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Noobe trying to make an informed decision


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OK...this is the story.

I have decided I want a reflector. Wanting DSO now..lunar and planetry now. Hopeing to move down the line with CCD imaging. Budget and experience will determine when this happens.

I am wanting a scope that will allow me to get more and more from it as experience grows. I am not wanting to find my feet and then realise I have purchased a pup :?

OK..I have decided on a Skywatcher Explorer 200 HEQ5 (f5)..GOTO package is out of budget but I may save a little longer for it as to buy it retrospectively, is quite expensive.

The other telescope I was looking at was the Meade LXD75 6'' Newtonian reflector. I have gone 6'' as I heard the Meade is optictally superior and the 6'' would be more like the Explorer 8'' in terms of performance. Can anyone support this? :?

Both are f5 scopes and I feel this is good for what I am wanting to use the scopes for.

In a nutshell,

Is the meade LXD 6'' like a skywatcher explorer 8''?

Should it be the LXD 8'' reflector instead of the 6''.

Are the Meades really worth the little extra?

Cheers

Andy

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Hi Andy,

Both are excellent scopes so there is no wrong choice :lol:

However, there are a few things to consider, in no particular order:

Yes, visually, the refractor should be as bright as the reflector.

The refractor will give a more pleasing image with a purity and bite that cannot be matched by the reflector.

The refractor is an 'achromat' which means some brighter objects will display false colour.

The reflector is totally free of false colour (mirrors don't diffract light).

The HEQ5 is a tougher mount than the LXD75 mount.

You will spend a lot of time stooped or on your knees when viewing thru the refractor.

The refractor needs no collimation and negligible cool-down time.

The reflector will need frequent collimation (more important when imaging) and at least an hours cool-down time.

I am sure others will post more on this subject but personally, if choosing between the two, I would probably be awkward and ask for the 6" Refractor OTA mounted it on a HEQ5. Failing that, I'd buy the LXD75 Meade setup.

Hope that helps,

Steve :)

BTW: Telescopes4U (link at bottom of page) will rent the LXD75 if you fancy trying one first - Damien, the proprietor, is also an SGL member.

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Light the blue touch paper and stand well back!!

Here's my 2p!!

The Meade optics are very, very good - however you spend a lot of money on the GOTO system....

The 8" Skywatcher is a reflector not a refractor.. The HEQ5 is an excellent mount (I have one) and an excellent scope..

If you want to do some imaging then the above set up with a Toucam Pro will do for planatery work, if you want deep sky then you can get the Toucam modified or move up to a dedicated camera.

Using RA and DEC setting circles on a scope is quicker than GOTO! Use the money you save for some nice eyepieces....

I'll get my coat....

Greg

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I think you might be getting your reflectors mixed up with your refractors, Both Meade and the Sky watcher you mention are Reflectors,

Sky watcher do some nice refractors within your budget, here,s a good place to start looking http://www.sherwoods-photo.com/homepage.htm

Reflectors tend to be a but better for DSO than Refractors but refractors will produce a sharper image and will be better on planets.

I would go for an 8 inch over the 6 inch, an 8inch will gather allmost trice as much light as a 6 inch no matter how good the optics and IMO the optics

on the sky watcher are very good.

Thats my 2p anyway

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Thanks all.

Post edited now you have found the deliberate mistake :oops:

Reflector is what I am after.

So..Meade may be excellent but its sounding like personal preference between the 2 brands and the Explorer is hardly a poor relation

:lol:

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Using RA and DEC setting circles on a scope is quicker than GOTO! Use the money you save for some nice eyepieces....

With practise, thats true but whilst Greg can hop quickly, from object to object, using setting circles... I need GOTO to keep up with him - but I am working on it!

Reflector is what I am after.

Do you mean the Meade 6" Newtonian or Meade Schmidt Newtonian?

[EDIT] Actually, forget I asked as the 8" Skywatcher is the better buy when compared to the Meade reflectors.

