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Is the Xt10 a good deal

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#1 Reran

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 06:02 PM

After a lot of research and plenty of help from the kind people on this board,  I decided on the Orion Xt10.  At $599, it seemed like a great deal....

However, after reading the reviews (almost all highly positive, I noticed that many people replaced the finder as they found it low end.  Additionally, some people even replaced the focuser, claiming that a 2-speed focuser is necessary for fine tuning the view.   Looking at the cost of upgrading the X10 from Orion, I would have to add $350 to have a decent finder scope and 2-speed focuser.  

 

With this in mind, I looked at the Meade website and see that they sell a truss dobsonian, the Light-Bridge 10.   This lists for $699 but can be purchased online for $700 including light shade.   The Light-Bridge has a 2 speed focuser, a decent finder, a cooling fan and a 2" Wide Field 26mm eyepiece  (compared to the 1.25 25mm Plossel with the Xt10.)   

 

With the differences between the two scopes, isn't the Meade Light Bridge 10 a much better deal?



#2 Achernar

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 06:16 PM

The Light Bridge is a truss-tube, which can be disassembled to fit in a small vehicle then re-assembled at the observing site. They are pretty nice telescopes, but you will want to use a light baffle and shroud to keep stray light out and to reduce dewing of the optics.

 

Taras



#3 Kendahl

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 06:31 PM

Check out Zhumell's competitor to the XT10. Web site is www.telescopes.com.



#4 Ed D

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 06:45 PM

There is nothing bad about using a red dot finder, which is what I prefer.  One can use the red dot finder to point the scope to the target, and with a low power eyepiece (25mm) star hop to the object you want to observe.  As for the focuser, the Synta made single speed unit is fine, even at high power.  These focusers have adjustments and can be quite serviceable.  The XT10 is a good scope and the solid tube will hold collimation (adjustment of the mirrors) well whereas a truss tube scope requires at least checking every time it is assembled.

 

Good luck choosing your scope.  BTW, with the free shipping currently offered it is a good deal, if that's what you want.

 

Ed D


Edited by Ed D, 30 June 2015 - 04:34 AM.


#5 csrlice12

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 06:47 PM

The Aptura/Zhumell does come with some extras the Orion doesn't like the 2-speed focuser and fan (the free laser isn't even worth that, give it to the cat.)  But all dobs are a work in progress.  The Orion single speed crayford is fine.  I did eventually replace mine with a Scopestuff Linear Bearing focuser, but only because I use some very heavy eyepieces (a paracorr and a 20ES100 would strain most standard focusers).  On the plus side, the Orions seem readily available whereas the Aptura/Zhumells seem to be on backorder.  I believe the Orion comes with the 9X50 RACI.....an outstanding finderscope, nothing wrong with it at all.  Add a Telrad (to either brand), and you're good to go.  And, unless space is at a premium, I'd go with a solid tube over a truss at 10".

 

Optically, flip a coin, not much difference.  The Orion is a bit faster at f4.7 vs f5 for the Aptura/Zhumell.  Either will be fine and provide a lifetime of viewing pleasure.


Edited by csrlice12, 29 June 2015 - 06:49 PM.


#6 Mike G.

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 07:25 PM

I wouldn't worry about the single speed focuser, it is entirely serviceable.  I had the same focuser on my 8" for 2 years before I upgraded with a 2 speed I bought used for 80 bucks. the 2 speed is a convenience item, just a bit less fiddling when trying to get the clearest view of the bands of Jupiter. solid tube dobs tend to hold collimation better and air currents affect them less but you will need a shroud if you go with a truss tube to keep out the stray light unless you have a really dark site you view at.  my 12" dob came with a red dot finder that will get you in the general vicinity but I added a dual stalk holder and an 8x50 RACI finder to mine because the RDF seemed to sometimes be hard to see through due to the transmission characteristics of the reflective lens. having 2 finders is a nice option and I use them both all the time. as someone else said, dobs are always a work in progress; most people seem to enjoy tweaking them throughout their life, adding improvements to increase usability and performance.  a 10" scope could be one you keep for life, it will provide amazing views of DSO's and planets and as a dob, it will always be simple to use and setup and easy for you to share with your friends. truss tubes are a bit more portable for carrying in a car but the 10" shouldn't be a problem unless you have a sub-compact. whatever you choose, I'm sure you will be awe-struck at the views provided and it will be a reliable tool you can use for many many years. it may even change your life. you should probably consider the fan if what you choose doesn't come with one.



