Orion SkyQuest XT10 Dobsonian


 Info  Votes  Messages  More Stats  Up One Level
Vote
Page 1 of 3 Next

Orion SkyQuest XT10 Dobsonian
(7th attampt to enter a review)
The finish and design of the XT10 are excellent. The mount was easy to assemble using the provided instructions. Under the sky, the XT10 performs well. The azimuth is a bit hard to turn through, I suggest the addition of plastic "doughnuts" cut from milk cartons to help smooth this movement.
The 9mm Plossl has lateral color, but is still rather good. The 25mm is a very good Plossl. I am very pleased with its performance, and believe that the scope is an excellent value. Also, for a 10" Dob, it is fairly easy to carry since it is under 60 pounds. I pick up the scope by the base, not by the handle, though.
There were a few bolts which were overly loose. The loose bolts and the 9mm EP is all that prevented a rating of 10. The mirror and secondary are very good.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 6 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.47.117)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40736


Orion SkyQuest XT10 Dobsonian
This attractive but unsophisticated telescope package is my first venture into telescope ownership. It is easy to use, has a reasonable aperture to provide pleasant views, and does not cost so much that I will become paranoid using it. I surely would not recommend this telescope for someone who can not handle its size and weight, but for a first telescope, the XT10 provides as much aperture as I can justify financially. Therefore, no motor drive, no GOTO, no frills, and no batteries included. If you want a basic telescope (including the necessary "accessories" you need to actually USE it). If you have an upper limit to your total outlay of $1,000, (and NO MORE!), then I do not think that one can go wrong here, or with a similar midsize Dobsonian for that matter. It is a very moderate choice. At this time, in this price range, I prefer this specific telescope.

Cosmetically, the overall design, and finish of the telescope are excellent for the price range. Orion has done their homework in finding the price/market niche for this product. It is a reasonable and adequate choice for the hobbyist who is just getting started. In my opinion, it is an excellent value with years of stargazing potential. However, I will advise buyers they should do some quality control inspection, reassembly, and testing of their telescope before use. "Partial assembly required" - kind of like putting an inexpensive bicycle together on Christmas Eve.

Rated 8 due to:
1. Crossthreaded adjustment ring on finder made it nonadjustable(replaced under warranty).
2. lack of attention to detail in the final assembly (loose nuts and screws, no lockwashers used.)

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.9.69)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40737


Orion SkyQuest XT10 Dobsonian
A very nice scope. My only problem is centering the secondary mirror shadow during collimation.

I've seen others mention that screws were loose, etc,... I experienced none of these problems - everything was snug when I received it.

Base is sturdy. Altitude is fine, azimuth could use some plastic milk carton "doughnuts" to smooth motion.

All in all I'd say it's a very good deal for the price.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.69.34)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40738


Orion SkyQuest XT10 Dobsonian
Mount definatly needs milk jug washers to free up the motion. There is a little bit of backlash in the motion as well making it harder to track at high magnification.
Overall very satisfied.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.94.188)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40739


Orion SkyQuest XT10 Dobsonian
Over all, I've been very pleased with the scope. The mount works very smmoth in both directions. I don't see the need for modifications. I had to tignten the altitude hubs, though. They were so loose that I initially had a severe backlash problem till I figured out what it was. After this correction, no backlash at all, even at 390x. Some of the screws are overly loose, may strip if tightened too tight. The mirror had severe astigmatism intially. I corrected most of the problem by loosening the three smaller screws on the cell. They were overly tight. Some residual astigmatism remaining, but star test showed almost identical diffraction patterns inside and outside focus. I think one could probably get rid of the astigmatism by modifying mirror cell. I'd like to know if anyone has had this same problem. Despite this, planetary detail was surprisingly good for an f/5. Focuser is smooth and sturdy. Handles any of my eyepieces, even my very heavy Speer Walers. All eyepieces come to focus, too, from 40 mm to 5 mm. I've rated it a 9 because i think mirror cell could be better designed and QA/QC could be better.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 4 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.44.248)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40740


Orion SkyQuest XT10 Dobsonian
Superb value for money. It's hard to imagine what Orion might have done better at this price point. The base is nicely finished particleboard, but (mirabile dictu) all the screw holes line up. It took about 45 minutes to assemble the scope. Altitude movements are buttery smooth, but as others have noted the azimuth needs some discs cut from a milk jug. The 2" focuser is astoundingly good for a budget scope--smooth motion and absolutely no backlash.

