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Dear all,

I would like to have some help deciding what to buy. I live in an area with a lot of light; with a steet light next to my garden. Good for your safety, but not so much for the hobby. However, with a pair of binoculars I can see some nice things. But a binocular is too shakey for me. So in order to have a dark spot I need to ride between 15 and 30 minutes by car. Now I am reading so much about different types of telescopes that I really lost my mind. I need a very very travel-friendly scope, which can be set up in short period of time.

So the give a summary:

What do I have already:

Binocular 10x50 (bresser hunter)

Bresser skylux 70/700 (not too happy because it only is fun with the moon)

I just bought a used EQ2 mount

What am I looking for:

I am looking for an easy grab and go system; possibly on phototripod.

I know the heavier and more expensive, the more stable the view, but my budget is limited.

I thought about the following options:

1) (astro)binocular with the Orion Paragon mount + parallel mount for view in the Zenith

2) newtonion 130p skywatcher heritage which is raising concerns about the extendable part. How is it working after extending a 100 times for exame?

3) newtonion dobson 150p; looks a little difficult to move already

4) the Orion skyscanner 100mm tabletop; can be placed on top of a phototripod which is a very big plus for me

5) maksutov 102 or maybe extendig the budget for a 127mm; can be placed on phototripod. But small field of vieiw and need a lot of cooling time. I am unfortunately a busy guy with work so I want to start watching as soon as I get outside or shortly after.

What would Iike to see:

I am a starter in this hobby so I already excited to see a crater in the moon if you know what I mean.

I also would like to see the biggest DSO like the M31 and the M42 for example. A maksutov is good for the moon but you can't get the nebulas in one view.

As I understand, no telescope can offer all. And I know I will not get the pictures through it which were made ny cameras and hours and hours of exposure.

Where should I start and how about my options? I really like the Orion Skyscanner 100mm TT but I am concerend about its limitations. The maksutov is easier in use and dont need collimation just like the newtonions do.

My budget is between 200 ams 300 euros for the OTA or Dobsonion mount. This is also excluding extra parts like other oculairs, barlows and/or filters.

Sorry for my long story and I hope you can give me advise what I should do.

Thanks a lot.

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Adding to this; I can buy a used, collimated skywatcher explorer 130p including an EQ5 deluxe mount including two barlows and 2 filters for just EUR 275.

Seems a nice deal! But not really grab and go.

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hi there, travel frendly scopes theres 2 types a refractor or a dobsonian. for dso,s a dob for planets a dob. they are very easy to set up and very light in weight, you say you are tempted with the colimated skywatcher 130p its only colimated once you will probably have to do it each time you take it in your car. a dob realy is that good and very light weight even if it looks big. you dont say much about budget but something like this will be great to start of with and you will see most things

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-200p-dobsonian.html

hope this helps

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I agree that a 150mm skywatcher dobsonian would be a great scope. It gives great views of planets and double stars at home plus a little extra aperture for when you go to a dark site. If travelling by car it will easily go in any vehicle. At home it's easy to set up and will provide observing opportunities even when there's a lot of light pollution.

I'd recommend a right angle finder and at least a red dot finder (like a telrad or rigel quickfinder) when funds allow.

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Thank you all for your replies. Very much appreciated. It is so hard to decide as all type of telescopes are good on their own. And just like many of you, I am still not a millionaire :(

Unfortunately the EQ5 mount + 130P Skywatcher was sold already.

We have a dutch expression "not seeing the forrest because of all the trees" and that is exactly my feeling at the moment.

I want to buy a scope for at least the next two or three years.

My budget can be extended to 500 euro MAXIMUM if that means I can extend in quality. A dobson looks nice but a little unhandy and I have to travel in order to have dark sky.

I see the following set in an advertisement at the moment:

-Skywatcher Maksutov 102MM

- Red Dot Finder

-Standaard bijgeleverde zenitprisma, 25 mm en 10mm oculairen.

Extra's:
-1,25 inch zenitspiegel dielectric coating.
-25mm Superplössl oculair beeldveld 52 degrees
-24mm Maxvision widefield oculair  68 degrees
-Witty Alt-Az slowmotion control for photo tripod
-Phototripod
-Carrying bag

How about this option? Would it make me happy on the bigger deepsky object for the first years?

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For deep sky objects the 150mm dobsonain will outperform the 102mm maksutov by quite a margin. My recommendation would be the same as Moonshane's given your interests.

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Thanks John, and how about performance on the moon? I have heard that longer F-figures are better with sharp objects? The Dobsonion is an interesting option as well.

200P is in range budgetwise as well, but I think the 150 is a nice allround scope, easier to move, but still enough scope for money, right?

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The 150mm dobsonain is F/8. It's going to be good on the Moon and planets.

Personally I'd go for the 200P but I appreciate that you have a budget and weight / portability criteria. The 200P is the same physical length as the 150 but heavier and fatter. Even better performance though, of course but you have to draw the line somewhere.

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if you buy the 150 you will always think, wow if this is this good how much better would the 200 be. :smiley:

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How big is your car?

The 200p is bigger.

I'm not sure I'd call it a grab and go 'scope.

However, it is relatively easy to move in two pieces.

As long as the OTA would fit across the back seat and the base would go in the boot, you'd be laughing.

For a 15-30 mins journey, I wouldn't think it'd be any problem what so ever.

I've gone 70 miles with mine and it's been fine, with no need to collimate.

