Home Comparisons Sky-Watcher vs Orion – who makes the most powerful telescopes

Sky-Watcher vs Orion – who makes the most powerful telescopes

by Rizka Amir

Are you interested in the night skies? Do you feel that staring at the celestial bodies and at that wondrous space of gas has its therapeutic benefits? Well, you will be able to take advantage of these opportunities with the help of a powerful telescope.

Stargazing, as is the common term, is a powerful hobby that should be exercised frequently in the world we live in. In present day, most things are very task focused. We get so caught up in the daily to-do that we forget how little we know and how little we can control. That’s where this hobby comes in to help us get lost in another world up there. Even just for a little while. The emotional and mental benefits are subtle and undeniable.

Knowing about a brand’s personality, history and general performance will help increase trust in said brand and enable a customer to invest their money where they feel it is best deserved.

What are the differences between Sky-Watcher and Orion Products

Categorized by design
Niche telescopes
Affordable telescopes
Variation of prices
Top 10 distributor
Top 3 distributor
Distributors across select continents
Physical and virtual service centers

Sky-Watcher vs Orion – How they compare


Sky-Watcher tries to match up to most of Orion’s vast production line and they do come close with a great production of GoTo mounted Dobsonians that have become a first-love must-have telescope for all beginners. They have a unique selling point with the introduction of a collapsible mount that keeps a very compact build. Their white glossy finishes are very attractive and eye catching. They have also stocked up on binoculars, telescopes and a myriad of other accessories but they are not into microscopes as much as the Orion brand. Their catalogue is designed to meet all level of astronomers needs but with very limited choices in the chosen designs. You can find Maksutov-Cassegrain, Maksutov-Newtonians, Dobsonians, Astrophotigrahy reflectors and refractors.

Sky-watcher lenses promise to be multicoated for maximum reflectivity, better color correction and minimized aberration. They have produced mounts of the altazimuth and equatorial types that assist in object finding and tracking. For their computerized models, they use the SynScan software and a compatible phone or laptop to facilitate for hands free operations. Their product range is very much beginners targeted and largely for budget shoppers.

Orion’s unique selling point has to be their personal relationships with their customers. This is immediately detectable from the amount and vastness of choice in their catalogues. One is simply spoilt for choice! From Dobsonians, Newtonian, Maksutov-Cassegrain’s, or Schmidt-Cassegrain’s Orion has covered them all. Other than telescopes, the brand sports binoculars, microscopes, relevant accessories and mounts & tripods. What we, and a lot of people, love is their product description; specifically, the simplicity and volume of detail available for each and every different product.

Orion has long prided itself in the sale of self-made telescopes and binoculars. Regardless of the fact that Synta Technologies is now their manufacturer, Orion makes the specifications on material, build and design on their own and other branded products sold in their store. As long as you buy from authorized dealers, quality is guaranteed here. In terms of variety, whether you are a doctor, scientist, astrologist or just a curious little kid with great interest, Orion has got you covered.


Sky-Watcher is largely a brand that was built by Synta to market and distribute its optics. They began in 2000 with the introduction of the Dobsonian models, following up in 2001 with the Maksutov-Cassegrain and in 2004 they created their first apochromatic refractor telescope. They improved the Dobsonians by including a collapsible tube and called them FlexTube-Dobsonians. Of course, they all run on a GoTo supported platform that’s designed to enable users to simply point or click to an object on a display screen to have the scope track and focus on said object and even giving supporting details on the target object.

Their mirrors and lens are produced by a German company and this is why they are of such high quality guaranteeing clear and crisp viewing as much as the aperture and night skies will allow. They have niche accessories like the Virtuoso Mount, a trademark, which is a strong, super balanced and cool tool for photographers to have because it gives them the power to capture spanning images of the vast field of view. The mount is compatible to both DSLR cameras and I-phones.

