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Im John from Tamworth, staffs, and i would like to start by saying hi to everyone and im sure i will enjoy joining this forum. I came across this site whilst googling Telescope reviews, and was impressed. So, im hoping you will be able to offer me some advice.

Well, im finally in a position to start enjoying the hobby i love. For a few years now, ive been kicking around my old TAL 114mm. Dont get me wrong, it wasnt a bad little scope for lunar observations, Phases of Venus, could see the rings of Saturn, and make out Jupiters 4 main moons, could even Just about make out M31. Downsides were obviously, couldnt really make out much planetary detail, and by the time you swaped with "her indoors" to have a look, gone out of field of view (manual tracking) lol.

Anyway, my missus is buying me a digital SLR for Xmas YIPPee! and in the new year i will be able to treat myself to a half decent scope. Obviously, i would really like some advice on what scope to buy. Budget about a £1000, maybee £1200 at a push. What im after is a good all rounder for both planetary and DSOs. Say between 8" - 12", whatevers the best value really, Motorised mount (want the missus to have a look this time !) lol. Also i obviously want to do Astro Photography. Reading through the reviews the Dobsonians sound a good choice, as ive read the newts with EQ mounts, tend to move the eye piece into some awkward postions at times, and you have to start messing around making or purchasing Wilson Tubes to rotate the scope. Like i said, i would really appreciate any advice. makes, models etc, within my budget.

I'm really looking forward to uploading and swapimg images, cant wait to get going !!!!!.

Here lies the end of chapter 1 of War and Peace !!! lol

Kind regards John

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Hi John and welcome to the group :)

The flextubes are great - very good value for money - and best price per aperture size. You will be able to use a motorised flextube for solar system photography - but whilst you'll get great views of dso's with them - imaging dso's will be out of the question. They're on an alt/az mount - you need an equatorial mount for snapping the deep objects.

Hope that helps!

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Hi John, welcome to the forum.

The Dobs are nice scope's, but probably pretty much useless for imaging, as mentioned you will need a decent equatorial mount for that. As to the scope needed, I can't help there, but others may be able to help spend your money.

Don't be too hasty buying a scope, until you have gathered some advice and info.

Give the guy's at FLO a ring, they are very helpful. (Banner at top of page).

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I was getting a canon EOS1000, because i already have a couple of lenses for my EOS3000 35mm i could use, but knowing my missus, she proberbly get me a polaroid instant !!! lol Only kidding, shes as good as gold really, well, she has to be to put up with me !

Thanks to everyone, Keep the suggestion coming, Like i said, ive a couple of months, so at least it gives me time to do my research, and make sure i buy something im going to be happy with.

The Flexitubes do sound great, but ive already learnt from this forum that theyre not to good for DSOs. This also sounds like the case for the SGT scopes, very compact, EQ mounts, but have long focal lengths between f10 - f15, and require an adaptor to shorten this focal length. Maybee this would be the best way to go with the adaptor for my DS photography ?? Maybee standard Long tube EQ mounts Newts with Wilson Ring idea ?, the only problem is theyre obviously bulky and not very good if i join any groups and need to carry them to meets.

Thank again

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Hi John and welcome to the group. :)

You have a good budget there for a decent scope but a Dob isn't going to be capable of DSO work. For that you'll need a equatorial mount because of the way it tracks objects across the sky. The issue about strange eyepiece positions isn't really that much of a problem. I have an 200mm scope which is my main imager/observer and a 300mm scope which does offer some interesting positions. I sometimes use a 6 foot ladder to look throught the eyepiece but that's because it's huge. :( The 200mm doesn't really give me any problems at all and I always have my feet on the ground to look through the EP.

Welcome aboard and good luck with your choice.


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Thanks again to everyone, and glad to join you all. The 300p Dobs does sound good, but apparently, from the other posts ive read, not very good for the DSOs photography. Pity they dont come up with a Flexitube EQ mount version, or do they ?.

thanks John

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It's not the flextube that's bad for dso photography - nothing wrong with the tubes - nice short focal lengths and massive apertures are ideal - it's the fact that they are mounted on dobsonian mounts which are alt/az mounts. Alt/az mounts aren't accurate enough to track objects many light years away cos they track in two planes.

Equatorial mounts, when properly polar aligned, allow tracking in a single plane (RA) and have better spec tollerances on their motors. This gives much more acurate tracking which is essential for long exposure photography - don't forget you're trying to follow an object millions of light years away and keeping it exactly in the centre whilst holding the shutter open for 5, 10, 20, etc mins at a time.

Hope that helps :)

Edited by brantuk
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A warm welcome sent from the Pacific coast of Canada to all. After retiring 2 yrs. ago, I found time to follow a life-long interest in star-gazing. It's curious how, still, after 62 yrs., I still know so little about the unchanging night sky overhead. I bought a Stellarvue 105mm refractor on a HalfHitch az-alt mount but found the package too heavy & cumbersome.....now looking for a quality large binocular to take on my dark-sky travels. I look forward to reading & learning at SGL! :)

Edited by Vancouver
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