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Hi. I'm new to astronomy and want to buy my first telescope. I have narrowed it down to skywatcher 130/650 eq2, celestron 127EQ and skywatcher hertitage 130p flextube. I live in the city so I have to take into account the light pollution not to mention the INSANE shipping costs to my country so my budget is around 200 pounds. I know all three are very good scopes but I want to mention the CONS due to which I have selected one yet.

skywatcher 130/650 eq2:

The eq2 mount will be a hassle to understand and carry to the roof

most expensive of the three (almost out of my budget)

celestron 127EQ:

The people I've asked all have the same opinion that skywatcher is much much better than celestron (even though both are owned by the same company) so I sort of don't want to buy it. But since the price of it is so good I want to believe that it's good. 

skywatcher hertitage 130p flextube:

I was pretty much stuck on buying this until someone popped my bubble by saying:

" not terrific .... the focuser is helical, doesn't support very heavy weight
you need to DIY build a black cover or shroud to cover the extended exposed area , otherwise the contrast would be poor unless at a very dark site
the base for the red-dot is fixed or not dovetail base ..... not compatible with other finderscopes example right-angle-correct-image 30 and 50mm

and you need a sturdy surface to put it , like a table "

so what's the point of having it if the scope has bad contrast.

Which one should I pick?

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Hello and welcome to SGL. The SW 130/650 is a better telescope compared to the Celestron 127eq (better optical design). The 130/650 and the Heritage 130 share the same mirror set so optically should give identical views. The Heritage 130 can be improved by making a lightweight shroud that fits around the open truss (search the site for examples) and some PTFE wrapped around the thread of the helical focuser. The Heritage 130 will be easier to carry up to the roof than the EQ2 mounted 130/650 (the Heritage 130 is supplied in a carrying box so should only require one trip to the roof) and easier to operate.

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Hi 'farheen' and welcome to SGL. :hello2:

I am not an expert on 'scopes so bear with me...

skywatcher 130/650 eq2: With an EQ mount you will have to polar align every time you setup unless you plan to leave the tripod/mount permanent on the roof 24/7. Close or near to Polaris as possible is good for visual, but not for serious stuff like astrophotography, even with a webcam. I found the smaller EQ mounts not very intuitive and had a dislike for owning one until I aquirred my Vixen GP mount.

celestron 127EQ: As per my comment above.

skywatcher hertitage 130p flextube: I think I would be inclined to go for this as 'my' first 'scope. My TeleVue Ranger has a helical focuser and I find it is ok! It will be easier to transport to/from your roof space and other observing locations too, as it will be 'lightweight' in comparison to the other 'scopes. The only downside is that you may have to place it on a sturdy upturned bucket to give more height, even if sitting down at the eyepiece.

Another alternative if you can manage to stretch your budget is a 6inch/150mm 'dobsonian' reflector. May be made in one assembly plant/factory but under different brand names.

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Starting out, I'd recommend you go with a Skywatcher Skyliner 150P Dobsonian or similar.  You don't have to worry about polar alignment, it won't be wiggly when you touch the focuser or move it about the sky, the alt-az motion is very natural for beginners, and it has a 2" focuser to enable viewing wider fields at lower powers when you upgrade your eyepieces.  If you check your local classifieds, you might even find one (or a 200mm model) used for fairly cheap.

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Welcome to the forums!

Of the three on your short-list, I too woud probably go with the Heritage 130 - for it's size and price it is a very capable scope!

I note that there is a guy named Zain Bhai who is importing Skywatcher telescopes into Pakistan who apparently has reasonable prices. He is recommended via one of the founders of the Karachi Astronomers Society  http://www.abubakershekhani.com/blogs/astronomy/buy-an-affordable-telescope-from-pakistan-a-dream-came-true

And http://kaasts.com/Kaas/

And https://www.facebook.com/SahalTelescopes/

He may be able to get you a Skywatcher 6 inch reflector on a Dobsonian mount for about 30,000 PKR. This is the same as Louis recommends above, and is a very good telescope indeed.

I don't personally have any experience of the links I'm posting - so check them out with care, but they may be useful.

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