First Large Telescope
Sky-Watcher 250P Flextube 10”. This is my first large scale (large scale to me) telescope. I’ve had the smaller aperture style but this my first big one. Just from first impression I can say that I am totally satisfied with my purchase. I haven’t used it enough yet for a full over all review. As far as receiving and assembly, it was great. I received it within a week of ordering. There is a video on YouTube for the assembly which was perfect. It looks awesome put together. I did use it one night. I saw Jupiter and was able to see the orange stripes around the planet. I was also able to see four of the moons. I will have to look again to see if I can see the big red spot. I got very good images of our moon. After a while of more usage I will leave a better update of my experience with the telescope.
Once I got the scope out of the packaging, my jaw dropped. It's a stunning piece of work. White trim with a deep clear coat with sparkling black finish. Fit and finish is very good. I would give it a 5 star rating for ease of use, but collimating the scope was and is an issue. I can collimate a dob in two minutes easy. I even bought a Hotech laser for it and my 10 " Schmidt Newtonian. After ten minutes or more and multiple times, I have yet to be able to get the laser point in the middle of the donut. It gets right on the donut ring and jumps off. I got it aligned the best I could. Gave it first light and still was impressed with the view. M57 was stunning. M15 was very nice. Saturn was pretty good and I'm betting it too would be stunning had I been able to collimate it correctly. Maybe some knobs from Bob's Knob's will help? Not giving up. It's a beautiful scope and is going to my granddaughter as a gift. Since nothing was said by the other two (at this time) I assume they have no issues with this subject. I would still recomend it. It will Collimate, it may just need breaking in. Oh, and the focuser is smooth and easy to use. Having used Dobs from other manufacurers in the aproximate price range, their focusers are occasionally not as smooth and are quite clunky on some scopes.
I'm fairly new to astronomy, so this isn't a review of optical quality. I have little viewinbg experience to use to rate the optics. Obviously, the views at first light were breathtaking compared to the 80mm refractor I started with. I was most impressed with the packaging. The boards of the base weren't just wadded in place w/ peanuts, they were secured with carefully cut cardboard, and covered w/ dense thin foam to prevent scratches. All the parts were individually bagged in groups according to when they were needed during assembly. The supplied tools were up to the task and I did not need anything else to complete the base assembly in less than 25 minutes. One thing was missing: the three screws to hold the eyepiece holder. Easily fixed from my backup stock. Oh, and it would be nice if the manual came in the package. I found it on line and DL'd it, but would have preferred to have a quality copy. The OTA is beautiful, no scratches, shiny and very solid feeling. I had wondered just how sturdy the supports would be when extended, but I can see no wobble between the top and the bottom, even if handled a bit roughly. Did a rough check on collimation and it seemed close. I'll check it more closely when I go out for a full night of viewing. I suspect, if handled carefully, collimation should be a snap and alignment may survive several trips. I own a very small Geo Tracker with the back seat taken out. The OTA fits snugly from front to rear, sitting on two of the foam blocks that came in the packaging. The base sits beside it, and there is still room for my observing chair and my plastic gun-case in which I carry eyepieces, flashlights, compass, etc. A lot of careful engineering and attention to quality during manufacturing went into this package. I would definitely recommend this scope to other serious beginners. Save your money don't buy a little cheap department store scope. Invest in your hobby and get something you won't outgrow in a month. Tim
Very good optics
I was told by the nice people at OPT that this isn't a planetary scope, but I beg to differ: provided collimation is done right and the mirror is thermally stabilized, it puts up razor sharp planetary views, better than I've seen in refractors costing 8X as much. There's very little to criticize for the price except that there's a little more stiction in the bearings than I would like. Otherwise it feels like a well-built scope, and the optical performance is very, very good.