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Hi,

I'm new here so please be kind.

We are conemplating getting the above mentioned for some amature work.

We were quoted £169 with motor.

Is this a good buy for the absolute beginers ?

What can we expect to be able to see through this app' ?

We have also got a DSLR Sony Alpha a200 which I know wont do long exposures but will we be able to use it with the telescope for short exposures ?

And finally, what is a good camra to use & at what sort of prices are we looking at on the cheapest end of the scale ?

Thanks in advance for any help

val and ian

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Hi - welcome to SGL !.

The Explorer 130PM is the motorised one, like this:

Reflectors - Skywatcher Explorer 130M

Very popular 1st scope and as it has the motor it is capable of some basic astrophotography - ie: the moon and brighter planets. Many people use web cams with the lens removed and an adaptor to fit into where the eyepiece goes to do lunar and planetary imaging - the Phillips Toucam Pro is a popular choice for that.

The scope (most scopes in fact) will not show you views like the photos you see. You can however get lovely views of the moon, see Saturns rings, Jupiters moons and bands, some faint details on Mars, the phases of Venus and Mercury, lots of star clusters, some nebulae and galaxies with the scope. Just don't expect the level of colour and details that the pictures show.

It's a good choice of scope though.

Edited by John

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Hi & thanks for the replies.

Is £169 a good price from off the shelf ?

jahmanson, I was hoping to get some pretty good viewing of the orion neb & like you said star clusters & even better pics, I'm personaly more into the steller & deep space side than planitary & lunar stuff.

I don't suppose you could direct me to some links of pics taen through this telescope ?

I have tried googling but I get a bit lost.

Thanks again.

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Hi Valandian,

I have the skywatcher 130 and can confirm this is a very good scope for a beginner. The orion nebular looks stunning as does star clusters and some planets. Unfortunatly I havnt quite worked out how to use registax so I cant tell you what its like for pics but I know the AVI`s are good :(

Regards

Brett

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We need to distinguish between deep sky photography of nebulae etc and planetary/lunar webcamming. Webcamming uses fast frame rates which don't require accurate tracking of the sky. Software is used to align hundreds of fast exosures, none of which was long enough to need accurate tracking in itself.

Deep sky imaging with either a CCD camera or DSLR is quite different with exposures running into minutes and requiring very, very accurate tracking. This is usually done using an autoguider (a separate parallel scope and camera) taking shots every second or so and communicating with the mount to correct its tracking each time, based on each incoming image.

In visual use you would see more through a somewhat larger version of the scope you mention. It would be worth considering 150 or 200mm since the light grasp goes up with the area of the main mirror. Doubling the aperture quadruples the light grasp. To my mind the price rises more slowly than this with starter scopes so you get a lot more for a small increase. But astronomy is a slippery slope...

Olly

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The problem with bigger scopes is that they can be unweidly and daunting to the beginner.

I started out with the 130 and it is an excellent scope, with plenty enough light graps to see tons of stuff. £169 is great price for it.

I often wish I still have the 130 (traded in during a moment of madness, which I will forever regret!)

Go for it! You will not be disappointed!

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Hi there,

I own the 130P and I must warn you that you can *not* achieve prime focus with a DSLR camera. This means you have to use a barlow to take images, which you can get results with (See my M42) but it is very hard work. With a barlow, much less light makes it to the CCD, also your field of view is smaller. That means that accurate tracking is far more important.

Having said this, if you're only looking at short exposure photography and observing, this is an excellent, good value, scope.

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Hey, this is a good scope for the price. I got the 130p goto version and it is a very good scope, and when coupled with a modded sc1 Toucam pro you can get very good shots, like my M42 with it. can do 20 secs exposures ok, maybe 25 secs at a push with the goto mount.

For visual it is a very good scope, I have seen some good views with the 130p.

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Hey, this is a good scope for the price. I got the 130p goto version and it is a very good scope, and when coupled with a modded sc1 Toucam pro you can get very good shots, like my M42 with it. can do 20 secs exposures ok, maybe 25 secs at a push with the goto mount.

For visual it is a very good scope, I have seen some good views with the 130p.

