Zhumell has built a reputation of being a reliable telescope builder that adds a lot of extras to their telescope kits of all price points so when I saw that they had made a mid-ranged Dobsonian telescope I leaped at the opportunity to check it out. True to form the Zhumell Z8 Deluxe has great specs and great add-ons all for a great price. If you are looking for a mid-ranged Dobsonian in terms of price and power that is loaded with goodies then Zhumell has got you covered.
- Dobsonian design
- 8” primary aperture
- f/5.9 focal ratio
- 400x highest theoretical magnification
- 54lbs assembled weight
With its 8” primary aperture and wide-angled focal ratio, this telescope will be able to be the light-sink you always dreamed of. Perfect for both the novice and the intermediate user this Dobsonian has a lot of upsides and not many drawbacks.Check Latest Price
Big Optics, Big Views
The large optics of this Dobsonian are designed to gather as much light as possible and deliver grand views of deep space that can knock your socks off. The principal parabolic mirror is designed with the highest quality in mind and can gather crystal clear images of distant, bright objects without any aberrations or other visual blemishes.
The Zhumell Z8 Delux Dobsonian Telescope does great at what I call sky scanning astronomy. There are some telescopes like decent refractors, that are best at focusing on certain predetermined objects in the sky but struggle when it comes to just scanning the sky. This telescope was great at jumping around and scanning to get good views in the eyepiece without needing a preset plan to find the best views.
This is possible because of the 8” aperture and relatively low focal ratio. The focal ratio of f/5.9 means that it will carve out a large chunk of the sky and show the whole swath in good detail. This means you can set up and just find a section of sky that looks unique, pretty or particularly detailed and this telescope will be able to show you an eyepiece full of stars but you might know exactly what you are looking at.
This makes the Zhumell Z8 Delux Dobsonian Telescope great for people who really enjoy being outside and seeing the night sky but don’t really want to see anything super-specific. An advanced user could probably use the Dobsonian to be a more focused telescope but for the novice or beginner, it will be great for scanning the sky for unique sights.
This will be great for looking at star fields, distant galaxies, clusters, nebula, and other large bright deep space objects. At 8” you will have more than enough power to last a lifetime with this scope. You will not lack for power or light gathering capability with this rig.
The 400x highest possible magnification is crazy high and advanced or knowledgable users could use this kind of power to really see extremely distant objects which can be super cool for anyone involved. The optics on this telescope are top-notch.
Big Optics, Big Base
The optical tube alone on this telescope weighs in at a whopping 38lbs just for the tube. That is some serious heft and having a telescope that large normally would be a burden or simply impossible. But with the inclusion of this high-quality heavy-duty Dobsonian base using this telescope is a breeze.
The nearly 20lbs base offers a great counterbalance to the heavy optical tube and is an extremely sturdy and durable set up. This telescope will not be going anywhere. A traditional telescoping tripod would be impossible or extremely tenuous to use with a telescope of this size but this base is extremely high quality.
Zhumell has designed its base with an adjustable balance to make sure that the scope is always precisely balanced during viewing sessions. They have done this by making it so you can adjust the position of the side bearings so that you can compensate for different accessories, addons and position of the optical tube. This is a great feature that makes it so this telescope always feels grounded and balanced.
Despite its size, you will never feel like this telescope is unwieldy or out of control during use which is a feat all its own with how large and heavy this scope is but like the optics, the base is cleverly designed and performs as advertised.
More Accessories Than You Can Shake A Stick At
Accessories are an integral part of all telescope kits but, as usual, Zhumell has gone above and beyond with their Z8 Delux kit adding things rarely seen in telescope kits as well as just a sheer number of quality and useful accessories.
Some companies throw in cheap fluff accessories to pad out their specification lists and the user ends up with a bunch of neat sounding stuff that is rarely usable or not usable at all. Zhumell does not suffer from this problem and all of their telescope accessories are added to their kits with a purpose and will be instantly usable for astronomers of all stripes.
Buckle up, because here comes the full accessory list for the Zhumell Z8 Delux Dobsonian Telescope. A Crayford focuser, laser collimator, cooling fan, right angle finderscope, both a 1.25” eyepiece and a 2” eyepiece, and an included moon filter. Zhumell says this is a $100 value included but I might even hazard a guess and say that the market value could actually exceed $100 all told.
