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Hi,

With how long it's likely to be to wait I'm going to just bite the bullet and just order a telescope. I've spent a while lurking and reading the forum trying to work out what I want (not easy!) and have (probably) decided on an 8" Newtonian. I'm currently considering:

Skywatcher 200p dobsonian

Bresser 8" messier

Skywatcher explorer 200p EQ5

From what I understand using the EQ5 mount rather than the dobsonian can lead to some awkward viewing angles. 

Is there much difference between the SW and Bresser dobs? Am I right in thinking that the bresser mount is a bit better? 

Essentially, if you had to pick one of the dobs, which would you go for and why?

I'm an almost complete beginner. I've been out with a cheap telescope a few times, mostly just viewing the moon. At this point I'm only really interested in observing though would love to get some basic snaps, either on my phone or by attaching my partner's DSLR. I understand that the pictures I'm likely to get are not going to be world beaters, don't worry. I would initially want to be able to see Jupiter and Saturn though would like to be able to see DSOs. At this point I've only ever really viewed the moon. I suspect seeing Jupiter and Saturn would blow my mind though people on here seem to be also blown away by DSOs like pleiades. If I'm right I am hoping that these telescopes would be a great intro to these.

Thanks very much, everybody on here seems to have an infinite amount of patience for these type of questions!

 

Matt

 

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Optically the two are very similar but the Bresser is a better specced scope. Leaving aside the Bressers focuser which is worth the difference in price on it’s own having proper alt and az bearings ma

@MattG if you upgrade the finder scope as suggested then I can send you bolts free of charge to fit the new shoe you would also need to buy.   Message me if you do go that way send me your addres

Bresser owner here. I've used both Bresser and SW 8" dobs now, and the former does feel better and the focuser is a different class. The optics are very similar. As others have said, the Bresser

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The advantages of the Bresser are, firstly, that it's got a better, smoother mount than the Skywatcher due to very big altitude rings.  These also enable you to both rotate and slide the tube up and down for balance.  You can also use an altitude ring to carry the scope more easily, with the tube in one hand and the mount in the other.  IMHO the mount is one of the most important parts of any scope.  You can easily upgrade almost everything else on a Dob, but it's much harder to get an upgraded mount at low cost unless you build your own.

Secondly, it's got an excellent (and much higher-priced) 2 1/2 inch rack and pinion focusser. It's single speed, but there's an optional extra to later convert it into dual speed.  

Thirdly, the mirror on the Bresser is made from low expansion glass and therefore will cool down ready for observing more quickly.  If a scope isn't at the same temperature as the outside air the image will be degraded.

Fourthly, there's only 1 eyepiece but it's of better quality than the 2 Skywatcher ones.  Most people upgrade their Skywatcher eyepieces very quickly anyway; with the Bresser you've already got a good one.

On the other hand, the Skywatcher costs less and is good value for money.  

If I hadn't found a used OOUK Dob, I'd have bought the Bresser.

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I've owned and used lots of the Skywatcher dobs. Optically they are very good. I doubt the Bresser is any better in terms of optical performance. What the Bresser does have though is a better designed mounting arrangement and a better quality focuser.

The finder mounts on the Bressers are not as good as the Skywatchers in my opinion.

I have owned a couple of the EQ5 Skywatcher 200P's as well. These are F/5 rather than the F/6 of the dobsonian so need a little more care in collimation and are harsher on lower cost eyepieces. Being a visual only observer, I don't find the equatorial mounts provide any benefits and the viewing angles and portability are impacted negatively. Form imaging though, the equatorial mount has big advantages over the dobsonian.

These are all decent, well tried and tested scopes though, with their own strengths and weaknesses, as all scopes have. Unless you have access to extremely dark skies I'm not sure the views of most deep sky objects will "blow you away". They will be slightly brighter and more extensive smudges of light than smaller aperture scopes show (being realistic here !). Jupiter and Saturn can be very nice with such scopes - when they are conveniently placed in the sky (which they are not really, currently).

Pick the one that fits your budget best I would suggest :smiley:

 

 

 

Edited by John
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Optically the two are very similar but the Bresser is a better specced scope. Leaving aside the Bressers focuser which is worth the difference in price on it’s own having proper alt and az bearings makes a real difference and it’s the bearings on the SW that are it’s biggest weakness hence all the threads on improving this aspect of the scope.

The Baader finder shoe is a direct replacement for the stock Bresser finder shoe and allows the fitting of any finder with a Synta type foot. Why manufacturers put poor finders on their dobs is another matter. RACI finder should be an option.

The 8” Bresser also has a six point mirror cell instead of the SW very basic cell.

