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£1300 for a starter AP/visual setup?

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I'm looking for a new scope and mount for around £1300.

I have started out in AP, got some good DSO images, but would like to do some planetary too if I can.

I also have a 6 year old daughter I would like to use the scope for visual with.

Looking for some suggestions?


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I would say, if you want a 6 YO to use it too, I would go for a Frac or a Cat. £1300 is a good budget and to make it easier for your daughter maybe something fork mounted. If it is mainly planets you want to see with the new scope, you do not need too big a scope, so maybe something like the Celestron CPC 800?

Edited by sbooder
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If buying new, a nice starter setup of HEQ5 + ED80 + DSLR + accessories (FF/FR, EQMod, adapters, finder-guider) will set you back about  £1800 - 2000. You could save a little by going for a smaller reflector rather than the 'frac.

You could try looking for some of this s/h - but  that's quite a popular combination, so there will be competition from other buyers.

But it's also worth bearing in mind that this is a small-aperture, lightweight, low magnification rig. It won't give particularly great visual results. The eye-popping stuff comes when you stack and process the end image.

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I was thinking about a Celestron C6N on an AVX mount, plus ether one of the following:






To be honest I'm a bit concerned about the Celestron C6-N OTA as the focuser apears to be rubbish, so the skywatcher 150pds Newt looks good.

I am also concerned about the Celestron C6-XLT as it apears to come with a 1 1/4" Diagonal, and i use mostly 2" EP's.

Really nut sure why, but i like the idea of the Evostart 100ED.... have for a while.

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If you want to get into AP dont bother with fork Mounts or those total useless similar junk. There's only ONE way you can go - EQ Mount.

If you alrdy love this Hobby then I suggest at least a NEQ6 Pro (Mount Mount Mount for AP!) and a smaller scope + bits and stuff. Better to buy a sturdy, big Mount, than a smaller one.

You have to set it up for your daughter anyways, so it's no deal if it's heavy



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For observing, a fork mounted SCT will be great, it is also very well suited to planetary image but if you want best results consider adding a wedge. You might also consider a dedicated planetary imaging camera like the imaging source DBK range. Much better suited than a DSLR due to the pixel scale and sensor size.

For deep sky AP, you need a totally different set-up. A heavy duty equatorial is a must and a short focal length refractor as pete_l describes above.

There is no one telescope that does everything well I am afraid.

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Agree with the above.  Visual + lunar/planetary imaging require one approach and DSO imaging another.

Perhaps you could make the most of your budget by keeping an eye on the second hand market?  NEQ6 mounts regularly come up on the ABS site ( http://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/index.php ) as well as SCTs and refractors.

I'd concentrate on getting the mount first then build up from there.

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