Can't comment on the primary mirror in any detail, as the scope arrived only a few days ago, we haven't had a decent night since the scope arrived, and we haven't had a chance to collimate it yet. We're in the suburbs with limiting magnitude about 3.5 on a good night. With all of that, stars appear as pinpoints across the field during moments of good seeing, and Jupiter's banding and Saturn's Cassini Division are clear.

The bundled 25mm and 9mm "Orion Ploessls" are not branded "Sirius" but Orion tells me that they're identical to their Sirius Ploessl models except for the minor variation in focal length. The 25mm is a competent mid-range Ploessl, with decent optics and typical Taiwanese build quality, which is to say you won't mistake it for a Pentax or Tele Vue. More like a Meade 3000. The 9mm has some color on bright objects, but is usable.

The 8X50 finder is decent and usable, but you'll probably want to add a Telrad sooner rather than later. I wish Orion offered that as an upgrade, or at least as an add-on.

In short, if you're looking for a mid-size Dob, you could do a lot worse than the Orion XT10.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 6 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.200.247)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40741


Orion SkyQuest XT10 Dobsonian
I thought long and hard before I bought my XT 10, I reasoned with myself over Orion or Meade. But after reading a number of reviews, I bought the XT 10, because primarily, Orions Customer Service. Well that turned out to be a great decision. The telescope itself only took me about 45 minutes to set up with the instructions. I finally got outside to use the scope after having it for nearly a month, I only have weekends because I am at college now.
My scope has some astigmatism, due to the mirror cell being tightened too much. I haven't yet fixed that. My one and only real problem so far has been the collimation screws. One of the screws on mine won't turn hardly at all, and when it does turn, it doesn't shift the mirror. I e-mailed Orion, and they are sending me replacement screw. Besides the problems with collimation, I still give the XT a 9, the customer service is a 10 easy.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.47.144)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40742


Orion SkyQuest XT10 Dobsonian
I just ordered the Xt10 and waiting for delivery, if anyone wants to read a review september's issue of sky & telescope 2001 has given it a BIG thumbs up. My friend has one and has had no problems with it, focus is great,moves extremely smooth one of the best Dobs I've ever tried. Bright & crisp views of planets, stars, & deepsky objects.I give it a 10+.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.17.184)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40743


Orion SkyQuest XT10 Dobsonian
I have it, I love it. Easily surpasses a Celestron C8. Thats great. The C* costs three times as much. The springs work. Why did that take so long to figure out?

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.171.93)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40744


Orion SkyQuest XT10 Dobsonian
I waited a long time between ordering and receiving the XT-10, but it was worth the wait. Orion even included a $25 gift certificate by way of an unnecessary apology!

The instructions were clear. The components were of obvious quality and extremely well machined. And the result was that assembly was easy and quick.

The motion - both altitude and azimuth - is smooth. The CorrecTension works perfectly. And the focuser is like butter. The scope and base are, however, a handful, and must be transported separately.

Owing to the perpetually cloudy skies of western Pennsylvania, I have only had it outdoors once. But the views of the Ring and several globulars were spectacular. The view of Mars was disappointing, but is probably due to the misalignment suggested by a star test. It turns out that the secondary mirror set screws were tightened down too hard, and I think that I have that problem licked. Should we ever get another clear night, I will know. Confident of success, I give the XT-10 just that - a 10!

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 4 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.215.80)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40745


Orion SkyQuest XT10 Dobsonian
Assembly only took 45 minutes. Bonuses on this scope are the tension springs, the solid 2 inch focusser that works very smoothly, the eyepiece holder, and the 8x50 finderscope. So far movement is smooth and I have not needed to insert the milk jug rings that others have talked about.

