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Posted (edited)

Hi,  I am guessing this may have many different opinions and reviews,  but would still like to ask the question to see what everyone's thoughts on this would be.

I am looking to upgrade from my 10 inch Skywatcher Dobsonian GoTo mount to a 16 inch Dobsonian

Mainly looking to keep with the Dobsonians as i have read many times that they give better optical views or planetary objects and deep space as well,  Please correct me if i am wrong here.

 

So what i have been told is that Skywatcher Dobsonians don't have the best optics in them,  kind of built to a price,  is this correct?

I was hoping to find out some information on what would be a good 16 inch dobsonian to move into,  but at the same time i like to have the GoTo setup or something simular so that i can say view Jupiter and not have to keep bumping the scope around.

With my current 10 inch GoTo,  i can have it locked onto Jupiter and it will track it pretty well.

 

So is this correct about Skywatcher optics?  or just is there better options out there?

I was looking to go to a Skywatcher Cassergrain 180, The started to look at the celestron c14 ( bit costly though)  But think a 16 inch Dobsonian would be a better option now for planetary and deep space.

 

Any advice or inputs would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

 

 

Edited by bluesilver

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Posted (edited)

Hi Peter,

We haven't crossed paths since your Go-To problems on Ice In Space last year, glad you got that sorted in the end.

There is no doubt that Skywatcher equipment is built to a price, but then so is everything these days. There is also no doubt that their optics are very good, certainly are in my 12 inch Dob, gives me excellent views of both planets and deep sky targets.

Like everything in technology, once you get to a certain high level the improvements become increasingly small for ever increasing expenditure. By all means go for better quality, but be prepared to pay an awful lot more to see any benefit.

You must have had some wonderful views with your 10 inch Dob have you not?

Edited by Geoff Barnes

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Hi Peter

The Skywatcher, GSO, Bresser and Explore Scientific are all similar in optical quality and are actually pretty good. Yes you can get better optics but at a cost. To make better optics than the afforementioned brands involves a lot of expemsive hands on work by skilled craftsmen so just improving a mirror a little bit can double the price or more. Unfortunately as the price shoots up the improvements are small. Forget value for money for the premium dobs. 

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I agree with the above views on optical quality of the mass produced dobsonians. Pretty good for the price charged and certainly enough to deliever the  potential performance that the apertures have to offer.

In the UK we have Orion Optics who offer higher quality mirror options in their scopes but the price (when purchased new) is substantially higher than the far eastern scopes such as Skywatcher, Meade, Bresser GSO etc. On the used market an Orion Optics scope with their better quality optics can make an atttractive proposition though.

I guess if you want the best of all something like an Obsession dobsonian with a primary mirror from one of the top opticians such as Carl Zambuto might be up there ?

 

 

 

 

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15" obsession with quality optics is what I would look at buying. 

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The Skywatcher mirrors aren’t bad, but the whole scope is built to a price. So you end up with a very big heavy piece of kit. I would worry as much about getting a realatively manageable ridged scope as much as premium optics.... although, they do help. 

Eastwig’s (above) suggestion would be a winner, but $$$

Paul

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1 hour ago, Geoff Barnes said:

Hi Peter,

We haven't crossed paths since your Go-To problems on Ice In Space last year, glad you got that sorted in the end.

There is no doubt that Skywatcher equipment is built to a price, but then so is everything these days. There is also no doubt that their optics are very good, certainly are in my 12 inch Dob, gives me excellent views of both planes and deep sky targets.

Like everything in technology, once you get to a certain high level the improvements become increasingly small for ever increasing expenditure. By all means go for better quality, but be prepared to pay an awful lot more to see any benefit.

You must have had some wonderful views with your 10 inch Dob have you not?

Hi Geoff,

Yes got the GoTo issues sorted out,  was the bottom motor unit that was faulty right from the factory.

Took months to sort out,  but had some very good views with it for sure,  had a few colimation issues also from factory,  but all sorted now.

 

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Thanks for the replies,  Just thought i would ask the question as i wasn't too sure what else was out there.

Just looking to move up into a larger version and was looking to see if there was a different option.

Sounds like to get premium mirrors that size is quiet a leap in price wise and not that much more of a gain for the huge price change.

Appreciated.

Thanks.

 

 

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There is always a "law of diminishing returns" when it comes to optical equipment. The trick is to decide where on the price v performance curve you are comfortable with being and to make the most of that I think.