As the Bresser uses tube rings to mount the OTA you can move it up or down for balance or rotate it to put the eyepiece in a better position.  The large alt bearings also make the scope less sensitive to balance which can be handy when changing eyepieces.

To sum up the SW is a good scope with good optics but the Breeser is the better built and better specced scope and actually a better buy as you get more for your money.. No need for improving and upgrading it.

Edited by johninderby
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Thanks for asking the question @MattG

This is great info from all that replied. I was already convinced on the Bresser personally but this wealth of knowledge reinforces my decision. 

Just that painful wait for it to come into stock.

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Thanks all, this is really useful. You've also answered the question I didn't ask - is the Bresser worth the extra £100! 

 

Really appreciate all the answers. Now if only anybody has a nice second hand ones in East Anglia...

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Bresser owner here. I've used both Bresser and SW 8" dobs now, and the former does feel better and the focuser is a different class. The optics are very similar.

As others have said, the Bresser finder is poor but you can replace it with a Baader universal finder bracket and then fit a standard Sinta finder. Lots here have done this and will be able to advise. But the basic finder is enough to get you going with.

The eyepiece is very reasonable, too. I still use it.

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I think that both the Skywatcher and Bresser 8” Dobs are an excellent choice and either could easily be a lifetime scope. Having said that if I could choose between them the Bresser gets my vote for the reasons already given.

About 12 years ago I owned an 8” SW Dob, it was optically excellent and that’s comparing it directly with a well known 8” Dob made in the UK.   SW = great value for money, as does Bresser.

Ed.

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When I was trying to decide between the 8 and 10" Skywatcher dobs I visited a shop that had both on display so that I could compare the size and weight of the two. The 8" Bresser stood next to them was sufficiently better mechanically that I ended up ordering that. If one brand was shown to be consistently better optically then that would be the one to go for, but at the moment the consensus seems to be that they are about the same, and so it comes down whether you want to spend the money on the mechanics of the scope. Additionally, the Bresser has a 10 year warranty and a good customer service department should you find any fault with the telescope. 

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Really wish I could go visit somewhere but genuinely think it'll be months before I could do that 😞

Obviously there's a huge number of EPs and accessories I could buy but I'll need to spread them out a bit... Is there anything I'm desperately missing though?

Thank you so much everybody for the advice!

Matt

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The only problem you have there that's worth pointing out is the Hyperflex. Zooms have a narrower field of view at the longer end of their range (21.5mm end). I'd suggest a longish fixed-FL to get around that, maybe not immediately but you may find the zoom's limitation annoying. A planisphere is useful too and a red torch, neither is expensive but not sure if you can stretch the budget?

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9 minutes ago, wulfrun said:

The only problem you have there that's worth pointing out is the Hyperflex. Zooms have a narrower field of view at the longer end of their range (21.5mm end). I'd suggest a longish fixed-FL to get around that, maybe not immediately but you may find the zoom's limitation annoying. A planisphere is useful too and a red torch, neither is expensive but not sure if you can stretch the budget?

FL? Sorry but if I'm dense!

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5 minutes ago, MattG said:

FL? Sorry but if I'm dense!

FL=focal length, you're not dense it's my fault for assuming too much.

EDIT: actually, my mistake, I see it comes with a 25mm fixed FL, so you're probably covered and can ignore the suggestion.

Edited by wulfrun
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Before I take the plunge I was just waiting for some money to clear and today the Bresser has gone up by 10%. I'm guessing this is fx related or something similar. Is the Bresser still worth the extra money? The difference is now £144 which is really stretching my budget...

Thanks,

Matt

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I guess it depends just how tight your budget is.

In terms of the actual views you will get, both scopes will deliver very similar performance.

The Skywatcher is hardly a poor prospect - there are many, many happy owners of the Skywatcher dobs on here and around the world.

 

 

 

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Still well worth the extra despite the price increase when you consider what you are getting. The SW is fine optically but just not as well built and equipped mechanically. The SW would cost more if you upgraded it to a similar spec to the Bresser. 

A case of spending more up front vs the cost of upgrading.  Of course with the SW you can spread out the cost of the upgrades.. 

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I think I've got to just order and then play the long waiting game. If I upgrade the shoe and RACI, is there particular RACIs that people would recommend? Looking at FLO there's a huge difference in price between the Astro Essentials for £59 and the Explore Scientific for £189, is it really necessary to pay that much for a RACI?

Thanks,

Matt

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I use the Skywatcher and Celestron RACI's on my scopes. 9x50's and 6x30's. They do a good job. Similar quality to the Astro Essentials one I would think.

 

 

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Great thanks guys. I'll order the Bresser now and then when it arrives (several months no doubt) I'll order a RACI, shoe etc etc, help spread the cost out.

Thanks you all for the great advice, really appreciated!

Matt

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