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Skywatcher Skyliner 150P Classic Dobsonian Review – Recommended Scope

Skywatcher Skyliner 150P Classic offers some of the best value of any telescope in its price range, and enough accessories out of the box that you don’t have to buy anything else right away.

Skywatcher Skyliner 150P Classic is quickly becoming one of the most popular and highest-recommended sub-£300 telescopes and with good reason. It’s simple, affordable, and provides enough capability that you won’t get bored of or frustrated with it after a few nights of use. For the hobbyist who may already have a larger instrument, the 6” Traditional is a great “grab n’ go” scope that can still handle your expensive eyepieces and give you great views.

How It Stacks Up

Ranks #3 of 33 (£300 Range Telescope)

Rank 2
Ursa Major 6″ f/8 Planetary Dobsonian
Rank 3
Skywatcher Skyliner 150P Classic
What We Like

  • Great optics
  • Decent aperture
  • Very easy to use
  • Relatively stable
  • Fast setup time
  • Nice included accessories

What We Don't Like

  • Annoying tensioning handles
  • Mediocre finderscope
  • Balance with heavy eyepieces can be troublesome

Bottom Line

6” of aperture is enough to show you a lot and keep you happy for a long time without breaking the bank, and the 6” Traditional allows you to do serious viewing right out of the box without having to purchase anything else to get started. The Skywatcher Skyliner 150P Classic’s value, performance, and simplicity simply can’t be beaten in its price range. The 2” focuser also allows you to upgrade to fancy wide-field eyepieces later on.

The Optical Tube Performance Of Skywatcher 6″ Dob

The Skywatcher Classic 150 Dobsonian uses basically the same optical tube as the Bresser Messier 6” f/8 Planetary Dobsonian. It’s a 6” f/8 Newtonian – a design that is fairly easy to manufacture to tight tolerances. The f/8 focal ratio also makes the scope perform well even with cheap eyepieces such as the scope’s included “Supers” (which will suffer from astigmatism and other aberrations in faster scopes), and the 48” (1200mm) focal length puts the eyepiece at an ideal height for children or seated adults. The tube will fit across the back seat of most vehicles, though probably not in the trunk or boot of a smaller car.

Sky-Watcher’s 6” Traditional Dobsonian

The 6” Traditional uses a single-speed 2” rack-and-pinion focuser, which largely consists of metal, unlike the 1.25” plastic rack-and-pinions found on almost all cheaper scopes. This focuser works quite well for visual use, but the adapter system Sky-Watcher includes is a little confusing, requiring you to swap out 2” and 1.25” extension tube adapters depending on which size eyepiece/accessory you are using. You can get a 2” to 1.25” compression ring adapter and leave the 2” extension tube in all the time to solve this, however. The 2” eyepiece format allows you to get a wider field of view than possible with 1.25” eyepieces at low magnifications, making it easier to find targets and fit larger ones in one field. However, with the widest-field 2” eyepieces, there may be some vignetting due to the rather small secondary mirror in the scope, which is inadequate to fully illuminate the field of view of all 2” eyepieces.

Included Eyepieces and Finderscope

In addition to its ubiquitous 1.25” and 2” extension adapters, the 6” Traditional includes two 1.25” “Super” eyepieces, which seem similar to Plossls-a 25mm (48x) and a 10mm (120x). These eyepieces will serve you well to start, but we’d recommend picking up additional eyepieces down the road if your budget suits them, to get the most out of the scope.

The included finderscope is a rather basic 6×30 unit, which works just fine, but the aperture is a little small, the images are dim as a result, and the ergonomics are less than ideal. 

The Traditional Dobsonian Mount of Classic 150P

The 6” Traditional uses the same mount design as the larger Traditional Dobsonians. The altitude motion is provided by two round plastic bearings riding on Teflon cylinders attached to the interior of the mount; tensioning is provided by a spring-loaded knob (basically just a bicycle handle and a hardware store spring) on one side; the other knob serves no purpose besides aesthetics/symmetry. Overall, the altitude bearing system works well-arguably better than the spring system found on the Orion Dobsonians, though inferior to the GSO/Zhumell bearing style-but the knobs stick out and have an annoying tendency to grab loose clothing or bump into you. The telescope’s azimuth motion is provided by small nylon pads running directly against the melamine coating that covers the entire base, which, while not perfect, is relatively smooth and stable.

Like all commercial Dobsonians nowadays, the entire base is made out of particle board and is easily assembled just like IKEA furniture with an included Allen wrench and screwdriver.

What can you see with Skywatcher Classic 150P?

6 inches of aperture is the minimum size widely considered to be suitable for serious viewing of deep-sky objects like the Messiers and many of the NGC objects, including the Herschel 400, while still being relatively inexpensive and portable.


You’ll be able to resolve the brighter globular clusters, such as M13, M15, and M3, into individual stars with no problems. The 6” Traditional also makes an ideal lunar, planetary, and double star instrument.

