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Schnoblsilver

Deep space scope recommendations

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1 minute ago, Stu said:

You are, of course, completely right that M31 is not best viewed through a scope with a narrow field of view like the C8.

That said, there are only a few visual objects which are significantly larger than 1 degree, and so a C8 with a long focal length 2” eyepiece is more than capable of showing a very wide range of objects. When I had a C8 Edge, I found it excellent as a compact scope which I could take away camping with me, and which gave very rewarding views. I’m a bit of a widefield junkie though, so had a decent refractor side by side with it for when I needed extra. For Globs, Planetary nebulae, most galaxies apart from M31, and most nebulae apart from the Veil and NAN a C8 will do a fine job.

No scope does everything, and the dob options are well worthy of consideration, I’m not saying otherwise.

You are exactly right Stu as always very on point indeed, M31 got mentioned so I thought more clarification was required both on fov and what can be observed from a dark site. For me at least the fov is not just required to frame an object but to also get low enough mag for limited surface brightness objects which there are many. 

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Judging by the OP's pic.............he looks like a big strapping fella, while his wife looks small and petite.

Im sure he could manage to take an 8,10" Dob outside for his wife. May even got into observing himself.

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Just now, LukeSkywatcher said:

Judging by the OP's pic.............he looks like a big strapping fella, while his wife looks small and petite.

Im sure he could manage to take an 8,10" Dob outside for his wife. May even got into observing himself.

That's one but not the only reason I suggest a 12" dob and his jumping in the game, I feel so manipulative here...lol...

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1 minute ago, SIDO said:

That's one but not the only reason I suggest a 12" dob and his jumping in the game, I feel so manipulative here...lol...

Its always nice spending other peoples money.

But seriously, the 8se is getting a big up on this thread. That doesnt happen often.

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45 minutes ago, LukeSkywatcher said:

Its always nice spending other peoples money.

But seriously, the 8se is getting a big up on this thread. That doesnt happen often.

The C8 is a good scope I owned 2 and they are fine examples of what a telescope is supposed to be, I would not pitty anyone who owns one that's for sure...

Edited by SIDO
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Spanner in the works here, would a 120 ED not give the views given the OP's location in the country and given this scope is regarded very highly on multiple targets?

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On 13/09/2018 at 19:24, Schnoblsilver said:

I know nothing about telescopes, my wife is the astronomy nut.  She has had inexpensive telescopes in the past.  Her latest purchase was $250 binoculars which she uses 4-5 times a week to look at stars.  She turns 40 in a few weeks and has been saving for a deep space telescope.  I know she would like to see the rings on saturn and as much deep space stuff as possible.  I would like to purchase this item for her but have no idea what to buy.  Ive looked at Celestron 6se & 8se but still have no clue.  My budget is $700 to $1500 but dont want to spend my max budget for a slight improvement that is barely noticable.  Please help me with what telescope to buy and include any must accessories for the scope.  Help me make my wifes 40th birthday special. Thank you.

It may be an expensive mistake buying a telescope as a surprise present. She may have her own idea as to what she wants. The SE mount does allow a small refractor to be mounted which would allow viewing larger objects. After a few years I bought an 80mm refractor to view larger items. The Pleiades looked superb through it. But you do have to be careful it doesn't hit the base of the mount. In the end I added a Cg5 equatorial Mount which I polar aligned with a compass. It was much better than the SE mount and was very accurate. It was also more stable. The modern version is the Celestron VX Mount but the Skywatcher EQ5 is a very similar size. The mount breaks into bits that are easily carried and you can mount a range of telescopes.

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34 minutes ago, Anne S said:

It may be an expensive mistake buying a telescope as a surprise present. She may have her own idea as to what she wants. 

Couldn't agree more.

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Refractors and Newtonians may be configured for specific focal-lengths, and focal-ratios.  This enables them to work most easily with a static, unchanging range of eyepieces, from 4mm to 40mm generally, and in observing the gamut, everything in the sky.  

Conversely, Schmidt- and Maksutov-Cassegrains could not be developed with that versatility.  In order for their optical systems to function at all, they must have a long focal-length.  It's part of the design, which would not work otherwise; and in the case of Maksutovs and the Schmidts above 6" in aperture, extraordinarily long focal-lengths, yet within an attractive, short, compact tube; ergonomics over observational versatility and performance.  This is a telescope for low-power wide-field views primarily, for medium powers, and powers reserved for planetary and difficult double-stars...

1753030928_6f5e.jpg.a1baf28feae1b65c9f285d91af5eb4f1.jpg

...a 6" f/5 Newtonian.  If that's not an all-rounder, then I don't what one is in fact.  A 40mm eyepiece inserted into the focusser will give a binocular-like power of 19x, however the exit-pupil would be at 8mm, and with some of the light gathered wasted, but not much; a 2" wide-angle 34mm ocular would be ideal, rather, and for a power of 22x.  A 4mm eyepiece would provide a power of 188x, and for the Moon, planets, and double stars; and the Trapezium of Orion, among other high-powered views of deep-sky sprites.  A wide-angle 9mm(83x) combined with a 3x barlow would result in a potentially useful power of 250x, given an exacting collimation.  A 6" f/5 Newtonian has only half the focal-length of a 6" f/10 Schmidt.  If a 6" Schmidt was suddenly transformed into a Newtonian, and there on the right...

