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Many people ask which scope is better and after replying to a post I thought this maybe an interesting comparison for some of us newbies so which scope gives the better view?

http://www.firstligh...p-flextube.html

http://www.amazon.co...tromaster 130eq

http://www.firstligh...lorer-130p.html

http://www.firstligh...atrak-auto.html

http://www.firstligh...an-az-goto.html

http://www.firstligh...ar-130-slt.html

http://www.firstligh...rodigy-130.html

answer none of them. If you stick the same eyepiece in all of these scopes and point it at the same target you will see exactly the same thing because all of these scopes use exactly the same optics. So to get exactly the same view as the £138 130p dobsonion you could spend as much as £659 for the same scope on a posh goto and remember none of these mounts are suitable for deep space imaging. This is why so many people reply to the question what is the best scope for a little money? With get a dobsonion.

Edited by rowan46
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Hear what you are saying but the generation coming up not only wants goto they want to run the scope from their smart phone and iPad.

These arguements of goto/Dobsonian are to an extent out of date, every one of those scopes is "old" fashoned, I know of none that has an interface to an Android or iPhone smart phone. That is what is both wanted and expected by those coming up and into the hobby.

The world as moved on. In software they have the Raspberry Pi to learn the basics as we used to do, except the Raspberry Pi supplies everything and you use an established language. Basics to me are assembeler, not a relatively high level language, Python isn't it. Yes like a few of us who go back that far I have entered 4 pages of machine code from a magazine to get a computer running.

Do I hanker for those days - not overly is the answer.

Every one of the goto's are "old" now, eventually Meade, Celestron, Skywatcher et al will realise this and the interface will be a touch screen with options for Android/iPhone/iPad, and if they have sense it will be wifi as well.

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Hear what you are saying but the generation coming up not only wants goto they want to run the scope from their smart phone and iPad.

These arguements of goto/Dobsonian are to an extent out of date, every one of those scopes is "old" fashoned, I know of none that has an interface to an Android or iPhone smart phone. That is what is both wanted and expected by those coming up and into the hobby.

The world as moved on. In software they have the Raspberry Pi to learn the basics as we used to do, except the Raspberry Pi supplies everything and you use an established language. Basics to me are assembeler, not a relatively high level language, Python isn't it. Yes like a few of us who go back that far I have entered 4 pages of machine code from a magazine to get a computer running.

Do I hanker for those days - not overly is the answer.

Every one of the goto's are "old" now, eventually Meade, Celestron, Skywatcher et al will realise this and the interface will be a touch screen with options for Android/iPhone/iPad, and if they have sense it will be wifi as well.

I pretty much agree with you I am not anti goto or electronic in any way all of these machines may give a different viewing experience, but the view will be the same which is what I wanted to draw attention to. Some like to talk about the "thrill of the hunt" that doesn't do it for me really. I do get a great satisfaction from findings things but ultimately I would rather not lose them in the first place but it was a post to illustrate that a cheaper package or a more expensive doen't necessarily buy you a better or worse view, although I do agree that it will buy a different viewing experience
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More important than anything are observing skills. You can learn these with bins (and even without). I do know some people who wondered why their goto did not work, whereas the object was in the FOV (I could spot it, it was not one of the 40,000 objects in the database, but beyond the range of the scope). They just did not know how to spot it. Curiously, I have seen novices hunting DSOs in the old-school style and finding pretty hard ones, because they are on the lookout for something unusual, rather than expecting it in the centre of the FOV. Besides, the very act of moving the scope allows you to pick up more. Steering novices towards a dob still makes sense, because more aperture at a given price yields better views than a much smaller aperture with goto. Can I see Markarian's Chain through a Nexstar 4SE? Perhaps, with a lot of patience, from a very dark site. Can I see the same with a SW Skyliner 250 dob (just 20 quid more)? You bet I can!

In short, I do not doubt that iOS and Android phone/tablet interfaces will be important to many, but observing skills are indispensable. More aperture helps me more in actually seeing things than does goto.

