Jump to content

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_31.thumb.jpg.b7a41d6a0fa4e315f57ea3e240acf140.jpg

Recommended Posts

Hi, I'm new to this forum and newish to the hobby. I currently have a SW90 AZ  with a tripod that I bought used for £60. I wanted to dip my toes in to see if I would really use a telescope or if it would just be a large paperweight! Well I have used it a fair amount and developing my knowledge slowly. One of the constraints I have is that I live on an estate with lots of street lights and I cannot see anything much from my garden. I therefore pack stuff up and drive for 20 minutes to Firle Beacon where I set up in the car park... Trouble is that the 900mm tube is quite large and heavy and I know that on occasions the thought of lugging big tube and tripod puts me off going, so I am considering getting a smaller scope to supplement. 

Initial thoughts were that what I tend to do most of is planetary viewing, but do have the ambition to start working on looking for M class objects, (nice view of M42 last night). In terms of kit I was thinking of getting an SW Skymax 127 maksutov or the Bresser 127 OTA with a suitable mount (which would need to be fairly inexpensive or potentially sourced used). I'm not certain that my existing tripod can be modified to accept a new mount. I've attached a photo... 16091833182532559109370790266934.thumb.jpg.532aff9f15becec4f0919ecc0698c66e.jpg

I'm not in a rush to buy, which is just as well seeing that there is so little kit available in the UK at the moment, and would welcome any advice from the forum. Part of me wonders whether the Mak route is the right way to go, or go for a more compact refractor. I'm uncertain as to whether a reflector would give me the compact scope I want.... 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 54
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Each surface where two mediums with different refractive index meet is degree of freedom for optical designer. With air (or oil) spaced doublet you really have 4 such surfaces: First lens ha

What I failed to completely grasp before actually buying and using a 'proper' telescope is that some of the accessories are just there as a 'get you started' measure, I liken them to those special, lo

Glad the dob solution hadn't entirely escaped your consideration ! The heritage 150 dobs (and I think the 130s) have the standard rails so could be used on a tripod with a suitable head .  I  see

Posted Images

A 127 mak is ideal for planets. There are differnces between the SW and Bresserr 127 maks. The Bresser is an actual 127mm aperture wheteas the SW is about 119mm actual aperture and the Bresser is a bit longer focal length which is good on planets and the moon.

Smaller DSOs are fine with a mak but they do have a comparatively narrow foeld of view.

The AZ5 mount is an ideal manual mount and when paired with the steel tripod is nice and solid.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe-alt-azimuth-mount.html

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-star-adventurer/sky-watcher-38-stainless-steel-tripod.html

Edited by johninderby
Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, johninderby said:

A 127 mak is ideal for planets. There are differnces between the SW and Bresserr 127 maks. The Bresser is an actual 127mm aperture wheteas the SW is about 119mm actual aperture and the Bresser is a bit longer focal length which is good on planets and the moon.

Smaller DSOs are fine with a mak but they do have a comparatively narrow foeld of view.

The AZ5 mount is an ideal manual mount and when paired with the steel tripod is nice and solid.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe-alt-azimuth-mount.html

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-star-adventurer/sky-watcher-38-stainless-steel-tripod.html

Hi John, many thanks for the response. Yes, I had read about the differences between the Bresser and the SW/Orion OTA Mak tubes and don't really understand why they would even inadvertently mislead the public! Never mind... 

Thanks for the tips on the tripod and mount, definitely looks like a good value combination, and probably lighter than what I currently have! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

On the refractor side, it depends on how much you want to spend.  You could get a shorter OTA such as one of the Skywatcher StarTravel range, however I think on the brighter planets and moon you'll get some colour fringing, you have to go towards the doublet or triplet to get away from that sort of artifacting.  Another option are the offerings from AltairAstro, certainly this 70ED looks very handy for travel purposes; I have the 102 triplet refractor and I can say it's a very nice piece of equipment, a noticeable step up in quality and performance over equivalent packages from Celestron or Skywatcher.  The 70ED shouldn't need much by way of mount, EQ3 or AZ3 should be fine, for something very solid go for AZ5 or similar (carry capacity is double the weight of the scope you intend to fit).

