Jump to content

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_31.thumb.jpg.b7a41d6a0fa4e315f57ea3e240acf140.jpg

Recommended Posts

Hello stargazers, 
I've been stalking this forum for a good couple months now in my search for a telescope. My main focus will be the visual observing of planets and DSOs. I like photography might plan that later if possible (i'd like it to be). The skies where i live is somewhat polluted but not so much. I can easily spot most constellations with the naked eye if my drive my car on a hill outside the city.  I was thinking about one of the models below. I'd like the get the best bang for the buck and minimize the risk of being disappointed and then wanting a more expensive tube later on. I'd like to learn the sky by heart thus steering clear of a GOTO for now. I'm not going to buy anything right now because I'm putting some hard earned cash in a pair of binos first.

My options: (but I'm open to any and all suggestions!)

Skywatcher Skymax 150 PRO €569.37 + Skywatcher EQ5 Deluxe €269.02
Objective Lens Diameter: 150mm
Telescope Focal Length: 1800mm (f/12)

EQ5 because it's a good stable mount that I basically can keep using if I ever upgrade the OTA

Skywatcher Skyliner 250PX Dobsonian €463.49
Diameter of Primary Mirror: 254mm
Telescope Focal Length: 1200mm (f/4.7)

Celestron Omni XLT 127 €647.16
Objective Lens Diameter: 127mm
Telescope Focal Length: 1250 mm (f/10)

Skywatcher Skymax 127 OTA €274.42 + Skywatcher EQ5 Deluxe €269.02 (Or EQ3-2 for €442.96) 
Diameter of Primary Mirror: 127mm
Telescope Focal Length: 1500mm (f/11.81)

I might also get the less stable EQ3-2 for a 100 euros less. But again, the EQ5 is a good investment I believe

Skywatcher Explorer 200P EQ5 €504.55
Diameter of Primary Mirror: 200mm
Telescope Focal Length: 1000mm (f/5)


I got all the prices from FLO.

Some questions that I still have: (thanks for staying with me so long)
- Would you be able to see some DSOs with anything up from f/10? 
- Is a dew shield necessary if i live in the Netherlands? 
- I know its been asked a lot but what eyepieces would you recommend? FLO recommend BSTs. Then again which lengths?
 

I thinks thats all for now:) Thanks so much for checking this post out.

Clear skies to you all!

Link to post
Share on other sites

You missed the 200P ? That and possibly  the 8mm and 12mm BST Starguider should be a good combination, this works well for me!
The larger mirror of the 250 will capture more light, due to physics, but whether that is noticeable against the 200P under the same conditions, I can't say, not having tried, although I have wanted too for some time. I would also (in my case - Newer scope) opt for a 12" scope (bigger aperture - more light, but slightly slower focal ratio, making eyepiece selection less critical, more affordable), though if this is your first scope, you would not know the difference between either scope. I doubt the image of the primary Planets will look much better in the 250 over the 200, yet not having tried, it's only of my own assumption, as is buying expensive eyepieces for my present scope, been there with the TeleVue brand, again, my personal opinion, don't need them!

The f/4.7 focal ratio on the 250PX may (may) require better corrected eyepieces or a coma corrector in addition to the eyepiece, if the outer field ( the edge of your view ) alarms you? and not sure your really need the 'X' in 250PX!  to reduce thermal expansion? 

The 250PX would be nice, but compared to  its price, just a little less cash gets you  an 8" (200P) with two  BST eyepieces, and just about the same image size and detail, size being the operative here.

Edited by Charic
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there, and welcome to the forum. My own thoghts on the above would be as follows:

1) I'd avoid the Maksutov designs for a first telescope. They're good scopes, but have a long focal length and fairly limited field of view, which is not great for DSOs. Same with the Schmidt Cassegrain XLT 127. Also, an EQ5 is not that happy with a 150mm Maksutov on it - it's usable but just a bit too much. A Newtonian is a great starter scope and much more flexible. Properly collimated (trivially easy at f5 or above with smallish apertures so no need to be put off by that) they should also give slightly cleaner, more high contrast views than the Schmidt or Mak designs. Note that focal ratio is not relevant for visual, except insofar as it affects focal length and field of view. An f12 or f15 scope is plenty capable of giving good DSO views with the right eyepiece, it's just not to good for larger, more extended objects.

