I bought my late-seventies orange-tube C8 after reading a thread in the Classic's forum regarding the restoration of Joe Cepleur's Salt Encrusted Margarita. Since my first "real" telescope was a black Super C8 that I purchased new shortly after their introduction in 1984, I was familiar with the C8's capabilities. Then again, since my Super C8 was the only C8 I had considerable experience with, I didn't know how an older orange tube version would compare. And, since I let the Super C8 go quite a few years ago, I only had my memories of that scope as a reference. I do remember that it had what I considered to be exceptionally good optics.
The particular C8 I finally settled on was a pristine example that appeared to have seen use very seldom, if at all, prior to being stashed away and forgotten. It was listed on ebay as local pickup only. Being about fifteen hundred miles away, that really wasn't an option. I contacted the seller and offered to pay for the shipping, but he informed me that he wasn't ready to ship at that time. Still, his price for the scope was a little higher than what was seen in other ads, so he wasn't having much luck selling. What intrigued me about this scope (other than the scope being essentially new) were the accessories that were being offered. There was quite an assortment and most were still in their original packaging and had never been opened. As it was, I gave up and decided to look for another. As luck would have it, he finally gave in a few weeks later and relisted with shipping as an option. IIRC, he added around 75 to 100 dollars for shipping. I bought it as soon as I saw the ad come up. He then did something I've never had an ebay seller do prior or since - he called me on the phone for advice on how to pack. Not being an expert myself, I was only able to offer a few suggestions. The C8 and accessories then arrived a couple of weeks later in three separate boxes via UPS with no damage whatsoever.
After cleaning the haze from inside the corrector, I learned the art of collimating a C8 (something I had never done with my original Super C8 as it never seemed to need it). It took me a few attempts before getting it right, then a few more before the collimation finally settled in and stayed put, but I found collimation to be the most important part of getting the most from my newly acquired C8 (or any scope for that matter). As for the scope's capabilities, I have to say that I'm not at all disappointed. Whether it is the equal to my original Super C8 is hard to say, but I do think their optical capabilities would have been very similar. I do know that both have presented wonders of the universe I'd never seen before and my life can only be richer for the experience.
As a final note, since purchasing my orange C8, I acquired a 12" Meade LX200 OTA with very good to excellent SCT optics as well. My most memorable experience with that scope was of one particular occasion on a night of exceptional clarity where I felt like I was taking a "spacewalk" through the Trapezium. The E and F components were not only visible, they were actually bright. On another night (again of exceptional clarity), I had both my SCT's out. Saturn was visible and favorably placed for observation. At 600x in the 12" Meade, Saturn was huge and the detail was popping. The Encke Gap was displayed as a very thin, but very distinct tiny line completely around the outer edge of the ring system. Due to the excellent seeing conditions, I bumped the magnification in the C8 up to the maximum I could achieve, which was around 533x to 566x and found that other than just getting dimmer, the image did not fall apart at all. I was amazed to see that the Encke Gap was just barely visible as well. Although not steady as I was seeing in the Meade (it was somewhat broken and popping in and out), it was definitely there in the C8 as well.
I could go on and on about the merits of my orange tube C8, but I think the most positive endorsement I can give is that when the time comes to pare down my collection and all others are gone, the two scopes that I will keep to the end are my Celestron C8 SCT and my Celestron/Vixen C80 refractor.