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  1. #1
    Trackspace's Avatar
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    Default Orion SkyQuest XT8 vs. Orion AstroView 6 Equatorial Reflector



    Hey all, I'm looking for some advice when it comes to pulling the trigger on a my first "quality" telescope sometime before the holidays. I've got somewhere between $400 and $500 to spend on the scope, any accessories and the shipping so I've been looking at Orion scopes in that price range.

    Basically, I've narrowed them down to two choices but find myself leaning back and forth between the two on a near daily basis...

    For me the pros for the XT8 include ease of use, price (leaving me some extra cash for an accessory?) and the general consensus that an 8" Dob (at $329) is in the sweet spot for an affordable starter scope.

    The cons are related to the size and portability as I keep my other scope (Meade ETX-60AT) and 15x70 binoculars in my car to have when I'm visiting family or other dark sky sites. I regularly get my kids and nieces/nephews out in the driveway at our family events to stargaze when we can.

    The Astroview (at $419) appeals to me based on some reviews I've read and I like the idea of the scope being up on the tripod. I've used an other Newtonian on an equatorial mount and it was very comfortable to use, something I'm not too sure about on the Dobsonian. I also figure the equatorial controls will help a bit when it comes to keeping items in view as the parade of little ones patiently wait for their turn looking through the eyepiece...

    Any thoughts on the comparison? The cheaper Dob might leave me some money to grab another eyepiece or upgrade the finderscope or something...

    Am I missing an option at that price range?

    Any opinions are appreciated... =)

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    andyp180's Avatar
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    Default

    other pros for a dob are the set up times,
    alot quicker than an eq,i have both.
    if portability is an issue,why not look at a
    collapsible dob?take a look in my photo albums
    and check mine out.there are a number of members
    here who have them aswell.
    mine is the auto track version,however,you can get the
    basic model which is within your budget.just a suggestion.
    and the dob is easier to use than an eq mount.you will find
    yourself in some strange positions at the ep,so will the young
    ones.
    clear skies,
    andy

    edit:welcome to the forums by the way,very friendly and informative.
    Last edited by andyp180; 11-08-2010 at 11:22 PM. Reason: added info

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    andy

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    revelation 20X80 bino's,camlink tp-2500 camera/bino tripod.
    a few bits and pieces and a major addiction
    to the sky.
    ARCHAEOLOGISTS WILL DATE ANY OLD THING

  3. #3
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    TCA
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    Default

    You can always upgrade things over time, no need to rush into upgrades. The red dot finder that comes with the XT8 is perfectly usable. It comes with a 25mm plossl. You could pick up 32mm plossl, a 20mm plossl, and a decent barlow. That makes you six eyepieces out of three. 32, 25, 20, 16, 12.5, 10. I wouldn't go any lower than double digits for most nights.

    Comes out to around $500 total. Free shipping right now on orders over $100.
    Last edited by TCA; 11-09-2010 at 01:45 AM.

  4. #4
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    I just took delivery of the Astroview 6 EQ on Monday, had it assembled in about 35 minutes, and so far it has been great. the first night I zeroed in on Jupiter and could see one band and some of the moons. The next day I discovered collimation was way off so I re-aligned and that evening everything was better still!

    I bought from Amazon so shipping was free so it was $419 delivered. I snagged a Seben 2x Barlow ($15.99/shipped) and Zhumell Plossl 4mm EP ($25/shipped) off flea-bay and I'm set. The only complaint being the legs on the Al tripod have a bit too much flex which makes fine-focusing and operating in wind something of a challenge. All-in-all I think it is good value, it was superbly packed, and went together easily.
    Justin B.

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    Astroview 6 EQ

  5. #5
    Bob327's Avatar
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    Trackspace....

    You have some experience with a Newt on a Gem mount and find it comfortable ... (that in itself is rather unusual...its about the most unfriendly combination know to backyard astronomers...but that is not the point...)

    Comfort wise the dob is on the other end of the scale..IT IS COMFORTABLE to use... PERIOD...! plus it is faster and easier to set up and weight less to boot...

    BTW.... I am NOT a Dob lover...its just that I am a Newt on a Gem HATER!

    Bob G
    CPC1100 housed in a slotted domed observatory (Exploradome) 4 and 5 inch refractors for use from the lawn, a 8" Sct (NS 8i) for star parties...
    I Hate the winter so I use heated Motorcycle clothing to stay warm while observing in winter
    Retired, also have 2 other hobbies
    1. tinker with older Corvettes (6 in garage)
    2. make a heck of a lot of sawdust in my wood shop.

  6. #6
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    The GEM is not that bad if you realize you can't just muscle it in the direction you want to point to. If you look at it it's fairly obvious (it was to me anyway) how/what to move to get it pointed right... I'll admit that it's not as obvious as a pan and tilt head but I'm mechanically minded...
    Last edited by justinbowser; 11-19-2010 at 12:50 AM.
    Justin B.

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    Astroview 6 EQ

 

 

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