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Hi all

I am new to this site and have had an interest in astronomy since I took an O level in the subject in 1982! Back then we tried to grind an 8’’ telescope lens and took pictures with high iso film and pushed developing. Ah well things have moved on.....I am now trying to rekindle the interest and have an 8 year old son, Mrs and father who would really like to do this if the option came up. I would love to share the viewing and I know we would all enjoy it.

So I intend to splash out and have seen on the WEX website for around £800 a ‘Sky-Watcher Evostar-120 (EQ5 PRO) SynScan GO-TO Achromatic Refractor Telescope’ and ‘Tal-100RS (EQ5) SynScan GO-TO Refractor Telescope’

What I would like to ask is if these telescope packages would meet my objectives and thought plans which are;

•             We would like to see planets and stars especially doubles etc . Some moon viewing too.

•             Living in Bolton the weather is not always good for visibility with lots of wet cloud. However we have the use of a house in Norfolk occasionally with nice clear skies normally, no road lights and a convenient power supply.

•             I recognise the GOTO mount eats up the budget but with the weather I think the convenience is worth paying for

•             I think the GOTO mount tracks and can be used manually though there are clearly glitches from the pages here. I like the thought we find a star and it tracks it. I do have some canon 10x30 IS binoculars I could use as spotters (and will anyway) and I can find stars myself from my past endeavours. However the thought of standing together discussing where to look scares me as I think it will take too much time for my lad. Long term though I would like him to develop skills to spot himself and the GOTO system appears to support both.

•             I appreciate through photography you get what you pay for. Also that good tripods are heavy and that’s because they need to be.

•             I am critical of kit. I don’t want to be but I am. I have a canon 5d camera I might want to attach. I waited and bought the L lenses because I found before the non L versions were poor and it bugged me. What I am saying here is visual defects annoy me. The balance of quality/price is key but I would spend more if it was needed.

•             I feel spending around £800 give a decent quality for my aspirations.

•             We would use these for daylight no astronomy needs. Because when we have it we would use it!

So the reason for this post is to ask for feedback on the two packages and the level of quality they give. Do they last and is there a clear quality leader or something else I am missing. I am content with the refractor choice but not clear on the mount/GOTO system.

Any thoughts would be helpful.

 

My main objective is to get started and get out there.

 

Graham

 

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No question of a ban  I think less specific questions about scope selection for general visual use do often lead to recommendations for dobsonians because £ for £ they do deliver a lot of visual obse

+ 1 for the Tal 100rs. I don't have the Evostar, but I adore the Russian frac. It really is a keeper and punches way above its asking price. A gorgeous scope. - - - - - - - - - - - - I don't think tha

Hi, JUst my 2p's worth! With the eq5 family of mounts it is possible to add goto later if you really want to. To be honest I dont see the point for visual. it is soooo much faster and easier to just u

A very warm welcome to the forum Graham ...  :laugh:

I have just been through the self same process regarding the Tal 100RS and the Evostar.

After much deliberation and review reading as well as some sound advice from others on SGL I settled on the Tal ....  :grin:

All the reviews rated it better optically .

Although it's not had first light yet  , tomorrow hopefully , I am very happy with the build quality and the focuser is very nice , a vast improvement on the old Tal 100R. 

I would not be without a Go-To mount personally , I started with a Dobsonian and wasted a lot of time hunting for objects that turned out to be out of the scope's reach , but not knowing whether the object was too faint to see or just not in the field of view ... 

With the Go-To set up you can see immediately whether the target is viable or not , if not you simply punch in the next one and off you go. 

And the mount will track the target all night when correctly Polar-Aligned , with the occasional tweak here and there.

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Hi,

If the optics of the Tal are still Russian made then it would be the better of the  two. It is also the slower of the two by a F stopwhich sugges that it should atleast in theory, be better corrected and should have better CA. The other point to mention is that the supplier you mention is a Mail order variety and I would try and find one locally to atleast have a feel of the scopes, easier with SW than with Tal  . living in Manchester I 100% share your frustration with the weather and the seeing conditions that we seem to be having .

