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Mr niall

Skywatcher 150pl or Skymax 127

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Hi all,

having fun with my DSLR and my star adventurer but feel like I’m missing out on close up lunar views and the planets 😐

so was thinking about buying an actual telescope again...

ive narrowed it down to the 127 Mak or the 150pl. Now I’ve actually owned the 127 Mak before, and I’ll be honest, I never really got on with it. The dew, the cool down, and always struggled to get that pin sharp focus. But... the size and CA free viewing experience was fab. Additionally, the compact tube and OTA weight (3.45kg I think) would, just about, fit on my star adventurer with a small planetary camera and I’d be able to track (ish) the planets.

on the other hand is the 150pl - it’s big, has a bigger aperture, it looks amazing, and I know it has an awesome reputation. Additionally the lower focal length would probably make it a bit more of an all rounder (but still with a focus on planets). It’s also a fair bit cheaper!

however - it would most definitely not be happy on the star adventurer, nor would I imagine the star adventurer be very happy about it either!

I have an old flextube 130 base - I’m confident I could take the dovetail arrangement out and fit it to a bigger base, so that would be no problem either. But would be manual alt az (I could always upgrade the mount down the road)

So what would you do?...

Thanks all.

 

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If you want a portable scope and not bothered about  wide field I'd go with the Mak, great planetary images if you leave it outside under cover to cool down. 

The 150PL is a great all round scope, very good on the planets too.  You can get the Dobsonian version which gives you a mount for around £230 I think - perhaps the best option from what you've said.

I've had both of these and they are both great quality and I loved using them.

My mistake, only £209 !!

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

 

 

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Mak for me, even my C90 produces great Luna images with the advantages of little or no cool down. The Mak is also very DSLR friendly, solid connection and no worries about back focus distances.

Alan

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I also think a 150pl Dobsonian would suit you best.

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Posted (edited)

That's a difficult one to be honest. Please don't put too much weight on my advice because I don't really know much but I would actually go for a good steady mount instead of another scope.

If you got the EQ5 deluxe and then the dual axis drives, you will have lower cost, (although no goto) but still the ability to autoguide down the road. Once you have a good mount like that, you'll be able to mount stuff well (with the eq5, up to about 8-9kg) and the EQ5 is next level in stability. 

Hypothetically, if you had the EQ5 I would say the 150PL all the way; although I haven't used one myself, the 130PDS (which is essentially the same tube but just shorter and thinner) is a very good imaging platform and very easy to collimate. :) 

I just fear that if you modify the PL as a dob, you wont really be able to use it for lunar and planetary close ups. :( 

John

Edited by JohnSadlerAstro

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I have the 150pl and also had the 127 mak, out of the two I prefer the 150pl for it's stunning views of the Moon, planets ,double stars and star clusters. I live in an area with a lot of light polution so these are my main observing targets, using good quality eyepieces such as SLVs Delites and Delos really makes this scope sing. Even though I have a 120 ed and a Tak FC-100dc I keep coming back to the 150pl.

Avtar

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Posted (edited)

I'd revisit why I don't currently have any telescopes and the reasons for that, do they still stand or have things changed letting a telescope back in again.

(I guess I'm ott practical based).

Edited by happy-kat
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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, happy-kat said:

I'd revisit why I don't currently have any telescopes and the reasons for that, do they still stand or have things changed letting a telescope back in again.

(I guess I'm ott practical based).

Yep very fair point. I’ve been concentrating on imaging for the last few months and only had the star adventurer to play with. I think the problem is that now the planets have swung back into view I think I’m pining for them a bit! As much fun as imaging is I’m having a philosophical battle in my head - I think I’d underestimated how much I value seeing a target “live” i.e sitting out in the dark, swinging a scope around, the thrill of finding something and  physically looking at its place in the universe. As much as I’m loving imaging and finding the journey incredibly exciting, I can’t help but look at some of my images and feel a little detached from astronomy.

So, having recently pared down my equipment, I’m now wondering whether I value the thrill of visual enough to invest in a modest package. I literally have no visual stuff now so would be starting from scratch.

Edited by Mr niall

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5 minutes ago, Mr niall said:

So, having recently pared down my equipment, I’m now wondering whether I value the thrill of visual enough to invest in a modest package. I literally have no visual stuff now so would be starting from scratch.

With the scopes you listed, visual will be quite practical, as well as imaging. You could try going for a multi-purpose setup, which could image and be used for visual? 

John

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Funnily enough I love watching the 'live feed' you get with planetary imaging, forget what the purists say, you can see the moments of good seeing just as well with live video as with an EP, and even standing 20 feet away from the laptop they are bigger than down the EP!

I have a 150PL and a C90 Mak, both 1200mm f/l. Maks are nice and crisp.