Due to weather I have had only one chance to do some serious viewing. I took it out early one morning to check out Jupiter, Saturn, and Orion's Nebula. The supplied 9mm plossl performed quite well on the planets. I got very crisp views of Saturn and could easily make out the Cassini division. Views of Jupiter were also fairly steady. I could make out 2 or 3 bands with the 9mm plossl. (Thus, contrary to other people's experiences, I find the 9mm plossl to be quite good). With the supplied 25mm plossl I could easily make out the trapezium in Orion's. Due to heavy light pollution not much else was visible. In sum, I am very pleased with this scope's performance thus far, even with mediocre eyepieces.

It is a large scope, but the padded carrying case makes transportation relatively easy. The tube fits into the trunk of my Mercury Sable and the base fits quite nicely in the front seat.

The XT-10 deserves a 10, but I give it a 9 because of 2 minor issues. First, as mentioned above, there is a problem with one collimation thumbscrew being very tight. I tried switching screws but it did not help. All screws should be inserted gradually at the same time to prevent one screw from tightening too much. Second, this scope is "off axis" (I think this is what you call it). This means that the eyeball image in the secondary without an eyepiece inserted is slightly off center and to the left. I find this strange and it makes star testing awkward because, when collimated, the dark circle (secondary obstrcution) is not centered. Nevertheless, a great scope!

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 6 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.99.206)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40746


Orion SkyQuest XT10 Dobsonian
I already commented on the scope a few reviews up.. I am just updating finally on what I have seen in the past couple months I have gotten to use the scope. I still have the problems with the collimation screws being too tight, I have learned to deal with them now and use the set screws mostly for collimation. If anyone has figured out how to fix the problem with the screws please email me @ nathancole27@juno.com. I also added the milk jug washers to the base and although it was smooth on the axis before, now it is extremely nice, they helped quite a bit. A few other complaints is that the finder developed a nasty rattle in the objective, but it still works. Also the finder bracket has given me some troubles.
Now with that out of the way. The optics on my scope are great. I have spent a lot of time around Scorpius and Sag.. looking at the lagoon and such and everything snaps right into focus. M13 was pretty impressive, as also M4. I am still aching for an 18" Obsession though, or larger when the pocked book allows for it, which will probably be never. But overall conclusion over the last 5 months of using the scope is good. 1. Good optics 2. smooth motions)milk jugs washers do help) 3. accesories are very nice in my opinion.
The only down side to the scope is the mirror cell, but I am thinking of replacing it with a University Optics one anyway. It is still a 9

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.117.104)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40747


Orion SkyQuest XT10 Dobsonian
I purchased mine a few weeks ago and I finally got a good night to check it out!

First off assembly was simple and everything worked as described. Only problem I found was the objective lens in the 8x50 finder was loose. The threaded lock ring was undersized and unable to hold the lens in place. Orion replaced the defective finder quickly and cheerfully.

The scope was suprisingly close to being collimated out of the box. I removed the primary mirror to center spot it and was impressed with the mirror mount. I did make the change to the mirror clip washer location as described in Sky and Telescope though. I had originally planned on RTVing the mirror in place but at this point I don't think I will. I also plan on adding a small fan at the rear of the mirror cell to speed mirror cooling.

The focuser is top notch, especially for the price range. It looks like the JMI NGF-DX3 is a bolt on replacement for those inclined to upgrade but at this point I'm happy with the stock unit. I do plan on changing out the factory secondary spider for something like a Protostar unit. I'm also investigating the sizing of the secondary mirror, the 2.6" mirror may be a bit large for my uses but I can't say for sure this will be changed. The finder works well although it seems like the cross hairs are wider then need be. I also mounted a Rigel Quick Finder between the focuser and stock finder. The Telrad which I prefer was a bit too wide to fit in this place. I cannot comment on eyepiece quality since they are both still in the box.

