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Hi,

I have always had an interest in astronomy/stargazing. Looking up into a clear night sky wondering what it would be like to be out there is always a summers night pass time favorite of mine. Although, having a high interest in this area as a child I became otherwise engaged in other activities like playing console games, and then more recently raising my own young children. However, my interest in astronomy and stargazing has since returned and I have recently wanted to begin looking into the night sky with a telescope. I am a complete novice when it comes to this and just wondered what would be a good beginners scope. I have recently been interested in buying the Celestron Astromaster 130EQ. I have read numerous reviews about this scope and everyone says that its really good scope for beginners. I have looked at images that people have taken through this scope using additional filters and lenses and I am more than impressed with what can be achieved.

I am completely new to telescopes and wouldn't really know where to start. I had a low-grade telescope as a child, branded National Geographic which was great for looking at the moon with, it came with 2 lenses. I still have it but would prefer a 'more advanced', 'more profesional' scope.

Any help/tips would be great. I have a maximum budget for this of £250GBP  but could stretch to £300GBP 

Thanks all.

 

Edited by watevacoward

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my favourite sky objects are open star clusters and globular clusters. In which case, I wouldn't settle for anything less than an 8-inch Newt.

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22 minutes ago, Merlin said:

my favourite sky objects are open star clusters and globular clusters. In which case, I wouldn't settle for anything less than an 8-inch Newt.

I think this would be a little out of my price range....

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a skywatcher 150p dob if you happy with doing mainly vis but you can still image with it " moon, planets, brighter dso" or a skywatcher 150p on a eq5 mount if you want to beable to take longer exspsures, you would also need a tracking motor on the RA . clear skys, charl.

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51 minutes ago, watevacoward said:

Hi,

I have always had an interest in astronomy/stargazing. Looking up into a clear night sky wondering what it would be like to be out there is always a summers night pass time favorite of mine. Although, having a high interest in this area as a child I became otherwise engaged in other activities like playing console games, and then more recently raising my own young children. However, my interest in astronomy and stargazing has since returned and I have recently wanted to begin looking into the night sky with a telescope. I am a complete novice when it comes to this and just wondered what would be a good beginners scope. I have recently been interested in buying the Celestron Astromaster 130EQ. I have read numerous reviews about this scope and everyone says that its really good scope for beginners. I have looked at images that people have taken through this scope using additional filters and lenses and I am more than impressed with what can be achieved.

I am completely new to telescopes and wouldn't really know where to start. I had a low-grade telescope as a child, branded National Geographic which was great for looking at the moon with, it came with 2 lenses. I still have it but would prefer a 'more advanced', 'more profesional' scope.

Any help/tips would be great. I have a maximum budget for this of £250GBP  but could stretch to £300GBP 

Thanks all.

 

Newer 130/650 astromasters don't have parabolic mirrors anymore AFAIK. If you can get an older one, that would be better. On /r/telescopes they even suggest removing it from the sticky for beginners, as the build quality went downhill. You are much better off with a 130p dobson, like AWB Heritage, or Skywatcher Heritage, or go up a notch and buy somthing with an aperture of 150mm. Dobson mount is much more stable in this price range, than lousy EQ mounts are. Yeah, it does not look as cool as an EQ mount with all those turnknobs, bits and pieces, but it is much more functional.

Also, if the pockets are not too deep, check out used telescopes here
don't hurry, sometimes there are really really nice scopes on astro classifieds for nice prices and imho you are much better off with a used decent scope than with a brand new grocery-store-quality scope.

Edited by kilix
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19 minutes ago, kilix said:

Newer 130/650 astromasters don't have parabolic mirrors anymore AFAIK. If you can get an older one, that would be better. On /r/telescopes they even suggest removing it from the sticky for beginners, as the build quality went downhill. You are much better off with a 130p dobson, like AWB Heritage, or Skywatcher Heritage, or go up a notch and buy somthing with an aperture of 150mm. Dobson mount is much more stable in this price range, than lousy EQ mounts are. Yeah, it does not look as cool as an EQ mount with all those turnknobs, bits and pieces, but it is much more functional.

 

So what your saying is, that a band new Celestron Astromaster 130EQ isn't as good as it either seems or used to be?
Honestly, Celestron is the only brand I am aware of, however whilst looking over multiple forums, websites, reviews the brand 'Skywatcher' keep cropping up. Are they better than Celestron overall? or does it depend on the buyers intentions for the scope/mount etc.

