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Deisler

Last few questions - about to order 200P

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Hello,

After my question about blocked view from my garden got answered (thank you for your replies guys!), I am now ready to order 200P Dobsonian from FLO. There are a couple of questions I would like to ask and wonder if you can help me on these, before I hit the order button 😀

1) 200P Dob vs Reflector scope on a tracking system

I understand the difference between 200P+Dob and 200PDS+EQ. Many people mentioned Reflector type is better for DSO, and I understand for astrophotography a tracking system is a must. So here is my question - why wouldn't everyone go for 200PDS+EQ option, since it is optimal for both visual and AP purposes? Why 200P+Dob is still the most recommended system for people like me who just start this hobby? I don't think I will get into serious astrophotography anytime soon, but I am just curious -  if reflector type is best for DSO photography, then why don't people just go for 200P (or bigger one) and put it on an EQ mount for tracking? From what I read here it would be better than refractor type?

2) Here is my order list:

Skywatcher 200P Dobsonian

Barlow 2x

Cheshire eyepiece (for collimation)

Telrad Finder (Is this necessary for me to start with?)

Turn Left to Orion + Collins Stargazing (books)

[I know I probably will need some eyepieces but at the moment I assume the ones coming with 200P are probably good enough for me?]

any other bits I should order?

Cheers,

Deisler

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15 minutes ago, Deisler said:

why wouldn't everyone go for 200PDS+EQ option

Hi Deisler, 

One reason is cost (FLO prices);

          200p skyliner dobsonian   £289

          200p EQ5 which is the minimum EQ mount for that scope for visual   £479

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I prefer the EQ version over dob version

1 better height over dob version

2 I can add drives for tracking

3 the eq mount and weight is about as heavy compare to dob base and less ackward. If your talking about a heavy mount like eq6 or bigger then the swing may be going towards dob. But I talking about a regular eq5 with steel legs tho.

The dob will be 4ft at it tallest so I'm already bending down, then if its halfway up I'm on my knees

Ps I dont like to carry a table to raise the dob nor an astro chair which I think kinda expensive. To me if I had to carry any these 2 items I rather just use EQ then.

However lots like dob version and that's ok for them then

Joejaguar 

 

 

Edited by joe aguiar
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To complicate things further the Bresser 8”dob while more expensive is far better specced than the Skywatcher and as the tube is mounted using standard tube rings can later be fitted to an EQ mount if you wanted.. Has proper alt and az bearings, a very nice focuser, tube ring mounting so you can move the tube to balance it, proper black coating inside, good mirror cell etc. Already has the upgraded parts you would want to fit to the Skywatcher so proably cheaper in the long run.

https://www.harrisontelescopes.co.uk/acatalog/bresser-messier-8--dobsonian-telescope-4716420.html

Edited by johninderby
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2 hours ago, Deisler said:

1) 200P Dob vs Reflector scope on a tracking system

I understand the difference between 200P+Dob and 200PDS+EQ. Many people mentioned Reflector type is better for DSO, ...

I wouldn't necessarily agree with that statement.  I would suggest that if one is to generalise then a reflector on a Dob mount gives an excellent light gathering instrument for a lower investment.  It doesn't necessarily mean it is 'better' for DSOs.  It depends what you want to view, how portable you want it and as you say if you want to image. That is why not everybody chooses the Dob option. Personally I prefer the (usually) maintenance free world of refractors.  My 12" Dob was a great light bucket but it required frequent collimation and expensive eyepieces.  So if budget is a primary concern and observing a priority then stick with your Dob choice but there are other options.

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If it is going to be used for deep sky photography, an 8 inch newtonian needs a more stable mount than the EQ5. At least an HEQ5 and preferrably an EQ6.

For a strong start to visual observing I think your shopping list is fine. I would get a Telrad if you can - it will make finding things easier than just using the stock 50mm optical finder.

I've lost count of the number of happy owners of the Skywatcher 200P dobsonian that we have on this forum. I was one not so long ago and found the scope excellent :icon_biggrin:

 

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6 hours ago, Deisler said:

I don't think I will get into serious astrophotography anytime soon, but I am just curious -  if reflector type is best for DSO photography, then why don't people just go for 200P (or bigger one) and put it on an EQ mount for tracking?

It would be handy if an imager came on board in this thread but from my extremely limited understanding - as purely a visual observer - visual and imaging often require opposite necessities in many respects.

For example, in my dumbed down black and white understanding, for the visual observer the brightness of a given DSO is dependent on aperture whereas for the imager the signal or brightness of the image depends on the focal ratio of the scope. An f/5 8" scope will produce a brighter image for the visual observer than an f/5 80mm scope but curiously both these scopes will provide the same brightness image per pixel for imaging. Sure, the 8" scope will offer more resolution but I think unless this can be put to use with well suited cameras and imaging gear it probably goes to waste.