The views so far have been very good. The scope eaisly split the Double Double and the larger globulars are impressive. The other night I had some very good views of Jupiter and Saturn and M42 was an awesome sight at 75x with a UHC filter. Over all the optics appear to be decent although there does seem to be some diffraction scatting that I want to try to tune out. I also plan on doing some baffling and lining the tube with flocked paper to try to reduce light scattering.

Over all it is a great scope, an easy 10+ for the low price. It is fairly portable, the OTA eaisly fits on the back seat of even a small car. With a few small tweeks I think it can be an excellent scope.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 6 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.250.247)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40749

>I purchased mine a few weeks ago and I finally got a good night to check it out!
>
>First off assembly was simple and everything worked as described. Only problem I found was the objective lens in the 8x50 finder was loose. The threaded lock ring was undersized and unable to hold the lens in place. Orion replaced the defective finder quickly and cheerfully.
>
>The scope was suprisingly close to being collimated out of the box. I removed the primary mirror to center spot it and was impressed with the mirror mount. I did make the change to the mirror clip washer location as described in Sky and Telescope though. I had originally planned on RTVing the mirror in place but at this point I don't think I will. I also plan on adding a small fan at the rear of the mirror cell to speed mirror cooling.
>
>The focuser is top notch, especially for the price range. It looks like the JMI NGF-DX3 is a bolt on replacement for those inclined to upgrade but at this point I'm happy with the stock unit. I do plan on changing out the factory secondary spider for something like a Protostar unit. I'm also investigating the sizing of the secondary mirror, the 2.6" mirror may be a bit large for my uses but I can't say for sure this will be changed. The finder works well although it seems like the cross hairs are wider then need be. I also mounted a Rigel Quick Finder between the focuser and stock finder. The Telrad which I prefer was a bit too wide to fit in this place. I cannot comment on eyepiece quality since they are both still in the box.
>
>The views so far have been very good. The scope eaisly split the Double Double and the larger globulars are impressive. The other night I had some very good views of Jupiter and Saturn and M42 was an awesome sight at 75x with a UHC filter. Over all the optics appear to be decent although there does seem to be some diffraction scatting that I want to try to tune out. I also plan on doing some baffling and lining the tube with flocked paper to try to reduce light scattering.
>
>Over all it is a great scope, an easy 10+ for the low price. It is fairly portable, the OTA eaisly fits on the back seat of even a small car. With a few small tweeks I think it can be an excellent scope.


     You are right about the sizing of the secondary.  I measured the distance from the primary to the secondary and it came to 37.25".  This means that a secondary mirror of 54mm would maximize the 10" of aperture.  Orion has a 52mm for $22.95 plus shipping which should serve well.  I've heard that most distortion of mass produced mirrors come from the outer edges generally speaking.  So the 2mm loss at the secondary would translate to about a 10mm loss at the primary...not too bad.  The mirror which are quite large may also be an area of concern. Larry

Orion SkyQuest XT10 Dobsonian
I purchase my Scanner 10 inch Dobsonian (scanner is the Australian name XT10) about 7 month ago after waiting from two month to be delivered. My first impression where very disappointing, Mars was just a blurry blob and the stars couldnít be focused. I took the scope back and they ended up replacing the main mirror, which took another 3 months. When I finally got it the new mirror the view was better but no where as good as the 8 inch Dobsonian. After reading the review in S&T, I closely looked at the secondary mirror which it turned out being squeezed by the plastic holder. I cut the holder back with a knife. The improvement was staggering, Mars is now pin sharp with some surface detail being displayed when using a 22MM Panoptic and 5x TV Powermate. The 25 MM and the 9MM eyepieces that come with the scope just donít seem to have as much contrast that TV eyepieces, and as a result, I was missing some of the finer details. The other advantage of wide field eyepieces is that the object stays in the field of view much longer with having to move the scope. The other item I needed with this scope was a laser collimator. Moving or knocking the scope would cause the secondary mirror move out of alignment very easily. The last item I place onto the scope was the Sky Commander digital setting circles, which was easily fitted. This made Neptune and Uranus easy to find. The scope brought these planets up as small disks the size of pinheads. I find that the scope is well worth the money, especially in Australia, where buying any of the popular scope is very expensive. Earlier in the year I was looking at buying one of those goto scopes. It would have been cheaper to fly to the US take it back as hand luggage and have a free holiday on the savings than buy it here. That is not the case with Scanner 10 inch Dobsonian as it is actually cheaper in Australia than it is in the US.

