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If you can Graham - before we all spend your hard earned cash ! - try and get along to a local club astro. event and have a view through some different telescopes.  This will give you a much better appreciation of what they offer.

andrew

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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

With the mentioned 1200 budget you can go for this and never look back:

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/advanced-vx-goto/celestron-c8-sct-vx-goto.html

The new VX mount is fantastic and gets praising reviews.

The 8" SCT from Celestron is one of the most sold OTAs in history.

There are many people here who own one.

It's the most alround scope you can buy for the price. You will be completely blown away seeing Jupiter and Saturn through this. Especially with a 5mm eyepiece!

Ive owned one with the older CG5 mount and deeply regret selling it when I needed to take a break 2 years ago (becoming father).

Now Im slowly getting back into it again and saving up.

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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!

great post, well said

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I had the evostar 120 till my home got burgled (the robbers kindly left the carpets)

Once I was sorted, I got the Tal 100...

The Tal had better edge of field quality and less CA

No contest

That was my findings

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How about the HEQ-5 Pro Synscan for the TAL? You can pick it up for the same price as the EQ-5 Synscan if you buy it 2nd hand, and it is more suitable for AP so if you do decide to go into AP you don't need to buy a new mount :).

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