Orion SkyQuest XT10g GoTo Dobsonian Review
The Orion SkyQuest XT10G is the largest and most powerful of the tube dobsonians and is a jumping off point before entering the larger truss series. It is an excellent telescope by any measure with a massive aperture and great optics.
The XT10G is often viewed as a second dobsonian telescope after someone has outworn their smaller scope like the XT4.5 and is looking for something more substantial. The main selling point for this particular model is the GoTo motorized system that allows for complete automatic tracking of the stars.
The motorized tracking system is extremely important to astronomers for two main reasons. First, it allows for a much easier and faster use. Many pros will have earned their right to use a motorized tracking system after many long nights spent doing it manually. Having the telescope track on its own is a dream come true to those who are ready for the luxury of unhindered star gazing.
The second reason having a motorized system is so important has to do with astrophotography. Because night time photography requires longer exposures for crisp shots, it’s very important to have a telescope that is able to track the stars smoothly on its own. And that is exactly what the XT10g does.
Many enthusiasts who are looking for a more powerful telescope around the $1100 range will choose the XT10g over the larger XX12i because of its GoTo motorized system. When considering a trade off between a wider aperture and a mechanized slewing device, it is easy to see why the XT10g would win out. Being about $200 more, the 12″ is a significant jump in price. You can purchase the XT10g choose from a great selection of add-ons such as software, a padded case and of course a solar filterthat could easily add up to the price of the XX12i without these goodies.
Another great feature of the XT10g is its database of celestial objects. While the Intelliscope version of this dobsonian has a staggering 14,000 objects to choose from, the GoTo system dominates with over 42,000! This gives the telescope a much richer depth of field. While you would probably never see every object in the Intelliscope database, you might find yourself really enthusiastic with one section of the night sky where the Intelliscope has only a quarter of the objects of the GoTo system.
The SkyQuest XT10g has incredible optics and is extremely easy to use. The mirror has a mark in the center that makes aligning objects straight forward. The steel tube comes with a dual-speed 2 Crayford focuser (with 1.25″ adapter). The 11:1 fine-focus knob leads to sharp a focus point. The telescope’s open mirror cell design results in a good cooling of the mirror which results in a non-warped view. You can also hook up a fan, if you are in an environment that requires it.
Included with the SkyQuest XT10g base are optical encoders, drive motors and gears pre-installed. This makes assembly quick and very easy. The optical tube fits in place on a dovetail trunnion and locks with a single hand knob. A simple two-star alignment is all that’s needed to orient the telscope. And when it’s time to pack it in, just loosen the knob and out comes the tube. Handles on the side make it easy transport.
On the whole, the XT10g is a great purchase and an excellent third or fourth telescope. As a beginner scope, it’s pretty impressive and will give you an excellent view of the night sky. If you’re looking to spend around $1100, or perhaps $12-1300 with lenses and software, this is the way to go. For more information, go here.