Consistency and reliability have been Orion’s pillars. Currently they rank among the top three telescope manufacturers featuring Celestron and Meade. Orion are best known for their Ritchey-Chretien models whose performance merits their ranking. Orion’s most powerful creation to date is a Ritchey-Chretien 12” Truss Tube that is a reflector astrograph that captures breathtaking flat and coma-free images of the deep-space universe. Orion creates this design and leaves out the lenses instead using a primary and secondary mirror to produce sheer perfect imagery.

For mounts and tripods, Orion has designed options in both the altazimuth and equatorial type mounts that operate on computerized systems. In application of GoTo systems, their mounts can find and track a target object helping to keep the object within viewers (FOV) field of view. This is important to enable for longer observations because objects tend to drift quite fast across the FOV. Enriching further the telescope experience, they have computerized scopes that use the SynScan Pro App and Apple or Android phones for hands-free control.

Sky-Watcher Vs. Orion – Overview

Sky-Watcher – Overview

Sky-Watcher is a brand name that was established in 1999 by the Taiwanese company Synta Technology Corporation to sell and market their optics. Synta Technology Corporation is a factory founded by David Shen in 1990 focused on creation of optics. Sky Watcher products are made in China to cater to the astronomers and are distributed in China, Canada, Europe and much more recently, the USA.

Some of Sky-Watcher’s best inventions.

ProED 80mm Doublet APO Refractor Telescope

An apochromatic doublet with FPL-53 and a Schott glass in the lens design. The ends result is low chromatic aberration that can be spotted only in he brightest of stars. With a f/7.5 focal ratio, it has great magnification value in a mid-range scope view and manages chromatic aberration with no need for additional eye pieces.

The ProEd 80mm has a focal length of 600mm which allows you to focus on more than the wide starry sky. It has a correct image viewfinder of 50mm 8x50RA, a 2-inch dielectric diagonal focuser and 5mm and 20mm eyepieces for long eye relief.

For astrophotography with this telescope, you will need to buy a reducer of about 0.85x that will reduce the 600mm focal length to about 510mm. You can then some good shots of the wider galaxy and some star clusters.

Comes with aluminum carry case and tube-ring attachment hardware.

Astrolux 76mm Newtonian Reflector Telescope

Has 76mm of aperture and 700 focal length giving a focal ratio of f/9.2. This is an easy reflector telescope that can be used by beginners and kids as well and is suitable for observation of star cluster and nebula. Has a 1.25” eyepiece with option of two extras, mount, viewscope of 6×24 and Barlow lens.

An azimuth mount, aluminum tripod and an accessories’ tray are also included.

With a f/9.2, this is not a good telescope for astrophotography and so it is only best used for observation purposes. Magnification power is not so good either and this could result to false colors.

To make this telescope better, one would have to buy and apply several extra accessories like a focal length reducer.

On this Sky-Watcher, you will enjoy seeing the ice caps on Mars, the Saturn Rings and the craters on the moon.

View price on Amazon


8″ Collapsible Dobsonian Telescope

Has a focal length of 1200mm and 8-inches (200mm) in aperture size which gives it a focal ratio of f/6. Using Dobsonian simple and large design and a use of three steel struts that are retractable to ease in transportation and storage. Users need not be concerned about reconfiguring the device every time they adjust the tube as it is set to keep the customized settings as inputted by user.

Sky-Watcher’s Dobsonian promises 94% reflectivity with little blurriness. It has a 2-inch focuser and 1.25-inch adapter to provide for use of the two 25mm and 10mm eyepieces that are included. An 8×50 finderscope and an accessories tray are also packaged.

Easy to assemble and with no problems collimating, this is a great choice for a beginners’ telescope. This scope will show you planets such as Jupiter, Saturn and star nebulus.

Orion – Overview

Orion was founded in Tim Geiseler’s basement in 1975 and sold Orion branded products exclusively. Later in 1997, it was acquired by Imaginova, a U.S. conglomerate owned by Lou Dobbs who opened up their doors to sell other telescope and astronomic accessories brands. Since 2017, Orion is an employee-owned, independent, American company based in California with production outsourced to Synta Technology in China.

