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Still undecided !!!!!!! aaaaahhhhhh


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I should be getting my first real telescope at the end of the month. The trouble is i keep bouncing inbetween a few telescopes and cant settle on one.The line up is:-

Skywatcher 200 goto dob

meade etx 125

Skywatcher 200 on the goto eq5

My main interest will be in observing DSOs. no major photography. easyish setup. Ive added the etx in there due to it compact size which i can put in a case and bring abroad with me.

Will the increase in what i see between a 5 and 8 inch justify choosing the one of the larger ones??

I live under decent dark skys.

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Both the SW Explorer and Skyliner 200P's are excellent scopes, but if you are wanting to travel neither is small and convenient to travel. Worth seeing them in the flesh before making a decision. The Maks are a little out of my ken, but have seen some very decent results posted from the SW Skymak 127 - I think this mounted on the EQ3-2 Pro mount is around the same price as the Meade ETX125, but haven't seen a comparitive review of the two.

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Easy...Skywatcher 200 on the goto eq5. You'll have a power scope and good mount. I had this combination before and it was excellent.

Equatorial mount is always a better value if you intend to grow in the future. Plus it makes more sense considering the movement of the celestial dome.

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If imaging is half expected to come into it in the future then the EQ mounted scope. although the EQ5 and the 200P is not the best combination for this, the HEQ5 is better owing to the size and weight of the 200P.

If no imaging then any are fair for visual use.

One question is which would you actually use the most?

Visited a club where in effect everything was a 5" or 6" Mak/SCT, not one 200P or bigger reflector was actually in use there. So for whatever reasons that size/type of scope must fit and satisfy a lot of requirements.

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If DSOs are your main area of interest then aperture is king in my opinion.

If you want to venture into astrophotography then the 200p on the EQ5 is a good starting point, if not then I'd suggest going for the biggest aperture dobsonian you can afford, hopefully that'll stave off the inevitable onset of aperture fever for a little while.

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As already stated, the astro photography is the big point. you say no major photography but if you have ANY intention of imaging deep space (as opposed to planets/moon)then a dob is 100% out. the mak is not much better as you are after a fast f/ratio for imaging.

So, for me, of the three, if there is any likelyhood at all that you will venture into dso imaging then it MUST be an eq mount.

To be honest, there's not really an imaging/visual scope, but if I had to choose one, it'd be a 150p on eq5. just visual would be a dob. planetary imaging/viewing the mak, and finally just imaging would be the best eq mount you can afford and a frac.

As always, my opinion, make of it what you will :D

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It's hard to know exactly what the best option is for someone.

My take on it would be that as you have lovely dark skies, and that you like the idea of possibly imaging but it doesn't seem to be top of your list, I would forget imaging for now and get a 10 or 12 inch manual dob (unless that is you are really set on the idea of goto). If you want to do imaging later, well a highly recommended scope for that is an 80mm refractor anyway, which is way too small to be a general purpose observing scope as well.

In general, the bigger the aperture, the more you can see. A 10 inch (or possibly 12 inch) dob is for me a nice balance between cost, a good lot of aperture versus still being relatively easy to move around. I found my Skywtacher 12 a little bit of effort to heft around but no big deal, and I find my 10 inch GSO almost effortless.

A solid tube dob is very low on hassle, apart from its size and that ideally you need to let it cool down for a bit to the outside temperature before observing at high magnification (I think air currents in the tube during the cool down make the view unsteady at first).

I have a 10 inch dob and absolutely love it. It only takes seconds to pop outside, and if the sky doesn't end up clearing as hoped, well it's only seconds to pop back inside again, no big loss. Once it has cooled down (I allow about 30 to 45 mins, but that's a very rough guess) it's ready to go at a moment's notice.

Once the initial enthusiasm of a new scope wears off, having a scope that is very low on hassle can make it more likely you'll get out there. So many times the forecast has been iffy and I've popped my 10 dob outside and it has cleared and I've enjoyed a nice session.

As said, it's so hard to know exactly what scope is best, hope the thoughts help.

PS I should mention that a 10 inch or 12 inch dob is a VERY LARGE telescope, definitely check out the dimensions first if you are tempted. :eek::smiley:

Edited by Luke
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I would go for a Mak on an EQ5 or HEQ5. You get a long focal length for nice visual observation and it works good for planetary AP. the 150p will not achieve focus unless you mod it (move primary mirror up). If you don't want to do that you'd need the 150pds.

For visual it all depends on your local light pollution (LP). If you live in a city it doesn't matter if you have a 130 or 300 aperture because the LP will wash all nebula out. Then you'd need to travel to a dark site and for that you'd need a portable scope and mount.

Whatever you do, don't go for an Alt/Az mount.

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I have the 200 dob and it is very easy to carry short distances assembled and if you take it apart it is literally 10 seconds till you are ready to start observing. I dont have the goto though so obviously you would need to set up accordingly. I didn't want got as I want to be made to learn the sky and find the art of actually finding objects myself to be very satisfying.

For travelling though, the OTA takes up the entire back seat of the car (mondeo), so be warned.

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Out of curiousity, Dob users...how do you find it in terms keeping an object in the eyepiece FOV? I don't know since I never had one -

The only advice I could give is on the optical performance of the 200P. It's worth investing into - great optics and very good performance, be it planetary or DSOs. I had a lot of fun with my 200P (on EQ5), before I came out of the closet and realized I didn't really get on well with reflectors. A personal choice really.

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To be honest emad its not too hard, only need to reposition the tube slightly about once minute. I didn't find it hard to keep m31 in view for about 20 minutes. I am considering attaching a small handle near the front of the tube underneath though to make it easier to move smoothly, I'm not really happy holding the leading edge of the tube to do so.

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Keeping the object in fov is not a problem, in fact after afew sessions the nudge becomes automatic. Nudge drift nudge drift, at low power its obviously easier, but I still regularly go over 200x with mine and no issues. The gotos (i'm lucky enough to have an eq6) are good, but sometimes I have to be challenged, so I still use manual a lot of the time. I would get an 8 inch dob second hand learn the sky then decide. You can pick up an eq5later, quite cheap and then use the 8inch ota from the dob, and fit either goto or motors depending on what you need. Or keep the dob and get an image rig etc.

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To be honest emad its not too hard, only need to reposition the tube slightly about once minute. I didn't find it hard to keep m31 in view for about 20 minutes. I am considering attaching a small handle near the front of the tube underneath though to make it easier to move smoothly, I'm not really happy holding the leading edge of the tube to do so.

I guess I got too used to equatorial mounts that I can't imagine my astronomy without them. Or probably got spoiled by hand controllers. Yes, I'm sure you'll control better with a little handle attached to the tube.

Edited by emadmoussa
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I had a 250 dob. Brilliant telescope but takes up a lot of room, I would imagine the 200 would also.

I changed to a 6 then 8se. I would say I get better visual use from the 8 compared to the dob. And it folds away nicely.

As said, the best telescope it the one you'll use. It's great buying the biggest scope on your budget. But if it not practical for you, it will become a chore to use and you won't want to bother with it.

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