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Hello, I am looking for a budget telescope that can allow me to view the moon's surface craters even the smaller ones, I have asked retail stores but they keep offering me 70mm apertures as a selling gimmick, i roughly know i need something like 130mm but more likely somewhere in the region of an 8" aperture, I have always looked up to the skies and loved astrology but with no excuses, i never took to it as a kid, so I am no expert and will probably need as much help as possible, like a automatic tracker I think they are called, plus I am also disabled, I am able to walk but not far as I become breathless, I do have help to move a telescope to outside when needed, I thought this would be a perfect place to ask, as i am assuming most of you are experts or at the very least know what i am talking about lol.

What else would be a bonus is if I was able to see an asteroid or comet close up through the lens...thanks people.

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I'm no expert but if you're looking for zoomed views a maksutov cassegrain or standard cassegrain may be better, they offer long focal lengths in a compact body. They will also be good for planets.

A 5-6 inch Newtonian may also be of benefit though it's a larger body to move about, the eyepiece position can get awkward at times and will require collimation (which isn't difficult).

I get good lunar views via my 61mm refractor (WO Z61), compared to a cheaper acromatic I had previously the views are crystal clear. So I wouldn't rule out a smaller aperture apochromatic refractor like a 70/80mm. Benefits are they're fairly compact and good to go out the box.

A useful compact mount would be an azgti as you will be able to control it via a mobile phone and it has goto. It will also sit on top of a standard photo tripod (though I'd get a decent sturdy one).

For asteroid viewing you may need more aperture like with a dobsonian as the target may be dim.

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Welcome to SGL.

I would agree with Elp - a maksutov is a good compact scope and ideal for lunar and planets. It is also relatively compact end needs virtually zero maintenance. A larger newtonian reflector will allow you to see slightly more but will need collimating and is much bigger. The other consideration is the mount. For planets and the moon a simple alt-az mount will be fine. If you want to find fainter objects you might want to consider a goto mount.

It will also depend on where you live. If you live in a fairly a built up area you will limited in what you can see anyway. In this case a Mak for the moon and planets is a good choice. If you are somewhere dark, then the extra aperture of an 6-8" reflector maybe worth the extra effort to move about. There are lots of 'first scope' threads on here - have a good read and make a choice. At the end of the day, the best scope is one you will actually use and get pleasure from.

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Thanks guys, never heard of a maksutov in my searches, orions, celestron and dobsonians are the main 3, there was another that was like 11 inch apertures and about 3-5 grand, which I would love but looks really complicated, i watched a guy on youtube, that sneakily brought a telescope behind his wifes back and cleaned it and brought it back to life in a mission to see if he could see the blue lake, which by end of video he actually acheived. I know I won't see the blue lake with any telescope on the market unless I made every adaptations like he did but as long as I get to see the surface close up, I'll be quite happy, so maksutov or dobsonian, which make and model is more powerful and I noticed their is mixed feelings in the astro world, some people state a 300x with at least 18 zoom plus is needed and others say zoom is of no importance and just concentrate on focus and aperture, the bigger the better as it gets more light and you can see more of space, I don't remember looking for a scope as a kid being so difficult and complicated lol.

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Hello Space Explorer and welcome to the site. This is one of those hobbies where you can throw a bucket load of cash at a telescope and the associated bits and pieces and still not get what you want. So can I suggest that you have a look at the First Light Optics webpages for types of telescopes, then have a look under resources at the top of the site webpage, select astronomy tools, then field of view.  Stick in a couple of different types of telescopes and eyepieces and just generally have a play around to see what might work for you. Refer back to the FLO website so you get an idea of prices etc. The tool will just give you a general idea of scale etc not quality, but it will provide a basis for the types of telescopes that may work for you. Have a look around and let us know your thoughts, there are some clever people on here that can help with any questions. Enjoy.

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When I clicked on reply to this post under M40's post, I had to delete my last post in order to write this one, is this normal? 

Hi M40 and thankyou for that website address, what are your thoughts or experiences with these and which one in your opinion will give me a good clear close up of the moons surface.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/slt-series/celestron-nexstar-130-slt.html

I heard the one below, has alot of problems with wifi not connecting but should I be looking for longer versions of these types of telescopes? 

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/astro-fi-series-telescopes/celestron-astro-fi-6-schmidt-cassegrain-sct.html

 

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/telescopes-in-stock/skywatcher-skyliner-250px-dobsonian.html

Which of these would best suit or have you had any experiences with them?, I looked at tubes but reviews say bearings are outdated and problems persist with them and people are buying all sorts to wrap around them e.c.t

 

 

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44 minutes ago, Space Explorer said:

When I clicked on reply to this post under M40's post, I had to delete my last post in order to write this one, is this normal? 

I have experienced this - not every time, though

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9 hours ago, Space Explorer said:

Which of these would best suit or have you had any experiences with them

The main difference with these scopes is the focal length. The SLT is a newtonian which is a much more wide field view than the other two. The SCT is a much longer FL so smaller field of view - but good for lunar and planets. The 250 is a pretty large dobsonian - very good for viewing most things, but they are BIG. SO I hope your helper is happy to move a big scope. I notice that there is no Mak on your list. 

I think the main choice you need to make is whether you want a goto and/or tracking mount. Once you have done this think about the FL and aperture within your budget. 

