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New guy from Norway

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This seems to be a good place to be new, even more welcomes. Thanks again  :smiley:

I can totally understand that you want a telescope that's not limiting you to one or the other type of objects :-)
A 5" Mak has some downsides, you will have a rather limited field of view, especially if only a 1.25" focuser is available at that high focal length.
For some Maks you can get a T2 to 2" focuser adapter, but the secondary mirror size may limit the maximum field at the end anyway, and the aperture will not show much regarding spiral structures and details in galaxies. It's great for planets and moon though and has a large enough aperture that seeing conditions limit the maximum magnifications rather then the optics itself.

I have a 5" reflector dobsonian and on a goto-mount, 5" is a nice grab&go size, but my main telescope is a 10" as well as it's still easy to handle but shows so much more...
I can grasp your considerations regarding portability though... I went with a travel dobsonian from Sumerian optics in the end so I do not have to rely on a car.
The Flextube's are a nice concept, though the 10" has an aperture ratio of f/4,7 if I recall correctly. This will require you to get better eyepieces, as the cheaper one's will not show a sharp image at the outer field at or under f/5. A typical 8" f/6 is much more forgiving in that aspect and collimation is not as critical as a "faster" telescope.
Collimation will be neccesary with all reflector telescopes to ensure you will get the best results. Though after following one of the tutorials on collimation it get's pretty easy, even though the instructions seem very overwhelming at first.

Regarding deepsky, check out drawings as they resemble the most accurate visual impression through a telescope.
Due to different artists, locations and weather conditions it is hard to compare drawings with different apertures done by different people.
Check out
but keep in mind he spent up to fourty minutes observing to see all the details. At first glance the faint nebula seem like faint fuzzies, only patience will reveal more structure. The drawings match the impression of M51 after a sucessful night of observing, not what you see "live". But I does show what difference 6 to 8" aperture will make, and 5" will be even a bit fainter... Though still, 5" is a fun thing to have, easy to carry to a dark observing location. I bought my Heritage 130p AFTER getting the 10" in order to get out observing more frequently with just a backpack and by foot, or use it on the balcony. At 170€ as dobsonian it's much cheaper then the 5" Mak and more rigid then most telescopes under 200€ as they usualy come with a shaky eq1 or eq2 equatorial mount + tripod.

Back to the 10" Flextube, you will probably end up spending 250€ on a very good overview eyepiece and 45-100€ on the lower focal length eyepieces, while with a f/6 telescope you can get away with eyepieces around 30-80€...

Good luck and lots of fun with whatever you choose :-)

Thanks for this, lots of useful advice and things to consider.

The more I learn, the less sure I am of what I want though.

Price wise I wouldn't mind going for the flextube even if I would have to be more selective on the EPs.

How are these 25mm and 10mm super plossl EPs that are included anyway? Need upgrading quick?

I wonder, would the flextube even be advisable to use for solar observing with the potential stray light? The stray light protector is probably not meant for that.

At this rate I might end up with a smaller scope for planets/sun/moon - and a bigger one for the fainter stuff. My credit card shakes with terror.

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shielding a Open truss telescope for sun observing is difficult as every little gap or hole will endanger your eyes. So even with Baader solar filter and light shroud

I would strongly advise against it, but perhaps you can find some solutions on the forum for the Flextubes.

Both a 8 and 10" full tube telescope should fit in the car (back seat) and the Flextube is heavier despite it's shorter storage size.

A second, smaller telescope is a good idea, but of course it does add to the cost ;-) The Heritage 130p would be cheap BUT unfortunately it's also a Flextube and nothing for the sun.

Other 5" (Mak, newt) telescope sets you find in that price region are on a weak mount. Expect to spend around 400€ (5" reflector or maksutov, plus neq3 mount or nexstar slt az goto mount) OR 150 to 250€ and some do it yourself work... Also a 4" Mak and a rigid camera tripod could work, I use mine on a old rigid tripod that's probably 30 years old and you can sometimes get something like that used for 20-30€.

Though now that I have the nexstar SLT goto mount the smaller telescopes go on that occasionaly, great as it tracks objects and allows basic photography.

