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.

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_30_second_exp_2_winners.thumb.jpg.b5430b40547c40d344fd4493776ab99f.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!

Share this post


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

Share this post


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

Share this post


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

Share this post


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

Share this post


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?

Share this post


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!

Share this post


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!

Share this post


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.

Share this post


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?

Share this post


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

 

Share this post


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!

Share this post


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

Share this post


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.

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.

Guest
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 stevebb
      Celestron C8 XLT + extras and SkyWatcher Star Travel 80 (ST80)
      I have a Celestron C8 with XLT Starbrite coatings. Will include the full length base plate, both visual and imaging backs, scope rings, front 8" end cap and the finder scope with it. No box I'm afraid. Optics are good and clean, focal length is huge - 2300mm from memory. This lot would cost close to £1300 new and one with less spec went for £750 on fleabay recently. Might be interested in a part exchange or will let it go for £450 collection only.
      Also, I have a SkyWatcher Star Traveler 80 - good optics, used as a guide scope - just the scope itself (does not include the barlow in the photo) looking at around £50 for it.
      I have decided to save up for another Equinox or even an Esprit.
      Please excuse some of the colours - I used my astro modded 6D which was in the observatory so the "nice" purple is actually black !!
      Both these are collection only.




    • By markastro
      Hi,
       
          Looking for a 12" DOB (or larger) which can be transported to Prestwick, Ayrshire. Any brand, as long as the telescope is optically sound and in good working order. I'm a reliable buyer who has bought and sold on this site before.
       
      Thanks,
       
      Mark
    • By Clear Skies!
      I am going to buy Skywatcher EQ5 Pro Go-To mount. But, unfortunately, I am low on budget.
      So, does someone know where can I buy the cheapest EQ5 pro mount?
      Yesterday there was a low price for it (350 €), but they changed it.
      Thank you for your time!
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

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