For the visual observer, an 8" or 10" Dobsonian takes up - within reason - the same footprint and aren't that much difference in weight. Putting these scopes in their Newtonian form on an EQ mount is feasible but is a bit of a chore and does put the observer/eyepiece in some pretty difficult positions. However, for guiding an EQ mount is necessary but these scopes plus all the necessary assessories for imaging would place huge demands on the mount. Not only in terms of the mass involved but also in terms of the scopes' focal length.

In a sense - and for the sake of argument - the mount is to the imager what aperture is to the visual observer. For the visual observer the question would be, "Can I pick out detail from the object being observed?" For the imager, "Can I track the object accurately?" I've read about imagers using 5" Newts on an HEQ5 , so I imagine something like an NEQ6 Pro would be needed for an 8" to keep the tube and imaging gear rock steady.  

Combining astrophotography and visual astronomy will more than likely lead to an EQ mounted Newtonian probably no bigger than a 6" to start off but as with all things, compromises will be made. Visually, aperture is very important but for imagers bigger is not necessarily better, and is the reason why so many imagers end up choosing relatively light and fast 80mm APO scopes for astrophotography.

Edited by Rob Sellent
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Deisler

I started out with 250mm flex Dob, without goto

Still my first weapon of choice, easy to transport, quick to set up

I am out a couple of times per month with my club doing presentation primary schools, scout groups

Have an ED80 on EQ5pro mount, and Solarmax also fits on same mount, use for imaging

Price is big factor, and how often going to use

John

 

 

Skywatcher ED80.jpg

Skywatcher 10 inch Dobson.jpg

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11 hours ago, Deisler said:

Hello,

After my question about blocked view from my garden got answered (thank you for your replies guys!), I am now ready to order 200P Dobsonian from FLO. There are a couple of questions I would like to ask and wonder if you can help me on these, before I hit the order button 😀

1) 200P Dob vs Reflector scope on a tracking system

I understand the difference between 200P+Dob and 200PDS+EQ. Many people mentioned Reflector type is better for DSO, and I understand for astrophotography a tracking system is a must. So here is my question - why wouldn't everyone go for 200PDS+EQ option, since it is optimal for both visual and AP purposes? Why 200P+Dob is still the most recommended system for people like me who just start this hobby? I don't think I will get into serious astrophotography anytime soon, but I am just curious -  if reflector type is best for DSO photography, then why don't people just go for 200P (or bigger one) and put it on an EQ mount for tracking? From what I read here it would be better than refractor type?

2) Here is my order list:

Skywatcher 200P Dobsonian

Barlow 2x

Cheshire eyepiece (for collimation)

Telrad Finder (Is this necessary for me to start with?)

Turn Left to Orion + Collins Stargazing (books)

[I know I probably will need some eyepieces but at the moment I assume the ones coming with 200P are probably good enough for me?]

any other bits I should order?

Cheers,

Deisler

Another reason is the complexity of the setup. With a Dob, plonk it on the ground and observe. With an EQ mount it would require some sort of alignment and for visual purposes the eyepiece can end up is some quite difficult to get to positions.

I really wanted a dob as my first scope but after trying a 200p and my local club I found the viewing positions quite uncomfortable (i'm 6ft and suffer from a bad back) I opted for the 127 MAK  with the AZGTI. I found the MAK great but messing with alignments etc with the AZGTI for me was a bit of a pain so I put the MAK onto a manual alt az mount with slow mo controls (skytee 2) and a beefy tripod. This transformed my observing sessions. I subsequently paired the MAK with a SW 150 PDS on the Alt AZ mount, and now to me at least I have the ideal setup. Small, portable, reasonable aperture and FL for numerous targets between the 2 scopes.

Steve   

 

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I love my 200PDS, and have had many great nights with it. Its a workhorse aperture, and a real performer.

I find its a sweet spot aperture for UK skies as it can still provide pleasing views on mediocre nights of fair to poor seeing.

Yes its EQ mounted (did have it on the EQ5 as well as the HEQ5) and yes I'm also a 6ft 3in tall chap who suffers with back pain on/off . But the trick is a lot of tube rotation in the rings to find that comfortable position for observing. Its also the case to plan your session ahead for where your targets will sit in the sky.

Its fair to say I've been a Newtonian on EQ user for 25 years now. I've done some light imaging, but mostly observing. I found that I become one with that setup quite quickly, and now (to me) its a breeze to use and enjoy!.

Rob

 

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Thank you so much for so many useful advice! I really appreciate that!

Based on all your advice, I am leaning towards 200P, for the reasons below. 

