Jump to content



Recommended Posts

Hey everyone, as I'm new I do have a few questions

I'm looking to buy my first scope, I have basic understanding of them, I have seen a couple I'm interested in the first one was skywatcher evostar 90 or the other was skywatcher explorer 130.

Is a reflector alot better than a refractor? I want to look at the moon, planets and some deep space?

Also are there any other scopes around the £150 mark which are recommend?

Look forward to your replies


Link to comment
Share on other sites

If your wanting to see deep space objects id look at a scope with the largest aperture you can afford/sensibly store. This would lean more towards a reflecting scope (youll get more aperture for you money) and it would still give you good planetery/lunar views. Worth keeping in mind that a reflector will require more maintenace than a refractor due to the fact it will need fairly regular collimation but with practise it becomes second nature.

My limited experiance has shown me that for planetery/lunar observing a refractor will be better than a refelcting scope. The images always appear sharper but thats only my own experiance.

Edited by Nova
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd be looking to eventually start taking pictures with a DSLR camera, but I'm sure I've heard somewhere it can't be done with a reflector scope??

I was leaning towards a reflector because the deep space viewing would be better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A DSLR can be used on a reflector or refractor. Just need the correct "T" piece to attach it. Keep in mind serious astrophtography is a steep learning curve. To start with you could try some more basic webcam imaging of the moon and planets to ease you in and help you learn the fundamentals

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Deepsky with that budget is a tough one...

I just got my fiancé a 102mm Mak, which would be in your budget, perhaps even with a eq-2 or such. A good ol' photo tripod will work too, but it must be stable. With ours it will be a bit tough on magifications over 150x or so.

With a 102mm Maksutov only the brightest are visible, but it's compact and doubles as cheap 1300mm telephoto lens. For planets and moon it's great, as high magnifications are reached easily, and the ratio 1300/102 = almost f/13 will enable you to have good images with even cheap eyepieces... But as it has only a 1.25" focuser, deepsky observations are limited as well, as an 40mm eyepiece will have a narrower field of view then a 2" wide-angle eyepiece.

The EQ2 will probably be usable for photography, but is not the most stable, especially with the camera's weight. A smaller Maksutov perhaps, but this limits the deepsky experience even more.

T2 Adapters for Canon EF cost ~€3-4 at ebay, works fine.

A 6" dobsonian (150mm) will show you a lot and is available for €189 here (so a bit over your budget)...

Dobsonians are fun as you get the largest aperture for your money, as the mount is simpler... and not suitable for photography.

With 8" deepsky really gets exciting.

Perhaps you can get one cheaper, when buying a used one?

Check out ClarkVision: Visual Astronomy: M51 and Telescope Aperture

The site shows the difference on deepsky objects, while on planets it won't make much difference if you have 100 or 127mm for example...

Also you should consider trading the kit eyepieces into some better ones, but that depends on how tight your budget is. From personal experience I can say that eyepieces are easily underestimated, but even some cheaper "better" entry level one's can increase perfomance a lot.

You could also get a dobsonian first, and buy a eq-mount for photography later on? The first weeks/months you will probably want to try visual, find things, etc., and for planets and moon you can try with the camera anyway, as they are relativly bright and do not need longer exposure.

Edited by Schorhr
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Which one did you buy / settle for?

Don't just buy a cheap one off ebay or so, as there is a lot of bad devices out there ... such as cheap catadioptic newtons;

Catadioptric system - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

They have a built in corrector/barlow lens, (some) are impossible to collimate for beginners and cheap ones come on a EQ-1 mount. (not stable = no fun, even at medium magnifications)

Edited by Schorhr
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thats good advice above - e.bay is not the place to buy unless you know exactly what you are looking at / for.

Keep asking the questions and perhaps talk to the First Light Optics folks who will give you helpful, unbiased advice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Indeed :-)


Yes, but which telescope exactly he did not state :-)


Also, you'll recognize bad telescope offers if they advertise "600x magnification" or such ;-) It shows that the seller either has no knowledge or just tries to lure kids with no experience.

A) Magnification is NOT stating anything about the telescope quality

:) Most of the time, more then 200/250x makes no sense due to our earth's athmosphere -> aperture

Cheap sets will

-have bad eyepieces and a plastic barlow/magnification lens

-Have eyepieces which will feel like looking through a narrow tunnel

-no stable mount - wich will MAKE NO FUN, trust me, my old telescope catches dust- Even at 50x magnification it is hard to get objects into view as it is shaky and not adjustable smoothly

-Possibly a spherical instead of a parabolic mirror, which possiblydecreases sharpness/contrast

Even a 90mm Maksutov on a camera tripod is more fun then a 150mm catadioptric newton on EQ1 - at least in my oppinion.

AND if you plan on deepsky photography, you will end up paying more for the mount then for the telescope itself, at least when going for larger mirrors.

I initialy wanted to make photos as well, but compared to "daylight photography" it is hard and you can be lucky if you get two good pictures in a month, at least with low grade equipment :-)

Edited by Schorhr
Link to comment
Share on other sites

How hard are reflector scope to collimate?

Collimation is a little daunting when you first try it but gets easier with practise.

Here is a nice easy to follow video that will show you the basics.

Collimating a Newtonian

I would refer to Astro-baby's collimation guide aswell (sorry cant post the link at work, the web filter thinks astro-baby's site is an "adult" site lol) If you google it it pops up straight away.

Edited by Nova
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.