2) If you want to do photography you will need an EQ mount, but the EQ5 is a bit lightweight and not really designed for imaging. It is okay with a DSLR and telephoto lens for short exposures. If you do buy an equatorial mount, go for the EQ5 at least.

Of the options you have set out above, I would go for the Dob, though I would consider maybe getting a 200mm rather than the 250 - just that little bit easier to use and more transportable, and capable of great views. If you want an equatorially mounted scope (will give you some photographic options and is very useful for planetary observation) then I'd go for an f5 150mm reflector like the Skyweatcher Explorer. The EQ5 will handle that okay and it will be an excellent all round performer.

For eyepieces, I've heard good things about the BSTs. I use Celestron Ultima Ex-Cels which are also decent (and quite similar). Focal length will very much depend on what scope you buy and what you want to look at. You might want to see how you get on with the supplied eyepieces before you spend your money.

Billy.

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The 200P Dobsonian will tick the boxes for your current needs, the lower price will allow you to either buy more accessories for it or put the money saved towards a future imaging telescope.  :icon_biggrin:

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

All these telescopes are potentially good.  I would point out though, that the EQ-5 is not a lightweight mount and requires a bit of time to set up, compared with some of the options available for visual use.  For visual though, a stable equatorial with at least powered RA tracking can be a good thing to have. Some people will tell you that for pure visual, equatorials (especially non-driven) are a pain and best avoided.  Achromatic refractors will show some chromatic aberration, depending on the focal ratio.

You say that you want to learn the sky. A lot of people have this approach to amateur astronomy. But you can find a lot more objects on the rare occasions when the sky is not cloudy or moonlit by using a GoTo.:icon_biggrin: 

- Would you be able to see some DSOs with anything up from f/10?  - I have an 8" f10 and in dark skies it showed me so many galaxies over three nights I lost count. My 127mm Mak also showed me galaxies, but not so many. Both had GoTo though. If you want DSOs, more aperture makes a big difference.  For planets though, the role of aperture and the choice of ideal instrument is the subject of endless debate.  

I expect a dew shield will be essential if your climate is anything like the UK. I made mine out of cardboard. 

Eyepieces are totally a personal choice.  Note that f10 telescopes like those in your list are not so demanding of eyepieces. Plossls will work OK.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, billyharris72 said:

1) I'd avoid the Maksutov designs for a first telescope. They're good scopes, but have a long focal length and fairly limited field of view, which is not great for DSOs. Same with the Schmidt Cassegrain XLT 127. Also, an EQ5 is not that happy with a 150mm Maksutov on it - it's usable but just a bit too much. A Newtonian is a great starter scope and much more flexible.

The thing is, I need to put in my car ( a 5 doors hatchback) and drive it to the hill. there I need to haul it up. It's not steep at all but I do need to walk about 200 meters with the telescope. I'll probably always have some help. I know and EQ5 will be somewhat more difficult to set up but I know how so that doesn't set me off. 
Are there any other models that I'm overlooking?

Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

 Some people will tell you that for pure visual, equatorials (especially non-driven) are a pain and best avoided.

That's me! my bad! :happy9: ..........though they do have some advantages depending on which aspect of the hobby you venture along,  but purely for visual, my 1st Celestron GEM (German Equatorial Mount) was just to cumbersome, wobbly, time consuming and  continually adjusting / re-adjusting. Its a personal trait.
If you can try before you buy any scope - or visit a club, facility, it won't be a wasted trip.

If you do venture down the EQ route, study hard and buy the best, as it will make a big difference to the end result, you need reliability. and rock steady sturdiness, and an EQ essential for some aspects of our hobby!