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I cut my astronomical teeth on the Astromaster 130EQ and though it got me going, for which I am very pleased, looking back it was a frustrating time and found more negatives than positives, so would advise against it. If you particularly wanted a scope like that then I would go for the Skywatcher version which looks similar but is a better package. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/skywatcher-explorer-130p.html

However, Kilix's  comments about the Heritage 130P are bang on. It is so easy to use by comparison, has the same focal length and aperture, has a parabolic mirror and a usable finder. It is so easy to deploy and packs away into almost nothing compared to an 130EQ setup. Yes you do need some kind of  wall, garden table or other firm support to bring it up to the necessary height, but I think one contributor here sits on a small seat and has it mounted on an upturned bucket. If low tech' works use it! Optically the 130 Heritage can certainly provide surprisingly good views. Neil English on his own web site waxes lyrical about the abilities of the "little" Heritage 130, its worth looking up.

All that said, if you can muster the extra money for the bigger 150P it will be money well spent. You will get an F8 scope which will be easier on eyepieces, will be much easier to collimate and it has a 2" focuser which will give you a better choice of eyepieces  when you inevitably get round to buy a few more. It would I think be an all round more satisfying scope to own.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-150p-dobsonian.html

Edited by Alfian
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Hello and welcome to SGL

For visual purposes then your best scope to go for is the skywatcher 200p. This is reflector scope on a Dobson mount. These scopes are tried and tested on this forum by many members and get great reviews. This scope will have enough aperture for DSO and also perform great on planetary and lunar. The 200p skywatcher will be a great scope for the beginner and take you into the intermediate stages of the hobby. And will be within your budget especially if you buy second hand. These scopes do come up in the sales section on this SGL site and can be a great bargain for the novice. Great bang for buck telescope 

I hope you like the above and it helps☺     

   

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They are very similar and some of the scope sold by both share everything except the brand name.  In my opinion the question you have asked cannot be answered with the info you have given.

Many here are into photography using a telescope and therefore have a totally different need to those who just observe the sky.

I do think you need to decide if photography may be something you want to have a go at and also the budget you have. Dont worry its not like we are going to empty your wallet for you it just helps other give you better advice.

It may also be helpful to know if you are going to travel to a site to use the scope or if your using it in your back garden.

 

Cheers and welcome.

 

Spill.

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8" dob...its the U.K.'s best selling starter scope...and for a reason, the views you get are fantastic and can bet set up in 10min tops....welcome along from up the road...where abouts are you?

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1 minute ago, Timebandit said:

 

 

Hello and welcome to SGL

For visual purposes then your best scope to go for is the skywatcher 200p. This is reflector scope on a Dobson mount. These scopes are tried and tested on this forum by many members and get great reviews. This scope will have enough aperture for DSO and also perform great on planetary and lunar. The 200p skywatcher will be a great scope for the beginner and take you into the intermediate stages of the hobby. And will be within your budget especially if you buy second hand. These scopes do come up in the sales section on this SGL site and can be a great bargain for the novice. Great bang for buck telescope 

I hope you like the above and it helps☺     

   

read this...then read it again!...good advise.

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37 minutes ago, watevacoward said:

So what your saying is, that a band new Celestron Astromaster 130EQ isn't as good as it either seems or used to be?
Honestly, Celestron is the only brand I am aware of, however whilst looking over multiple forums, websites, reviews the brand 'Skywatcher' keep cropping up. Are they better than Celestron overall? or does it depend on the buyers intentions for the scope/mount etc.

The company that owns and makes Skywatcher scopes has for the past few year also owned the Celestron brand. Dissapointing that the Astromaster does not now have a parabolic mirror, if that is the case.

I would check out the scopes on the First Light Optics website - they don't tend to sell poor quality stuff:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/beginner-telescopes.html

A 6" dobsonian telescope would give you good performance with some future potential and is within budget. An 8" would be even better !

Welcome to the forum by the way :icon_biggrin:

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by John

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Hello and a warm welcome to the SGL. I too would recommend the Skywatcher 8 inch Dobsonian. A great way to start out.

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Hi. Do consider where you will store any telescope and where your observing location is. If there are stairs between the two it won't take much to put you off bothering to observe in our fical weather. The best telescope for you will be the one you'll get outside to use.

