If you aren’t sure about how to start your stargazing adventure, then try looking at the sky through the finderscope of a Sky Watcher 8-inch Dobsonian telescope.
The popular Dobsonian-style technology makes an unexpected comeback with this new telescope which bears the logo of Sky-Watcher, one of the most popular telescope manufacturers in North America and Europe.
Apart from the ever-popular Dobsonian mount, the Sky Watcher 8 inch Dobsonian includes many other upgrades, which places it well above the average.
In this post, we offer the Sky Watcher 8 Inch Dobsonian telescope a detailed review focused on the scope’s features, specs, pros, and cons.
What Is The Sky Watcher 8 Inch Dobsonian Telescope?
The Sky Watcher 8 inch Dobsonian is a telescope designed for complete beginners and amateur astronomers alike. It’s a no-tool-set-up telescope that is a delight to use for both first-timers and semi-professionals.
As far as the mirrors are concerned, the Sky Watcher 8 inch Dobsonian is equipped with a paraboloid primary mirror and an additional elliptical mirror.
In order to increase the light-gathering factor of this no-fuss scope’s mirror-based optical system, the two mirrors are coated with a layer of hard quartz and an additional layer of titanium dioxide.
One of the technologies that place the Sky Watcher 8 Inch Dobsonian ahead of its competitors is the Tension Handle Control. It’s a system that ensures the stability of the optical system and the paraboloid primary mirror. Therefore, it keeps spherical aberration down to a minimum.
|36 x 26 x 19 inches||67 lbs.||–||200mm||1200mm||–|
Pros & Cons to Using the Sky Watcher 8 Inch Dobsonian Telescope
Are you interested in buying the Sky Watcher 8 Dobsonian telescope? Then check out our pros and cons section to see whether this is the best 8-inch Dobsonian you can find.
- Easy to set up and deploy, thanks to its no-tool technology;
- Wide aperture, excellent for viewing even faint deep sky objects;
- Easy to track sky objects, thanks to the Dobsonian mount style and the Tension Handle Control;
- Manual is more than explicit, so you won’t need any extra tutorial to set up and to collimate this scope;
- Wide Apparent Field of View: over 52 degrees;
- You can see a great number of celestial objects: The Moon’s craters, nebulae, globular star clusters, galaxies, and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.
- The Sky Watcher 8 inch Dobsonian telescope is heavy, weighing 67 pounds;
- No collimation tool was provided;
- It takes a while to get used to the Dobsonian mount;
- The Orion dolly of this scope is too fragile, so it won’t help you easily haul the scope around;
- The material that is designed to cover and protect the wood edges at the base of the telescope is rather flimsy, so it might come off;
- Because of its weight, the telescope might drift down without you touching it when in use;
- The tight collimation screws for the secondary mirror might cause the telescope to break if you don’t pay extra attention.
Where to Find the Sky Watcher 8 Inch Dobsonian Telescope
The best place to get the Sky Watcher 8 Inch Dobsonian telescope is online on e-commerce websites like Amazon. On Amazon, you can buy this Sky-Watcher 8 Dobsonian for about $450, and sometimes, you may get free shipping as well.
Furthermore, there are two larger and pricier versions of this telescope available for purchase:
The Sky Watcher 8 Inch Dobsonian has a 200mm aperture, which covers a larger field of view than most Newtonian telescopes.
With a shorter focal length (1200mm), this telescope will produce crisp and crystal-clear images. So, as far as the 8-inch telescope images are concerned, they’re stunningly clear.
Additionally, this model comes with an 8×50 RA Viewfinder Finderscope, which can greatly help you calibrate your Dobsonian and find night sky objects easily.
Probably the most spectacular objects to pick up through the eyepiece are the Great Orion Nebula, the Lagoon the Nebula, the Trifid Nebula, the M92 and M13 globular star clusters, and even the Andromeda.
Furthermore, as far as the local system is concerned, you can see the finer details of the Moon’s craters, as well as a few of Saturn’s moons.
Overall, the telescope performs flawlessly. In addition, thanks to its multi-layered coated optics, you can distinguish quite a lot of astronomical objects through the provided Plossl lenses.
Other Specs and Features:
- 2-inch Crayford-style focuser – for increased focusing power;
- Optical Tube: Newtonian Reflector;
- Focal Length of Eyepiece One: 25mm;
- Focal Length of Eyepiece Two: 10mm;
- Magnification Factor of Eyepiece One: 48x;
- Magnification Factor of Eyepiece Two: 120x;
- Highest Useful Magnification Factor: 472x;
- Theoretical Magnification Factor: 472x;
- Mount: Dobsonian Alt-Azimuth;
- Focal Ratio: 6;
- Tension Handle Control technology – for increased stability;
- The mount has Teflon bearing, which can reduce friction between the mount and the optical tube. Thus, it grants you a larger degree of movement;
- Limiting Stellar Magnitude: 14.
Luckily, you don’t have to do a lot to ensure your Sky Watcher 8 Inch Dobsonian Telescope will last a long time. However, you do have to pay attention to how you handle it, as well as where and how you store it.
For instance, keep in mind you’ll have to store it somewhere with no humidity and sun exposure. Preferably, use the box or case it came in.
