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I-d-b

300 budget scope for moon basic Astro and land / sea viewing

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I think you should research and read more, and check reviews. To confirm you'll get the magnification you are after and what/if there is any chromatic aberration as that is a lot of your budget on just one item and I don't know if there is enough back focus available for an erect image diagonal.

Magnification this is a quick mockup 6mm x70 and 30mm x14 on the Moon.

_20190312_185421.JPG.0eea2a4bd0b38fccbd348ebedb53243b.JPG

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If you are thinking about any ED refractor like the ED72 I would check that you can actually achieve focus with a correct image diagonal especially a two inch one, many of these types of scope have very limited focus travel.

Alan

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 Skywatcher EVOSTAR 72ED            
BC003    Revelation Observers Eyepiece Kit       
PD001    Revelation Erect Image Diagonal        
FF146    Revelation 1.25" to 2" plus T thread adapter

 

where all recomended by Telescope House based on my wants for basic planet/ moon viewing and terrestrial viewing. All seemed to get good reviews. 

 

Based on last 2 posted comments I’m concerned it may not work?

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Don't get an eyepiece/accessory kit.  In the long run it may very well end up in the closet.  Besides, it doesn't include a 32mm, and you'll want that.  Acquire your eyepieces no more than one or two at a time, and after careful research.  Choosing eyepieces is somewhat akin to acquiring prescription-eyeglasses, at the eye-doctor.  

What sort of diagonal will you use at night?  Perhaps a 2" star-diagonal, and in tandem with the "1.25" to 2" plus T thread adapter"?  You can then choose just one 2" eyepiece; a 32mm, or a 38mm, and for your lowest power and widest field-of-view; to get your bearings there in the night sky, to find your way round. 

In so far as using a telescope during the day, and at night, a focal-length at, the very least, 600mm, to 900mm, would be ideal.  Maksutovs, and Schmidts, are a bit lengthy(>1000mm); with the 72mm ED refractor at the other extreme(420mm), and intended primarily for imaging, for taking pictures.  Incidentally, I have this 70mm f/13 achromat, and with a focal-length of 900mm...

4c.jpg.d543a61bafd01af1cd7722cfa002ddc8.jpg

It was thrown in with the mount I had wanted at the time.  I can get a respectably low power of 28x out of it, with a 32mm eyepiece, but it doesn't gather much light from an object; and no, I'm not suggesting that particular telescope, not at all.  However, it does demonstrate an ideal focal-length, at or near maximum, which would play quite well with the 4mm-to-40mm range of eyepieces, but the aperture is too dim for my liking. 

This one has a focal-length of 600mm... https://www.firstlightoptics.com/pro-series/skywatcher-evostar-80ed-ds-pro-ota.html

An 80mm aperture is as small as I would choose, for my first refractor, but that's just me.

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On 07/03/2019 at 02:29, I-d-b said:

I’m looking for a telescope around 300 that has good magnification and good optics so I can do basic astronomy and look at the boats in the sea (approx 3 miles from our house!)

I assume I need a refractor?

looked at the celestron nexstar xlt 102 at £349 and the sky-watcher star travel 

102mm £ 229.00 

120mm  £ 329.00 

 

Thoughts?!

also looked at the celestron ultimate 80 spotting scope at less than £200 (like the idea of zoom). 

All seem to have Chromatic aboration- any suggestions on alternatives in my price range please!

 

Welcome from Land Down Under

For visual viewing would not go past either a 8" or 10" collapsible Dob

Attached pic of mine

On the 5 October, JPL/NASA hosting the International Night of the Moon

Lot of clubs internationally get involved, hosting the event

Matter of interest, have also attached image of our moon, used to promote last years event by JPL/NASA

View from opposite hemispheres

John

 

Skywatcher 10 inch Dobson.jpg

Northern Hemishpere Moon Map.jpg

Southern Hemisphere Moon Map.jpg

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I think it looks a lovely telescope but I'm wondering how long before you want more resolution and magnification. 

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Having looked through both a mak style and refractor, I prefer the wider field of view of the refractor. 

Now looking at a potential of 4:

Omni XLT AZ 120

startravel 120 az3

Starwave 70ed f6 

or

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/pro-series/sky-watcher-evostar-72ed-ds-pro-ota.html

The last 2 will be circa £400 without a tripod and the first 2 substantially cheaper  

I’m interested to know thoughts on the differences between the 2 120 scopes detailed if anyone has experience of both?

 

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Posted (edited)

This is the only 120mm "Omni XLT", and with an equatorial mount instead...

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/omni-xlt-series/celestron-omni-xlt-120.html

Incidentally, that one would exhibit the least amount of false-colour when viewing brighter objects.

Perhaps you were referring to this one... https://www.firstlightoptics.com/omni-xlt-series/celestron-omni-xlt-102-az.html

That one would exhibit a little more, but not too terribly much.