Hi Anthony,

Do you have the az mount or eq ? Is it possible to do semi long exp with the az mount ?

Thanks

Sorry about the Q Ive just noticed your equipment list !!

Brett

Edited by Brett

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Do you have the az mount or eq ? Is it possible to do semi long exp with the az mount ?

...

Sorry about the Q Ive just noticed your equipment list !!

Mine's also Alt-Az, the image linked to above was done by taking 30s exposures, although I did have to throw a lot of subs away due to tracking errors.

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My first proper scope was a 130 with the motorized EQ2 mount. In fact I still have it and it's for sale if your interested.

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Hey I have the Alt/az, yes you can do I would say semi long, and to be honest I know the tracking errors can be a minor problem, but I have found that if I get the tripod level and a good goto accuracy then I can get a very good tracking. I use a 17Ah Power tank which I found to be honest, improved the tracking no end.

I have track an object for a good 10 mins when viewing DSO using the eyepieces and not the toucam pro, and it has been pretty much in the same place in the eyepiece with it slighty moving after 10 mins. So it is possible, and I wish I could get out and try some other DSO imaging, but the latest weather have not helped so maybe soon.

hope this helps.

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i have this scope too, i would highly recommend it, if your buying online make sure you go with first light optics they are the best service

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You can see the orion nebula with binocs so you'll easilly see it in the 130. For some webcam example pics try "Astronomiser". They also do camera mod's if you ever decide to go that route. Neximage webcam is fine for planets and moon :(

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The Meade LPi (which is essentially the same idea as the Neximage) is often slightly cheaper and, IMHO, easier to use.

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My first proper scope was a 130 with the motorized EQ2 mount. In fact I still have it and it's for sale if your interested.

Don't tempt me :( Would you be willing to sell scope and mount separately ?

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Hey I have the Alt/az, yes you can do I would say semi long, and to be honest I know the tracking errors can be a minor problem, but I have found that if I get the tripod level and a good goto accuracy then I can get a very good tracking. I use a 17Ah Power tank which I found to be honest, improved the tracking no end.

I have track an object for a good 10 mins when viewing DSO using the eyepieces and not the toucam pro, and it has been pretty much in the same place in the eyepiece with it slighty moving after 10 mins. So it is possible, and I wish I could get out and try some other DSO imaging, but the latest weather have not helped so maybe soon.

hope this helps.

Yeah I manage to get very good tracking with this mount so semi long exposures shouldn't be a problem then. Im a bit miffed by the different price ranges in google shopping, some are around the £70 mark but others are in the £130 mark. Does anyone know why this is ? Is there a difference in the specs or could the cheaper ones be repro`s ? Im looking to buy this weekend but want to be sure about what I am buying !!:(

regards

Brett

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Yeah I manage to get very good tracking with this mount so semi long exposures shouldn't be a problem then. Im a bit miffed by the different price ranges in google shopping, some are around the £70 mark but others are in the £130 mark. Does anyone know why this is ? Is there a difference in the specs or could the cheaper ones be repro`s ? Im looking to buy this weekend but want to be sure about what I am buying !!:(

regards

Brett

I think you failed to mention what it is that you are looking to buy.

Peter

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:( So I did sorry :D

Im looking to buy the neximage camera but was worried about the random pricing on google shopping. I have seen one on astro buy and sell for £65 with the extention tube. Ive enquired so fingers crossed !!!

Brett

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I'd go with the 130 too - you dont say what version your buying for the £169 and it comes ina huge variety of versions - I;d guess this is the one your being offered Reflectors - Skywatcher Explorer 130M

There are two tube versions - the long tube version (900mm) and the short tube version (650mm). Which is 'best' is a real debate amongst people and involves a lot of opnion. Either would be good.

I restarted the hobby with the 130PM which sadly isnt around anymore - its the short version with a motor and absolutely loved it.

I bet most 130s are sold with very little use as people upgrade and I'd bet most people almost never exploit the scope to its full potential before upgrading.

Go for it - I doubt you'll regret it.

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I'd rather keep them together as it's easier to sell the package complete.

If I did split it I'd be too tempted to then keep the OTA and 'find' a use for it.

M....

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