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nwink

First scope: Heritage 130p OR something larger?

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I'm looking to get my first telescope and have been a binocular astronomer since just last fall.  I've changed my mind about various scopes in thinking about my first scope, but I seem to be leaning towards a smaller beginner scope like the Heritage 130P or the OneSky from Astronomers Without Borders.  I know people say the best telescope is the one that will get used most, and with a small scope like this, I'm sure I'll use it more than say a standard 8" or 10" Dob which can be a little bulky (per my experience borrowing an 8" dob).  I am also very interested, from more thinking and research, in getting this smaller scope specifically for WIDE-ANGLE views...and since it's an inexpensive way to start the hobby.  I know one can get wider-angle views on a larger telescope, but it costs more in terms of getting more eyepieces...and I think having wide-angle views of the Pleaides, Double Cluster, Leo Triplet, etc would be amazing.  But I still hear all the voices in my ear saying, "Aperture is king...get the bigger aperture."

So am I making a poor choice on a scope with a smaller aperture that I'll grow out of quickly, or does this sound reasonable?  I know that's a personal choice to sacrifice ease-of-setup and wide-angle-views for a larger aperture, but it helps me to pass ideas by those with more experience than myself.  Is that a worthy sacrifice?  I'm thinking if I got a few years out of a beginner scope like this, then when I upgrade to a larger aperture, that would be awesome when it happens...and I'd probably still use this smaller scope for wider-angle views and easy transportation to dark sky sites.  Does anyone on here have a similar tabletop telescope they enjoy and use frequently?

Thanks for your input.

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hi i to am relatively new to all this i have had a evostar 90 for just over a year or so and i have found it to have been ok but also found to have grown out of it relativley quickly on that not i would suggest budget permitting get the best you can afford as once you star looking you want to see more and i mean more of everything it just grabs you completly altho i havent upgraded yet i am in the process of seeing what is my best choice so as i make the right one as i dont want to be making it wrong. i want to do some ap at some point soagain it puts a who new perspective on the type of scope 

 good luck in you hunt and i am sure the guys here will all give you sound advise as its an incredible source of info

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I get a smidge over 2 degrees with the 32mm eyepeice I bought for my Heritage 130p.

It is very fast to take outside plonk down, I like to use a bucket to raise it slightly, sit on a chair and off you go.

The only thing I don't like is the focuser is the weak link in the setup, but this only really becomes apparent when you stick a webcam in it to try getting the Moon.

I added settings cirles to mine and have a wixey. Not tried using this in anger yet.

I personally have no interest to get a bigger telescope.

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I have the Orion Starblast 6i, F5 6". Love it to bits!

So easy to use, transport and set up etc. To provide a level base I use an adapted tripod or a big upturned builders bucket.The Intelliscope feature comes in really handy when I need it but most of the time I use the scope manually. Being able to rotate the OTA in its rings is a useful touch, an improvement over its sibling, the great little 4.5" Starblast.

This little beast is a great companion and while I'd certainly be interested in a larger aperture and focal length longer than F5 at some point, mainly to have larger/brighter views of Jupiter, Saturn & DSO's, I'm more than satisfied to stay with the 6i, and would probably keep it even if I went on to buy another larger telescope :)

Edited by ghostdance

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I got my 130p for that reason too - it's small, inexpensive, and if aperture fever struck, I'd still have a grab and go scope. About 9 months later, I got a 250px - but I still have the 130p.

My 130p sees more nights used than my 10" dob. The 10" is probably used to observe more things, though. I guess that's the nature of a grab-and-go over a bigger scope. I wouldn't be without something of a grab-and-go nature, but then I live in a flat; moving the 10" is a bit of an exercise. Also, living in the middle of a large town, the 10" gains little over the 5" - it's under a dark sky that the difference becomes really apparent.

You are right about the wider fields of view - some things, like the Pleiades or the Andromeda Galaxy, are just too big for the 10", but are good in the 5". That said, the 10" sees deeper, and the real revelation was resolving stars in globular clusters. I thought seeing fainter galaxies and things might be the 'wow' factor, but it's actually the improved resolution that made my socks roll up and down. 

Take M13 - with the 130p, it's round, fuzzy, with some speckles in averted vision. With the 250px it's a textured cloud of individual stars (with the shadow of a propeller in it).

I don't regret my choice to go with a 130p - but I like having the 250px too. I don't know if that helps though!

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