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Explore Scientific FirstLight 8″ Dobsonian Review

13 Sep 2020, 08:21 UTC
Explore Scientific FirstLight 8″ Dobsonian Review
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The Optical Tube
The FirstLight 8” Dobsonian is seemingly a relatively normal 8” f/6 Newtonian on a Dobsonian mount. However, upon closer inspection, it’s a little obvious that the scope uses tooling and parts from other telescopes in some form. The most glaring aspects of this are the oversized secondary mirror hub and the telescope’s focuser. The secondary mirror in the FirstLight 8” is only 2” across, but the holder for it is 2.5” wide. This extra, unnecessary obstruction reduces contrast in the telescope, leading to slightly inferior planetary images. As for why it’s there, the answer is simple – the secondary hub is lifted from Explore Scientific’s 8” f/4 and f/5 Newtonians which have larger secondary mirrors. While the unnecessary extra obstruction is a bit annoying, it doesn’t seriously impact usage, and unlike most other mass-market Dobsonian telescopes these days you can collimate the secondary with a Phillips head screwdriver rather than an Allen key, a nice touch.
As for the primary mirror – the primary of the FirstLight 8” is easily collimated, with thumbscrews rather than the Philips heads of some other manufacturers. The mirror itself is of high quality and delivers splendid, sharp images at both low ...

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