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Gaazer

Hi please need help to choose a beginner scope for a christmas present!

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Hi guys

I am looking to purchase a beginners scope for my Dad’s Christmas present (I’ll be honest it’s also a present for me!) I have done a bit of research online and I thought I had the ideal one to get started.

The Celestron Astromaster 130EQ MD (£149 Amazon.co.uk)
Until I found this: Skywatcher Explorer-130M 130mm (£193 Amazon.co.uk)

I was hoping you guys could enlighten me and let me know what one to get out of these two?
Will I be able to view things like long distant moons and Saturn’s rings? Or even a ‘local’ Nebula?

Also when looking into the Celestron 130EQ MD I was recommended into purchasing the ‘Celestron 94307 AstroMaster Eye Piece and Accessory Kit’ (£58 Amazon.co.uk) to get a better view.

Will I be able to use this eye piece kit with the Skywatcher 130M?

As it is getting near Christmas now I will need to buy one very soon.

One last thing - Ive seen mixed opinions online about the quality of the mirrors in both scopes. Does the Celestron 130EQ MD have a better scope to the Skywatcher 130M??
Are they spherical or parabolic?

What one do you think best for my money??

 

Thanks in Advance!

Rhys

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Hi! the link that is supposed to link you to the skywatcher scope links you to the kit.. Can you link me the skywatcher telescope?

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1 minute ago, Cornelius Varley said:

The dobsonian mount is much easier to set up and use and the telescope is more portable.

I agree. It is easier to use which makes it even more fun and enjoyable to use. + it is cheaper..

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Hi Rhys and welcome to SGL :icon_biggrin:

Firstly, I wouldn't buy a telescope from Amazon, I would go to a specialist retailer as you will get much better care and service. 

If you are starting in astronomy then, from experience, I would suggest the scopes you list might not be the easiest to set up and the most robust in use.  I think you would be better to go for an alt-az mount such as a dobsonian as recommended by Peter :smile:  These are much more intuitive and the bases are much more robust (a wobbly view is a nightmare!).  To add to the recommendations, this one has a motor drive which keeps the object in the field of view for you as you observe, and it can be added to a photo tripod https://www.firstlightoptics.com/heritage/skywatcher-heritage-114p-virtuoso.html

On eyepieces, don't start with the set.  Try what comes with the scope first and then upgrade with one or two better quality ones later.  Use the money saved to buy Turn Left at Orion and a red torch :wink:

Helen

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4 minutes ago, Helen said:

 Use the money saved to buy Turn Left at Orion and a red torch :wink:

Helen

Thanks for the replies!

As I don't have any outside tables / walls will I still be able to use one of those table-top scopes?

Also as I am very new Im not sure what you mean by that?

I have to go out now so I will be able to reply to you later this evening,.

Thanks once more!

 

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1 minute ago, Gaazer said:

Thanks for the replies!

As I don't have any outside tables / walls will I still be able to use one of those table-top scopes?

Also as I am very new Im not sure what you mean by that?

I have to go out now so I will be able to reply to you later this evening,.

Thanks once more!

 

Sorry, Turn Left at Orion is a great starter book :smile:  https://www.firstlightoptics.com/books/turn-left-at-orion-book.html and if you buy a torch with a red filter you will be able to read the book without destroying your night vision :wink:

On the table top scope, I've seen people use stools or upturned buckets as a base :smile:  

Catch you later...

Helen

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10 minutes ago, Helen said:

Sorry, Turn Left at Orion is a great starter book :smile:  https://www.firstlightoptics.com/books/turn-left-at-orion-book.html and if you buy a torch with a red filter you will be able to read the book without destroying your night vision :wink:

On the table top scope, I've seen people use stools or upturned buckets as a base :smile:

Catch you later...

Helen

Ah great thanks :) I will look into those for sure!

IF I was to buy one of the two I suggested, would it be a hard learning curve? As I would like to be able to stand and view rather than sitting on the floor.

If you definitely think Amazon is a bad place to buy our first scope, do you have any specialised sites that would be newbie-friendly?
Or should I find a local store and see for myself?

Thank you for all your replies and patience.
I can't wait to gaze at the stars, I just wish I new what I was doing!

Edited by Gaazer

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27 minutes ago, Cornelius Varley said:

The 130/650 telescopes used a parabolic mirror and the 130/900 a spherical. At this size there isn't much difference in optical performance.

Thanks for the info! If you were a newbie again and had a choice between the two scopes, what would you choose any why?

Sorry to be a pain but I have no idea and would love some expert opinions. But taking in account that this would be my first scope at a novice level.

Kind regards

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Just now, Gaazer said:

Ah great thanks :) I will look into those for sure!

IF I was to buy one of the two I suggested, would it be a hard learning curve?

If you definitely think Amazon is a bad place to buy our first scope, do you have any specialised sites that would be newbie-friendly?
Or should I find a local store and see for myself?