On the other hand, the "Startravel" 120mm would be as a kaleidoscope when viewing brighter objects, yet ideally suited for the dimmer deep-sky-objects and vistas.

Edited by Alan64

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That's great you got to look and make an experienced based choice.

The wider the field of view goes with the higher the focal ratio (smaller number). What about looking out for a second hand ED80. The ED glass minimises chromatic aberration and the 80mm gives you a bit more reach.

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Given that you have said you are interested in lunar and high magnification  terrestrial viewing, I think the ED is the only one on your list  worth considering. The Startravel range are very much designed for low magnification, wide field viewing. Really bright targets (like the Moon) and high magnification (above about x60 or so) don't bring out the best in it (I'm being kind here).

For your stated goals, if you've decided you really don't like the Mak, you'd probably be best looking at either a long refractor (about f10 or so) or an ED type scope. The latter, while more expensive, will give you both wide fields, low CA and high magnification performance in a portable format.

I'm intrigued as to what you didn't like about the Mak. Was it just the relatively narrow field? 

Billy.

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On 15/03/2019 at 09:46, billyharris72 said:

Given that you have said you are interested in lunar and high magnification  terrestrial viewing, I think the ED is the only one on your list  worth considering. The Startravel range are very much designed for low magnification, wide field viewing. Really bright targets (like the Moon) and high magnification (above about x60 or so) don't bring out the best in it (I'm being kind here).

For your stated goals, if you've decided you really don't like the Mak, you'd probably be best looking at either a long refractor (about f10 or so) or an ED type scope. The latter, while more expensive, will give you both wide fields, low CA and high magnification performance in a portable format.

I'm intrigued as to what you didn't like about the Mak. Was it just the relatively narrow field? 

Billy.

It was purely the field of view being far too narrow. 

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On 15/03/2019 at 08:51, happy-kat said:

That's great you got to look and make an experienced based choice.

The wider the field of view goes with the higher the focal ratio (smaller number). What about looking out for a second hand ED80. The ED glass minimises chromatic aberration and the 80mm gives you a bit more reach.

I have been looking for a second hand 80ED.  Seems to be very hard to come by!

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There have been a few I've noticed this year just keep your eyes peeled.

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Read the wanted and for sale adds on here I just read something you might be very interested in.

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20 hours ago, I-d-b said:

It was purely the field of view being far too narrow. 

That's completely reasonable- Maks are great specialist high magnification scopes but there are better all rounders. A second hand ED80 (or ED72) will do a pretty good job on just about everything.

Best of luck in tracking one down. Between here and Astro Buy sell you shouldn't have to wait too long.

Billy.

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22 hours ago, billyharris72 said:

That's completely reasonable- Maks are great specialist high magnification scopes but there are better all rounders. A second hand ED80 (or ED72) will do a pretty good job on just about everything.

Best of luck in tracking one down. Between here and Astro Buy sell you shouldn't have to wait too long.

Billy.

Anything I need to be aware of when looking at second hand?

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I'd avoid ebay if possible - lots of good bargains on there, but also the possibility of getting something that's not great. This place is good for second hand - everyone sort of "knows" everyone else and plays fair, so what you'll get will be honestly as described. I've bought a couple of things on UK AstroBuySell and never had a problem - tend to buy only things with photos and make a point of checking the pictures (if they don't have a shot of the objective then I'd email them and ask for one). Generally if you ask people about the item they'll give you an honest answer.

If in doubt, you could try to arrange to collect rather than pay and post. That gives you a chance to check the glass and the focuser and make sure everything is in order.

Hope this helps.

Billy.

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There are differences between the ED80 and the ED72. Weight, length and field of view spring to mind. You might want to consider if these are a consideration to you.

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Many thanks to all who guided and gave me food for thought. 

I managed to pick up a second hand ed72 with dielectric diagonal and a decent eyepiece. 

Very happy with it?

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32 minutes ago, I-d-b said:

Many thanks to all who guided and gave me food for thought. 

I managed to pick up a second hand ed72 with dielectric diagonal and a decent eyepiece. 

Very happy with it?

Awesome, Best of luck with the new scope...Cool you found a good deal, Clear Skies...

                            Freddie ?

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Next job is to work out what I need to connect my Fuji xt-3 to it!!

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On 13/03/2019 at 00:27, Alan64 said:

Don't get an eyepiece/accessory kit.  In the long run it may very well end up in the closet.  Besides, it doesn't include a 32mm, and you'll want that.  Acquire your eyepieces no more than one or two at a time, and after careful research.  Choosing eyepieces is somewhat akin to acquiring prescription-eyeglasses, at the eye-doctor.  

