It seems to range from "a bit brighter" in the larger scope, to "mind-blowingly more detail". And if they aren't really well designed, the tubes will flex a bit when you move the scope, making collimation through the night problematic. - The mount design is simple, it is also inherently stable, something most mounts are not. So all the small refractor owners love setting up next to me (and I like enjoying but not paying for their expensive glass). Galaxies can indeed be disappointing objects in any aperture. There will be a noticeable, but not huge, loss in brightness from a 12" scope. Are there particular aperture "stepping stones" where the next step shows a massive advantage over the previous one, or is it more of a continuum of gradual improvement? Some great answers here guys! Edited by turtle86, 23 September 2015 - 04:43 PM. That said, I have no regrets about my dob. Fitting it in your car is another issue. The 10 is a full foot shorter and about 12-15 lbs lighter (IIRC)., 800-483-6287 I think the difference in cooling between a 10" and 12" is small and manageable and should not be a factor. And there is no doubt that there is a wide range when it comes to how easy a particular scope is to track. If not that, then 6 or 20". You can even build one yourself. In terms of aperture stepping stones:  Some figure a full magnitude is a good step, I find smaller steps are productive, especially when ergonomics are tossed into the mix..  A full magnitude is the step up from a 10 inch to a 16 inch, I find the step from a 10 inch to a 12.5 inch or 13.1 inch very significant.. You will have brighter views with better detail and more objects will be perceptible. 3) Cool down of a 12" mirror might take an unacceptably long time (I've no idea how long this might be!) Orion 10023 SkyQuest XX12i IntelliScope Truss Dobsonian Telescope. Up to you based on what you want and what you're willing to deal with. You can attach wheels to the base. Good of luck with whatever you end up choosing. A pichup bed would be easier. Apparently you are one of those and there are many besides yourself for whom a Dob is a poor choice. And a 12" tube is going to be big, bulky, and fairly heavy. We will be glad to help. Most newts at star parties are 10-13" around here. Set up a small telescope next to a larger one in your bright backyard, a significantly larger telescope—I like to pit a 12-inch against a 6-inch—and point both at, say, M13 (globular clusters are effective demonstration tools). My own solution was to get a used 12.5" truss Dob as a convenient transportable scope for DSO's. A few thoughts and comments: -  The wrong end of the scope:  The eyepiece of a Dobsonian is at the Sky end of the telescope, not the ground end. It can literally keep you busy every moonless night for the rest of your life, regardless of what kind of sights you want to see. Given all the hard work and cost, I'd rather pan around the sky with a 6" f5 and enjoy the Orion nebulae. A 20" gave a spectacular view, but then it just barely showed m101 arms with averted vision. a 12" would be a step too far in terms of practicality. I know what I'm getting into though and am comfortable with that. 12-inch Telescopes offer exceptional resolution for their size. Sky Watcher Quattro 300P Imaging Newtonian - Large Aperture 12-inch Reflector Optical Tube for Ast… It's a tough call.. The Dob experience is a close experience, hands on, you and the scope work together as a team. But I will say this, if you have never experienced a Dobsonian that offered smooth, precise tracking..  rest assured, they can be amazing.. One night I had my big scope, I call it Junior, setup and a friend was driving out for a night under the stars.. I understand your disappointed with the large scope. 1) I don't think a 12" would fit sideways in the trunk of my car (total scope length is about 58"), so I'd have to fold down one of the rear seats - not good for taking passengers, and leaves scope visible if leaving the vehicle unattended. 12-inch Telescopes offer exceptional resolution for their size. The Best Dedicated Astronomy Cameras for Beginners. My own advice would be to get a 12" truss, if your budget allows for it, or a 10" tube. The concerns you express are valid, and I think for a lot of people, the 2" gain of aperture that the 12" tube Dob offers over the 10" might not be worth it in terms of the extra inconvenience. Of course, there are other important elements like mount type, focal length and eyepieces that you need to have present in your analysis. As far as easy to use.. easy to track.. Like any mount, there is a learning curve. The 10 is markedly lighter and much easier to handle, hands down. All else being equal, I would probably prefer a large SCT, but they have their own downsides (lifting heavy OTA high on the mount), and are 5 times the price! Is the aperture advantage of the 12" worth the extra hassle that the larger scope entails? Perhaps the relatively close price points for the two reflect that somewhat. don't forget about the truss tube Meade 12" Lightbridge - breaks down quite well and I think they are still on sale. Edited by kfiscus, 23 September 2015 - 09:32 AM. I've handled a few 12" tube Dobs myself, and I can attest that they are somewhat unwieldly. If your car can't handle a solid tube 12 inch, have you thought about either a truss or collapsible version? If you have an astronomy club nearby, see if you can attend one of their events and help a couple of members set-up and tear down their scopes to get an idea of what is involved. Seeing these things in person, that's a good way to start.. I agree that Dobsonians are not for everyone. Globular clusters being the most dramatic, a little aperture goes a looooong way there. Fortunately, pretty much all other objects benefit more clearly from aperture. My 10" Discovery sonotube dob is almost as big as a metal tube 12" scope, but it weights 15 pounds less, and it's at the limit of what I would want to carry out to and load into my car. Somewhere around 16 inches you're standing unless you have a tall chair and beyond that, unless you are willing to get into the super fast F/3-F/3.6 scopes, stepping stools and ladders become part of the picture.. I enjoy my refractors, it really doesn't take any adjustment to switch between my Dobs and refractors, I often set them up side by side.. move back and forth without a thought. If John lived nearby instead of across the ocean, I would just loan him my 10 inch for a while.. You will see a lot of 8-10" dobs and SCT, probably a lot more 3-5" refractors, and relatively few dobs over 10". The power of a 10-inch dobsonian telescope (254 mm) - Duration: 2:16. But once you know what to look for, a 10" scope can do the job almost as well. They can resolve double stars at .38 arcseconds and can be magnified up to 610 times the human eye. Of course, a truss Dob is going to be a bit more expensive than a tube. Is the aperture advantage of the 12" worth the extra hassle that the larger scope entails? I didn't crank up the magnification beyond that but it did make me think just how easy that particular scope is to use. And yes, the bigger scopes are a lot of work, but sure come in handy when the object you want to see is in the 16th magnitude range (or higher). A 12" will do the same of course, and a little bit better. I know I'm the jerk here at the forum who doesn't go along with the crowd, but I would strongly urge you try before you buy. I can move it without separating the base from the OTA. Both are very capable scopes. You will find out if you are a Dob guy without making things more difficult than they need be. In this buying guide, we will focus on the best telescopes by aperture size: 6″, 8″, 10″, 12”, 14” and 16″ inch telescopes.