Orion SkyQuest XT10 Dobsonian Telescopes

Orion SkyQuest XT10 Classic Dobsonian Telescope

Did someone say HUGE? How about HUGE and AFFORDABLE? That’s what you get with the SkyQuest XT10 Classic telescope. The XT10 is one of the world’s most popular telescopes because it features a big 10″ aperture and a small price tag. As far as reflector telescopes go, this bad boy is worth every penny.

Did you know that in terms of viewing capability, the aperture size is the most important specification to consider when buying a reflector telescope? The bigger the better because it means the telescope can gather more light and produce a crisper higher resolution image.

XT10 Telescope Light Gathering Comparison

Below is a table that shows how much more light gathering power (in percentage) the XT10 telescope as compared to smaller scopes in the same family.

XT8 XT6 XT4.5
XT10 Additional Light Gathering Power vs smaller models 56% 177% 394%

How to Compare the Light Gathering Power of two Telescopes

The formula is simple:

Square of Aperture of Larger Telescope / Square of Aperture of Smaller Telescope

For example, if you want to compare the 10” telescope to the 8” telescope, applying the formula is easy: ( 10 x 10 ) / ( 8 x 8 ) = 1.56. That means the XT10 telescope gathers 1.56 more light than the XT8, or 56% more if you prefer to look at it that way.

What included with the XT10 Telescope

  • 25mm Orion Sirius Plössl telescope eyepiece (1.25″)
  • EZ Finder II reflex sight
  • Collimation cap
  • Dust cap
  • Starry Night special edition software

XT10 Telescope Specifications

  • Aperture: 254mm (10”)
  • Optical design
  • Optical: Reflector
  • Focal Length: 1200mm
  • Focal Ration: F/4.7
  • Magnification Range: 36X to 508X
  • 2″ Crayford style focuser with 2″ to 1.25″ telescope eyepiece adapter
  • Length of optical tube: 47.8 in.
  • Weight, optical tube: 30.8 lbs.
  • Weight, mount: 22.6 lbs.
  • Weight, fully assembled: 53.4 lbs.

Comparing Telescopes: XT10, XT10i and XT10g

The difference between these three models is with the mount. In terms of viewing experience and specs of the telescope tube, they are identical.

The XT10 is a manual telescope. There is no computer assistance, databases, tracking system, or motors. To use it, you physically move the telescope and point it to where you want to look, meaning you have to know where to point it to begin with. The advantage of the full manual option is that isn’t cheaper. The disadvantage is that your are limited by your own knowledge of the sky since you must point it at your target, thus must know the location of your target, Additionally, while the telescope is excellent for viewing deep space objects, you will not be able to do any descent astrophotography with it. That requires a GoTo mount, which is available in the XT10g model.

The XT10i Telescope is a “Push To” telescope. There is a computer on board and you can key in a code that corresponds to a specific celestial object. You still need to manually more the telescope, but it will tell you where to point it. It’s therefore not a fully motorized GoTo telescope. It’s the compromise between the fully manual and fully automatic scope. The advantage is that viewing even the most elusive deep-sky curiosities with the XT10i telescope becomes a “no brainer.” Just select an object to view from the controller’s 14,000-object database. The disadvantage is that it is still unsuitable for astrophotography.

The XT10g Telescope is the Cadillac of the family. It does everything! The GoTo system means that you can key in an object code, just like the XT10i, but this telescope will position itself and stay on target. It is a fully motorized and automatic telescope. The advantage is that you don’t need much knowledge about celestial objects. This Dobsonian reflector telescope locates, centers, and automatically tracks any of 42,000 celestial objects from its massive database. As it can track objects, it is perfect for astrophotography and you can produce stunning high resolution images with it. The disadvantage is that it will cost more than the other two models.

Which XT10 Telescope to Buy?

Obviously, budget is going to be the deciding factor. If you can’t spend too much money, then you’ll have to go with the Classic XT10. If you absolutely want a computerized or GoTo telescope in that price range, then you’ll have to consider a smaller scope, like the XT8i, or even smaller telescopes in other categories (non Dobsonians).

If budget isn’t really an issue, then consider the XT10i or XT10g over then SkyQuest XT10 Classic. In the long run, you’ll save so much time by finding targets quickly. The choice between the XT10i and XT10g is simple. If you want to do astrophotography or if you want a telescope that auto tracks a target while you view it, then go with the XT10g. If you don’t care about those two things, then go with the XT10i.

Orion SkyQuest XT10 Classic Dobsonian TelescopeOrion SkyQuest XT10 Classic Dobsonian Telescope


Orion SkyQuest XT10i Computerized IntelliScope TelescopeOrion SkyQuest XT10i Computerized IntelliScope Telescope SkyQuest XT10g Computerized GoTo Dobsonian TelescopeSkyQuest XT10g Computerized GoTo Dobsonian Telescope