Jump to content

1912116577_Solarchallenge2022banner.jpg.913a200cf105ddeae9f37765cb1d0c73.jpg

Looking For A Telescope Under £130 If Possible


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 56
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I'd say DON'T discard a refractor...they are more robust and a inch for inch a lens will show more than a mirror..a 4" refractor will show most of what a 6" reflector shows, but the images will be sharper - if you get a decent make one. I don't think you can beat a Tal 100 (100mm lens=4inch) to start you off..they are built like tanks, have optics quality that the chinese can only dream about and are very simple to use.

And they LOOK like a proper telescope!

Whatever you choose, I hope you and your daughter have a great time with it:-)

cheers

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi guys, again a MASSIVE thankyou to everyone who has contributed to this thread, it really is appreciated and each and every one of your comments is gratefully received and read through.:)

Just wondering now if I were to go with this Reflectors - Skywatcher Skyhawk 1145P what could I realistically view, and what would they look like in the scope?? What I guess I am really asking is if any ok you kind people could post a couple of photos of a few different wonders of the sky as viewed through a telescope of the same (or as near as) spec as the aforementioned Skywatcher Skyhawk 1145P

skywatcher_skyhawk_1145P_telescope.jpg

Again, many, many thanks in advance.:icon_eek:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What you can capture photographically V's what you can see visually through a scope are very differerent unfortunately and I fear would be misleading for you. Our eyes cannot compete with CCD's and moderm processing with regards to colour and contrast.

Also what you can actually see depends on your local viewing conditions, the quality of your eyepieces and your own expereinece (which grows with time of course) so it's far from an exact science !.

A 114mm scope will show very nice views of the moon, the rings of Saturn and a couple of it's moons, Jupiter with 4 moons and a couple of cloud belts, the phases of Venus, Mars as a small disk possibly with vague markings and the pole cap.

You will be able to see lots of deep sky objects as well but relatively few will "wow" you to be honest because of the scopes limited aperture.

Don't be mislead by the photos through - you won't see anything like that (with the exception of the moon).

John

Edited by John
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I may be repeating someone else here, but I would suggest a decent secondhand refractor, alt/az mounted, off ebay etc. which I think would be best suited to your young-un. You, being all growed up like, can cope with the often frustrating way a reflector can be, especially on an EQ mount. Where as the wee one would most certainly feel like chuckin' it all in, very quickly. A good scope will last for years, and as interest progresses, larger aperture apparatus can be added to the collection.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm thinking in terms of what a 5 year old will find useable. If the scopes mainly for you get the 130 - if your 5 year old daughter will use it to any significant extent I'd say the 90mm Refractor on the ALt-Az. Children have a low boredom threshold and if she is 'left out' while you tinker with an EQ mount and then spend time struggling to get to grips with stuff she will get bored.

Also a refelector is more susciptible to child induced accidents. I only went to the kitchen to serve up dinner and in that time my 10 year old undid the spider vanes on my 130. That was useful in the long run as I had to relearn how to collimate and from that came my collimation guide (so people should really thank my 10 year old for that guide) :) at the time it seemed less amusing.

Reflectors are less hardy in the hands of children ( and even in the hands of adults at times).

If the 5 year old is dicounted I would suggest the 130 scope every time at the budget you want to spend. It has excellent optics and probably half the members here have owned one at some time. Its got enough power to last a long time and to do quite a bit with it - more than most owners will ever use.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm thinking in terms of what a 5 year old will find useable. If the scopes mainly for you get the 130 - if your 5 year old daughter will use it to any significant extent I'd say the 90mm Refractor on the ALt-Az. Children have a low boredom threshold and if she is 'left out' while you tinker with an EQ mount and then spend time struggling to get to grips with stuff she will get bored.

Also a refelector is more susciptible to child induced accidents. I only went to the kitchen to serve up dinner and in that time my 10 year old undid the spider vanes on my 130. That was useful in the long run as I had to relearn how to collimate and from that came my collimation guide (so people should really thank my 10 year old for that guide) :) at the time it seemed less amusing.

Reflectors are less hardy in the hands of children ( and even in the hands of adults at times).

If the 5 year old is dicounted I would suggest the 130 scope every time at the budget you want to spend. It has excellent optics and probably half the members here have owned one at some time. Its got enough power to last a long time and to do quite a bit with it - more than most owners will ever use.

