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mikeDnight

What's a serious Telescope?

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A serious scope is the best you can afford without going broke or deep in debt , that will be used the most with the best view possible giving you best time in your life ! To me my all time dream that will never happen is a Celestron 14” SCT on a Go-To mount with the best EPs’ i could afford ! I have viewed through one at McDonalds Observatory in FtDavis Texas and it blew my mind seeing Saturn in full color just like the best images I’ve ever seen ! 

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9 hours ago, Peter Drew said:

I don't think there is such a telescope, I think it's the user that's serious or not.   

😀

This, without doubt. However, I know what John means, below, 

9 hours ago, John said:

None of mine are serious - its a hobby for me and I do it for fun :grin:

... but I've always taken my pleasures seriously. (Why give precedence to your woes???)

When the great cyclist Ray Booty's 'straight out hundred' record was under attack for the first time in over thirty years he was asked if he could remember much about the bike he used for his record. He said something like, 'Yes, quite a lot, I rode to work on it this morning.' That's a serious bike!

Olly

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I’ve owned ten telescopes from 50mm to 200mm. I have thought of them all as serious instruments, and loved them all too. Every telescope capable of revealing something interesting in the cosmos is worthy in my opinion. Just wish I had a lot more storage space as I’d have kept all ten.

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26 minutes ago, celestron8g8 said:

I have viewed through one at McDonalds Observatory in FtDavis Texas and it blew my mind seeing Saturn in full color just like the best images I’ve ever seen ! 

 

 

Unfortunately at  my local McDonalds they never have telescopes, only cheeseburgers and alike 😀

 

 

 

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I posted earlier how I'd love to use the UH88 2.2m/22m focal length F10 scope at Mauna Kea, Hawaii. 

Assuming it takes 2" eyepieces🤣, this is what the Dumbbell Nebula would look like through a 55mm TV plossl.

A perfect fit! Only 406x mag and a nice 5.5mm exit pupil to boot.

It's nice to dream.

Dumbbell Neb 2.2m f10.jpg

Edited by Ships and Stars
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6 hours ago, Kn4fty said:

To me a serious telescope is the one that actually gets used on a regular basis. 

Rob

+1 on that.....

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I would have said a 3 inch refractor a few years ago but now would go for 60 mm instead...... Shame is that there are not many realy decent ones around.

Alan

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44 minutes ago, Alien 13 said:

I would have said a 3 inch refractor a few years ago but now would go for 60 mm instead...... Shame is that there are not many realy decent ones around.

Alan

I believe there is a decent 60mm in the classifieds. ;)

As to the original question of what defines a serious telescope I have three proposals to be argued over discussed:  

  1. A telescope sold by a "proper" astro retailer rather than by department stores.
  2. A telescope packaged in a brown cardboard box (or several brown cardboard boxes)
  3. A telescope not bundled with a 3X barlow and SR4 eyepiece.
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On 09/10/2019 at 09:16, mikeDnight said:

For me, I've have some amazing times at the eyepiece of a 3" refractor and a 4.5" reflector, so on a personal level, I could play quite merrily with scopes of this aperture and not get fed up. Where does your heart lie and why?

Just thinking about the last line of the OP in terms of  what makes us happy.  Its made me think back  to many years ago to when I was really big into hifi  getting ever better equipment but there came a point when I spent more time listening out for the imperfections in the reproduction than actually enjoying the music. Effectively the tail was wagging the dog. I stepped "back" to something simpler and started to get back into the music. I've had a couple of pefectly good very usable scopes but somehow did not do it for me, whereas I have what might be deemed as a technically lesser  scope that I find somehow more satisfying to use (when I can) - it hits the spot. I'm not suggesting for one moment that upgrading, or whatever, to something better or more capable is wrong just that just maybe its not necessary for an agreeable level of satisfaction. What is an agreeable level to one however is of course different to another and certainly it doesn't stop me looking and wondering but the question of where our hearts lie  is a good question to ask.