:lol:

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I would go for an 8 inch over the 6 inch, an 8inch will gather allmost trice as much light as a 6 inch no matter how good the optics and IMO the optics on the sky watcher are very good.

I agree with Mark.

Go for the Skywatcher - you know you want too!!

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Using RA and DEC setting circles on a scope is quicker than GOTO! Use the money you save for some nice eyepieces....

With practise, thats true but whilst Greg can hop quickly, from object to object, using setting circles...  I need GOTO to keep up with him - but I am working on it!

Reflector is what I am after.

Do you mean the Meade 6" Newtonian or Meade Schmidt Newtonian?

mmmmm, I have trying to see what the pro's and cons are with these 2 so of yet, I am still undecided. I know with the 8'' Meade, its the SN reflector or nothing.

What do you see bewtween the N and SN's?

I agree with Mark.

Go for the Skywatcher - you know you want too!!

A big part of me is saying that, some may argue the case a Meade is superior but I am starting to think its debatable and what is certainly in question is whether its worth the extra. Are you paying for a name?

I know some prefer the meade software due to it being industry std and more feature rich. But its sounding like horses for courses.

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A big part of me is saying that, some may argue the case a Meade is superior but I am starting to think its debatable and what is certainly in question is whether its worth the extra. Are you paying for a name?

Meade's Schmidt Newtonians are primarily intended for imaging and should provide a brighter (I think they are f4?), better corrected and flatter field image.  They are more expensive because their Schmidt corrector plates are expensive to manufacture... And as Greg says, GOTO is expensive.

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Dont you need GOTO to track with imaging? Sorry if this sounds dumb...I know zilch in this area although its somewhere I know I will end up.

No, you need a driven mount, GOTO is not compulsory an HEQ5 will do fine as long as it's accuratly polar aligned..

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Andy,

Tell us what your budget is and we can shop for you..

Circa £800.

I have no huge light pullution

Want decent optics

Decent mount

Thinking f4/f5 system

No smaller than 6'' but 8'' pref

Reflector

Ease of upgrade to the tracking and imaging side.

I know..I know, I want it all now :lol:

I dont see me using it all now. Would rather spend money now and not spend even more later.

Got my first baby due in 2 weeks so I need to find a home for this cash before Mama's and Papa's rob me of it :) :)

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A big part of me is saying that, some may argue the case a Meade is superior but I am starting to think its debatable and what is certainly in question is whether its worth the extra. Are you paying for a name?

Meade's Schmidt Newtonians are primarily intended for imaging and should provide a brighter (I think they are f4?), better corrected and flatter field image. They are more expensive because their Schmidt corrector plates are expensive to manufacture... And as Greg says, GOTO is expensive.

1 post read and I learnt more than 4 hrs on google.

Thanks!! :sunny: 8)

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Hi Andy

Over the last few months i have read loads of reviews

on reflector telescopes and i have came to this conclusion

Pound for pound the 8" Skywatcher reflector on the HEQ5

is one of the best scopes you will get for the money

performance wise and financially.

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This isn't that complicated!!!! I doubt very much that a 6" Meade F5 Meade reflector will be as good as an 8" F5 Skywatcher. Whoever has told you that probably has a significant bias. If you want an alround planetary and deep sky reflector you should be looking for a slightly longer focal length. This will offer better planetary imaging and puts less pressure on the optics.

An Orion Europa F6 would seem to be an excellent choice.

That is what I would be going for given you requirements.

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Andy

I would go for an 8" scope. With your budget you could get a decent scope & mount.

I know many of the guys here have the skywatcher and rate it highly.

I have the 8" Orion Optics f6 scope and it is a superb scope and a great allrounder.

For £800 you could get a guaranteed top quality mirror with a report showing you it performance.

Cheers

Ian

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£800 is a decent amount of money to get a decent telescope. One question - Are you going to be a Back garden gazer or would you like it portable?

Its gonna be back garden. From the conservatory to the garden is about as much as it goes.

There may be the odd occasion where it spends a week or 2 in Twywn W Wales. Pitch back, no traffic and on the coast.

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