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Hi all! I'm JPA, have been saving up for a telescope for months now! I've caught the astronomy bug from my physics classes ;)  If anyone could please give me some pointers on what exactly to buy, that would be amazing. 

I live in the suburbs, so there is some light pollution. I am mainly hoping to observe DSOs but also see some planets. My budget is 500-700$. 

My main question is, can I see DSOs with a f/10 telescope? Or would a f/5 be better?

Secondly, can I attempt imaging with an altaz mount or must it be an equatorial mount?

These are the two I'm deciding between. 

Celestron Nexstar SCT 6SE  (f/10, eq, no GOTO, 150mm aperature)

https://www.highpointscientific.com/celestron-nexstar-6se-schmidt-cassegrain-computerized-telescope-11068?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cse&utm_term=CEL-11068&gclid=CjwKCAiA0O7fBRASEiwAYI9QAopdBatvf6EdzfvPaWuyiDXZkR-LVoyOl9HnxNhoYsf7kiEmMILRjRoCKKcQAvD_BwE 

Celestron SkyProdigy Reflector (f/5, altaz, GOTO, 130mm aperature 

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/761152-REG/Celestron_31153_SkyProdigy_130_mm_Reflector.html#sp 

Any help is greatly appreciated!! Much thanks xx

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Hi and welcome to SGL.

No significant difference in F/5 to F/10 for what you can see with them. They do differ but in other areas - how easy is to obtain high magnifications, do they deliver wide or narrow field of view, how expensive eyepieces are for best performance, etc ...

If you are just starting, then you don't need to think too much about all of that.

I would say for that sort of money, best scope that you can buy is this one:

https://www.highpointscientific.com/telescopes/reflecting-telescopes/orion-skyquest-xt8-classic-8-dobsonian-telescope-08945

For best views of DSOs you simply want the most aperture you can handle, and above scope, while larger is still considered easy to store, setup and carry. Note that it is not a goto scope nor has tracking - it is manual scope, and if tracking/goto is something that you value, then don't choose that one.

Ok, now I've re read your post and saw that you mention imaging. So just ignore everything written above.

If your goal is to have both visual and imaging scope for your budget than I don't think I can help much. There are so many compromises to be made in that case and explaining them all can't fit in a single post

(eq vs az mount - short exposure vs long exposure, significance of mount performance for image, difference between planetary and deep sky imaging requirements, what sort of camera, ....)

 

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I would get the scope recommendation above, and as for imaging, imaging DSO's is no small potatoes, to get it right takes a good equatorial mount, patience, knowledge and experience with scopes, and a whole lot of trial and error.

The scope recommendation made by vlaiv is the quintessential beginners scope and, will provide you with years of planetary and deep sky observing, imaging sounds real cool but i feel you'll to be pulling out your hair lol.

Here's my analogy about imaging as a beginning amateur astronomer, you're going on vacation for the first time in your life, you buy the best camera and lenses and all the bits to record it, but you spent your vacation figuring them all out and missed the sights.

Edited by Sunshine
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3 hours ago, vlaiv said:

Hi and welcome to SGL.

No significant difference in F/5 to F/10 for what you can see with them. They do differ but in other areas - how easy is to obtain high magnifications, do they deliver wide or narrow field of view, how expensive eyepieces are for best performance, etc ...

If you are just starting, then you don't need to think too much about all of that.

I would say for that sort of money, best scope that you can buy is this one:

https://www.highpointscientific.com/telescopes/reflecting-telescopes/orion-skyquest-xt8-classic-8-dobsonian-telescope-08945

For best views of DSOs you simply want the most aperture you can handle, and above scope, while larger is still considered easy to store, setup and carry. Note that it is not a goto scope nor has tracking - it is manual scope, and if tracking/goto is something that you value, then don't choose that one.

Ok, now I've re read your post and saw that you mention imaging. So just ignore everything written above.

If your goal is to have both visual and imaging scope for your budget than I don't think I can help much. There are so many compromises to be made in that case and explaining them all can't fit in a single post

(eq vs az mount - short exposure vs long exposure, significance of mount performance for image, difference between planetary and deep sky imaging requirements, what sort of camera, ....)

 

thanks so much for ur help!! 

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For visual, go for the biggest aperture you can (but make sure you actually see the scope first ... big can sometimes mean unmanageably big!). This also applies to planetary AP (thousands of exposures, a fraction of a second long, on a video which are then processed into one image - that's the short version!)

For DSO imaging, the mount is FAR more important than the scope. It is possible to do it with an AZ mount (I have seen an image of the horsehead nebula made up of 2000* 2s exposures, but it is not the way I would choose to do it), but you are tying one hand behind your back. If AP is a direction you want to go, get a copy of this book before you purchase anything else. It will save you time, money and heartache in the long run.

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On 26/11/2018 at 22:37, jules857 said:

Hi all! I'm JPA, have been saving up for a telescope for months now! I've caught the astronomy bug from my physics classes ;)  If anyone could please give me some pointers on what exactly to buy, that would be amazing. 

I live in the suburbs, so there is some light pollution. I am mainly hoping to observe DSOs but also see some planets. My budget is 500-700$. 

My main question is, can I see DSOs with a f/10 telescope? Or would a f/5 be better?

Secondly, can I attempt imaging with an altaz mount or must it be an equatorial mount?

These are the two I'm deciding between. 

Celestron Nexstar SCT 6SE  (f/10, eq, no GOTO, 150mm aperature)

https://www.highpointscientific.com/celestron-nexstar-6se-schmidt-cassegrain-computerized-telescope-11068?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cse&utm_term=CEL-11068&gclid=CjwKCAiA0O7fBRASEiwAYI9QAopdBatvf6EdzfvPaWuyiDXZkR-LVoyOl9HnxNhoYsf7kiEmMILRjRoCKKcQAvD_BwE

Celestron SkyProdigy Reflector (f/5, altaz, GOTO, 130mm aperature 

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/761152-REG/Celestron_31153_SkyProdigy_130_mm_Reflector.html#sp

Any help is greatly appreciated!! Much thanks xx

Hi!

 

I recently ordered my first scope and went for the Nexstar 6SE! I had fairly same criteria as you do and although it doesn’t image or view perfectly, it does do both decently and that’s what I wanted. Note the 6SE is Alt-Az and GoTo. I’ll be buying an EQ6 GoTo for it in a few months however to improve its photography.

I recommend you see some sample pictures for each scope first as that really helped me decide,

all the best!

- Jojo

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