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I have been reading this (and other forums) for the last month or so and have managed to avoid jumping in and buying a scope so far (other than binoculars and a webcam or 6) - but now I want to get on and get something. Unfortunately, I still need some advice.

I was initially going to go for a Celestron CPC800, but that might not be the best scope for me. I was attracted by the easy setup, goto and the possibility of F2 via Fastar/Hyperstar.

I want to take pictures

More deep sky than planetary

I want goto and relatively easy setup

Obviously I'll want to take a peek now and then, but I'm likely to spend more time taking photos.

Should I buy an APO refractor or a Maksutov-Newtonian?

If I go with the refractor, is an F6.2 80mm scope a better buy than an F9 100mm scope or even an F7.5 120mm scope for astrophotography?

Is an EQ5 mount OK, or do I need (need, not want) a HEQ5 or even EQ6?

I have a budget of £1-2k, excluding the camera, but my missus would definately rather I stick to the lower part of that budget (at least to begin with).

EDIT: Travelling is not a problem - I have a dark site right outside the back door.

Edited by dmahon
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I cant give you much, if any advice on the scope side of things, as im still only just getting on to my feet....

As for the mount, almost every body on here will tell you this is where you need to invest your money.... scopes you will change, but the mount you would normal keep.

you are looking for the most stable mount you can buy for your money... I had an EQ5 and I wouldnt recommend it for imaging...

I now have a HEQ5 and it is brilliant, still portable, and heavy enought to be stable for imaging...

As it is not important for you to have it portable, i would suggest buying an EQ6 if you can afford it... You can image with almost any scope and still get rather good results, but if you hav'nt gt a suitable mount you will struggle and get no where.

When imaging.... most people guide as well (not all though), you will need to factor this in. If you are going to be guiding, tem you need to be sure that the equipment you are getting will not over load the mount, Heq5 upwards you shouldnt have a problem.... but you will hit the limit of the EQ5 very quickly...

HTH Keiran

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