At f/4.7-f/5 the explore scientific eyepiece 82 degree apparent field of view with around 24-30mm is more expensive then the usual entry level eyepieces but offer a sharp field and very nice wide angle view... Space walk effect ;-)

For the shorter focal lengths - at f/5 at least - the HR Planetary or ts NED or BST explorer may be a cheaper solution but have a smaller apparent field ov view. Above 200, 250x, planets will be quickly out of the view as earth turns.

Are the supplied 10 and 25mm actually plössl? Skywatcher usualy supplies 10 and 25mm "Super" eyepieces that seem to be some modified reverse Kellner Design IIRC.

The 25mm is not too bad, but at 1200-1250mm focal length a 25mm with around 50 degree of apparent field of view will show around on degree of real field. That makes locating objects for beginners difficult and larger deepsky objects such as ngc7000, Andromeda, plejads, hχ persei and others will not fit into view completely.

The 10mm sky watcher eyepiece is usable but has a short eye relief and I did not use it much.

A 2" Eyepiece with 70 degree afov would be advisable. These do start at at 60 to 80€, but the cheap one's are Erfle type eyepieces. Those work well down to f/6, at f/5 only the center field is sharp, at f/4,7 they will be no fun at all and no good in the long term.

Erfle eyepieces cost 60-80€, Baader hyperion 100-150...€, Es82 cost 200-250€.

Regarding the overview eyepiece focal length it depends on how dark your sky gets. You can estimate the magnitude by looking at how many stars in the plejads you see with your naked eye, or the "little dipper", but that is a bit low at the moment. It's best to use stars that are in the zenith as objects near the horizon will be behind more athmosphere, closer to light pollution etc. Also google bortle scale to estimate how dark the sky is.


If you can see the milky way above you but not toward the horizon, you will have a sky around 5mag.

If you can't see it, 4mag or worse, if you see more of the milky way, towards 6mag depending on how much detail of it you see.

With a 5mag sky, your pupil won't open as far as it can. Calculate, how convenient, 5mm.

So the often in tutorials stated 7mm pupil is irrelevant unless you are young and live under Namibia's dark skies.

With a f/4,7 aperture ratio and 5mm exit pupil that would be

4.7 x 5 = 23,5mm max. eyepiece focal length that would make sense to use.

I would go for 24/25mm.

If you have a mag 6 sky, 30mm would be a good eyepiece as it shows more field.

The apparent field of view does not influence exit pupil.

So a 24mm 82 deg eyepiece shows more then a 30mm 50 deg eyepiece while keeping the exit pupil smaller.

A too large exit pupil will waste a lot of light that simply does not reach your retina.

For many deepsky objects a 2-3mm exit pupil is ideal as the sky background is dark, and the object's contrast high, but still the image is not as dark as it gets with even smaller exit pupil eyepieces. So a 9-15mm eyepiece should be the next concern after the overview eyepiece.

The good solution would be a 82 or even 100 degree afov eyepiece from explore scientific, the budget solution would be a HR Planetary/NED/BST, the cheap solution the 66deg eyepieces for 32€ shipped or a seben Erfle. STILL better then the included 10mm but at f/4.7 only the center will be sharp.

I have one of the cheap 12mm erfle, the eye relief gets a bit short.

For planets you should get something around 200x. Much higher and you can only use it a few days a year due to seeing (air turbulance). If the object is close to the horizon warm air rising from the ground and buildings as well as the longer path through the atmosphere will limit the maximum magnification further. When Saturn was low to the horizon I could not go much further then 130x, else it stayed a blur.

-A Zoom eyepiece (not the cheap ones but a good one) can be handy to use the maximum focal length that seeing conditions currently allow. In the end a zoom eyepiece can replace three or four fixed focal length eyepices and prevent frustration if you stand on your observing location and the highest magnification eyepiece is just too much while the next eyepiece is showing the planet a bit too small...

The German Astrozoom.de is a great thing.

It's basically a adapter that fits between eyepiece and the eyepiece's bottom element that works like a barlow lens. By changing the distance you will change the focal length and thus magnification.

Those start around 80-150 depending on the eyepiece type and a 7-3:5mm zoom (either a HR Planetary 58deg or better 82deg uwa) will give you 170-350x while unlike some other zooms the apparent field of view stays constant.

