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What's the difference?

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Hello! I'm looking to begin my interest in astronomy. I really don't want to stare at fuzzy lights, I'd like to see some detail. I've done some research today and narrowed it down to an Orion StarBlaster 4.5" Reflector. Overwhelming reviews state it's a great beginner scope and even a good "grab and go" scope for experienced stargazers.

I've found two offers online, but I'm having difficulty understanding the difference (aside from the mount/tripod).

1) http://www.telescope.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=102010&utm_source=google&utm_medium=comparisonshopping&utm_campaign=US-googlemerchant&gclid=Cj0KEQiA496zBRDoi5OY3p2xmaUBEiQArLNnKyz_sQAlZNt8dKEz-v7VryX9COaVBAa2fi0flB4U7gsaAhZd8P8HAQ

2) http://www.telescope.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=9798&utm_source=google&utm_medium=comparisonshopping&utm_campaign=US-googlemerchant&gclid=Cj0KEQiA496zBRDoi5OY3p2xmaUBEiQArLNnK2Edkx_RR7-G4sj89kbHa7wykiAdaCaGn4HW1giADNYaAsDK8P8HAQ

Can someone help shed some light onto what it is that makes these deals different? (other than the tripod)

Would you recommend either of these deals?

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Is it just that one is on a tripod, and one is on a dobsidian style stand?

Does one of them have slow motion movement tracking, and the other doesnt?

Are they both the exact same telescope but with minor differences in accessories? 

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The eyepieces one has a 15mm the other 17mm. And the tripod you already said. Tripods are used differently. You might like to read up on the eq1 user experiences.

Edited by happy-kat
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When you say "I'd like to see some detail", what are you referring to? Stars? Planets? Deep Sky Objects?

What are the skies like where you live?

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Same scope different tripods.

Looks like the same accessories, not sure how usable the finder is on the sort of dobsonian based one is. Only say this as it needs a table or similar to sit on and so sighting along the finder may be more trouble.

Will say both are f/4 and that is fast, possibly too fast to result in good or decent images. As the eyepieces are Kellners you may find that they do not perform overly well. The mirror does say Parabolic.

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Thank you for the replies. When I say "I'd like to see some detail" I mean that I've looked through some pretty cheap telescopes and seen saturn as one big yellow light, but I've seen some videos of a slightly clearer image with color range and depth. Same with Jupiter. Also, I'd like to see the moon's surface as crisply and cleanly as I can for the price range I'm in.

I'm not looking to go deep space yet, just solar system viewing to get my feet wet with the hobby.

Here are some videos of examples I'm looking to see:

1)

2) 

3) 

Also, is there a major difference in 15mm or 17mm lenses?

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I live in the suburbs of Ohio, but I have access to some "back country roads" with minimal city light. Mainly just street lights to worry about.

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You will see some nice detail on the Moon with a 4.5" newtonian scope and you will see some of Jupiters's surface features, Saturns ring system and shading and possibly a pole cap on Mars, when it's somewhat closer to us next year. 

The planets will look pretty small in the eyepiece, nothing like the photos you see.

These scopes will also show some of the brighter deep sky objects quite nicely as long as one is realistic about what the aperture can deliver.

The exact levels of detail you see in the above targets depends heavily on the viewing conditions, light pollution and the time spent studying an object. Much of what we see is not "in your face" at all (apart from the Moon) and needs to be worked at, if you see what I mean :smiley:

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John, thank you very much for the reply. That was very informative.

The rest of you, also very informative thank you, I learned new things so thank you!

For a beginner in Ohio, would you guys recomend I purchase the EQ Scope (1) or the Dobson (2) listed in OP?

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Personally I'd go for the dobsonian. EQ mounts drive me nuts for visual observing :tongue:

Looks like you will need a sturdy table or platform to place the dobsonian mounted one on though.

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I would not go for an EQ1 for imaging. It is too wobbly. I would go for a Dobsonian for visual any time, and put some extra cash towards aperture. The 4.5" is nioce, but the 130mm (e.g. from Skywatcher) will show more, and a 6" even more (but it might be a bit heavy).

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Hmm, so I should go with a 130mm over a 4.5? I was hoping to stay below 300$ and still getting a good quality visual.

Would you recommend this http://www.binoculars.com/products/celestron-astromaster-130-eq-reflector-telescope?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=googlepla&variant=2086634692&gclid=Cj0KEQiA496zBRDoi5OY3p2xmaUBEiQArLNnK4imDLXmlUyPf_xQhrdgLI48lulNYn1z5QTkmn3THyQaArc68P8HAQover the Orion packages I posted?

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I would suggest that you only consider visual and buy the biggest reflector on a dobsonian base that your budget allows. Reflectors on equatorial bases are not nice to use for visual observations compared to a dobsonian mount. You should put imaging on the back burner as it will require a much bigger budget and separate scopes.

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Hi!

I would separate imaging from visual observation, because the requirements are different. For the former what matters is aperture, for the latter a sturdy mount. I would start with visual tbh, and the whole knowledge you will accumulate on this will also be very useful for imaging if one day you decide to move into that field.

For visual, I would go for a Dobson. It's a cheap, solid and easy to use mount. The tube will be very stable on it. Aperture.. It depends on how much you can afford to pay and transport around (weight, size, storage).

Another suggestion could be a sky-watcher Skyliner 150mm F8; very nice with eyepieces, good aperture for viewing planets and a bit of DSO, and not expensive either. Just an opinion of course.

Cheers, Piero

EDIT:

I was writing when you posted your last text! If you can afford an 8" Dobson,go for it!! I agree with John (see below). Just bought one myself and it's a joy to use and to observe with! :)

Edited by Piero
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Wow !!!

You have opened up your options a lot since I last posted :smiley:

Of that lot I'd go for the XT8. I'm a visual observer so imaging is not something that I'd plan for. It needs a different set of kit anyway which is often not complimentary for observing things. If portability is important then the Starblast 6.

The simple 8" dobsonian gives the most performance per $/£ spent in my opinion and can last a lifetimes observing wheas the scopes we were talking about when I previously posted were what I would term "entry level". Nothing wrong with that of course but if you can take the "next step" the views will reward you in due course :smiley:

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It would definitely be number 1 for me. The 8 inch Dob is very versatile and I'll give good views of the Moon, planets and DSOs. It is not suitable for photography but at your budget you will not find anything that is.

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I'm going to make it 6/6 votes for the XT8. I haven't regretted buying my 8" dob in any way, but with any of your other options I think I would have been looking to upgrade.

Edited by Ricochet

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8 votes for the 8 inch Dob. This is a serious and keepable telescope. For visual use the Dob is a better bet than the EQ. Cheap flimsy EQs are always a nightmare and even good ones are inconvenient with Newtonians.

Once you are at this level of scope you are getting remarkably close to what is possible on the moon and planets in anything.

Olly

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The votes are now counted in the Miss Universe Telescope competition, and I can reveal the winner is in fact a Columbian refractor..... oh er...... :mad:

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I think the overwhelming approval of the 8" Dob. says it all. If you go for this option you will have a lifetime of observing pleasure.

Good luck and enjoy this great hobby.

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