9895 ED80 80mm f/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope

Apochromatic telescope with a f/7.5 transmitting magnificent astral views of the solar system as well as those in the deep sky. These are ideal for both astrophotography and tons of fun.

The objective lens of this doublet retractor includes an element of an extra low dispersion glass that eliminates chromatic deterrents. It also features a 2-inch focuser that has provision for extra accessories that widen the scope of application of the telescope.

Unlike the Sky-Watcher, this telescope does not need shorter focal length eyepieces to make imaging any clearer. It is possible to image galaxies and star clusters but you will need a reducer of approximately 0.85x to get images of the deep-sky. Imaging clusters and bright nebulae are surprisingly great with a focal length of 600mm.

The entire device is exclusively made of metal and does not come with a case.

SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope

Comes with a stable mount and an EQ-2 equatorial mount and with its 130mm primary mirror, it gives fantastic views of the deep-sky objects.

The equatorial tripod matches with earth’s rotations to follow and track celestial and mobile objects in the sky. Made with aluminum, the tripod is of perfect weight and includes an accessory tray. The tray is very handy when you need to keep all your accessories within arm’s reach in your observation.

It has a 6×30 finderscope, two 1.2-inch eyepieces (10mm and 25mm), tripod accessory tray, collimator cap and more fun accessories. With f/5 ratio the view and imaging are sure to be captivating. Enjoy capturing and observing brighter galaxies and nebulas in the deep-sky.5.1 inch aperture allows in more light that makes for clear and crisp images of the Moon and planets with the help of its parabolic reflector.

An exciting addition to this amazing telescope is the Starry Nights SE Software which has tons of informational images and text to help you expand your knowledge and understanding of the celestial happenings.

View price on Amazon


SkyQuest XT8 Classic Dobsonian Telescope

203mm for aperture and 1200mm focal length gives you f/5.9. The Classic Dobsonian promises breathtaking, clear and crisp imagery of the Moon, deep-sky objects and off course the planets. To add magnification options to your telescope, Orion included a 2x Barlow lens that can magnify its 1.25-inch eyepieces by up to twice their power.

In this telescope Orion has combined mechanical stability with amazing optics and we love it. With an 8-inch aperture, 73% of more light is pulled in as compared to a 6-inch one. This light translates to teasing out of dust lanes in the nebulus making your viewing experience unforgettable.

Some of the accessories that come with it are like; 25mm eyepiece, 2-inch focuser accepting both 1.25 and 2-inch lenses for optimal viewing. Ideal for amateurs and beginners, the Orion Classic includes a Moon Map with over 260 celestial features, a Telescope Observer pointing out what and where to look in the sky and a red mini LED light highly effective for use in the dark as you observe.

Summary comparison of these two brand models.

Astrolux 76mm
SpaceProbe 130ST
Focal length
Focal ratio
Low Magnification
Max. Magnification
User Level
Tripod, Barlow
NE Software


Telescopes are a serious and totally fun investment for you and your family. As you start out, you might feel inadequate and cower behind the technical jargon. This doesn’t last because once you get the basics on lock, you will never need to refer to any text. We do hope this has been in the least bit helpful in your astronomic journey.


After much deliberation and summary reports, the results are in and the winner is: Orion!

Their design, scope of view, focal length, ratio and magnification has remained stellar over all the product comparisons. It is clear they do make a concerted effort to improve the users’ viewing experience and at the best costs. We are in no doubt that, between Sky-Watcher and Orion, the latter makes the most powerful telescopes anyone would be happy to buy and use.

For all first timer astrologists who are unsure about what to put where in matters telescopes, Orion is your best chance at a great first experience that will send you off to a beautiful new beginning of a lifetime of stargazing.



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