This is not to knock goto: all professional scopes have it, almost all imagers I know use it, and for good reason: time is short, and you want to be capturing those precious photons quickly. Not all planetary imagers use goto, because planets are staring you in the face :D, and photons are plenty

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.... but it was a post to illustrate that a cheaper package or a more expensive doen't necessarily buy you a better or worse view, although I do agree that it will buy a different viewing experience

yup. When I looked into buying my first scope and eventually did recently, I didn't see any point in investing in extras I did not need on a limited budget, my main aim was to maximise on optics and an easy to use system, so the dobsonian mount seemed right up my street as soon as I read and found out about it. You can buy a small computerised 76 or 114 mm with automation that would cost more compared to the Heritage 130p dob I settled for, example

http://www.amazon.co...e/dp/B0036GNNCC

Personally I would never have opted for something like that when you're actually approaching the price of an 8 inch dob, it will easily buy you a 6 inch dob for less, but as they say, different courses for different horses depending on you needs. :)

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More important than anything are observing skills. You can learn these with bins (and even without). I do know some people who wondered why their goto did not work, whereas the object was in the FOV (I could spot it, it was not one of the 40,000 objects in the database, but beyond the range of the scope). They just did not know how to spot it. Curiously, I have seen novices hunting DSOs in the old-school style and finding pretty hard ones, because they are on the lookout for something unusual, rather than expecting it in the centre of the FOV. Besides, the very act of moving the scope allows you to pick up more. Steering novices towards a dob still makes sense, because more aperture at a given price yields better views than a much smaller aperture with goto. Can I see Markarian's Chain through a Nexstar 4SE? Perhaps, with a lot of patience, from a very dark site. Can I see the same with a SW Skyliner 250 dob (just 20 quid more)? You bet I can!

In short, I do not doubt that iOS and Android phone/tablet interfaces will be important to many, but observing skills are indispensable. More aperture helps me more in actually seeing things than does goto.

This is not to knock goto: all professional scopes have it, almost all imagers I know use it, and for good reason: time is short, and you want to be capturing those precious photons quickly. Not all planetary imagers use goto, because planets are staring you in the face :D, and photons are plenty

Well said.

I am always glad I waited so long before getting GOTO - bigger optics earlier on helped me to learn what the sky really looks like, and often with GOTO you expect too much and get too little. Plus GOTO ain't perfect - it helps to have some experience to put if straight!

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About the only one of those 130mm scopes i would NOT buy is the Prodigy. Its just another expensive gimmick from Celestron like other products they have brought out, such as the SkyScout,Neximage etc.

Cost way too much for what they are and what the deliver.

Yes, i did have a brand new Skyscout for 2 yrs. I used it maybe 3 times.I sold it on for a bit of a loss.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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I think I agree with Michael. I don't view it as a competition and I absolutely appreciate that GOTO has it's value, but I've never used it to find targets visually and have found as a result that I've learned far more about the sky and looked at far more things than I might otherwise have done. I had to get the hang of picking out asterisms and comparing magnitudes and comparing different areas of sky just to work out exactly "where I was". In retrospect I think it's meant that I've been able to see things that I just wouldn't have been able to pick out if I'd gone straight to the eyepiece expecting them to be there.

Some people just like the GOTO and instant gratification and that's fair enough, but for me part of the pleasure of astronomy is the learning and experience that goes with finding a new object and understanding its place in the sky. But for me, many of the things I do for pleasure are as much about the journey as the destination.

James

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Many people ask which scope is better and after replying to a post I thought this maybe an interesting comparison for some of us newbies so which scope gives the better view?

http://www.firstligh...p-flextube.html

http://www.amazon.co...tromaster 130eq

http://www.firstligh...lorer-130p.html

http://www.firstligh...atrak-auto.html

http://www.firstligh...an-az-goto.html

http://www.firstligh...ar-130-slt.html

http://www.firstligh...rodigy-130.html

answer none of them. If you stick the same eyepiece in all of these scopes and point it at the same target you will see exactly the same thing because all of these scopes use exactly the same optics. So to get exactly the same view as the £138 130p dobsonion you could spend as much as £659 for the same scope on a posh goto and remember none of these mounts are suitable for deep space imaging. This is why so many people reply to the question what is the best scope for a little money? With get a dobsonion.

When i read this, it instantly brought an Einstein quote to mind.

My opinion is that it's just different strokes for different folks.

PS: my new 200 dob has just arrived - i believe it is the best one for me. I found goto motors to be slow and EQ to be a less than novice friendly.

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