So yes, at 70mm you're losing some aperture compared to your current 90 refractor, but as a travel scope I think you'd struggle to find better quality at this price.

Edited by jonathan
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, jonathan said:

On the refractor side, it depends on how much you want to spend.  You could get a shorter OTA such as one of the Skywatcher StarTravel range, however I think on the brighter planets and moon you'll get some colour fringing, you have to go towards the doublet or triplet to get away from that sort of artifacting.  Another option are the offerings from AltairAstro, certainly this 70ED looks very handy for travel purposes; I have the 102 triplet refractor and I can say it's a very nice piece of equipment, a noticeable step up in quality and performance over equivalent packages from Celestron or Skywatcher.  The 70ED shouldn't need much by way of mount, EQ3 or AZ3 should be fine, for something very solid go for AZ5 or similar (carry capacity is double the weight of the scope you intend to fit).

So yes, at 70mm you're losing some aperture compared to your current 90 refractor, but as a travel scope I think you'd struggle to find better quality at this price.

Hi you have started me down a rabbit hole and also made me rethink what I really want from my telescope. As a relative beginner, I want to learn the night sky and star hop. For that, the 127 mak is not the right tool at all. I need something with wider field of view. Hence the reason why your post got me thinking... 

Primarily I need a scope that is smaller physically than my SW 90/900. I do want to keep a larger aperture (90 or 100) for preference to maximise the light capture BUT I do appreciate that this may not be as important as I think at present. The fact that many far more experienced and knowledgeable people swear by their 80ED does influence my thinking here... 

I'm also thinking that the quality of the optics in a shorter focal length tube is also more important (my trade off against focal length). Again, I would prefer a 600mm focal length to a 500, but again that could be down to my residual feeling that I would like to do some planetary with this scope and therefore a longer focal length would be preferable.  ED optics would be nice to have... 

So where does this leave me? I am thinking that something with a 90 mm aperture would be perfect, but mainly I see 80 or 100... Ideally focal length would be 500 - 600 mm. ED (or other better than standard grade glass) does push cost up, but not as much as I thought. 

That's my thinking now; I do feel that I have avoided making a potentially expensive mistake by not just jumping for the Mak which seemed at first glance to be the obvious answer.... More thinking and research required! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want a widefield 'scope with which to learn the sky, you could do worse than get the Sky-watcher Startravel 102 (102mm aperture, 500mm focal length).  It is inexpensive, quite well made, similar to the Evostars, and easy to handle (I normally carry mine in one hand).  It also works surprisingly well for dabbling in EEVA and astro-imaging.

On the downside, it has some chromatic aberration and field distortion, and is not much good for high power work (e.g. planets) but you can't have everything unless you want to spend 896 Euros + shipping. (see above).

The Startravel should mount on your existing tripod.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Marc1964 said:

So where does this leave me? I am thinking that something with a 90 mm aperture would be perfect, but mainly I see 80 or 100...

I think a 100 aperture refractor is only going to be slightly shorter than your current 90, and if you're spending a few hundred then you'll want to keep it in a sturdy case for transport.  Once you factor in a case, the tripod / mount, and accessories etc you might find that you need to have four or so sturdy cases.  When I take my 102 refractor out to a hillside I take my eyepiece case, my mount accessories case (hand controller, additional counterweight, etc), my battery case, the telescope case, and finally the mount & tripod on the back seat (they just fit and don't need to be separated).

There's probably a very good reason why high quality telescopes come in these sizes (80mm, 102mm), if you search desperately for something in between then you might end up with a lesser quality product.

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Marc1964 said:

Hi, I'm new to this forum and newish to the hobby. I currently have a SW90 AZ  with a tripod that I bought used for £60. I wanted to dip my toes in to see if I would really use a telescope or if it would just be a large paperweight! Well I have used it a fair amount and developing my knowledge slowly. One of the constraints I have is that I live on an estate with lots of street lights and I cannot see anything much from my garden. I therefore pack stuff up and drive for 20 minutes to Firle Beacon where I set up in the car park... Trouble is that the 900mm tube is quite large and heavy and I know that on occasions the thought of lugging big tube and tripod puts me off going, so I am considering getting a smaller scope to supplement. 

