Sky-Watcher 200mm (8") F/1200 Parabolic Truss-Tube Dobsonian


I recently purchased the Sky-Watcher 200mm (8") F/1200 Parabolic Truss-Tube Dobsonian scope, and was extremely impressed with the quality of the product and its ease of use. Initially, I was sceptical about the truss-tube system, and was actually quite put off purchasing it, as it did not appear to look solid and stable, from the internet pictures I had seen. What a false impression!

This scope is amazingly robust, solid and very well-built. I have found the truss-tube system easy to use, much more compact and lightweight than other similar scopes, and also very affordable compared to other Dobsonian scopes with an 8" diameter and 1200mm focal length. This scope will easily fit into the boot of an average car (un-mounted) and is relatively portable, although its quite large and heavy.

The quality of the images it provides with the eyepieces supplied is superb - extremely clear, bright, stable and sharp, compared to other scopes I have used. At high magnification, and especially when using a Barlow lens, the scope performs well and provides really good, clear images. One painful difficulty, however, is with the finderscope that is supplied. As the finder scope is a ???º???straight through???º??æ finderscope ???º?? its difficult to use when looking for objects high in the sky, or right above you, near the zenith. You need to literally get on your hands and knees, and this becomes quite uncomfortable. Its inevitable that you will probably need to purchase an additional finderscope that provides an upright and corrected image, and one that has a 90 degree angle to the scope (Sky-Watcher 9x50 Right-Angled Erecting Finderscope). Besides that, the supplied finderscope is very powerful (9x50) and is also of a high optical quality.

The scope is easy to move around on its base, and moves relatively smoothly and steadily when tracking objects in the sky (you do need to have a steady hand). Its eye piece height is conveniently placed so that you can comfortably sit on a chair or stool and gaze through the scope without standing and becoming tired, unlike some tripod mounted scopes on EQ mounts. There are no slow motion cables with this Dobsonian scope ???º?? you will need to track objects manually, although this is quite easy. With a high magnification, however, this becomes quite tricky and a good, comfortable 90 degree finderscope is necessary. Its also very easy to set up and dismantle the scope on your own, without needing much assistance from others.

As the scope has no equatorial mount, there is no polar aligning and setting up beforehand, as is normally required when using other types of scopes, so you can literally set up and view! You will most likely need planetarium computer software to allow you to know what???º???s in the sky and what to look for, but that???º???s easy to obtain. With the Dobsonian scope, you need to have a general idea of what???º???s in the sky, and what to look for. The scope is very simple to use when objects in the sky are visible to the naked eye, or visible in the finderscope.

With my first scope being a 4.5" Newtonian reflector, with a 450mm focal length, on an equatorial mount, I have found the Sky-Watcher 8"Parabolic Truss-Tube scope to be a ???º???serious???º??æ addition to my collection, and makes the 4.5" Newtonian reflector look like a toy! Overall, the quality of this scope is truly superb for its price, and the images it produces are quite spectacular! Although only a beginner and quite new to astronomy, I definitely recommend this scope to any adult who wants outstanding, sharp, detailed images of objects in space, with good high magnification ability, ease of use, all at an affordable price!
Date Added: 18/09/2008 by Larry Wasserman

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