Looking for an upgrade?
Wanting to get into astrophotography?
Are you sticking to a budget?
Look no further.
The Orion Sirius 8 EQ-G GoTo Reflector telescope will fulfill all the requirements above.
It’s an excellent upgrade for a beginner, you can try your hand at astrophotography, and it’s under $2000.
You get more scope for your money versus a refractor, and you have a tried-and-tested computerized EQ mount that you can trust.
Here’s some additional info!
✔️ Best Feature: EQ-G mount
❌ Worst Feature: Size & weight
👌 Ideal For: Celestial Viewing, Stargazing, Lunar & Planetary Observation, DSO Viewing, Astrophotography, Beginners, Intermediates, Experts
- Optical Design: Reflector
- Aperture: 203 mm
- Focal Length: 1000 mm
- Focal Ratio: f/4.9
- Eyepieces Included: 25 mm, 10 mm
Our Verdict: Visual users covet aperture while imaging users covet great mounts. With the Orion Sirius 8 EQ-G, you have both. For a decent price that allows you to learn and develop your skills over the next few years, it’s an excellent stargazing telescope worth adding to your collection.
Who is the Orion Sirius 8 EQ-G GoTo Best Suited to?
The Sirius 8 EQ-G is rated by Orion as an advanced system likely best suited to experts. While it’s a telescope and mount system that an intermediate user and expert would enjoy using, it’s more appropriate as an upgrade for the amateur observer who wants to take their skills to the next level.
For astrophotography, there are many skills and different types of astro imaging to learn that has a natural course of a few to several years. Experts may find themselves limited with the mount, but it has plenty to offer the beginner who isn’t yet ready to break the bank.
Regardless of first impressions, this is actually a compact and portable setup to take to various locations to capture quality imaging. This may be an option for an intermediate and expert that is unwilling to haul around their more expensive and heftier loads.
How Does the Orion Sirius 8 EQ-G GoTo Perform?
For the price, the Sirius 8 EQ-G performs better than expected. To be honest, this platform is essentially the SkyView Pro 8 OTA on a Sirius EQ-G mount. The OTA has an 8” (203 mm) aperture, 1000 mm focal length, and an f/5 ratio. It’s great for astroimaging for both deep sky and local objects. The real imaging performance comes from the sturdy Go To mount which we’ll get into later.
While the Sirius telescope has great value, it doesn’t come without compromise. A straight-thru finderscope isn’t so popular on a Newtonian reflector, and a dual-speed focuser would be a very convenient feature to have for imaging. Unfortunately, only a single-speed focuser comes with this OTA.
Features & Benefits
The Sirius EQ-G mount is essentially a CGEM (Computerized German Equatorial Mount). It’s exactly what you want for auto tracking and long exposure astrophotography, and this type of mount is what an amateur would consider a real and serious upgrade.
While it is within the high-caliber family of mounts, it’s still entry-level. For visual observation, you can tack on up to 30 lbs, but for imaging, it’s best not to exceed 15 lbs due to strain on the mount that can cause inaccurate tracking.
The mount has a cast aluminum body with an 8.3” dovetail mounting rail, and it has an integrated polar axis finder scope. It has dual-axis stepper motors that are known for smooth and precise tracking and a built-in autoguider interface. With PEC (Periodic Error Correction) and backlash compensation, you’ll essentially correct for possible flaws with slewing and tracking.
SynScan V4 GoTo Hand Controller
The hand controller is intuitive, and beginners will quickly learn how to master functions. It can automatically slew to over 42,000 objects with push-button simplicity. It allows for 10 slew speeds, text and backlight are both adjustable, and of course, it can be connected directly to your computer or tablet. The SynScan is also ST-4 compatible which means the built-in autoguider interface can be used for direct-to-mount guiding that you may find necessary for astronomical imaging.
With a fast telescope like this one, it’s important to have a parabolic primary mirror. The parabolic shape allows for reduced chromatic and spherical aberration. This should be noted since many entry-level reflectors now incorporate spherical mirrors. They’re not bad, but they’re often wrongly paired with short tubes where light is unable to focus at a common focal point. This results in image blurriness and inability to focus correctly.
