Jump to content

Ceph and Cass

New scope plans

Recommended Posts

HI there,

I am getting back into Astronomy after many decades, I used to be very keen, I even went so far as to do a degree in Astrophysics as St Andrews (never finished it – went into computer science instead)

I am planning on getting a telescope and have done a bit of research (and getting a headache at all the possible combinations!) I’d like opinions on whether my proposed plan is a good one.

I am aiming to do some general observing of DSO’s and planets and just get to know my way about the night sky again. I would eventually like to get into astro photography/imaging however I don’t want to spend a fortune at this stage as who knows if the astronomy bug will bite again!

I am thinking of getting a Skywatcher Skyliner 200P Dobsonian, my thinking being that If, later on, I want to upgrade (for imaging or just auto-tracking) I can mount the tube on a HEQ5 or NEQ6.

I had thought of the Skywatcher Explorer 200P on an EQ5 mount but that mount does seem to be a bit “lightweight” for this size of scope when imaging is carried out.

Any thoughts and opinions on this perennial “what telescope should I buy” thread are welcome.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

the skyliner dob isa great scope for pootling about. Big enough to see most things and small enough to fit in the back of a car if you need (or just want) to go somewhere darker. You may want to rethink using it as an astrophotography scope however. You could use it on an eq6 but it would be easier with a small frac plus if you get an imaging setup and use your main scope what are you going to be looking at the sky with? I have tried the making one scope do it all method and its less than satisfying if you want to do visual and imaging use 2 setups one optimised for visual and one for imaging in the long run its almost as cheap as you don't have to keep buying specialised bits to try and turn a scope which is good at one thing into a scope that does everything. from my limited experience there is no such thing as the one scope that does everything unless perhaps you are talking about observatory class scopes

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome back to the world of Astronomy - I'm in much the same boat as you having gone to university to do Astrophysics, although having read Natural Science I didn't have to change degrees. I ended up studying Zoology which is probably even further removed - I was only really interested in sciences that lead to a job like Astrophysics and Palaeontology... oh bum... Now I work in conservation. Such is life!

The Dobsonians are generally regarded as The Way Forward. I'd have one but I have neither a garden or a car. Before I bought my little ST80 I went out with a pair of binoculars a few times to remind myself of where the hell the stars were. They were in the same places as ever... Although it's true that there isn't a telescope to do everything even the smallest scope will show a lot. Yes mine is terrible on planets, but I can still see cloud bands on Jupiter, the Gallilean moons, the rings of Saturn etc. The best scope is the one you get out and use. Astrophotography on the other hand is a whole different kettle of fish and not something I've tried - it's expensive for one thing and I work in conservation so get paid peanuts...

Good luck and above all, have fun!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am purely a visual observer, I don't image and can't imagine I ever will but from what I have gleaned from this forum it is very difficult to make one scope do everything.

The other thing that has been stressed by those that know what they are talking about is the first purchase on the way to imaging has to be "Make Every Photon Count" http://www.firstligh...e-richards.html


Link to comment
Share on other sites

As Alan says it is difficult to get one scope to do everything.

When it comes to visual a 200P is a good visual scope.

When imaging the serious ones use small refractors most often. In about 6 weeks there will be the South West Astro Fair, the NLO imagers usually have a tent set up to show their equipment and images they take, they have what is probably one of the biggest collections of William Optics Megrez 72's around, last year I think I counted 7. What they don't have is a collection of 200P's, I didn't see any of those last year in the imaging tent.

Edited by ronin
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Everyone,

thanks for the replies,

I take the points about imaging - remember when I used to do it it was pre ccd ! we used to use hypersensitized 35mm film so I have a lot to learn.

If I get seriously into imaging I may think about a small APO frac but that's a lot of investment to get past the Mrs !

I think I will proceed with the DOB for this year, add a decent mount next year and use my digital SLR for exposures of around 30sec to 5mins and see how that goes (this will let me learn about processing as well).

I guess it may lead to a never ending quest which need better gear but that's part of the joy

Thans again,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 200P Dob seems like a good buy for visual and comes highly reccomended by others on this site. I am learning that there is no such thing as a 'do-it-all' scope, what might be good for visual may be no so good for astro photography, likewise a planet scope may not be good for DSOs which require a larger field of view.

Steve Richards book making every photon count is a good starting point for astrophotography.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.