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Advice on new scope - £1000 to spend


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Hi everyone,

I am looking for a new telescope. but it has to meet the following:

1. Cost no more than £1000

2. Not be too big - I need to bring it in and out of the house.

3. Would like to use it for astrophotography in the future - I have a Nikon DSLR

4. Would need electronic tracking.

5. Would like (but not critical) GoTo

6. I would buy optics etc seperate to the cost of the telescope

Any infomation you could give me would me most appreciated.

thanks

Martin

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Just to expand, a great choice would be this OTA:

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/proddetail.php?prod=pro80ed1ota

on this mount:

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/proddetail.php?prod=proheq5

Will cost you £1094 (£984.60 with your 10% discount once you hit 10 posts here)

At your budget and a cracking setup for photography

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I was looking at a Meade LXD75 Schmidt Newtonian 8 inch.

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/proddetail.php?prod=mlxd75schmidtnewt

Peter Kennet is doing some remarkably good work with that set-up:

http://www.petesastrophotography.com/index.html

Thanks to everyone here, I have had a look at th above site and I am amazed what this chap can get out of his 8" schmid. I think it has pretty much sold it for me.

However, before I take the plunge, why the ED80? Why the preference on a refractor?

cheers Guys

Martin

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Eeek. Really small things and then really faint things. Best get at least two 'scopes then.

You need loads of focal length to get the image scale up for the planets as they are tiny when measured in angle terms, but bright enough that you don't need a low f/ ratio. Then you need a small f/ ratio for the nebulae as they tend to be faint and don't give off a lot of light.

For planets something about f/14, so a compound type, most likely a Maksutov and for nebula something faster than f/6 i.e. a Newtonian of some desciption.

Looks like its time to choose one or the other unless you can up the budget, otherwise you risk buying stuff that you will need to upgrade (at a loss) in the near future. I'd pick the planet type 'scope as Saturn is coming round and that's always breathtaking, and I'd pick a Newtonian as well because you can use Barlow lenses to up the magnification and get a fairly good image scale with planets. So you need a couple of grand at least to get you going.

Joking aside, I'd still go for the Skywatcher on the HEQ5, maybe not get the goto initially to keep the costs down.

Oddly enough I've been checking out the Meade SN 10" since at least two of the guys here recently got them. Can't seem to find anybody selling the OTA on its own though, and as I've not got the readies to splash at the moment I've not pestered any suppliers about if they're available seperately.

Captain Chaos

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Personally, I bought the Skywatcher 200 and HEQ5 - then I found I needed eyepieces to add to that and something for collimation. I also bought a power pack to power the HEQ5. All in all I still spent much less than £1000 and bought it new. You could buy from other buy and sell sites but remember there are risks to this and you have to be quick as typically sought after equipment (like what you are looking for) sell fast.

Hope that helps

Scotty

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Thanks again everyone, this has really given me something to think about.

I think my preference will be the nebula over the planets at the moment. I want to try to stick to new kit where possible I am always a little worried about buying anything with a lens thats second hand!

:D

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I think the LX75 SN would be a good choice for both imaging and visual for deep sky work. Small refractors such as the ED80 is that they are fantastic imaging tools. Their small aperture is just not the issue it is for visual work. Their small size means less demand is placed on the mount which is an extremely important factor when imaging and their short focal length means that small tracking errors are less likely to spoil an image. The downside is they can't compete visually with a large reflector

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Several of the guys on here buy and sell stuff like its car boot challenge or something. Most of the Astro gear is in good condition (well all of it that I bought is anyway) and is considerably cheaper than new gear. The thing to note is that most of us buy entry level kit and move onowards and upwards (or just pack in because of the carp weather) so there is always a lot of stuff flying around. I've yet to sell anything but most of it was "previously cherished" before i got my grubby paws on it. If you hang about you can hear genealogy type stories of whats where.

PS Check your PMs MartinH

Captain Chaos

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I think the LX75 SN would be a good choice for both imaging and visual for deep sky work. Small refractors such as the ED80 is that they are fantastic imaging tools. Their small aperture is just not the issue it is for visual work. Their small size means less demand is placed on the mount which is an extremely important factor when imaging and their short focal length means that small tracking errors are less likely to spoil an image. The downside is they can't compete visually with a large reflector

The SN 8" has a focal length of 800mm, not much more than the ED80 at 600mm, and at f/4 its going to do exposures for imaging at 3 1/2 times less exposure time as its a much faster 'scope. The SN has the imaging edge my some margin in this case. Visually the SN should do better as well as it will give brighter views of DSOs and bigger planets. Its a fast kind of beastie.

Captain Chaos

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