A cheap starter alternative would be a 6mm 66deg eyepiece for 20€ (China import) to 32€ (UK, incl. Postage). While far from ideal at f/4.7 the resale value is good and if you like to tinker, changing the distance to the bottom element will change it's focal length as well.

I have the 6mm66deg, it has some kidney beaning (if you don't look through it centered) and it performs better at f/5 then I had expected, I did experiment with changing it's focal length but decided to use it as a cheap fixed fl ep.

I myself have a lot of plössl, Erfle and similar and I do use them at f/5. It won't make you blind ;-)

In fact, the 30€ eyepieces will work better then the supplied eyepieces, have 66 degree apparent field of view and are available in 6, 9, 15 and 20mm.

But before you invest 100€ in eyepieces you will replace anyway, consider getting the explore scientific or at least the Baader hyperion Aspheric (though the ES82 will be a noticable step up while the hyperion are a bit better then the other, though due to the weight of the ES I did not buy them myself as it won't work well with my travel telescope).

Sorry for yet another long post, trying to adress many topics kind of gets out of hand, but I wanted to explain a few things instead of just writing "get this and that", so you can decide for yourself.

Best solution: Find other stargazers in your area and ask if they show you their equipment ;-)

As you see it's easy to spend more on eyepieces then on the telescope itself...

That's another reason 8" f/6 are a popular recomendation. But even with cheap eyepieces a 10" will show a tad more, of course, and if you don't mind getting better eyepieces later one after one, that is a valid strategy.

Also keep in mind with f/4.7 Coma will be an issue. Stars at the outer field will be long-ish, also with more expensive eyepieces.

Some ge annoyed by that, some live with it. There are coma correctors, but personally I don't need one for visual astronomy.

The meade lightbridge is available in 10" f/5 if I remember correctly, but I too favor the Flextube design or full tube.

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Sorry for yet another long post

Sorry? Quite the contrary my friend, you deserve a medal for that post.

Safe to say that some of it is still over my head, but I'll have a good time browsing and looking at all these suggestions.

I did expect that the flextube design wouldn't lend itself well for solar observing, So since I am going into this hobby now - I am so far north that there won't be that much useful darkness

until after the summer - So I think I will wait with getting a light bucket to see the fainter stuff with until then. Gives me more time to know what i want.

I don't know if the EPs that come with the 250px are real plossl or not, though the specs do indeed say so:


So I guess my main objective now would be to find a scope suitable for planets and brighter stuff, maybe a slower scope so the EPs don't make or break it in the beginning.

Maybe something like a f/11.8 mak


or a f/8.33 refractor


Or something in that price range. Not too keen on needing batteries in the goto, can it even be moved without them?

Don't exactly need an eq mount either, but it's not a deal breaker.

And I will probably get a solar filter and a polarizing filter.


Are there any advantages to these glass solar filters over the baader foil filters?

From what I understand the baader ones give white light, and the astrozap glass ones give a yellow/orange view?

Had no idea there would be so much to consider going into this  :confused1:

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if something needs further explenation, just let me know, I tend to get ahead of things sometimes :-)

Similar trouble here in Kiel, observing deep sky objects during the summer time is limited...

Though I had a lot of fun last year with my then new 5" dobsonian / newtonian as a few brighter objects can still be observed even if it is not pitch-black.

Oh, so it does come with super Plössl, well, that is a bit better then compared to the smaller Sky Watcher telescopes ;-)

Of course a 10" would be good for planets as well, but I can understand that you want to get a smaller telescope as well.


The refractor is neat but rather long, and while I have not used this combination, the EQ3 might be a bit too weak.

It should be long enough so color fringe is no issue up to medium high magnification but I remember reading about it not being ideal for high magnification / planet observing.

Mount: The NEQ3 is a nice, still somewhat portable mount, but better for short telescopes.

At least the german site http://www.deepsky-brothers.de/SinnvKombiTEL_Monti.htm rates the combination of EQ3-2 with smaller 100/1000 critical, TS recommends the EQ5 for photographic use which is also a hint that the mount is at it's limit. Unfortunately Montidatenbank.de has no entry for this combination, make sure to check forum reviews before buying this combination.

I only have a Astro 3 and a shorter refractor, so I can not give a personal opinion.

As you can see, many entry level bundles are optimized for a good price and the mount is usually on the weak side in order to reduce the price. I suppose the combination is Okey-ish but not optimal.

