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Orion XT8 or Orion XT10

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#1 Acadian

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 04:20 PM

Hi again,

OK I am really interested in the Dobsonian. If I were to go with a Dobsonian, do you think I should go with the Orion XT8 with Intelliscope or the Orion Xt10 without.. They are approximately the same price when you add the Intelliscope to the XT8.

Would I see a huge difference fromt he XT8 to the XT10?

Is Collimation a hard thing to do for a novice?

Sorry for all the questions, I am just trying to make a wise decision.

#2 chrysalis

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 04:33 PM

Get the largest aperture you can.

Get the COL regardless, even if you have to save up.

10" gathers 25/16 the light of the 8", so worth it.

Collimation difficulties are overstated in most instances, it is very simple to do (IMHO).

Go for a 12" XTi if you can... :jump:

#3 Acadian

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 04:39 PM

Well I'm not sure what the 12" runs, but the Xt10 without Intelliscope is right on the line of my budget

#4 edwincjones

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 04:45 PM

negativies to the larger scope is size and weight:
is it too big to carry in your car?
is it too heavy for you to lift?

bigger always sees more, or also creates more portability issues.

edj

#5 FirstSight

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 04:45 PM

Well I'm not sure what the 12" runs, but the Xt10 without Intelliscope is right on the line of my budget


So purchase a 10XTi *without* the computer object locator to start with, and then add it later. According to the summer 07 Orion catalogue which arrived in my mailbox just a couple of days ago, here's the price comparison:

Orion XT8 non-intelliscope version: #370
Orion XT8i without COL: $500 / with COL: $620
Orion XT10 non-intelliscope version: $550
Orion XT10i without COL: $670 / with COL: $790

The cost of the COL added later separately: $170 vs. $120 if bought originally in a package with your intelliscope.

The mechanical build of the intelliscope series base is superior to the plain XT line, with respect to altitude motion - and you get a pyrex primary mirror (better thermal stabilization characteristics - which makes a difference in how fast your images will settle down to good quality with temperature change). It's clearly worth waiting until you can put together the extra $120 for the XT10 intelliscope version along with the significantly better light grasp of the 10" over the 8".

AND of course you get really nice digital setting circle (i.e. object location) capability as soon as you can afford the extra investment for the object locator. This is clearly worth the sacrifice of paying $50 more for the COL at a later date, if that's the only way you can afford the intelliscope version now.

#6 Acadian

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 04:47 PM

Would a 10" fit in a 2003 Sunfire.. The seats in the back go down to reveal the trunk?

I'm still wondering if I would see a big difference between XT8 and XT10 and if having Intelliscope with XT8 would be more beneficial to me then just getting XT10, although I could buy the Intelliscope later on.

#7 mnpd

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 04:54 PM

The 8" has 50 inches of light gathering surface, while the 10" has 78 inches... more than 50% more. You won't see much difference there for lunar, planetary and double star work, but for the faint deep sky fuzzies the extra ooomph of the 10" will show a difference.

Beyond the performance aspect I only see two other considerations... your wallet, and transportability. While a 10" is certain small enough to be manhandled, the 8" requires even less effort. And, the 8" will fit into tighter spaces.

On the goto/push to systems... a noob starting out with the electronic method will always remain a noob, with his ability to navigate the sky solely dependent on the charge in his batteries. Learning the sky by seeing, doing and remembering is one thing, learning it by pushing a button is quite another. That said, the electronics will win out in the end. No one reads a terrestial map anymore... they just turn on the GPS.... same principle. :)

Either scope will serve you well. :)

#8 spinlock

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 05:04 PM

I would go with the 10 if you don't mind grunting a bit when you set it up. I bought my first scope about 2 months ago and went with the 10" Zhumell on account of price and features. I would forgo GoTo and just buy a star map... thats astronomy, and much more rewarding IMHO. You will want that extra money later for better EPs. Oh, and regardless of what size you pick, you may want to get a folding dolly to ease with transportation!

#9 David E

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 05:23 PM

I'm still wondering if I would see a big difference between XT8 and XT10 and if having Intelliscope with XT8 would be more beneficial to me then just getting XT10, although I could buy the Intelliscope later on.


A 10" will reach about 1/2 magnitude deeper than an 8" scope. :fishing:

David E
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#10 Acadian

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 05:23 PM

I guess my big question is will I be able to see breath taking views of planets?

#11 David E

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 05:29 PM

I guess my big question is will I be able to see breath taking views of planets?