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Thanks Clarkey, yeah I can't seem to find a mak, I added the dobsonian because everyone seems to be giving them better reviews out of everything else as the best beginners budget telescope as you can see not just planets but the nebula and a clear view of saturn and it's rings without the rings and saturn looking like a blurry ball, mak on here also seem to be the go to choice (no pun intended) what is the best budget mak model and the best mid range dobsonian model in your experience please? 

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14 minutes ago, Space Explorer said:

Thanks Clarkey, yeah I can't seem to find a mak,

Maksutov | First Light Optics - the 127 is a good all rounder.

Yes a Dob is a great choice providing you want to learn the sky. It is certainly the most bang for your buck. Most people would recommend a 200 or 250mm. You just need to be realistic of what you can see. There is a good thread on here in the getting started with observing section.

At the end of the day there is no perfect 'do it all scope' but if you are OK with learning the sky a Dob is a great choice.

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180mm maksutov (7inch)

Focal length 2700mm

Tube weight 7kg (15ibs)

Orion mak...

The above has mostly great reviews, and its portable but the draw backs is, it show's a dark rim on left side of mars and apparently the mirror, when you move it, it isn't smooth, it drops each time you move it rather than just mm by mm, more cm's by cm's so can be very fiddly and spend some time till its right.

 

280mm schmidt (11inch)

Focal length 2800mm

Tube weight 13kg (28Lbs)

Celestron cpc 1100.

 

This is actually one I have seen in my searches except the one I saw was a deluxe with all the trimmings but what I have just found out, is it's weight, it is literally the hubble lol, this was peoples only bad review  this was also compared to the top telescope, a side by side was composed looking at mars and amazingly their wasn't much difference, except the sky cannon was brighter and a little better resolution but nothing major and their wasn't a dark rim on the left side of the mars, but the details were equal on both telescopes, just more clearer and brighter on cpc 1100.

It seems that dobsonians has clearest resolutions than any other telescopes, I wonder if their is a mak that uses dobsonian technology...

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I have a 250mm flextube goto Dob. Despite having a bad back (slipped disc) I can move this (in two parts) a short distance from my shed to the patio. It's a great scope and a lot of aperture for the money. 

Have you considered a hight quality refractor? While not as good on deep sky as larger instruments, they can be very versatile. From planets, to doubles, to solar, to wide field.

I have one of these:
https://www.firstlightoptics.com/starfield-telescopes/starfield-102mm-f7-ed-doublet-refractor.html
You will need to add a finder, a diagonal and some eyepieces though.

If you wanted goto, it would be perfect on one of these:
https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/skywatcher-eq5-pro-synscan-goto.html

I use the standard version of this mount with motors added as I don't need goto. A perfect combination though.

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hI @Space Explorer.

Something yet to be mentioned is where to buy whatever scope you choose.
You have mentioned 'retailers'.
Are these astronomy retailers? General photo retailers? Shops who happen to sell a few scopes seasonally?

Always get your first (and probably subsequent) scope from a specialist astronomy retailer.
These people want you back for your next eyepieces, finder scope, book, another scope, etc.
Others are generally for today only and cannot offer the advice and after sales support.

Good luck with the search, David.

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45 minutes ago, Space Explorer said:

It seems that dobsonians has clearest resolutions than any other telescopes, I wonder if their is a mak that uses dobsonian technology...

You seem to have got confused over this. The dobsonian is the method of mounting a scope tube, the "mount". It's a simple, cheap and sturdy mount but no-one sells one with anything other than a newtonian reflector on it (I think).

EDIT: not least because the eyepiece on a mak or refractor would end up in a very inconvenient place, unlike a newtonian.

Edited by wulfrun
as above
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9 minutes ago, Space Explorer said:

Carbon, thankyou, I will google a telescope specialist, I agree, they would be the best option than going to a retailer who sells all sorts... thanks again...

This is a good place to start - First Light Optics. Sponsor of this forum and a top quality supplier in terms of expertise and service:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/

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Wulfrun.....yes thankyou, it seems I did, I was assuming it had something to do with having a clearer resolution, must of misheard during my researching into a decent first scope...I figure if I want to see a clear view of the moons surface, spots an all, might as well not beat around the bush and get something half decent...thankyou...

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Ok guy's so I found a 

Bresser Messier 10" Dobsonian Telescope

 

  • Net weight of Telescope = 11.5 kg
  • Net weight of Mount = 16.4 kg

As they both can seperate, it will be easier to manoeuvre than the 38kg one

Then there is this one, with these the images will be brighter and smaller objects easier to see with no problems getting up close and personal with the surface of the moon...

Sky-Watcher Skyliner-250P FlexTube Dobsonian
254MM (10") F/1200 PARABOLIC TRUSS-TUBE DOBSONIAN TELESCOPE

 

I am not sure on which on to choose as both have great reviews and the flextube is better for storage but should I be considering the amount of times I am going to be bringing it out and extending it (will it wear out quick and have problems with it not staying extended)

 

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That is what I have https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-250px-flextube-goto.html There is no problem with it wearing or not staying extended. The locking mechanism is very sturdy.
I do fine the truss tube 250mm easy to pick up. I had a 250mm solid tube Newtonian before and couldn't lift the tube it was so bulky.

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Fair enough, I'm looking to image and once I know what in space I am looking at, which will take some time I'm sure, i can document, i just found this...same as the other flexi tube I think in terms of specs but lighter.

Explore Scientific Ultra Light 10" Dobsonian

Total net weight was 24kg

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