What sort of diagonal will you use at night?  Perhaps a 2" star-diagonal, and in tandem with the "1.25" to 2" plus T thread adapter"?  You can then choose just one 2" eyepiece; a 32mm, or a 38mm, and for your lowest power and widest field-of-view; to get your bearings there in the night sky, to find your way round. 

In so far as using a telescope during the day, and at night, a focal-length at, the very least, 600mm, to 900mm, would be ideal.  Maksutovs, and Schmidts, are a bit lengthy(>1000mm); with the 72mm ED refractor at the other extreme(420mm), and intended primarily for imaging, for taking pictures.  Incidentally, I have this 70mm f/13 achromat, and with a focal-length of 900mm...

4c.jpg.d543a61bafd01af1cd7722cfa002ddc8.jpg

It was thrown in with the mount I had wanted at the time.  I can get a respectably low power of 28x out of it, with a 32mm eyepiece, but it doesn't gather much light from an object; and no, I'm not suggesting that particular telescope, not at all.  However, it does demonstrate an ideal focal-length, at or near maximum, which would play quite well with the 4mm-to-40mm range of eyepieces, but the aperture is too dim for my liking. 

This one has a focal-length of 600mm... https://www.firstlightoptics.com/pro-series/skywatcher-evostar-80ed-ds-pro-ota.html

An 80mm aperture is as small as I would choose, for my first refractor, but that's just me.

Apologies for hijacking this thread, but I have got that exact same refractor and I was wondering how on earth you found those tube rings for the scope and how you modified it so it fits? My astromaster 70 is rear heavy and this could be a potential solution for me. Thanks again!

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15 hours ago, Nerf_Caching said:

Apologies for hijacking this thread, but I have got that exact same refractor and I was wondering how on earth you found those tube rings for the scope and how you modified it so it fits? My astromaster 70 is rear heavy and this could be a potential solution for me. Thanks again!

No apologies are necessary.  I got these tube-rings online, here in the U.S....

https://agenaastro.com/agena-telescope-tube-ring-2-9.html

...and I removed the dovetail-bar from the optical-tube and attached the rings to it...

tube-rings3.jpg.1dbbe94b8748312e02f76abc3b511766.jpg

I got longer bolts locally, metric, just like the original, short ones...

tube-rings2.jpg.491d0453f29f777131f40da3e2d41af5.jpg

The bar is rather short in its fixed position upon the tube, and therefore quite limited in being able to balance same when adding the diagonal, eyepieces, a barlow perhaps, and other accessories.

Incidentally, I loathe the focusser...

focusser9b.jpg.5c79db3dfeb43f75a19070fc2b060942.jpg

...the body, shown there, specifically.  I plan on replacing it in future with one that's a bit less "creative" in design. 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Alan64 said:

No apologies are necessary.  I got these tube-rings online, here in the U.S....

https://agenaastro.com/agena-telescope-tube-ring-2-9.html

...and I removed the dovetail-bar from the optical-tube and attached the rings to it...

tube-rings3.jpg.1dbbe94b8748312e02f76abc3b511766.jpg

I got longer bolts locally, metric, just like the original, short ones...

tube-rings2.jpg.491d0453f29f777131f40da3e2d41af5.jpg

The bar is rather short in its fixed position upon the tube, and therefore quite limited in being able to balance same when adding the diagonal, eyepieces, a barlow perhaps, and other accessories.

Incidentally, I loathe the focusser...

focusser9b.jpg.5c79db3dfeb43f75a19070fc2b060942.jpg

...the body, shown there, specifically.  I plan on replacing it in future with one that's a bit less "creative" in design. 

How did you remove the dovetail bar? I think it is bolted down both inside and outside the ota. Also, my focuser is not properly aligned with the objective (It's not square on facing the objective), but still usable. Probs worth replacing.

Edited by Nerf_Caching

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Nerf_Caching said:

How did you remove the dovetail bar? I think it is bolted down both inside and outside the ota. Also, my focuser is not properly aligned with the objective (It's not square on facing the objective), but still usable. Probs worth replacing.

The nuts on the inside of the tube are six-sided, of course.  I took a wire clothes-hanger and formed a wrench out of it.  You simply bend the end of the wire with pliers into a six-sided loop, and at about the size of the nut.  You then hold and keep the nut from moving with that whilst unscrewing the bolt on the outside which requires a hex-key; simple.  You can loosen the screws holding the focusser in place, tilt the body of the same until it's on-axis, then batten the screws back down.  However, I would suggest pursuing a simpler focusser, and as I'm planning to do.  70mm refractors are quite commonplace nowadays.

Incidentally, I got mine up to 225x on Polaris, and with little image breakdown as I could still clearly distinguish the first-diffraction ring of the star.  The star was quite dim at that power, per the achromat's 70mm aperture, but still visible.

Edited by Alan64

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