Sky-Watcher Heritage 100P Information (4" Dobson)

Look | Basic Data | Visited Sky Objects | Some Photo Attempts | Preliminary Conclusions | Links

On this page, I present some information about my newest travel telescope (Dobson), a Sky-Watcher Dobson Telescope Heritage 100P (purchased at the beginning of July, 2015).

Note that this telescope is very similar to the Orion SkyScanner - 100mm TableTop Reflector telescope (or even identical to it).



Unpacking and Assembling

Outer package

Outer package and package of the Heritage 100P

Package of the Heritage 100P



Opened package


Content of package

Ditto, tube "upside down"

Telescope assembled, tube points into the correct direction


View into the telescope

Accessories: 10mm and 25mm eyepieces; 2 x Barlow lens; red dot finder

Comparison with Heritage P130 and Heritage 76

On Omegon mini Dobson Base

100P on Omegon base (102 OTA on 100P base)

Omegon base turned around

Front view

On Star Discovery AZ Goto Mount

Heritage 100P tube on mount (overall view)

Ditto (detail)

Heritage 100P tube on mount, turned around (overall view)

Ditto (detail)


Basic Data for Sky-Watcher Dobson Telescope Heritage 100P (in Comparison)

Sky-Watcher Skymax/Heritage/Explorer
8" 10" ETX 90EC 102 127 76 100P 114P P130 150PDS GSD 680
Optical Design Newton
Maksutov-Cassegrain Maksutov-Cassegrain Maksutov-Cassegrain Newton (Spherical) Newton (Parabolic) Newton
Newton (Parabolic) Newton (Parabolic) Newton (Parabolic)
Primary Mirror Diameter 203 mm 254 mm 96 mm (90 mm) 102 mm 127 mm 76 mm (3") 100 mm (4") 114 mm (4.5") 130 mm (5") 150 mm (6") 200 mm (8")
Focal Length, Focal Ratio 1219 mm
1270 mm
1250 mm
1300 mm
1500 mm
300 mm
400 mm
500 mm
650 mm
750 mm
1200 mm
Resolving Power (arc secs) 0.56" 0.45" 1.3" 1.15" 0.91" 1.51" 1.15" 1.01" 0.9" 0.77" 0.58"
Limiting Visual Stellar Magnitude ca. 14 mag ca. 14.5 mag 11.7 mag 12.7 mag 13.2 mag 11.2 mag 11.8 mag 12.1 mag 13.3 mag 12.7 mag 14.5 mag
Light Gathering Power 841 1316.7 165.3 212.3 329.2 117.9 204.1 265.2 344.9 459.2 816.3
Maximum Practical Visual Power ca. 550 x ca. 600 x 325 x 204 x 254 x ca. 100 x (152 x) 150 x (200 x) 170 x (228 x) ca. 195/220 x (260 x) ca. 225 x (300 x) ca. 300 x (400 x)
Optical Tube Dimensions (diam. x length) 28 cm x 115 cm 35 cm x 119 cm 10.4 cm x 27.9 cm 11.6 cm x 27 cm 14.4 x 33 cm n.a. 11.5 cm x 37 cm* n.a. Tube collapsed < 37 cm
(14.5") long
18.2 cm x 69 cm
18 cm x 68 cm*
23 cm x 115 cm
Net Weight Basis 9 kg 12.2 kg n.a. --- --- n.a. 1.3 kg* 1.6 kg 3.1 kg* -- 11.2 kg
Net Weight Optical Tube 10.9 kg 17.2 kg n.a. 1.9 kg 3.4 kg n.a. 1.2 kg* 3.7 kg 3.25 kg* 5.0/6.0 kg
5.5 kg*
9.5 kg
Net Weight Complete 3.5 kg 1.75 kg 2.5*/2.8 kg 5.3 kg < 6.5 kg or 14 lbs. appr. 21 kg

Dark Blue: Telescopes that I still own; italic and dark red: telescopes that I owned; black: for comparison; *) own measurement


Visited Sky Objects

So far, I have visited (and documented...) the following sky objects with the Sky-Watcher Heritage 100P:

This list is probably incomplete, because I did not document my observations well. But, at least, it shows, which objects can be found with this telescope.


Some Photo Attempts

At the beginning, I took only photos of the moon, the sun (which was transited by Mercury at one such instance in 2016), and Venus with this telescope. In December 2017, I attempted first photos with the Atik Infinity camera.

Moon Photos 2015

See also the photos in larger versions on page Photos of the Moon with Heritage 100P - 2015.

