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Orion StarBlast 6i or SkyQuest XT8i?


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Hi all,

long and short I have been looking for a decent Telescope for the mrs for xmas as she has a keen interest brewing. I really want to get her something decent around the £500 mark and like the look of the Orion series of Reflectors around this price, the reviews say they are good for amatures and experienced users...

Would some thing like the aformentioned scopes be too advanced for a begginer or are they easy enough to pick up?

Please if anyone has any suggestions on different makes and models i'd be most grateful for any advice.

Thanks!

 
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Great, thanks for the response. Can I ask is it possible to plug this scope to a PC/laptop for image recording etc? I was looking at some specs of the XT8i against the Celestron SkyProdigy 130 and they have different specs with regards to hooking it up to a PC?

Also I understand the push to system requires you to literally find the object manually from the given coordinates on the panel etc however how quickly do some distant objects dissapear from the field of view if it has no tracking system?

Thanks for any advice.

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Thanks again aeajr for taking your time out to reply with such detail, it is very helpful.

The spec comparison I read was this link to which is the best Hobbyist telescope from space.com http://www.space.com/31227-best-hobbyist-telescopes.html

What was my concern was the chart and write up says "If you are going after deep- space "fuzzies" (e.g., galaxies, nebulae…) – but are not intending to photograph them, – this is the telescope to get."

So what you are saying is it is fully possible to do this with external apperators, i.e a webcam - usb - pc setup. And astrophotography can be as achievable and have as good results as the Skyprodigy? (am I right in saying the SkyProdigy has a built in camera?)

I really like the look of the Dobsonian and the analogue route to learning the skys, with the help of the intelliscope and am pretty sure I will be pulling the trigger on this. It seems best bang for buck from what I can make out to what you can actually achieve visually.

Sorry for so many noob questions, still geting used to alot of the technical jargon....but enjoying the ride, might even get into the hobby myself!

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Some good advice already here.

The Orion dobsonians are made by the same company that makes the Skywatcher scopes and they contain the same optics. The Intelliscope feature is nice though and unique to Orion. The scope is not driven so you move the scope to point at the desired object as directed by the handset and then you need to track the object by nudging the scope.

You can do some basic lunar and planetary web cam imaging with such scopes but the lack of a driven mount means that deep sky photography and more detailed planetary image is not practical.

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Thanks again guys for helping us choose a decent scope.

Ok we've had a good chat about the this and AP isn't something that is a necessity right now, we just want to get into the hobby and start viewing whats out there.

I think a combined xmas present to each other of a XT10i might be on the cards as well!

Which of these Barlows would be better? the Orion one you mentioned is obviously the same make etc and looks good... I also read elsewhere on this board that the Revelation Barlow is good, is there anything in it?

http://www.telescopehouse.com/revelation-astro-2x-barlow-lens.html

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A German equatorial mount is required for serious astrophotography to allow tracking in right ancension and declanation if the case may be. You also need a mount wi the capability to track dsos at the sidereal rate, and a off axis guider or second guidescope to manually guide the telescope with a illuminated reticle eyepiece so that you can correct periodical errors in tracking , or as a result of not being properly aligned to the north celestial pole. If not, star bloating, trailing, and double stars would appear evident creating poor results. I do not think you would like to manually guide the guidescope for longer than 15 minutes reducing the overall resolution of the picture. This is where a ccd autoguider comes in handy, put this baby inside the second scope, have it guide to the nearest brightest star while connected to a program such as phd (point here dummy) on your computer, and let the computer automatically track for you ! Haha, considering you are properly aligned to the north celestial pole. For a serious ap mount with go to tracking we are talking $1000+, regular 80mm -120mm refractor $300-450, Ed refractor $600-$1200 (yields better resolution observing and taking ap, no chromatic aberration) , guidescope with ccd autoguider $380, dslr camera preferably modded ($500+ less used possibly) plus $300 for a astrophotography conversion to allow more reds in the ha alpha line ( nebulosity is more intense in the Orion Nebula, horse head nebula, ring nebula, etc) , t adapters, camera adapter, Photoshop( $300+) or some cheaper program such as paint shop prox8 . I'm not trying to scare anyone but I just want people to know how much they would typically spend on a decent setup. The Newtonian reflector on dobsonian mount will allow you to take very short exposures of the moon and planets but not for longer than a mere seconds since the earth is moving and this is more evident at longer focal lengths. The dobsonian has an as mount that doesn't move the way the sky objects do at night.

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Thanks again guys for helping us choose a decent scope.

Ok we've had a good chat about the this and AP isn't something that is a necessity right now, we just want to get into the hobby and start viewing whats out there.

I think a combined xmas present to each other of a XT10i might be on the cards as well!

Which of these Barlows would be better? the Orion one you mentioned is obviously the same make etc and looks good... I also read elsewhere on this board that the Revelation Barlow is good, is there anything in it?

http://www.telescopehouse.com/revelation-astro-2x-barlow-lens.html

I've used quite afew of these. The Orion "Shorty Plus" barlow is really excellent wheras the Orion "Shorty" is OK but nothing special. The Revelation stuff is made by GSO and the 2.5x 3 element barlow is good for the £'s but the standard 2x is rather mediocre I found.

Hope that helps a bit.

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