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.1.117)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40750


Orion SkyQuest XT10 Dobsonian
The Orion XT10 is one of the best deals out there. Mount/tensioning system is well thought out, highly useable finder, and optics seem OK. I'm no expert when it comes to evaluating optics, but the star test looks good. There is some coma at outer reaches of FOV when using long focal length eyepieces. I suppose this is to be expected in a fairly fast 10" dob. In any event it's not objectionable. The 2" focuser, which uses teflon bearings, works well, and telescope movements in altitude and azimuth are smooth, especially after fitting 4 or 5 milk jug washers to central azimuth screw. Orion's well written documentation is noteworthy in its clarity. Assembly and collimation instructions are lucid, and even beginners shouldn't have any problems. Users would be well advised to affix a Telrad to facilitate star hopping.

At $649 the XT10 is one of the best deals...maybe THE best...currently available. Price may be cheap, but there's nothing cheap about XT10's mechanical feel and performance.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.33.103)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40752


Orion SkyQuest XT10 Dobsonian
i have puchased one of the xt10s, and am encouraged by the feedback this site is generating. I have thought long and hard about buying a scope and thought this was the best decision for the money. obviously there are some tweaks that may be necessary but i hope there will be a group of xt fans to help resolving these issues. Has anyone got a dedicated xt or dob site for big fans.
retro_racers@hotmail.com

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: <none>
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.133.196)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40754


Orion SkyQuest XT10 Dobsonian
I purchased this scope 3 weeks ago and it arrived one week later. Assembly was easy. I performed a Ronchi test and the mirror showed no traces of over or under correction. It performs very nicely on planets and on deep sky. I have een able to track easily at 279x. The eyepieces are not bad. The only thing that I had a problem with aligning the finder scope. Other than that this scope is awesome. I would recommend it to anyone.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.195.154)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40755


Orion SkyQuest XT10 Dobsonian
Ordered the telescope from SCS Astro in the UK and it arrived two weeks later, as promised. Telescope was very well packaged and the courier had handled carefully as the box was immaculate.
Took 45 mins to assemble (with my 4yr old son jumping around). Extremely impressed with the quality of the components. The instruction manual was also very helpful.
Using the simple star test, the collimation seemed to be spot on. Also found the finderscope very easy to align (I presume the previous reviewer has the older design finder), in fact the easiest I've ever used. The mount is very stable and the image settles very quickly. Due to poor seeing conditions, I was only able to observe Jupiter and carry out the star test on Sirius. Things were also compounded by the clouds rolling in. So I was only able to give the telescope 15 mins to cool down, no where near anough. However, the cloud belts above and below the main equatorial belts were very clear. Unable to get a sharp focus on the moons or Sirius but I put this down to heat within the tube.
The supplied 25mm Plossl seemed to be OK but the 9mm was faulty. So I'll need to send that back.
This telescope is exactly what I was hoping for. Its fantastic value for money, couldn't even buy a secondhand 8" SCT for 650. I'am 100% confident that the telescope will perform under perfect conditions. Despite its size, setting up is a breeze.
I've only rated it a 9 for now because I haven't fully tested the optics. However I will submit another review later. Just need to prey for some clear nights.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 6 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.69.34)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=40756