Regards,

A.G

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Thanks Steve for the fast response.

I was warming to the Evostar ! However the reason for coming to the forum is because others know more from experience. The TAL has moved forward on your comments. Let me know how you get on with your viewings.

Your comment on the GOTO is interesting and I agree.

Its interesting that Nightfisher stated the TAL as a 'downgrade'. I suppose this is on the diameter?

Good luck

Graham

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Hi and welcome,

In the interest of balance, I have to say that I really enjoy my evostar 120.  However, the CA is an issue, and I will be looking towards an APO soon enough.  Great scope though, and you would enjoy using it.

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Thanks Steve for the fast response.

I was warming to the Evostar ! However the reason for coming to the forum is because others know more from experience. The TAL has moved forward on your comments. Let me know how you get on with your viewings.

Your comment on the GOTO is interesting and I agree.

Its interesting that Nightfisher stated the TAL as a 'downgrade'. I suppose this is on the diameter?

Good luck

Graham

I should have said downsized, it was a good move, i feel the Tal has far better optics than the slightly larger evostar

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I have an older Helios 120mm. I find it quite good for wide field views and suprisingly good on deep sky.

The CA is a problem on planets though. You can push it to x200 on a good day and a good minus violet filter helps things look a bit less like looking through a kaleidoscope...

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You know that there's an active astronomical society in Bolton? (where I went to school many years ago...) You might find a visit very helpful.

Your L lenses would be good for astrophotography but if you are critical of lenses you would not like astro imaging through an achromat. You would want an apochromat.

Don't confuse GoTo with tracking. All Go To mounts track but not all tracking mounts Go To. Only equatorial tracking mounts can be used for AP.  Alt azimuth tracking mounts can only be used with webcams on solar system targets.

Have fun,

Olly http://ollypenrice.smugmug.com/Other/Best-of-Les-Granges/22435624_WLMPTM#!i=2266922474&k=Sc3kgzc

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I've owned a TAL 100 R and I've used a few Evostars and owned the 120mm and 150mm models. The TAL has optics that are a bit better than the Evostar equivalent, in that they show less spherical aberration and a little less chromatic aberration. Remember that the latter one is a function of aperture and focal ratio with achromat refractors though so there is not a massive difference between achromat refractors of the same specification unless they are badly made, which neither the Evostars or the TAL are.

Also worth bearing in mind though is that 100mm / 102mm is not a lot of aperture when it comes to observing deep sky objects so many that the GOTO mount will point the scope at will be somewhat unimpressive, or even virtually invisible.

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Having owned a TAL 100R for many years I can vouch for their optical exellence, CA is only apparent on the very brightest objects (Vega for example) and it can take 50x per inch well with good seeing.

That said I would not be looking for an Achro for AP work, definately an APO required there, and bear in mind the focal length for both the TAL and the Evostar when considering AP work against a decent APO.

For visual the TAL gets my vote and save up for an APO for the AP stuff later!

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The TAL 100RS is a wonderful achromatic telescope. I am utterly amazed this thread has not been hijacked yet. Usually threads of this nature are taken over very quickly by buy a dob lobby, there is little room for refractor buffs here these days on here.

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The TAL 100RS is a wonderful achromatic telescope. I am utterly amazed this thread has not been hijacked yet. Usually threads of this nature are taken over very quickly by buy a dob lobby, there is little room for refractor buffs here these days on here.

It depends very much on the intended use for the telescope. Visual only with a good mix of lunar, planetary and deep sky objects (of which there are many), yes loads of people would be recommending a Dobsonian. However, the OP clearly stated his intention: planets, doubles, lunar with the possibility of astrophotography. That spells refractor :)

I would suggest that you don't need GoTo to find planets, double stars or the moon. If you can see them with your eyes, you can point a scope at them. GoTo is very useful for finding other fainter things that you might want to point a camera at, but you don't want an achromat if you intend to use a camera with it. I would go for the GoTo mount with the TAL and use your DSLR+lenses for astrophotography on the same mount. That will get you started at least. Personally, I would get an AZ4 as well and use the telescope visually, while the camera is collecting photons. Astrophotography captures of deep sky objects take several hours if you want to do them justice. Imagine have a telescope tube just sat here doing nothing when you could be looking through it. If you are thinking of planetary astrophotography then you want different kit all together. A big SCT and a webcam rather than your big chip DSLR.

