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Hi I’m looking at getting into astronomy, it’s something that has interested me for quite some time.

My wife said she wants to get me a telescope for my birthday so it’s a win win situation!

I had been looking at some options, I had asked on some other forums but would like other opinions as well.

I had been tempted by a Besser Messier AR-90/1200 but after some research decided not to go a head due to the huge tube and plastic mounting clamshell.

I’m tempted by the Besser Messier AR-90/900 I have been assured this length is ok for the mounting supplied and it looks to be a good starter scope, that will keep my going for a while.

The other suggestion and it would be cheaper initially is the Skywatcher Evostar 90/900, one shop has pushed me more towards this even though he could earn more from me from the Besser Messier.

 

Any thoughts and opinions welcomed.

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It would help if you could be a bit more specific about what you want to do. Is it for observation only or will you be going down the imaging route at some point. Are your main interests planets or DSOs?

Peter

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, PeterCPC said:

It would help if you could be a bit more specific about what you want to do. Is it for observation only or will you be going down the imaging route at some point. Are your main interests planets or DSOs?

Peter

Sorry my main plan is viewing the moon and planets, and progressing on to DSO once I gain more experience.

I say astrophotography is less of an issue but it's something that may be worth having the option for so yes.

Edit: one of the reasons I was leaning more towards the Messier is many websites list it as good for novice and intermediate users, my thoughts were I'm future proofing myself a little.

 

Edited by JohnC260

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The AR90 and mount will be good for observing the Moon & planets but not so good for DSO's although many of the brighter ones will be well within reach.  Unfortunately it will not be so good for astrophotography (AP) if you decide you want to go down that route later. The telescope comes with a 26mm Plossl eyepiece (giving 34x magnification) which is more suited to wide field views and DSO's, it would be good on the Andromeda Galaxy (known as M31).  However, for planets and Moon you would need to purchase an extra eyepiece that has greater magnification, I suggest a 9mm or thereabouts (giving 100x) to start with)  to get your feet wet.

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5 minutes ago, rwilkey said:

The AR90 and mount will be good for observing the Moon & planets but not so good for DSO's although many of the brighter ones will be well within reach.  Unfortunately it will not be so good for astrophotography (AP) if you decide you want to go down that route later. The telescope comes with a 26mm Plossl eyepiece (giving 34x magnification) which is more suited to wide field views and DSO's, it would be good on the Andromeda Galaxy (known as M31).  However, for planets and Moon you would need to purchase an extra eyepiece that has greater magnification, I suggest a 9mm or thereabouts (giving 100x) to start with)  to get your feet wet.

 

Thanks

AP isn’t something I had massively considered just getting outside and exploring the local neighbourhood and having fun was my main drive. 

 

The store I spoke with suggested a 9 or 10mm eyepiece and a 2 x barlows. 

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So I assume the AR-90/900 is the better offering? or does the Skywatcher Evostar have some advantages?

The AR is OTA so I need to get a mount, I have been looking into those as well.

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Hi John, that's good, AP is what is quite often called the 'dark arts' and can be a great drain on the pocket.  I would not worry too much about a Barlow, I have a couple and rarely use them now, though I agree that their concept is appealing.  A 2x Barlow used on a 9 or 10mm ep would yield too much magnification for your scope to handle.

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Posted (edited)

Hi there...

If you think, there is a possibility to swap to Astrophotography... I would buy something that would be useful in the future, as a guider scope for example.

Sky-Watcher Startravel-80T or similar maybe?

 

Edited by RolandKol
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Hi John, I have a lot of respect for the Evostar 90 option as I have no experience with the AR 90, the other advantage of the Sky Watcher is that it is supplied with an alt/az (AZ) mount which I think is easier to use for visual only, especially for beginners.   The equatorial (EQ) mount can be a faff in my opinion so as a visual observer I prefer to use AZ mounts.  The other minor plus on the SW is that it comes with 2 eyepieces, virtually the ones we were discussing earlier.

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ah ok, I was looking at an ALT-AZ mount for the AR if I went with it, I have confirmed a Skywatcher AZ-4 will take it, or but I doubt my luck will hold a Porta II but they rarely come along 2nd hand and/or cheap.

The store has been suggesting the Evostar AZ 90/900 over the AR, even though he could earn more if I take the AR option, from a out the box option the Evostar is tempting.

Either way I was staying away from EQ mounts, I had looked at the 90/900 Taurus with an NG mount so ALT-AZ but can be converting to EQ, but the review of the mounts is scathing.

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The Porta II mount is a lovely mount, but expensive but would easily carry a 90mm telescope.  I agree with the store, the SW is the better option in my opinion.  The AZ4 mount is also good, but does not have slo-mo controls which are very useful, which is why I went for the Porta II option.

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I see many forum threads mentioning Vixen A80MF scopes, I found a 2nd hand one for £130.