So the 130 is this one?? Sky-Watcher 130 Explorer 5.1 inch Newtonian Reflector Telescope (922) - Warehouse Express - I quote this one because the store is within a reasonable driving distance of where I live. Or would this one http://www.firstlightoptics.com/proddetail.php?prod=sw130p be better??

To be honest I want to get the best performing telescope I can purchase for around the budget quoted, something that as you mentioned will allow for a good few years of viewing things before upgrading to anything larger. The skies around where I live are fairly dark (I live right on the borders of countryside, or a green belt) and although there is some light pollution it is nowhere near as bad as where I resided before!

My daughter will be using it, but only when I am around, and I may well purchase a pair of binoculars for her to use while I am tinkering with any EQ mount.

I just want to be sure of my purchase beforehand as I really don't want to spend the money on something that myself and my daughter get disheartened with and then gets dumped in the loft to gather dust.

Would the 130 be easy enough to track the objects around the sky with also??

Sorry for all the questions.:icon_eek:

Richard.

Edited by OptimusPrimeval
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a personal opinion: The 130p seams an excellent starter scope, but you need to be aware the EQ mounts do have some learning curve at the beginning and you'll always need sometime to setup. On "strange" weather with clouds coming and going it may not be the most pratical thing to use.

I recently faced the same choice and went for a Dobson mount cause it haves no setup time. It does not provide tracking but it's very simple to nodge the scope and keep things on the FOV while observing.

Again, I'd like to stress this is a personal opinion. Many people have EQ mounts and love them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think if your daughter will be only with you and your doing all the work the 130 would be fine. There IS a learning curve with EQ mounts but the advantage is with a motor to track then you dont have to keep bumping the scope. This could be useful with a small child.

The 130P doesnt have a motor but you can add one Skywatcher - Skywatcher RA Motor Drive for EQ2

or perhaps go for this one Reflectors - Skywatcher Explorer 130M

The 130P has a parabolic mirror while the other is speherical theres no real disadvantage in that in a scope in this class. Bear in mind the 130M is almost a meter long if your short of storage space.

I think either scope would give you a lot of view for your money and certainly no one ever has a bad word to say about the 130 scope in all of its forms.

Children sometimes find telescope eyepieces tough on them - they need a certain knack. If you dont have tracking by the time she gets a view the object will have moved. Stuff up there moves at a fair old pace when seen from earth.

I think the 130 would keep you occupied for a long time - few people ever really keep them long enough because the bug bites and before you know it they are upgrading to something else.

I think you should also be aware that telescopes do have a real learning curve, theres very little thats immediate about them. Lots of epople assume the thrill will be instant like a Playstation or DVD player. In truth its more like a fishing rod - you need time and patience to find stuff and the learning curve can be painful. YOu do however have all of us SGL folk to help you out :)

If you want to get an idea of views through a 130 I did a revie on it ages ago whih has some pictures/sketches of the view you would get. These are as seen rather than camera images which can be very misleading. The review is here http://www.astro-baby.com/reviews/Sky-Watcher%20130PM/Sky-Watcher%20130PM%20Review.htm

Edited by Astro_Baby
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think if your daughter will be only with you and your doing all the work the 130 would be fine. There IS a learning curve with EQ mounts but the advantage is with a motor to track then you dont have to keep bumping the scope. This could be useful with a small child.

The 130P doesnt have a motor but you can add one Skywatcher - Skywatcher RA Motor Drive for EQ2

or perhaps go for this one Reflectors - Skywatcher Explorer 130M

The 130P has a parabolic mirror while the other is speherical theres no real disadvantage in that in a scope in this class. Bear in mind the 130M is almost a meter long if your short of storage space.

I think either scope would give you a lot of view for your money and certainly no one ever has a bad word to say about the 130 scope in all of its forms.

Children sometimes find telescope eyepieces tough on them - they need a certain knack. If you dont have tracking by the time she gets a view the object will have moved. Stuff up there moves at a fair old pace when seen from earth.

I think the 130 would keep you occupied for a long time - few people ever really keep them long enough because the bug bites and before you know it they are upgrading to something else.

