Summary: I am new to the astronomy world although I have always been fascinated with the night sky. After much research on telescopes I purchased a Orion XT8 classic Dobsonian. I immediately fell in love with it. The image quality was stunning as was the ease of use. However my family was getting frustrated with me spending my whole night in the backyard searching for Messier objects many times unsuccessfully. I knew if I was to win them over I must shorten our viewing sessions.
Summary: Having just received my XT8i 2 wks ago, I haven't had but one clear night to use it so far, but what a night! I set it up on my deck and in just a few minutes was seeing Jupiter and 4 of it's moons on the lowest power. I switched eyepieces, and could see the red spot easily. This on a night with a full moon and moderate light pollution from the city. This 'scope has surpassed my expectations already with one use!
Summary: If you are serious about exploring the sky at night, you will love this telescope. I had previously purchased a simple reflector at a local warehouse store and was not satisfied with the quality of the optics or the construction of the scope and mount. I returned it and did a lot of research before ordering this one. You should be aware of a few things if this is your first telescope. It is NOT small. Pay attention to the size comparison chart.
Summary: An excellent scope and an excellent buy! It is a big scope...don't let the specs fool you....you will set it up and see how big it is. But well worth it. It will not disappoint you with its sharp views, impressive light gathering capability, great build quality, and the things you will see will be amazing! Can't be happier!
Summary: I bought the dob about two years ago.It is a great scope. I did a lot of tinkering by adding flocking paper and new teflon bearings, a cooling fan and different view finder. But the scope was great as is. I just like tinkering. I use an illuminating recticle to help with alignment. My son would go with me to star parties and enjoy it also. It is not a grab and go scope. I am actually getting a smaller grab-n-go scope so I can look out off my deck .
Summary: My wife and I bought this scope in time for a star party in Capitol Reef. Setting up the scope was a breeze. Set up consists of setting the base on the ground, setting the scope on the base and inserting an eyepiece. The 28mm eyepiece that comes with the scope gives excellent views of deep sky objects. Even the tiny M57 Ring Nebula was plainly visible.
Summary: I've had some good nights with my XT8i. The mirror tested out quite well, better than I expected. I've split the double-double with an 8mm RKE (150x). Jupiter shows great detail with very contrasty images. M57 (Ring) looks bright and is an easy view with a dark center. The computerized locater works well but has a few idiosyncrasies. The two star alignment is simple enough. I normally get an warp factor (error factor) of 0.5.
Summary: All, I had a chance to play with one of these last night. To say that I was impressed is the reason for this posting. Optically the glass was first class. These optics are on the high end of the scale. Even though the seeing wasn't the greatest, the performance stunned me. I could detect the double-double in Lyra at a mere 48X. The star images were that clean and tight. At 240X the airy disks were plainly visible with a split you could drive a truck through.
Summary: I have been using binoculars for astronomy for several years, and debated long and hard over which scope to buy, but finally decided an 8 inch Dobs was the best beginner's scope. The steady, bright views are confirmation of my decision. I took my time putting the XT8i together, mostly because there are several instruction sheets and it isn't obvious when one or the other is to be consulted. Orion tech support was very friendly and helpful.