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Orion XT6 as a first telescope. Thoughts?

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#1 uptheirons726

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 10:08 AM

I've always loved space and astronomy. But the only telescope I have ever owned was a cheap department store scope I had as a kid. So I'm looking to buy my first real scope. After doing a ton of research and gathering opinions I think I've settled on a 6 inch dobsonian. Specifically the Orion XT6 kit. Comes with a 25mm eyepiece and a 2x Barlow. I want to be able to see close up views of the moon, some planets like Jupiter and Saturn with some detail. Maybe some bands on Jupiter and Saturns rings. And hopefully some deeper stuff like some galaxies and nebulas. Will this scope do the job? I do intend to in the future buy some more eyepieces and such but this is just to start. Would you recommend this scope to a beginner and will it do what I want it to do? I didn't realise how complicated and how many options there are for telescopes. Lol. So I just want to be sure I'm buying something good to start with. I don't want to be disappointed like so many others who buy their first telescope. 


 

#2 petert913

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 10:13 AM

A 6" Dob is a great telescope for many reasons.   It will "just" start to break up the globular clusters

like M13 and give you nice starfield views.  Moon and planets will be great.

 

Not to start the "bigger is better" fever, but an XT8 would be my choice.  Just a bit more money but

a lot more viewing experiences with it.  My two cents.


 

#3 Barlowbill

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 10:33 AM

You can spend a very long time observing with a 6" Dob.  Like petert913 said, an 8" is better but so is a 10", etc, etc.  An 8" is heavier and bulkier than the 6".  The best recommendation I can give you is to read all of the wonderful things folks have contributed to this site.  Buy used here at CN and from Astronomics, our sponsor.  One more thing:  you do not need as much stuff as I have.  I'm retired and got a little carried away in my new hobby.  You can do just fine with a lot less.  But I encourage you to read and learn here on CN.  Best of luck with your choices.


 

#4 eamos

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 10:33 AM

I own an XT6 and love it!  It's also my first scope and even in heavily light polluted skies where I live it will show you what you're looking for.  Get it to a darker sight and it will show even more detail on deep space objects.  I highly recommend it.  I would also recommend getting an 8-24 zoom just to begin with.  Good luck!


Edited by eamos, 07 May 2020 - 10:35 AM.

 

#5 Tdesert63

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 10:33 AM

I agree go for a 8" dob, it will satisfy you for a long time,most come with a high & low power eyepieces, then just get a nice Barlow and your off and running ,,oh and a starmap or book like ,,,turn left at Orion
 

#6 Tangerman

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 10:34 AM

The XT6 will certainly get you started. I poorly built a 6" reflector when I was starting out, and I enjoyed seeing Saturn's rings through it. It'll work great on solar system objects, in my opinion. It'll also show brighter galaxies and nebulae, especially if you can get it to a dark site, but it won't look at all like the pictures you see of galaxies and nebulae (no color for one). Like Petert913 said, an XT8 will show you more, especially for galaxies and nebulae, but if you're unsure if you want to really get into this hobby or not, the 6" should let you know and it's a bit cheaper.


 

#7 vdog

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 10:41 AM

.Not to start the "bigger is better" fever, but an XT8 would be my choice.  Just a bit more money but

a lot more viewing experiences with it.  My two cents.

Well, since you opened that door, a used 10" would run about the same as a new XT8. laugh.gif

 

Seriously, though, I wish I'd looked harder into the used market before I bought my last new dob.  Location is an issue in the used market, but, without recommending any particular size, I would recommend that you take a look to at least see what's available to you there.

 

Welcome to Cloudy Nights, uptheirons726!


Edited by vdog, 07 May 2020 - 10:41 AM.

