If you also plan to use your telescope for terrestrial viewing (bird watching, etc. I would highly recommend using one of these apps, since they can tell you about objects that you may have never heard of. Then, you can start hunting down those objects with your telescope to see them with your own eyes! When you first take it out of the box, there may be some basic assembly required, but it’s generally no more difficult than putting together an IKEA bookshelf. If you’re a beginner, I generally don’t recommend this option unless you know an experienced astronomer who can guide you and help you test the telescope. For example, the SkyWatcher S11610, Orion SkyQuest, and Zhumell Z8 have slight differences in features, but in terms of optics and light-gathering ability, they’re all pretty similar. Today, many telescope companies make Dobsonians, using the same basic design but with more modern touches. You gotta draw the line somewhere! GoTo can be a great feature to have, but it isn’t necessarily essential. Many 8-inch Dobs only weigh about 35 lbs (16 kg), so if you’re just taking the telescope to your backyard, you can carry the whole thing at once if you prefer. This 8-inch Dobsonian telescope features a two-inch Crayford-style focuser that comes with all-metal bearings. Once the scope is set up, it’s usually a good idea to do a quick collimation (calibration) to give the sharpest views. It’s very intuitive, and there’s almost no wrong way to do it. That’s it. So What Is It. Best for beginners who need portability: Sky-Watcher 8″ When you need the best Dobsonian that will fit in the back of your VW Beetle convertible, this is the telescope you want and is the best Dobsonian for portability and storage. Dobs (like other Newtonians) flip the image, which a non-issue for astronomy but probably a deal-breaker for terrestrial viewing. An 8-inch Dob offers a good balance between these two factors. This best cheap Dobsonian telescope stands on the floor on a stable Dobsonian base that provides vibration-free imaging, even when viewing at high power. There are different ways to find faint objects, but the general idea is that you’ll start by pointing the telescope at a brighter star near the object, and then adjust the telescope until the faint object is in view. Using these apps, you can simply point your phone or tablet at the sky, and it will show a map of any planets, star clusters, nebulas, and galaxies that are in that section of sky. Again, you’ll want to seek the advice of a more experienced astronomer who can help you choose the right mirror set for your project. Here are our reviews of the best 10 inch Dobsonian telescopes. Want to look at a different object? Design-wise, there isn’t much else to say about it. How to Calculate the Magnification of Any Telescope (Calculator). A refractor or Maksutov-Cassegrain is usually a better choice for terrestrial viewing. The Big Dipper Is Not a Constellation. Sky-Watcher 6” Traditional Dobsonian - Choice Between $300-$350. This is a very easy process, and it can really bring out the best in your telescope. If you have a smartphone or tablet, there are many apps (like Star Walk and SkySafari) that can help you locate objects. If you do decide to build a Dob, I would strongly recommend buying the primary and secondary mirrors rather than grinding them yourself. Since you’ll often use higher magnifications to view planets, they’ll move out of view fairly quickly. At higher magnifications, you’ll need to do this more frequently. These telescopes are usually cheaper than full GoTo scopes, so they can be a great compromise if you’re on the fence about GoTo. If you (or your kids) will have trouble lugging around a large telescope, a 6-inch or 4.5-inch Dob can be a good option. For some of the best Dobsonian parts and upgrades out there, check out www.scopestuff.com. Fainter objects (like nebulas and galaxies) often take a bit more effort to find. We’ll go into more detail later on about what a Dobsonian is and why this is the type you should start with, but suffice to say this telescope is the sweet spot that will give you the best experience without spending a lot of money. There are many brands that make Dobsonians. OK, let’s keep this simple. It is specially designed to provide you with a smooth and accurate performance. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. There are many options available — you could get a computerized, manual or collapsible Dobsonian, or you could search for Dobsonian telescope kits that come with a moon filter and other accessories. Just grab it point it at the new object. The SkyWatcher is a computerized Dobsonian—many people find that automated telescopes are a real gamechanger! Best 8-Inch Dobsonian Telescope SkyWatcher GoTo Collapsible Dobsonian. We’ll go into more detail later on about what a Dobsonian is and why this is the type you should start with, but suffice to say this telescope is the sweet spot that will give you the best experience without spending a lot of money. There are many brands that make Dobsonians. A Dobsonian is simply a Newtonian reflector (a type of telescope that uses mirrors instead of lenses) that sits on a short, rotating base. Our picks for the best Dobsonian telescopes are SkyWatcher S11820 GoTo Collapsible Dobsonian, Zhumell Z8 and Orion 10019 SkyQuest XT10i Telescope. If you have a larger budget, you may want to start with a 10-inch or 12-inch Dob to get even brighter views. But it’s also small enough to be moved and set up by one person, and it fits in most cars. Collapsible Design. Most Dobsonians can be transported in two parts: the base and the optical tube. Some Dobs, like the Orion IntelliScope line, have the ability to locate objects, without the motors that point the telescope for you. Although the 8-inch Dob can offer a great overall experience for most people, there may be reasons to go with a different model. ), a Dob isn’t a good choice. Get one that has an erect image prism, and it should be versatile enough to work for astronomy or terrestrial purposes. An equatorial mount makes tracking the objects easier, although it also requires more setup. The larger the telescope, the more you can see (making it easier and more enjoyable to use). In my opinion, this is where a Dobsonian really shines. After that, there will be very little setup required each time you want to use the telescope. And that’s exactly what makes it so great! If you have a larger budget, you may want to spend it on a larger telescope that will give you brighter views. I’m going to make it easy for you and tell you which telescope you should buy: That’s it. Most Dobs will come with a built-in red-dot finder or some other kind of finderscope. Many telescopes have a feature called GoTo, which can automatically locate objects and point the telescope using motors in the base (for example, this SkyWatcher GoTo Dob). This makes it easier to find and track objects, but it does cost extra. This makes it much easier to carry or fit in a car. You should get an 8-inch Dobsonian. It features smooth motions to make tracking of celestial objects very easy, even for our younger children. Here are our reviews of the best 10 inch Dobsonian telescopes. While viewing an object, the object will gradually move out of view. There are also tabletop Dobs that are even more portable. To keep the object in view, you’ll just need to occasionally nudge the telescope. Earlier I mentioned that amateur astronomers can build their own Dobs. Although Dobs are more forgiving than other telescope designs, if they aren’t built right they may just lead to frustration. At first, these telescopes were all home-built, using plywood, construction tubes, or whatever materials were readily available. Buy On Amazon. It really depends on how far you’re carrying it and how comfortable you are carrying bulky objects. Although it was still a lot of work (especially grinding the mirrors by hand), the design put larger telescopes within reach for countless hobbyists. SkyWatcher S11800 GoTo Collapsible Dobsonian 8-Inch Review. Orion 10019 SkyQuest XT10i IntelliScope Dobsonian Telescope. To look at an object, you can simply grab the telescope (pretty much anywhere on the optical tube), and point it at the object.