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Next step up


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On 07/09/2022 at 22:15, Mart29 said:

I want to step up from the VX6L ,  what do you guys recommend? 

Budget up to 700 

Also,  the Skywatcher below a step up or down? 

 

It's going to gather more light, so from that point of view it is certainly a step up. I have a 200P, but I also have a 250PX which is even better in my opinion. It's not much heavier and assembled with the tube vertical takes up exactly the same amount of floor space. I bought the 200P thinking it would be easier to store and move around. I can't feel any real difference in weight either. So, I almost regret not getting a second 250PX.

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On 07/09/2022 at 22:37, Mandy D said:

It's going to gather more light, so from that point of view it is certainly a step up. I have a 200P, but I also have a 250PX which is even better in my opinion. It's not much heavier and assembled with the tube vertical takes up exactly the same amount of floor space. I bought the 200P thinking it would be easier to store and move around. I can't feel any real difference in weight either. So, I almost regret not getting a second 250PX.

Thanks Mandy , your advice is always appreciated! 

As long as jupiter,  Saturn, the moon are decent views I'm happy.  Banding on jupiter and rings on Saturn keep me good.  If the 200p does this then I will purchase from firstlight tomorrow and use the rest of the budget for more eyepiece 

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On 08/09/2022 at 00:18, Louis D said:

I would lean toward either the GSO made StellaLyra 8" f/6 Dobsonian for features or the JOC made Bresser Messier 8" Dobsonian for its mechanics.  The latter's focuser can be upgraded later to dual speed if desired.  These two and the Synta made Sky-Watcher Classic 200P Dobsonian are all going to be similar optically.

+1

The Bresser has the better mount (and mounts would be expensive to upgrade) so would be my choice for the long run.  On the other hand, the StellaLyra is better equipped and is excellent value for money.  As Brett (Spile) also said I too would choose either of these over the Skywatcher.

A further one to look at in this price bracket is the Celestron Starsense Explorer.  I can't praise the Starsense Explorer technology enough, and it makes finding objects so easy.  The database on this technology is now much improved with a huge number of objects included.  In fact, it looks as though it has all the objects in Sky Safari Plus - not surprising given that the makers of Sky Safari helped in the development of Starsense Explorer.

Edited by Second Time Around
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14 hours ago, Davesellars said:

While going to 8" from 6" will show a difference - you'd see considerably much more difference going directly to the 10" StellaLyra dob which is still well within your budget.

Good point, Dave!

Whilst I haven't found a massive difference in what can be seen between 8 and 10 inch Dobs there's one big exception, and that's globular clusters.  Here there's simply no comparison.   Other DSOs are also better in the 10 inch, although not to the same extent as globulars.  With planets I've found the sizes are closer still, possibly because in the UK it's atmospheric turbulence (the seeing) that's often what's the limiting factor rather than aperture.

How far the scope needs to be carried and what obstacles like stairs there are in between would be relevant here.  Talking of obstacles, will the scope need to be moved around the garden to see different parts of the sky?  If travelling by car both sizes will fit most back seats.  Plus of course a wheeled dolly would make it easy for either.

I've got both 8 and 10 inch Dobs.  On good days I can carry the 8 inch outside in one trip, with the mount in one hand and the tube in the other.  The 10 inch takes me 2 trips.  

However, like yours, mine are expensive OOUK Dobs that are lighter and more compact than the ones mentioned so far.  What helps most here though are the large altitude rings.  The Bresser also has these, so would be easier to transport than the other makes. 

In fact, I compared OOUK, Bresser, Skygazer and GSO (what the StellaLyras are) in a showroom.  Everyone's different, but with the OOUKs and Bressers I could manage 1 size bigger than the Skywatchers and GSOs.  Starsense Explorer hadn't been invented by then, but Celestron Dobs looks similar to Skywatchers and are made by the same manufacturer.

Other points to consider is that an 8 inch won't need as much time to cool down as a 10 inch and so will be ready to observe sooner.  Additionally, many people won't feel the need to buy a coma corrector for an 8 inch that's usually f/6, but would eventually for a 10 inch that's normally F/4.7 to f/5.

However, I agree with Dave.  I think it best to always buy the biggest scope you can afford and transport.  This is because you can (and almost certainly will) add accessories later.

The 10 inch Starsense Explorer at £849 is over budget.  However, you could buy one of the other makes now, then for £169 you could later buy a 70mm Starsense Explorer refractor and retrofit the technology via a finder shoe to almost any other scope.  You'd then also have a useful lightweight refractor.  Indeed, that's what I did myself.

The 10 inch StellaLyra is probably the best value for money.  Personally though, I'd choose the 10 inch Bresser for the better mounting amongst other things - in fact if I hadn't (eventually) found a second-hand 10 inch OOUK I'd have bought one myself!  

Edited by Second Time Around
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I'd imagine that you will be keeping the VX6L - This will most likely give you better planetary and lunar viewing on the majority of nights than going larger as just mentioned the seeing here in the UK is rather limits the aperture and besides the long focal length and easier / exact collimation that you can achieve with that should ensure always a good sharp image (seeing dependent!).  For DSOs though - you will really see the benefit from going large.  I went from 8" to 12" which for me was a massive jump in capability.  However, I've noticed that you haven't really stated if you're interested in DSOs which makes quite a difference to the decision...

Edited by Davesellars
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 13/09/2022 at 21:21, Second Time Around said:

buy a 70mm Starsense Explorer refractor and retrofit the technology via a finder shoe to almost any other scope.  You'd then also have a useful lightweight refractor.  Indeed, that's what I did myself.

Would love to see an example of how this fits via a finder shoe. Would you mind sharing a pic of your mod please?

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On 10/10/2022 at 17:15, lvan said:

Would love to see an example of how this fits via a finder shoe. Would you mind sharing a pic of your mod please?

There's pics of my mods and those of others on this long thread: https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/362327-starsense-explorer-stand-alone-conversion/

Happy reading!

 

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Someone else beat me to it but he is positively spot on.  Jumping from a six to a eight isnt really all that big of jump.  Will there be a difference?  Yes, but it wont be that much.  I would consider going to a ten inch or even a twelve.  Then you would absolutely be wowed. 

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Agreed.  Doubling aperture diameter to a 12" would definitely be a noticeable step up.  I went from an 8" to a 15" Dob.  However, soon after, my back was ripped up by an auto accident (not my fault at all), and I haven't been out with it in years.  Thus, the 8" gets the use.  I ended up going the other direction to see what smaller scopes that I could manage to setup could do.

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An 8" actually has 77% more light-gathering capacity than a 6". My 8" StellaLyra is an F/6, so it has a good focal length for both wide-field and higher mags. Please also note that the SL has a two-speed focuser, not single-speed like most of the competition, not to mention a very good RACI and lots of other advantages.

If you think you can manage it, sure, go for the 10" but I think you'd see a marked improvement with the 8" too, especially on DSOs.

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