#7 Dodge2013

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 07:58 PM

The Orion will serve you well. The focuser is fine. Finder will work fine. Don't be in a hurry to do a lot of upgrades. Learn how to use everything. Upgrade as you feel needed. Enjoy



#8 stargazer193857

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 08:50 PM

The Orion 8xt plus is $514 and has a 2 speed focuser, hand screws for the secondary, solar filter, variable tension alt bearings, white ring base. But for less than $200 more to get the 10", who knows. Add wheels and the weight matters less except right when you put it in the trunk or back seat.



#9 kfiscus

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 08:53 PM

To answer the question, the XT10 is a very good scope- I own one. The finders that come with Orion and Zhumell/Apetura scopes are identical other than the decal, straight or right angle. They are perfectly serviceable and light. The single-speed focuser is fine. I replaced mine after 10 years once I ended up with heavy EPs and I found a good deal on a lightly-used 2-speed unit.

If I were doing it all over again and going for a 10", I would get the Zhumell. The package deals are better and the adjustable altitude bearings are ideal. Good luck.

Edited by kfiscus, 29 June 2015 - 08:54 PM.


#10 GaryCurran

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 09:07 PM

Let me stick my two cents in here.  First, I haven't really been serious about telescopes since the late 90's, so it's been a while.  My stuff is on order, will be here in a couple of days.  A Dobsonian reflector isn't part of what I'm doing, because my primary goal is astrophotography.  But, right now, I will have a huge amount of difficulty navigating the night sky, which is why I purchased a GoTo mount for my telescope.

 

There ARE GoTo Dobsonian mounts, but they tend to be expensive.  Something a little different may be an Orion IntelliScope, which is a 'PushTo' mount.  You tell the scope what you want to look at, and it'll give you directions on how to move it.  They also have the 'Build A Scope option which allows you to configure the scope the way you want it.

 

http://www.telescope...23/p/102035.uts

 

For that scope, I added what *I* would want in a Dobsonian, and came up with this:

 

Orion Build-A-Scope 10" IntelliScope Dobsonian Telescope
Black 6x30 Right-Angle Correct-Image Finder
Orion 7.2-21.5mm Zooom! Telescope Eyepiece
25mm Orion Sirius Plossl Telescope Eyepiece
35mm Orion DeepView Eyepiece
Orion 2" Crayford-Style Telescope Focuser

 

That's the basic telescope, a 6x30 RACI, or Right Angle Correct Image finder scope.

There is an Orion Zoom eyepiece, taking you from 7mm to 21mm, 25mm Plossl and a 32mm Wide Field eyepiece.

Finally, there is an Orion 2" single speed focuser, which should be good enough for what you want to do.

 

The entire bundle comes to $1,050, and if you desired, you can spread it out over three months and three payments.

 

Unless you want to go star hopping and finding your targets that way, I think the IntelliScope is an easier way to learn the night sky, and would be more enjoyable for you and any children you might have that are going to share this adventure with you.  But, as I said, that's just my two cents.



#11 gene 4181

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 09:33 PM

 Reran, you were up in the air on the intelliscope/finder model before.  you mentioned moving to a more light polluted area also,   at the moment there is a clearance xti 8in dob with the better finder and a extra eyepiece for 527/free shipping.  you might want to consider the push too xti for convenience  sake, I know you mentioned 10in, but a 8in at f 6 is no slouch either, easier on eyepieces, cools a little quicker, easier on collimation



#12 SpaceConqueror3

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 10:22 PM

Yes. I've had my XT10 for 11+ years now and haven't changed anything but the eyepieces. It's a nice scope and you should have many good years with it.



#13 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 10:25 PM

To answer the question, the XT10 is a very good scope- I own one. The finders that come with Orion and Zhumell/Apetura scopes are identical other than the decal, straight or right angle. They are perfectly serviceable and light. The single-speed focuser is fine. I replaced mine after 10 years once I ended up with heavy EPs and I found a good deal on a lightly-used 2-speed unit.

If I were doing it all over again and going for a 10", I would get the Zhumell. The package deals are better and the adjustable altitude bearings are ideal. Good luck.

 

I agree with Ken.

 

There is no doubt that the XT-10 is a good scope, I think you get more for your money with the Zhumell 10 inch.  Zhumell scopes are made by GSO in Taiwan.. I have owned a 10 inch GSO Dob for more than a dozen years, it's never been my biggest scope or my "best" scope,  it has been a very good scope that has served me well.  It's a keeper..  This is how I see it:

 

- The focuser:  I* have had several of the Orion single speeds, they are adequate...  The GSO two speed though is a much better focuser.  There are really two advantages to a two speed. First, it's fine focuser so you have much more precise control of the focus, at F/5, the depth of focus is literally splitting hairs.. are looking atout the thickness of a hair.  The second advantage is that it acts as gear reduction unit, the force required to focus is much less.  This means you can focus with a light touch and not jiggle the scope... you can dial in the focus in real time without having to wait for the vibration to die. 

