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iang

A newbie intro and straight into the questions!

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Evening everyone. Ive finally been bitten by the bug and would like to start looking at the stars through my own telescope.

I hope you can help me take my first steps and educate me in this interesting subject.

My question is this:

I am a complete novice looking to buy my first telescope and would ask for your suggestions bearing in mind I want to photograph the planets and constellations.

My budget? I reckon around £300-£400ish to begin with. Perhaps I should be asking what a decent photography 'scope would cost.

So, That's my long winded intro. I look forward to getting to know you and learning more with your help.

regards

Ian

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Hi Ian,

You have asked quite a difficult question and you'll get dozens of different answers.

The way that I started is the following.

Its a 8" scope on a driven EQ5 mount. This will give you good views visually of both planets and Deep Sky objects. There are better scopes for planets - but this IMO is a good compromise.

It comes in at £4 over the top end of your budget.

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/proddetail.php?prod=200eq5

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/proddetail.php?prod=dualmotoreq5

This has the drives needed to track the skies - but doesn't have GOTO - so you'll have to find the objects yourself, which is half the fun.

How are you going to take pictures of the objects you want? Do you already have a camera / webcam or does that need to be included n the budget?

Anyway, welcome to SGL.

Ant

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How are you going to take pictures of the objects you want? Do you already have a camera / webcam or does that need to be included n the budget?

Hi Ant,

Thanks for the prompt info. I have got a Nikon 10 mega pixel DSLR so I would need a threaded adaptor etc. Its getting the 'scope to track correctly for time exposures I'm worried about. All suggestions very gratefully accepted.

BTW I forgot to mention I live in St. Albans Herts.

regards

Ian

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The DSLR is not ideally suited for planets. But great for imaging the big DSO's

You'll need one of these at £17.

and

one of these for £12.95, to connect the Nikon to the scope.

I guess the setup that I've suggested will be good for between 30second - 60 seconds depending on lots of different factors.

For the planets ideally you'll need a webcam - the SPC900 seems to be the weapon of choice at the moment - I think these are about £50.

For constellations you can mount your camera on the scope's back (piggy back) and take images through the standard or zoom lenses - this will give nice widefield shots of constellations...

Ant

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Welcome Ian, plenty of help as demonstrated in your first post reply.

Hope you get the gear you want, but don't spend until you are sure.

Ron. :wink:

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The best info I could give here is to get on down to the nearest GOOD astronomy society / group and see if the folk there will let you have a dabble with their equipment (Ooeer missus) that way you'll get a feel for what you like at no initial outlay.... Whilst doing this you get to save more money, increasing your budget... Don't let the money burn a hole in your pocket...

Rich..

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Hi Ian and welcome.

Rich has just given a bit of sound and costless advice.

If i were you i would follow it... 8)

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Hi Ian

Welcome to SGL :wink:

If the local astro society has scopes you can borrow that would help you decide the type of scope you are most interested in.

Cheers

Ian

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Hi Ian

Welcome to SGL :wave:. You've had some great advice already and Ant's sugestion is a good one for your interests. You may see these even cheaper 2nd hand as 8" reflectors with medium quality mounts are often the starter kit of choice and consequently are often sold on when people upgrade. Second hand is usually safe as most astronomers take care of their kit. But the other advice, to actually see and ideally play with some telescopes, is the most sensible route.

Cheers, Martin

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Hello Ian welcome to Stargazers

great advice on all counts I hope we hear soon how happy your first light has been when you get your equipment :wink:

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Hi again,

Many thanks to you all for your welcomes.

I'm grateful for all your comments and suggestions. Lots of sound advice to help me in the right direction.

A trip to my local Astro Society seems the best way forward.

Do any of you at SGL belong to a society near St. Albans, Herts?

regards

Ian

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Hi Ian and welcome to the forum.

Not sure if its the nearest to you but you could try the Letchworth & District Astronomical Society http://www.ldas.org.uk/. They are holding a public star party on Saturday (15/3).

Roy

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Hi Ian welcome to the SGL you are geeting some very good advice from the forum :sunny: :sunny:

Stephen

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Not sure if its the nearest to you but you could try the Letchworth & District Astronomical Society http://www.ldas.org.uk/. They are holding a public star party on Saturday (15/3).

Thank you Roy - That was well timed. Yes, I will certainly come along.

I look forward to seeing a few setups and speaking to you and other SGL'ers.

regards

Ian

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Hi Ian

Welcome to SGL. I am down the road near Barnet.

I think your nearest astro society is West of London Astro

which has the advantage of a large observatory belonging to one of the members, and they go to dark sky sites around Herts not far away from you. I actually haven't made it to one of their meetings as it usually clashes with another commitment but it is one of the largest societies in the area.

Just one or two meet-ups is worth it - best of all is an observing meeting because then you get to see through about 10 or 12 different telescopes and you get to figure out the practicalities of them e.g. Dobs are fantastic but can get VERY big and cumbersome.

AG

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STOP PRESS!

Yesterday I visited High25 and bought his very reasonable priced 'scope!

I'm all ready to go now with the following:

C8-N Celestron Advanced newtonian reflector OTA

CG-5 EQ mount and tripod counter weights etc

9X50 Finder with bracket - A1 condition

2" AND 1.25" eye piece adaptors

Tube rings

1x long dove tail 1x short dovetail

20mm 1.25" celestron plossl ep

3x Barlow

The motor drive will follow and the camera mount is the post.

I think the photography can soon begin!

So then, question for all the experienced photographers - have I forgotten anything?

I want to thank High25 for his lesson setting it all up and advice. If any moderator can award this man a gold star etc please do so.

Thanks Andy

Ian

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Hi Ian

You got a good buy there and some good equipment that will serve you well.

Hope the skies are clear so you can play with your new toys.

Cheers, Martin

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