Telescopes for beginners

Good morning all. I’ve been looking for telescopes since few weeks and shortlisted the below

  1. Skywatcher 6" Dibsonian
  2. Orion XT6 Dob
  3. GSO 6" Dob
    Need some inputs from experts in these products before I can finalize.plz do share some pros and cons based on your experiences. Appreciate your responses.

Hi Chandrasekar,

You have 3 Brilliant Choices. I have myself a GSO 8 inch professional Dobsonian and The Quality of the Mirror and The Equipment is Simply world Class. Just Note: DOBS are not Meant for Photography, Its Great for Visual. GSO is Manufactured by GSO itself and Other Two are from Synta. All Three are good in their Class. If you can afford GSO professional Dobsonian which has a Dual Speed Crayford Focuser and Better Mount, Then you can go for GSO undoubtedly. If you are choosing the Nightwatch version, you can go with anyone which is bang for the Buck, Since there won’t be much difference between them. I guess Skywatcher should be much higher than the Other Two. One Another Point to Consider is the Weight of the Scope, if you have to Carry too often. Orion scores in the Weight category, Its much lighter than the Other Two. Hope my Insights help.

@Venkatesh_Rajamani thanks for the insights. I shortlisted DOBs for easy handling compared to EQ mounts. I’m also interested in photography (not as professional) but can we try basics hands-on photography using the dobsonian mounts? Primarily I’m looking for planetary and deepsky views. I’ve also read few reviews on accessories which we need to purchase additionally. Need some guidance on that too.

Yes, Its just we have to Manually Track and we can’t get very long Exposure Pictures. You have too buy T rings if you had a DSLR camera or a Phone Mount from Amazon for Photography. I have taken some Cool Photos of Moon with just phone, The DOB is the Best One for a Starter and Visual. Surely its a light Bucket. If you have slightly more Budget, you can go for the 8 inches, which was the advise i got, Since the Extra 2 inch Aperture will be helpful in a Long Time perspective. Additional accessories will be T rings or phone Mount based on what you have, Barlow can be useful, 2 inch GSO ED Barlow is great for Photography.

@Venkatesh_Rajamani thanks. Let me post once I get my telescope. Meanwhile here is the one which I clicked long ago using my regular 200mm Nikor with D3300

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@Chandrasekar_C, one suggestion I would give is to get an 8 inch if you can afford the extra cash.

I own a GSO 8 inch professional dob but I have also used SkyWatcher’s 6 and 8 inch versions over the last few years. From my experience, GSO’s mount is smoother compared to the SkyWatcher. However, the focusser in the professional version(the dual speed Crayford focuser) doesn’t really work that well. When heavy eyepieces are used, it doesn’t move smoothly and the focuser draw tube drops down due to the weight. If I have one complaint with my telescope, it has to be the focusser. It annoys me so much that I tend to just use my own hand to move the eyepiece as needed. Other than that, I have had no issues with the scope over the last 6+ years. The optics are good and the scope itself has tolerated a lot of harsh road trips.

They might have improved the focusser over the recent years. Maybe @Venkatesh_Rajamani can share his experience with the focusser on his scope.

Please note that the GSO normal version comes with a different mount and I am not sure how it is compared to other scopes.

Hi Siva, I could feel you when you wrote about the Focuser. I guess they didn’t Improve much on that. I get annoyed sometimes too.:sweat_smile: Since @Chandrasekar_C is looking to go for the Normal Version, there won’t be much Trouble since its gonna be the Single Speed One. When Comparing with Skywatcher, GSO may be less pricy. But I am not sure How GSO and Orion’s Normal Mount(The XT and GSO nightwatch shares the Same mount) compares with Skywatcher’s Tension Mount. Eventhough if you opt for Normal Version, Choose a 8 inch if you can afford., You would appreciate your Decision in future.

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@Venkatesh_Rajamani @siva - Appreciate your feedback. 8" Nightwatch is already and extended budget for me. 8" pro costs around 39K including taxes. Hope nightwatcher doesnt disappoints if I’m finalizing it. Also I was also checking for XT8; any feedback on orion ?
Final verdict on GSO 8" Nightwatch vs Orion Skyquest XT8?