Initial thoughts were that what I tend to do most of is planetary viewing, but do have the ambition to start working on looking for M class objects, (nice view of M42 last night). In terms of kit I was thinking of getting an SW Skymax 127 maksutov or the Bresser 127 OTA with a suitable mount (which would need to be fairly inexpensive or potentially sourced used). I'm not certain that my existing tripod can be modified to accept a new mount. I've attached a photo...

I'm not in a rush to buy, which is just as well seeing that there is so little kit available in the UK at the moment, and would welcome any advice from the forum. Part of me wonders whether the Mak route is the right way to go, or go for a more compact refractor. I'm uncertain as to whether a reflector would give me the compact scope I want.... 

I know you mention only maks and refractors in your original post, but still , given that you have an interest in Messier objects, why not consider a Heritage dob ? Portable, inexpensive , and a lot of bang for your buck : the 'tabletop' base can be parked on a picnic table if one is available, I made a sturdy (but not pretty) triangular topped table out of some of the wood from a dismantled old Ikea sofa plus £8 worth of 25cm long tubular metal legs (actually £6 worth, it was a set of 4, I only needed 3, one is languishing in the loft ...)

The 130 is £159

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/heritage/skywatcher-heritage-130p-flextube.html

the larger version 150 (which is the one  I bought) is £199

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/heritage/sky-watcher-heritage-150p-flextube-dobsonian-telescope.html

If you doubt the capabilities of the 130, there's a huge thread about them under the 'astronomers without borders' name under which they are sold in the USA, have a browse through the many pages and see what people have managed with them !

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/463109-onesky-newtonian-astronomers-without-borders/

Heather

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Tiny Clanger said:

I know you mention only maks and refractors in your original post, but still , given that you have an interest in Messier objects, why not consider a Heritage dob ? Portable, inexpensive , and a lot of bang for your buck : the 'tabletop' base can be parked on a picnic table if one is available, I made a sturdy (but not pretty) triangular topped table out of some of the wood from a dismantled old Ikea sofa plus £8 worth of 25cm long tubular metal legs (actually £6 worth, it was a set of 4, I only needed 3, one is languishing in the loft ...)

The 130 is £159

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/heritage/skywatcher-heritage-130p-flextube.html

the larger version 150 (which is the one  I bought) is £199

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/heritage/sky-watcher-heritage-150p-flextube-dobsonian-telescope.html

If you doubt the capabilities of the 130, there's a huge thread about them under the 'astronomers without borders' name under which they are sold in the USA, have a browse through the many pages and see what people have managed with them !

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/463109-onesky-newtonian-astronomers-without-borders/

Heather

 

Hi

Thanks for taking the time to reply. 

I have thought about the dobson, and considered Orion Starblast 4.5 which has attracted some good reviews etc. Only thing that has stopped me from going down this line is the need for a table to carry around! I do think they are a great design and they would meet a lot of my wants but... 

This design is not ruled out but if I have to carry something around to rest a scope on I would prefer it to be a tripod and mount... 

Link to post
Share on other sites

OK after a fair bit of research, I found this: 

f01ff0628064f46ae72c2caa7cdbe759_4802460

I have not seen much in the way of reviews. They seem to be a reputable brand and the optics, whilst not full ED seem to be pretty well received. Anyone got experience of this at all??? 

Cheers! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Marc1964 said:

Hi

Thanks for taking the time to reply. 

I have thought about the dobson, and considered Orion Starblast 4.5 which has attracted some good reviews etc. Only thing that has stopped me from going down this line is the need for a table to carry around! I do think they are a great design and they would meet a lot of my wants but... 

This design is not ruled out but if I have to carry something around to rest a scope on I would prefer it to be a tripod and mount... 

Glad the dob solution hadn't entirely escaped your consideration !

