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Review: Orion 27194 XT8 Classic Dobsonian Telescope

Selecting your first Telescope can be scary, especially since this isn’t a bargain but rather represents an investment. The Orion 27194 XT8 from  is based on a design that has evolved along the years, becoming the top choice for the amateur level and being fairly easy to understand and use. After all, ‘complicated’ is not good for a novice. You may feel like the complex ultra-modern technology may help you see more of the sky as a beginner, but in fact it can work against you, as you don’t have the experience it requires.

Entry-level Dobsonian telescope

While most people may be more familiar with the Newtonian type of telescope, the Dobsonian one isn’t far fromthat. In many ways it resembles the classic Newtonian but is features an altazimuth design created by John Dobson, hence the name. The mechanics are simple and allow for easy maneuvering, lower weight and improved portability. The diameter of the objective is bigger though and this means more light being gathered. A Dobsonian Telescope is the best kind for the confused buyers who are completely new to such devices.
Both the optics and the mount are very simple. This fact in itself, however, gets people confused. A simple structure does not mean a poor performance, though. On the contrary, this is a telescope to rely on. See it as a large aperture Newtonian reflector.

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Deep sky viewing capabilities

The Dobsonian design allows for a big size objective lens. The user will be able to observe nebulae, galaxies or faraway star clusters, not just the planets in our system. These usually appear as dim to the eye, even in locations lacking in pollution and fog and where the sky is clear. This is possible only thanks to the large diameter of the objective. It isn’t even necessary to push the magnification capabilities.

Specifications

Orion 27194 XT8 is a reflector telescope with a focuser on the side. This robust device has an 8-inch aperture and 1200 focal length and it gets about two thirds more light than the 6-inch version. The package includes the Orion 2x Shorty Barlow Lens for enhanced magnification. Use this with 1.25-inch eyepieces ideally. The manufacturer states it has a minimum magnification of 29x.

The device is not suitable to astro-photography because of the alt-azimuth mount. You will, however, be able to view a wide array of celestial objects for your entertainment: the Beginning Stargazers Toolkit provides an abundance of information on the night sky. The telescope needs to be assembled. You will have to put its pieces together but it takes little time and effort to do so.

Performance

orion xt8 dobsonianThis Orion was optimized for deep sky observation. Faint object appear more clearly thanks to its light gathering abilities. To use it, point to the desired area or object and view it. You will be guided to that which you want to see. However, this is best enjoyed only if you go to an unpolluted area and far from the city lights. It does not magnify much but the amount of light it captures is beyond what could be expected. For this reason, the Moon may not appear as sharp and detailed as you want it to be. Fix this issue with a suitable filter.

The images you see will not make for stunning captures, as the device doesn’t work well in conjunction with photography equipment. You may attach a camera, but don’t expect much from this. Also, there is no tracking system.

Thankfully, the telescope moves easily and does not lose stability. In addition, the user will find it less difficult to align the mirrors, compared to other makes. The device needs to be adjusted every few minutes during sky observation, because it does not have the mechanism to allow it to stay focused on an object while the Earth rotates.

Pricing

A brand new Orion 27194 XT8 usually costs around $440 and so far only small discounts have been seen. For this money you get more than just a telescope – you get an entire starter package for a tempting price – no need to buy any more separate pieces.

Conclusions

Enjoy the perks of a large objective with a small price; it is a heavier model, but providing more spectacular views, without the usual Equatorial mounts. It may take some time to get used to the way it moves and adjusts, but eventually you will love the uncomplicated and portable design. Note that this is a telescope in need of position adjustments when observing an object in the sky and especially when a high magnification is being used. Other than that, it is simple and reliable, long lasting and reveals subtle details at a great distance in space. Buy it with confidence if you’re new to night sky viewing, but also keep in mind that it can be suitable even to the more seasoned stargazer who knows a few things on astronomy.



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Review: Orion 27194 XT8 Classic Dobsonian Telescope

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