1) Bresser 8”dob is £110 more expensive than 200P at the moment, thanks to the weaker pound; With that, I can buy a Telrad, a Rigel and, potentially a set of tube rings for future upgrade. So 200P wins for me (If last year I would definitely buy Bresser as the price was only £40 more at that time). 

2) 200PDS+EQ5 = £479, almost £200 more expensive than 200P. I am not sure if it is wise for me to invest that much money into the new hobby. I will definitely consider upgrading 200P with an EQ5 in the future, or even buying a new scope for imaging. 

 

Last questions (I promise!) - 

1) About the Barlow

I watched some Youtube videos about Barlow - from what I can gather, I need a short Barlow for 200P, better to be 2x. But I am not sure which one I should choose from FLO https://www.firstlightoptics.com/barlows.html 

Any suggestion? Astro Essentials 1.25" 2x Barlow with T thread seems to be multifunctional (it has a camera adapter), but there are many other options available there - quite confusing to me to be honest as they seem to be very similar.

 

2) I am confused what additional finderscope I need.

I know 200P comes with a finderscope but I read people often recommend getting another one to help star hopping. I searched a few posts in this forum, and some said Telrad is best, and some Rigel, and some said they use both. 

Am I right to assume Telrad and Rigel are basically the same thing, i.e. to give observer a sense of hopping distance? If so, why both?

Also people mentioned RACI a lot. I assume RACI is a magnified finderscope, but with correctly-flipped images? If so, I guess I can safely skip RACI, and only get either Telrad or Rigel, as RACI is quite expensive (~£100 on FLO).

 

Thanks,

Deisler

 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Deisler said:

Thank you so much for so many useful advice! I really appreciate that!

Based on all your advice, I am leaning towards 200P, for the reasons below. 

1) Bresser 8”dob is £110 more expensive than 200P at the moment, thanks to the weaker pound; With that, I can buy a Telrad, a Rigel and, potentially a set of tube rings for future upgrade. So 200P wins for me (If last year I would definitely buy Bresser as the price was only £40 more at that time). 

2) 200PDS+EQ5 = £479, almost £200 more expensive than 200P. I am not sure if it is wise for me to invest that much money into the new hobby. I will definitely consider upgrading 200P with an EQ5 in the future, or even buying a new scope for imaging. 

 

Last questions (I promise!) - 

1) About the Barlow

I watched some Youtube videos about Barlow - from what I can gather, I need a short Barlow for 200P, better to be 2x. But I am not sure which one I should choose from FLO https://www.firstlightoptics.com/barlows.html 

Any suggestion? Astro Essentials 1.25" 2x Barlow with T thread seems to be multifunctional (it has a camera adapter), but there are many other options available there - quite confusing to me to be honest as they seem to be very similar.

 

2) I am confused what additional finderscope I need.

I know 200P comes with a finderscope but I read people often recommend getting another one to help star hopping. I searched a few posts in this forum, and some said Telrad is best, and some Rigel, and some said they use both. 

Am I right to assume Telrad and Rigel are basically the same thing, i.e. to give observer a sense of hopping distance? If so, why both?

Also people mentioned RACI a lot. I assume RACI is a magnified finderscope, but with correctly-flipped images? If so, I guess I can safely skip RACI, and only get either Telrad or Rigel, as RACI is quite expensive (~£100 on FLO).

 

Thanks,

Deisler

 

 

 

I find the RACI really useful. Don't forget that you don't have to buy at new prices. Check the classifieds on here and ABS regularly. I've got all of my accessories used at a fraction of the new price and to be honest when they have arrived you would barely know that were not new. People here tend to look after their kit and I have not had a bad experience of buying from here. 

just a thought

Steve

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The point you are missing with the Bresser is you are getting a lot more than £110.00 worth of upgrades compared to the Skywatcher. The Bresser is a far better buy. I know the differences aren’t obvious to the beginner but you will learn with experience. 

There are a lot of second hand 200ps around though that can be had quite cheaply but very rarely do the Bressers come on the market as they are a newer design so not as many around.

A Skywatcher 9x50 Raci is less than £65.00 and most find the best combination is a Telrad and a Raci finder. The Telrad to get you in the aera and the Raci to zero in. I find the Telrad is the best but the Rigel is a lot smaller and lighter but performs the same basic function.

https://www.harrisontelescopes.co.uk/acatalog/skywatcher-9x50-right-angled-erect-image-finder--bracket.html#SID=22

 

Edited by johninderby
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In terms of optical performance I don't think the Bresser would be better than the Skywatcher and £110 can be a lot of cash if you are starting out.

One of the joys of dobs is that they can be modded over time to improve how they work but the Skywatcher 200P dob is very useable straight from the box in my view.

 

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I agree Bresser could be more cost-effective in a long run, but with 399 base price, adding cheshire/barlow etc etc on top of that, the price is a bit too high for me.

