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Looking for telescope for ~£600


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I know I have another thread, but I decided to put any photography on hold until I can get my hobby up and running at least :)

So, basically what I need help with now, is to find the best telescope to watch DSO and planets with.

So. I have ~£600 (decided I don't want to shell out all my money in one go :)) that I can spend. I don't require a GOTO or a insane motorized thing. A normal EQ mount would be sufficient I guess.

A dobsonian looks interesting and all, but I'm unsure, because I would like to be able to take it out to a field and transport it safely in a car, and it just seems like they are way too big for that.

So perhaps an Skywatcher Explorer version or something like that.

What I would mostly like to observe, is DSO's.

And yes, I do know what to expect to see :D

Thank you for your patience,

Suzpaz :eek:

Edited by Suzpaz
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I regularly take my 12" Dobsonian out to observing evenings with other stargazers. It's usually the biggest scope there, one occasionally sees a 14" or 16" one. Second-hand, expect to pay £350 or so. That would leave you enough money to get some decent wide-angle eyepieces or a high-frame-rate camera. Have you joined an astro society yet?

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I might get shot down in flames here, but what the heck,

if its mainly dso`s that interest you then how about the skywatcher startravel 120 or even st150 im sure they are fab for dso work, and very portable, but you would get noticable cromatic aberration at high mag on lunar/bright planets

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for dso's you can't get better value than a dob I imagine a 10 inch under norwegian dark skies would be awesome, and fairly transportable I must admit the thought of the northern lights a clear night and those dark skies and a big scope make me a little envious the dob breaks down into 2 parts so its fairly transportable for short distances

Edited by rowan46
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If Astrophotography is your goal, why not start to acquire the means to that end immediately. Buy a mount first. The EQ6 Synscan Pro would be perfect, but the price is significantly more than £600.

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It depends on how large an imaging scope you would want. For example, a Mak. Newt. 190 Astrograph would sit nicely on the EQ6, and it a fine visual instrument too.

A smaller scope and you could buy the HEQ5 Pro. a bit cheaper the the EQ6.

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This might seem an odd suggestion, but at least you could start imaging right away, simply by sticking your camera on the mount, and doing some great shots with various size lenses, whlst saving for the main telescope. The tracking would probably be good enough without the need for auto guiding.

Ron.

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£600 would give you a lot of options, dont forget to budget for some ectra eyepieces, dewshield, torches, collimation tool ( if you get a refelector).

If you ultimately want to do imaging I'd suggest an EQ mount, if not then a Dob will be no bigger in tube size than an equivalent EQ mounted scope.

For instance a 200P on an EQ mount will be more or less the same size if supplied as a dobsonian. Bear in mind as well tyat an EQ mount in many ways is less portable, you have the mount heac (heavy), the tripod legs (not very heavy) and the counterweights ( probably at least 10kg ) to lug about and set up time is longer.

For the cash if you wanted an EQ mount you could go for the Skywatcher 200 on an EQ5 which would give you some flexibility to go to tracking or GoTo later on but I am not sure the EQ 5 woud be up to imaging, it would though although you to learn about EQ mounts and get the basics down.

The other way would be to accept that the first scope wont be usable for imaging and go for a bigger aperture with a dobsonian which would you allow you to go for example to a 250 in either solid tube at around £400 or a flectube for about £500. I have not spent up to the max because you will need extras.

You may even be able to upgrade the dob options to GoTo later on as Skywatcher have mooted the possibility of GoTo upgrade kits for their Dobsonians in their plans for 2011.

I'd not dismiss the benefits of tracking because at high powers for planets its an absolute boon and no bad thing for DSOs either.

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Within that price range, I'd suggest looking around for a second-hand HEQ5 mount for around £500, which would form a basis for an imaging rig.

That will be sufficiently heavy-duty for some imaging gear. You can then fit a scope of your choice, say a Second-hand 200mm Newt (say £150) which you can use for both visual and imaging purposes. Second-hand kit is often as good as new optically, provided you know what you're looking for.

But beware. Imaging becomes an expensive obsession.

