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_banner_terminator_challenge.thumb.jpg.b7f10f594317507d0f40662231b0d9a8.jpg

Danny83uk

What was your first ever scope and when did you decide to upgrade? And what too?

Recommended Posts

2 minutes ago, estwing said:

spending other peoples money is a great pastime on here!!

That, ive noticed.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first scope was a 200p and I upgraded  to a 60mm frac :).

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Scott said:

My first scope was a 200p and I upgraded  to a 60mm frac :).

How'd you find the 200p? Yes i am trying to persuade myself i should just buy it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Danny83uk said:

How'd you find the 200p? Yes i am trying to persuade myself i should just buy it.

Danny, it's a great scope in my opinion. As far as goto is concerned, I pretty much only do imaging now (hence the small frac) so I would not be without goto. But even for visual, if thats the way you want to go then do it. its about doing what pleases you, no-one else. just remember though, as aperture fever hits, large newts with goto can get pretty expensive :). Fear not though, there will always be plenty of us to help you spend your hard earned :D

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dad's 10x50 bins (age 8) ----->4.5" Newtonian on a shaky EQM (bought in early teens) ---->8" Newtonian on a small silky smooth Alt-Az (while at university with part time job money) -----> Celestron C11 fork mounted (age 23 with money from first job post Uni) -----> TMB (LZOS) 115/805 triplet (age 24 with more money from that same job) ----->APM TMB (LZOS again) 105/650 triplet (age 32) -----> APM LZOS 180/1260 triplet (age 34) -----> Takahashi FS-60 and FC-76 (same time age 35) ----> Takahashi FS-60Q quadruplet f/10 apo (age 36).  Then I realised I might have developed a bit of a buying problem and stopped :icon_biggrin:

 

so so in reality you just a sense of when you want to be able to do a bit more, go a bit deeper, use a slightly higher magnification etc. But sometimes a second scope does not mean bigger. You might want to consider keeping your first for quick looks when the big one (assuming you go that way) is just too much scope to carry outside / take to a dark site.

Edited by DirkSteele
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Scott said:

Danny, it's a great scope in my opinion. As far as goto is concerned, I pretty much only do imaging now (hence the small frac) so I would not be without goto. But even for visual, if thats the way you want to go then do it. its about doing what pleases you, no-one else. just remember though, as aperture fever hits, large newts with goto can get pretty expensive :). Fear not though, there will always be plenty of us to help you spend your hard earned :D

I do lean towards imaging currently. But thats because im having troubles knowing what to look for and then finding them (Hence the GoTo) But with a 4 year old who will ask me if she can see the moon tonight because shes seen it on the way home.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, DirkSteele said:

Dad's 10x50 bins (age 8) ----->4.5" Newtonian on a shaky EQM (bought in early teens) ---->8" Newtonian on a small silky smooth Alt-Az (while at university with part time job money) -----> Celestron C11 fork mounted (age 23 with money from first job post Uni) -----> TMB (LZOS) 115/805 triplet (age 24 with more money from that same job) ----->APM TMB (LZOS again) 105/650 triplet (age 32) -----> APM LZOS 180/1260 triplet (age 34) -----> Takahashi FS-60 and FC-76 (same time age 35) ----> Takahashi FS-60Q quadruplet f/10 apo (age 36).  Then I realised I might have developed a bit of a buying problem and stopped :icon_biggrin:

 

so so in reality you just a sense of when you want to be able to do a bit more, go a bit deeper, use a slightly higher magnification etc. But sometimes a second scope does not mean bigger. You might want to consider keeping your first for quick looks when the big one (assuming you go that way) is just too much scope to carry outside / take to a dark site.

