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buying a scope and mount

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I'm a new member and a beginner. I'm looking at mainly lunar and planetary, with a little bit of deep sky. I'm thinking of buying a second hand Skymax 180 Pro OTA and a Celestron CG5 go to mount or a Celestron C6 tube with go to 6 SE mount.

Can anyone advise what might be the best scope and mount to buy. As a beginner I need a really simple to operate go to.



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Hiya and welcome :laugh:

There are plenty of options to choose from, you could try to meet with a local astronomy group and check their setups out and see what suits you best.

You cant get much easier than the Celestron SE GOTO series ,the scopes also give crisp viewing.

Hope this helps :smiley:


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Hi Borderfin and welcome to SGL, I should try holding back on buying a scope till you have done a little more research, however, one with the largest aperture, that is within your budget, should receive most consideration, along with stability and ease of operation :)


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Hi and welcome to the forum. I agree with Shaun above regarding going along to a couple of public observing events to actually look through some of this kit to see which size and type of scope best meets your expectations. It also a useful way of seeing the size of the setup and to ascertain the setup and cool down times and how portable the kit is should you need to travel to a dark site or if based at home, to set up it up each time. More importantly, it will help you establish your own datum point of what all the specifications and technical jargon mean at the eyepiece which will most certainly help any further research you do in finding the right scope for you. Lastly, by going along to these events, you will very quickly appreciate the benefits of different eyepieces that are out there and their effect on the final view which, in certain instances, can be quite pronounced.

Clear skies for now and remember that there is no need to rush and buy something immediately - the stars aren't going anywhere. :smiley:


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Thank you for all your responses and advice. I'm fifty miles from Edinburgh and I don't think that there are any observer groups near me so getting to look through some scopes probably isn't possible. I've been doing a bit more research and am looking at a Celestron 8 SE. We're shortly moving and the new house will have a fantastic open expanse of sky which just calls for a scope int he back garden.

Any views on the C8 SE?

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Hi from another Newbie to thr forum. I too have been seeking what the best scope to get is and have deceided to take it slow and make my first buy the book: making every photon count.


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hi welcome to SGL from pete in Bedfordshire :smiley: there is a thread discussing MAK's at the moment going on in the link below that may interest you.

i owned a MAK180 until a recent upgrade to a C9.25 the MAK was a great perfomer, particularly on planets, lunar, double stars, it is a very powerfull scope!

there is also a very interesting link to a review by an SGL member (astrobaby) in the thread below, regarding the MAK180 it's a very fair and balanced view of a scope that does provoke a lot of discussion regarding it's strengths and weaknesses


Edited by bunnygod1
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Hi borderfin & welcome to SGL.

+ another 1 to go to a local club meeting.

Better to see the equipment in the flesh before parting with your cash.

I didn't buy what I thought was the right scope after seeing it in action.

I am a beginner like yourself, it has took me about 10 weeks of research & attending meetings before I was knew which equipment to buy.

When you get to 50 posts you will be able to see the classified adverts on here, thats where I bought my scope & had plenty of help from the seller as well.

Take your time - the results will be well worth it.

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Hi Borderfin and welcome to SGL

As many have already stated attend a local event and try a few scopes.

The Celestron SE's are very popular and decent performers and easy Goto's to master.

I myself prefer aperture over electronics and will always advocate a Dobsonian, which you could choose a push-to in, much quieter and more satisfying!

CAT's take a while to acclimatise and dew-zappers are a must in blighty.

Whatever you choose, enjoy as and when the clouds and weather permitt :icon_salut:


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Thanks again for the help. I've decide to get a Celestron 9.25inch, mainly for imaging but perhaps a little photography and was wondering what the best altazimith go to mount to get is - would I be better off with a Fork Mount? Any advice welcome.


Border Fin

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