Orion SkyQuest XT6 Plus Dobsonian Reflector Telescope Review

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The Orion SkyQuest XT6 Plus Dobsonian is one of the best telescopes on the market today in terms of value, usage, and quality. If you are looking for top-notch views for a reasonable price, few telescopes are able to offer what this one can. I have long been a fan of the Orion line of XT Dobsonian telescopes and this one is no exception.

As a Dobsonian, you get large aperture views, clear image quality, and enough power to keep you busy for years to come. Orion has a good track record of crafting high quality telescopes for beginners and experts alike.

  • Type: Dobsonian reflector
  • Aperture: 6”
  • Focal ratio: f/8
  • Highest useful magnification: 300x
  • Assembled weight: 35lbs

The drawback is this is a larger telescope. At over thirty pounds of weight and an optical tube that measures 46” in length, you do not have a bite-sized telescope that can easily be moved.

Info about image for alt text
  • Great views
  • Affordable
  • High quality
  • Hard to collimate
  • Large and heavy
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Great Views

The most important part of any telescope is the optical power and optical quality. You can have the world’s best telescope in terms of everything else but if the optics are bad, the rest doesn’t matter. That is why I always start all of my reviews with the optics for each and every telescope.

The Orion Skyquest XT6 has phenomenal optics. They are a joy to use and give off clear and amazing sights.

The optical quality is derived from both the high grade materials used in the internal mirrors and the power that this telescope is able to generate. The large 6” aperture gives this telescope ample chops to collect a ton of dim light allowing you to see farther than other reflectors on the market. But distance isn’t everything.

It won’t matter if you can see to the edge of the universe if the image comes back poorly, you won’t be able to decipher the views. The Orion Skyquest XT6 Plus is able to produce highly desirable images of both the planets, moons and deep space stars in equal measure. I was surprised by how well it performed while viewing Jupiter as well as Andromeda.

That is because this is a very balanced telescope in terms of its optics. It is not too large. It has a reasonable focal length which gives it a very average focal ratio. For some telescopes, you want a higher or lower focal ratio but at f/8 this is a very balanced approach in terms of viewing angle and view field. With everything else this telescope has to offer, this works really well with the overall design.

In terms of optical quality, I had no qualms. It is simply fantastic. Especially for the price that you can get this telescope for, there are few equals available on the market that will give you this amount of visual flexibility and quality as the Orion Skyquest XT6 Plus.

PLUS Features

The astute viewer might have noticed that Orion added in the word plus to their official product title for the Orion Skyquest XT6. Some companies merely throw buzzwords in to try and catch your eye without any substance. This is not one of those cases.

Orion has chocked the XT6 Plus full of additional quality of life upgrades and features aimed at making your telescope experience as smooth as possible.

My favorite of these added features is the inclusion of integrated collimation knobs. These handy screws allow you to quickly and easily adjust your mirrors without the use of any tools or addons. This eliminates the need for frustrating moments with the screwdriver as you try to open up and adjust your mirrors. You no longer need a collimation cap.

This is a revolutionary addition that allows you to easily readjust the internal focus of the telescopes with a few turns of a knob. It is one of those features that when you use it you will immidiately wonder why this hasn’t been a thing up until now.

Collimation is one of the most frustrating and confusing aspects of reflector telescopes for new astronomers and this takes a lot of the headache and hassles out of that process.

The other added bonus features are the inclusion of an accessory rack that is attached conveniently to the base allowing you to easily store and set aside your eyepieces during use.

They have also, intelligently, painted the base a bright contrasting white which makes it stand out in the dark. This aims to cut down on those clumsy moments where you accidentally bump into or kick the base which can mess up the focus of your telescope. This way, you always know where the bottom edges of the heavy Dobsonian base are, even under a dark sky.

Lastly, Orion has made their signature optical tube an appeal metallic blue color which is a nice change of pace from the usual black and white color pallet you get with Dobsonian telescopes. This adds nothing to the overall performacne but now it looks dang good on top of everything else.

Then, they have also included some excellent accessories to go along with it all. They have included two eyepieces (25mm and 10mm), a 2x Barlow lens and a red dot sight. These are all pretty standard but everything together gives you a super wide range of different magnification levels to try out which only further enhances the versatility of the optics of this excellent telescope.


Overall, I can find little and less to say that is bad about this telescope. Everything from top to bottom is of superior quality. The performance is great. It is a joy to use.

Perfect for the casual astronomer, beginner or avid stargazer alike this telescope will be a fantastic addition to any telescope collection. It is well balanced, comes with amazing quality of life upgrades, has fantastic visual quality and comes with all of the basic accessories you could want.

Orion has crafted a masterpiece here and it deserves ample consideration.

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