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, THL22 said:

The thing is, I need to put in my car ( a 5 doors hatchback) and drive it to the hill

My 200P fits in a three door car, the base is attached to the scope by means of two handles, its a simple task to separate the scope and carry as two separate items, I think total combined weight is @ 27KGs without checking!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say the hill might count against the 10 inch Dob - even an 8 inch is a reasonable lump if you carry it as a single thing. Should be plenty manageable in 2 pieces though. A couple of people have also noted that having a longer focal ratio makes things easier with both collimation and eyepieces, and while very far from a deal maker or breaker, the f6 ratio of the smaller Dob would help here.

While not particularly light, the EQ5 is lighter and less awkward than an 8 inch Dob (in fact, so is the HEQ5). As for the scope, a 6 inch reflector is pretty short and will be lighter than the Mak (no big corrector plate) so I don't see it posing any difficulties at all for transportation. As for set up time, if it's for visual use then once you've done it the first time I just don't buy the argument that the set up time is longer. Once the altitude is set (and provided you have a reasonably level space to put the mount), set up consists of locating Polaris by eye and putting the mount on the ground with the north leg facing that direction.

Wobble could be an issue if you have the wrong scope on it, which is why I'd advise against a 150mm Mak. I've used that scope on an EQ5 and it's okay, but hard to focus and any breeze will play havoc with it.

If it were me, I'd plump for the dob in order to get the extra aperture, but it's a matter of personal taste. Both options would be quite viable and give good views.

Billy.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, billyharris72 said:

I'd say the hill might count against the 10 inch Dob - even an 8 inch is a reasonable lump if you carry it as a single thing. Should be plenty manageable in 2 pieces though. A couple of people have also noted that having a longer focal ratio makes things easier with both collimation and eyepieces, and while very far from a deal maker or breaker, the f6 ratio of the smaller Dob would help here.

While not particularly light, the EQ5 is lighter and less awkward than an 8 inch Dob (in fact, so is the HEQ5). As for the scope, a 6 inch reflector is pretty short and will be lighter than the Mak (no big corrector plate) so I don't see it posing any difficulties at all for transportation. As for set up time, if it's for visual use then once you've done it the first time I just don't buy the argument that the set up time is longer. Once the altitude is set (and provided you have a reasonably level space to put the mount), set up consists of locating Polaris by eye and putting the mount on the ground with the north leg facing that direction.

Wobble could be an issue if you have the wrong scope on it, which is why I'd advise against a 150mm Mak. I've used that scope on an EQ5 and it's okay, but hard to focus and any breeze will play havoc with it.

If it were me, I'd plump for the dob in order to get the extra aperture, but it's a matter of personal taste. Both options would be quite viable and give good views.

Billy.

Yes exactly that's why i'm not scared of getting an EQ5. I rather have the best kind of image all round. I know thats a lot to ask thought haha. Still by heart tends to go to a mak because of portability. the +f/10 gives me good possibilities with various eyepieces. 
A question though. I do not see fine tuning knops on the EQ5. am I blind or are they hidden somewhere?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Skywatcher Heritage 130 P Flextube - very good quality of optics, decent Dob mount, cheap, very easy to handle and to transport - and it would serve you later on as a travel-/grab-and-go scope, when you will have upgraded. The views in it are not so much different compared to my 8" f/4.

Here's the link to the CloudyNights thread on this scope (called the One Sky Newtonian):

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/463109-onesky-newtonian-astronomers-without-borders/

Stephan

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading the above, and based somewhat on my own experiences over the years, I would say any of your list would be good. Best thing is to get one and use it to its fullest potential. 

If this is the first scope, its hard to know what aspect of the hobby you will like best, so getting your foot in the door and getting out under the stars with something is most important :-)

The points and recommendations made above are all relevant however (re dob, EQ 5 and maks), so do take heed. One comment I would make from my past is a dob is easily transportable for long distances on some kind of hand/luggage trolley, e.g. http://www.diy.com/departments/bq-hand-trolley/193455_BQ.prd . much easier than walking back and forth for all the bits and bobs of a scope + EQ mount

Good luck with the decision, let us know what you choose!