The first thing that sticks out to me in this list is the fact that this telescope can fit both 1.25” eyepieces as well as 2” eyepieces which opens up the entire eyepiece market to this telescope. Most telescopes feature either one or the other with 1.25” being far more common. Being able to attach both sizes of eyepiece really opens up the accessory possibility for this telescope. The two included eyepieces are good but not great and some telescopes have more eyepieces but since this scope is not going to be doing any super precise views to start these will get you through just fine.
The next thoughtful accessory is the inclusion of the laser collimator. If you ever head outside to use your telescope one night to find it out of alignment and in need of collimation it can be a super frustrating task that ruins the evening, especially if you don’t have a laser collimator on hand. All reflector telescopes could use a laser collimator at some point in their lives but most manufacturers make you source your own. Zhumell has one included.
Next up are the right angle finderscope and the Crayford focuser. Again, nice additions that you sometimes see in other kits but never with this much other stuff. The focuser is especially useful and I found it easy to use and smooth. The right-angle finderscope cuts down on the amount of craning and angling you have to do during a session which can really save your neck over time. Both are comfort accessories that go along way to making this telescope a breeze to use.
Then there is the included cooling fan. Most telescopes do not need a cooling fan because most telescopes are not massive reflectors. The optics on this telescope are so large and collect so much light efficiently that the mirrors can actually heat up.
If the mirror heats up too much it can come out of alignment slightly due to the change in temperature which will affect the image quality. The fan makes it so you can view for longer or get back to viewing quicker if the mirror heats up too much. A nice touch that shows that Zhumell intimately knows their product and the situations you might run into as an avid user of it.
All in all, these accessories are varied, of great quality and numerous. The whole accessory set is an amazing value and turns this good Dobsonian telescope into an amazing complete kit.
Overall, the combination of the powerful optics, sturdy balanced base, and large accessory set makes this telescope a great find and all for a price that will surprise you with its fairness. However, there are a few gripes people had with this model.
The number one complaint about this telescope isn’t even one with its performance or design but rather the way that it is packaged and shipped. Multiple people, enough to make me bring it up, have complained that they have not received a complete telescope during shipping.
Apparently, this model ships in two parts. The optical tube and accessories ship in one box while the base ships in a separate box. I’m sure this is due to size and weight constraints and it makes sense but many people have reported only getting one or the other. Since receiving the optical tube without the specialized base makes the telescope nigh unusable and receiving a wooden base with no telescope would be a complete ripoff I can see how this would be a frustrating issue.
Worst of all, many of them reported having issues obtaining the other half during the customer service phase. I don’t know if this is an issue from Zhumell itself or one that comes strictly from the third party vendors that often sell these telescopes online but it would be very frustrating to receive half of what you ordered.
The other reported drawback to this model is the lack of portability and storage. This is due primarily to the large size and design which is understandable however, Zhumell advertises that it can be taken on camping trips and stored easily. It does have a detachable base because it ships in two parts, but taking it down and setting it up can be a pain.
Removing the 38lbs optical tube from its base brings back all of the dangers and issues of handling a heavy, large-diameter tube without the support and can lead to accidents or mishandling. That might be why they include a laser collimator. I would suggest not moving this thing much once it’s up despite what it is advertised as. Moving reflectors is a tricky business normally but moving one this large can lead to unneeded issues.
These problems are not in any way tied to the performance of the telescope. Once it is up and operating no one seems to have many complaints about it. Getting it shipped properly and setup are the two poor redeeming qualities of this model so far.
Zhumell continues to blaze a path of excellence in the telescope community. With other manufacturers running into issues Zhumell continues to go above and beyond in their kit features and scope designs. They could simply offer us a quality scope with a high level of design but they continue to surpass themselves by adding in nifty features and accessories that only add to the high bar they have already set.
Whether you are a novice who wants to get into astronomy with a quality Dobsonian or an advanced user who is eager to put a massive telescope through its paces the Zhumell Z8 Delux Dobsonian Telescope will work for you. It performs great and comes with everything you need to make it an advanced and truly deluxe telescope setup.
The few drawbacks are not even tied to its main function or performance but rather to shipping and natural design which means that in terms of overall quality this telescope is unmatched. If you are in the market for a mid-sized Dobsonian reflector this purchase is a no-brainer. It has the chops to be your telescope for years to come if not a lifetime.Check Latest Price