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However, the OP clearly stated his intention: planets, doubles, lunar with the possibility of astrophotography. That spells refractor :)

Oh I agree, whole heartedly. Its still not usually enough to stop refractor threads being hijacked though...sadly  :embarrassed:

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Refractors appear to be considered second rate these days, there appears to be nothing a dob can't beat a refractor on. Refractors recieve so much poor press on here I am surprise anyone even considers buying one, after all an 8 inch dob is superior to an refractor and is only 300 quid...obviously refractor owners are gullible mugs

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As you are critical of optical performance,  have you considered a 4" ED ?

Skywatcher Evostar 100ED DS-Pro Outfit - First Light Optics

They are obviously more expensive but with a non goto option the price would be similar.   I'm not sure that goto is necessary for a refractor and you will both have more fun 'learning' and finding where things are in the sky.  The ED glass gives a more refined corrected image.

Hope you both enjoy what ever you end up with - the main thing is to enjoy the sky !

andrew

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Refractors appear to be considered second rate these days, there appears to be nothing a dob can't beat a refractor on. Refractors recieve so much poor press on here I am surprise anyone even considers buying one, after all an 8 inch dob is superior to an refractor and is only 300 quid...obviously refractor owners are gullible mugs

Horses for courses ...  :p

Not sure there's any need to try and provoke some kind of conflict / argument about refractors vs reflectors for your amusement anywhere , but especially not in a thread discussing two different refractors ...  :rolleyes:

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As you are critical of optical performance,  have you considered a 4" ED ?

Skywatcher Evostar 100ED DS-Pro Outfit - First Light Optics

They are obviously more expensive but with a non goto option the price would be similar.   I'm not sure that goto is necessary for a refractor and you will both have more fun 'learning' and finding where things are in the sky.  The ED glass gives a more refined corrected image.

Hope you both enjoy what ever you end up with - the main thing is to enjoy the sky !

andrew

For visual only of solar system and double stars with an £800 budget, I would get one of these and an AZ4 for sure. It's the astrophotography that messes it all up :rolleyes:

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Horses for courses ...  :p

Not sure there's any need to try and provoke some kind of conflict / argument about refractors vs reflectors for your amusement anywhere , but especially not in a thread discussing two different refractors ...  :rolleyes:

 Horses for courses, absolutely. Usually what happens is someone on this forum asks about a refractor of some kind, then various regular contributors tells them dobs are cheaper and better. Its all got very predictable and boring, this place should be called dob gazers lounge. I expect that's me banned

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 Horses for courses, absolutely. Usually what happens is someone on this forum asks about a refractor of some kind, then various regular contributors tells them dobs are cheaper and better. Its all got very predictable and boring, this place should be called dob gazers lounge. I expect that's me banned

No question of a ban  :smiley:

I think less specific questions about scope selection for general visual use do often lead to recommendations for dobsonians because £ for £ they do deliver a lot of visual observing performance.

The question here was much more specific though so a dob is not really relevant :smiley:

When a survey of scope types owned was conducted last year some time I seem to recall that refractors featured just as strongly as other scope designs.

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+ 1 for the Tal 100rs. I don't have the Evostar, but I adore the Russian frac. It really is a keeper and punches way above its asking price. A gorgeous scope.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

....this place should be called dob gazers lounge. I expect that's me banned

I don't think that's a fair assessment of SGL, Caldwell. When looking around, I agree that you'll find that if a beginner asks 'what should I buy?' 99% of those answers are always going to suggest the biggest reflector you can afford and carry about, and more than one that is Dob mounted rather than GEM mounted, simply because they're easier to use and cheaper. Most beginners want to see a little of everything and at a decent price, so it's only honest to point them in that direction, right? Recall, a decent 8" dobsonian reflector is about the same price as an unmounted decent 4" achromatic refractor. Moreover, if you look about, check out my own replies if you fancy, the virtues of a frac are given in beginner threads, but there is always the caveat that with our proverbial 8" dob, all things being equal, you are likely to see more and at a cheaper price than with a 4" frac. Why would anyone want to tell a beginner otherwise?