Yes :watching: With either scope you will be more limited by atmospheric conditions than the aperture of the scope. Powers up to 400x or more are useable with an 8" scope easily BUT, remember that you are using a muscle drive. High power tracking will keep you busy. :pulpdnc:

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#12 spinlock

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 05:31 PM

I guess my big question is will I be able to see breath taking views of planets?


Aperture wins in that game. I'm not sure what the diff between an 8" and a 10" would be but a lot will come down to the EPs you have as well. The vets would have to chime in on that one. Even in my 9mm both Jupiter and Saturn are rather small, but I can make out the rings moons and bands quite well. They both blew my socks off when I viewed them the first time!

#13 Acadian

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 05:35 PM


BUT, remember that you are using a muscle drive. High power tracking will keep you busy. :pulpdnc:


lol not quite sure what you mean by this.. Sorry I am very new to all this.Does muscle drive mean manual turning of the scope?

#14 spinlock

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 05:44 PM



BUT, remember that you are using a muscle drive. High power tracking will keep you busy. :pulpdnc:


lol not quite sure what you mean by this.. Sorry I am very new to all this.Does muscle drive mean manual turning of the scope?


Yes! (dobs have no motor to track) And the fun part is that the image is typically inverted in some form because of the optics which makes it some what counter intuitive.. but you get use to it!

#15 FirstSight

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 05:50 PM

Would a 10" fit in a 2003 Sunfire.. The seats in the back go down to reveal the trunk?


I've transported my 12XTi in a Honda Civic 4-door (regular sedan, *not* a hatchback version), simply folding the front seat forward to accomodate the optical tube (sometime last fall or winter in fact, I posted a CN thread about it in the "reflectors" forum, with pictures to prove it!) [note: that includes optical tube, base, eyepice case, and chair all packed in, without crowding the driver - although there's no room for another passenger).

So if your Sunfire is a 4-door, it's highly likely a 10" will fit if my 12" did in a Civic. If it's a 2-door, probably so though I could no longer vouch for it.

#16 Acadian

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 05:54 PM

Yea it's a 4 Door so I shouldn't have a problem.

Are there lot's of EP's for the Orion XT series?

#17 FirstSight

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 05:59 PM

Jupiter and Saturn are plenty big enough in my 9mm and 7mm eyepieces in my 1500mm focal length XT12i to enjoy and see lots of subtle detail. They'll be proportionately smaller relative to the same focal length eyepiece in your 10", which has a focal length of 1200mm (i.e. 12/15 the apparent size for a given focal length eyepiece).

But the extra aperture for making deep space objects such as clusters brighter, more colorful, and often, more easily visible is amply worth getting the 10" over the 8". An 8" is at the threshhold where lots of DSOs are visible, but satisfactory articulate detail often seems borderline (I had an Orion XT8 before I got my 12").

As far as manageableness of the size, the jump from 10" to 12" is much greater - the 10" is actually the same length as the 8" at 1200mm (focal length). I've seen the three scopes (XT8, XT10, and XT12) sitting side by side in a local astro shop, and the 10 is not a beast by comparison with the 8. A 12 is a beast compared with either of them.

#18 FirstSight

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 06:01 PM

Yea it's a 4 Door so I shouldn't have a problem.

Are there lot's of EP's for the Orion XT series?


Um...yes you have an ample range of choices of EPs that will work fine with an XT10. But an XT10 will tend to be fussier about quality of eyepieces if you go beyond plossls.

#19 Dobber

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 06:18 PM

First of all, welcome to a great and exciting hobby!
I consider myself an experienced noob since I started all of this two years ago after attending a couple of star parties, one of which was out in Arizona.(really dark skies!)

I have an XT 8, in addition to some binos. I also have the manual setting circles/push to system of finding objects in the sky. Coupled with a PDA version of Pocket Stars and the software from Orion I have no problem finding things and actually enjoy the challenge. I think that learning the sky is and has been fun! I added a Telrad device which is very, very, helpful IMO. There are numerous threads about the setting/degree circles here on the forum. It really works well. So,in short, I can operate like I have the Intelliscope version but at a fraction of the cost. I also have three boys, ages 12, 13, and 18 who also enjoy the scope and it's ease of use.

Pros: The XT8 sits by the back door leading to the deck where I can put it into operation in a matter of minutes. I built a base for it that allows me to stand for the most part to observe rather than sit hunched over. I have pretty much the stock items that came with it. I (and my kids) can slew the scope around and check out things quickly without concern for screwing up a potentially delicate mechanism. Ease of use...