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1 hour ago, watevacoward said:

So what your saying is, that a band new Celestron Astromaster 130EQ isn't as good as it either seems or used to be?
Honestly, Celestron is the only brand I am aware of, however whilst looking over multiple forums, websites, reviews the brand 'Skywatcher' keep cropping up. Are they better than Celestron overall? or does it depend on the buyers intentions for the scope/mount etc.

exactly. If you cannot get an older model, of which you are certain that it was made during it's parabolic era, then don't buy celestron astromaster. Even then, don't buy it. There are better scopes for that price.

Skywatcher, Orion and Celestron scopes are nowadays made by a chinese company named Synta and they are all the same essentially.

Amateur astronomers everywhere would advice you to buy the biggest behemoth that you can afford, but bear in mind @happy-kat's advice. Take transport into account. 10" dobson sure is nice and all, but if you cannot be arsed to haul it outside and it gets used twice in a year, then that was not the best buy.
Where is your observational site? Do you have a garden with no streetlamps blasting it with light? Or do you need to transport the scope with a car or do you plan to transport it in a backpack? Sure as hell you wouldn't carry a 25kg 10" dob in a backpack :)

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29 minutes ago, happy-kat said:

Hi. Do consider where you will store any telescope and where your observing location is. If there are stairs between the two it won't take much to put you off bothering to observe in our fical weather. The best telescope for you will be the one you'll get outside to use.

A most valid point indeed!

As stated by someone around these fora - the best telescope is the one you'll use the most often. Also factor in, at least where I live & observe from, it should be a scope you can quickly take down and get it to shelter - when the unplanned-for black-thunderhead decided to make an un-announced appearance.

The 'Weather-Gods' are full of fun, little surprises for us scope-folk! :p

Dave

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Many end up with more than one score, is finding the balance as a beginner for the telescope that will feed your interest.

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16 minutes ago, kilix said:

if you cannot be **** to haul it outside

choose your words a little carefully pls...

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What about either a 6 inch dob or a Heritage 130p? Both doable with your budget  (change back with the second option), both optically good and easy to use. Alternatively maybe a 130p on an eq3. If it were me I'd go for the 6 inch dob. Billy.

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The Heritage 130P is a surprising telescope, the views have been VG and if extreme portability is required its a good option. The larger 150mm f8 and 200mm f6 would be an excellent choice and I would personally lean toward the 200mm f6 dob.

Edited by jetstream

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A good reflector hard to beat - good for planetary views and good for DSO's, no false color and relatively cheap - i agree with above, 150-200mm reflector will give you loads of opportunity to see if the hobby is for you - second hand is not a bad bet as a lot of good quality equipment is out there and not much risk of issues- best wishes Tony.

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Hi, consider also that a 130mm Newton on equatorial mount is not very comfortable to use.

I suggest the Skywatcher Dobson 150p, which costs more or less the same, is far more immediate and comfortable to use, has better performances and requires less maintenance; a in fact reflector needs to be collimated, but the slower its f-ratio, the less care you need for collimation - and f8 (the 150p) is far slower than f5 (the Astromaster 130).

 

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20 hours ago, watevacoward said:

 

Any help/tips would be great. I have a maximum budget for this of £250GBP  but could stretch to £300GBP 

Thanks all.

 

I was in the same boat as you a few months ago and this site was fantastic for advice. After debating about all different kinds of scopes I finally went for the Skywatcher 200P Dobsonian which can be bought at the top end of your budget brand new although I went for a second hand one so I could have a bit of cash spare for accessories. I am so happy I got this telescope, it's so easy to use and from my garden shed to my garden it takes about 5 minutes to set up and start viewing and also takes that time to put away. It's big and bulky though but that hasn't got in my way so far...... Hope this helps.... Scott

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I tend to say get a half decent small scope that you will use. Nothing big and nothing fancy. Half the choice is the mount these days, they arew tending to go over to the electronic side. So you need to decide on that and likely more thought then on the scope.

If you want and are hally with a manual one then one of the Alt/Ax mounted Celestron refractors - reason for a refractor is that you and the eyepiece are at the right end to play with the mount adjustment bits.

If you want a reflector then go get a 150P dobsonian. A dobsonian is simple in some ways but they also have a learning curve. One person about 2 years ago catagorised them as a "specialist scope", meaning I presume that you first had to learn to use one before they produced the views and viewing expected.

Just do not get a scope you do not really want, as then you will not use it and give up. Seen it done too often.

ES do a nice small 80mm refractor package but it is not available here, US only as best I can tell, also cannot see it in any of the EU retailers.

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^ A very portable telescope will always find a space in the car for trips away or to visit family etc. even when you have a bigger telescope.

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