Orion SkyQuest XT10 Dobsonian
Purchased this 10" after much study between Orion, Meade and Discovery, as I wanted to keep the budget at about $500. At first the Meade was the initial choice because it's less expensive for equal aperture.
Spent no less than an hour a day for three weeks cross comparing and found that I would benifit greatly by paying the extra cost to go to the Orion. I highly recommend reading Sky and Telescope's reviews of both the Orion 10" by itself and their review of 6 eight inch Dobs- the Orion wins by the way.
Since owning the scope, I have resolved the bands of Jupiter with exacting clarity. 4 of Jupiters moon's resolved into sharp focus, even one moon's shadow against Jupiter's lower wide band appeared.
Saturn is crystal clear, including it's rings. With a 2" at about 280x I have been able to distiguish two clear rings and a hazy third. This from my light polluted back yard.
I recommend a barlow lense, and a set of color filters if you want to do planetary study as your first accessory purchase. The Orion floods the eyepiece with brilliant light so that you can play with sharpening contrast through the filters.
Tracking is marvelous, athough I plan to add a guiding handle up front, a feature orion has on their 8" and I think should have added onto the 10".
The mount is solid, and moves at the slightest nudge and stops when you do. Taps on the metal tube get obsorbed into the mount within a half second or so limiting image bounce to levels Ive never seen in a portable scope.
The only dissappointment was in the new finder scope assemby. I found it difficult to get the finder into the right position. It's a high quality finder that deserves better engineering with the mount. To get it to line up you find yourself loosening screws. and with the design this can be damaging since the scope slides out of the ring backwards with nothing to stop it. i put an altered vacuum cleaner belt around the scope to eliminate this, and now it all fits snug with more flexibility to direct the finder.
This scope is easy to collaminate, and I have yet to really need to do much other than very slight adjustments. Instructions on how to collaminate come with the scope, and are easy to understand, even for a beginner.
Sky and telescope complains that the eyepieces fall out of the rack if you try to move the scope, however the eyepieces come with a plastic cup which when placed on the bottom of the eyepiece while in the rack, locks the eyepiece down so that it stays in its place until used. This proved it's worth many times with my eighteen month olds curiosity for getting into things.
The scope cools down quickly, although if you take it out in november or december and its cold enough, the frost will leave water marks on the mirror, and you will need to clean it more often than is really good.
The focuser is top notch. Really, this focuser alone justifies the extra cost over the Meade and its plastic focuser. The Orion attaches a rock solid, aluminum base to the focuser, and accepts both 2' and 1.25 eyepieces. The focus guide is as smooth as you will find anywhere.
The primary mirror cell is far beyond my expectations. When you see it for the first time, you will understand instantly where the extra expense goes. This cell proves that Orion went to great lengths put themselves on top of the 10" mass produced Dob class.
I give an average of 9 , although the value certainly earns a 10 without a doubt.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Mount:9 Ease of Use:9 Value:10
Weight: 10 (Trustworthy Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.67.104)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=51435


Orion SkyQuest XT10 Dobsonian
After about a month of shopping, studying, comparing and reading, I decided on the XT10, by talking myself up from the Meade 10" and even 12".

A small part of me even considered a Meade 16", however with all of my research, Meade failed to match Orion on every level except perhaps optics (and since the Meade rarely gets cooled down to an ambiant temp, you almost never get to experience even that)!

This XT10 came assembled from the camera store for the exact price as Orion advertises with the shipping added in, so I cant comment on assembly, however I have done some tweaking since bringing it home.
The 8x50 Finder was a nice touch, although the updated two screw adjustable mount never matched up with the main scope until I added a rubber ring around the finder at the place where the screws tighten it into place. I used double sided sticky tape to stick the rubber ring on with and left a space in the loop to slide the spring pressured hold pin into.

Since doing this, the finder is dead on target and is nice and snug so I rarely have to re-adjust. You have to really wanna knock it out of alignment to do so- Ive never had such good luck with finders! The Meade scope ads a tiny toy scope to even their 16" scope which is really sort of an insult I think. In fact, the 16" scope uses much of the same specs as their 8" which just puzzles me to death, no wonder everyone complains about how awkwardly it moves and aims.
The XT10 has some mild astigmatism, even after loosening the primary mirror cell, although I do plan on trying another manufacturer's 9mm eyepieces to see if the blame falls more with the eyepiece, although all other aspects of optics check out great.
The Primary mirror cell is thought out well and I truly believe is the best built cell I've seen yet for a small dob.
The Mirror itself is nice and thick, and clips in with plenty of airspace around it to help cool. If you want to avoid over an hour waiting for the scope to reach temp, the mirror cell is one of the most important considerations I think, and this scope passes the test.
The XT10 Features a 2"/1.25" focuser that is based with a metal mount that operates smoothly with almost zero wobble and void of pops and jolts. This focuser will NOT need an upgrade ever, although I can see why one would want to add a new finder scope. I plan to add a "red dot" finder soon, and use them both.

