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Hi all

I'm looking to buy a small go-to mak as my first telescope and I'm considering either the Sky-Watcher SkyMax 127 SynScan AZ Goto or the Celestron NexStar 4SE. At face value I know that the 127 has a larger 5" aperture than the 4SE's 4", but I've read that the goto system on the 4SE is better. Does anyone have any strong views on which of these scopes would be the better buy? I'm keen to view some DSO's and know the 127 would be better for that, but the 4SE just looks like better quality kit to me (I could be wrong of course!). Any advice welcome!

Cheers

Baz

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Hi

Next to where you observe from aperture is the most important consideration when observing DSO.

Admittedly not all DSO require giant apertures but for the most part the larger the scope the more you are going to see.

If deep sky observing is your chief interest you should consider very carefully whether a small Mak is where you should be looking.

Regards Steve

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Both GOTO's work fine if properly setup as far as I'm aware so I'd go for aperture, especially if you are interested in DSO's. It's going to be a bit frustrating if your GOTO points the scope at something that sounds interesting but you then don't have enough aperture to actually see it !. Even the 127 is going to struggle to show you much more than faint patches of light for many DSO's to be honest.

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...If deep sky observing is your chief interest you should consider very carefully whether a small Mak is where you should be looking.....

Have to agree with Steve on this.

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i have had a sw 127mak and a nexatar 5" goto , i would have to say the mak performed better in all departments , even dso`s ,bulid quality is great and the optics are first class , the synscan system is slightly more complex in that you need to know the names of a few stars , my money would be on the mak every time , ;)

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Thanks for the feedback guys. I should have said in my original post that as a beginner, my plan is to get the goto mak as a way of helping me to learn the general layout of the skies/objects, with relatively little set-up-and-go time, as initially my viewing time is likely to be limited.

Once I'm more familiar with the skies, I'll probably invest in a Sky-Watcher 8" dob as I've read that this 'manual' scope can give some excellent results, and give much better clarity on DSO's, although I understand that with the reflector I'll have to learn to collimate it whereas the sealed mak shouldn't give me any problems in that respect.

Thanks for the feedback on DSO's through a little mak, I'll defo bear that in mind.

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Thanks for the advice GeorgeB - I guess I initially had the 'got to get the newest stuff' disease, so had overlooked the 127 SLT. I've looked it up now, and am wondering if I should just go for the 130 SLT instead as it's an f5 scope as opposed to the f11 of the mak, so it'd help me a lot more with DSO's. I understand that the 130 is a reflector and so I'll have to deal with collimation, but from what I've read it doesn't have to be the nightmare that a lot of people think it is, so would be willing to 'take the risk' for the better viewing potential.

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Hi there - I use a 150mm MAK. It's good for some DSOs, name globular clusters. However, the narrow field of view and long focal length may mean that it is difficult to get the best out of it for open clusters, galaxies, diffuse nebulae etc. You will also be limited by aperture on the smaller scopes.

The MAKs are best on planetary, lunar, globulars, double stars, for which this type of telescope is exceptional.

Ed

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So I took the plunge and my Celestron NexStar 4SE arrived today, courtesy of FLO (thanks Martin!) I also bought a Revelation EP kit, a SW light pollution filter, an Astrozap dew shield and a mains PSU, so I'm all set for the first clear sky to appear! Hope it's not too long... ; )

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Hemsy - When I was researching my scope purchase there seemed to be a general consensus of opinion on astronomy forums that the software in the Nexstar handset was significantly better than the Skywatcher. The hardware is identical in all other respects.

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