersome to bring, as it is kind of heavy.
- Collimation: Collimation (alignment of rays) can be difficult to achieve.
- The eyepiece: The included 25mm Plossl eyepiece is sub-optimal for viewing planets.
Regarding the eyepieces – various accessories, such as extra lenses or filters, often need to be bought separately. This is not the case just for the Orion XT8 in particular. Advanced astronomers will very often have to buy different accessories that best fits their needs, whatever brand or type of telescope.
The Orion XT8 is an awesome telescope for any sort of spectator of the skies, and particularly useful for families who need to acquaint their kids with it. This powerful reflector telescope from Orion is more than equipped for watching a wide range of cellestrial objects – with surprisingly satisfying details. The Orion XT8s minimalistic design is also very appealing.
If you find yourself as the owner of a brand new Orion XT8, it is however quite likely that you may need to purchase additional lenses or filters to really get the best out of this splendid telescope.