Fortunately, you won’t have to deal with that, but you may want to keep your eye open for off-axis aberrations. The nice thing about this telescope is you’ll have a wide field of view, so you can experiment with exposure times while still maintaining a high SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio) value to improve imaging quality.
Good for Astrophotography
As we’ve established, this is a good, beginner telescope for astrophotography. It has a motorized drive, sturdy mount and tripod, and good optical quality. Half the battle is won right there. The other half will be won as you gather much-needed accessories for imaging and learn what is needed for various types of objects you can want to capture.
Orion lists the Sirius 8 as a deep sky imaging telescope. You can do piggyback photography by using your own camera that mounts on top of the tube. It takes a lot of practice and experimenting to master it. For lunar photography, you can experiment with exposure times less than one second. For planetary photography, try exposure times between one to 10 seconds. Make sure to use a remote shutter release.
Size & Weight
The Orion telescope tube is 38” long and 16.5” – not bad, eh? Well, once you start adding up the rest of the gear, you’ll be hauling quite the load. The mount and tripod weigh 32 lbs, and there are two counterweights that weigh 11 lbs each. That’s already a total of 70 lbs (approx.). However, total assembly weight is 84.7 lbs. The added weight comes from the tube rings, dovetail rail, finderscope, and additional accessories. You must think ahead to consider if you’re willing to transport it and have the room to store it at home.
While it is quite the load, it’s certainly lighter and easier to transport than many higher-end and larger models that you may not be willing to load up and take for a ride.
Is a Power Supply Included with the Orion Sirius 8 EQ-G Telescope?
A 12V DC power cable is included with the telescope package but no power source. You will have to purchase or bring along your own 12V DC battery pack which is usually the better option for mobility.
Can you Collimate the Orion Telescope?
Yes! Included with the telescope package is a collimation cap to collimate the reflector scope. Both the primary and secondary mirrors are collimatable. Orion also provides extensive instructions on collimation, polar alignment, and aligning the finder scope.
What is the Payload Capacity of the Sirius EQ-G Mount?
The payload capacity of the mount is between 25-30 lbs. For visual purposes, you can tack on quite the load, but for astrophotography, you’ll need to keep a close eye on weight. You can achieve unguided exposures for a few minutes, but additional equipment means more weight.
As is, this mount is still an entry-level model. For the beginner astrophotographer that is learning and sticking to a budget, it will more than suffice. But, if you’re not looking to upgrade in a few to five years, then this may not be mount system for you.
What is the Highest Magnification of the Sirius 8 Telescope?
Magnification is determined by the eyepiece of choice. To calculate maximum magnification, you must take the telescope focal length and divide by the eyepiece focal length. In this case, it would be 1000 mm divide by 25 mm. This provides 40x magnification.
However, the highest theoretical magnification that can be achieved with this telescope and a short focal length eyepiece is 480x, but this is likely to result in an unusable field of view and aberrations that blur an image beyond recognition. The highest useful magnification is 300x.
What powers should you use? Use low power for wide field of views to see deep-sky and large objects for visual and imaging purposes. For small objects that are particularly like planetary nebulae, use high magnification. For small objects like galaxies, use a mid-range magnification. This is just a guide, not hard and fast rules. You’ll find the best magnifications for observation and imaging as you expand your accessories kit, practice, and experiment.
What is the Warranty on the Orion Sirius?
This telescope is warrantied for a period of only 1-year by the manufacturer. The warranty starts from the date of purchase and is not owner transferable. The Sirius 8 EQ-G GoTo is covered with free lifetime tech support, and Orion has multiple articles and instructional videos online.
The Orion Sirius 8 EQ-G GoTo Reflector is a good telescope on a decent mount.
It’s definitely not a premium package by any means, but it is a value buy and the mount has a proven track record.
There’s plenty for a user to “play” with, and it’ll also provide adequate room to grow and develop skills if you’re a beginner. Just starting out with astro imaging?
This is the package you may want while sticking to your budget.