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, big_scot_nanny said:

Reading the above, and based somewhat on my own experiences over the years, I would say any of your list would be good. Best thing is to get one and use it to its fullest potential. 

If this is the first scope, its hard to know what aspect of the hobby you will like best, so getting your foot in the door and getting out under the stars with something is most important :-)

The points and recommendations made above are all relevant however (re dob, EQ 5 and maks), so do take heed. One comment I would make from my past is a dob is easily transportable for long distances on some kind of hand/luggage trolley, e.g. http://www.diy.com/departments/bq-hand-trolley/193455_BQ.prd . much easier than walking back and forth for all the bits and bobs of a scope + EQ mount

Good luck with the decision, let us know what you choose!

Thank you so much for your comment! Very wise words. I'll take them to heart:)

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, THL22 said:

The thing is, I need to put in my car ( a 5 doors hatchback) and drive it to the hill. there I need to haul it up. It's not steep at all but I do need to walk about 200 meters with the telescope. I'll probably always have some help. I know and EQ5 will be somewhat more difficult to set up but I know how so that doesn't set me off. 
Are there any other models that I'm overlooking?

Buy a sack truck. One of the lightweight foldable ones, but not with too small a wheel size. Makes for faster and easier car to site.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By stevebty
      Good evening everyone
      I am looking at a SkyProdigy 6 telescope for a friend. the mount had a rattle/lose part. I partially unscrewed the casing and the plastic cylinder pictured below fell out. Anyone got any idea what it is or where is comes from. Looks plastic but can feel metal in the centre.
      Does anyone have a service manual or disassembly guide?
      Many thanks in advance
      Steve


    • By Quetzalcoatl72
      I'm after a cassegrain reflector but I don't know which one to buy,
      I have a celestron c5 and it worked wonders for all fields, I now want the same but twice as powerful as my final upgrade
      I am looking at a c9.5 for £1350 or a c11 for £2000, My question is an extra 2.75" focal worth it for £750 more?
      I will likely purchase one this week
    • By guydive
      Hey all,
      I'm considering the 250PDS. The main use is visual, and the second is EAA (I currently use a zwo183mm). 
      What I'm hesitant about is the primary focus. since It's mostly for visual, I'm wondering on how much back focus it has compared to the standard Skywatcher 10" dobsonians? with the standard dobsonias with the same optics and focuser you already need an extension tube for most eyepieces...
      Also, there's probably a "bigger" obstruction (bigger shadow on primary)? 
    • By AngHor
      I have a SkyWatcher AZ-EQ5 mount. It’s all working fine, except I have an issue with alignment. This applies whether I’m in EQ or Alt-Az mode.
      I set it up using  one or two star align without problems.
      However if I use the handset to GoTo another object, I usually need to do fine tuning adjustments to centre on the new object. But the mount disregards these adjustments, so if I use the GoTo system to centre on a nearby object, or revisit the original object a second time, it’s still off by the same amount.
      How do I tell the mount that I have centred on the new object and that it should now be aligned with that object ? 
      My iOptron MiniTower has a feature that does exactly this – once set up correctly and aligned, for each new object I go to there is an “ALIGN” option, and if I use this it now knows the correct position. Can I do this with SkyWatcher and Synscan ?
      Thanks. Angelo
    • By Pincs
      Hi, I just got a canon eos 600d to take pictures with my skywatcher 200p scope. I am using prime focus with it which seems to work fine despite the problems people face with getting it to focus. I plan to get some great shots of the moon, planets and orion nebula but I was wondering if theres a way I can get shots of dimmer objects in the sky. At the moment i am finding this hard as I am limited to a 1.5 second shutter speed in order to prevent star trails, I am putting the ISO up high to get the most light but I was wondering if there were better ways to go about getting the best pictures without a tracking mount. Thanks.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.