Orion 8945 SkyQuest XT8 Classic Dobsonian Telescope
- Make sure this fits by entering your model number.
- Item may ship in more than one box and may arrive separately
- A large aperture Classic Dobsonian reflector telescope at a very affordable price!
- 8" diameter reflector optics lets you view the Moon and planets in close up detail, and has enough light grasp to pull in pleasing views of faint nebulas, galaxies and star clusters
- A perfect Dobsonian telescope that can last a lifetime for the beginning astronomy enthusiast or whole family
- The ultra-stable Dobsonian base keeps the reflector optical tube perfectly balanced for point-and-view ease of use
- Includes a 2" Crayford focuser that accepts 1.25" and 2" telescope eyepieces, a 25mm Sirius Plossl eyepiece, an EZ Finder II reflex sight, collimation cap, Starry Night software, and more!
|What you need to know – This product has a serial number that uniquely identifies the item. When your order ships, Amazon will scan the serial number and add it to the history of the order. Should the item go missing before it arrives, Amazon may register the serial number with loss and theft databases to prevent fraudulent use or resale of the item. There is no action required from you and the serial number will only be used to prevent fraudulent activity associated with the missing item.|
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers also shopped for
Have a question?
Find answers in product info, Q&As, reviews
Please make sure that you are posting in the form of a question.
A powerful and capable telescope, the Orion SkyQuest XT8 Classic Dobsonian is one of our most popular reflectors due to its elegant combination of precision optics, mechanical simplicity, and rock-solid stability. You and your whole family will appreciate the bright, clear views of the night sky provided by the XT8 Classic. The Moon and planets of our solar system like Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars shine brightly in the SkyQuest XT8 Classic, allowing you to inspect them in detail. The XT8's 8-inch aperture is also large enough to gather a significant amount of light from more distant celestial objects for great views of sparkling star clusters, cloudy nebulas, and faraway galaxies. The XT8 Classic Dob is a tremendous value considering the high quality views it provides on such a wide variety of celestial objects. The point-and-view simplicity of the Dobsonian design is not as complicated as an equatorial (EQ) mount and tripod, so with a little practice, your whole family can scan the heavens just like experienced hobbyists. For any astronomer seeking serious adventure, the XT8 Classic Dob has it all!
From the Manufacturer
A large aperture Classic Dobsonian reflector telescope at a very affordable price!. 8" diameter reflector optics lets you view the Moon and planets in close up detail, and has enough light grasp to pull in pleasing views of faint nebulas, galaxies and star clusters. A perfect Dobsonian telescope that can last a lifetime for the beginning astronomy enthusiast or whole family. The ultra-stable Dobsonian base keeps the reflector optical tube perfectly balanced for point-and-view ease of use. Includes a 2" Crayford focuser that accepts 1.25" and 2" telescope eyepieces, a 25mm Sirius Plossl eyepiece, an EZ Finder II reflex sight, collimation cap, Starry Night software, and more!
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The good: decent size optics that have a lot of light gathering ability. This is needed for the faint galaxies, nebula, and star clusters. Scope also has decent accessories. While the focuser isn't top quality, it functions pretty well. Didn't notice much slop. Primary mirror cell is nice with springs on the collimation screws, and with locking screws. Secondary also has three screws for collimation. Most seem to come with the EZ Finder reflex sight with is good. Mine came with the 9x50 right angler finder, like the guy in the last photo has. Not top quality, but decent. Can easily see star clusters, and the moons of Jupiter through the finder. However, I prefer a straight through finder because it's easier and more intuitive to point. I'm going to add a reflex sight which will then give me the best of both worlds. The reflex finder will get me to the area, then the right angle optical finder will let me zero in easily. The springs on the Dobsonian mount are a nice touch. It keeps the scope from slowly drifting up or down because of balance issues. Makes adding accessories easier without having to worry about making the scope top heavy. Overall construction of base seems decent. Included eyepiece is of decent, beginner quality. The carrying handle on the base is a nice touch, though a couple on the sides would be more functional. I've used cutouts as handles on Dobsonians I've made myself. The scope doesn't weight too much so it's easy to move around, take outside, etc.
The bad: the bearings for the base are pretty bad. Both the altitude and azimuth are just thin nylon pads. The altitude functions okay, but would have been better if they were Teflon. The azimuth bearings are horrible. It's just thin nylon pads against the bare base. It feels like it is scrubbing. They should have been Teflon, and there should have been some Formica or some other surface on the bottom of the base for then to glide on. For example, Teflon pads on Ebony Star Formica would give a buttery smooth motion, which is what you expect in a Dobsonian. With the Orion XT8, you get a sticky, scrubbing motion. It works okay, but it could have been a lot better. The collimation cap is joke. Although it does center your eye, it's pretty much useless after that. It should have been a mirror inside, but instead it's just some stick-on, silver colored plastic. I suggest people invest in a nice laser collimator.
