Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_celestial_motion.thumb.jpg.a9e9349c45f96ed7928eb32f1baf76ed.jpg

chris79

Sorry, another 'first telescope advice' thread!

Recommended Posts

Hi all.

As the title would suggest I'm hoping to purchase my first telescope in the not so distant future, I'm currently using just my eyes and a not so great pair of old binoculars in conjunction with various apps and guides from Sky at Night magazine to learn my way around and see what wonders are out there for observing. I've browsed many forums (although naturally this one is the best!), read loads of reviews and beginners guides online, and made a decision on what 'scope I would like not once, not twice, but three times! At least I've not rushed into anything, that's what I keep telling myself. There are no Societies nearby that I could badger for assistance, so I would like some advice from people who know what they're on about!

Initially I thought that I would like to mainly observe the planets, and after researching and reading up, including some reviews on here, I had my eye on the Skywatcher Evostar 90 - http://www.firstligh...tar-90-eq2.html . I had read that Refractors were best for observing the planets, and this 'scope had some good reviews and fit the budget I was looking at. Having continued to think about it, I thought did I really want to limit myself to 'specialising' in the planets, when a lot of the time they aren't visible or ideally located for observing, but also as there is so much more out there to see? Having read the beginners guide to buying a 'scope on the Sky at Night website I saw that they recommended a Reflector as a first buy, and that these were better for observing Deep Sky Objects. Again I began to research, looked up some of the things that I would like to see such as the brighter nebulae and clusters (I know I'm not going to be able to see the dimmer objects on my budget), and began to think about the Skywatcher Explorer 130 - http://www.firstligh...lorer-130.html . So now I'd gone from thinking about a Refractor, to thinking about a Reflector. Having continued to read up extensively on both of them, I came across a post where somebody had said that to get most 'bang for your buck' then they would recommend the Skywatcher Heritage 130p Flextube - http://www.firstligh...p-flextube.html - obviously on a Dobsonian mount as oppsed to an EQ-2 that the other two were mounted on. So now I was totally confused. I guess I should also point out that I haven't got a fetish for Skywatcher, just that they seem to offer good value for money.

So that's where I am at. Basically I'm being greedy and want the best of both worlds, a telescope to provide those 'wow' moments the first time I (hopefully) make out the bands on Jupiter or see Saturn's rings, but that will also give good views of DSO's.

What would you recommend as the best 'all rounder'? The straight out of the box simplicity of the Refractor appeals, as the word 'Collimation' already make me feel nervous. How steady a base will I need to set the Dobsonian on? Will a collapsible plastic camping table suffice? Also, I like the idea of easy tracking with the slow motion controls on the EQ-2, how easy is it to track with the Dobsonian? Or will the image quality of the Heritage outweigh the more simplistic mount? Also, which 'scope has the better upgrade ability, although I do plan on using and getting used to the supplied Eye Pieces (and a x2 Barlow) for a significant portion of time before I even contemplate upgrading.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, regarding brands: be aware that many different brands have their telescopes made in the same factory, probably down to the same exact specification for the Optical tubes. Synta makes Skywatcher, Orion, and probably quite a few more. The difference will lie in the aesthetics and the support chain, apart from the price.

As for refractors=planets, refletctors=DSOs, I learned that same mantra, then unlearned it after digging a bit deeper. Most DSO astrophotography is done on small refractors, so the best way to put it is = they're all good for a bit of everything, some are just more specialized than others.

I have a 120 mm fast focal ration refractor on an alt-az mount. For its money, I could have bough a 10" dobsonian mounted, newtonian reflector. Mine weights about 6-7 kg, all included. The Dob would be far heavier.

Best all rounder for visual observing is, without a shred of doubt, an 8" newtonian reflector on a dob mount. It's also the best value for money. Of course, if that's not what you are into, there are many other choices. I made mine...

Collimation isn't that hard to do, you just need basic tools and a bit of time to do it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This probably isnt going to be much help but no scope is a best of all worlds type thing. that said every scope essentially takes a view of the sky and puts it in your eye ball. Basic but there it is, so although scopes all have a strength and a weakness they will all show you the same things, just with varying degrees of quality. it's easy to lose sight of this quite simple fact when buying a scope.

the bet thing to do is set a budget and a list of criteria, maybe even 5 long. Does it need to be portable, do you have access to a dark sky, do you want to learn the sky or have a computer do the work and so on.

Once you have done that sort of practical thinking it should help you keep on track when buying your first scope. People on here will mostly say buy as big as you can, and the bet way to get big on a budget is a dobsonian. Bear in mind that bigger scopes need longer to cool down. Again this doesnt mean they arent able to function while they are cooling only that the best views are had when the scope is cooled.

Edited by Stargazing00

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As said most average telescopes will give you half decent views of most things..

I think its better to make a decision on your circumstances and budget more than anything.