Oh i wouldnt get rid of my 1st scope. Its my first after all. Plus with a budding astronomer in my daugther we can share it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first scope was a cheap Jessops reflector that was a Christmas gift from my parents when I was about 30. Everything about it was terrible from the plastic eyepieces to the rickety EQ mount. I probably used it less than 10 times and can only remember viewing the Moon, Jupiter and a faint glow from M42. I wouldn't say it put me off the hobby but the price of a good scope did. About 5 years later I had enough money to buy a used skywatcher 150p with a EQ5 which I consider to be my first proper scope. I soon became a bit obsessed with imaging and have since upgraded the mount to an HEQ5 and replaced the OTA with a new 150pds just because I needed a 2" focuser that would accept a coma corrector.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started with this .... An Astrosystems 8.5" Newtonian

astro systems 8.jpg

And my next scope was this ..... a C9.25

c9.25.jpeg

 

 

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's my telescope experience and totally fantastical future hope as an infogram..  :D The transition from 8" to 16" occurred over four years.

cool.jpg

 

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Started with a SW 250px, and after 5 yrs, took the plunge on a 15" truss.

post-34579-0-82641200-1431896014.jpg

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Started early this year with my first:

tmp_6773-DSC_0198-756779906.JPG

Within a couple of months, this came up for sale and no one else would buy it:

tmp_21454-DSC_0237-759827226.JPG

They both perform feats I would not expect to be possible given their sizes, so I have gathered the best eyepieces I could find for them and enjoy every opportunity.

I have no interest in taking pictures of the heavens; I'd rather fix images in my mind. To me, a motor on a mount is something that requires power, makes noise and may break. I will gladly use a computer to find where stuff is, but not to point the scope or even tell me where to point the scope - this is supposed to be fun (remember?). And ingenious as an equatorial mount is, it's too heavy and too much faff to move around as I find myself doing. And as much as I admire (desire) all those beautiful dobsonians, I can't see myself doing all the hauling, cooling and collimating with a smile on my face.

Flexibility and fast setup. Be observing within minutes. And back in bed within minutes. Fun.

:happy11:

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 19 May 2016 at 23:52, DRT said:

@estwingThe most astonishing thing about this is that you were so young when you left school...

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 00.49.16.png

:eek:

 

He's not young there Derek, it's actually a 40" dob! Calvin down-sized to the 18" because it was too much hassle climbing up to the eyepiece 😉

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Upgrading for me consisted of two processes. The first was a progressive upgrade over the years in optical quality. Once id reached what i felt was the pinnacle of optical performance for my kind of observing, i then upgraded by choosing a scope that still retained that high level of performance  with one that would be the easiest to use, and so used more often. If I'm honest, this was done more as a natural progression rather than a preconceived  idea. It was only after I'd gone from A to B that I then knew I'd rather be at C. The only thing that didn't change along my path was the desire for the best optics I could afford rather than the largest optics I could afford, and there were many ups and downs along the way.

Mike

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, mikeDnight said:

Upgrading for me consisted of two processes. The first was a progressive upgrade over the years in optical quality. Once id reached what i felt was the pinnacle of optical performance for my kind of observing, i then upgraded by choosing a scope that still retained that high level of performance  with one that would be the easiest to use, and so used more often. If I'm honest, this was done more as a natural progression rather than a preconceived  idea. It was only after I'd gone from A to B that I then knew I'd rather be at C. The only thing that didn't change along my path was the desire for the best optics I could afford rather than the largest optics I could afford, and there were many ups and downs along the way.

Mike

Similiar to where im at currently. Ive upgraded my Ep's over a few years and now looking for BIGGER!!! And after seeing some of the delights others have, i now have scope envy.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first serious scope was a 4.5" Tasco Refelector back in the day when Tasco made some decent hardware (I am talking early 70s here - stranegely I found an actual pic of it a few weeks back while having a clear out but have misplaced it again - it may have been 5" and not 4.5" - anyway I digress).  It was a sweet thing with its .965 eyepieces and worked well and at the time was something of a treat.  Bought for me by a would be boyfriend.  It lasted sometime but eventually I was blessed(?) with kids and it got stored and then damaged and then wrecked.