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Wow thanks for all the feedback. I now realise that I need to do more research and try some kit out initially. To be honest I need to confirm exactly what I would see of the planets at the magnification these types give.

 

I see the Skywatcher Evostar 100ED DS-Pro Outfit for £625 though obviously this would need a mount too. My current thoughts are that possibly a good mount and that (or similar APO) would be good for now even though the budget is higher.

 

The photo option would be enjoyable but I suppose this may have to wait for now.  I think I would enjoy the sky searching for some of the time and also sometimes just want the ease of the GOTO (family etc) and therefore I would be prepared to pay for it. I see on the same site a Skywatcher EQ5 PRO Synscan GOTO is £499 which is could probably live with (total £1124).

 

I suppose if the budget was set to £1200 max without photography but with GOTO what would be your best suggestions.

 

On DOBs is see that they could raise their head here but in reality my old ways of thinking are that refractors work well.

 

Graham

 

 

 

 

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Wow thanks for all the feedback. I now realise that I need to do more research and try some kit out initially. To be honest I need to confirm exactly what I would see of the planets at the magnification these types give.

I see the Skywatcher Evostar 100ED DS-Pro Outfit for £625 though obviously this would need a mount too. My current thoughts are that possibly a good mount and that (or similar APO) would be good for now even though the budget is higher.

The photo option would be enjoyable but I suppose this may have to wait for now.  I think I would enjoy the sky searching for some of the time and also sometimes just want the ease of the GOTO (family etc) and therefore I would be prepared to pay for it. I see on the same site a Skywatcher EQ5 PRO Synscan GOTO is £499 which is could probably live with (total £1124).

I suppose if the budget was set to £1200 max without photography but with GOTO what would be your best suggestions.

On DOBs is see that they could raise their head here but in reality my old ways of thinking are that refractors work well.

 

Graham

One of these http://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-200p-flextube-goto.html 200P Flextube GoTo Dob

or one of these http://www.firstlightoptics.com/se-series/celestron-nexstar-6se.html Nexstar 6SE

or one of these http://www.firstlightoptics.com/tal/tal-100rs-refractor-optical-tube-assembly.html Tal 100RS with http://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/skywatcher-eq5-pro-synscan-goto.html EQ5 Pro synscan

Plus a starter set of these http://www.firstlightoptics.com/eyepiece-sets/baader-hyperion-eyepiece-set.html Baader Hyperions 5, 10, 17, 24mm (possibly a different mix of eyepieces but you will need/want some of these!)

One of these http://www.firstlightoptics.com/finders/rigel-quikfinder-compact-reflex-sight.html Rigel or Telrad I still use mine for GoTo Alignment

and there are always a few odds and ends that will eat up the rest of the budget.

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Hi,

JUst my 2p's worth!

With the eq5 family of mounts it is possible to add goto later if you really want to. To be honest I dont see the point for visual. it is soooo much faster and easier to just use a finder and low power eyepice to find fainter targets.

for planets, goto is going to get frustrating fast. Most of them are easily visible with the naked eye (need the finder for uranus and neptune). Just point at them and look instead of spending 25 minutes swearing at goto and then the clouds coming over!

As i've said goto is great for imagers, but for all of the observing you have mentioned it really is unessacary.

Of the Three refractors you have mentioned, all are great. I have owned both the achro's and have looked through the apo. For me the winner would be the TAL as I do not need the apo lens. Visual images are fantastic in all of them but beteween the achro's the Tal wins.

Build quality wise I much prefer the TAL to any of the skywatchers (including the APO). 

Astro photography is not for evryone, it's boring, frustrating, expensive  and images can never compare with the experince of seeing something with your own eyes.

If you want to you can move on to it later anyway by adding to kit.

Refactors are simple to use and maintain and can be used on all targets with much shorter cooldown times.

good luck with your choise!

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