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.


Recommended Posts

Good evening dear members.

Could you please help me choose a telescope: I would like to be able to see nebulae, galaxy, star clusters for example, and surely Jupiter, Saturn, :) 

To start first: I can spend 400-500£, I understand this is not much, but for now I am ready to get started. My wish is to photograph as well, but in a distant future, like 2-3 years from now, because when I look at my mother's pictures I understand -this is what I would like to do. Obviously the outcome will be different if I choose for viewing or for photography.

I was advised a Dobsonian will be good for viewing DSOs, and a refractor for photography. What about reflector telescopes? I have found one Bresser reflector telescope (Bresser Messier AR-152S/760), is it any good?

If I will find a decent telescope what upgrades will I need (lenses)?

Your help is very much appreciated.

PS: I live in Haslemere, Surrey, the sky is not as polluted as in London, where I used to live.




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

As you seem to have already discovered, there is plenty of advice available, both here and elsewhere. Really you need to decide if you want a general-purpose starter scope, so that you can check out what kind of things you want to observe, or a scope for some particular kind of observing (or photography), which is likely to affect your choice of scope and mounting.

I'd also point out that a lot of people buy an astronomical telescope and very soon give up the hobby. Somebody ought to find out why, but it may be that they discover that finding objects in the sky of sufficient interest is not as easy as they thought.  Locating a non-obvious object can entail a fair amount of work and a knowledge of the night sky.  Some people enjoy this sort of thing while others heartily wish for an electronic mount that would do the job for them.

The more expensive mountings, including those with 'goto' do generally make the job of observing easier and more pleasant. Bigger aperture is generally better, but in one's back yard, beyond a fairly modest size the gain in image brightness is more marked than any increase in image sharpness.

In your price range there is a vast choice of scopes of useful size and more or less usable mountings, including some with Goto. Reflector telescopes are perfectly adequate for various purposes and they are also the cheapest to make (and buy). Also look at catadioptric (Maksutov or SCT) telescopes, which give a long-focal length telescope suitable for general-purpose, planetary or double-star viewing in a compact package.

I'd suggest you go to a specialist astro dealer and see what these things look like in the metal.

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Lovelight and welcome to SGL :)

A dobsonian for observing is a great idea - it is a reflector (based on mirrors) and is ideal so long as you don't want to do photography for which a motorised equatorial mount would be needed. This is a good example which falls within your budget:


Refractors are based on glass objective lenses and are a lot more expensive - and catadioptrics are a combination of glass lenses and mirrors and you don't get much on a starter budget. A dob gives you the best bang for buck and the one above comes with a couple of eyepieces to get you going, and a reasonable finder scope.

For photography I'd suggest you first buy the book "Making Every Photon Count" - it's a bit of a dark art and the book will explain all you need to know before delving into astro imaging in a couple of years time. Hth :)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

A 250mm aperture Dobsonian reflector is a great telescope but it can be quite demanding on eyepieces. You wouldn't go wrong with the slightly smaller 200mm Dob https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-200p-dobsonian.html  at under 300 pounds. You'd still have great views of DSOs and planets, but with a wider range of less expensive eyepieces to chose from. In a couple of years you'll have more idea of where you want to go, if astrophotography you'll need a goto or at least a motorised mount perhaps with a smallish 80mm apochromatic or ED reflector, but if you stay fascinated with visual observing, a bigger Dob might be in order.

The 150mm Bresser you mention is a good achromatic refractor, but especially with a relatively short focal length, it will show some chromatic aberration or a colour fringe around bright objects. You can reduce this to an extent with filters or just live with it - it's an inherent aspect of the type of lens used in this telescope design. Apochromatic refractors which use a triplet rather than a doublet for the objective lens don't have CA, but they cost a lot more. A refractor will generally give slightly better, sharper views on planets and double stars - but frankly, unless you spend a fortune, it's not a major difference. Mirrors are cheaper to manufacture than glass lenses, so reflectors do usually represent much better value.

Your choice of telescope will help to determine which eyepieces are best. The telescope's focal length gives the magnification of any particular EP, so a 5mm EP in one telescope might give the same magnification as a 10mm in another. Other factors include field of view (larger 2" EPs can be spectacular for DSOs at low magnification) and finding a level of eye relief which is comfortable for you. Prices range from about 25-30 pounds for some very acceptable Plossls to well over 500 pounds for really premium quality - however, depending on your telescope, you certainly don't need to spend a fortune.

From time to time, reflector telescopes need to be collimated (fine tuning to get perfect alignment of the mirrors) so you will probably want to buy a special Cheshire eyepiee. More expensive laser collimators can be very good, but I would avoid cheaper versions.

