Skywatcher 8" DOB


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Skywatcher 8" DOB
I had to order this from Canada, since SkyWatcher does not have any distributors in the US. But given the positive exchange rate (in our favor), and NAFTA (no duties or taxes) - it was a real bargain! Nearly a hundred dollars less than the Orion XT8 - the SkyWatcher is a much better scope. I've had mine next to the Orion, and the difference is very noticable. Although the two look very similar, the SkyWatcher has better splines, a better 2" crayford focuser, a better 9x50 viewfinder, and some of the mounting hardware appears to be of better quality. Both are excellent scopes for pulling in lots of light, but if you want to save yourself a few dollars and get a scope that is a little bit better - get the SkyWatcher. I believe both scopes are made by Synta in China. Some warnings from my experience: UPS is brutal on their ground shipping. Insure your package! My base was all beat up, but UPS is going replace it. Go with a reputable dealer in Canada, pay attention to the remarks in the mailorder forum and heed their advice. Know going in the exchange rate, so you are not taken advantage of. Be patient... A big scope takes time to get through customs, they must think it is a bazooka! Figure 2 weeks from the time you order it (assuming it is in stock). The scope is heavy and awkward to move around. Although the base seperates from the OTA, neither is "portable". The base is all laminated particle board, probably 2-3x the weight of the OTA... The scope is BIG and can be overwhelming to your wife, children and paranoid neighbors... :^)

I highly recommend this scope to anyone, novice or experienced. A fantastic deal for the price.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.197.54)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41255


Skywatcher 8" DOB
I am an amateur and this is my first scope. I did alot of shopping around Ontario and on the internet and this seemed like the best bargain. For me it was between this and the Orion but with the exchange, it was about $300 cheaper. I don't have alot of experience but this scope has been alot of fun. A big scope but not too heavy and the images are great. Highly recommended it to anyone who is starting out as a first and even last scope to get.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.2.10)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41256


Skywatcher 8" DOB
I am in Australia, and the Skywatcher 8" Dobsonian is simply sold under part number : DOB-8. Unlike the ones advertised in Canada, it is marketed as an f5 scope (focal length 1000mm). So it is a little shorter than those in Canada(nothing a barlow doesn't fix in terms of magnification).....I actually prefer the slightlt wider views anyway. I was amazed at both the quality and performance of this relatively cheap 8" Newtonian (cheapest on the market in Australia aperture for aperture). I detected a very slight TDE (turned down edge) with a star test, but not enough to detract from the views. Planetary viewing has been great, and deep space views are wonderful. Warning.... it is a big telescope, heavy base and heavy weighted Optical Tube..... so not really portable (but what 8" is?). The the 2" focusor is a bonus and the 8x50 finder is good, but the addition of a red dot finder or Telrad is recommended. The two supplied eyepieces(10mm and 20mm MA) are good starter lenses. The base needs only minor additions to make it smoother (teflon pads from the hardware store). All up, a highly recommended first scope.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.92.193)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41257


Skywatcher 8" DOB
I have had the scope for about 6 months now and I simply LOVE it. I view from my rooftop in downtown Manhattan (loads of light pollution) but can pull in planetary nebulae, globulars(w/o alot of detail), open clusters and great shots of Saturn & Jupiter. It's true that it's not a "grab'n'go" scope (I picked up a used Ranger for that) but at total weight of 42lbs (19/23 ota/base) I can be up on the roof in 15-20 minutes with charts, binos, and eps! Mine came with the 6x30 finder(otherwise I would have given it a 10) and I would recommend an upgrade if your model doesn't have the larger 8x50 finder. Also the Rigel Quickfinder is great & LIGHT. This dob is inexpensive, big enough, and fairly built. It's a GOOD BUY!!

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.199.181)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41258


Skywatcher 8" DOB
Purchased from Earth and Sky Adventure Shope Ltd. http://www.earthandskyshop.ca
Abe (the owner), spent some time with me, finding out what I've owned in the past and how the S/W8 would fit my viewing needs and budget. I settled on the Dob mount for ease of set-up and simplicity for my three children, so they could simply push it to a point in the sky and look. Initially, the scope came with Kellner type eyepieces, and no Barlow. I invested in a good quality 2x Barlow for around $140 and asked Abe if he'd replace the Kellners for Plossls. He did, without hesitation. After a couple nights of viewing with the eyepieces that came with the scope, I was not impressed with the original eyepieces. Assembly was about 30 minutes and fairly straightforward (caution: many focusers are broken, because the manual does not tell you to take the four screws off the plate area where the focusing rod and knobs will eventually be placed. Don't try shoving the focusing assembly down past the focusing knob and rod, take the four small screws off the plate in that area of the focuser FIRST. You may end up breaking one of the tiny guide wheels off the focuser. I ended up replacing my focuser with a rack and pinion one, preferring the ability to lock in the focuser with the locking knob (something which is missing from the Crayfield-type one that comes on the S/W8). The Orion I think was $50 cheaper somewhere else, but did not come with the quality components I finally ended up with, from Earth and Sky Adventure Shop. NOTE: This store should not be confused with the similarly named one. They are not affiliated in any way. This one is in Ajax, Ontario and run (for the most part) by Abe alone. I'm VERY pleased with the S/W8, and the service I received from Abe!