Keeping the lens cap on is another extremely important maintenance tip. If you leave the lens exposed, it will collect dust and debris, which could damage the quality of the images. With the lens covered, you will only have to clean it every once in a while.
Speaking of cleaning, you need to be extra careful when cleaning the lens. Only use a microfiber cloth and gentle motions.
What’s more, regular cleaners might damage the lens, so stay away from those. If you notice stains that won’t go away, talk to a professional, since attempting to remove them yourself might damage the lens as well.
Here’s what you will find in the box of your first Sky Watcher 8 Inch Dobsonian Telescope.
- The Sky Watcher 8” telescope;
- One 10mm Plossl eyepiece;
- One 25mm Plossl eyepiece;
- 8×50 RA Viewfinder Finderscope;
- Eyepiece Tray;
- Two-year warranty certificate.
Additional Accessories for the Sky Watcher 8 Inch Dobsonian
Below, we provide a short list of some of the most popular accessories bought together with this telescope.
- Celestron 1.25-inch collimation eyepiece;
- VITE Laser Collimator 1.25 inch with two-inch adapter and battery;
- Celestron Accessory Kit;
- Telrad Finder Sight;
- Orion 05662 1.25-inch 13% transmission filter;
- “Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe” by Terence Dickinson;
- Orion 08711 1.25-inch Shorty Barlow Lens;
- Celestron Omni 2X Barlow Lens;
- Solomark Chesire 1.25-inch collimating eyepiece with crosshair;
- Celestron 93230 8 to 24mm 1.25 Zoom Eyepiece;
- Celestron 94123 1.25 inch UHC/LPR filter.
Warranty and Guarantee Information
If you’re going to order this telescope online, contact the manufacturer to learn more about the warranty they offer for this product. You can typically request a manufacturer’s warranty from customer service.
What Buyers Are Saying
According to many customer reviews, the Sky Watcher 8 inch Dobsonian telescope has been awarded a medium to high rating. It’s one of the most popular items among both amateur and beginner astronomers.
Furthermore, when confronted with the perspective of recommending this telescope to a friend or a family member, most of the users who have offered their feedback declared that they would no doubt make the recommendation.
Of course, this example of fine craftsmanship isn’t without its detractors. However, according to customer feedback, most of the negative experiences revolve around shipment issues, rather than technical impairments.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Dobsonian telescopes good for viewing planets?
With a Dobsonian telescope of 6″ or more you won’t have any troubles when it comes to viewing planets. They are in fact quite good at that. With a Dobsonian, you’ll be able to see the moons and zones of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, and the polar caps of Mars.
What is the difference between a Newtonian and a Dobsonian telescope?
In truth, most of the Dobsonian telescopes are Newtonian. The difference is based on the type of mount the telescopes use. A Dobsonian telescope is a good choice for beginners because it can be set up quite easily. Dobsonian Telescopes can be positioned in two ways, by rotating the mount ( azimuth rotation ) or by adjusting the elevation of the telescope. They are mostly beginner-friendly because they are light weighted and unlike the Newtonian telescopes, Dobsonian ones don’t need to be adjusted that much.
What is the use of a finderscope?
Finderscopes are telescope accessories, they can be attached to your telescope and they help you pinpoint a certain location in the sky. They are made with a smaller optical tube and if you set them during the day it will ease your work during the night. With a finderscope, you can find celestial objects easier than with the telescope. Both the finderscope and the telescope are somehow complementary
There are 3 types of finderscopes:
- Straight-Through finders are easy to use, they have a larger field of view than the telescope and they just magnify the sky by different amounts.
- Red-dot finders, as the name suggests, project a small red dot on the night sky. They don’t magnify the view but they are good at pointing towards a celestial object
- Reflex finders are a bit like the red-dot finders because you don’t need to put your eyes up to the finder to see anything and they don’t magnify the view. Reflex finders have a large array of displays to help you find what you are looking for.
The Sky Watcher 8 Inch Dobsonian Telescope is one of the most spectacular pieces of equipment tested so far. The Dobsonian-style alt-azimuth mount is excellent when it comes to tracking fast-moving objects like comets.
With the added Tension Handle Control, it’s pretty easy to focus the telescope on a single object, without having to reposition it every time.
Moreover, being equipped with a Dobsonian mount, you will not need any additional levers, because you can reposition the telescope by hand.
One of the things we didn’t like about this telescope is its overall weight. Compared to the other instruments, this telescope is a real-life behemoth, weighing over 66 lbs.
It’s fine to get such a telescope if you own a car (a minivan or SUV would be preferable given the telescope’s dimensions), but carrying it by hand is an impossible task. However, the Sky Watcher 8 Inch Dobsonian Telescope is a great piece of gear, suitable for beginners and experienced users alike.
If you’re a beginner, we strongly recommend consulting additional materials about how to set up the scope and how to calibrate it.
However, if you want something more professional, go for the Sky-Watcher Pro 120ED telescope. You can check out our full review of the Sky Watcher ProED 120 mm here or if you are into something more classic, check out the Orion Skyquest XT8 Dobsonian.
The Sky Watcher 8 Inch Dobsonian Telescope is one of the most spectacular pieces of equipment we’ve tested so far.
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Last update on 2023-11-29 at 11:54 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API