5" Maksutov on GoTo

A mak is a nice telescope. Large obstruction limits contrast and the closed design requires long cool-down time to really use higher magnifications. It has a narrow field and is not great with larger deep sky objects. How ever, it is very compact and works well with cheap eyepieces.

Also consider the cheaper

Celestron NexStar SLT 127 450-500€

and perhaps the reflector

Celestron Teleskop NexStar SLT 130 von Celestron, from around 370€

The celestron and the Sky-Watcher mount are similar in stability, design and control. The nexstar has less pre-programmed objects - but still more then a five inch telescope will show - but has an easier auto alignment function (nice feature if you don't have houses or trees obscuring a large part of the sky).

The GoTo mount will not be usable without power, the Nexstar has a battery compartment. The batteries will last one to three hours or so, then the mount may act funny/slow.

Lead-gel or Lead-fleace batteries are cheaper then car- or telescope-battery-packs and provide hours of run-time.

I have the Celestron SLT and use it with both a 4" mak and a 5" newtonian. It is a nice little mount, much more stable and useful then I had expected given the price. Nice toy.

A 5" is probably too heavy for a camera tripod, but you could put it in a DIY Rockerbox mount.

The suggested 5" reflector is not a "planet telescope", high magnifications are not it's strong suit, but on a sky-watcher 5" f/5 I have seen the Ssaturn ring's Cassini division, the great red spot of Jupiter, and mars...


If you want to get a larger telescope anyway, don't spend too much on a "toy" ;-)

-You can get 114 (4.5") and 130 (5") newtonians dirt cheap, from 76-160€ new, about half or less used. These come on weak-ish mounts but building a dobsonian rockerbox takes about an hour and 5€ materials (wood, gliders, screws, pipe ends, a hand saw).

-There is a 100 and a 114/500 Dobsonian for under 100€. At little over f/4 they suffer some problems and are not made for high magnification. I have a smaller 76/300 table telescope (20-50€), these are fun educational toys and okey for moon and star clusters, could be used for the sun, I even saw saturn rings with the little one.

-A 4" Mak on a camera tripod (Unfortunately the prices for the 4" increased a little)

-A smaller 3" though this realy limits possibilities. IMHO 5" shows a lot more.

-If you really consider spending 400-500€ you could get a 330€ 8" Dob - Though getting a 10" would be a bit pointless then ;-)


I have only used the Baader solar so far.

They do the job well, are cheap to replace, and from what I read a glass filter has a few adventages but IMHO it is not worth the cost. You can get a 20x30cm sheet for 20-30€, and either build a mount from cardboard or wood, or buy a holder. I printed one with my 3D printer for a friend.


Why do you favor the flextube by the way?

Storage? Small car?

Even in a small car a full tube 10" should fit across the back seat and a closed f/5" design would bring many benefits.

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You make a lot of sense schorhr, this thread has been very informative.

I think the appeal of the flextube is part storage/size (I do have a small car, but you are right a full tube would fit in the back seat), and part vanity, as in I think it looks cool.. hehe. So the only downside I have seen with it is the no solar observing, and it does cost a bit more.

In any case, I have a nice tax return coming in a few months, so I will hold off on the larger scope until then, if I indeed get smitten enough with the hobby to want to upgrade. And seeing as I plan on a dob later, I would prefer my first scope to not be a newtonian, indeed so it can be used for other things as well.

With looking at all kinds of different scopes, I keep coming back to the mak though, either 102 or 127. Think I might actually go for that.

Being compact, less collimation issues, less fussy of EPs and more grab and go type (except cool down) appeals to me for now.

I will reference, and maybe resurrect this thread at a later date though, if when I need more advice  :smiley:

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Hi & Welcome to the best place for a beginner to get all the info You'll EVER need. Good Luck and Clear Skies. ;)

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yeah, I like the flextube too, and I love the 5" flextube/heritage :-)

The Maks are nice if you are willing to spend a bit more, a 5" mak would be my choice if I had to choose between 4 and 5" now.

With the larger Mak a more rigid mount is necessary and it is larger, but as you can see some DSO already, it makes a neat second or starter scope if the focus is on planets and portability. The only trouble I see when looking at it as beginner telescope is the limited field of view, even with a t2-2" eyepiece adapter. But then, those goto mounts will help... sometimes.... other times I feel like I want to throw it down a cliff.