But thank you @johninderby for recommending Bresser 8'' to me. No doubt it is a better one than 200P in design and overall value. 👍

 

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Per your finderscope question

I have both and probably mentioned that in other threads BUT u never use both a rigel and a telrad on the same scope.

On smaller scopes I use the rigel, on larger scopes I use telrad, but both do almost same thing.

Your regular 8x50 finder will magnify the image where the rigel or telrad will point where your eye sees and then u know where the scope is pointing  to perfectly.

Both go hand in hand.

Altho for me I dont and have not used any regular finderscope for years. I just point my rigel or telrad where the object should be put in my 55mm ep and 98%of the time it's in the ep. The other 2% I know I'm not far off so I start scrolling up down till I find that object. 

Works ever time.

Joejaguar 

 

Edited by joe aguiar

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8 minutes ago, Deisler said:

I agree Bresser could be more cost-effective in a long run, but with 399 base price, adding cheshire/barlow etc etc on top of that, the price is a bit too high for me.

But thank you @johninderby for recommending Bresser 8'' to me. No doubt it is a better one than 200P in design and overall value. 👍

 

No problem. A budget is a budget and better the 200p now and get some use out of it. There are a lot of mods you can do to it to improve the performance. Look for bearing mods as this is a simple thing that can make the scope nicer to use. Improving the AZ bearing involves nothing more than the plastic from a milk bottle.

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5 hours ago, Deisler said:

I am confused what additional finderscope I need.

Deisler, my advice is see how you get on with the straight-through optical finder that comes with the scope, and decide on your upgrade priority based on your own experience. If you like the straight-through finder ( some people do) you may not need a red-reticle finder since you can use the two-eye method to find your  first naked eye star.

I found using a straight-through finder on my 200p for high angle targets was literally a pain in the neck & back, (and most of the best views are high angle which minimises atmospheric & light pollution). Getting a right-angle finder transformed my star-hopping from an uncomfortable & sometimes painful chore to an enjoyable experience. If you get a right-angle finder you might as well go for a RACI & avoid the mental gymnastics of flipping the image every time you look at a chart.

You cannot use the two-eye method with a right-angle finder so you will probably need some sort of "gunsight" like a Telrad or Red Dot Finder to find your first star, but not both on the same scope.

I'm such a cheapskate that I just use an empty " sighting tube" mounted alongside the RACI.

Whatever you decide, enjoy!

Edited by lenscap
typo
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IMHO the skywatcher 200P is a great scope for a beginner. I bought mine about 8 months ago and along with the RACI finder it suits my needs perfectly.

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we are all cheap in different ways

I never buy cell phones I only get the  free ones with everytime every 2 years when I renew my plan. I wont pay ONE RED CENT for a phone. I figure they rae making money off me from the plan it should come free. Norm I get an older one like a galaxy3 or 4 or something like that. If by accident it breaks b4 the 2 years r u I just buy a $99 refixed model from a store used.

a phone to me is just a phone to talk MAYBE text I don't have data or internet nor do I have any apps on it, that's what my laptop or desktop is for 😛

sorry for changing the subjet abit

joejaguar

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5 hours ago, Deisler said:

 

2) I am confused what additional finderscope I need.

I know 200P comes with a finderscope but I read people often recommend getting another one to help star hopping. I searched a few posts in this forum, and some said Telrad is best, and some Rigel, and some said they use both. 

Am I right to assume Telrad and Rigel are basically the same thing, i.e. to give observer a sense of hopping distance? If so, why both?

Also people mentioned RACI a lot. I assume RACI is a magnified finderscope, but with correctly-flipped images? If so, I guess I can safely skip RACI, and only get either Telrad or Rigel, as RACI is quite expensive (~£100 on FLO).

One thing that has not been mentionned is that with an optical finder (either 9x50 or RACI), you will see a lot more stars than with naked eye. This is great if you already know roughly were you are but can be very confusing for initial alignment. 

Also it's very difficult to initially point the telescope by look along the tube hence Telrad Finder!

One more thing, astroshop.eu sells radian finders which are identical to Telrad but 20Eur cheaper... Although you should check if it's worth it once the delivery cost is included.

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The astroshop Omegon Radian finders are about £3.00 or £4.00 cheaper including postage compared to ordering a Telrad from the UK.

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Personally I would go for either a Telrad or a Rigel Quikfinder to use alongside the supplied optical finder and then think about upgrading the optical finder to a righ angle correct image one in due course.

I use the word "Personally" here because I feel that finders are a personal preference thing. Over the years I've found having a right angle optical finder alongside a Rigel / Telrad works best for me with my dob. Others will find different approaches work best for them. No right or wrong answer really other than that you do need a finder of some sort on the scope !.

Maybe the suggestion of going with what comes as stock with the scope then seeing how your preferences develop is the most sensible option ?

 

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