Note: the above sounds so logical and rational. I wish that I could adhere to it myself each time something tempting comes along :rolleyes2:

 

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Although, an upgrade from a 10” to a  light 16” should be well worth it; even if the mirror is of only ok quality.

I upgraded from a 10” Skywatcher Dob to an OOUK 16” 6pv mirror Dob. Not what you would call ‘Premium’, but definitely worth the jump.

Paul

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I would watch the weight carefully.  I have a 15" truss Dob that is all oak with a full thickness Nova mirror that is very good indeed.  However, the mirror box is 65 pounds which is just a bit too much for my back to deal with most of the time.  I'm thinking about getting a 12" or 14" aluminum truss Dob with a tapered mirror to cut down on weight so I'll use it more often.  If I had a dry place outdoors to store the 15" assembled, I could add wheelbarrow handles to it to wheel it out.  Perhaps if I get a place in New Mexico when I retire, that might be an option.

I don't know about Australia, but used premium Dobs come up all the time on Astromart and Cloudy Nights classifieds for good prices.  The mechanics and finish are also much better than on mass produced Dobs from the Far East.  I've also never heard of issues with their integrated goto systems when so equipped.

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Harder it is to set-up/put away, the less you’ll use it.

Building mine a Dob trolley so that I can just wheel and view, revolutionised my observing. Most of us are very lazy indeed....

Paul

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A 16" Dob? Depends what you want to get out of using it.  I know these instruments have their enthusiasts, and are said to give good views of nebulae from dark skies sites.  So is this what you intend? The only 16" telescope I clearly remember seeing was a decidedly non-portable 16" SCT installed in an expensive-looking brick observatory.

For planetary, it may not give better views than a much smaller instrument, as the performance will be essentially limited by the seeing, and not the size of the instrument.  One sees reports from observers saying that they got a better view after stopping down their large scope. Even with an 8" SCT I find that seeing is a major factor, and that I can see a lot more detail via planetary imaging than at the eyepiece.  'Seeing' is also the limiting factor even with planetary imaging using a scope this size.

For looking at galaxies, I was surprised to discover that a 4" aperture home-brewed EVAA outfit seemed capable of showing as much from my backyard as my 8" SCT did from a remote dark skies site.

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I went from a SW 150pl to a 250pds then a 300pds and now have a 16" Sumerian Optics Alkaid.

The ease of use and lightness for me is great and I believe it has a very good primary mirror.

It would also cost 4-5x the new price of a 300pds for a good reason.

If you get to test scopes under the stars, use your highest power eyepiece on a bright star and compare the scatter from the star with that feom the other scopes. The better the mirrors, the less scatter.... of course using the same eyepiece would be needed to get a good comparison.

You generally get what you pay for so go for the best you can afford.

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6 hours ago, Paul73 said:

The Skywatcher mirrors aren’t bad, but the whole scope is built to a price. So you end up with a very big heavy piece of kit. I would worry as much about getting a realatively manageable ridged scope as much as premium optics.... although, they do help. 

 

My Orion Optics 12 inc F/5.3 dob weighs in total about the same as a Meade / GSO / Skywatcher / Bresser 10 inch dob. My base is 18mm marine plywood which is stronger but weighs less than the MDF board that the mass produced ones use. Orion Optics tubes are aluminum which again saves some weight.

 

 

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One question: have you seen a 16" in the flesh? They're really big. Once I saw one I realised that it would be a struggle to get it through doors and for objects near the zenith I'd need a ladder (I'm 6 foot). In the end I downgraded slightly and went for a 14"- which is just the right side of convenient. It's not quite as powerful, but I don't regret this because it gets a lot of use and I'm not sure the 16" would have.

It has relativey cheap far Eastern optics and I find them fine.. 

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This youtube vid shows the Skywatcher 16” dob and will show you how big it is.

 

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A lot of good information here.

I realise they are a big unit and anything near Zenith is going to require something to stand on.

Moving them in and out isn't a issue as i have a trolley system already setup complete with feet to get it level,  so don't have to lift it anywhere.

I might have to keep an eye out in the for sale sections for a bit to see what comes up.

Haven't really seen much here in Australia apart from Skywatcher brands,  but mainly going to be used for nebulae and deep sky viewing.

Good information to think about though.

Appreciated.

 

 

 

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Lucky you in Oz with access to southern hemisphere skies ;)

Have you looked at SDM telescopes?  New if you can afford it, or of course used if you get lucky to find one!

Requesting the free info pack from Obsession on their website gives a lot of interesting information, even if you don't purchase from them.

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