 

#8 river-z

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 10:51 AM

I bought this telescope last fall and have thoroughly enjoyed getting into astronomy with it. I’ve seen all the kinds objects you mention in your first post. It’s easy to carry in and out of the house and quite intuitive to use. The one thing I needed to upgrade was the finder scope. I got the 6x30 finder from Orion after the red dot finder proved useless (to me). I also bought a small no name eyepiece kit from the local telescope store. It’s got some filters, a Barlow, and 3 eyepieces (20, 12, 6 mm). Personally I like starting with workable but inexpensive gear so that I can learn what I’m doing before spending more money.
 

#9 LDW47

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 10:57 AM

I've always loved space and astronomy. But the only telescope I have ever owned was a cheap department store scope I had as a kid. So I'm looking to buy my first real scope. After doing a ton of research and gathering opinions I think I've settled on a 6 inch dobsonian. Specifically the Orion XT6 kit. Comes with a 25mm eyepiece and a 2x Barlow. I want to be able to see close up views of the moon, some planets like Jupiter and Saturn with some detail. Maybe some bands on Jupiter and Saturns rings. And hopefully some deeper stuff like some galaxies and nebulas. Will this scope do the job? I do intend to in the future buy some more eyepieces and such but this is just to start. Would you recommend this scope to a beginner and will it do what I want it to do? I didn't realise how complicated and how many options there are for telescopes. Lol. So I just want to be sure I'm buying something good to start with. I don't want to be disappointed like so many others who buy their first telescope. 

Make sure it has the 2” Crayford focuser like the SkyWatcher equivalent does for the same price !  Other than that they are a perfect starter scope with lots of capabilities !  Clear Skize !   PS: After all the years and all my various size scopes I still like mine, I got rid of my 8” dob before I would the 6”, its just a perfect size with perfect views !


Edited by LDW47, 07 May 2020 - 11:01 AM.

 

#10 uptheirons726

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 11:04 AM

Make sure it has the 2” Crayford focuser like the SkyWatcher equivalent does for the same price !  Other than that they are a perfect starter scope with lots of capabilities !  Clear Skize !   PS: After all the years and all my various size scopes I still like mine, I got rid of my 8” dob before I would the 6”, its just a perfect size with perfect views !

Says it has a rack and pinion style focuser. Is that bad?


 

#11 vdog

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 11:15 AM

Says it has a rack and pinion style focuser. Is that bad?

Not bad, but a Crayford is usually better than a rack-and-pinion.  Plus, unlike the 1.25" rack-and-pinion, the 2" Crayford would allow you to use both 1.25" and 2" eyepieces. 

 

Skywatcher offers a version of this scope that has that focuser.  It's also carried by the sponsor of this forum:

 

https://www.astronom...ope-s11600.html


Edited by vdog, 07 May 2020 - 11:18 AM.

 

#12 clearwaterdave

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 11:17 AM

No,.rack an pinion is not bad.,but do look at other options for 6"dobs.,you may find a better package or a better price,.6" will definitely get you goin.,I also suggest a zoom eyepiece.,I have a Meade that would be a treat in a 6"dob.,good luck.,and welcome to CN.,


 

#13 eamos

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 12:21 PM

Says it has a rack and pinion style focuser. Is that bad?

It's not bad, but you might want to take the gunk off it comes with and put some grease on it to make it much smoother.  That's what I did.  I've had mine for a loooong time.  If I would've known back then that I could get basically the same scope (the Sky Watcher version referenced above) with a better focuser I probably would have done it.  But in the beginning a 1.25in focuser is fine.  Like I said before get a 31-32mm eyepiece for a wider view and deep space objects and a 8-24 zoom and a barlow and you'll be set for a while before feeling the need to upgrade everything.  And having the zoom can help you find out with eyepieces to buy in the future.  Enjoy!


 

#14 Second Time Around

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 12:33 PM

Like I said before get a 31-32mm eyepiece for a wider view and deep space objects and a 8-24 zoom and a barlow and you'll be set for a while before feeling the need to upgrade everything.  And having the zoom can help you find out with eyepieces to buy in the future.  Enjoy!