Im new to this game and did it all wrong i now know i need small and relatively light and the options of a bit of webcam imaging and electronic goto tracking capabilities that can be controlled off my netbook.

If you have plenty of storage room go for a big old dobsonian mounted newt for the best all round viewing. 8" is the best starting size although there's nothing wrong with 6. The dob is simple and easy to use.

If you want to do any Form of imaging its all about the mount.. And these are big heavy and awkward ,well from the eq5 upwards.

As for ota on imaging its a big can of worms. Webcam planetary imaging i don't think you need to be too fussy 150 newt maybe 127 mak or 80 refractor don't think any of them will be any worse or better..

If you want to go down the dslr imaging ask someone else as this at the moment baffles me there are so many opinions on the subject and so much money that could be spent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Chris ...

As you should be able to see from my Sig - I have the Heritage 130p, the Evostar 90 and an Explorer (150 not 130p). I have also recently succumbed to the purchase of a 127 Mak (it was the voices ;)). To be honest, as a relative newcomer, I would be hard pushed to recommend one over the other. I don't have any favourite type of observing. My restricted view from my back garden means I just grab what's on offer, be they Solar System or Deep Space. The Heritage is a brilliant grab n go on the dob mount but you can end up with it on the floor, on a picnic bench, or even a bar stool to try and find that perfect observing position. The Evostar is great because it needs virtually no cool-down time, and I've used it on the EQ 3-2 and the AZ Synscan mounts. The 150pl doesn't really come out as much as it should, simply because, as far as I'm concerned, it's a bit lumpy. But I have had my best views through it without a doubt.

So just buy lots of telescopes, it's the best way to go :)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies everyone, much appreciated. An 8" dob is over the budget I'm afraid, but if I could currently justify getting one I no doubt would!

Thanks for your reply Nick, the grab and go nature of the Heritage is certainly extremely appealing, as is the portability of it. As someone who has a variety of scopes of the sort I'm considering how does the image quality of the Heritage stand up? I'm not expecting the world but would really like to be able to observe banding on Jupiter (I know the image will be tiny!) and Saturn's rings, the brighter nebulae such as Orion's etc. Have you had success with the Heritage in this regard? And have you experienced dew issues what with the secondary being as exposed as it is?

Again, many thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I am a newbie so don't think I will beof ggreat help, but, I bought a flexi tube last month, can't compare to another scope, but what I have seen so far has impressed me. I also love the fact that I can pick up this scope and put it in my garden and use it in super fast time, no settings up, just place it and view. So at the present time it is great for me

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When people extol the virtues of refractors they are usually talking about expensive ones like apochromats or long focus achromats. Personally I feel that budget refractors have few, if any, important advantages over budget Newtonians. When it comes to spending insane amounts of money then I'm very much a refractor enthusiast.

Although Dobsonian mounts don't have slow motion controls they are very smooth and stable. The bottom and German Equatorials don't tend to be either, jittering quite badly and moving a bit jerkily.

Olly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Patience needed, I've not bought my scope yet but I'm prepared to wait until the right one comes along & in the meantime my budget is steadily growing.

Unlimited reserve of help & information on here that has greatly helped my research & I'm much more clued up than I was.

I've watched wildife with binoculars & scopes, and I have been interested in photography for around 40 years, but the same cautious approach to optical purchases always pays off.

Do some research & then some more and try & get to see through them before purchase if you can.

No need for the 'sorry' on your post & the understanding members here all know how disappointing the wrong purchase is.

Welcome to SGL & I hope you buy the rigt scope first time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris thanks for your post , saved me typing the same lol.

I am in the same delema but i'm lucky ,I have a larger budget (£1200) Everything you say in your post i Have done ,with the exception of thinking about dabbeling in photography side at a much later date .

I want something that i won't have to change for a long while, bearing in mind i am also new to all this but want to get it right first time !

All advice gratefully appreciated too.

Sorry for hijacking your thread Chris Hope you dont mind ??

Baz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Chris ...

As you should be able to see from my Sig - I have the Heritage 130p, the Evostar 90 and an Explorer (150 not 130p). I have also recently succumbed to the purchase of a 127 Mak (it was the voices ;)). To be honest, as a relative newcomer, I would be hard pushed to recommend one over the other. I don't have any favourite type of observing. My restricted view from my back garden means I just grab what's on offer, be they Solar System or Deep Space. The Heritage is a brilliant grab n go on the dob mount but you can end up with it on the floor, on a picnic bench, or even a bar stool to try and find that perfect observing position. The Evostar is great because it needs virtually no cool-down time, and I've used it on the EQ 3-2 and the AZ Synscan mounts. The 150pl doesn't really come out as much as it should, simply because, as far as I'm concerned, it's a bit lumpy. But I have had my best views through it without a doubt.

So just buy lots of telescopes, it's the best way to go :)

Hi Chris

Good post - I'm looking at the Evo 90 and the Heritage at the moment - do have have any suggestions / recommendations between them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.