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Hmmm... Something that costs more than your car and needs a hoist to get it onto the mount?

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I'm likely most relaxed with my 4" Tak. Does that count as a serious scope? I don't know, seriously enjoyable I guess.

Any scope with good optical quality is a serious scope as far as I'm concerned. I had just as much fun with my 72mm apo as with my 350mm dob when down in Wales and felt the observations were of equal value, giving different perspectives of the same objects.

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A serious scope? 
I have never met a serious or otherwise telescope to date 🤣

In a serious (get it) note.
A scope that you are happy to use on a mount you are happy to use, 
is a serious scope. Be it a 60/80mm or an 8", it does not matter.

And as @Peter Drew noted, the astronomer provides the seriousness or not.

Edited by Alan White
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Whilst I don't think size matters, I do think that the quality does.

And, unfortunately, that does come at a price.

However, I don't think sticking an amateur in front of a quality piece of kit would make them a serious astronomer.

Equally, an experienced astronomer (like Galileo) will squeeze an incredible amount out of a fairly mediocre instrument.

For me, as with the serious EPs, I'll never own a serious 'scope and that's fine, because I'm not an amateur astronomer, let alone a serious one.

I'm very happy stargazing though. :)

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4 hours ago, DaveS said:

Hmmm... Something that costs more than your car and needs a hoist to get it onto the mount?

Sounds familiar car slightly more and I made a ramp that bolted to the dovetail plate to get it on the mount. Still a two man job.

Regards Andrew 

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One that makes someone not interested in the hobby go 'oooooh'.

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Approaching the topic from a less serious angle, any telescope that you can't lift on your own. That's a serious telescope.

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A year or so ago I showed my 4 year old grandson the moon through a £100 Heritage 130 and it blew his little socks off.

We live in Scotland and the grandkids all live in Sweden so we dont see them very often.

On his most recent visit when we collected them all from the airport the very first words out of his mouth were 'FarFar Visa mig teleskopet' (Grandad show me the telescope).

He couldn't wait to get to our house and thankfully it was a clear night. He gazed through it for ages.

My son and his wife tell me that he is always asking about the night sky so the effect was clearly profound.

To me - that's a serious telescope!

 

 

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41 minutes ago, David Levi said:

Approaching the topic from a less serious angle, any telescope that you can't lift on your own. That's a serious telescope.

I have a triple pulley block hoist to lift my 7" refractor onto its mounting.
Does that count? :grin:

P1380411 rsz 800 fb.JPG

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For me any telescope is serious. There is not one I was disappointed with. Currently the beautiful Takahashi FS-60Q is my serious telescope. In Q config it's great on Moon and planets (what's left of them in the low sky) and splitting doubles left and right. But then you take the Q off and it becomes a nice little EAA machine. Point to M57 and a beautiful ring appears on the laptop screen in a few minutes.

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Definition of serious,

“Demanding or characterised by careful consideration or application”

By this definition a serious scope is one that you have thought  very carefully about  what you want to use it for, what you want from it and then you actually use and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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In which case all my 'scopes have been "serious" as I don't have enough money to buy a 'scope on a whim, in every case I've thought long and hard about why I want / need it and what I intend to image and with what camera.

Having said which, the ODK12 I have incoming (And which I'm *still* waiting for OOUK to deliver) was almost an impulse purchase (A £5k impulse, Yeah right). I'd had a 12" RC on my hit list and had been debating between GSO or push the boat out for a CFF, when I wandered onto the OOUK stall at Astrofest (As one does) and was made a very good offer by John.

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5 minutes ago, Ags said:

This is a very serious telescope:

Figure 1: The KELT-South telescope at the <a  data-cke-saved-href="http://www.saao.ac.za/" href="http://www.saao.ac.za/">South African Astronomical Observatory</a>. Figure 1 from the paper.

It most certainly is, and by the looks of things in a very serious location.

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