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Thank you Tums, yeah this might be the most newbie friendly forum I have signed up on too. I'll stick around  :smiley:

I don't have any cliffs nearby Schorhr, can I run it over with my car instead? 

Teleskop-express offer the 5" either on goto mount with 6x30 viewfinder, or on eq3 with red dot finder.

And it seems the goto pack comes with a x2 barlow, but not with the eq3.

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Heia Torbjørn og velkommen fra en annen nordmann  :smiley: .

I always wanted a cpc925, but somehow ended up with 2 dobsonians, I bought a second hand Orion XT8i some weeks ago.

Good luck with your choice of scope and welcome from me.


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Takk for det, Pondus. Yeah those 925s sure look nice too.

I'm still just waffling about though, changing my mind every other day, especially when i see the possibility to increase my budget.

skywatcher mak180/2700 on eq5 2" diagonal. 

Celestron sct203/2032 on neq5 1.25" diagonal.

These cost the same, and are within my current budget.

How do these OTAs compare?

Does the extra inch of aperture on the celestron make it the better choice, or would I need a 2" diagonal to see the benefits?

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Takk for det, Pondus. Yeah those 925s sure look nice too.

I'm still just waffling about though, changing my mind every other day, especially when i see the possibility to increase my budget.

skywatcher mak180/2700 on eq5 2" diagonal. 

Celestron sct203/2032 on neq5 1.25" diagonal.

These cost the same, and are within my current budget.

How do these OTAs compare?

Does the extra inch of aperture on the celestron make it the better choice, or would I need a 2" diagonal to see the benefits?

With that kind of focal length even with 2" you will have a limited deepsky experience.

Apparently large objects will not fit into the view, even with a 2" 40mm Wide angle eyepiece.

As for budget, a 8" dobsonian costs a fragment of those.

Why those?


Unfortunately I can not say anything about the scopes directly, all I have is a 4" Mak.

NEQ 5 and a 8" SC will already have some issues regarding stability regarding deepskybrothers.de and Montidatenbank.

SC and Maks have a large obstruction, reducing contrast.

About your prior post, I did not receive the reply notification email, do you still want one of the smaller telescopes? Wat sets did you refer to? I suppose one is with an equatorial, one with alt azimut mount. For purely visual use the alt az may have a few benefits regarding ease of set up.

For imaging eq is preferred, but with those kind focal length it's complicated and not like day light imaging.

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Still just exploring options really. I guess I am looking for the one scope to use for everything, which probably is a bit naive  :smiley:

I still like the maks for size, but they do cost more. I should really just decide on something, and actually point it to the sky.

My budget as of right now is 1200eur, so that's the range I was looking in.

Could buy a 10" dob, and a fair bit of accessories for that really.

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It all boils down to

-what will and can you use the most frequently?

and of course

-Deepsky--> more aperture. ALLWAYS. :-)

-portability/sky conditions


So a 16" in the basement that prevents you from getting motivated to go outside is no use.

If a 7-8" SC is more suited for you, then go for it, but consider the limited field, exit pupil, cooling time and heavy mount required.

If you want the best of both worlds, a 4-5" portable scope, and a 10" dobsonian and a bunch of good eyepieces are in range,

or a single 12" with basic equipment if Deepsky is all you want to see.

Also if computerized GOTO mount is a requirement for you, it is all within range too - but that limits the aperture as those computer mount cost most of the scope and not always make things easier. A good map and a good finder plus a functional brain will be just as good.

If you plan on imaging, you will have to consider a EQ mount with tracking, better Goto and guiding... But this will cost more then thousand Euro if you want to get serious, and many split visual and imaging as otherwise your scope always ends up being a compromise.

(Imaging works well with a smaller telescope, while a long focal length telescope will make things more complicated... Visually only aperture helps to see faint deep sky objects, but those large telescopes are almost impossible to mount sturdy on an EQ within a limited budget )

Most bundles come with a mount that is not perfect for the telescope, but make the bundle cheaper then with a sturdy mount.

Those EQ5 or EQ6 mounts are heavy, they have nothing to do with the toy telescope mounts one knows from the store.

