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Hello from Denmark :)

I'm thinking about getting my first telescope, not right now but within short time...

Basically I would like to be able to see it all. Planets, nebulas, stars, the moon...
I've considered the Startravel 102 AZ, but I'm in doubt if that's allround enough?

I've read about it having "problems" with the colours when looking at fx Jupiter, but I believe there's some filters for that, right?

Oh, and if I could be able to photograph through the telescope, that would be nice too. Don't know if that could be done handheld?! :)

BR
Nielsen

Edited by Nielsen81

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Welcome to the forum! Where do you live in Denmark? Me myself live in Frederiksberg probably one of the worst places to live light-pollution wise....

As for the telescope you want to buy. Do you have a budget or a max? I maybe think you (just like I was myself) are a little ambitious with what you want from a telescope. Each type of telescope has its own strengths and the difficult part of this is choosing the one, which has the most strengths that you want.

I highly recommend for you to read this article which discusses the different types of telescopes, and which one to chose.
http://scopeviews.co.uk/Beginners Choosing Article.htm

Feel free to ask more questions, and I will answer as fast as possible!

Victor

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What's your budget?

I have a Startravel 102, and I advise you that it is not good as a general purpose telescope. It is best suited for widefield use (star clusters etc) and has problems with chromatic aberration when used for anything else. Filters will reduce this, but why go there when you can buy a more suitable telescope in the first place?

I assume you want a small general purpose setup to start with, so I suggest you consider a long-focal length refractor, or a small Newtonian, or a Maksutov.

For the mount, an alt-azimuth, or a mini-Dob for the Newtonian, or if you have a bigger budget, get a GoTo so that you can find stuff more easily. Particularly if you live in a city.

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I believe the standard answer is that a Skywatcher 200P Dobsonian mounted telescope should do most things.  Including a bit of afocal through-the-eyepiece photography, esp. if put onto a Dobsonian goto mount like I have.  ?

Edited by JOC
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43 minutes ago, JOC said:

I believe the standard answer is that a Skywatcher 200P Dobsonian mounted telescope should do most things.  Including a bit of afocal through-the-eyepiece photography, esp. if put onto a Dobsonian goto mount like I have.  ?

Yes if this is within budget, it is the ultimate all-round scope.

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Hi Neilsen and welcome to SGL. :hello2:

A maksutov, as mentioned by @Cosmic Geoff is an excellent 'scope for lunar & planets. Nice and compact. They do need to acclimatise if coming outside from a warm enviroment, (can take upto sixty minutes). Also a dew-shield is a must have. Not so good on some DSO's as they do have a narrow field of view and a slow f/ratio if you want to start photographing them. Lunar and planetary is OK. Below is an image I have taken of the Montes Apenninus area on the Moon a few years ago using a Meade ETX105 + 20mm Plossl e/p with a 2.1 megapixel compact digital camera using the optical zoom, not the digital zoom, using the afocal photography method.

p3130001-enhanced.thumb.jpg.4d5cc4989d96b52e2bb88531e6f6e710.jpg

Prime focus photography involves using the OTA as a lens + camera only, i.e. no eyepiece.

Edited by Philip R
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FWIW my moon avatar was taken afocally with the telescope in my signature.

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Dobsonians are great to start with as they are relatively cheaper and can gather a lot of light and therefore let you see more, 200mm diameter is a good start. Skywatcher 200p dobsonian (already mentioned here) is superb.

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Welcome.

The best telescope is the one you can be bothered to take to where you observe, so consider where you will keep your telescope and how far it is to your observing location and whether there are any stairs.

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Another vote for 200p  dobsonion. But as mentioned think about how you will transport it.it's not heavy but if you have to carry it a long way from car to where you'll be setting up .I love mine but don't travel with it.just in back garden so not an issue.hope this helps.

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200p dobsonians are popular, and when one can get the whole outfit for the cost of an ummounted  smallish refractor or catadroptic,  or the cost of a good mount for a small scope, one can see the attraction.

But the Dob is not IMHO an all-rounder, because of the basic mounting, which makes various operations more awkward than they would be with a more sophisticated mount. And in the GoTo variant they are no longer a cheap option.