When I came back to the hobby after half a lifetime I bought a skywatcher 130 which was a very sweet little scope but it was bought only a kind of tester to see if I would stick with the hobby.  Once I knew I would I splashed out and bought a Skywatcher 200 on an HEQ5 mount. Then I went into spend spend spend on more scopes (TAL 100, Skymax 180) and eyepieces (Pentax XWs via most every other EP manufactured) and then I reached where I have been for two/three years - lost interest in the hobby and moved on to other stuff.

I still tinker about but I think its fair to say the thrill has gone - a succession of bad weather and bad health have killed it for me.  Who knows - I may yet take it back up again but I am so busy with other stuff astro doesnt really get much of a look in anymore.  Last thing I did was to build a new field power supply at the start of this year but so far its never been further than the front door.

I did howevere reach a balance where I felt I had everything I could reasonably own

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2011

My 1st scope/setup.

Skywatcher Startravel 102 on a Manfrotto 055 pro tripod.

2016

my latest scope/setup

Moonraker Dark Matter ED80

NEQ6 pier mounted, complete with a Rolloff Mini-Shed  (photo taken prior to the outer cladding being applied)

st102-monfrotto.jpeg

from this.

 

20160514_164531.jpg

To this.

moonraker-minished.jpg

20160605_180445.jpg

20160604_180254.jpg

Edited by arioch1st
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My 1st ever scope (2008) was a Celestron 90mm refrac on an EQ mount. I thought it would be the scope for me.

Wrong.

The tripod and mount and counter weights just weighed so much and were difficult for me in a wheelchair to carry/move.

I think i used it 4-5 times before i ditched it and i bought my 20x90 Strathpey bins and an 8115 tripod.

Then i bought my Heritage 130p dob.

Then i bought my 70mm Travel scope.

Then i bought my 8Se

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first, and only, telescope is a Meade LXD55 Schmidt Newtonian 6" reflector.  I bought it when I lived in a high rise in Seattle and would watch the moon set across the sound, watching craters disappear and reappear from behind trees.  I moved to NYC for 6 years and while living there I left the telescope at my parents' house in suburban Maryland, where I would occasionally set it up when I visited and do a little observing and astrophotography.  When I moved to Georgia I took the telescope from my parents and have been using it bit more now that I have a house and am not living in an apartment in the city that never sleeps.  

It's a great telescope, that's given me 13 years of on and off service.  I expect to get at least another 12 years out of it.  It's great for observing with an eyepiece and for prime focus astrophotography.  To date, I've never used the motorized mount, but just picked up some batteries as I plan to use it while hosting a star party for the neighborhood kids.  It'll be a lot easier to talk and teach if the scope can keep the object being observed mostly centered itself, rather than me having to adjust the scope every few minutes.

Initially I just had a 26mm eyepiece, but later added a 7mm for more power.  Then I added a 2x Barlow T-mount for doing photography.  This year I added a solar filter for the transit of Mercury.  I just picked up a cheap ($18) 5x Barlow T-mount adapter and will see if that does anything for photographing the planets, as they occupy a very small amount of my cameras' sensors at 2x.  Though I am worried the optics aren't going to be very good, but for less than 20 bucks I couldn't pass up the chance to try it.

13 years, 5 different states, this telescope has really performed well for me.  I will never get rid of it, though I do plan to upgrade to something larger.  When we buy a house I would like to build a permanent observatory in our backyard where a larger telescope will be permanently installed.  This telescope will find use in that observatory as well, but its size is great for mobility as well.

20160508_192234.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started with a 130 newt on an eq mount.  It made me consider stamp collecting instead.  ;-)

I exchanged it for a humble 70/700 frac, which finally got me going in this great pastime.

Doug.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started in 2012 with a SW 130/900 on EQ2 just like you.    Will never forget my first views of Jupiter, Saturn, M31 and M42 through it.

I bought a second hand C11 SCT with GOTO last year.   I am glad I went through the manual stage but have not regretted the switch to GOTO at all.... yes it takes a little while to line up each time but takes the frustration out of the hobby for me.   I take my hats off to the patient and knowledgeable astronomers who find things manually.