The problem with the web-shop-pictures of telescope is that dimensions and weight can not be seen. Googling for youtube reviews and pictures helps a lot.

A smaller scope may not sound like a smart choice if you want to get a bigger one anyway, but can be a great travel companion even later. As I mentioned I even downgraded later and use the smaller scope the most, though I would not want to miss either one.

Also if you have never viewed through a telescope, do consider meeting other star gazers. Even if you do not expect swirling colorful nebula as seen on TV -tm- some get disappointed, even with ten or twelve inch telescopes. Others, like me, still love to go outside with four or five inch and observe the night sky for hours with that.

Some smaller scopes are really cheap, and that's what I did:

-Read into the subject

-Get a telescope used for 10€ everyone warns not to get ... Weak mount, bad eyepieces

-Stil getting hooked to star gazing :)

Not a good way to do it, but this way I made sure I really stick to the hobby before spending a lot of money.

It should not be the most crappy telescope, but there are quite a few usable small ones for under fifty euro out there, or, if planning ahead, something in the sub-200/200€ category that will be useful later.

Also if you can borrow some binoculars or get cheap Bresser 6x40, 8x50, 10x50, 8x60 (low power to be able to hold them without needing a tripod) you can go and view the andromeda galaxy, Orion nebula, star clusters, Jupiter's moons or venus phases (never look into the sun) and many more objects... Just with binoculars.

Great to have.

I did not want any at first but I ended up taking them along every single time. It also helps if you loose orientation or fail to find an object. The low power, hand-held use and right-orientation make them intuitive to use and you can use star-maps and binoculars to find the area you could not find with your telescope right away, and then go start from a close bright star next to your target.

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Allright, enough with the going back and forth.

I started down the path of getting the best from both worlds, and just ordered a 5" Mak  :smiley:

No need to apologise for the oncoming bad weather near me, as we just had a little hail storm here. Can't get much worse for the season really.

Thanks again for all the advice and well thought through posts schorhr, much appreciated.

Now hurry up UPS  :grin:

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That was a quick decision, congratulations :)

It took me months to choose and get my main scope.

Did you get the cheaper celestron?

Does the set come with 10 and 25mm eyepiece?

If you already ordered for good, consider gettimg

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/wide-angle-eyepiece-1-25inches-66-degree-F-6mm-/140717462903?pt=UK_Telescope_Eyepieces&hash=item20c36a1577 cheapest in the EU afaik. 18 Eur if you order it at Aliexpress.

A 6mm with 1500mm focal length and 5" aperture is alreeady a bit on the high side, but if the seeing conditions are great and the scope cooled down, you will have nice views of moon and planets. The 66deg gold line eyepieces are a great budget ep, nice wide angle, a bit of kodney beaning on the 6mm but I still find it easy to use. So much better then the stock ep. And a good resale value....

If planing ahead for f/5 telescopes, the hr planetary, bst explorers,  ts ned will be a better choice, even if their apparent field of view is smaller. Or right away the explore scientific 82... Though the nexstar slt goto mount, a skywatxher az synscan or neq3 might struggle with the 5" mak and the heavier of the es82 eyepiece series.

Also check out the astrozoom.de kits, saves money in the end.

On the mak you can use anything from Plössl to erfle, and you should consider getting a eyepiece for a larger field of view as well.

Good luck with your new toy :)

ps: Almost forgot, if the mak has no 2" focuser and you get anoyed by not beeimg able to see larger deep sky objects - as a 32mm plössl or 25mm wide angle eyepiece will show the most field on 1,25" (there are 40mm eyepieces available in 1,25" but their afov just gets smaller...) - you could get http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p286_Adapter-vom-Skywatcher-Maksutov-auf-2-.html (compare prices)   and use a 32-40mm wideangle erfle or even ES on the mak, giving you a few dgree more field...



Or Stellarium http://www.stellarium.org/wiki/index.php/Oculars_plugin

...there will be plenty to see with the to stock eyepieces at first, just prepare to spend a few bucks on decent eyepieces as the kit one's are mediocre at best and 3 nice ones will  increase the fun greatly :-)

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Australia to Norge! Nearly a planet away! Once you decide on your purchase you will be hooked . And. I don't

think slow cool down times will usually be a problem for you!

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