Celestron Nexstar 8i
I bought the 8i to have an instrument of reasonable aperature in a portable package (I had previously owned a Nexstar 8, sold it, and later regretted doing so). At 35 lbs setup, this is about 10 lbs lighter than any other 8". I am impressed with the improvements Celestron has made to the original NexStar 8.

First, the tripod is very solid, and combined with vibration suppression pads, provides a damping time of about 1 second at 200x.

Optically, it is excellent - Celestron appears to take great care to produce high quality optics. If anything, the optics appear to be better than my previous NexStar 8.

The computer hand controller has the upgraded database, and is very easy to use. It does not have all of the whistles and bells the Meade Autostar has, but in the field, I believe it is actually easier to use.

The 8i's GOTO capability is superb, and this may be the single greatest improvement Celestron has made to this instrument. Alignment is easy, GOTO's very accurate (it will put objects near the center of the FOV at 117x), and tracking very good for this type of setup. The tracking motors are quieter than in the Nexstar 8. In comparison to a Meade'd Autostar on an LXD55 mount, the 8i acquires an object much faster.

Other nice features include a buttery smooth focuser that shows no evidence of mirror shift, and a very high overall quality of construction throughout.

The only negatives I find are the manner in which the hand controller is stored (it looks nice but is difficult to access) and the lack of some features in the hand controller computer (inability to download upgrades and observation lists, inability to adjust brightness of display, etc.).

Overall, this is an excellent telescope for the money, and I have to give it a 10 in recognition of the trmendous value it represents.

(For comparison, I also own a Meade AR-6 6" refractior and a Meade ETX90 RA. These instruments form the basis of some of opinions abou the 8i).

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Mount:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 7 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By:
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=216537

Reply
Do you know the primary difference between the Nexstar 8 and the Nextar 8i?
Thanks.
>I bought the 8i to have an instrument of reasonable aperature in a portable package (I had previously owned a Nexstar 8, sold it, and later regretted doing so).  At 35 lbs setup, this is about 10 lbs lighter than any other 8".  I am impressed with the improvements Celestron has made to the original NexStar 8.
>
>First, the tripod is very solid, and combined with vibration suppression pads, provides a damping time of about 1 second at 200x.
>
>Optically, it is excellent - Celestron appears to take great care to produce high quality optics.  If anything, the optics appear to be better than my previous NexStar 8.
>
>The computer hand controller has the upgraded database, and is very easy to use.  It does not have all of the whistles and bells the Meade Autostar has, but in the field, I believe it is actually easier to use.
>
>The 8i's GOTO capability is superb, and this may be the single greatest improvement Celestron has made to this instrument.  Alignment is easy, GOTO's very accurate (it will put objects near the center of the FOV at 117x), and tracking very good for this type of setup.  The tracking motors are quieter than in the Nexstar 8.  In comparison to a Meade'd Autostar on an LXD55 mount, the 8i acquires an object much faster.
>
>Other nice features include a buttery smooth focuser that shows no evidence of mirror shift, and a very high overall quality of construction throughout.
>
>The only negatives I find are the manner in which the hand controller is stored (it looks nice but is difficult to access) and the lack of some features in the hand controller computer (inability to download upgrades and observation lists, inability to adjust brightness of display, etc.).
>
>Overall, this is an excellent telescope for the money, and I have to give it a 10 in recognition of the trmendous value it represents.
>
>(For comparison, I also own a Meade AR-6 6" refractior and a Meade ETX90 RA.  These instruments form the basis of some of opinions abou the 8i).

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