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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.

 

Lovelight.

 

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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.

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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:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-250px-dobsonian.html

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 :)

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

Lovelight

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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