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Scott84
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Newbie here, be gentle. :p

I've been into astronomy & physics for many years but never really had the time to persue it further. However that is no longer the case, so I thought I'd sign up and say hi. I'm from Cumbria and thankfully we have alot of areas with minimal light pollution.

I don't yet own any astronomy equipment, other than books and reference material so I'll be looking for some expert advise for choosing my first telescope and possibly a pair of binoculars as well.

Though I'm more interested in the scope so, having had a look around and reading up, I've come to the conclusion that most people recommend either Celestron or Sky Watcher scopes, and I've read that Meade scopes are like French cars, they have dodgy electrics.

So with this knowledge I have looked into Celestron and Sky Watcher, I read they are made by the same people but we'll leave that for another topic. :)

I am not too bothered about the scopes with auto tracking and alignment, I have a planisphere and a brain so I'd prefer the best quality lens and zoom as my main interests lay outside of our solar system in that of DSO's.

Now, the scope I was paying most attention to was the Sky Watcher Explorer 200p EQ5 however I have also seen the Sky Watcher SkyMax 127 (Various versions).

However I'm sure there's many more I have not seen or not paid attention to, so my questions is, what is the scope for the price bracket that the two scopes above sit in which will allow me to view DSO's as well as planets and of course our lovely moon.

Oh and if you could give me some advise on which type of filter and lens I can buy in addition as I read that the standard supplied lens' aren't the greatest.

Sorry for the essay. ;):)

Cheers.

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Hi Scott and welcome to SGL

The 200p is a cracking scope, I have one myself and would never part with it even if I upgraded. I would consider the dob version rather than the eq5 if I had to buy it again. I built a dob mount for mine and the eq5 is used for a small refractor.

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Hi Scott and welcome to SGL

The 200p is a cracking scope, I have one myself and would never part with it even if I upgraded. I would consider the dob version rather than the eq5 if I had to buy it again. I built a dob mount for mine and the eq5 is used for a small refractor.

I have looked at the Dobsonian' but I'm not familiar with that type of scope. It needs a mount I assume? What is the benefit of it over the reflector type?

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Hi Scott, welcome to the Lounge.

A Dobsonian, or Dob is a Newtonian reflector, the same as the one you were looking at on the EQ mount, but is on a more basic alt/az mount, this swings up/down, and left/right.

They are easy to set up, but have to be pushed to the target, and you have to keep nudging them to remain on target. That said they remain a very popular type of scope.

Here are the two similar scopes for you to compare.

First Light Optics - Skywatcher Explorer 200P EQ5

First Light Optics - Skywatcher Skyliner 200P Dobsonian

Hope that helps.

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Hey Scott welcome to SGL :)

I have had some of my best astronomy experiences in Cumbria. Beautiful dark skies, especially good for Deep sky object viewing (such as M42, m31, m57 etc.) So you are on the right track to get some fantastic views.

As mentioned above the 200p eq5 is a great combination, but some people do not believe an equatorial mount is so good for beginners. Where is your darksite, how long are you prepared to set up before viewing?

A dobsonian is simply the type of mount that is cheaper and point and shoot. It is the best for giving you the best viewing experiences for the lowest price ratio.

A Mak 127 isn't going to be as good for darker sky objects but it does planets, double stars and the moon very well. It is also easier to transport but takes a longer time for the air inside the tube to cool down, before you can get some good viewing in.

HTH, ask away

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Hi Scott,

Welcome to SGL.

Really jealous of your skies :)

As already noted the Newtonian would be better if your prime interest is DSOs but the Mak has advantages in being good for solar system objects and easy to transport. Horses for cousrses really.

Have fun.

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Welcome Scott. There are lots of Dob users on this forum, and there is also a social group (under the "community" menu) devoted to the subject. Feel free to have a poke around and ask questions. Bought mine a couple of months ago and haven't looked back.

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Thanks for all the welcomes guys. :)

I'll definitely look into these Dobsonian's a bit more now, do they require a mount though or do you just use them as they come? They look a bit on the small side in the pics, how do you set them up? (Maybe this is where I ask in the Dobsonian area? lol)

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The dobsonians come with a mount, it is the box type structure at the bottom of its pictures. You will need to define 'small' :)

My 8" dob is around a meter and a half high, probably takes up a square foot of floor space.

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The dobsonians come with a mount, it is the box type structure at the bottom of its pictures. You will need to define 'small' :)

My 8" dob is around a meter and a half high, probably takes up a square foot of floor space.

Bigger than what I thought then. :)

I just need to know if a Canon D400 SLR will be able to connect to an eyepiece now to be able to get pics.

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You can definitely get some good pics with your DSLR. Check out my gallery to get some idea of what can be achieved with a 200p dobsonian :)

Stargazers Lounge - Adz's Album: Astrophotography

Most of this was whats called prime focus, this means not using the eyepiece and connecting the dslr directly to the eyepiece holder via an adapter like this

First Light Optics - T Rings

If you want to have a go with through an eyepiece first (although I have never had such great results) then you need to consider something like this

First Light Optics - Baader Microstage Clickstop digital camera adapter

or

First Light Optics - Skywatcher Universal Camera Adapter

Todd is right, make sure you buy the scope you know you will use. A good scope is still a bad scope, if it doesn't get used, if you see what I mean :)

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