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which mount to use?


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Hi guys,

I have been looking at a lot of scopes recently and trying to understand the differences between them all. I am particulary drawn to the 'Skywatcher Skymax 180pro'. It seems to me to be a lot of scope for the £800 price tag. What do you guys think?

Secondly, more important, what tripod/mount would be best for this scope? I have read that EQ5 isn't beefy enough ... is this right? (Amazed if it is right!) Will I really need to go up to the EQ6? A huge price jump between the 5 and 6 (at least internet searches so far make it about £100 anyway) I am looking at motorised not necessarily GOTO at this stage.

Any thoughts would be a huge help guys.

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What sort of viewing are you interested in ?.

The Skymax 180 is an excellent scope but is much more suitable for planetary and lunar viewing than it is for deep sky objects. It has a long focal length and delivers a narrow field of view you see.

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Your chosen scope weighs about 7.8kg, the EQ5 has a capacity of around 8kg. A general rule of thumb is to not load more than about 2/3rds of the mounts capacity therefore the EQ5 is not suitable for your chosen scope.

Do you plan and solely doing visual work? One thing to consider is trying to future proof yourself with your mount. This is more important if you plan on wanting to get into astrophotography.

Edited by Digz
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Your chosen scope weighs about 7.8kg, the EQ5 has a capacity of around 17kg depending on what website you read. If you go on the rule of thumb that you shouldn't load your mount anymore than about 2/3rds of its capacity then you are going to be marginally over this when you factor in the counter weights. You shouldn't be over the capacity of the mount however, and you may find this acceptable for visual work.

Do you plan and solely doing visual work? One thing to consider is trying to future proof yourself with your mount. This is more important if you plan on wanting to get into astrophotography.

The EQ5 has a load capacity of about 8kg not 17kg. The HEQ5 has a capacity of about 17kg. The HEQ5 should be able to handle the Skymax 180.

Peter

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Yes, the difference between visual and photographic use is huge and, within that, the difference between planetary and deep sky imaging is also huge. You need to say what you aim to be doing in order to get the best help.

Olly

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Ah, ok well I suppose initially I am looking at keeping things to our solar system and nebulae etc., but I would like to branch out to deeper space at some time. So am I correct in thinking that the Skymax 180pro is OK for planetry viewing but not good for deep space viewing?

OK so based on what many of you are saying I will need EQ6!

I would definitely like to be looking at astrophotography later also but again, money needs accumulating first so that wont be for a while.

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Well, the nebulae are deep space and for imaging these you need a fast F ratio, really significantly below F10.

For visually observing and imaging the planets the 180 would be great. For viewing the deep space targets it would sometimes need a very widefield eyepiece. It will never be good at imaging deep space because the F ratio is too slow.

You need to weigh up what are your priorities becase, sadly, no one scope can do everything to the top standard.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
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Hi khalen, It all depends what you want to do.

If it's going to be just for visual observing...

Well, I've got my 180 Pro on a bog standard, manual CG-5 mount, which is more than adequate. It's great for lunar and planetary work, also for the smaller, brighter DSOs and double stars.

If you'll be using it for imaging too, then I suspect that you'll need at least an HEQ5, as Peter says. It'll be good for lunar/planetary webcam imaging, though as Olly says, it's focal ratio of f/15 is too slow for much else.

It is a lot of 'scope. Nice and well built, with only a few faults.

What it isn't is an all rounder. It is a rather narrowly focussed bit of kit and wouldn't really be suitable as a first or only 'scope unless, of course, you have very clear ideas and specific needs and wants.

HTH :eek:

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