If you weren’t sure about how to start your stargazing adventure, then you should try looking at the sky through the finderscope of a Sky Watcher 8 inch Dobsonian telescope. The popular Dobsonian-style technology comes back in force with this new telescope, which bears the logo of Sky Watcher, one of the most popular telescope manufacturers. Apart from the ever-popular Dobsonian mount, the Sky Watcher 8 inch Dobsonian includes many other improvements, which places it well above the average. In this article, we offer a Sky Watcher 8 Inch Dobsonian telescope 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 beginners and amateurs alike. It’s a no-tool-set-up telescope that is a delight for both first-timers and professionals.
As far as 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 the mirror assembly, the two mirrors are coated with a layer of hard quartz, and with an additional layer of titan dioxide.
(Click image to see more pictures on Amazon)
One of the technologies that place the Sky Watcher 8 Inch Dobsonian in front of its competitors is Tension Handle Control. It’s a system that ensures the stability of the optical assembly 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 sections to see whether this is the best 8-inch Dobsonian telescope 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 your telescope;
- 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 over 20 kilograms;
- No collimation tool included in the pack;
- It takes a while to get used to the Dobsonian mount;
- The Orion dolly designed for this scope is too fragile for it, so it won’t help you transport the telescope easier;
- The material that is designed to cover and protect the wood edges at the base of the telescope is not high-quality, so it might come off;
- The telescope might drift down without you touching it when you are using it, and this is probably due to its weight.
- Tight collimation screws for 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 on online websites like Amazon. You can buy the Sky Watcher 8 inch Dobsonian telescope for about $500, and sometimes, you get free shipment as well.
(Click image to see more pictures on Amazon)
Furthermore, there are two other versions of this telescope available for purchase:
- The 10” Collapsible Telescope (https://www.amazon.com/Sky-Watcher-8-Collapsible-Dobsonian-Telescope/dp/B004Q76ZCK/)
- The 12” Collapsible Telescope (https://www.amazon.com/Sky-Watcher-8-Collapsible-Dobsonian-Telescope/dp/B004Q78OK6/)
The Sky Watcher 8 Inch Dobsonian Telescope has a 200mm aperture, which covers a greater 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 telescope comes equipped with an 8×50 RA Viewfinder Finderscope. This can greatly help you calibrate your Dobsonian scope and find astral objects easily.
Probably the most spectacular objects to pick up through the eyepiece are the Great Orion Nebula, Lagoon Nebula, Trifid Nebula, M92 and M13 globular star clusters, and even the Andromeda Galaxy. 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 astral objects through its Plossl lenses.
Other Specs and Features:
- 2-inch Crayford-style focuser will increase the focusing power of the telescope;
- Optical Tube: Newtonian Reflector telescope;
- 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. Any regular cleaners might damage the lens, so stay away from those. Additionally, 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 package once you’ve bought 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; https://www.amazon.com/Celestron-94182-Collimation-Eyepiece-1-25/dp/B00009R7RJ/
- VITE Laser Collimator 1.25 inch with two-inch adapter and battery;
- Celestron Accessory Kit; https://www.amazon.com/Celestron-Eyepiece-Filter-Kit-Telescope/dp/B00006RH5I/
- Telrad Finder Sight; https://www.amazon.com/Telrad-Finder-Sight/dp/B0000ALKAN/
- Orion 05662 1.25-inch 13% transmission filter; https://www.amazon.com/Orion-1-25-Inch-Percent-Transmission-Filter/dp/B0000XMUWS/
- “Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe” by Terence Dickinson; https://www.amazon.com/NightWatch-Practical-Guide-Viewing-Universe/dp/155407147X/
- Orion 08711 1.25-inch Shorty Barlow Lens; https://www.amazon.com/Orion-08711-Shorty-1-25-Inch-Barlow/dp/B0000XMWQW/
- Celestron Omni 2X Barlow Lens; https://www.amazon.com/Celestron-Omni-2X-Barlow-Lens/dp/B00008Y0TM/
- Solomark Chesire 1.25-inch collimating eyepiece with crosshair;
- Celestron 93230 8 to 24mm 1.25 Zoom Eyepiece; https://www.amazon.com/Celestron-93230-24mm-1-25-Eyepiece/dp/B0007UQNV8/
- Celestron 94123 1.25 inch UHC/LPR filter.
(Click image to see more pictures on Amazon)
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.
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.
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 eyepieces, 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 Skywatcher Pro 120ED Telescope.