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Mount:9 Ease of Use:10 Value:9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.124.216)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=55960


Skywatcher 8" DOB
The SkyWatcher 8" DOB is my first telescope. I've owned it for about 6 months now and it is an absolute joy to use. It was supplied with the 8X50 finderscope which, for balance reasons and ease of use, is highly recommended. Two plossls, 10mm and 25mm, came with the scope. I soon replaced them (30mm Tak and 19mm Panoptic) and not only did the scope's performance improve, but also my viewing experience. A nice aspect of this scope is the 2" focuser and the 2" adapter for the larger eyepieces. A 2X barlow was supplied with the telescope but don't expect miracles. It's a low end barlow and I soon replaced it.

The mount is very simple and easy to use. the tension springs improve the balance of the telescope. When I move it around and let it go, it stays where it is. Some might find it bulky to carry, but so are the other 8" Dobsonian (and larger EQ) mounts.

As mentioned by other reviews, the scope is manufactured by Synta in China and distributed by Sky Instruments in Canada. The price and quality of this telescope make it a great buy and when compared with other Dobs, it stands its ground. However, keep in mind that you might want to replace the supplied eyepieces.

If you want good performance at a good price, this is the scope for you. I recommend it to anyone looking for a first scope (might want to go with the 6" Dob - less expensive) or anyone looking for an 8" Dobsonian.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Mount:9 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 10 (Trustworthy Vote)
Date:
By: Julien
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=71775


Skywatcher 8" DOB
I ordered my scope from Khan Scope Centre in Canada. I received only a couple of days later. With upgrade to the eyepieces, shipping duty and and other fees the cost was a little over $400 US dollars. The scope came in damaged. Despite the vendor's reinforcement of the manufacturers boxes the shipper still managed to break one of the feet off the base. The base went together in about 30 minutes. The scope came with a set of tools that have everything needed to assemble the scope. There are two combination wrenches, one Allen wrench and two screw drivers. The only other tools you will need are two more Allen wrenches to collimate the scope. Khan Scope Centre is trying to get me a base to replace the broken one... but three weeks later I still don't have one. Also the base is stiff in the Az so be prepared to replace the plastic sliders with virgin Teflon. Also there is a lot of slop in the center bolt. Replacing that with a fitted brass shoulder bolt will take care of that... but I don't want to do that until I get my base... if I get a new base. I do like the way this scope has handles on the Alt axis that you can tighten to change the friction. No weights to move up and down to balance. Just a slight twist of the handle and you can add your largest eyepiece, barlow, 9x50 finder, and your Telrad without the scope nose diving. I love these! This is one of the best improvements to Dob mounts I have seen. The finish on the base is pretty good.
There is a 2" focuser with an adapter for 1 1/4. The focuser is a little stiff but other than that pretty nice. The upgraded eyepieces include a multicoated 34mm plossl (very nice) and a 10mm coated plossl (OK.. but not great). The 34mm will go in my case of eyepieces that see a lot of use.. the 10 goes in the spare box. The scope came with a 9x50 finder, very nice. The scope tube is metal... stove pipe I think. there is the crimp joint where it fits together on the bottom. It is not welded. The finish on the scope tube is very nicely applied white. I wish the factory had taken more care assembling the end rings on the tube. They crimped the metal in a couple of places. One thing I thought was odd was that the entire back of the mirror is exposed. This adds the cool down process, but make sure you are careful moving it around or you'll ruin your mirror. I had read reviews of this scope that said it came all the way from China in perfect collimaiton. Well, that was not the case with mine. But considering the ruff shipping it had it no wonder. Once collimated the optics are better that what you would expect on a $400 scope. The secondary was chipped on the back side, but does not affect it.

Overall Rating: 7
Optics:9 Mount:5 Ease of Use:9 Value:7
Weight: 4 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.149.76)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=73979


Skywatcher 8" DOB
Great Bang for the Buck. The relatively low grade on the mount is mainly due to the fact I had a couple of staples sticking out. Otherwise, can't beat it for the price.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:8 Mount:7 Ease of Use:9 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.78.126)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=82016


Skywatcher 8" DOB
Except for questionable EPs that came with the telescope, this was as good a deal as I could have desired, the primary is excellent, the mount sturdy (I spent $10.00 to upgrade the azimuth bearings to Magic Sliders, and added two handles to the sides of the mount - from Wal-Mart (exact same handle as supplied by Skywatcher for the front handle).

