Celestron C8 XLT Orange tube first light.
Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:36 PM
Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:24 AM
And 8" SCT is an outstanding scope: small and yet aperture for serious observations. And no monster mount is required to hold it steady.
C8 Orange Pacific -73
Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:33 AM
Well I decided that a faulty USA made Starbright 9.25 I received had to go and purchased a new orange tube C8. To be honest I was not expecting much from a C8 due to the decreased aperture and increased field curvature. The C8 in question is a Nextstar C8 XLT fastar model sold by Highpoint. A visual inspection of the scope revealed good-to very good mechanics, exception being the corrector retaining ring being warped and slightly bent where the screws attach to the front cell. The package includes the very skimpy and barely functional accessories; luckily I had a 99% dielectric diagonal and some good quality EPs. Seeing conditions were far from ideal for a first light but did improve as the night progressed, I would say 2/5 seeing checking the CSC for my area. With the scope cooled and collimated I took a glance at Polaris to perform a star test. Man was I chocked! The star pattern looked almost identical with equal in and out of focus range. The CO shadow was identical in size with 4.5mm defocus in and out of focus. The defocused rings at 300X, defocused to 3-4 showed equal brightness and texture on both sides of focus, sometimes It was difficult determining which side of focus I was in, they were so similar. There was no noticeable image shift as focus was reached! The star test pattern looked better than my Intes scope. Aimed the C8 towards Jupiter and the view was spectacular, I could easily see detail within and around the GRS, the South temperate belt showing plenty of swirls and detail, the southern equatorial belt showed the vast turbulence seen in pictures especially around the GRS and a multitude of colors ,ovals, festoons and cloud markings. This was all seen in 2/5 seeing with wispy light clouds blocking my view here in South FL. Focus was easily achieved quickly without ambiguity. Trapezium showed all 6 stars clearly and with good nebulosity. I lack the critical experience to numerically judge the optics on this C8, but with a better visual experience than the Intes 1/8 wave .97 strehl and the ED100. I would say this C8 is “diffraction limited” excluding CO. Looks like my optically excellent ED100 will be up for sale soon, it appears Celestron is getting their “stuff” together or I got lucky.
Its a new moon weekend, I hope you can get out and use that good looking scope on some real deep space objects. I'm a big fan of the orange tube Celestrons!
Posted 10 February 2013 - 02:19 AM
I have always thought of my C8 as a staple of my telescope collection.
It can just do so many things so very well.
Congratulations, and thanks for the great report.
Posted 10 February 2013 - 09:46 AM
Posted 10 February 2013 - 11:09 AM
Posted 10 February 2013 - 11:26 AM
But the C8s have been consistently been at least very good, and often excellent.
And for me, because it is so small and light, the C8 has been my own personal "Benchmark" for "Small" telescope performance. I define "Small" as being able to fit on a CG5 level mount.
And what I found is that if it fits in the field, I would far prefer to use a C8 over 4" or 5" refractor. Heck, since getting the EdgeHD, I don't think I have bothered taking out my 6" APO except during the summer (though to be fair, 90% of my observing is done with a C14).
Anyway, congratulations on your new scope. The C8 is the best all around "Small" scope that I think money can buy, and an excellent one should be a lifetime joy.
A lot of scopes used to come and go at my place, but I seem to have always had a C8 in the house. And if you are smart, you will avoid temptation to ever sell yours. An C8 with really excellent optics is something you just want to keep.
Posted 10 February 2013 - 01:30 PM
Posted 10 February 2013 - 02:02 PM
I think you are right on both counts: Celestron got its QC. under control and you got lucky. Those XLT coatings with what looks like a levitating secondary are something huh ? Glad to hear your success story.
Those XLT coatings are amazing, at the right angle the corrector disappears. I wonder if those XLT coatings are more durable than other competing coatings?
Posted 11 February 2013 - 01:52 PM