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@SAMFS I have a 100ED. 900mm focal length and it's a bit of a squeeze. A lot of people here recommend the scopes they own themselves, which stands to reason and also means that most people are happy with the choices they have made. I just wanted to raise the point about balconies, but tiny clanger has explained that it might not be a problem. There's a lot of love for the Heritage on here so it could be good if you can imagine having it on a table on the balcony. It wouldn't work well on mine.  To find the best advice find somebody who had a bad experience and avoid that. Yes refractors don't need collimation (and look great) but there are so many Newtonian owners here and they can't all be genius' so collimation must be doable. The only thing I'm sure about it- don't get a manual EQ mount for visual (and a few people disagree with that too).

Good luck. I'm sure you'll get something great.

Edited by domstar
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I've owned a telescope on an EQ mount and I personally would not recommend it for a beginner.  They sound appealing (you can, in theory, track the movement of the stars) but if you're trying to zip al

I have the 90/910 evostar and it is a good scope, though as @Tiny Clanger reports the 10mm eyepiece is pretty poor. I will be purchasing a second scope partly because it is, sadly, not as portable as

The Evostar 90 would be my choice. It will handle being transported in the trunk of you car better without needing re-collimation, it is a slow scope so will not need expensive eyepieces to perform we

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Hi @EdvardasR & family and welcome to SGL. :hello2:

As others have previously mentioned, get a 'scope with an alt-az mount to begin with. If you want an EQ mount, then I would recommend going for an EQ3/2 or above. I have used cheaper EQ mounts and found them very frustrating to use when I started. To me the best EQ mount I owned was the Vixen GP. I now use alt-az. Simply place on a firm/level surface, point and view.

As for the type of 'scope you choose depends on what you and your family would like to view. Refractors generally tend to be what youngsters think of as a 'real' telescope, so the Evostar 90 ticks my box as well. It should hardly require any collimation and can be almost used straight away when set up. Reflectors come in various configurations. The classic 'Newtionian' design, (including the 'Dobsonian') or the compound/catadioptrics, (i.e. Maksutov or Schmitt Cassegrain). The 'Newtonian' will need collimation every now and then. Catadioptics tend to be more forgiving and hardly require collimation. They are dew magnets and a dew shield is a must have accessory. The other downside is they have a narrow field of view, but the views can be spectacular for lunar and planetary viewing, and can even be used for other outdoor pursuits as well during the day time hours.

Below are some images of my 'scopes and mounts. They are a TeleVue Ranger, Celestron C6/SCT-xlt and a 're-modded' Meade ETX105.

post-4682-0-18335100-1394160258_thumb.jpg   post-4682-0-08081900-1394160327_thumb.jpg   A5057402-94DE-4E35-A2DE-D8A6BDEFB67B.thumb.jpeg.2165097e2282e5347993d6249a14bd74.jpeg

IMG_0661.thumb.JPG.1136c5ecc71ad6175b3024391ba0031d.JPG   IMG_0734.thumb.JPG.7a13f89a3c7ab5f6dfea068d1d0c1e80.JPG   IMG_0675.thumb.JPG.61d0def85db3d5e798128ef6d95d020b.JPG   

 

Below is my C6/SCT and ETX105 mounted on the Vixen GP.

IMG_0050.thumb.JPG.0e83cba8a43fca7212f2ea43c0df5c0f.JPG   PIC021.JPG.317e3ab5bc2a32848d576782c9caf3ab.JPG

Edited by Philip R
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The scope set up I would suggest is the Skyhawk 114 Newt on the Pronto mount. The main reason for saying this is that when I first saw it I said to myself I wish I had that when I started out.  Not only does it look simple and easy to use it looks great. It is a altaz but it has slow motion hand controls. I know many will disagree with this but I would not recommend a refractor especially for a beginner as they are unwieldy and awkward to use . Small dobs  have the problem of  being a bit too low to the ground.

Regular telescopic observations  are more encouraged by a comfortable observer and a Newt with its higher viewing profile offers that especially on a decent sized mount.

The 114 Pronto is offered by FLO for £180 roughly just over 200 Euro so any money left over can be used for 10X50 bins and a star atlas.

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7 hours ago, Les Ewan said:

The scope set up I would suggest is the Skyhawk 114 Newt on the Pronto mount. The main reason for saying this is that when I first saw it I said to myself I wish I had that when I started out.  Not only does it look simple and easy to use it looks great. It is a altaz but it has slow motion hand controls. I know many will disagree with this but I would not recommend a refractor especially for a beginner as they are unwieldy and awkward to use . Small dobs  have the problem of  being a bit too low to the ground.

Regular telescopic observations  are more encouraged by a comfortable observer and a Newt with its higher viewing profile offers that especially on a decent sized mount.

The 114 Pronto is offered by FLO for £180 roughly just over 200 Euro so any money left over can be used for 10X50 bins and a star atlas.

I presume that is the 'catadioptric' Skyhawk, 1000 mm focal length.  But I'm a bit puzzled.  None of the dealers or reviews I've found explain how it is 'catadioptric', other than it has a spherical figure to the mirror rather than parabolic as for the 500 mm focal length 'P' version.  Can anyone enlighten me - is there some form of corrector plate in the optical train. or perhaps just a special lens insert in the focuser? In which case I would suggest that it is not a true 'catadioptric' telescope.  Unless of course it is a Maksutov Newtonian, but if that is the case why not call it by that name?

