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Newbie from derby

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Hi, welcome to SGL

HI Mabz, it's hard to answer your post without knowing more, so here are some questions you need to ask yourself (in no particular order):

Do I want to do astrophotography?

What's my budget?

Where will I be observing (town, suburban, rural – strong light pollution, moderate light pollution, dark skies)?

What's my options for storing/transporting a telescope?

Answer those and we'll have a better idea of the kind of scope to recommend.


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Hello Kevin, thank you for replying. I really do want to get into astrophotography, my budget is somewhere around the region of 150 pounds I just want something pretty simple to use. I live in a rural area and barely see anything in the night sky so I'd say the light is not very good. I have nowhere special to store away the equipment.

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I didn't think it would be so expensive.

Hi and welcome.

It can be very expensive, especially if you want to get into astrophotography (AP). That's why I have avoided the AP side of the hobby and stick to visual only. And I've still spent more than a figure with a zero on the end of your budget! However, there is great fun to be had without spending a fortune ...

Many will suggest you get decent binoculars and explore the sky with those. And that is excellent advice. Lots of great viewing to be had from bins and a great way to learn what's in the sky.

If you have made up your mind that only a telescope will do, the most common advice is to spend your cash on a Dobsonian. I started out with, and still have, a Skywatcher 150. The consensus is that it is 'more bang for your buck' with that type of telescope. And the larger the aperture you can afford the more light you will gather - which, broadly (no pun intended), means the more you will see.

Another common piece of advice is to get along to a local astronomy club. Ask the people there; perhaps see through telescopes that others have, and get a 'feel' for what's available. Also, have a look at the used market - AstroBuySell and Astroboot (Google them) are well regarded. But even with those, it's better if you can have someone on hand to advise you. SGL members will be more than happy to help but it's always good to speak with someone face to face and, even better, to get hands-on experience.

The harsh truth is that with a modest budget you will be constrained. But none of us has a Hubble telescope in the garden and lots of people have had a lifetime of fun, learning and sheer enjoyment without spending an awful lot of money. But you will have to cut your coat according to your cloth ...

Edited by Floater
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Hi Mabz,

I think Floater's advice is spot on. With your budget I think you're going to have to forget astrophotography for now, and instead get the best your budget will allow for purely visual astronomy. A 6 inch reflector on a dobsonian mount would be perfect (SkyWatcher 150). If you're set on astrophotography, you could go for, say, a 5 inch reflector on a basic EQ mount (something like a SkyWatcher 130), then upgrade the mount/add a tracking motor when funds allow. That way, you'll have experience of visual observing, and setting up, balancing and polar aligning the mount. It's the EQ (equatorial) mount that allows the telescope to automatically track what you're looking at/photographing, and thus allows for longer exposures, etc.

A visit to a local club would definitely set you on the right path.



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Hi and welcome to the forum.

For your first telescope, you need to decide on what you want to look at. If it's high magnification, ie the planets, the moon. You'll be better off with a slow scope. That's with a F number of 10 or more. If your interested in far away object, galaxies and the the like, you'll need a fast one, F numbers under 6. You could go for an all rounder, with a F number in between, but that is a "Jack of all trades, master of non".

Hope this helps a bit.

Good luck, Tony from Doncaster [emoji437][emoji437][emoji437]

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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