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Hi Im new to all this and need some advice from people who know what they're talking about. My boyfriend and I have recently developed a love for space and have spent a lot of time with friends scopes. I want to buy him one for his birthday ad there is so many options I want to make the right decision. 

Im looking at the celestron 4se or the 6se and then considering the Skyprodigy 90. Basically I want to be able to see as much as possible. Obviously planets as clearly as can be and really interested in exploring other galaxies. Being able to take photos would be pretty essential too.

Price range I was initially wanting to spend $1,000 aus but these telescopes just look incredible and if worth it with the price comparisions am willing to spend more if its really worth it. Any help would be appreciated. Im in melbourne australia so if anyone can help me in the best place to buy one would be great too.

Thanks in advance :)

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the bigger the aperture, the more you will be able to see, so if your budget allows and you are willing to commit, then I would recommend the 6se out of the three you have shortlisted.

I know someone has one of these, and he's very happy with it.

a quick internet search came up with Saxon Binoculars & Telescopes in Melbourne, may be worth paying them visit.

it may also be worth getting him involved in the decision, I know surprises are great, but ultimately he needs to be happy with such investments :)

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Welcome

Out of the 3 you list it would be the 6SE. It has the biggest apperature gathering the most light so has the potential to see the most.

It is great that you have been and spent time with friends telescopes as this have you an idea on different designs and size that telescopes can be (hopefully).

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Doesn't the 6SE share the same mount as the 8SE (in the UK I read I think it does) so very capable mount (as in not over weighted).

Edited by happy-kat
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Thumbs up for the 6SE again. The larger the aperture the more detail that you will see in any images, especially when viewing the moon and any planets. Also, to view some deep sky objects like galaxies, globular clusters etc, the more light coming in the telescope the easier it will be to see these dimmer objects better.

As that scope only comes with one eyepiece (EP), to get better and more detailed  views of the moon and the planets (Jupiter, Saturn and Mars mostly) you'll also need a shorter focul length EP than the 25mm one supplied with the scope which will give you a magnification of 60x (this will be good for wider views of galaxies etc), so your next buy would be a decent EP for planetary views. An extra EP (preferably one named specifically as a 'Planetary EP') in the range of 12mm or 9mm size will give a magnification of 125x or 166x so give detailed views better on solar system objects.

Hope you both enjoy the views when you eventually get a scope. :) 

Edited by Knighty2112
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Hi and welcome to SGL! :)

Observing and imaging have quite different requirements. For the former you need aperture, for the latter a solid mount. 

The other thing is sky conditions. For viewing planets a good seeing is essential. For 'exploring galaxies' as you said, you need a lot of aperture and dark skies. I know that you said that you already observed with friends' telescopes, but I would advise you to read this anyway:

Learning the sky, the different target features and how to observe can be a quite demanding task. It's beautiful, but it takes some time. Imaging is another big step for your learning curve. So, my advise is that, unless you are mainly interested in imaging, you go for visual for now. Then one day you decide to move to imaging when it is clearer to you what you like the most and that that is really what you want.

For visual only, assuming that you have a car and or a garden I would recommend a Dobson sky watcher 200mm F6. This not because it's the one I have, but because it's very easy to use, carry around and maintain. It cools down faster than an equivalent close tube telescope and it's far less prone to see. A Dobson design is solid and far less expensive too.

For imaging, it's tricky to suggest as the objects that you said you'd like to image require different things. In any case you need a very solid and accurate mount first.

Finally, it's very very kind of you to think of this as a present for your boyfriend. Said this I would buy this together as it will then be the telescope of both of you. Just my opinion of course.

Hope this helps,

Piero

Edited by Piero
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The mount the 6SE is on (UK it is same mount as 8SE) is being used very successfully to astroimage using a refractor.

Link to example image

And this thread is all about what members are managing with similar mounts.

Link here

No one setup can do everything but the 6SE appears to cover most bases to get you going and a foray into imaging if that is your interest without spending a shed load. But if imaging is your long term aim then you may want to think again about what you want to acheive and match equipment accordingly.

Choosing is compromises, be it budget or weight or size find the one that works best for you both to store, transport, use and share.

 

Edited by happy-kat
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Welcome to SGL! Another plus for the Nexstar 6SE.

I believe both Bintel and Ozscopes are good suppliers, but I'm sure there must be others!

http://www.bintel.com.au/

http://www.ozscopes.com.au/

Depending on currency exchange fluctuations, some people in Australia import scopes directly from the United States. Be warned however that this may invalidate the manufacturer's guarantee if you have a problem.

A good Australian internet astronomy forum where you may find more local knowledge (and good information on the Southern Hemisphere) is:

http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/

 

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My vote is for the 6SE as well. Great scope. As for imaging, it can be used but it has its limits. 

Look for the "no eq DSO  challenge " thread. Quite amazing what can be done.

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I would say the 6SE.

I lived in Perth when I bought mine and I found Aussie prices higher than UK. certainly the 6SE was more expensive than in the UK, so looking for second hand might be a better option.

Have you tried to contact any of the Victoria State groups? A visit to one of them might help and maybe someone has kit for sale.

This is a good website too: http://www.iceinspace.com.au/

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Hi Bianca

Another plus for the 6SE. Re retailers, Bintel and OzScopes already named but definitely check out Andrews Communications in Sydney, they are very good and well priced.

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6se is a great scope. It can also be used for astrophotography. It's mount is quite sturdy. I had one. The optics are also good and it is fast star conpatable. It is also easy to carry 

 

Varad 

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