 

- The finder:  The Zhumell ships with a 50mm Right Angle Correct Image Finder, the Orion a Red Dot. Red dot finders can be used successfully if the skies are dark enough but if there is a significant amount of light pollution, a magnifying finder is a necessity because there are not enough stars visible to point the scope naked eye.  A RACI finder works very nicely with star charts but can problematic point to the first star. 

 

- The focal ratio:   Coma is an off-axis aberration that increases with faster focal ratios.  Many observers find that F/5 is the threshold at which coma becomes an issue.  The Orion at F/4.7 doesn't have a great deal more coma but if I have my druthers, I prefer F/5... 

 

- Eyepieces:  The Orion ships with a single 25mm Sirius Plossl, the Zhumell with a 30mm 2 inch widefield and a 9mm Plossl.  

 

The XT-10 and the Z-10 are both good, solid telescopes and very similar.. They should be, they both are descendants of the original Orion XT-10, which was made by GSO.. If I were buying another 10 inch Dob, I would definitely buy a GSO (AstroTech/Apertura/Zhumell)

 

Jon Isaacs



#14 havasman

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 12:01 AM

I see you recently joined and WELCOME you to the forums.

There's a major theme to the entire forum to which you may or may not choose to subscribe: nothing's good enough out of the box and whatever you have could be better. There are good arguments for that proposition but there is also much to be said for good enough being very useful. I enjoy hearing the observer with an 8" Dob discuss extended nebula edges and galaxy details they've seen. Some of my favorite views have been through a 6" that a guy I don't know built for himself and brings to a crowded star party in a suburban city park. It's very clear and he's very expert with it.

I'll leave it to better qualified than me to recommend but suggest that when you choose, your choice will be a good one if you enjoy observing with it as often as your life and the weather will let you. I do maintain that the best accessory for any scope is more time spent observing under dark skies.

Happy observations to you.



#15 Reran

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 01:54 PM

Thanks for the feedback,  All three have very similar focal ratios:

 

Orion XT10:   Focal Ratio 4.7  

Zhumell Z10:  Focal Ratio 4.9

Meade Lightbridge 10  Focal Ratio 5

 

How do the optics compare between Meade, Orion and Zhumell?



#16 kfiscus

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 02:53 PM

Indistinguishable.

#17 Reran

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 03:43 PM

Thanks!  One of the things that concerns me about Zhummel is 1) The user review on this site said that due to the construction, it needs to be collminated every time it is moved.   I except this from a truss not a solid-tube.


Edited by Reran, 30 June 2015 - 03:48 PM.


#18 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 04:09 PM

Thanks for the feedback,  All three have very similar focal ratios:

 

Orion XT10:   Focal Ratio 4.7  

Zhumell Z10:  Focal Ratio 4.9

Meade Lightbridge 10  Focal Ratio 5

 

How do the optics compare between Meade, Orion and Zhumell?

 

The Meade and the Zhumell are identical optically and both are made by GSO..

 

Jon



#19 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 04:15 PM

Thanks!  One of the things that concerns me about Zhummel is 1) The user review on this site said that due to the construction, it needs to be collminated every time it is moved.   I except this from a truss not a solid-tube.

 

Any Newtonian, solid or truss, requires that the collimation be checked and adjusted if needed.  There is not something unique the the Zhumell, this is true of any Newtonian..

 

Jon



#20 Reran

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 04:51 PM

Agreed/ But every time you move it, you need to recollimate?  Sounds odd.



#21 csrlice12

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 05:08 PM

I check the collimation every time I set my 10XT up.  Only takes a couple of minutes to check and tweek it.  Your views will always be the best they can be that way.



#22 stargazer193857

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 05:24 PM

A transparent sky shows you way more. Pick a scope you know you will take out often and stay out with long. 



#23 kfiscus

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 05:25 PM

The "every time you move it" is from a purist's point of view.  I used to collimate very rarely and didn't know what I was missing.  After being beat over the head (figuratively) with the CN collective wisdom, I bought some real collimation tools made by Howie Glatter.  Now I collimate every time I set up the scope because it helps, it's fun, it's fast- taking less than 30 seconds.  Collimation is the easiest and most effective thing you can do to enjoy stargazing after finding some place dark.


Edited by kfiscus, 30 June 2015 - 05:26 PM.


#24 stargazer193857

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 05:45 PM

A Cheshire with cross hairs costs only $31. Two lights may be needed at a dark sky site.



#25 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 06:07 PM

Agreed/ But every time you move it, you need to recollimate?  Sounds odd.

 

I check collimation every time I use a scope. It doesn't always need adjustment but it usually does..

 

Jon




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