I think you should also be aware that telescopes do have a real learning curve, theres very little thats immediate about them. Lots of epople assume the thrill will be instant like a Playstation or DVD player. In truth its more like a fishing rod - you need time and patience to find stuff and the learning curve can be painful. YOu do however have all of us SGL folk to help you out :)

If you want to get an idea of views through a 130 I did a revie on it ages ago whih has some pictures/sketches of the view you would get. These are as seen rather than camera images which can be very misleading. The review is here Review of the Sky-Watcher 130PM

Thankyou for your well put together reply and pointing me in the direction of your review which I have just finished reading. It is a very insightful and informative review and I enjoyed reading it very much. Sounds like the 130 is a very good scope.

Although you say that the parabolic mirror over the spherical mirror doesnt really make any difference in a scope of this quality it is still ticking away in the back of my mind. Would the image quality be even slightly inferior on a spherical mirror? Also the focal length on the 130 is 900mm i believe whereas on the 130P it is 650mm, what difference would this make to observation??

I am trying to push the initial budget up to £200 now but cannot guarantee that the wife will go there yet!!

Again thanks to everyone for your patience in your replies. :icon_eek:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, sorry for the double post.

I think I have now decided upon which telescope offers me the best money to quality ratio out of all those discussed..........

Sky-Watcher Sky Hawk 1145PM Motorised Newtonian telescope starter kit with free guide book set

I have discussed with the wife and we have both agreed that £200 is just that little bit too much money to be spending on a telescope at this moment in time, and after reading about this telescope it doesnt sound half bad, and this one comes with a full RA motor for an all in price of £149.95 with a free book set and including delivery, which to my mind is a pretty good deal. Plus it received two seperate best budget buy awards in the Sky at Night magazine alongside another best budget buy in the Independant by the vice president of the society for popular astronomy, so it can't be too bad a scope can it? Or I could get the same scope for £130 here.....http://www.acecameras.co.uk/asp/web/recorprod/1/product/12103/cat/1529/ph/cat/keywords//recor/1/SearchFor//PT_ID/1/product.asp.

Now regarding eyepieces......... :)

The ones that come supplied, will I be able to see the planets at a size bigger than a pea?? Or will I need to buy higher magnification ones for this? The fact that I am saving money on the initial purchase will give me some leverage with her who must be obeyed with regards to upgrading the eyepieces sooner rather than later.

Richard.

Edited by OptimusPrimeval
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now regarding eyepieces......... :)

The ones that come supplied, will I be able to see the planets at a size bigger than a pea?? Or will I need to buy higher magnification ones for this? The fact that I am saving money on the initial purchase will give me some leverage with her who must be obeyed with regards to upgrading the eyepieces sooner rather than later.

Richard.

Do check that the scope is actually in stock (by phone) with that supplier before you order - some folks have had some problems with them ......

The eyepieces that come with the scope will be OK to get you started but you might find you want to add a higher power one quite soon as the supplied 10mm only gives you 50x on it's own and 100x when used with the supplied (but probably not great quality) 2x barlow lens. 150x, which would be good for planets will require a 3mm eyepiece which are like hens teeth so a 3x barlow lens (such as the TAL one which costs £35.00 from Fisrt Light) would be your best bet.

To be honest if you can see a planet as big as a pea you are doing well with most scopes - they are a long way away !. But with 150x at least you should see them as small disks with a few features on if you look very carefully.

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At 120x Jupiter looks like a pee at arms length, Saturn is about half the size and you can barely see any surface detail in Mars. You can see the rings of Saturn and at least 2 bands in Jupiter at this magnification.

The 1145PM gives you a max of 100x with the provide EPs + Barlow, that will do on Jupiter/Saturn but won't be enough for Mars (IMO). So I think you will need some extra EPs. The 130p gives you mags in between the 36x and the 180x off the box witch makes the extra 10£ a bargain IMO.

I just want to point out a detail. The 1145P is a short scope, witch makes it a fast scope (light takes less time to travel in it). That brings 2 problems:

1) Since the focal lenght of the scope is short it will be harder to achieve high mags, mag = scope focal lenght/EP focal lenght. So a 10mm on the 1145 will give you 500/10 = 50x. The same 10mm on the 130p will give you 900/10 = 90x.