You don't need as much mount as people say for 150PL, I managed quite a bit with it on an EQ3 with just RA drive. I did my first season of planetary imaging by letting the target drift across the FOV, then manually swinging it back off the left, hit record when it comes back into the frame.

I found it matches an x3 barlow very well, x5 is too much.

I have a soft spot for it as my first 'serious' scope and it does work very well indeed for planets and small DSOs, so I am totally biased 🙂

 

M27 June 18.png

2018-05-05-2342_0-2017.png

M57.png

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

You don't need as much mount as people say for 150PL, I managed quite a bit with it on an EQ3 with just RA drive. I

What sort of weight is it compared to the PDS? I know the focuser is a smaller, 2" version. I'd have thought that the mirror at the end of the tube would cause some nasty wobble? 🤔

P.S. Beautiful M27, btw! I want to get that one this season.

John

Edited by JohnSadlerAstro

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31 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Funnily enough I love watching the 'live feed' you get with planetary imaging, forget what the purists say, you can see the moments of good seeing just as well with live video as with an EP, and even standing 20 feet away from the laptop they are bigger than down the EP!

I have a 150PL and a C90 Mak, both 1200mm f/l. Maks are nice and crisp.

You don't need as much mount as people say for 150PL, I managed quite a bit with it on an EQ3 with just RA drive. I did my first season of planetary imaging by letting the target drift across the FOV, then manually swinging it back off the left, hit record when it comes back into the frame.

I found it matches an x3 barlow very well, x5 is too much.

I have a soft spot for it as my first 'serious' scope and it does work very well indeed for planets and small DSOs, so I am totally biased 🙂

 

M27 June 18.png

2018-05-05-2342_0-2017.png

M57.png

Great pics - can you attach a dslr to the 150pl? Do you know if it has any issues reaching focus or if it has t threads? All the literature is vague vague!

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15 minutes ago, Mr niall said:

Great pics - can you attach a dslr to the 150pl? Do you know if it has any issues reaching focus or if it has t threads? All the literature is vague vague!

Thanks.

The adaptor on the end of the focus tube has a t-thread for a camera t-mount adaptor. A 1.25" adaptor screw to the inside of that adaptor and has to be removed to use a camera. I leave the t-mount adaptor fitted and just unscrew the eyepiece adaptor as required.

The arrangement means EP and camera focus within 10 - 15mm or so of the same place. I have never had trouble reaching focus. Being 1200mm focal length it is easy to focus even with a barlow although it has a simple rack and pinion focuser.

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49 minutes ago, JohnSadlerAstro said:

What sort of weight is it compared to the PDS? I know the focuser is a smaller, 2" version. I'd have thought that the mirror at the end of the tube would cause some nasty wobble? 🤔

P.S. Beautiful M27, btw! I want to get that one this season.

John

Much heavier than the 130P-DS and only a 1.25" focuser, although the t-mount setup (see above) has a larger image circle.  Judge the wobble from my star shapes, pics 1 and 3 are from 5 minute subs.

I need to get rid of the red in the background of the M57 pic, doesn't look like that in Photoshop!

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I'm guessing the slow f/ratio will give quite a condensed focus range? I noticed that eyepieces on an f/8.8 were focused really close together compared to the f/5 pds.

How sturdy is that 1.25" focuser? I hope it isn't the plastic starter one on the old 130M? 🤔

John

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I can only report that my 127mm Maksutov Celestron Nexstar SLT GoTo works quite well for planetary imaging, including the mount which is well-behaved during imaging operations, so long as there is no wind. (Why not get this instead of the Skymax? We don't see so many help requests about the Nexstar system).

Nobody ever complains about having bought a bad Maksutov.

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17 minutes ago, JohnSadlerAstro said:

I'm guessing the slow f/ratio will give quite a condensed focus range? I noticed that eyepieces on an f/8.8 were focused really close together compared to the f/5 pds.

How sturdy is that 1.25" focuser? I hope it isn't the plastic starter one on the old 130M? 🤔

John

No, a decent metal one, but single speed r&p.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

Nobody ever complains about having bought a bad Maksutov.

Good point.

Why don't they make Maks bigger than 5"?

Is it because it would destroy the market for SCTs?

Found this:

http://www.lcas-astronomy.org/articles/display.php?filename=schmidt-cassegrain_and_maksutov-cassegrain&category=telescopes

Edited by Stub Mandrel

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Good point.

Why don't they make Maks bigger than 5"?

Is it because it would destroy the market for SCTs?

Found this: 

http://www.lcas-astronomy.org/articles/display.php?filename=schmidt-cassegrain_and_maksutov-cassegrain&category=telescopes

Meh, Cats are complex creatures, I never have quite understood their naming! 🙄 

That's an interesting article though..... :) What exactly are the benefits of a lens in the front vs flat glass?

Edited by JohnSadlerAstro

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