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New scope - Tradeoff for visual and astrophoto on a budget.

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Hello! I Am about to by a new telescope, and for budget reasons, I have already limited choices. I Know the best of two worlds is impossible, but I like to play a bit in the astrophotography world, and also sometimes just visualy observing with my daughter. I Can by at almost the same price the Skywatcher 130pds and the Skywatcher 150pds. The thing is, my mount is the Skywatcher EQM-35 pro. Rationaly, if it was only for Astrophotography, the 130pds would be the right choice, because the 150pds would be in the wheight limit for deep sky astrophotography, although better (but not good) for planetary. As far as I can see, if I went to the 150pds, It would not be perfect for astrophoto, but it could be done with good conditions and patiance knowing I would trow away som subs avery session. I would have a better experience visualy and have the potential to spot some more details in planets. If I went to the 130pds the astrophoto experience would be better, but I would never have the potencial to have the same experience visualy and for planets.

I Know in the future a coma corrector is a must have, and I would have to invest in guiding (for now I have been learning guiding with a moded Xbox webcam, and recorded with it the PEC correction curve I am using with the mount).

The questin is: Would the 150pds be such a frustration in astrophoto that I could regret not going for the 130pds? Or the tradeoff for some frustration in astrophoto could be OK since if I went to the 130 there were things It would be impossible to do? I am very patient since I am used to do things without the right equipment. It should be way better than the konus 114/900 that I have that the dovetail has to sit sidewais in the mount, that I had to change the mirror position, etc... (I am used to colimate), or the celestron travelscope.I Leave you guys with my first andromeda talen with a Canon 2000d and the 75-300mm kit lens.


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There won't be as much difference in views between 130pds and 150pds as you might think.

130pds will be almost as good for planets as 150pds. Couple of weeks ago, I observed Jupiter and Saturn with 100mm scopes (F/10 refractor and 102mm F/13 Maksutov) and I really liked what I saw. There was plenty of detail to be seen. 130pds has 30% more resolving power than these two scopes and under right conditions it will show you plenty on planets.

On the other hand, EQ 35 will carry 150PS. Main problem will be the wind. If you have any ways to shield it from wind, then it just might work, especially if you are guiding.

So to answer - I don't think it will be such frustration, but neither the difference between the two will be great so that you must go for 150pds for visual (not really sure I've helped you with this :D ).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you vlaiv. I went to the 130pds in the end. Next steps are guiding and the comma corrector. For the comma corrector I am going for the Baader MPCC Mark III. As for Guiding, I am trying to decide if a mini guide scope like the svbony sv165 will be enough or if I need something else.

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1 hour ago, Mycro said:

As for Guiding, I am trying to decide if a mini guide scope like the svbony sv165 will be enough or if I need something else.

Even 50mm x7 finder is enough to get you started - there is adapter that you need to connect guide camera to it:


if you already have 50mm finder.

I have this guide scope that I use for my wide field imaging lens - it is the same as that Svbony, and rather good (see which one is cheaper for you to get):


In any case - either will serve you ok for guiding at that level.


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I can vouch for the 130PDS for imaging, it really is a great little scope. Not too heavy, doesn't catch much wind. On a half decent mount it can produce some fantastic images. (I started on the EQ3Pro before upgrading to the HEQ5Pro) The EQM35pro should handle it nicely without issue. I've never use the scope for visual though so I can't comment on that. A sad fact, I've never looked through any scope, yet!

The only advice I would give is be wary of the Baader. It can be a pain in the ass with getting the 55mm back focus correct and the annoying bevels on the tube don't like to sit nicely in the focuser. I found a work around with mine by filling the bevel with two layers of electrical tape but it was still never perfect. YMMV. I upgraded to the more expensive TS-Optics GPU 4 Element Superflat CC and it is has been completely hassle free, plus it shifts the focus outward by 20mm and stops to focuser tube being so far inside the OTA.

There's a 130PDS Thread thread on here that is worthy of a read, loads of great info, mods, etc. There's also a 130PDS Astro Imagers group on Facebook that's worth a look. They're a helpful bunch. 👍

Edited by Jamgood
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