2) Fast scopes, with focal ratios under f/6 tend to make any imperfection in cheap EPs very noticeable. The 1145 is a F/4.4 while the 130p is a f/6.92.

Edited by pvaz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, it looks like:

1: A shiney new toy for dad, or,

2: A child friendly scope, that could set the foundations for a lifetimes obsession with the universe, leading to a Phd in astophysics and a career with NASA.

Tough choice, I'd say............

When my daugther wanted a microscope, one christmas, Mrs. Yeti was orft to the Early Learning Centre to buy some plastic rubbish. I told her that I'd get the microscope, and nipped into a decent shop and came out with a really nice Russian made item which still sees use 12 years later. My daughter is still very passionate about things scientific. I believe I made a good choice.

Edited by yeti monster
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, it looks like:

1: A shiney new toy for dad, or,

2: A child friendly scope, that could set the foundations for a lifetimes obsession with the universe, leading to a Phd in astophysics and a career with NASA.

Tough choice, I'd say............

When my daugther wanted a microscope, one christmas, Mrs. Yeti was orft to the Early Learning Centre to buy some plastic rubbish. I told her that I'd get the microscope, and nipped into a decent shop and came out with a really nice Russian made item which still sees use 12 years later. My daughter is still very passionate about things scientific. I believe I made a good choice.

See the real problem is I want to get the best scope that I can realistically afford without breaking the bank, and obviously I want my daughter to enjoy her new hobby as it is something that we can do together and anything that means spending time with my children is a big plus in my eyes. BUT I do want a scope that has the horsepower optically to provide a well rounded view of our universe, but this must come in at under £140 tops. As I have also said, I want the scope to last us a few years until we can afford to upgrade it to a larger one.

What a conundrum.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

.......BUT I do want a scope that has the horsepower optically to provide a well rounded view of our universe, but this must come in at under £140 tops. As I have also said, I want the scope to last us a few years until we can afford to upgrade it to a larger one.

What a conundrum.....

To deliver and maintain the interest you need aperture. The maximum aperture that £140 gets you is 130mm.

Proper telescopes are precision instruments - thats why they cost what they do - you get what you pay for.

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I have also said, I want the scope to last us a few years until we can afford to upgrade it to a larger one.

What a conundrum.....

Hmm i think you have but one choice. A secondhand dobsonian, either 6" or 8". It's the only way to get a serious scope with adequate light grasp to do as you say. You should have no problems getting a Skywatcher Skyliner 200P within budget secondhand. Mine cost me £40 on Ebay but they come up quite often for £100-150.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To answer your question on parabolic versus spherical and focal lengths......

Focal length for a given apertue affects the scopes focal ratio. This has certain consequences for a scope. For the two versions of the 130 this works out like this.

130 with a length of 650 creates a 'fast' focal ratio of F5 (650/130=5) the faster the focal ratio the better the scope is at collecting light. At this size of scope it makes almost no difference visually but requires shorter exposure times for imaging. In this class of scope it makes very little difference.

Fast focal ratio scopes require parabolic mirrors to make them work. Parabolic mirrors in budget scopes are a releatively new thing.

A fast scope is in theory better at viewing dim objects. A downside is they are more demanding on eyepieces ie they need better quality EPs by and large than 'slow' scopes.

130 with a length of 900mm creates a 'slow' scope with a focal ratio of F7 (actually its 6.92). This is a slower focal ratio. Slower scopes, generally those with focal ration higher than f5 dont really require a parabolic mirror. There'd be no point because a spherical will do just as well. longer focal ratios generate better contrast on objects like planets and also greater magnification for a given EP.

If we take a 10mm EP - magnification is a function of focal length divided by EP length - a 10mm EP in a 650mm long scope gives a magnification of x65. In a 900mm scope it gives a magnification of x90.

A long focal length therefore gives higher magnification but it comes at the cost of not being so good as seeing very dim objects.

Thats the theory - in a scope of 130mm aperture most of this is moot. The maximum magnification would be 2x the aperture which would work out at x260 for either scope. In reality the maximum useable magnification for either scope would be around be around 200 and mostly the UK skies limit magnification to somewhere around x135.

Most people (including me) were seduced by the sexiness of parabolic mirrors and fast focal ratios. In reality they make little difference in a scope of this class and, as a general rule, a long tube, slower scope is better.