Seconded.


 

#15 GOLGO13

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 12:37 PM

I personally find the 6 inch F8 newts are under-rated. They are excellent scopes. While many folks suggest the 8 inch F6 over the 6 inch F8, I think there are a few advantages to the smaller scopes. They are a bit lighter...the focal ratio is a bit easier going on eyepieces. 

 

Of course the 8 inch ones usually come with 2 inch eyepiece capabilities. 

 

My personal opinion is a 6 inch F8 with a few plossls and a Barlow would be good for anyone observing most objects. A small ED refractor would be a nice compliment to it for wide field observations (even a 60mm F6).


 

#16 Mike T.

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 01:24 PM

I went through the 6 or 8 saga myself. I ended up going with the 6 and haven't ever regretted. It's considerably lighter than an 8 which I am so thankful for. I have lot's of trees to dodge and am constantly moving it around. I also live in Bortle 8 and haven't had a shortage of objects to find. Just started looking for doubles which is surprisingly fun. I would recommend the Orion Skyline because it comes with a single speed crayford focuser. I used to have a rack and pinion on mine and replaced it with the same single speed crayford and it was a HUGE improvement. Someday I may upgrade to a 10 or 12 but will always keep the 6 around for a grab and go scope.

 

 https://www.telescop...pe/p/130950.uts


 

#17 sg6

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 01:34 PM

Any scope is better then a pair of eyes - unless you are looking for meteors, in which case eyes are better. Eyes are also better for finding and identifing constellations.  Do you realise this means eyes aren't as useless as many would have you believe.

 

It gets forgotten that a simple 60mm is a good scope. Since it appeared there are many happy WO ZS61 owners and AT 60ED owners.

 

Suggest that the best is a scope that you use most, and that goes from 50mm or 60mm all the way up.

 

But the 6" will do a good job. Will suggest not to get an overly costly first scope. Start at the simpler and easier end.

 

6" f/8 means 1200mm focal length so using a 12mm or 15mm means 100x and 80x, bothadaquate for Jupiter. An 8mm for 150x although a 10mm for 120x may be better. For planets you need a good clear/sharp view.

 

Planets does mean collecting eyepieces, a 2mm step can be the difference between seeing something or not. Easy estimate is expect to spend as much on eyepieces as the scope cost. No-one tells you that.

 

Do not expect the often quoted 300x, almost certainly is not going to happen.


Edited by sg6, 07 May 2020 - 01:47 PM.

 

#18 SteveG

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 01:42 PM

I've always loved space and astronomy. But the only telescope I have ever owned was a cheap department store scope I had as a kid. So I'm looking to buy my first real scope. After doing a ton of research and gathering opinions I think I've settled on a 6 inch dobsonian. Specifically the Orion XT6 kit. Comes with a 25mm eyepiece and a 2x Barlow. I want to be able to see close up views of the moon, some planets like Jupiter and Saturn with some detail. Maybe some bands on Jupiter and Saturns rings. And hopefully some deeper stuff like some galaxies and nebulas. Will this scope do the job? I do intend to in the future buy some more eyepieces and such but this is just to start. Would you recommend this scope to a beginner and will it do what I want it to do? I didn't realise how complicated and how many options there are for telescopes. Lol. So I just want to be sure I'm buying something good to start with. I don't want to be disappointed like so many others who buy their first telescope. 

It's an excellent choice. I also recommend the SkyWatcher version with the 2" focuser.


 

#19 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 02:08 PM

It's an excellent choice. I also recommend the SkyWatcher version with the 2" focuser.

One of my "quick look" telescopes is an older 6" Orion SkyQuest XT6 Dob that I keep in my garage.  It works quite well for casual observing from my red-zone front yard.

