After following this thread for quite some time..I'll give it a bump and add my .02
Curious as to a few things....
What area do you live in, and what are your plans as far as an observing site.... back yard? Local park? Driving to a dark sky site?...
I ask, because portability, and maneuverability, come in to play...but I will add to that based on my own experience shortly...so hold that thought.
I want to address the eyepiece situation first...with just a personal opinion. Consider, and discuss....with your dad...upgrading your eyepieces if you can.
The only reason I suggest this is that, a decent eyepiece can have a huge influence on your scopes abilitys when the conditions are really good!! I am a HUGE fan of the Meade HD 60 eyepieces.... bang for the buck, they just perform REALLY well....and with the 60 degree field of view....they help tame some of the possible coma issues you may have with a larger fast mirror. Some food for thought...
Now...on to the scope itself. I currently own the entire series of Orion Skyquest Dob mounted reflectors...I mean lol..FOUR of them. I started with the XT 6..than picked up an XT 8 at a great price...same thing with the XT 10, and than an XT 12. I regret NONE of them.
Aperture REALLY is king lol...but that being said....my opinion regarding the size differences is as follows...
XT 6... small, light, very portable, pretty much a "grab and go" setup. f8.0, weight about 34 pounds total...very manageable.
XT 8... a significant step up. Still portable, same tube length as xt 6, f5.9, weight about 41 pounds, fits in small car
Between the 2, hands down, imo, xt 8 for the win....MUCH MORE scope, faster, more light gathering, really starts to reach into dso if in a good dark area, takes higher magnification for planetary well in good seeing conditions... about the only time the xt 6 comes out now, is when younger kids are around because it matches them very well size wise.
xt 10... HUGE jump over xt 8. Really starts reaching deep for dso's, great for planetary, takes higher powers well.Be warned...the light gathering abilitys of this beast have reached a point where viewing a bright moon starts to hurt. You really do need moon filters when it's past 70% moon.
Now down to f4.7, fast scope with lots of aperature, coma comes into play do too the sheer size of the mirror. This thing is a big scope. Now up to over 50 lbs in weight when assembled. While easy enough to break down and set up, I prefer to use a handtruck for moving it around...it's big, it's heavier, and it's just more "clumsy" to move. Keep that in mind if your moving to set up and break down every time you use it. It's not terrible, but it is a bit of a pain.
I love my xt 10..it's frankly...my favorite of all 4 of the reflectors. Great depth, great resolution, really powers up the views. DSO's are "in your face" with a good 34mm under good skies.
It is also significantly more money...keep that in mind. I am going to revisit my perceptions of the xt8 vs xt 10 argument after the xt 12...
xt 12... BIG...FAST....getting expensive. f4.9, really need coma corrector and/or field flattener do to focal ratio of scope. You can really reach deep with this one in really good conditions. I don't really consider this scope very portable, almost 85 pds. I move it with a dolly. No fun to have to haul around and set up somewhere unless your gonna be there several nights. It's a bit of a beast. Need a Mini van or suv minimum to fit the base in for transport.
Great scope, serious deep reach, brings the fuzzys in well and is a monster for planetary. If your gonna keep it in a shed in the back yard and you have good dark skies...yeah. Got to move it around from house to observing site?...it gets old VERY quick.
I love all of these scopes. Hands down, bang for the buck, dollar for dollar, NOTHING imo, can beat a Dobsonian mounted reflector. No chromatic aberration with reflectors, great light gathering abilitys with enough aperature, and if you get a good mirror...well..you have to see it to believe it. Just can't go wrong. EVERYONE should have a decent reflector for visual viewing..
My favorite of these 4 is the xt 10. I think..i got a REALLY good mirror in this one. It rivals the xt 12, and even beats it in good conditions at higher mags... but again..I think I got a rare mirror. That being said...
At this point in your young astro career..I would suggest you give some thought to the following idea. If this scope is going to be moved to house..car..site..car..home...etc...in other words, you don't have a good backyard and a shed to keep it in and have to drive somewhere every time you want to break out the scope to use it.... seriously consider the xt8. yes..it's less... BUT... it's also less weight, less hassle, and ALOT less money. The best scope is the one you USE. And the xt 10 is ALOT of scope...and abit of a pain if not in a semi permanent situation imo.
If I were you.... ... I'd suggest to dad that the xt8 would be a better choice for the forseeable future, be used more, be less hassle, AND...you could also get several HD 60 eyepieces and STILL spend alittle less than the cost of the xt 10!!
Chew on it...give it some thought. And...research your argument based on facts and not emotion if you decide to discuss it with your dad.
lease keep us informed...I'm looking forward to hearing the outcome!!
Best of luck and clear night skies!!
Edited by agflit, 29 January 2019 - 10:32 PM.