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I am currently thinking of upgrading my setup and am torn between two options at the moment:-

1. A celestron C8NGT http://www.firstlightoptics.com/proddetail.php?prod=C8nGT

2. Or a skywatcher 200P http://www.firstlightoptics.com/proddetail.php?prod=200heq5

There are several reasons for upgrading, The main one being to eventually get into some imaging!! (aswell as wanting to move onto an equatorial mount, and more aperture of course!)

The main thing that concerns me is the mount really, as i have heard good rep's on both OTA's!

I would like goto but am prepared to go without for now if need be but is the price indicative of the quality of the mount???

And would either of the two be good for DSO imaging?

Also would the CG5 also take a small refractor aswel as the newt??

I have heard some negative rep's on the CG5 but none on the HEQ5!!

Any help or opinions please!!

Thanks Andrew

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Hi Andrew,

Basically the trade off between those two setups is that the Celestron has GOTO but the Skywatcher has the steadier/ beefier mount, although you can add GOTO later. The OTAs are the same and just painted and badged up differently. Either mount could take a small/ medium size refractor. The decision boils down to how much you want GOTO as standard?


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Its easy to say 'yes' when its someone elses money but if the cash is avaliable then the HEQ5 Pro is a much sturdier mount than the CG5, the motors and electronics are all tucked away inside the mount where the CG5 has external motors and the extra wires hanging about. If you are looking at astrophotography then you really need to "over mount" the scope and make sure its rock steady much more so than you would if you just wanted to use it for visual work.

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I have owned both the EQ5 mounts (similar to the CG5) and an HEQ5 and I can endorse Gaz's opinion that the HEQ5 is a significantly studier mount. For an 8 inch newtonian I would much rather have an HEQ5 than a CG5 with GOTO.

GOTO should really not be viewed as a necessity IMHO - better to spend the extra money on good planetarium software, good skycharts and a red dot finder such as a Telrad to complement the optical finder the scope comes with.


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I've got an 8" reflector on an HEQ5 and it's works well. The only thing I would say is that if you are getting into imaging you'll need to think about guiding which will most likely entail some sort of guiding scope. The weight of the guide scope, guide camera, imaging OTA, imaging camera and associated rings etc might be getting to the limit of an HEQ5, if you can afford it then it might be worth splashing out for the EQ6 in the long run.


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