Thanks for the replies everyone, much appreciated. An 8" dob is over the budget I'm afraid, but if I could currently justify getting one I no doubt would! Thanks for your reply Nick, the grab and go nature of the Heritage is certainly extremely appealing, as is the portability of it. As someone who has a variety of scopes of the sort I'm considering how does the image quality of the Heritage stand up? I'm not expecting the world but would really like to be able to observe banding on Jupiter (I know the image will be tiny!) and Saturn's rings, the brighter nebulae such as Orion's etc. Have you had success with the Heritage in this regard? And have you experienced dew issues what with the secondary being as exposed as it is? Again, many thanks.
Hi all. As the title would suggest I'm hoping to purchase my first telescope in the not so distant future, I'm currently using just my eyes and a not so great pair of old binoculars in conjunction with various apps and guides from Sky at Night magazine to learn my way around and see what wonders are out there for observing. I've browsed many forums (although naturally this one is the best!), read loads of reviews and beginners guides online, and made a decision on what 'scope I would like not once, not twice, but three times! At least I've not rushed into anything, that's what I keep telling myself. There are no Societies nearby that I could badger for assistance, so I would like some advice from people who know what they're on about! Initially I thought that I would like to mainly observe the planets, and after researching and reading up, including some reviews on here, I had my eye on the Skywatcher Evostar 90 - http://www.firstligh...tar-90-eq2.html . I had read that Refractors were best for observing the planets, and this 'scope had some good reviews and fit the budget I was looking at. Having continued to think about it, I thought did I really want to limit myself to 'specialising' in the planets, when a lot of the time they aren't visible or ideally located for observing, but also as there is so much more out there to see? Having read the beginners guide to buying a 'scope on the Sky at Night website I saw that they recommended a Reflector as a first buy, and that these were better for observing Deep Sky Objects. Again I began to research, looked up some of the things that I would like to see such as the brighter nebulae and clusters (I know I'm not going to be able to see the dimmer objects on my budget), and began to think about the Skywatcher Explorer 130 - http://www.firstligh...lorer-130.html . So now I'd gone from thinking about a Refractor, to thinking about a Reflector. Having continued to read up extensively on both of them, I came across a post where somebody had said that to get most 'bang for your buck' then they would recommend the Skywatcher Heritage 130p Flextube - http://www.firstligh...p-flextube.html - obviously on a Dobsonian mount as oppsed to an EQ-2 that the other two were mounted on. So now I was totally confused. I guess I should also point out that I haven't got a fetish for Skywatcher, just that they seem to offer good value for money. So that's where I am at. Basically I'm being greedy and want the best of both worlds, a telescope to provide those 'wow' moments the first time I (hopefully) make out the bands on Jupiter or see Saturn's rings, but that will also give good views of DSO's. What would you recommend as the best 'all rounder'? The straight out of the box simplicity of the Refractor appeals, as the word 'Collimation' already make me feel nervous. How steady a base will I need to set the Dobsonian on? Will a collapsible plastic camping table suffice? Also, I like the idea of easy tracking with the slow motion controls on the EQ-2, how easy is it to track with the Dobsonian? Or will the image quality of the Heritage outweigh the more simplistic mount? Also, which 'scope has the better upgrade ability, although I do plan on using and getting used to the supplied Eye Pieces (and a x2 Barlow) for a significant portion of time before I even contemplate upgrading. Anyway, thanks for reading, and any advice would be greatly appreciated.