Here are some very similar examples from July 2015 after I had collimated the telescope (Leica X Vario held to the eyepiece):


Here are some sections from the photos above:


Section from the first photo (rotated 90 degrees)


Section from the third photo (rotated 90 degrees):


Two a little larger versions from the same evening (photos were rotated 90 degrees)


Section from the photo in the center row on the right


Even larger section from the same photo

Moon Photos 2016

See also the photos versions and an enlargement on page Photos of the Moon with Heritage 100P - 2016.

For the following moon photo attempts, I mounted the Leica X Vario permanently on the 32mm eyepiece. The telescope magnification was only 12.5 x and the camera lens was set to 70 mm (46 mm) (I as far as I remember..).


Enlarged sections:


Sun Spot 2016

See also page Sun Spot 2016 with more photos.


The 32 mm eyepiece enabled me to capture the complete sun

  Section with 16 mm eyepiece (100%)
Section with 6 mm eyepiece (100%)   Further section with 6 mm eyepiece (100%)   Further section with 16 mm eyepiece (100%)

Mercury Transit 2016

See also page Mercury Transit 2016 which offers more photos and extended information.

Here are only a few photos, also as enlarged sections, from the initial phase when Mercury entered the sun (taken with 32 mm eyepiece and Leica X Vario mounted fix to the eyepiece):


13:15 approx.

  13:17 approx.  

13:21 approx.


Section from photo above





Venus Crescent 2017

On March 11, 2017, I took photos of the Venus crescent with my Heritage 100P and the Ricoh GR, the best of which are shown below:


Moon Photos 2017

On May 3, 2017, I took photos of the Moon with my Heritage 100P and the Ricoh GR, the best of which are shown below:

7 mm Eyepiece (57 x)


2000 pixels version


2000 pixels version


2000 pixels version


2000 pixels version

4 mm Eyepiece (100 x)


1600 pixels version - 3200 pixels version


1600 pixels version - 3200 pixels version

Jupiter Photos 2017

On May 3, 2017, I took photos of Jupiter an its moons with my Heritage 100P and the Ricoh GR, the best of which are shown below:


1200 pixels version


1200 pixels version


1200 pixels version

With Atik Infinity Camera

The following photos are post-processed versions of the original photos. They were taken with an additional Explore Scientific 2 x Focal Extender (a kind of a Barlow lens) so that the focal length was about 800 mm; this was necessary to come into focus.


M 57 (Ring Nebula in Lyra)


M 56 (Lyra)


M 15 (Pegasus)


M 27 (Dumbbell Nebula in Vulpecula)


Preliminary Conclusions

My experiences with the Heritage 100P telescope (purchased at the beginning of July, 2015) are quite encouraging up to now. It was purchased as a "quick use" and travel scope and suits these purposes well. Image quality is surprisingly good for such a cheap and small telescope. The planets Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn can be identified well by their details (crescent, stripes, moons, ring; the Cassini ring cannot be identified, however; perhaps the air turbulence is too high, or the magnification is too low) - almost as good as with the Heritage P130. But note that planets are quite tiny because of the low magnification. Since I tried to adjust this telescope already shortly after purchase, this judgment refers to an "adjusted state." Obviously, the parabolic mirror shows its advantage compared with the Heritage 76, which seems to have a spherical mirror.

Photo Attempts (Moon, Sun Spot, Transit of the Mercury)

End of July 2015, I made my first attempts in taking photos of the moon with this telescope. The 1:50 method (camera held to the eyepiece) requires many attempts and is frustrating, but the final results are quite OK. However, as with other photo attempts, I did not succeed in achieving uniform sharpness across the image. In April 2016, I took further photos of the moon, but used the projection method this time. Because of the 32 mm eyepiece that I used, the magnification was lower, but the focus seems to be more evenly distributed thanks to the fixed installation of the camera.

In May 2016, I used the 100P to photograph the Mercury transit of the sun, because I was not able to use my 8" GSD 680. Before that, I made a few test photos of sun spots. Mercury was very small, but the telescope did its job well (I used different eyepieces and, of course, a sun filter).

Deep Sky Objects

In summer/autumn 2016, in spring 2017, and in September 2017, I also observed deep sky objects with the Heritage 100P (see here). It resided in part on its own Dobsonian base (especially on vacation), and in part on the Star Discovery AZ GoTo mount. I was amazed at how many objects I was able to find with this small telescope, although there were still quite a few objects that I was not able to find...