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I am driving a Seat Mii, very small car. Perhaps I should visit nearest store to see and feel the usability of the 200p and/ or the 150p. Loading two pieces inside my car with an easy build up system looks like a "grab and go" but my parents live across the country and that could be a problem with the regular stuff, our dog and two adults AND a dobsonion 200p :-) need a trailer or something..

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Have you considered a refractor, star travel 102mm (or 120mm if in budget). Great wide field views, ready to transport, fairly robust, have to live with chromatic aberation on bright planets / Moon. There is always a compromise somewhere.

Do you own a decent photo tripod.

An idea

http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/247988-grab-and-go-mount-ball-head-and-pan-plate-combo/

Edited by happy-kat

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To be honest, I am not sure why, a refractor is not my type of thing. But as said, that is just a feeling. How about the 120mm startravel compared to the dobsonion 150p? What are the pro's and what is the advantage to chose for a refractor?

I have now a skylux bresser so maybe that is why I dont feel comfortable with refractors..

Best regards

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Widefield views and portable oh and little cool down no colimation.

What size aperature is your bresser?

Disadvantage is aperature and CA on planets/Moon.

Getting to a shop is going to help you in your decision :-)

Edited by happy-kat

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My bresser is 70/700. The moon is nice, but the quality is not that good. It feels too much like a piece of plastic, it is hard to focus (not sure which focus is included). Maybe I am expecting too much of a telescope which costed me around 100 euro used.

Will definetely go to a store and I am lucky that two of Hollands best stores are very nearby.

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I find hard to focus for me has been when the night's atmosphere is troubled and/or I am using too high a powered eyepeice.

Do you have any of your own eyepeices or just what came with your Bresser?

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I am using the ones provided with the telescope. It s a 20mm and a 4mm. But I am also unhappy about the light gathering of the telescope when looking at stars. Would other eyepiece have such an influence on this?

In other words; could it be that I throw the skylux too easily in a corner to eat dust :-)?

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But I am also unhappy about the light gathering of the telescope when looking at stars.

I'm not quite sure what you mean here. Stars are among the brightest objects in the night sky after (most of) the Solar System objects. What are you expecting to see?

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The 4mm eyepiece is perhaps not the greatest and even with Skywatcher the 10mm supplied are not the best so does not surprise me the experience you are getting. I expect the 20mm is fine. A magnification of x175 using that 4mm I think is way too much magnification, your telescope as it is has a max of x140 so it pushes beyond a normal maximum for the aperature x2 and that is assuming the night has perfect seeing.

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My bresser is 70/700. The moon is nice, but the quality is not that good. It feels too much like a piece of plastic, it is hard to focus (not sure which focus is included). Maybe I am expecting too much of a telescope which costed me around 100 euro used.

Will definetely go to a store and I am lucky that two of Hollands best stores are very nearby.

It would be best not to judge refractors based on your experience with your Bresser 70mm, they are really not a good manufacturer. Personally I prefer refractors over reflectors but if you are fond of the fuzzies then aperture has to be taken into consideration, and a large aperture refractor will cost you a lot of money. The Star Travel 102 or 120 are really great rich field scopes but not the best if you'd also like to spend time taking a serious look at the moon and planets. A longer focal length 4" refractor like the Tal 102mm F10 achromat will be a petty good all round scope but will need at least an AZ4 or EQ3 to carry it well. A 6" 150mm F8 Newtonian is also a seriously good scope and not too big to carry. If bought as a Dobo then the mount issue becomes less of a problem.

Whatever scope you eventually decide upon, its best to remember that it will only perform as well its weakest link and this is usually the eyepiece. Most cheap eyepieces will offer only mediocre views at best. With an F8 or longer scope a good quality plossl will be all you need and wont cost the earth. Its better to hàve 2 or 3 good eyepieces than a box load of junk, even if it takes a while to obtain them. Televue plossls are very good and TMB planetary eyepieces, or their clones, offer clean high power views in shorter focal lengths from 9mm to 2.5mm. These are really hard to beat for the money.

Mike

Edited by mikeDnight

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I have the feeling sometimes that my bresser skylux is performing better (more stars) then my skylux in terms of the amount of stars. I never tried galaxies or other object with my skylux.

But i noticed bad behavior over the past few years..spending (a lot of) money in a hobby automatically make the results good, if you know what I mean.

Maybe I should learn better the basics with the skylux before throwing another few hundreds over the desk of a scopesupplier.

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I have the feeling sometimes that my bresser skylux is performing better (more stars) then my skylux in terms of the amount of stars. I never tried galaxies or other object with my skylux.

But i noticed bad behavior over the past few years..spending (a lot of) money in a hobby automatically make the results good, if you know what I mean.

Maybe I should learn better the basics with the skylux before throwing another few hundreds over the desk of a scopesupplier.

Sorry, I mean that my bresser hunter 10x50 is almost performing better then my skylux.. Time for coffee :-)

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I wonder if your refractor is operating at full aperture ?

It has been known for low cost refractor scopes to have an aperture stop just behind the objective lens reducing the working aperture. The benefits of this would be reduced chromatic and other aberrations but the downside would be reduced light gathering.

Alternatively the aperture could be stopped down further along the optical path by a misplaced light baffle or the end of the focuser drawtube cutting into the light path.

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I'm with 'happy-kat' on this. The best telescope is the one you'll use the most. I have a 102mm Skymax (Maksutov) and I use it a lot more than my 130mm Explorer. Early next year I'm planning on getting a much bigger SCT, but I bet the Skymax still gets used a lot, especially with a simpler alt/az  grab'n'go mount (I use an EQ 2 at the moment).

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