Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_celestial_motion.thumb.jpg.a9e9349c45f96ed7928eb32f1baf76ed.jpg

Mach2k5

Reflector or Refractor?

Recommended Posts

I live in Larkhill, next to the largest training area in the UK, where there is very low light pollution. Which telescope should I get and what is a good starter scope?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mach,

It would help people no end to know what your budget is and what it is that you hope to do with whatever scope you get. Are you interested in DSO, planets, lunar? Will you want it for visual only or are you planning on doing some astrophotography? Best not to say everything as with scopes it is certainly horses for courses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Uplooker said:

Hi Mach,

It would help people no end to know what your budget is and what it is that you hope to do with whatever scope you get. Are you interested in DSO, planets, lunar? Will you want it for visual only or are you planning on doing some astrophotography? Best not to say everything as with scopes it is certainly horses for courses.

Hi Ian,

Upto £200 for starting, all round planets and celestial watching.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps the best entry into astronomy is a Reflector telescope on a Dobsonian mount. Ideally the more aperture (diameter of the tube) you have the better for viewing fainter objects, at your price range a 6 inch Dob will cost a little less or an 8 inch Dob a little more. This scope design is very simple to use but at the same time gives you a lot of possibilities for visual observation - for photography however it is limited. Have a look at these two links:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-150p-dobsonian.html

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

Refractor telescopes tend to fall between two stools. It is cheap to make simple small lenses but much more costly to make larger quality lenses. A refractor with a 6" aperture, for example, will cost over 600 pounds and a top of the range Apochromatic will cost several thousand! Small refractors with short tubes are however very portable - there are versions for example which will fit in a backpack - in general though, magnification is limited, for some types of observation this is not necessary but for Lunar and planetary the ability to achieve good views at x150 to x200 is a big plus!

If you get smitten by astronomy, you may probably change scopes as your experience progresses and you find a particular niche which interests you. Meanwhile, for general observation, Dobsonian reflectors do represent the best value for money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have moved this thread to Scopes as I feel it will get a better feedback there.

Alan

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

another up fo vote for the 200 skyline. New, they are a bit over your budget, but you can get them on the used market for around £200.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are going to observe from your back garden and the scope does not have to be portable, then a Dob is certainly the best choice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you don't know what you want or what you're gonna do with it - then for a budget of circa £200 the easiest scope to set up and use, with by far the best value for money you'll get, is the 200P Dob bought second hand (they're around £300 new).

It'll show you everything you need to see as a beginner, and you'll learn enough to know which direction your astronomy will be taking you after the course of a year. And if you decide it's not for you - it'll retain enough value to sell on so the whole exercise has cost next to nothing. Otherwise it'll go towards financing your first upgrade lol :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My head has always said dob, but my heart.........likes refractors :p

I initially went frac with a wobbly mount and it ruined the hobby for me,  the dob will be best I think and for the money it's hard to beat.   Just to throw a curve ball into this,  have you thought about a pair of bins? I know you're looking for a scope but the freedom of bins is quite liberating :D 

Best of luck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just bought a 250p reflector and not had chance to use it properly to give a fair comparison. I also have a 90mm refractor which was my first scope over a year ago. I still love this scope and would happily recommend a refractor to someone who is starting out. You'll not bag as many galaxies and other DSO's, but you'll get lovely views of planets and lunar viewing. It's alos more portable and you don't have to deal with collimation. Many on here will tell you collimation becomes second nature, and hopefully they are not lying, but it is daunting to do for the first time especially if you've never had your hands on any astronomy equipment before.

I will post again when I start getting used to the 250, if the skies ever clear!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am looking to attach to a laptop to record images, I have access to Saliisbury Plain where the light pollution is ultra low.

Edited by Mach2k5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

" I am looking to attach to a laptop to record images"

Ok well you just pushed your budget up by another £1000+ for an equatorial tracking mount with a basic imaging scope - and that's without the camera, laptop, guiding set up, dew control, and other ancilliary equipment you'll need. I would suggest you get the book "Making Every Photon Count" by Steve Richards which will tell you everything you need to know about astro imaging. :)

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/books/making-every-photon-count-steve-richards.html

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 17/04/2016 at 01:02, brantuk said:

" I am looking to attach to a laptop to record images"

Ok well you just pushed your budget up by another £1000+ for an equatorial tracking mount with a basic imaging scope - and that's without the camera, laptop, guiding set up, dew control, and other ancilliary equipment you'll need. I would suggest you get the book "Making Every Photon Count" by Steve Richards which will tell you everything you need to know about astro imaging. :)

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/books/making-every-photon-count-steve-richards.html

 

I bought a Celestron 130EQ, £136, Lens Kit £58, Canon T-Ring £10. Dual Motor Drives £88 for RA & DEC with free downloaded Software to control it. The SLR Mount I found in a second hand shop and got for £20. so all in all £308. Now waiting for a clear sky as I got it all together delivered today and as per normal after 4 clear nights its bloody cloudy and raining...lol

Oh and using my wifes Canon 350D... shhh don't tell her!

Edited by Mach2k5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.