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woodmeister

Scope and mount recommendations for family member.

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Hi. I am looking for some advice for my cousin who is looking at getting a new telescope. He is not the type to go for a cheaper option and is looking at the 120 esprit, as i said not cheap.

I believe that his intended use for this scope is lunar/planatary viewing and possibly some astrophotography of the moon/planets, he has a unmodified canon 5d mk iv DSLR. I instead recommended the skywatcher 120 evostar ED since it's a lot cheaper, but still supposed to have good optics. Would there be much difference in visual between these two scopes? e.g more chromatic aberation in the doublet, or in pictures. I have no idea on what mount to recommend either.

Would appreciate some direction and recommendations on these two scopes, or possibly other scope/mount combinations. As a dob owner, i have no idea on the photography side, or mount types.

 

 

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If your cousin is looking at the Esprit 120 and money is not a real issue, he will need a nice mount as well, like the EQ6Pro or an iOptron GEM45 many other choices as well.
That will keep him of the streets for a while and he will have plenty capacity for ap, which will be quite a challenge for him too.
Camera recommendations are hard to make, depends on his interest, but the new CMOS cameras are very promising. I would not go for a 60megapix camera or so, because then he will have to invest in a fast pc or laptop with mega storage room as well. I am just throwing some options at you ...
In this hobby, especially the dark ap side, money runs out of your wallet like water if you are not well informed!

So, in fact the best thing to do now is to buy a book called "making every photon count" which can be purchased at FLO. This will show a number of options and possibilities and will save the both of you a lot of trouble, money and possibly some confrontations.

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Wouldn't a Mak, for example a SW Skymax 150 or 180 be a better solution, if he's specifically interested in lunar/planetary viewing and imaging ?

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Cheers for the advice given.  Will tell him about that book, will help with deciding on the right setup for his uses.

As for the Mak, i think he wants something where you don't have to collimate the optics. He seems more set on a refractor, though with the high focal length may be more suited to his needs. will run the book and the mak by him. Will be nice for me to have a look through a different instrument as well :p  Thank you for the input.

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Many of the best planetary images in the world are taken by SCTs. Collimating them is very simple because they have spherical primary mirrors. Refractors are not widely used for planetary imaging but are excellent for deep sky. The ED120 would need the field flattener but, unlike the majorrity of scopes, it can cover full frame. See the third post down in this thread. 

 

The 120 Evostar will not cover full frame and is not in the same class as the Esprit.

But, in short, a small format fast frame camera and SCT are the weapons of choice for lunar and planetary imaging. SCTs are very good value second hand because there are so many of them. My 14 inch is at least 16 years old and still perfect.

Olly

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What’s the budget ? That’s the key, especially for the mount. 
 

The esprit 120 would be superb with the canon 5d. I used a 6d with mine and made a mistake getting rid of it. It’s heavy though and you’ll need a good mount to get it working well for Long exposure astrophotography. 

planets are a different game altogether and as mentioned the sct (aperture/focal length are king). I use a 11”sct with a asi 174 for this purpose. 

mount wise I’d be looking at a Neq6 or cgx minimum. 
 

3CC067A5-9BA2-4DBE-A07D-D5D3B18E850F.jpeg

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5 hours ago, woodmeister said:

Cheers for the advice given.  Will tell him about that book, will help with deciding on the right setup for his uses.

As for the Mak, i think he wants something where you don't have to collimate the optics. He seems more set on a refractor, though with the high focal length may be more suited to his needs. will run the book and the mak by him. Will be nice for me to have a look through a different instrument as well :p  Thank you for the input.

I have no personal experience with them, but it's my impression from this forum that Maks would rarely, if at all, require collimation.  Maybe someone with experience with them could chip in ?

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I’ve had a few maks and have never needed to colimate any of them. Should add they were new scopes so not been knocked about. You might come across the occasional second hand one that might need collimating though as you never know how they have been treated. 

Edited by johninderby

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All scope designs can need collimation at some point in their lives IMHO.

Mak-cassegrains, SCT's and refractors much less so than newtonians and but I've owned them all and quite a few of them did need some collimation adjustment to get a good star test. Once in collimation Mak's, SCT's and refractors tend to hold their collimation well and are pretty robust.

I've had to make some collimation adjustments to a Celestron 90mm mak-cassegrain that I picked up a few weeks ago as a travel scope. Not difficult but it was needed.

 

 

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I have Esprit 120 ed, it has great wide field views, great for big nebula and the associated astrophotography, it came with a matched flattener,  however surely a longer focal length would be better for planets 

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Not necessarily in respect of an ED standard of telescope as these are capable of good performance at both low and high magnifications, this is largely what you pay for.

Planetary observation calls for enough aperture and sufficient optical quality to stand high magnifications, a 120ED conforms to this.       🙂 

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29 minutes ago, Peter Drew said:

Not necessarily in respect of an ED standard of telescope as these are capable of good performance at both low and high magnifications, this is largely what you pay for.

Planetary observation calls for enough aperture and sufficient optical quality to stand high magnifications, a 120ED conforms to this.       🙂 

Just to add to this (which I very much agree with) my ED120 (ED doublet not the Esprit triplet) is one scope which I have never needed to collimate. My example is one of the early ones so around 15 years old.

 

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I will send a link to him to review what has being said. I guess it's more of what his main interest is. Either mostly visual with a small amount of photos, or more a 50/50 split. Since i don't think he is interested in DSO imaging. I would have thought either the evostar 120 ED, for mostly visual. Or a mak or SCT, for more mixed usage, would be better. The money saved on scope could go towards a good mount, that would probably cost less than the esprit 120 alone.  If he wants to view DSO, he can always look through my 8" dob to see if it interests him. Unless he gets something like a 8 or 9.25 SCT. I am unsure on the budget that my cousin has set. Knowing that he is considering the esprit 120, could be up to around 3k.

Thank you for all your input. Hopefully the info will help in choosing a suitable setup, and get me looking through some different equipment to compare.

 

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