If sold with plossl EPs, this would be an absolutely unbeatable scope. I knew beforehand about the EPs and had already purchased a set of very useful plossls in anticipation. The 9X50 finder just adds to the pluses. I cannot find anything at all wrong with the unit in my possession.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Mount:9 Ease of Use:9 Value:8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.223.50)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=205460


Skywatcher 8" DOB
Came right out of the box, needing no adjustments or collimination , confirming a sturdy overall construction and a firm mirror cell design.

Got the scope some months ago, and haven't really done any dark sky / deep space hunting yet, due to the light sky here in Scandinavia this time of the year.
But, splitting double stars, resolving moon craters and sunspots, and some other objects, indicates an optical quality almost comparable to my Pentax 75/500mm Apo, which is exellent indeed.

Ease of use is quite OK, so my only complaint is a slightly stiff azt movement, and also that the greasing of the focuser is far to sticy to be of any use during the wintertime up here, and must be changed.

Great value anyhow !

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Mount:8 Ease of Use:8 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.136.41)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=261802


Skywatcher 8" DOB
This is my second sky-watcher scope, wanted something bigger than my 4.5 eq newt. Very pleased with the overall performance of the scope, it is a bargain really for it's aperature. There are a few simple modifications I would highly recommend to improve the Scope however. The grease inside the focuser is far to stiff, so I took it a apart and cleaned it and replaced it with automotive graphite anti-seize. Makes a great improvement, even in the dead of an Ontario winter. Also waxed the base on the azimuth plane with ski wax, and the scope now slides with ease. My next modification will be to install flocking paper or felt throughout the tube to increase contrast. Synta did a pretty good job blacking out the interior, but there's definately room for improvement. The tension handles that control the alt axis are excellent, as is the mount for the 9x50 finder and it's mount, very easy to calibrate. This scope can really take a beating, and remain in collimation. I love this telescope and would recommend it as both a first scope on account of it's sturdiness and ease of use, and to someone with a smaller scope who wants to see more than a blur when they look to the deep-sky!

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:8 Mount:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.91.95)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=365008


Skywatcher 8" DOB
Bang for the buck!

This Dob came with two Super Plossls (10mm and 25mm), a large 9x50 finder, a 2'' Crayford-like focuser and a 1.25'' adaptor. But no Barlow (although 2 decent Plossls are better than 2 cheap Kellner and a crappy Barlow!) Mine even came with the 2'' adaptor, which was not supposed to be the case since this particular model has a Pyrex mirror (it's usually one or the other; I got both!)

Assembling the base was a breeze, nothing was missing or damaged; even the tools were included. Took me about 30 minutes overall. I installed the accessory rack on the side (easier to reach) instead of the front. The only problem is the Allen key, to lock the primary mirror once collimated, was the wrong size; a strange but minor issue in my opinion. I flocked the inside of the tube for better absorbtion of ambiant light reflection (the paint inside is more grey than black...) Can't say it helped a lot, but it was a fun project! :)

With the EPs provided, I could split Lyra's Double-Double easily at 120x. With a TMB 6mm and Barlow, I splitted Struve2780 (a thinny 1" separation) at 400x; interesting challenge! Ring Nebula is more obviously a ring than in my smaller 114mm reflector. Jupiter looks quite good, with fine details visible in the clouds; GRS is easily observed (on best nights with an ortho, I bet I can see swirls in it!) The 200mm mirror requires up to 30-40 minutes to cool down.

Concerning the base. It is a Dobson, so no it does not turn like butter on its AZ axis; no Dob does (on the other end, no Dob moves in the wind either). Adding Teflon pads helps, so does loosening a bit the central axis bolt. It is somewhat heavy, yes. But did you ever lift an EQ head with tripod that is sturdy enough for an 8'' scope??? And remember: Dob equals simplicity in design and a rock solid plateforme. Viewing and tracking objects at over 200x remains easy to do. SkyWatcher have a unique tension handle instead of the more traditional tension spring to help keep the Altitude axis fixed. It works quite well regardless of the EP or accessories used.

I previously owned a SkyWatcher 114mm f/7.9 reflector and occasionnaly use a celestron C80ED as well.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:8 Mount:9 Ease of Use:8 Value:9
Weight: 10 (Trustworthy Vote)
Date:
By: ashbay
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=594475


Skywatcher 8" DOB
Perfect

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:7 Mount:7 Ease of Use:8 Value:8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.177.19)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=599477


Skywatcher 8" DOB
Excelente equipo para tener apertura y peso moderado

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:7 Mount:8 Ease of Use:9 Value:8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.180.35)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=599662


Skywatcher 8" DOB
Equipo de apertura generosa y calidad razonable, muy buen telescopio para disfrutar de cielo profundo y planetas

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:8 Mount:8 Ease of Use:8 Value:8
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: aldebaran
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=599663

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