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Hawkeye

Advice wanted for complete novice..

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Hi, I would really like some advice on what telescope to buy...

What I would like to do is get a telescope to do the following:-

View the moon / planets, but also to be able to connect my Nikon D5000 to take pictures of moon / planets and DSO's.

But on top of that I would like a telescope that is transportable so I can take it with me when I go camping....

I have been looking at the Skymax 127 (either supa tracker, or AZ sync)... Would this be suitable for viewing and photography or will the mounts be too unstable for long exposure shots??

My budget is up to £500

I am a complete novice and am now completely confussed by all the different mount telescope types :)

Any advice / recomendations greatly recieved....

Cheers

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hi hawkeye and welcome. not into astro photography so cant help you there but some great peeps on here that will advise you. as for transportable set ups for visual use the scope you mentioned is a great starter kit and will serve you well for a while to come. hope this helps.

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Welcome Hawkeye, have you checked out the sticky threads at the top of this sub-forum?

I think what you will quickly find is that you will need a different set up for shooting planets and the moon as you would for shooting DSO's.

Generally speaking planets and the moon are relatively bright objects but (ignoring the moon) very small. A webcam is useful for this work where you take a series of videos and stack to create an image. For DSO work you will need aperture as objects are very dim. Here is where you will need a sturdy, high quality mount that tracks, and a different camera set up i.e. DSLR or dedicated CCD. The later set up for DSO works can rapidly become less and less portable.

I think for your budget the skymax will do you well and maybe you could also stretch to a webcam and get yourself into imaging the planets and moon. I would be tempted to try this and park the DSO route for a bit.

Also get a copy of Making Every Photon Count by Steve Richards - a great book well worth the money and very informative.

HTH

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Hi Hawkeye, I would second what Digz has said, the kit for good quality DSO imaging will be very different for what you would need to do some basic moon & planet pics. If you start with the Skymax & webcam, that will keep you occupied for a while, and you could always go down the ED Apo refractor route for DSO's later, when you have more £ :)

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Hi All,

A bit more advice needed :)

What would you suggest... The AZ GOTO mount or the Supatrak??

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Just out of curiosity why have you gone for an Alt Az or Supatrak?

If you want to get into astrophotography you are better off going for an Equatorial Mount to avoid issues with field rotation. Granted if you want to start with the Moon and Planets this might not be much of an issue thus you can stick with an Alt Az type mount. Personally I would be tempted to go for a GEM mount.

Just to throw a cat amongst the pigeons take a look at this:

First Light Optics - Skywatcher Explorer 200P EQ5

Granted its not a GoTo or has tracking drives but if your handy you can pick up dual drives for under £100. This will give you more aperture, a fairly sturdy mount and the option to fix motors. You could also, maybe try the second hand route to get more 'bang for your buck' Food for thought......

Edited by Digz

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The 200P is a great setup, but it could not be described as portable...

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The 200P is a great setup, but it could not be described as portable...

True, I guess I've kind of ignored the portable side for now......

Brings back memories, its such a tough decision trying to get the right scope......

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Hi hawkeye. I have the skywatcher skymax 127 and its great. its really easy to use and is portable i dont drive but i have a carry case for it and its not to heavy. I have some great shots of planets and the moon have seen deeper images with it but weather conditions was not great so did not use the web cam. I have the phillips spc900nc webcam and that works great. so to answer your question i would recommend the skymax 127 az goto easy to set up and does what you want it to do. I'll show you some images of what i took with it hope this helps make you mind up lol.

post-32841-133877731836_thumb.jpg

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Hi everyone, thank you for some great advice......

The portable issue is quite a big one for me, but who knows... Once I get the wife hooked and some more 'spare' cash it might turn into a portable scope to travel with and something much bigger as a 'at home' scope :icon_scratch:

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Your welcome Hawkeye, hope it's made your decision a little easier.

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Hi, Has it made my decision a little easier.... Well not really :)

So many choices, focal length, apature, mount type..... Bit of a mine field really.

I am still leaning towards the Skywatvher 127, mainly due to the portability and storage factors, but that 200P sure looks nice.......

Idealy I would like to be able to try (Actually look through) some different size / type scopes, sp I can really get a feel for what I can expect to be able to see...

Any one know of any nocturnal telescope shops :icon_scratch:

Cheers

Paul

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Hi everyone, thank you for some great advice......

The portable issue is quite a big one for me, but who knows... Once I get the wife hooked and some more 'spare' cash it might turn into a portable scope to travel with and something much bigger as a 'at home' scope :icon_scratch:

To throw you into further confusion, you can't go far wrong with a collapsable truss dobsonian. Would do for a bit of planetary imaging and can be had 2nd hand for your budget. My 12" was £450.

Fits in a small car...! Can't get much more portable.

Edited by earth titan

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To throw you into further confusion, you can't go far wrong with a collapsable truss dobsonian. Would do for a bit of planetary imaging and can be had 2nd hand for your budget. My 12" was £450.

Fits in a small car...! Can't get much more portable.

*tosses in grenade and runs for cover.........*

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*tosses in grenade and runs for cover.........*

Yeah sorry but dobby was my 3rd scope and the one I progresses most with. The others (all smaller) were either too complicated or too small. Wish I'd bought a dob in 1st place and saved money. taught me the sky, found my first fuzzies and fuelled my interest.

I often take it to a dark sky and can be up and running in 5 minutes.

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*tosses in grenade and runs for cover.........*

boom !!!!!!!:icon_scratch:

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To be honest, asking which scope you need on an astronomy forum, is a bit of a recipe for disaster. All of us will have our preferences and, as anyone will tell you, no scope will do everything you want.

I procrastinated for ages before taking the plunge (I think they call it choice paralysis) - the worst thing is to do nothing.

Find someone to help you and advise you on what pitfalls to look for, then look for a good second hand one. At least if it isn't the one you want you can punt it on for little loss.

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