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Which Telescope?

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Hello all, I know this is a tricky question but would like to know your opinion on which Telescope to get. 

What will it be used for? Astrophotography, mainly DSOs and Nebulas but I would like it to also be able to use it to photograph planets sometimes - but won’t be used a lot for it.

Budget? Up to £1k

Weight? Not too heavy as I’d like to be able to move it around as it currently stays inside and I take it out at night to photograph 

Where? Mainly my backyard in a Bortle 5 location 

Type? Refractor unless you want to convince me otherwise

Current gear which I don’t want to change:

Mount - HEQ5

Camera - Canon EOS 400d Astromodified, however I would like a telescope that would also work with a astro camera in the future.

im currently looking at:

William Optics Zenithstar 81 APO
William Optics Zenithstar 73 APO III

William Optics RedCat 51 APO

Sky-Watcher Evostar 80 DS-PRO ED

But open to any suggestions! 


Edited by Leti Theobald
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A scope of 50 to 80mm aperture will not perform well for planetary imaging.  For that you need something like an 8" SCT (on your mount.)  AFAIK any of the telescopes you list should work fine with an astro camera.

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In my (admittedly limited) experience AP of DSO’s versus planetary have almost opposite requirements. Planetary needs large aperture long focal length (often slow) telescopes. Whereas DSO you can use smaller refractors with short focal length (fast) scopes. I have just bought an Altair 70 EDQ-R F5 and on its limited testing it appears excellent. 

With planetary I have had pretty good success with a 100mm refractor. So maybe something with a focal length of 550 or 650mm . I guess they might work ok with a Barlow or focal extender.

I did get some ok images with my esprit 100 and my TAL 100 with a barlow. 


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At the moment considering the below but of course happy with different suggestions:


William Optics Z 73III / William Optics 50mm Guidescope with 1.25” RotoLock / ZWO ASI 120mm Mini USB Mono Camera / William Optics Adjustable Flattener 73 A / M48 t ring


William Optics Z 81 APO/ William Optics 50mm Guidescope with 1.25” RotoLock / ZWO ASI 120mm Mini USB Mono Camera / William Optics Adjustable Flat6A III 0.8x Reducer/ M48 t ring (does the extra cost make a lot of difference?)


Sky-Watcher Evostar 80ED DS- Pro / Sky- Watcher Evoguide 50ED Guidescope & ZWD ASI120mm Mini Bundle / Sky Watcher Field Flattener for EvoGuide 50ED / M48 t ring

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You should maybe tell us first which kind of DSO you want to image. A small APO is fine but restricted to large nebulæ and clusters, and a few galaxies. If those are on the top of your list this is a good choice, otherwise you should look for something else. And as the previous posters said, it is a poor choice for planetary imaging.

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