If you have done much telescope research, you have undoubtedly heard more than once that “Dobsonian” scopes provide the most bang for the buck, as they say.
Dobsonian telescopes are very popular because they provide a lot of aperture in a relatively compact and inexpensive package.
This kind of telescope provides outstanding light collection at a very reasonable cost.
No doubt, this type of telescope will provide more aperture with decent optics than you could get for a comparable amount of money spent on any other telescope configuration.
If you are considering buying a Dobsonian telescope, here are the top-rated models of our picks.
Top 5 Dobsonian Telescope
Like the other scopes in this line, the XT8i offers good optics at a great price.
Two eyepieces are included in the package. The altazimuth base has easy movement, and it comes with the “Push-to” computerized object locator system.
It also includes a visual finder, in this case, a 50mm refractor.
It is heavier and larger than most non-Dob models, so this is something to consider if kids are using it.
But, If you just want to work with something accurate with LOTS of magnification, easy to set up and use, and you don’t care as much about planets & the moon as you do about stars & galaxies, this scope is a wonderful choice!
For the price, theZhumell Dobsonian 8-Inches are tough to beat. If you’re looking for something under $500 that will let you see stars & galaxies with great magnification and clarity, this telescope will be a perfect match for you!
- Nice Lenses
- Great Magnification
- Not Computerized
It is a bit large and difficult to store. However, it is very easy to break down and set up, so if you have a decent place to keep it, you’ll be just fine.
With that in mind, the major advantage of the Z10 Dobsonian is the 600x magnification! You’ll be able to view objects that are much farther away than with the vast majority of other scopes available.
- HUGE magnification
- Easy setup & breakdown,
- Very accurate
- Somewhat large
If you’re looking for a solid scope to view primarily stars & galaxies, that won’t cost more than $1000. The Zhumell Z10 Dobsonian is an amazing deal!
Dobsonian telescope Buying Guide
A Dobsonian telescope is a Newtonian type reflector that utilizes the traditional optical system of a Newtonian but differs in the mount on which the telescope tube is positioned.
Astronomers know that the essential element of any telescope is the dimension of the main lens or mirror. The larger it is, the more light you will collect and the more things you will see.
Dobsonians are perfect for this because you get a maximum lens or mirror dimension at bargain costs.
Light collecting vs. cost
As mentioned, you get a huge light-collecting capability at a reasonable cost.
A common equatorial mounted telescope of the same size would cost two times as much, and a Schmidt-Cassegrain folded optics telescope of the same aperture could cost around four times the cost of a Dobsonian.
A refractor of the same aperture can easily get up to around ten times.
Simple to setup
This kind of telescope is extremely easy to setup. For most models, you simply place the tube on the mount and carry it out.
If you are unfamiliar with equatorial mounts or are not mechanically inclined, a Dobsonian Telescope is a great choice for you.
Simple to use
Pretty much a point-and-look type of telescope. It effortlessly rotates in any direction with no fuss. Amateur astronomers love them!
There are also a few trade-offs with Dobsonians that you will want to consider before you purchase.
Not suitable for astrophotography
Most Dobsonians don’t monitor objects throughout the sky, meaning you cannot get lengthy exposures and deep space photos.
There are exceptions to this rule, and Orion makes Dobsonions with computerized tracking control, but this will significantly increase the cost.
If astrophotography is something you want to get into, you may want to consider a different kind of scope.
Dobsonians are significantly heavier than the folded optic type of scopes that can be fitted into a suitcase and carried around.
Once disassembled, they come in two halves – the tube and the mount, although both of these types have a handle for carrying.
Aside from size, quality, and price, there are some other debatable points, but I think only one is of much significance— the lack of an electronically driven mount.
These dob mounts don’t have to remain manually operated, ranging in price from a few hundred dollars to a couple of thousand.
When viewing planets at higher magnification levels, you need to nudge the scope along every twenty or thirty seconds to keep the target within the field of view, but it’s not difficult.
If planetary or lunar photography is something you want to learn, a motor-driven mount will be necessary. Otherwise, it just makes life a little easier.