Guan Sheng GS-600


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Guan Sheng GS-600
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I traded in my Orion StarMax for this scope just a few months ago. The deal involved just swapping the OTA's, so my test sample doesn't have the 8x50 finder (I have a custom made 12x60 finder instead) and I don't have the 10mm eyepiece, although I did use my 13mm NexStar Plossl with it. The scope is now my primary unit, designed to deliver the deep sky views that the StarMax 127 simply couldn't.

I already owned the Sky Mentor EQ-3 mount, which this Newt is sold on. So at the time of the swap, Ray Khan sold me an extra counter weight and included the tube rings. My overall impression of the mount is that it's super sturdy. It's identical to Orion's SVD mount. There is a small amount of play in the right ascension axis, but nothing that causes problems during use. The OTA itself is an enameled steel tube, with a four vein spider holding the large (22%) secondary in place. The 8 inch F4 mirror is advertised as a 1/8th wave PTV parabolic primary. Everything looks awesome down the tube, although the inside seems a bit glossy. I'm sure some Flocking paper would improve the contrast on this beast. The all aluminum rack and pinion focuser is a 2 inch job with a 1.25 inch stop down. It has a focus lock and the draw tube is flat black (imagine that!). The tube rings are thick, sturdy and felt lined. The whole scope is very solidly built and has a nice heft to it. Overall, I'd rate the appearance very good and the construction also very good.

I've only had the "big gun" out under dark skies once so far, and I've not had a chance to star test it yet. However, the views of Saturn and Jupiter were very good - exactly what I'd expect from an 8 inch scope. The views were crisp with decent contrast. On Saturn, the Cassini Division was plain as day, and the GRS on Jupiter actually jumped out at me. In my StarMax 127, the GRS was visible, but it was tough to pull out. Perhaps I had good seeing that night? Where this scope really excels in on the deep sky stuff. M13 in Hercules was a gorgeous swarm of sharp stars. Actually, this scope gives very tight star images (tight little pin points) for a fast Newt. I viewed a variety of other clusters and galaxies, and they all showed an adequate amount of detail. I'd say this scope performs as well or better than most 8 inch SCT's I've owned/used. One member in our club has a Celestron Ultima, and it has the best optics I've seen on an 8 inch SCT. I'll report back once I get these two scopes to go head to head.

The motions on the mount are extremely smooth with little to no backlash, and no excess travel once you stop turning the slow motion controls. When properly balanced (both for/aft and with the counter weights), everything is very easy to move and holds it's position well, even with the axis clamps off. On the night I was out, I had a Skywatcher Red Dot finder on the OTA, and it was very easy to get targets dead center in the 25mm eyepiece. With a short 800mm focal length, the scope is certainly a wide field instrument - the 25mm provides a mere 32x and a huge 1.5 degrees of view. This is 50% more than the MAXIMUM possible with the Starmax and double what the Starmax shows with the 25mm.

The scope is actually very portable for an 8 inch unit. The OTA in the original cardboard box (with the provided styrofoam mouldings) and the EQ mount - EVERYTHING fits easily into the trunk of my 1995 Grand AM GT. My old 10 inch Meade wouldn't fit at all in the trunk, and had to be transported in the back seat, with the Dob base occupying the passenger's seat. Now, I can haul my entire scope plus three passengers to a dark sky site! All that, for only giving up two inches of aperture and gaining an EQ mount (with tracking as an option). This is the ultimate deep sky companion for a travelling astronomer.

Overall, this scope is a very strong performer. It's an excellent choice for those who want good aperture, but still want to be able to travel with the scope. It is basically an 8 inch Dob with an bonus of an EQ mount. For those that don't mind a Dob mount, they should buy a 10 inch Dob instead, but for those like myself who really want an EQ, this scope is about the best bargain going.

The bottom line? Recommended (Great optics, sturdy build quality, excellent price).

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: 11 (Trustworthy Vote)
Date:
By: BBQedIguana
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=291002


Guan Sheng GS-600
Horribly astigmatic optics on this scope. Also, the PLASTIC spider leaves a lot to be desired - does not hold collimation for very long.

Someone undermounted, but all these type of scopes are.

I sold this scope, and got an Orion 8" skyview pro. The Orion had much better optics and construction (no astigmatism, and no plastic).

Whoever says that the GS scopes are better than Synta are full of it. This was the worst mirror I have ever seen.

Overall Rating: 4
Optics:2 Mount:6 Ease of Use:4 Value:3
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.62.227)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=317884


Guan Sheng GS-600
Can't comment on the mount I just brought the OTA, I brought this to start getting my feet wet in Astrophotopraphy, after I blew all my money on the mount and CDD equipment it would be a while befor my wife will let me spend what I wanted on a APO. Until she carms down I needed a cheap OTA to start with. This OTA was very cheap 1/2 the cost of the full package.

First the focuser - cheap, but works well, not enough back focus, extension for some eyepieces requiried. I have modifed this focuser for CDD, very crudly but it does the job

Inside the tube is a little shiny, easy fix, flocking and/or Paint

Mirror cell and spider - basic but effective

Optics - Quite a surprise, very good, well above the standard I have seen in allot of other different brands of Newts and its F/4. I wounder did I get lucky, I have seen another one at a star party and its optics where as good as mine.

Over all - very portable, above average optics, focuser good, needs inside of the tube darker.

For astrophotography - I will not go into this, Im still a bigginer, but Im very impressed so far.

Value for money, Optics on mine where better than several Meade 8 inch LDX55 OTA's Ive seen, Focuser was better too but then not a strong point on LDX55's

Overall Rating: No Vote
Optics:8 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.176.70)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=368749


Guan Sheng GS-600
This article must have taken you a lot of rescareh time. I am enthralled with your interesting content. I agree with many of your views. This is very good writing.

Overall Rating: 6
Optics:0 Mount:2 Ease of Use:5 Value:4
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.153.113)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=603890

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