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Bresser Messier R152S/760 cited is a f5 telescope intended for wide field viewing. As such, it appears to be a bigger version of my f5 Startravel - which is good for looking at starfields and nebulae but has noticeable chromatic aberration and distortion, and not great for general purpose use or for looking at planets.

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Meade ETX90 Observer,

Bresser Messier Exos MC-127/1900

Any of this good?

Would you recommend good websites also where I can find good telescopes for my beginning.


Thank you guys for all your advice, it makes a picture more clear.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe you should think about visiting a local astronomy club and ask the members about their telescopes and why they chose that particular one. Most clubs have open evenings for interested non members and organize star parties where you can have a look through them,
so you can find out what appeals to you before you start spending money on a scope that may not do what you would like.
Enevitably you will change scopes through the years with changing interest or get 'aperture fever', but is is nice to know what you like for your first scope after having at least some experience.

  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I decided to pursue Astrophotography, I began at a huge refractor. As I gained knowledge in the subject, and refined what my real interest was (Nebulae) I came to realize what I really wanted for was a telescopic lens for my camera. That led me to Apochromatic telescopes, and refining that led me to what I have.

It has never been said that you can have too good of a telescope. But it has been apparent that a lesser telescope won't evolve into a good photographic lens.

I only wanted to buy once, cry once. So I bit the bullet and got my Triple APO and decided to further impale myself by getting a Carbon Fiber tube. I'm happy that I can gather the imaging I had hoped to, AND do visual when I would like to, with the same telescope. I did not want to find myself with multiple units.

For the lack in Aperture my peashooter 80 mm telescope might have, I more than make up for it by guiding and long exposure photography through its better lens.

Another thing that influenced me was collimation of reflectors. I decided I would prefer to simplify my life with less variables that a Refractor offers.

YMMV (Your mileage may vary.)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Plenty stunning images being taken using a dslr and prime camera lens, you don't need a telescope to do astrophotography but you do need a tracking mount to get longer exposures if you see the no eq challenge thread it might open up choices you make.

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.

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.

  • Similar Content

    • By Ships and Stars
      Hi all,
      Last night was the best night of astronomy I've had in my short time delving into this passion. It was simply incredible. Fortunately my dear friends the midgies have departed Scotland for another season. This means I can now stand at the scope without ingesting a lungful of tiny biting insects and concentrate on what I am observing. Always a plus!
      Two nights ago I went to my local dark spot with my 200p SW reflector. It was wonderful. LP map shows Bortle 4, but I would actually say it was a 3 or possibly a 'bright 2' when the lights go down a bit in the wee hours.
      Last night, I took the 20" dob and parked up. I am finding it easier and easier to move this beast around, but it's still a little bit of work to set up at the end of the day (literally). It can't all be so easy!
      I'm fairly new to astronomy and my scopes haven't seen a huge amount of use. After several failed attempts to get the GOTO working, I finally sussed it last night. It was just a few simple things really - small errors on my part such as a misplaced washer which blocked the azimuth from using its full range of motion, combined with a limited view at home which prevented me from doing a successful align. A huge relief to get the GOTO up and running, but I now feel a bit like I'm cheating!
      I don't feel guilty enough to not use the GOTO however😁 Frankly, it's brilliant and was putting objects bang in the centre of the EP.
      I arrived about 6pm yesterday so plenty of time to set up. I left my counterweights at home and thus ended up strapping a small vinyl bag of tools and tyre jack to the underside of the mirror box with a tie-down. Worked really well actually! Can fine tune by removing a spanner or two.
      A few drops of rain blew through just before dusk but then rapidly cleared off, so all systems go.
      I tripped over the power cord after my first successful align. And then did it again a minute later after my second align! Will need to tidy that arrangement up or put some of my glow tape on the cable. Plenty of practice then doing an alignment, haha.
      M57 Ring Nebula for starters, I've been playing with my Baader 36mm aspheric quite a lot lately, I like the wide views. The Ring was fairly small through the 36mm but bright and crisply defined with an apparent faint blue tint. I then swapped to the 21mm Ethos and OIII which stayed in the focuser most of the night. 
      Next stop was NGC6960, Western Veil Nebula or 'Witch's Broom Nebula' which was mind-blowing. It appeared as a silvery apparition which threaded right across the sky and extended well past the FOV from the 21mm Ethos. Scanning along its wispy tentacles was amazing. There's something unnerving about viewing it, it gives me goose-pimples, just otherworldly. The Eastern Veil and Pickering's Triangle in the central area were also clearly prominent, albeit slightly less luminous than 6960. The Veil was also clearly visible without the OIII, but with much more 'background noise', i.e. stars competing for attention.
      Following this, I slewed over to the Cocoon Nebula, but only saw a very dark lane practically void of stars. That was interesting in itself as it was so apparent by virtue of its darkness.. I don't know if I bumped the scope alignment of if I was just too impatient to punch another object in to the handset, but didn't spend a huge amount of time chasing it. In hindsight, I think I slewed to the wrong end of the dark lane. I'll find it next go.
      I then lined up on the Crescent Nebula which was easily visible, lots of fine filamentary details observable after some time studying it. A beauty.
      Next was Dumbbell Nebula which practically looked 3D through the big dob, just jumped right out at me. Another simply amazing sight. I spent quite a long time staring at it and could easily see the entire shape and structure extending from the 'Apple Core'. I remarked last night it looked like it was hanging inches in front of the scope. That's sheer aperture working I suppose!
      At the end, I spent some time just slewing around and having a mesmerising look across the sky, just taking in the depth and variable magnitude of stars that a big scope can display. I was already running on three hours' sleep from the previous night and by this time, I was starting to crash but was on a natural high. I crashed into the bed happily.
      Can't wait for another clear night with the big dob. I was a bit worried a few weeks ago that I'd bought something I didn't have the time or skill to fully appreciate, but getting the GOTO up and running and being able to rapidly slew to various objects really put things into perspective. My 200p is a wonderful, portable scope, but in comparison, 20" of aperture is simply a completely different level. It is like the difference between a small grainy 640px video and high definition 4k with the brightness cranked right up.
      Tonight I shall stay in, sleep well and dream about how much discarded glass is needed to cast a 36" mirror blank and how many years it would take me to figure it...
      Clear skies all

