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Just Starting Out, New Equipment Help


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I've decided to take the plunge and finally buy a good telescope as I've been toying with the idea for a while.

I plan on using it for observing initially and I'm hoping to do some astro photography once I get used to the scope and the mount, although I probably won't be buying a camera until early next year.

So far I'm planning on going for Telescope House Explore Scientific 80mm f6 ED APO Refractor with a Sky-Watcher HEQ5 PRO SkyScan GOTO Extra Heavy Duty Equatorial Mount and Tripod (886) - Warehouse Express. With a budget of £1500-1700 I'll have around £100-200 left for an eye piece which is where the problem is. There's so many different sizes, makes and models I'm having trouble finding one to complete my initial setup.

Any advice on the eye piece specifically or on the equipment choices in general would be appreciated. :)

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Hello, welcome to SGL.

I think those two will make a nice outfit to start with. Will easily lend itself to some unguided imaging and then guiding can be added at a later date. Its a great price for a triplet.

You've already got a diagonal and 25mm SWA EP with the setup so maybe think about getting something around the 10mm mark and a decent barlow, that way you'll have four focal lengths and maybe a little bit of money to spare.

You can normally pick up a decent second hand EP for reasonable money, when you have 50 posts you can join in on the for sale section here or have a look over at astrobuysell.com/uk

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I've always picked up my EP's second hand but the Baader Hyperions are good value for money and have always had a reasonable report.

When I had my 80mm scope the EP's I used the most were around the 10mm to 15mm focal length, I've only just been able to start getting decent EP's but for the most part I used a Baader Hyperion MKII clickstop zoom EP which I enjoyed using.

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I use Baader Hyperions too and they're great. But picking ep's is a very personal thing and I allways advise new scope owners to get going with the supplied ep's first, This will give you a baseline from which to start comparing.

Join a local astro soc and/or pop along to a star party and borrow a few better quality ep's from other astronomers and you'll start to form a really good idea of what you'd llike to get. As you rightly say there's a lot to choose from.

Hope that helps :)

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Slightly off topic but maybe relevant, why do most companies only seem to be supplying one EP, or none in some cases.

Me personally have always liked the fact that you were given a couple of EP's of about 25mm and 10mm which gave you a good idea what the scope can do.

I second the astro group suggestion though, some have open evenings for viewing where everyone takes their gear and allow others to have a look through.

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For the 80mm APO you might want to consider one of the new FPL-53 O'Hara glass triplets which are just starting to come out of China and are priced very competitively in the £550.00 to £600.00 range. They are a step up in optical quality over the the Explore Scientific and similar triplets that have FCD1 glass (FPL-51 equivalent) but don't cost any more.

TS Triplet FPL-53 APO telescope 80/480

http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/language/en/info/p3881_TS-Triplet-FPL53-Apo-80-480mm---f-6---kein-stoerender-Farbfehler.html

Orion ED80T CF Apochromatic Refractor Telescope

http://www.scsastro.co.uk/catalogue/orion-ed80t-cf-apochromatic-refractor-telescope.htm

John

Edited by johninderby
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The Orion scope looks really nice but I'd actually put the order through for the ES already. Would the difference in optical quality be noticable to someone who isn't really sure what they're doing? :)

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The Orion scope looks really nice but I'd actually put the order through for the ES already. Would the difference in optical quality be noticable to someone who isn't really sure what they're doing? :)

I'm not an imager but I believe it's with imaging that triplet apochromats really shine so, for visual use, you may not notice the difference, unless you had the 2 types of scope "back to back".

I'm a visual astronomer and really enjoy the views through my Vixen ED102SS which is an F/6.5 doublet with one lens element made from the equivalent of FPL-51 glass. It's a well figured objective lens though so chromatic aberration is very low, even on brighter objects.

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Espi,

Sorry to put a downer on things but after spending more than £1000 you might be a little dissappointed at what that sized scope can show you. Have you ever used an 80mm refractor before ? and did you know that pound for pound, a reflector will show you more for your money.

Alan

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Espi,

Sorry to put a downer on things but after spending more than £1000 you might be a little dissappointed at what that sized scope can show you. Have you ever used an 80mm refractor before ? and did you know that pound for pound, a reflector will show you more for your money.

Alan

I have to agree with Alan here - 80mm apo's are nice 2nd or 3rd scopes and great for imaging but soon run out of "puff" for visual observing.

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The main reason I'm buying the scope inititally will be to try some simple lunar photography, starting with the moon and learning from there. I also wanted something easy to transport as I may be travelling alot locally and so small, light and easy to set up are plus points.

I'll just be spending the first few months getting used to the mount and scope and continuing research on astro photography, and will look to buy a camera around January time when I plan on imaging fully.

Being able to photograph the sky and show it to others hold more appeal to me than seeing it myself. If I get as hooked as I think I will I may look to get a pure visual scope in the future but that won't be for quite a long time due to finances.

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