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Hi all newbie from Nottinghamshire :)


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Hello everyone

Just wanted to make a quick message to say hello and hopefully get to know some of you while i try and work my way around the site.

A little about me....

I'm 27 and Im a proud father of 3 and been married to my beautiful wife Jessica for almost 4 years now, I live in Nottinghamshire as it says in the title lol  i haven't been doing astrophotography for long but its something that I've been interested in for years now most nights I'm watching a some sort of  documentary  about it all....

Not 100 % sure how to stack images or anything at the moment but I'm still learning so I'm sure i will figure it out one day.

im photographing at the moment with just a wide angle lens with a f2.8 which at the moment seems to be working a treat just hard trying to find somewhere with less light pollution and clear skys....

I have always wanted a telescope and i plucked the courage up and brought just a cheap one that was second hand off the local selling pages to get me started on viewing, but to my disappointment there is something wrong with the scope I've collimated it and even taken it to the local "scope shop" to see if they can see a problem with it, but unfortunately it looks like theres something not quite right with the primary mirror which is throwing the images out and making them blurry so its impossible to get the image in focus.... so lesson learned if i buy anything second hand again always check and don't get fobbed off with the seller saying he needs to go.

anyway enough of the ranting..... I was looking at purchasing another scope but this time I've been looking around and doing my research, Im wanting a scope that both can be good for visual and image, I've been told some of the best scopes for that would be they sky watcher 130pds and the 150pds which one out of the two would you recommend ???? 

also I've learned that its all to do with the stand so the standard eq3 it comes on is not going to be sufficient, now here is my main problem do i go for the eq5 pro with goto or do i need to take the jump and go for the heq5 syntrek as this stand is nearly double the money puts the price up another 4-500 pound.

any info would be greatly appreciated as i keep on getting conflicting information, I'm not a profesional photographer and never will be and I'm not execting my images to look like the ones out of a magazine so do i really need the more expensive stand ???

its all going to be a huge learning curve for me but I'm willing for a challenge as its something I've been wanting to do for years and always put it off.

when i figure out how to compress my images I've already taken and to upload i will share as soon as i can :) 

thanks Darren.

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Hello and a warm welcome to the SGL. Take your time before buying another scope. If there is a local club near you go along and talk to some of the experienced members. Better still if they have a outing, go along and look at the kit they use. Best of luck.

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Hi Darren and welcome to SGL, all is not lost, if the main mirror of the scope you purchased, is a proper telescope primary, there should be a solution to the problem.  

As you are obviously wanting to go over to the dark side, Astrophotography, starting out can be somewhat confusing, to say the least. the best advice I can give, is to suspend your research until you have invested in a copy of Steve Richards book "Making Every Photon Count" see FLO top of the page. After you have digested that, you should be in a better position to know what is your next course of action, many of our imagers from the very experienced to the those just starting out, have a copy on their bookshelves, enjoy the forum :)

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Hi Darren,

Welcome to SGL. Sorry to read you were 'ripped off' with your first telescope. The folks on SGL are a very helpful and friendly bunch and astrophotography has a huge following. It is a potentially large money-sink you're walking into but there's a lot of people here who will be able to assist you. Agree about the lack of really dark skies in Notts, maybe the phased roll out of the new led street lighting will help although it's seemingly quite  a controversial point on SGL and affects photographers more than the rest of us.



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Hi and welcome. I got into astronomy some 4yrs ago and guess what ? you need deep pockets but that aside during my telescope hunt I brought a skymax 127 and took some of my best images with it. I decided to sell it to fund further items and to be fair have regretted it ever since. A small compact easy to take away and use scope with a big heart and with the right accessories great fun.  Jay

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Thanks for all the lovely comments people :)

I hate the horrid sky's around here I wish they was dark, every time I decide I'm going to sort my kit out and go somewhere in car it always ends up being cloudy or raining...

I'll get clear sky's one day. What do people think about the questions I asked about the scope and mounts ?

Here's a few pics will try and upload a few more when I get chance thanks



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Hello. You should, if not already, get involved with Nottingham Astronomical Society; we meet once a month in Keyworth for a lecture programme, and our observatory is in Cotgrave. Else if you are at the north of the county there is Mansfield and Sutton AS, to the east is Lincoln AS, the west are Both Derby AS and Ilkeston AS, and to the south Leicester AS, plus others; where ever you live there is a reasonably large astronomy club / society 10-20 miles or so away.

I'm in NG2 and if you want to see an EQ mount or a Skywatcher AZ GOTO mount you are welcome to come over; my mate and neighbour has a 130mm Newtonian he'd be happy to show you this.

Scope: the reflectors are nice for both visual and imaging, but have their limitations. They require collimation, the secondary mirrors Can easily dew up, when inaging they are prone to coma aberration and there can be issues with achieving focus with a DSLR as the focuser doesn't always allow enough inwards travel. Reasonably good aperture though. A refractor will have smaller aperture (unless you have several thousands of pounds), but not prone to coma, but unless you get a doublet or triplet (expensive) when inaging you'll get chromatic aberration, and maybe get a non-flat field... Maybe not as appealing for visual work if you end up getting a small aperture refractor. Also the lens will dew up eventually. The other option would be a catadioptric scope like a Maksutov-cassegrain or a Schmidt-cassegraine (sorry for any spelling errors here); these hold their collimation well, and you can get reasonable aperture for your buck, but they tend to have a very long focal length and slow optics, so are god for solar system objects, but less so for large nebulous structures in the sky; they are also prone to dewing up, but they have excellent focus in that you can usually manage to always achieve focus whatever you put on the back, unlike the other two. But from what you describe, if visual is a big like of yours, i'd go for the 150 relfector and sort out a low profile focuser so you can achieve focus with a DSLR, and maybe get a coma corrector. If you have any electronics ability, you could glue a resistor on the back of the secondary to minimise dew hindering your enjoyment.

Mount: if imaging is your thing, you need a relatively sturdy tracking mount, so an EQ5 of some description, the better one will be the HEQ5, which second hand is £400-500. The mount is the heart and soul of any imaging setup, so just bite the bullet and accept it is going to cost £500.

On top of all this you'll need to think about:

- dew controller, £20-50

- dew bands, for finder scope or main scope £20-50

- power source (battery), £20-100

- trickle charger for battery, £20

- adapter for DSLR to fit camera to scope, £10-20

- coma corrector, £50-150

- low profile focuser, £50-100

- Bahtinov mask, £10-20

- light pollution filter, £10-200

There are probably other things, but just to give you an idea.

Welcome to SGL.


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Hard to follow that James! But I shall also bid you welcome from a fellow local, Darren. Welcome to SGL, the folk here are as helpful as you could wish for. You mention dark skies - there's some great sites just west of the M1. http://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/looking-after/projects-and-partnerships/darkskiesgives some good info. 

Enjoy the ride! 


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Hi Darren, I`m also Darren from Nottingham, Hucknall to be precise.


If you want some place thats darker to go, I`m a moderator on another forum thats more local to you.....


We have a couple of dark sites that will not be too far way from you, but far enough to get you away from the LP.

(mods / admins - if linking to another site is not allowed, please edit away.......)

You will be more than welcome to pop on over, even bring your other scope with you, you never know, someone in our group may be able to sort it for you.....

Hope you enjoy the forum.

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Thanks everyone some really good information.

And regarding the local community gazers I should be going to the Sutton in Ashfield sherwood observatory tonight as its there open evening so weather permitting I should be going there...

Hopefully get my eye for the first time on another planet :)

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