The heritage 150 dobs (and I think the 130s) have the standard rails so could be used on a tripod with a suitable head .  I  seem to recall one of the smaller ones in the range has a camera tripod screw type socket on the underside of the base so it can be mounted straight on top of a photo tripod . If I was a halfway competent carpenter I'd make a sturdy box which would be a safe store for the 150 and also a support for it while in use.

Heather

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I had one. Optics were not bad and good for widefield at low power but CA became noticeable at high power so more of a DSO scope than a planetary scope. Great focuser BTW.

I think the Ar102/600 could be a better choice as CA is less of a problem at higher powers but not too long focal length for DSOs.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/bresser-telescopes/bresser-messier-ar-102s-600-refractor-ota.html

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/offers/offer_bresser-messier-ar-102s-600-refractor-ota_148657.html

Edited by johninderby
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Tiny Clanger said:

Glad the dob solution hadn't entirely escaped your consideration !

The heritage 150 dobs (and I think the 130s) have the standard rails so could be used on a tripod with a suitable head .  I  seem to recall one of the smaller ones in the range has a camera tripod screw type socket on the underside of the base so it can be mounted straight on top of a photo tripod . If I was a halfway competent carpenter I'd make a sturdy box which would be a safe store for the 150 and also a support for it while in use.

Heather

Ha the box was a solution I considered, along with a strong crate of some sort... 

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're going with a scope in the car and setting up in the car park how much effort is it really to take a decent size aperture scope?   For planetary you can do that from your garden as street lights won't generally affect your view and for DSOs starting out on the Messier list for example you want pretty reasonable light gathering capability even without light pollution.

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Davesellars said:

If you're going with a scope in the car and setting up in the car park how much effort is it really to take a decent size aperture scope?   For planetary you can do that from your garden as street lights won't generally affect your view and for DSOs starting out on the Messier list for example you want pretty reasonable light gathering capability even without light pollution.

Hi

From my back garden I have no less than two bright street lights in sight. One is just across the road to my left, and the other, whilst further away is in my line of sight sadly. View to the right is somewhat ruined by other houses and lights. Really can see very little. 

My car is a mini... Even getting my SW90/900 in is a trial, have to put rear seats down and lay across. It's not ideal 😂😂😂

I do have some fields about 10 minutes walk and a grab and go would definitely be a benefit! 

Edited by Marc1964
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, johninderby said:

I had one. Optics were not bad and good for widefield at low power but CA became noticeable at high power so more of a DSO scope than a planetary scope. Great focuser BTW.

I think the Ar102/600 could be a better choice as CA is less of a problem at higher powers but not too long focal length for DSOs.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/bresser-telescopes/bresser-messier-ar-102s-600-refractor-ota.html

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/offers/offer_bresser-messier-ar-102s-600-refractor-ota_148657.html

Hi John, yes I was undecided as to whether the XS variant would be better because of the better quality glass, or whether the longer focal length would be more useful. I am tending to lean to the standard AR102S/600...

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Marc1964 said:

Hi

From my back garden I have no less than two bright street lights in sight. One is just across the road to my left, and the other, whilst further away is in my line of sight sadly. View to the right is somewhat ruined by other houses and lights. Really can see very little. 

My car is a mini... Even getting my SW90/900 in is a trial, have to put rear seats down and lay across. It's not ideal 😂😂😂

I do have some fields about 10 minutes walk and a grab and go would definitely be a benefit! 

Ah, that's a shame.....  Get a bigger car???? ;)

I used to walk with gear from my apartment about 15 mins walk to an allotment where at least I kept my mount in a shed.  I can relate to the need to keep it lightweight though!  TBH, the mount is the most problematic to find something sturdy enough (especially for planetary obsevation) that you can physically walk with the any length of time so perhaps stick with using the car.    If the tripod at least goes in without having to lay down the seats you may have more options?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The Heritage 130 P Flextube in the trunk of my tiny Seat Mii,

together with a folding stool and the PSA in the left corner. Still enough space for some eyepieces...

Stephan

DSC_0635.JPG

Edited by Nyctimene
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.