The ugly: unfortunately, the "ugly" is a fatal flaw. While I can upgrade, correct, and enhance the other issues, this flaw is beyond my abilities. The heart of the telescope, the 8" primary mirror, is not figured correctly. Basically, the primary of a Newtonian reflecting telescope should be shaped like a parabola. Any deviation from the parabola will cause problems in the final images. For example, one common flaw is called a turned down edge. Basically the outer portion of the mirror is flatter than the rest instead of following the curve of the parabola. What happens is that you get images that are soft, or blurry. You can't get images to snap into pinpoint focus. Stars will be little blobs instead of pinpoints. You can test your optics by pointing to a relatively bright star, with a moderate to high power eyepiece. Slightly defocus the star (by moving the focuser out) and you will see it turn into an image that looks like a bull's eye. These rings are the diffraction pattern. If you defocus in the other direction (by moving the focuser in), you'll see the same thing on the other side of the focus point. These two diffraction patterns, on the inside and outside of focus, should match. This is called the "star test". If they are different, you have problems with the figure of the mirror (i.e. the manufacturer didn't get it quite right, and strayed from the parabola). A little error is okay, and even expected in commercial optics. But if the error is too great, you can never get a good, sharp focus. And that's the problem with my Orion XT8. My images are fuzzy, and blurry, never snapping into sharp focus. From the star test of my scope, I either have a turned down edge, or some other spherical aberration, or a combination. I haven't studied the pattern enough to determine it yet. But it is a fatal flaw that I can't correct myself, which severely affects the performance of the telescope.
The average beginner probably wouldn't notice right away, which is probably why you see so many five star reviews. They see craters on the moon and say, "Wow!" With good optics, they should also be able to see individual mountain peaks. They see the two main of cloud belts on Jupiter, and the Jovian moons, and are happy. They should be able to see multiple belts, and festoons and swirls, detail in the red spot, the shadow of the moons as they travel in front of Jupiter. They see Saturn's rings and are elated. But they should also be able to see divisions within the rings, such as the Cassini division. The bottom line is they are mostly limited to low power views, with mediocre images. Higher powers will not give the sharp focus they should. An 8" f/6 mirror should deliver the universe, but the Orion 8XT falls short. The average person that never takes more than a causal glance at the moon or deep sky stuff will probably rate the scope a three to four star purchase. But for the ones that really want to get serious about astronomy, or happen to observe through a quality instrument, will quickly realize that the heart of this telescope, the primary mirror, is fatally flawed.
With regards to customer service, I've read enough complaints on various other sites, many dedicated to astronomy, to realize that Orion's customer service has really fallen. It's now a profit-priority-through-volume company. I literally had a service rep once respond to my complaint about an equatorial mount as, "What do you expect? It's made in China!"
The Orion XT8 telescope could easily be a five star scope with a little more effort toward quality. A primary mirror with an extremely poor figure is unacceptable quality, and a fatal flaw to a system that depends on that mirror to function properly.
I decided to revise my review and raise the rating to 3 stars. The reason is two-fold. First, after letting the telescope cool down significantly with regards to the ambient temperature, I was able to get better images out of it. A better quality mirror would have been able to produce better images without having to cool so much, but I was still able to coax decent images from this one after putting in more effort and time. Secondly, I realized that everything is relative. Compared to other scopes within this price range, it's not that far out of line with the performance of others. In other words, it's average, thus the 3 stars.
Easy assembly by myself, took under an hour
Smooth focusing motion
Finderscope adjustments are fast, easy, and nowhere near as frustrating as a three-screw system
Holds position in sky easily and adjusts with minimal effort
Fantastic light-gathering capability
Easy to collimate by hand with included collimation cap
Included eyepiece is a good mid-range item in regards to brightness and magnification
2" to 1.25" eyepiece adapter opens up more possibilities for accessories
Base movement is facilitated by nylon (I think) pads stapled in place; the staples are not perfectly flush with the pads, so they grind a bit into the moving parts. This goes away with time as the carve a groove into the surface and causes no functional damage, but it was still a bit frustrating.
Scope is heavy and tricky to move by oneself, but this is a tradeoff for getting such a large telescope. I can't safely move it more than a few feet without disassembling it and making two trips.
Collimation cap is included, but not instructions. However, collimation is easy once you look up how it's done, and an expensive laser collimator is unnecessary.
Attached photos are taken with my phone through the included eyepiece. Solar photo was with an appropriate filter.