Cons: "Size matters" is a slippery slope! I think my next scope would probably be an Obsession or similiar in maybe a 15" or 18". Big bucks? You bet....but if this is to be a long term hobby then it would be worth it.

In conclusion, I would make the spend for more aperature (XT10) over the Intelliscope. On balance though, I have never used the Intelliscope version so I can't say I wouldn't like it. My manual "push to"system gives me the azimuth and elevation capability that generally puts me right on the money for finding fuzzies and planets.
You will be amazed, even with an 8", at the things you will see!.......Good Luck!

#20 Almach

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 06:22 PM

Would a 10" fit in a 2003 Sunfire.. The seats in the back go down to reveal the trunk?

I'm still wondering if I would see a big difference between XT8 and XT10 and if having Intelliscope with XT8 would be more beneficial to me then just getting XT10, although I could buy the Intelliscope later on.


We have a Cavalier and our 10" scope just fits across the back seat. I use the styrofoam shipping material to rest the scope onto. If you are travelling by yourself, the base fits in the front seat but it will not fit into the trunk. I made a base for our scope that will fit in the trunk.

At the last RASC Members Observing Night I was at, I looked through two 8" dobs that were there. We were all looking at the same object and I did notice that the image was brighter in our 10" dob. Was this was due to the scope or the EP? Don't know.

The XT8 will be kinder to your EP and is more portable than the XT10 but the two extra inches of aperture of the XT10 is something to be considered as well.

#21 esd726

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 06:24 PM

I went from an 8" dob to the XT10 a few years ago and I think there was a big difference, don't remember too much (time and age :o) but just remember I was glad I moved up. I even have an XT12 coming in the next few days and am hoping there is as much as a difference for ME that i am again happy for moving up. You can easily pick up the scope when it is on its base. It's a little awkward but not that bad. It depends on how far you would need to carry it I guess now that I think about it :foreheadslap:
When I take it out the front door I take the whole thing as one. When I take it out back it is easier (less awkward) if I take in separately.
There are MANY eyepieces out there for it.
I ALSO would go with the "classic" version. You need to LEARN the sky and how to find stuff on your own, even if you have the intelliscope-what happens if it "breaks"? you are back to the classic. The money you save will help with better eyepieces than the ones that come with it and the FUN you will have finding a DSO on your own "power." :jump:
Have fun with whatever you get.
Rick

#22 Almach

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 06:27 PM

Are there lot's of EP's for the Orion XT series?


"Lots of EP's" says Acadian ...

Oh ya', there are lots of EP to choose from my friend. After a bit of EP shopping you will soon realize that the scope was the less expensive part of the deal.

;)

#23 KWB

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 06:31 PM

IMO if your going to limit yourself to only one reflecting
telescope(and I cringe at the thought),go with the 10 inch.
There is a noticeable but not a staggering difference.

Be prepared to upgrade your eyepiece collection as has been
mentioned.

#24 spinlock

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 06:33 PM

Are there lot's of EP's for the Orion XT series?


"Lots of EP's" says Acadian ...

Oh ya', there are lots of EP to choose from my friend. After a bit of EP shopping you will soon realize that the scope was the less expensive part of the deal.

;)


Isnt that the truth... :roflmao:

#25 David E

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 06:40 PM

FirstSight is right about the size of the 10"/f5, it's the same length as the 8"/f6, but the base is wider and thus heavier, but not my much. But if you are the least bit concerned about the weight or bulk, go with the smaller scope. A scope that's a burden to use is a lot of fun at first, but sooner or later it will become, well, a burden. This hobby is supposed to be fun, not burdensome.:crutch: Certainly I always recommend getting as much aperture as you can handle and afford if you want to hunt the dim fuzzies. But no matter how big your scope, there's always something that you can't see with it. :rolling:

Now something else to consider. The true field of view is an equasion based on the field stop diameter of the eyepiece (literally the "hole" in the eyepiece), and the focal length of the scope. Aperture does not play any role here. So the 8" and 10" being the same focal length of 1200mm, they will both have the same maximum field of view, about 2ยบ with 2" eyepieces. But the smaller aperture of 8" scope will give you slightly better star images at the edges of this very wide field, that is, the tighter star images will give you a more pleasing view. This is not important to everyone, many prefer using their Dobs mainly for higher power work where the field of view is not very important, especially with 1.25" eyepieces. Still, the 8" will tend to give you better views of wide open clusters like M45, or when scanning the busy star fields of the Milky Way. The extra light grasp of the 10" is nice though. 1/2 more magnitude may not seem like much, but it can add dozens of targets to your roster. :imawake:

David E


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