Thank you for all your replies and patience.
I can't wait to gaze at the stars, I just wish I new what I was doing!

I'd recommend First Light Optics https://www.firstlightoptics.com/ (our sponsor) - their customer service is second to none and they have a 30 day easy return policy so if you can't get on with the scope you can return it.  

Personally, I started with an equatorial mount and it nearly put me off star gazing!  I found trying to find anything very frustrating (the mount doesn't move up and down, right and left, but rather in arcs and I found this unintuitive).  So I would certainly say an alt-az mount is easier to start with.  

Keep the questions coming - we all started where you are!

Helen 

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6 minutes ago, Helen said:

I'd recommend First Light Optics https://www.firstlightoptics.com/ (our sponsor) - their customer service is second to none and they have a 30 day easy return policy so if you can't get on with the scope you can return it.

Personally, I started with an equatorial mount and it nearly put me off star gazing!  I found trying to find anything very frustrating (the mount doesn't move up and down, right and left, but rather in arcs and I found this unintuitive).  So I would certainly say an alt-az mount is easier to start with.

Keep the questions coming - we all started where you are!

Helen

Hi Helen

There are so many choices I am lost!
On one hand the tri-pod mounted ones looks amazing and can be used outside. But you suggest not to get one. (I respect your advice).

On the other hand the table top ones are smaller and 360 viewing but I would only be able to use it inside unless I buy a table too.

As Peter suggested above This looks nice but I am still not sure about a table top scope. - opinions?

What do you think of this? It says that it has a motor to track moving stars and planets? - opinions? - Is the motor worth getting compared to this?

 

Thank you!

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I have used both the Celestron 130 and the Skywatcher 130, of the two I thought the Skywatcher was the better all round telescope (less than £193 at FLO). Better still though would be the 6" Dobsonian.   :icon_biggrin: 

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4 minutes ago, Peter Drew said:

 Better still though would be the 6" Dobsonian.   :icon_biggrin:

Thanks!

Was this the one you suggested earlier? - here

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3 minutes ago, Peter Drew said:

I have used both the Celestron 130 and the Skywatcher 130, of the two I thought the Skywatcher was the better all round telescope (less than £193 at FLO). Better still though would be the 6" Dobsonian.   :icon_biggrin: 

 

The 6" Dob is here https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-150p-dobsonian.html  - It has nothing for scale though, so don't be fooled into thinking it is the same as the table top models!  The scope is 4 foot long and so the eyepiece would be head height.  If you can store it easily, this is a really great starter scope (Peter Drew above runs the Astronomy Centre so is used to dealing with lots of beginners :smile: )

Helen

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1 hour ago, Gaazer said:

What one do you think best for my money??

Hi Rhys and welcome to SGL.

Sorry to go right back to the beginning, but possibly the most helpful thing would be to know if you have a budget you are working to?  You want what's best for your money, but to know what you are expecting or wanting to spend could make quite a difference.

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Plus one for an alt-az mount. I chose my first scope which is a SW 130P on an alt-az goto after an event in bury st edmunds where they had people from celestron and skywatcher talking about telescopes and which are the best to start of with, after he explained the difference between an eq and an alt az i for sure went for the alt-az. It's kept me hooked to stargazing and the scope is incredibly easy to use. The goto part means you can go through a list of objects and select one you want to view and the scope will go straight there.

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46 minutes ago, Gaazer said:

Was this the one you suggested earlier? - here

no, it was this one:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Skywatcher-Dobson-Teleskop-Skyliner-Classic/dp/B002HMLDRI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479214028&sr=8-1&keywords=skywatcher+skyliner+150p+dobsonian

Ups! didn't see that someone already replied..

Edited by Victor Boesen

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I would personally go for a good skywatcher dobsonian. :hello2:welcome to SGL. Dobsonian are good and easy to use and are also cheaper. 

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2 hours ago, RayD said:

Hi Rhys and welcome to SGL.

Sorry to go right back to the beginning, but possibly the most helpful thing would be to know if you have a budget you are working to?  You want what's best for your money, but to know what you are expecting or wanting to spend could make quite a difference.

Hi

My budget is £200-£220 maximum :)

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2 hours ago, Yamez said:

Plus one for an alt-az mount. I chose my first scope which is a SW 130P on an alt-az goto after an event in bury st edmunds where they had people from celestron and skywatcher talking about telescopes and which are the best to start of with, after he explained the difference between an eq and an alt az i for sure went for the alt-az. It's kept me hooked to stargazing and the scope is incredibly easy to use. The goto part means you can go through a list of objects and select one you want to view and the scope will go straight there.

I have heard of the 'GoTo' scopes but I think they are out of my price range.
If they aren't out of my price range can you recommend any?

My budget is £200-£220 max.

 

Thanks

Edited by Gaazer

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