The basic Dob mount, apparently made out of chipboard, probably costs only a few pounds to manufacture, (hence the low cost of the whole outfit) but you could spend £1000 or so mounting the same (or shorter F-ratio) Newtonian OTA for astrophotography.

The point I am making here is that you get what you pay for, and that the type of mount chosen will tend to constrain what you can do with the telescope.  And maybe how often you take it out of doors.

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I think it is important to consider your personal circumstances. Do you have a garden? How much free time do you have? How much energy do you generally have after a long day's work? Do you drive and will you regularly be traveling to dark sky sites (assuming there is some light pollution where you live)?  They say the best telescope is one that you use most often, or words to that effect. So it is perhaps best to consider this and your personal circumstances when making a decision. A big EQ6 mount and say a Celestron C11 can seem like a great idea, but if you have to haul this setup out the house into the garden/into a car and set it up after a long day's work, it can quickly become tiring and discourage you from observing.  If you have some means of  permanently mounting that example I used, then it might be a different story.

I personally do not have a garden, so I do a lot of "guerilla" observing in front of the flat and travel to star parties and darker skies in Norfolk. Given these facts, a light 2kg 80mm refractor with a retractable dew shield (important for fitting the scope in the backpack) on a 1kg mount and 3kg photo tripod is the right setup for me. I can fit my scope, eyepieces and mount in a relatively compact, light, padded spotting scope backpack and carry the tripod in a tripod bag. I could simplify even further by attaching the tripod to the backpack, but I don't like to advertise the fact that I am carrying expensive optical equipment when I am traveling through the middle of London. I'm not saying this is the setup you should opt for, but for me personally at this moment in time, this is the right setup for me. If I had a garden, I would definitely invest in an eight inch dobsonian or some kind of EAA/video astronomy setup, but I would still keep the lighter setup for traveling on foot/wide field views. 

Edited by Starpaw

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On 16/10/2018 at 16:28, Victor Boesen said:

Welcome to the forum! Where do you live in Denmark? Me myself live in Frederiksberg probably one of the worst places to live light-pollution wise....

As for the telescope you want to buy. Do you have a budget or a max? I maybe think you (just like I was myself) are a little ambitious with what you want from a telescope. Each type of telescope has its own strengths and the difficult part of this is choosing the one, which has the most strengths that you want.

I highly recommend for you to read this article which discusses the different types of telescopes, and which one to chose.
http://scopeviews.co.uk/Beginners Choosing Article.htm

Feel free to ask more questions, and I will answer as fast as possible!

Victor


Hi Victor :)

I live just outside Middelfart (silly name in english for the english-speaking people following the tread :D). There's very little to none light pollution, so I can actually go just outside in the garden, and if I turn the lights off in the house, there's all dark :)

My budget would probably be somewhere around 3.000 DKR +/-

If I really have to choose, I would rather like to watch planets and the moon as a beginning, and then later on move on to the nebulas ect :)

Thank you very much for your answer... :)
I might PM you at some time, since danish is a bit easier for me :D

BR
Nielsen

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13 hours ago, Starpaw said:

I think it is important to consider your personal circumstances. Do you have a garden? How much free time do you have? How much energy do you generally have after a long day's work? Do you drive and will you regularly be traveling to dark sky sites (assuming there is some light pollution where you live)?  They say the best telescope is one that you use most often, or words to that effect. So it is perhaps best to consider this and your personal circumstances when making a decision. A big EQ6 mount and say a Celestron C11 can seem like a great idea, but if you have to haul this setup out the house into the garden/into a car and set it up after a long day's work, it can quickly become tiring and discourage you from observing.  If you have some means of  permanently mounting that example I used, then it might be a different story.

I personally do not have a garden, so I do a lot of "guerilla" observing in front of the flat and travel to star parties and darker skies in Norfolk. Given these facts, a light 2kg 80mm refractor with a retractable dew shield (important for fitting the scope in the backpack) on a 1kg mount and 3kg photo tripod is the right setup for me. I can fit my scope, eyepieces and mount in a relatively compact, light, padded spotting scope backpack and carry the tripod in a tripod bag. I could simplify even further by attaching the tripod to the backpack, but I don't like to advertise the fact that I am carrying expensive optical equipment when I am traveling through the middle of London. I'm not saying this is the setup you should opt for, but for me personally at this moment in time, this is the right setup for me. If I had a garden, I would definitely invest in an eight inch dobsonian or some kind of EAA/video astronomy setup, but I would still keep the lighter setup for traveling on foot/wide field views. 


