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Choices and Decisions on new 2 me scope


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Since I didnt buy my first scope, and it was given to me, it was apparent from whom it was given, they didn't know what they were buying either. Quick background. First time astronomer here, Currently have the Orion Starblast f/4 scope, 113mm(FL-450mm) After a discussion in my thread about quality of eyepieces, I thought it be best to maybe try a slower scope. After much reading and understanding of the eyepiece debates, and sure, I could buy expensive EPs now and have them for later, but It might be good to start a little slower. I decided and somebody mentioned it was a good idea, to get a different scope for now.

I was planning on using the same mount I already have. its a Eq-1 mount, that I am still learning how to use, but its simple to understand for me. I have a couple choices on some new to used scopes..Just unsure of the quality I should be expecting.

Note: still my beginner scope, This would be for DSOs, Open and Globular clusters, etc....

Option #1-Celestron Nexstar 114gt (Newtonian 114mm reflector; 1000mm f/9 focal length) *Used*

Option #2-Meade 114mm Reflector (White OTA with a f/8.8) *NEW*

Option #3- Meade 114Eq-ASTR 4.5" 114mm (f/8.8 1000mm) *NEW*

This is still going to be considered my "first" scope, I will probably hold onto the orion just in case I maybe get into astrophotography later on, but for now, I want to continue to enjoy the sky!

Thanks in advance for all of you whom answer these questions that probably repeat themselves endlessly. I have used the search and really couldnt find what I was looking for. :)

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I'll be honest and say that I don't think any of the scopes listed will show you better views of DSO's than your current scope does - they only add 1mm to the aperture !.

You need to think about more aperture, rather than a slower scope. 6" minimum I would say and the best value way to get there is a 6" dobsonian:

Dobsonians - Skywatcher Skyliner 150P Dobsonian

Edited by John
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If the Orion is 113mm and the 3 that you are looking at are 114mm they are basically the same diameter. So if the Orion is too small for DSO's so will all the 114's.

Fast or slow is no difference when you consider magnification. If you have 2 scopes of the same diameter but one is fast and the other slow then image size and brightness will be the same for a given magnification.

If you want to look at DSO's then aperture is a priority, they are called faint fuzzies for an good reason. You need aperture to collect enough light to start seeing them.

I am also guessing that all the scopes listed are spherical mirrors, so that is something to be identified and if they are I would reconsider the choices.

A good start over here is the Skywatcher 150PL, reasonable aperture, parabolic mirror and long enough that the "problems" of a fast scope are minimised.

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ok, That makes more sense then. I guess I was dead set on a slower scope, didnt even think about the aperture-bigger is better.....Back to the drawing board.

Was hoping to try and stay with my mount for now too, instead of purchasing a whole new set. So, I guess I am shooting for just the Optical Tube set up. Its too bad I dont have access to the BST forum yet.....

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Hi Camo,

You didn't link to examples so I'm flying blind a bit.

Your Eq-1 mount isn't very robust, but is probably better then what appears to be included with option #3. There's a relay lens in the focuser to give a long fL in a short tube - at the cheap end of the market that means tat optics.

The similar, but longer Meade 114EQ-AR (D=114mm, F=900mm, f/8) would be a better option - no relay lens. Was this option #2 ? Appears to come with a slightly better mount than opt #3, if you don't buy it as an OTA.

Option #1, the Nexstar 114gt, looks short enough that it probably has a relay lens too. If so, again avoid.

ronin and John make valid points. A Dob will give you the best optical bang for your buck and comes with a built in mount.

Not sure what your budget is, nor what the portability/storage requirements are, but if you can find one 2nd hand, or stretch the budget, then the SkyQuest XT8 Classic Dobsonian gives you even more light grasp. But, at f/5.9, will need reasonable quality EPs.

Edited by david o
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David O, thanks for answering my questions on the eyepiece thread, and now you are here to help again! Thanks a ton!

I am almost turned off by the mounts that Dobs use, I guess what I mean, is I enjoy the slow motion tracking of the EQ mount, and love the idea that you can polar align and then track away. How easy are the Dobs to point and shoot for beginners? and then to track possibly to sketch, not photography just yet...

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I agree that more aperture on a solid Dob mount is the way to go. You can still do webcam planetary imaging with that and anything less that the HEQ5 is not up to deep sky imaging anyway, really. What a great contribution John Dobson made...

Olly

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No probs Camo :eek:

I know what you mean about Eq mounts, I prefer my CG-5 over the AZ4. That said, users mention that "nudging" a Dob about is really intuitive and easy. Something that becomes second nature within moments.

As for sketching at the EP, you'll have to stop just as much to track with a manual Eq mount as with a Dob. For imaging you have, as you say, the Starblast but it will have to go on a really solid mount (HEQ5 minimum) for DSO astro-photography.

When I have the space and money my next 'scope will, almost certainly be a Dob. The only real question is whether it'll be 8" or 12" :)

EDIT : As an aside, here's a good review of the Starblast 4.5" for imaging - Orion Starblast 4.5" Imaging Reflector.

Edited by david o
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I wouldnt get into imaging for a long while. I dont even have a DSLR right now, which has been on my list for long long time. I consider myself an amateur photographer, Love taking pictures of nature and animals....Right now though, I would be concentrating on observing and sketching some of the skys wonders!

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