I go through stages of regretting not getting a C9.25 for easier portability and being delighted with my C11 for the extra light grasp.   Last week I had an incredible night looking at nebulae including half an hour peering at the detail of the dumbbell nebula - definitely a night where I enjoyed the light grasp.

Would love to try a decent frac and may well get one eventually.    Would love to try a dob just to see how much sharper they are than my SCT.   Would love a better mount because the C11 on a CG-5 is a bit of a stretch when it is windy (but still rock solid in comparison to an EQ2!).   But for the time being I am enjoying what I have and will try to get the most out of it before moving on.

If you do a significant upgrade I doubt you will regret it whichever kit you choose :)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, arioch1st said:

NEQ6 pier mounted, complete with a Rolloff Mini-Shed  (photo taken prior to the outer cladding being applied)

 

Fabulous mini-shed !

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Fermenter said:

My first, and only, telescope is a Meade LXD55 Schmidt Newtonian 6" reflector.  I bought it when I lived in a high rise in Seattle and would watch the moon set across the sound, watching craters disappear and reappear from behind trees.  I moved to NYC for 6 years and while living there I left the telescope at my parents' house in suburban Maryland, where I would occasionally set it up when I visited and do a little observing and astrophotography.  When I moved to Georgia I took the telescope from my parents and have been using it bit more now that I have a house and am not living in an apartment in the city that never sleeps.  

It's a great telescope, that's given me 13 years of on and off service.  I expect to get at least another 12 years out of it.  It's great for observing with an eyepiece and for prime focus astrophotography.  To date, I've never used the motorized mount, but just picked up some batteries as I plan to use it while hosting a star party for the neighborhood kids.  It'll be a lot easier to talk and teach if the scope can keep the object being observed mostly centered itself, rather than me having to adjust the scope every few minutes.

Initially I just had a 26mm eyepiece, but later added a 7mm for more power.  Then I added a 2x Barlow T-mount for doing photography.  This year I added a solar filter for the transit of Mercury.  I just picked up a cheap ($18) 5x Barlow T-mount adapter and will see if that does anything for photographing the planets, as they occupy a very small amount of my cameras' sensors at 2x.  Though I am worried the optics aren't going to be very good, but for less than 20 bucks I couldn't pass up the chance to try it.

13 years, 5 different states, this telescope has really performed well for me.  I will never get rid of it, though I do plan to upgrade to something larger.  When we buy a house I would like to build a permanent observatory in our backyard where a larger telescope will be permanently installed.  This telescope will find use in that observatory as well, but its size is great for mobility as well.

20160508_192234.jpg

You'll be upgrading sooner than you think if you leave your tripod that close to the edge of your decking!:shocked::shocked::shocked:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first astro scope was a 130mm f7 (I think) Newtonian on an eq mount. I quickly realised (in my naivety) that as a keen nature photographer the f5 would be a better option and the seller kindly agreed to take it back!

After doing some more reading I realised that imaging was a bad idea to start with and have never really looked back. I bought a 120mm f8.3 Celestron OMNI XLT refractor on a CG4 mount and this was a super instrument and provided excellent views. However, I then bought a 150mm f5 newt from the same series and was smitten by the much sharper views of planets and moon and then went on to buy a 12" dob and never really looked back for a long time selling the frac and mount.

Recent interest in solar has made me come back to the refractor but only ED versions as I find I really don't get on with chromatic aberration. My preferred scope is still a dobsonian other than for solar where I use only fracs these days. That said, I really enjoy the 120ED at night too, depends what mood I am in and what I plan to look at.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few of the newer members seem to have started on 130m reflectors and I am no different. A Celestron Astromaster 130EQ. This had great views, but rather awkward, so went for the Skywatcher 250px dob. Insta-happiness.

Imaging was the big hop though. ED80 + HEQ5. Now have an AzEQ6 and a TS60ED mini scope.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×

Important Information

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