Cheers,

Peter

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13 hours ago, petevasey said:

I presume that is the 'catadioptric' Skyhawk, 1000 mm focal length.  But I'm a bit puzzled.  None of the dealers or reviews I've found explain how it is 'catadioptric', other than it has a spherical figure to the mirror rather than parabolic as for the 500 mm focal length 'P' version.  Can anyone enlighten me - is there some form of corrector plate in the optical train. or perhaps just a special lens insert in the focuser? In which case I would suggest that it is not a true 'catadioptric' telescope.  Unless of course it is a Maksutov Newtonian, but if that is the case why not call it by that name?

Cheers,

Peter

It's a Bird-Jones, I believe. So 'catadioptric' in that there is a corrector lens in the focuser - to correct the spherical aberration from the mirror.

I assume Les was describing the F4 one (which is a plain old fast Newt):

https://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/skywatcher-skyhawk-1145ps-az-pronto-telescope.html

 

Edited by Pixies
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13 hours ago, petevasey said:

I presume that is the 'catadioptric' Skyhawk, 1000 mm focal length.  But I'm a bit puzzled.  None of the dealers or reviews I've found explain how it is 'catadioptric', other than it has a spherical figure to the mirror rather than parabolic as for the 500 mm focal length 'P' version.  Can anyone enlighten me - is there some form of corrector plate in the optical train. or perhaps just a special lens insert in the focuser? In which case I would suggest that it is not a true 'catadioptric' telescope.  Unless of course it is a Maksutov Newtonian, but if that is the case why not call it by that name?

Cheers,

Peter

 

1 minute ago, Pixies said:

It's a Bird-Jones, I believe. So 'catadioptric' in that there is a corrector lens in the focuser - to correct the spherical aberration from the mirror.

I was just going to say the same. The 'corrector lens' is a built-in Barlow lens - best avoided IMHO.

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8 minutes ago, Philip R said:

 

I was just going to say the same. The 'corrector lens' is a built-in Barlow lens - best avoided IMHO.

Sorry - I submitted before I had finished and have edited my response. I believe Les was describing the F4 version with a normal parabolic mirror and no lenses, along with the AZ pronto mount. As per:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/sky-watcher-skyhawk-1145ps-az-pronto.html

Which looks like a very neat, light (albeit very fast) setup.

 

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24 minutes ago, Philip R said:

 

I was just going to say the same. The 'corrector lens' is a built-in Barlow lens - best avoided IMHO.

Thanks for the clarification.  Presumably the barlowing acts like a corrector plate in some way by reducing the field of view to counteract the edge distortions due to the spherical mirror.   Sort of reminiscent of the Celestron Edge HD.  But also worrying is the fact that the primary mirror cannot be collimated.  Hmmm.

Cheers,

Peter

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Yes the set up I meant was  the 500mm fl. Incidentally with this scope being such a short focal length it would be greatly enhanced with a X2 barlow  for the Moon and planets and perhaps a plossl around the 15mm mark. Its a pity a X2 barlow isn't supplied with all low power instruments like this one.

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2 hours ago, Philip R said:

 

I was just going to say the same. The 'corrector lens' is a built-in Barlow lens - best avoided IMHO.

I made an error in this reply, so below is the corrected version.

The 'Skyhawk 114 Newtonian' does not mention a built-in Barlow lens... https://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/sky-watcher-skyhawk-1145ps-az-pronto.html - those that do are the classic 'Bird-Jones' design and are the ones that best avoided.

Apologies in advance for the confusion.

My only concern is the quote from @FLO: "NOTE: The 1145PS telescope has a non-collimateable primary mirror which is collimated during manufacturing. Some adjustment can be made to collimation with the secondary mirror but we have found, as long as the scope arrives to you in collimation then it holds collimation very well over time."

Edited by Philip R
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3 minutes ago, Philip R said:

I made an error in this reply, so here is the corrected version.

The 'Skyhawk 114 Newtonian' does not mention a built-in Barlow lens... https://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/sky-watcher-skyhawk-1145ps-az-pronto.html - those that do are the classic 'Bird-Jones' design and are the ones that best avoided.

Apologies in advance for the confusion.

My only concern is the quote from @FLO: "NOTE: The 1145PS telescope has a non-collimateable primary mirror which is collimated during manufacturing. Some adjustment can be made to collimation with the secondary mirror but we have found, as long as the scope arrives to you in collimation then it holds collimation very well over time."

Hi Phillip,

Oooops! I didn't know that this OTA was non collimateable😩. That kinda sends alarm bell to me also. There must be people out there with these scopes any complaints I wonder.

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3 hours ago, Les Ewan said:

Hi Phillip,

Oooops! I didn't know that this OTA was non collimateable😩. That kinda sends alarm bell to me also. There must be people out there with these scopes any complaints I wonder.

This has been discussed a few times, here are a couple of threads:

https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/357742-none-collimateable-primary-mirrors/?do=findComment&comment=3896947

https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/319979-skywatcher-130ps-non-collimateable-primary-mirror/?tab=comments#comment-3500286

Skywatcher have been doing this in smaller reflectors for some years.

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