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Before I order an Orion Skyquest XT8 ...

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#26 clearwaterdave

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 08:09 PM

I say get the Zhumell or Apatura.,comes with 2" 30mm. and raci finder.,Much better bearing set up IMHO.,Movements are a treat with mine.,Good luck., 

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Edited by clearwaterdave, 24 February 2021 - 08:09 PM.

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#27 aeajr

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 09:24 PM

I loved my XT8i but if you are getting a manual Dob, like the XT8, I to like the Apertura AD and Zhumell Z series better.  They are the same scopes, made by GSO.    I have the Apertura AD12.

 

In fact Orion has the Skyline 8 and 10 which are different from the XT SkyQuest series.  These are the same as the  Apertura AD and Zhumell Z series.

 

Optically the XT and the others I have mentioned are all very similar.  It is more around the accessories that come in the package.  The XTs are typically a little lower in cost but the GSO made scopes have a better accessory package, in my opinion, and this could be valuable to someone getting their first big scope. 

 

Having said that, the XT8 is still an excellent scope and I recommend them often, having had an XT myself.  


Edited by aeajr, 24 February 2021 - 09:26 PM.

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#28 JohnnyBGood

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 09:29 AM

Regarding the accessory kit: meh. The 2x Barlow will be useful, but the rest not so much. Turn Left at Orion has a much more useful "moon tour" than any moon map I've ever seen. I own a couple planispheres (that came with used telescopes) and I don't see the point. A free phone app like Google Sky Maps shows me what star I'm looking at in the sky with more ease and speed and a planisphere has nowhere near the detail of a star chart book so they don't help me find things to see either. I have yet to have an occasion where I needed to figure out what the sky would look like at 9pm two months from now. A planisphere would have been a handy thing to have prior to the invention of cheap smartphones, but now? Not so much.

 

A red flashlight is a must, but frankly I'm happier with $1 LED flashlights that I painted the lens red with my wife's nail polish. If I accidentally leave it at an observing site, who cares? It's also cheap and easy to have a bunch of them to let the kids use.

 

I would second the idea of getting two scopes: one for the family and a small, light, inexpensive, expendable scope for the kiddo. My kids (currently 9 and 5) stay engaged a lot longer when they have their own scopes out to play with. Otherwise it's pretty dull: wait a while for dad to find something underwhelming to look at, look at it for 5 seconds, then stand around waiting while dad finds the next thing.

 

For my kids (and my father for that matter) I find a green laser to be very useful. I use a cheap Pinty laser mounted to my 8" SCT. I find something interesting to look at, paint it with the laser, and the kids (and my father) follow the laser beam with their scopes (the laser is visible through finder scopes and the eyepiece of the main scope) until they get to the end of the beam, and voila! Something interesting to look at. While they're checking that out, I then find the next object so when they're ready to move on I just turn the laser back on and wash, rinse, repeat. The motorized drive motor on the SCT means it follows the target once I've found it so your dob won't be able to do that but you could probably still manage to make the concept work.


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#29 RobertMaples

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 10:37 AM

Regarding the accessory kit: meh. The 2x Barlow will be useful, but the rest not so much...

Like you said, the barlow is useful.  The kit adds $40 to the price of the telescope, the same as purchasing just the barlow separately, so unless you already have a barlow, plan to buy a different one, or just have a real aversion to using one, I don't see any reason to not get the kit.


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#30 JohnnyBGood

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 07:40 AM

Like you said, the barlow is useful.  The kit adds $40 to the price of the telescope, the same as purchasing just the barlow separately, so unless you already have a barlow, plan to buy a different one, or just have a real aversion to using one, I don't see any reason to not get the kit.

Ah. For some reason I was thinking a Barlow was half that price. In *that* case...


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#31 USA2CUP

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 01:11 PM

Ughhh aeajr and clearwaterdave ... YOU'RE KILLING ME!!!  Just when I thought I had my scope picked out (XT8) and ready to order you throw me a curveball.  So yeah, I looked into the Zhumell z8 and the Apertura AD8 and those are very sweet upgrades for the price.  I can't find anybody taking orders on Zhumell at this point.  Highpoint tells me I probably wouldn't get the Apertura until late April or early May ... maybe.  I'm afraid to place that order and then have it pushed back further into the summer because that would very uncool.  Orion thinks I'd get the XT8 in April (without promises).  Why didn't I pick a hobby that was in less demand?!@#!!!!

 

Thanks all for your input ... it's really appreciated!


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#32 Mitchell M.