No EP's, Lens cap missing (not sure how I feel about that and delivery) just rings and dove tail.

I would need to mount it, and purchase a full set of EP's. and source a lens cap, which I would be tempted to send to the seller pre delivery.

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Have you considered a reflector?  You would get much more aperture for your money.

You could get  a Skyliner 150p dobsonian for about the price of the 90mm frac plus basic AZ mount.

For a bit more you could get the 200p version.

Both are fine general purpose scopes which would let you see a range of DSO's as well as good views of the moon & planets.

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

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/beginner-telescopes/skywatcher-skyliner-200p-dobsonian.html

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Correct me if I'm mistaken, but aren't all of the refractors you've listed achromats?  As such, they don't really excel at solar system objects due to color fringing which decreases contrast and the ability to distinquish fine details.  If you can't afford at least an ED refractor, I'd recommend a Newtonian or Maksutov.  The 6" Dob mentioned above would be an excellent choice for not much money.  When you remove VAT, they're over $80 cheaper over there than here in the states!

Edited by Louis D
typo
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1 hour ago, Louis D said:

Correct me if I'm mistaken, but aren't all of the refractors you've listed achromats?  As such, they don't really excel at solar system objects due to color fringing which decreases contrast and the ability to distinquish fine details.  If you can't afford at least an ED refractor, I'd recommend a Newtonian or Maksutov.  The 6" Dob mentioned above would be an excellent choice for not much money.  When you remove VAT, they're over $80 cheaper over there than here in the states!

 

Skywatcher Maksutov telescope MC 102/1300 SkyMax-102 AZ-EQ Avant?

 

AZ-EQ mount. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, JohnC260 said:

 

Skywatcher Maksutov telescope MC 102/1300 SkyMax-102 AZ-EQ Avant?

 

AZ-EQ mount. 

 

 

I have a 127 Mak on an alt-az mount.  It's great for most objects, just don't expect wide views with its 1500mm focal length.

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Very detailed piece of information. Thanks for sharing everyone. 

Please guide me what focal length Eyepieces I'd be needing for my Skywatcher dobsonian 8 inches. It's an F6 scope. I have got 10mm and 25mm super eyepieces (non plossl) along with the scope. I want to complete my set of EPs across all adequate ranges.

Thanks in advance. 

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40 minutes ago, IndianAstroboy said:

Very detailed piece of information. Thanks for sharing everyone. 

Please guide me what focal length Eyepieces I'd be needing for my Skywatcher dobsonian 8 inches. It's an F6 scope. I have got 10mm and 25mm super eyepieces (non plossl) along with the scope. I want to complete my set of EPs across all adequate ranges.

Thanks in advance

I'd use the ep's you have already got to begin with.......see where your interest is...eg. lunar, planets, DSO's..

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1 hour ago, estwing said:

I'd use the ep's you have already got to begin with.......see where your interest is...eg. lunar, planets, DSO's..

Thanks for the advice.

I'm interested in both. Planets as well as DSOs. But light pollution in my skies limit the visibility of a lot of DSOs. I have read people saying that the eyepieces which comes along with the package are not very good and it's better to buy some good plossls to enjoy the full power of an 8 inch reflector. 

I am considering 6mm or 4mm plossl for high mag. And 32 for low.

 

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, IndianAstroboy said:

I am considering 6mm or 4mm plossl for high mag. And 32 for low.

Plossl's of 4 or 6mm size would have short eye-relief ( about 5mm ) which some people find uncomfortable.

You might consider a reasonable quality 2-element metal bodied 2X Barlow like the Skywatcher de-luxe or the GSO equivalent.

This would give equivalent focal lengths of 12.5mm and 5mm without reducing the eye relief

The 32mm Plossl is a good idea. It will give the widest FOV possible in a 1.25 inch eyepiece.

Edited by lenscap
typo
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1 hour ago, lenscap said:

Plossl's of 4 or 6mm size would have short eye-relief ( about 5mm ) which some people find uncomfortable.

You might consider a reasonable quality 2-element metal bodied 2X Barlow like the Skywatcher de-luxe or the GSO equivalent.

This would give equivalent focal lengths of 12.5mm and 5mm without reducing the eye relief

The 32mm Plossl is a good idea. It will give the widest FOV possible in a 1.25 inch eyepiece.

Barlow is on my buying list for sure. Thanks for your advice. I appreciate. 

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2 hours ago, IndianAstroboy said:

But light pollution in my skies limit the visibility of a lot of DSOs

spend money on getting away from LP.

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Well my wife has ordered the Messier AR-90/900 she spoke with telescope house, I have no issue with this scope as it’s one that interested me the most. 

I have ordered a AZ4-2 mount, and a selection of eyepieces. 

I’m also going to book a place at the local observatory for a beginners evening, you take your equipment and they offer advise and help. 

Thanks for all the help and advise, I can’t wait to get started. 

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