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Legend147

Skywatcher 200p or Meade etx125pe

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I'm looking to purchase one of these scopes mentioned for stargazing and astrophotography.

What is the best option for maximum detail in the sky and magnification. I am interested in viewing all aspects of astronomy - planets, stars etc. I have a budget of £750. I have a digital camera EOS 5D canon to attach to the telescope. Which option would also give the best image quality with this camera? Are there any other options that you recommend?

Thanks

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Hi

Nice camera. I have a Skywatcher 200pds and haven't looked back since I got it a couple of months ago. I learnt very quickly that aperture is king, having started out with a 127 Mak Cass earlier in the year. The difference is amazing in the detail you can achieve with the extra few centimetres. I would also say, given the size and weight of that camera, you will need a very stable mount. For 750 I might consider looking for a second hand piece of kit, because with a 200mm tube you will need something pretty robust.

I've attached two photos to give you an idea (I'm not great so bear with me). The first is Deneb with my only 127 Mak and the second is with the same camera, but new scope. Hope this helps.post-25178-0-51148400-1350328206_thumb.jpost-25178-0-31573100-1350328213_thumb.j

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Hi and welcome to the forum.

I've moved this post from the reviews section to the beginners section because you will get more responses to your question there. Hope thats OK :smiley:

I'm not jumping to the conclusion that you are a beginner particularly, it's just that I want you to get the best response.

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Neither.

The ETX is a long focal length Mak and on an Alt/Az mount.

The 200P is just about as long and unless it came on the HEQ5 mount it is too heavy for the mount for astrophotography.

If the 200P is a Dobsonin mounted Newtonian the it is more unsuited to astrophotography.

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The problem is that good visual scopes don't make good imaging scopes unless you get a very high end mount. What you need for imaging is something with very good optics a fast focal ratio and fairly compact unless the mount is excellent. What you need for visual is apparture. The 200 is the best visual scope on the planet for the price but to get the best out of it for imaging you really need an eq6. Yes you can get product from an eq5 or a heq5 but my guess is that you are getting into photography and that it will not be long before you are disenchanted with the results if you use those mounts. On the other hand the etx has a very long focal length and the mount it comes with is not up to the job of imaging at such a length. The best scope visually is without doubt the 200p but for imaging neither cuts it on the budget you have. Unfortunately unless you have a very high end mount big scopes are out for imaging and so are slow scopes like the f15 mak on the etx.. So for visual it goes the largest scope you can afford. For imaging the best mount you can afford. you can't really have both unless you have a bigger budget.

Edited by rowan46

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Thanks all.

Useful feedback and nice photos. To add to a few of the points raised have been inspired to get into this through night photography having photographed the northern lights last Xmas in Lapland and have always had some interest in astronomy. I'm fairly proficient on the photo side but completely new on the telescopic front. So my intention is to get the best possible solution for both imaging and viewing. What would be the minimum budget realistically to satisfy both aspects, £750 sounds too low unless I purchase EQ6 mount is it?? Maybe I can't have my cake and eat it unless I go well over £1k? or just have to compromise which is the priority viewing or photographing. All suggestions of other equipment options welcome.

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Thanks all.

Useful feedback and nice photos. To add to a few of the points raised have been inspired to get into this through night photography having photographed the northern lights last Xmas in Lapland and have always had some interest in astronomy. I'm fairly proficient on the photo side but completely new on the telescopic front. So my intention is to get the best possible solution for both imaging and viewing. What would be the minimum budget realistically to satisfy both aspects, £750 sounds too low unless I purchase EQ6 mount is it?? Maybe I can't have my cake and eat it unless I go well over £1k? or just have to compromise which is the priority viewing or photographing. All suggestions of other equipment options welcome.

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The Meade ETX125PE does not have very good reviews viz: http://www.amazon.co...e/dp/B0007CG4ME

The 200P would be OK but you need a very stable driven mount, the fast nature of the scope is better suited to photography as opposed to the long focal length of the Meade, but in my view you would be better off with an ED refractor (semi-apo), something like a 90mm or 100mm for astro-photography on a good stable driven mount if possible. May go out of your budget, but if you are serious about photography, this is the way to go, also get yourself a copy of Steve Richards 'Making Every Photon Count' - indespensible if you are starting out.

Edited by rwilkey

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From a newbie standpoint, it certainly is a compromise between visual and AP (astrophotography). As you can see in my sig I have a 200P and HEQ5 Pro. The mount is at the limit of its carrying capacity with the scope. The long focal length means it is very susceptible to vibration and even the slightest breeze, but I've take some OK pics. The attached pic is of M51. I was autoguiding which is easy to set up with this mount. I would recommend the EQ6 though, as it's more robust for a scope this size. I'm not that strong so it's just too heavy for me.

If you wanted to just do AP then aperture's not important. I've not tried AP through a smaller scope though. Many say small apochromatic refractors ('apos') do very well, and even smaller reflectors, but as you said, you want visual and AP!

That's just my newbie view!

EDIT: Oops, Robin pipped me at the post here! (Pun intended!)

Alexxx

post-1704-0-87963400-1350397760_thumb.jp

Edited by Astrosurf

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Thanks again

Food for thought looks like choice between ED refractor and 200p. In terms of focal length and does an extra 200 mm make much difference in magnification . Have noticed many scopes in the price range I'm looking at are between 1000- 1200. At a matter of interest does anyone have any images i can see taken with 200p/EQ6 and/or ED refractor scope? Cheers

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I bought the 200p on EQ5 (Black Diamond model) for 420quid new in May 2011. By April this year decided I wanted to do AP.

I must say I am getting loads out of it and only had to get a Tring (£20) and a dual axis motor (£80). Check out my Flickr site for some examples of deep sky and lunar imaging, including closeups of craters, all achieved with a setup well under your budget.

My next step would be a much larger and more expensive scope. The 200p is more than enough to keep me going for several years.

Ash

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