Sky and Telescope
Dobsonian reflector with 1200mm focal length operating at f/8
||Medium sized reflector on a Dobsonian mount. It ships with two
Plossl eyepieces (25mm and 9mm), a moon filter, and 6x30 finder scope. It also
features Orion's proprietary Correct-Tension system to help with balance issues.
Orion Skyquest XT 6 is a 6 inch aperture F/8 Newtonian reflector on a Dobsonian
mount. The purchase price when I bought mine was $377. I believe
they are now selling for $369.00. This telescope comes as a complete
observing system, including two Sirius Plossl eyepieces of 25mm and 9mm. These
are decent "middle priced" eyepieces, and will serve the beginner
well. With the addition of a Barlow telenegative amplifier, someone just
starting out could be kept busy for years.
That being said, I would like to make it clear that this is not just a beginners
telescope. The images this 'scope throws up to your selected eyepiece, are
probably the best overall I've seen for a reflector in this size class, in all
my years of observing. While I have not done any wave front tests on it,
it is plain to see that
whomever supplies these mirrors to Orion cares about the figure being correct.
There are no zones ( I have two of these 'scopes by the way) and while the
older models had a slight under correction problem, Orion ships all new ones
with the kit for fixing this problem already installed. If you own one of
the older ones it would be worth contacting Orion about the fix, although many
people do not even notice the problem.
I can't find much to seriously complain about. Bright and clear deep sky
images. A very good star test on both of the examples I have. The
Dobsonian mount is smooth in both axis, and the "Correct Tension" on
the altitude hubs is not a gimmick, as anyone who has ever put a 40mm eyepiece
inserted into a Barlow in some 6 to 8 inch 'scopes can testify to. Planetary
images are good, even excellent when seeing conditions permit, (which isn't
often at the bottom of Michigan's "thumb")
There is however one problem that small reflectors can have that I have seen in
this 'scope. When viewing bright objects such as planets I have seen six
diffraction spikes, (six because this 'scope has a three vane spider) you may or
may not find this objectionable. I don't always see this, and it seems to
noticeable when observing in my neighborhood, so I think that it is more a stray
light problem than anything. It really doesn't detract from what you are
looking at, and really it is analogus to the chromatic aberration you get in
those short focal length small refractors. Something most folks wouldn't
notice or if they did would just ignore, however, if Orion used a thin bladed
four vane spider, I don't believe it would even be present, as the thickness of
the vanes is the problem.
This is one exceptional telescope. It works great on a lot of levels.
It is not overwhelming for beginners. It shows enough that "old
hands" won't tire of it easy, and makes a great travel alternative to my
big light buckets. It is a keeper, and I highly recommend it without
reservations to anyone!
My next evaluation will be on my newest 'scope Discovery's Premium 10 inch F/6.
Clear skies to all!
Ed Conley - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lapeer County, Michigan
the author - Hello
everyone, my name is Ed Conley. I have been an avid observer since early
in the year 1975, so I've been "at it" for 27 years if my public
school math is correct.
I saw Curt Irwin's link on the Todd Gross weather and astronomy web page, and
checked out his telescope review site. I believe it is a great site, that
will become a valuable resource for amateur observers looking to get information
on 'scopes that they might be interested in, but don't have access to for
I'll be doing reviews on my collection of 'scopes as well as the 'scopes in our
club. Fellow amateur Charles Nelson and I run a club for 6 through 12
grades, and any and all interested adult guests. The "Eyes on the Sky"
astronomy club is a program of the Lapeer County Intermediate school district's
Math and Science Center, is open to public participation, and is absolutely
free. Anyone reading this who like more information regarding this club
e-mail either Mr. Nelson, email@example.com,
or myself, firstname.lastname@example.org.