      Hello everyone, happy Tuesday.
      First time stargazer here, I'm hoping I can get some awesome feedback from you guys. 
      my fiancé and I are planning on taking a trip to Great Basin National Park from October 25th-30th, we're trying to catch the new moon, we want to do some deep sky viewing but we're having such a hard time on knowing which kind of telescope to purchase. we do have a few must- haves on our purchase, but I wanted to see what you guys recommend and what your experiences have been.
      we need a telescope that is portable
      good for deep sky viewing
      reflector vs. refractor
      and almost, but not necessarily, easy to use (we have time to learn the ins and outs of it)
      I apologize if its a lot, but trying to understand the jargon, as of now, is giving me a hard time
      Cant wait for any responses!!
      p.s. anyone ever been to Great Basin? what should we expect on our trip? its our first time going and first time doing any serious camping!!!
    • By Gary Shaw
      Hi All I’m considering purchasing an 8”aperture, f3.8 newtonian ( primarily for EAA) from Orion UK and would appreciate any input or feedback from anyone familiar with the product, the company or the purchasing process - and how to assess the compatibility with my current cameras.
      This is would be a step up from my current equipment and entails selecting components that I’ve never used and know little about such as a rack and pinion focuser and components (ACU-3L), and coma corrector (Wynne Corrector). I’ve added links to these items below.  I’m also feeling unsure of how to mate up my Zwo 178 and 294 cameras to the 3” focuser and whether there will be an acceptable match between the scope optics and my sensors.
      I’m sure the folks at Orion UK will assist with all this but I’d sure welcome input from the Stargazer's Lounge community before starting the dialog with Orion UK.
      thank you in advance for any help you can provide!
      ACU-3L Focuser selection Info: https://www.orionopt...sers.html#ACU3L
      Wynne Corrector selection Info: https://www.orionopt...torsfittin.html
    • By JamesAstro2002
      Hi everyone,
      I'm trying to figure out the cause of these weird star shapes I'm getting with my 130pds. I had them before, but someone narrowed it down to being pinched optics. So I loosened the primary retention clips, which seemed to fix the problem. Now that I've been able to get back out for another night of imaging, they seem to be back again! I made sure that the primary retention clips are still loose - should they be touching the mirror or not? I've also made sure that the primary collimation locking screws aren't done up too tight as well. Collimation through my cheshire looks to be spot on to me. Here's my image of Andromeda with the odd stars in question:

    • By ruskclark
      The Wizard Nebula
      An emission nebula 7,200 light years away and my first proper project of the new imaging year. 
      Really happy with it as I’ve had a steep learning curve with new kit so really pleased to see this image come together. It’s also the first time I’ve imaged it. 
      72x180s subs collected over 2 nights 24/25th August in my Bortle 7 back garden, Whitley Bay, England
      Calibrated with darks, flats and dark flats in DSS and processed in SiriL and Photoshop. 
      Lacerta 72mm f/6 APO
      ZWO ASI1600MC Pro at -15C gain 200
      iOptron CEM25p
      ZWO 60mm guide scope
      ZWO ASI120MM-S guide camera
      Altair Astro 2” Tri Band OSC Filter
      Data collected in APT and guided with PHD2

  • Create New...

Important Information

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