Another spoiling factor is the metal tube, which in my mind shows that Orion has taken the step to graduate the dob up to the ranks of "serious" quality scopes.
The inevitable door bangs and scratches that my scope has endured has left no dents so far. When I polish it back up, it looks like the day I brought it home. I've owned sonotube's before, and don't necessarily dislike them, but the sturdiness of a metal tube, and the glossy appearance is hands down a much more satisfying overall look feel and sturdiness.
This scope with its metal tube and solid particle board base absolutely swallows knocks and taps instantly. Even at high power, there is little image wobble unless you really bump it good, and this scope stands up well to the wind, more so than a sonotube could be expected to.
Tracking is a breeze with this scope. Once you truly get the spotter scope lined up right, and you get it secured into place nice and snug, the rest is cake, literally slew and view.
This scope does not come with goto computers, however this scope manipulates so well that once you get familiar with the nite sky, and get yourself a sky chart, you will be knocking down visuals as quick as any goto scope. In fact, at star parties, I've found myself checking out two or three views while waiting for friends to get their computer guided scopes to cooperate. I've got a real computer to tinker with and figure that when it comes to astronomy, Im in it for the sights, not the techno tinker. Tracking is so smooth that the ONLY reason I can think of for ANYONE to need a motorized scope is for astrophotography, and when your ready, the XT10 can grow with you and become an equatorial scope with motorized tracking for a few hundred dollars.
The Value of this scope get's a 10 without a doubt. At $650 (which is less than scopes this size with cheaper componants had a few years ago) I find no reason to search further if you want to keep your total outlay under $1000.00. The $650 buys you great optics and solid craftsmenship with plenty of room to spare for assesories like expanding your eyepieces, color filters, etc.
This scope is not limited in expansion options. The quality justifies upgrading it to a tripod in the future, as well as graduating to a line of 2" eyepieces when your ready.
Although this scope is great for beginners, it satisfies long time users (me) as well, especially if you want to observe messier and NGC objects.
Planet viewing produces contrast which is a hair short of a large aperture refractor, though the images are fairly crisp at 300x or below.
I have been tracking the Galalean moons of Jupiter all month and have never had a question as to where they were. They focus in nice and sharp.
Although this scope is not meant to be a terrestrial scope (land viewing). The optics are sharp enough that I can read the license plates of cars parked at an airport near our house, over a mile away.
I've written quite a descriptive assessment because you might find yourself settling for another brand because its $100-$150 cheaper for the same size. It's true, a Meade will buy you the same size for less, however by the time you add another eyepiece, which Meade gives 1 and Orion gives 2, and then you consider upgrading the finder scope on the Meade ( believe me, you'll want to), and then you count the upgrade you will make to the Meade Focuser( the plastic Meade focuser is a joke), you will find that the Orion costs FAR FAR less ! This is why i could have chosen an Meade 16" and decided to buy an Orion 10" instead.
I have since found that my decision was dead on correct, and I will NEVER sell this scope. I plan purchase a 20" scope in a few years, however this scope will STILL probably get more use because if it's portability to darker skies, and because it absorbes enough light to make viewing a pleasure.

BTW- Although Orion advises that you consider the XT10's size carefully before purchasing, I easily tote it around in my commuter car Neon.
You will more than likely carry the scope in two segments, tube and base, but I have yet to use ANY scope worth my time that wasn't easier to carry and set up in two trips anyway.
-----Happy sky surfing

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:8 Mount:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 10 (Trustworthy Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.67.104)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=53367

Page 1 of 3 Next

[Click Here to Login]
Don't have a login? Register!