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 02:35 PM

ORION (telescope.com) are usually pretty good about their estimated ship date, at least, that has been my experience.


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#33 aeajr

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 03:08 PM

Ughhh aeajr and clearwaterdave ... YOU'RE KILLING ME!!!  Just when I thought I had my scope picked out (XT8) and ready to order you throw me a curveball.  So yeah, I looked into the Zhumell z8 and the Apertura AD8 and those are very sweet upgrades for the price.  I can't find anybody taking orders on Zhumell at this point.  Highpoint tells me I probably wouldn't get the Apertura until late April or early May ... maybe.  I'm afraid to place that order and then have it pushed back further into the summer because that would very uncool.  Orion thinks I'd get the XT8 in April (without promises).  Why didn't I pick a hobby that was in less demand?!@#!!!!

 

Thanks all for your input ... it's really appreciated!

If the XT8 is available now and you can get it, get it.  You will LOVE it!

 

In the current environment the Z8 or AD8 might take months.

 

This is like vanilla vs. chocolate ice cream.  I prefer vanilla but would NEVER turn down chocolate.


Edited by aeajr, 02 March 2021 - 03:11 PM.

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#34 Hexley  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 03:12 PM

Ughhh aeajr and clearwaterdave ... YOU'RE KILLING ME!!!  Just when I thought I had my scope picked out (XT8) and ready to order you throw me a curveball.  So yeah, I looked into the Zhumell z8 and the Apertura AD8 and those are very sweet upgrades for the price.  I can't find anybody taking orders on Zhumell at this point.  Highpoint tells me I probably wouldn't get the Apertura until late April or early May ... maybe.  I'm afraid to place that order and then have it pushed back further into the summer because that would very uncool.  Orion thinks I'd get the XT8 in April (without promises).  Why didn't I pick a hobby that was in less demand?!@#!!!!

 

Thanks all for your input ... it's really appreciated!

They're all similarly backordered, mostly they're on slow boats from China. When they arrive, they're available seemingly at every shop for a few days, then sold out again. Stay-at-home orders, keeping people looking at the sky. Whenever the pandemic ends, you'll be able to find a telescope for a song.


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#35 USA2CUP

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 03:22 PM

Hexley - that's what I'm hoping; that they're all back ordered similarly.  

 

aeajr - is there a reason the GSO scopes would be on a longer backorder ?

 

I couldn't wait any longer ... SO ... I ordered the AD8 since it's the one I want more at this point.  Now with an order in the Highpoint system MAYBE I can get a clearer indication from them of timing.  If it doesn't look like it's going well I'll cancel and order the XT8  Here's hoping!


Edited by USA2CUP, 02 March 2021 - 03:26 PM.

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#36 Hexley  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 03:28 PM

Hexley - that's what I'm hoping; that they're all back ordered similarly.  

 

aeajr - is there a reason the GSO scopes would be on a longer backorder ?

 

I couldn't wait any longer ... SO ... I ordered the AD8 since it's the one I want more at this point.  Now with an order in the Highpoint system MAYBE I can get a clearer indication from them of timing.  If it doesn't look like it's going well I'll cancel and order the XT8  Here's hoping!

I import scientific gadgets from China, it's always 6-8 weeks on the boat, then up to a week on the truck. Get precisely the telescope you want, the stars and galaxies and nebulae will be here your whole life and those of your great great great grandchildren, literally. They're extremely patient.

 

The AD8 is a fine scope, so is the XT8... they're very similar, views should be identical. Pretty much comes down to accessories.


Edited by Hexley, 02 March 2021 - 03:29 PM.

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#37 aeajr

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 03:33 PM

Hexley - that's what I'm hoping; that they're all back ordered similarly.  

 

aeajr - is there a reason the GSO scopes would be on a longer backorder ?

 

I couldn't wait any longer ... SO ... I ordered the AD8 since it's the one I want more at this point.  Now with an order in the Highpoint system MAYBE I can get a clearer indication from them of timing.  If it doesn't look like it's going well I'll cancel and order the XT8  Here's hoping!

Everything is on back-order.   I ordered a scope in September that should have shipped in 3-4 weeks. Still waiting.

 

No special reason why one is on longer backorder than another.  It is all pandemic relate.   

 

I got mine from Highpoint. Great services.   


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#38 BinaryField

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 03:52 PM

I don't know how GSO is today, but I bought a Z8 as my first telescope ten years ago. It has served me very well over the years. It's just the right size for me to cart around or carry in two trips by myself. In the early days, I would often bring it out onto the lawn of my university housing complex and give tours to random passersby. Really good times.