You’ll have no trouble seeing the ice caps and dark regions of Mars around opposition, the phases of Venus and Mercury, and thousands of craters on the Moon ranging from just a mile to hundreds of miles across. Jupiter’s moons, cloud belts, polar zones, festoons, and its (slowly-shrinking) Great Red Spot are visible. Saturn’s rings, the Cassini division within them, some weakly-visible cloud banding, and around half a dozen moons can be spotted. Uranus and Neptune are teal and azure dots, and you may just be able to spot Neptune’s moon Triton with dark and steady skies. The 6” traditional can also split double stars as close together as 0.75 arc seconds apart, and will reveal thousands of asteroids to the keen-eyed observer (though keep in mind that none will look like anything more than slow-moving, stellar dots).

Alternative Recommendations

The Skywatcher Skyliner 150P Classic is one of our top picks in its price range, though there are a few other 6” telescopes you might want to consider instead – or even better, upgrading to an 8” reflector.

Under £500

  • The Sky-Watcher Virtuoso GTi 150P – or its manual sibling, the Heritage 150P, are a lot more compact than the 6” Classic and the f/5 focal ratio offers a much wider possible field of view – though it’s more demanding on eyepieces. The GTi mount provides full motorized tracking and GoTo capabilities, while the tabletop design and collapsible tube of the 150P make transport and storage a lot easier.
  • The Bresser Messier 6” f/8 Planetary Dobsonian has spring-tensioned altitude bearings which are an improvement on the bicycle brake handles of the 6” Classic, a superior 2” Crayford focuser with a brass compression ring and no silly adapters, and an easier to use red dot finder for aiming.


  • The StellaLyra 8”/Zhumell Z8/Orion SkyLine 8 (all of which are identical) offers nearly double the light gathering ability and 30% more resolving power of a 6” Dobsonian like the 6” Classic. You also get a dual-speed 2” Crayford focuser, a superior mount design, a 9×50 right-angle finder, and a high-quality 30mm SuperView 2” wide-angle eyepiece with this excellent telescope package.
  • The Ursa Major 8 has a similar performance boost over the 6” Classic but only comes with a single speed (though still very nice) 2” Crayford focuser, red dot finder, and a single low-power 25mm Plossl eyepiece.

Aftermarket Accessory Recommendations

To truly unleash the potential of the Sky-Watcher Skyliner 150P Classic, a few additional eyepieces are necessary. The provided pair are good to get you started; however, a wide range of magnifications is essential for observing various types of celestial objects. A Celestron 40mm E-Lux 2” eyepiece (30x magnification)  yields the lowest magnification and almost the widest possible true field of view that the Skyliner 150P can achieve. Alternatively, a 38mm OVL PanaView (32x magnification)  or similar Super Wide Angle (SWA) eyepiece affords a slightly sharper, wider, and more immersive field. Both options are excellent for low-power viewing of deep-sky objects with the Skyliner 150P.

For a medium magnification between those of the provided 25mm and 10mm eyepieces, we recommend a 17mm Plossl (71x magnification), 16mm UWA (75x magnification), or 15mm redline/goldline ocular (80x magnification) for the Skyliner 150P Classic. A UWA or SWA eyepiece provides a wider and more immersive field of view compared to a Plossl and will be more useful if you decide to purchase a faster f/ratio instrument in the future. 

For even higher magnifications, we suggest a 9mm goldline/redline (133x magnification) to replace the stock 10mm ocular, as it has significantly longer eye relief, a wider and more immersive apparent field, and better interior blackening for better contrast and less scatter on bright targets too. A 2x Barlow lens coupled with a 9/10mm eyepiece, or a dedicated 4mm or 5mm planetary eyepiece (300x or a more modest 240x, respectively), will provide the highest useful magnification with the Skyliner 150P Classic provided your atmospheric conditions permit it.

You’ll almost certainly want to replace the Skyliner 150P’s stock 1.25” extension tube/adapter system and 2” extension tubes with adapters that are a bit higher quality. A compression ring 1.25” adapter with filter threads will enable the use of 2” filters with your 1.25” eyepieces and provide a secure, non-marring grip; the same goes for a 35mm threaded extension tube with a 2” compression ring adapter. These will also permit more accurate collimation by properly squaring up a collimation tool. At this scope’s long focal ratio of f/8, collimation tolerances aren’t critical, but an inexpensive Cheshire collimation tool is a good investment and will make collimating the Skyliner 150P Classic much easier.

Additionally, you may want to replace the stock 6×30 finder provided with the Skyliner 150P Classic with a zero-power reflex sight finder, like the Telrad or Explore Scientific ReflexSight. Either option is much more user-friendly than the 6×30 finderscope and provides a simple illuminated reticle against a window aimed at the sky, making it extremely intuitive to align and use. 

Lastly, a narrowband Ultra High Contrast (UHC)/OIII nebula filter can considerably enhance your views of nebulae, such as the Orion Nebula, when using almost any telescope, including the Skyliner 150P Classic. This filter also improves the visibility of planetary nebulae by reducing the brightness of surrounding stars, making it easier for you to locate them at low power. Moreover, it provides sufficient contrast improvement to reveal previously invisible nebulae throughout the night sky, such as the Crab Nebula and Veil Nebula supernova remnants, when using the Skyliner 150P Classic under dark skies. A 2″ filter will screw onto an aftermarket threaded 1.25″ adapter such as the one linked above and consequently be compatible with either size eyepiece.

An amateur astronomer and telescope maker from Connecticut who has been featured on TIME Magazine, National Geographic, Sky & Telescope, La Vanguardia, and The Guardian.

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