Good questions :)

Yes, I have a garden with very little to none light pollution depending on where I sit.
Free time...well, I actually got lots of free time, as I work 12 hour shifts and have longer weekends, so no problem there too.

For now I don't plan to take the equipment anywhere but the garden. Well, that should maybe be 200 meters away from the house, where the view is even better (the area is more wide since it's fields there).


 

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I guess this one is the one most of you recommend https://www.amazon.co.uk/WATCHER-SKYLINER-PARABOLIC-DOBSONIAN-TELESCOPE/dp/B00B0GV1N8

The price is also within my budget, so that could be the one :)
Other than that, feel free to continue with recommendations and discussion here as that's a good way for me to learn. I do however have some "problems" figuring out some of the abbreviations  :)

Oh, and some of you guys have asked some of the same things. I have answered some of that in answers to Victor and Starpaw :)
Hope that's okay :)

 

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1 hour ago, Nielsen81 said:


Hi Victor :)

I live just outside Middelfart (silly name in english for the english-speaking people following the tread :D). There's very little to none light pollution, so I can actually go just outside in the garden, and if I turn the lights off in the house, there's all dark :)

My budget would probably be somewhere around 3.000 DKR +/-

If I really have to choose, I would rather like to watch planets and the moon as a beginning, and then later on move on to the nebulas ect :)

Thank you very much for your answer... :)
I might PM you at some time, since danish is a bit easier for me :D

BR
Nielsen

Feel free to! If you want to start with the planets, then I would highly recommend the same as linked in the post above by @happy-kat. And buy from FLO because I've also been buying from them for a couple of years now, and they're always nice and delivery is quick and easy.

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How about a moon filter? Should I buy one?

It's not expensive, but if it's no good, then of course I won't ☺️

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1 hour ago, Nielsen81 said:

How about a moon filter? Should I buy one?

It's not expensive, but if it's no good, then of course I won't ☺️

Not really necessary, but if you do decide on purchasing a moon filter, get a variable polarising filter. I use the type as shown in the photo below.

5addf27ccac70_variablemoonfilter.jpg.e490ce031fc7badb2a139b6d8384c995.jpg

Other 1.25" & 2" brands are available, but without the eyepiece holder.  

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https://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/antares-variable-polarising-filter-125.html

With a 200mm aperture, the Moon can be bright enough to bother some, if not many, and the polariser can certainly be used to dim it down.  But its greatest use is in dimming down Jupiter and Mars, particularly Jupiter, to eliminate the diffraction spikes caused by the Newtonian's secondary-spider vanes, but also to improve the contrast to where the planet's features are more easily seen...

variable-polariser.jpg.4d55cbadabd29a1250efcaec3cae2889.jpg

Of course, as I understand, the planets are not in the most favourable positions for observing, but in future they will be once again, and you'll be ready.

Edited by Alan64
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One must also not forget a single polarizing filter is also variable too but in the sense that you go from zero polarization to full polarization when rotated. Just screw either half of that polarizing filter set on an eyepiece point the scope at the moon and rotate the eyepiece while observing and you will see a very marked improvement in contrast and detail once the single polarizer is tuned the image will be at it's darkest...this is using a single polarizer with a tuned correct alignment and the visual effect it has on an image is quite stunning.

Now...keep the eyepiece and initial polarizer orientation exactly the same and remove the eyepiece and screw the other polarizer on to the first and but keep the orientation you had when aligning the first half of the filter set and place the eyepiece back in the scope...now as long you keep the first filter, scope and eyepiece aligned and tuned and rotate only the second filter you will be operating what is considered a tuned filer set. Meaning you will have both the benifit of polarization and diming were as if the closest filter to the eyepiece or camera is not tuned you are only taking advantage the the diming effect of the stacked polarizer and not useing the full capabilities of the polarizing filter set.

You will see a marked improvement when useing either a single polarizer or a set when properly tuned ?

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Thank you very much you two! :)

That was very useful information, which I'll definitely stick to, when I get the telescope and the filter. :)

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