Comparison with Sky-Watcher Heritage P130 (Dobson)

Compared with the Heritage P130, I particularly like the low weight (this telescope can still be described as "lightweight"), the smaller size (for transport), and the simple-to-use mount (the telescope is not as top-heavy as the P130 and does not have to be locked again and again).

Quality-wise, the P130 clearly has the lead and magnifies about 1.5 x larger than the 100P, given the same focal length of the eyepiece. The same accounts for the different types of maximum magnification (see Basic Data). It can also be collimated (adjusted) correctly, while for the 100P only the secondary mirror can be adjusted. Because the 100P can be grasped and used quickly and easily, it was significantly more often in use than the P130, which I gave away in mid-Apil 2017.

Comparison with Sky-Watcher-102 OTA (Maksutov-Cassegrain)

In the summer of 2016, I bought a Sky-Watcher Skymax-102 OTA (a tube only) because a dealer persuaded me to do so. It is a Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope with approximately the same opening as the Heritage 100P (with probably more obstruction), but more than three times the focal length, and thus, you get more than three times the magnification for the same eyepiece. At maximum, both have a magnification of about 200 x, at least, if you calculate with a factor of 2 x instead of 1.5 x for the Heritage.

Is the Heritage 100P obsolete for me now? As far as the sun, moon, and planets are concerned, I am tempted to say, yes, or would at least prefer to use the Skymax-102. With my existing eyepieces, the Heritage 100P just reaches a magnification of 100 x (4 mm eyepiece). With the Skymax-102 I can already go far beyond the favorable magnification (the 7 mm eyepiece reaches 186 x, the 6 mm eyepiece exceeds with 217 x already slightly the recommended maximum of 204 x). But for certain deep sky objects you might, according to Stoyan, even go to 300 x, provided the seeing permits this. The 4 mm eyepiece reaches a magnification of 325 x, but then the image is, for my taste, no longer good...

In contrast to the Skymax-102, the Heritage 100P has the advantage of a wide field of view and a "faster" focal ratio (1: 4 versus 1: 12.75). Such a "fast" focal ratio puts higher demands on the eyepieces, but now I have some better eyepieces in my collection... In this respect, the 100P should be more suitable for deep sky observations, in particular, for more extended objects. I have already used it, more or less successfully, for this purpose, but a direct comparison with the Skymax-102 on the same sky objects is still lacking. I cannot say anything about the deep sky abilities of the Skymax-102, whereas I was disappointed by those of the Meade ETX 90/EC (I was barely able to see the Andromeda galaxy, but this may also have been due to the observation conditions...).

A comparison of the image quality at day-time between the Heritage 100P and the Skymax-102 ended in favor of the latter; and the dealer, who recommended the Skymax to me, had already suggested this. The Heritage 100P showed color fringing, which the Skymax did not exhibit, and the Skymax image appeared more contrasty overall. A comparison at night is still on the waiting list...

This may, perhaps, be a comparison of apples with pears, as people say, but I have come to the provisional conclusion that the one need not make the other (or a similar one) obsolete.

Use on Different Bases

The Heritage 100P comes with its own simple Dobsonian base, which is ideally suited to its size (see photos above). However, because of the high center of gravity, it is not at all difficult to overturn the base. I also use the Heritage 100P on the Omegon base, which I have finally put into a working condition. This base is, however, much easier to overturn than the 100P's native base because the base plate is smaller.

And last but not least, I use the 100P tube on my Star Discovery AZ GoTo mount, especially to observe deep sky objects. On vacation, however, I do not take the GoTo mount with me, and therefore succeed then only with larger or brighter objects.


The Heritage 100P is designed for visual observation. With a camera like the Atik Infinity, this tubus does not come you into focus. The remedy is provided by using a Barlow lens or a focal extender; both move the focus further inwards. Both multiply the focal length by their magnification factor, which may be desired, but unfortunately the aperture ratio decreases by the same factor, so that longer exposure times are required, which is less desirable.

In my tests with a cheap Sky-Watcher 2 x Barlow lens, the results were not convincing at all. With a 2 x Explore Scientific focal extender they were better, but also not convincing. Therefore, I will not use the Atik-Infinity camera on this tube. See the examples above.

Astrophotography with a camera held or attached to the eyepiece (1:50 method, projection method) is, of course, possible (moon, planets, sun with solar filter), as shown in the examples above. Regrettably, the Heritage 100P does not have a focuser with 1:10 dual speed transmission, but this would be asked too much for such a cheap telescope...




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