If I had had the option when I upgraded I would have had a slower scope but most bigger scopes these days tend to be fast scopes. Its the current trend I guess.

Hope thats of some help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ps - it IS a conundrum you have. I think given all the factors you might be better off accepting that you cant meet all the requirements and maybe go for something like a basic refractor which will at least give good views of the moon and the bigger planets. Something like the Evostar 90.

Yes you'll have to upgrade but you will do anyway whatever you buy. A small refractor will give good planet views and probably be better at planets than the SkyHawk. The skyhawks only slightly larger aperture wont show that much more on deep sky objects. I used to own a 4.5 long tube reflector (ages ago) the views of planets could be very good with it (long focal length you see) but it was pretty hopeless at deep sky objects compared to a 130mm scope.

It IS a tough call you have there and i know how tough it is as a beginner to weigh all the pros and cons. Rather like comparing cars if you dont drive really.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A massive thankyou to everybody who has contributed to this thread, I am glad I chose this forum as it seems like there is a very friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgeable mix of members here :).

I have now decided to go with my original plan the Skywatcher Skyhawk 1145PM, as this is the scope that best fits my needs and budget. Although I would obviously like a larger scope, this can be saved for over the coming months whilst observing through the 1145PM. After having read various reports and reviews I am confident that it will serve our needs for quite a while.

My budget really will not allow me to budge any further with regards to scope, and a motorised mount is going to be invaluable I feel for myself and my daughter to observe with some degree of comfort.

So many thanks again for your advice, it has all been digested.

Expect many more questions from me as time goes by. :icon_eek:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would go for the longest focal length in order to have decent views with cheaper EPs. Decent quality EPs usually start in the 60£ to 100£ range and can get much higher.

I'm not sure but I think the motorized EQ mounts need external power supplies so you should check that. That may well add another 40£-50£ for power supply gear.

EDIT: Sorry! I posted at the same time as your last post. I didn't mean to go against a decision you already made.

Edited by pvaz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would go for the longest focal length in order to have decent views with cheaper EPs. Decent quality EPs usually start in the 60£ to 100£ range and can get much higher.

I'm not sure but I think the motorized EQ mounts need external power supplies so you should check that. That may well add another 40£-50£ for power supply gear.

EDIT: Sorry! I posted at the same time as your last post. I didn't mean to go against a decision you already made.

Thats fine my friend, not a problem. I thank you for your help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, heres the scoop!!

After much deliberating and agonising we were all set to go with the Skywatcher 1145PM until at the very last moment after a good chat with Adam at RotherValleyOptics when I managed to get the good lady wife to up our budget to £200 and so therefore have gone with the:-

New Explorer 130P Telescope With Free DVD & Binos: £169.00new130p.jpg

f/650 Parabolic Newtonian Reflector

The EXPLORER-130P models feature premium-quality Parabolic Primary Mirrors, normally found in larger more expensive telescopes, to eliminate spherical aberrations, producing even sharper, higher-contrast images which are full of detail. A parabolic or more accurately a "paraboloidal" mirror, is ground to a shape which brings all incoming light rays to a perfect focus, on axis. In addition they feature 0.5mm Ultra-Thin secondary mirror supports, to reduce diffraction spikes and light loss.

Magnifications (with optics supplied): x26, x52, x65, x130

Highest Practical Power (Potential): x260

Diameter of Primary Mirror: 130mm

Telescope Focal Length: 650mm (f/5)

Eyepieces Supplied (1.25"): 10mm & 25mm

x2 Barlow Lens

Parabolic Primary Mirror

0.5mm Ultra-Thin Secondary Mirror Supports

Red Dot Finder

EQ2 Equatorial Mount

Aluminium Tripod with Accessory Tray

30% more Light Gathering than 114mm

"I was most impressed by the views revealed by the ‘scope during tests…Despite a phase of nearly 96 percent, the waxing gibbous Moon revealed a seemingly inexhaustible amount of fine detail... Highly recommended!"

Astronomy Now Magazine

The quality of the star images cannot be faulted, and a higher magnification of Mars showed surface detail well

Endorsed and recommended by

Sir Patrick Moore CBE FRS

With a motor drive included and free delivery.

I am such a happy chappy now!!

I know I keep repeating it, but thanks to everybody here for the warm welcome and advice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.