However, I recommend getting the 6" Sky-Watcher Dob.  I also own a 10" Sky-Watcher Collapsible Dob so I have some experience with this manufacturer.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Orion SkyQuest XT6 Reprocessed & Resized 640 CN.jpg
  • 10-inch Sky-Watcher Collapsible Dob at 2016 CSSP.jpg

 

#20 Msprinkle1

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 02:54 PM

An XT-6 was my first scope and I have no regrets at all.  The f/8 focal ratio allowed me to slowly work my way up in eyepiece quality until I had a strong enough lineup to graduate to a f/5 10”.  You should plan on investing into some quality eyepieces so I believe that it comes down to budget. If it has not been said before, lower focal ratio scopes put more demands (cost) on the wide field eyepieces that you will want for that hand driven mount.

 

Others have recommended a f/6 8” and I usually do the same for friends who show interest.  You should know though that my friends have kids who are grown and disposable income might be different for them as it might be for a family with young children or otherwise.

 

You will be happy with either choice.


 

#21 Abhat

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 05:14 PM

Of all the scopes I have owned I always 6" F/8 Dob is my favorite. Razor sharp beautiful images that will blow away a 1000 dollar APO. Easy to collimate and carry around than 8".  Don't think twice. Go for it. As others have suggested go for the Skywtacher version.


 

#22 LDW47

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 06:46 PM

Any scope is better then a pair of eyes - unless you are looking for meteors, in which case eyes are better. Eyes are also better for finding and identifing constellations.  Do you realise this means eyes aren't as useless as many would have you believe.

 

It gets forgotten that a simple 60mm is a good scope. Since it appeared there are many happy WO ZS61 owners and AT 60ED owners.

 

Suggest that the best is a scope that you use most, and that goes from 50mm or 60mm all the way up.

 

But the 6" will do a good job. Will suggest not to get an overly costly first scope. Start at the simpler and easier end.

 

6" f/8 means 1200mm focal length so using a 12mm or 15mm means 100x and 80x, bothadaquate for Jupiter. An 8mm for 150x although a 10mm for 120x may be better. For planets you need a good clear/sharp view.

 

Planets does mean collecting eyepieces, a 2mm step can be the difference between seeing something or not. Easy estimate is expect to spend as much on eyepieces as the scope cost. No-one tells you that.

 

Do not expect the often quoted 300x, almost certainly is not going to happen.

Which one of the great fellow members on here said eyeballs were useless and that eps would be cheap, I must have missed it ? Clear questionable skize !


 

#23 JohnBear

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 07:36 PM

About your research and getting the best performing starter scope for the money and for future use:

1. I want to be sure you have read this little CN forum about a highly regarded 5" scope,

2. or maybe another forum on a similar and very capable starter scope

Finally,

3. If you haven't joined a local astronomy club and reviewed/tested candidate telescopes at star parties before buying (they should start again soon), then you are still flying/buying with both eyes shut. You can even check out loaner scopes to get some experience before buying.

 

That said a 6" Dob is not bad choice at all. I would even suggest looking for a used one in good condition in the CN Classifieds to get great value. 


 

#24 jimkz400d3

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 07:46 PM

I had a 6” reflector, about F8. You will have crisper views then an 8” F6. I had that telescope over 40 years ago and wish I still had it. It would be my number one pick of which scope I’d grab. I also have an Orion Starblast 6 and a Zhumell Z10.
 

#25 LDW47

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 07:51 PM

About your research and getting the best performing starter scope for the money and for future use:

1. I want to be sure you have read this little CN forum about a highly regarded 5" scope,

2. or maybe another forum on a similar and very capable starter scope

Finally,

3. If you haven't joined a local astronomy club and reviewed/tested candidate telescopes at star parties before buying (they should start again soon), then you are still flying/buying with both eyes shut. You can even check out loaner scopes to get some experience before buying.

 

That said a 6" Dob is not bad choice at all. I would even suggest looking for a used one in good condition in the CN Classifieds to get great value. 

They are about $299 US new how much of a great value do you want and with a warranty vs no warranty used !  Clear new skize !


 


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