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Layor

Newbie questions

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Hi,

I live in Mid Wales and am lucky enough to live in a part of the country where the night sky is reasonably free of light polution.

I have a pair of Skymaster 15x70 binoculars that I've recently purchased and a Tasco 76mm x 700mm reflector telescope that was bought for me as a birthday present a few years ago. It's not the best of 'scopes but it has served to get me started and I'm now thinking of buying a Maksutov Cassegrain type telescope.

Can anyone advise of the best make and supplier to get one from or would this sort of question be best posted on a different part of the forum?

Cheers, Layor.

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Hi and welcome to SGL, Skywatcher, Celestron and Meade do some good Maks / SCTs be worth having a google and read reviews on them. I have a Meade ETX125 and the Optics are A1, have also read very good reviews of the Skymax 127.

Steve

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Hi Layor,

A warm welcome to the forum. :D

All sizes of Sky-Watcher Maks are good VFM, especially 2nd hand, and have gathered a loyal following here on the forum.

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Hi from me too - ytou may get a better reply on the equipment help/advice forum on here :D

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Hi Layor, welcome to the forum.

Mid Wales can be very good for observing. You have chosen to maybe go for a Maksutov-Cassegrain yeah? Can I ask why?

If I were starting off then I may be more inclined to choose either a refractor or Newtonian design. I mean, by all means go for a Maksutov or Schmidt if that is exactly what you are after but I would state that a Newtonian gives the best all round performance. Mak's and Schmidts don't give exceptionally bright views and the field of view can be quite 'small' with some objects. Saying that though they are more compact and less hassle to maintain than a Newtonian. Just a thought thats all!

Celestron make good Schmidts and their small 4inch Mak I had was easy to use and performed well especially with planetary and lunar imaging.

Skywatcher stuff is generally good, the refractors are pretty neat, not used their Maks but the Schmidts seem on par with Celestrons.

Maybe avoid TAL scopes, they are builts sturdily but they can be a pain to use (in my experience).

Haven't used any Meade equipment so can't say.

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A warm welcome Layor.

JohnH.

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hi layor and welcome to the forum :D

i have a meade etx 125pe its a top quality goto,but not cheap.there are some nice 2nd hand scopes that turn up on here,and i would rather buy one from here than ebay.they are advertised at a realistic price and most will have been well looked after.

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Hi Layor,

A very warm welcome to SGL, hope you enjoy the forum.

John.

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Wow!

What a warm welcome, thank you!

In reply to EA2007, the reason I would like to go for a Maksutov-Cassegrain is that I have already got a rerlector from Tasco, which was bought as a birthday present some years ago, and although it is very basic I have managed to see the rings of Saturn and some of the moons of Jupiter, but the quality is not what you would call good. There is a lot of 'wobble' if you breath too often!

So, after reading up on some of the other more stable and better built telescopes I decided to settle on a M-C. However, I would be guided by the vastly greater experience of yourselves, but there are certain criteria I would like to stick by if possible;

1. Portability - I have some 11 steepish' steps to get up to the top of my garden to get an unobstuctive view.

2. I would like to attach a camera (possibly a Canon EOS 450D).

3. I would like the 'GOTO' mount fitted.

The reason for my rekindled interest is because my wife recently passed away and I would like something to occupy me in the coming years.

I will post my other questions etc, in the help/advice forum as suggested by Asto-Baby, and there will be plenty no doubt!!

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Hi and welcome to the group :D

You can't beat a CPC for quality if you're after a cass. But I wouldn't want to be carrying it up steps. It's quite a heavy bit of kit and really wants to be set up somewhere permanent. The 8" is the limit of portability (for me at least lol). But don't let me put you off - superb optics, highly accurate tracking, it'll take half reasonable pics, but the ota needs an equatorial mount for anything substantial :D

Edited by brantuk

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Hi, Brantuk,

Just had a look at the 11073 CPC 800, what a piece of equipment! What a price! I was looking at possibly between £500-£1000, especialy as it is going to be my first 'real' telescope:D

I know a lot of folk have been giving the Sky max 127 very good reviews and I hadn't really thought about that one but I had looked at the Celestron Nexstar SE, again very good reviews. Any comments?

Layor

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Hi and welcome, Modern MAK or SCT's are usually all good quality. Celestron, Meade and SkyWatcher are very well thought of

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Welcome to SGL. I do not think you can go far wrong with Schmidt Cassegrain, or Maksutov Cassegrain, especially if you have to lug it around a bit. I find my (old style, Great Polaris mounted) Celestron C8 a great machine. I set it up for visual in about 5 min, and with exact polar alignment in no more than 15. SCTs and their cousins are really good alrounders in a compact package (I've taken mine on holidays in a little Peugeot 106 with room to spare for the camping gear and the missus). This does come at a price: Newtonians of the same aperture are way cheaper. The only thing SCTs don't do that well is deep-sky imaging (observing is OK). A 5 or 6" scope would be a great step up from what you have now.

Have fun!

Michael

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Hi and welcome. I can vouch for the SkyWatcher SkyMax127 Mak being a decent beginner scope. There are probably cheaper scopes out there for starting out, but this one has been good.

Dave

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Yep the s/h CPC's tend to fetch around £1000 - £1200 so a little over budget. There's a couple of nice looking Maks on the for sale board at the moment.

I've not used the Celestron Nexstar SE but have heard good things about it - the "6" is a nice portable size, well within budget, and leaves cash for a power tank, eye pieces, dew shield,etc and other accessories that you're likely to need :D

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Yep the s/h CPC's tend to fetch around £1000 - £1200 so a little over budget. There's a couple of nice looking Maks on the for sale board at the moment.

I've not used the Celestron Nexstar SE but have heard good things about it - the "6" is a nice portable size, well within budget, and leaves cash for a power tank, eye pieces, dew shield,etc and other accessories that you're likely to need :D

note that the etc., all too easily becomes etc.,etc.,etc.,etc.,etc.,etc.:D

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Welcome. The Skwatcher Maks will give you a good view but will not be great for DSLR photography because the focal ratio is far too slow. They would be good for imaging the planets, though. Most people use cheap webcam devices (or sometimes not cheap webcam devices!) for this purpose. The design is very compact and probably as good as it gets for steps, I think...

Olly

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Hi Layor,

A warm welcome from me to the forum.

James

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