537334116_6f5-6f10.jpg.b500757ee8e458dcb686d58bfc139fd3.jpg

That's what a Schmidt-Cassegrain is in disguise, in simulation: a long-focus, planetary Newtonian, yet with a much larger secondary obstruction, albeit without the diffractive spider-vanes.  The spider-vanes of a Newtonian, or "Dobsonian"...

1434308002_spidervanes2.jpg.6bddd72bd2168d75cdf82965640fcc58.jpg

The secondary of a 6" Schmidt by comparison...

YbofNt1.jpg

It is evident by that very comparison that I would opt for an 8" Schmidt instead; that is, if I had no other choice, and to give the aperture a sporting chance to perform despite its secondary obstruction.  A Newtonian is more difficult to own, wrangle about the field, and maintain, but a better choice nonetheless for deep-sky observations; every aspect of deep-sky observations.  Alas, a refractor may not serve here...

"I want the telescope to far surpass the high powered binoculars."

...therefore an 8" or greater something or other may be required instead.  After all, it will be a monocular experience, at first and for quite some time I expect, if not for the life of the instrument.

A collapsible, go-to, 10" Dobsonian...

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1141687-REG/sky_watcher_s11810_10_goto_collapsible_dobsonian.html?ap=y&gclid=CjwKCAjwuO3cBRAyEiwAzOxKsndE4rjbdMnt707xYadQgQdEISqjJkJLPVhWhTxai9pgqFfN0fLxaRoCOKYQAvD_BwE&smp=y

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I note Alan64's comments above.  However despite the price tag I'd rather enjoy the more compact and usable SCT setup, which among other things is more suitable for planetary astrophotography because of the greater range of focus which accommodates accessories. Most of my viewing does not require a wide field.

If I wanted the wider field of a f5 Newtonian and didn't have one, I'd just buy a used one, at little extra cost. 

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Give her an Amazon/Walmart gift card. As Anne S stated. She may already have an idea of what she wants next. Both Walmart and Amazon have a huge selection of telescopes and mounts. The two also have the best return policy. My next scopes will most likely be a Star Travel 150mm f/5 and 100mm binoculars for DSO. I am not into photography, so an azimuth mount for the scope and heavy duty tripod for the binoculars. I would stay away from anything that has to be collimated and requires a lot of cool down town.

Edited by refractordude

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Celestron Advanced VX 8" has come on to my radar as i continue trying to decide the purchase for my wife.  The price is $1200 similiar to the price of the Celestron 8se.  Which of the two is better?

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8 minutes ago, Schnoblsilver said:

Celestron Advanced VX 8" has come on to my radar as i continue trying to decide the purchase for my wife.  The price is $1200 similiar to the price of the Celestron 8se.  Which of the two is better?

Please define 'better' 😀.

The Advanced VX is an equatorial mount designed with imaging in mind.  If your wife intends to do planetary imaging, it's a good choice.  If she doesn't, the equatorial mount will be a liability - it will be more troublesome to carry around and set up, with no gain, except that it looks steadier than the SE mount.  You need to ask.

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Ok i guess im buying the celestron 8se.  I have to make the purchase within 2 days.  Would hate for it to arrive late.  My wife has $400 saved.  So after receiving the 8se she can buy any addons she feels are immediately necessary.  Thanks all.  I hope it works out.

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As Geoff says unless you intend to do AP, the the AVX Mount will take longer to set up and use. I could carry out and get my 8SE goto mount set up and running with my C8 SCT scope on in about 10mins maximum doing a 2star alignment. With my AVX Mount this takes quite a bit longer, on average around 20 to 25mins to get up and running at fastest. It also requires about 3 journeys to get all the gear out to it, whereas I could managed the C8 SCT & the 8SE goto mount in one go.

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You. Will need power for the scope, so this is a good option from Celestron. I use one on my goto mount and last for ages before it needs a recharge. Should be able to get one new for around $120 to $130 in the US.

https://www.celestron.com/products/powertank-lithium

 

 

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So i bought the

Celestron NexStar 8 SE Schmidt-Cassegrain Computerized Telescope - with Deluxe Accessory Kit (5 Celestron Plossl Eyepieces, 1.25" Barlow Lens, 1.25" Filter Set, Accessory Carry Case 
&
Celestron Power Tank
 
$1265 total.
 
Any advice on what accessories i can advise her to purchase after receiving her gift?
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A dew shield will be needed almost certainly. The Schmidt-Cassegrain design has a large piece of glass right at the front of the scope which attracts dew rather avidly.

Other than that, your wife is probably "good to go" with the setup you have purchased for her - hope she enjoys using it :thumbright:

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Maybe a good star atlas to go along with it. Or perhaps if your wife has an Android or Apple device one of the apps like Skysafari, but obviously the latter would have to be done after her birthday otherwise she might get an inkling of what the big prezzie might be. :) 

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I want to thank everyone for their advice. I feel confident that she will love her new telescope and after Oct 2nd I will show her this site so that she can join your community.  And you awesome folks can advise her further and she can share her love of space with like minded people.  Thanks again for helping me decide what to purchase.  Spending $1200+ on something you know nothing about is a little stressful.  Awesome group.   Have a great day!!!

Edited by Schnoblsilver
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Welcome from land down under

Firstly when comes to any scope choice, there are 2 options

Am I going to use just for observing the moon, planets and other deep sky objects, then first weapon of choice is a dob

If intending to venture into Astrophotography, then need a scope on a EQ mount which will allow you to track object imaging

Then go for a Skywatcher ED80, on a HEQ5 mount

John

 

Skywatcher 10 inch Dobson.jpg

Skywatcher ED80.jpg

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