 

Anyway, I think that you can't really go wrong with the options mentioned in this thread. Any good quality scope at this size should last you a long time.


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#39 Bigal1817

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 05:28 PM

Good things come to those who wait.  About this time last year I purchased my 2nd telescope, the Apertura AD8.  I cannot say enough nice things about this telescope, a great beginner/intermediate telescope.  


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#40 USA2CUP

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 08:59 AM

Thanks again to everybody who commented ... you're a great group!  In the end I was swayed from the XT8 to the AD8 because it really does come with some fine features.  I placed my order on March 3rd and began my wait.  Unfortunately after calling High Point yesterday for an update they unofficially told me not to expect the scope likely until the fall, although that could change.  Well that was quite the disappointment to say the least.  I checked with Orion and they feel confident that they could ship out an XT8 to me on April 21 as long as their incoming shipments arrive on time. So it looks like I'll have to cancel my order for the AD8 and go with the XT8.  From what you all have told me I know I'll be very happy with it anyway.  Just figured I'd update you all since you were all so kind to help educate me along the way.


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#41 Hexley  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 11:36 AM

Thanks again to everybody who commented ... you're a great group!  In the end I was swayed from the XT8 to the AD8 because it really does come with some fine features.  I placed my order on March 3rd and began my wait.  Unfortunately after calling High Point yesterday for an update they unofficially told me not to expect the scope likely until the fall, although that could change.  Well that was quite the disappointment to say the least.  I checked with Orion and they feel confident that they could ship out an XT8 to me on April 21 as long as their incoming shipments arrive on time. So it looks like I'll have to cancel my order for the AD8 and go with the XT8.  From what you all have told me I know I'll be very happy with it anyway.  Just figured I'd update you all since you were all so kind to help educate me along the way.

I can tell you that most 8" Dobs are very similar to one another, the optics will be downright similar. Main differences come down to the accessories that are shipped with them, and sometimes little design differences on their dob bases (I think the XT8 is a tiny bit lighter than the AD8, for example).


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#42 aeajr

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 11:53 AM

Thanks again to everybody who commented ... you're a great group!  In the end I was swayed from the XT8 to the AD8 because it really does come with some fine features.  I placed my order on March 3rd and began my wait.  Unfortunately after calling High Point yesterday for an update they unofficially told me not to expect the scope likely until the fall, although that could change.  Well that was quite the disappointment to say the least.  I checked with Orion and they feel confident that they could ship out an XT8 to me on April 21 as long as their incoming shipments arrive on time. So it looks like I'll have to cancel my order for the AD8 and go with the XT8.  From what you all have told me I know I'll be very happy with it anyway.  Just figured I'd update you all since you were all so kind to help educate me along the way.

I have a AD12.  I had an XT8.   Based on your note I would tell you to cancel the AD8 and get the XT8.

 

While I like the AD8 better, it is not worth a 4-6 month wait.  The optics will be similar and you can add the differences in accessories later if you like.

 

You will enjoy the XT8.  Be excited about your purchase.

 

 

You may also find this interesting.

 

Seven Ways To Find Things In the Sky
https://www.cloudyni...e-there-others/


Edited by aeajr, 06 April 2021 - 02:12 PM.

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#43 Kaecilius

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 12:44 PM

If it helps - I got myself an XT8 from Orion in the past few weeks and their shipping date was bang on accurate. One big positive with Orion is their outstanding customer service. Strongly recommend :)

And it will be a great family scope. If I can manage to use it then a 7 year old will have no problem! :D
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#44 Deep13

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 04:43 PM

The 8" Dob is an ideal first real telescope. After 21 years of observing, it is still the scope I use the most. I greatly prefer the 8" to the 6 because the sixes come with cheap plastic focusers. Just use the included eyepieces for awhile. Eventually, I'd upgrade to better quality versions of the sizes that came with the scope.

Edited by Deep13, 06 April 2021 - 04:45 PM.


#45 Tony Flanders

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 05:15 PM

Moon Map I suggest forget, sounds nice but you are not going to work out what you are looking at outside.


Why do you say that?

I do occasionally view the Moon without a map, just because it's so gorgeous. And by now I do know parts of the Moon by heart. But how could I ever have learned those seas, craters, mountains, and rilles if I hadn't been using a map side-by-side with my telescope?

I suppose it's theoretically possible to try to memorize the Moon indoors and then use your memory while you're at the scope. But that seems like an exceedingly hard way to do what would otherwise be an easy, painless job.




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