Edited by lukebl
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Yeah photography won't be in my best interest. Maybe just buy something now that will keep my busy for a few years and if the interest grows stronger, invest in a better mount.

I'm sure this setup here will be a good deal, right?

Reflectors - Skywatcher Explorer 200P EQ5

Which I then can upgrade to a proper mount for photography.

Unless anyone has a better suggestion, I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy that :)

Or is that scope not very good for DSO's? Do I have to go up to a 250 ?

Edited by Suzpaz
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I think quite a few people have that kind of setup. The only problem is that the EQ5 kind of falls between two stools, too big to be airplane-portable, too small for "proper" astrophotography (unless used with a camera lens or small refractor). Or am I wrong?

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Sorry, I edited my post a few times. (you might be commenting on another product :eek:) I'm really going back and forth on this. I'm not experienced enough to even know what I need!

I just want to look at some DSO's and maybe take a picture or two of the moon/sun!

:)

I want something with a mount :) Scratch dobsonians. I'm sure they are great and all, but not for me :D

Edited by Suzpaz
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Yeah photography won't be in my best interest. Maybe just buy something now that will keep my busy for a few years and if the interest grows stronger, invest in a better mount.

I'm sure this setup here will be a good deal, right?

Reflectors - Skywatcher Explorer 200P EQ5

Which I then can upgrade to a proper mount for photography.

Unless anyone has a better suggestion, I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy that :)

I'd still try and stretch to an HEQ5 mount if you can, as it will be relatively future-proof. I had one till recently which was perfect for imaging, using an 200mm Newt and 80mm guidescope. I only changed it because I got greedy!

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I'd still try and stretch to an HEQ5 mount if you can, as it will be relatively future-proof. I had one till recently which was perfect for imaging, using an 200mm Newt and 80mm guidescope. I only changed it because I got greedy!

Reflectors - Skywatcher Explorer 200P HEQ5 Syntrek

Something like this, perhaps?

I could stretch to this, but I'd need to get some damn clear skies here so I can be absolutely 100% sure I want to put in £800 on it. And maybe later I can buy the extra equipment needed for DSO photography.

I'm hoping for clear skies ASAP so I can go out with a friend and look through his. No idea what setup he has though.

Edited by Suzpaz
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The 200P+EQ5 costs £100 more than the Dobsonian 200P. The EQ5 on its own is more than £200 so it would appear to be a bargain to get the 200P+EQ5.

However: beginners find equatorial mounts tricky, they take some getting used to. They are more cumbersome and time-consuming to set up. And this one is undriven (the motors are extra) so you still have to turn knobs to keep something in view for more than half-a-minute or so. Also, I'm not sure if there is a good market for second-hand EQ5s, for when you want to upgrade.

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Reflectors - Skywatcher Explorer 200P HEQ5 Syntrek

Something like this, perhaps?

I could stretch to this, but I'd need to get some damn clear skies here so I can be absolutely 100% sure I want to put in £800 on it. And maybe later I can buy the extra equipment needed for DSO photography.

I'm hoping for clear skies ASAP so I can go out with a friend and look through his. No idea what setup he has though.

I was thinking something more along the lines of an HEQ5 Synscan: Sky-Watcher HEQ5 PRO SkyScan GOTO Extra Heavy Duty Equatorial Mount and Tripod (886) - Warehouse Express.

This would really set you up for future imaging, guiding and GOTO, and would avoid any frustration later when you realised that you'd bought the wrong gear. As I suggested earlier, the second-hand market is worth keeping an eye on (e.g Astro Buy and Sell). For instance, I still have my old 200mm Newt which is probably only worth around £130 second-hand, but is superb optically.

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The 200P+HEQ5(syntrek) is a solid proposition. On the plus side, you can get there in two stages: A 200P Dob first, and later an HEQ5(Syntrek), you'd only need some scope rings and bolts. Doing it separately only costs you about £50 extra, by my math, and if it tutns out you don't like telescopes you've only paid for the Dob.

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Just got word back on Shipping. It costs up to £180 just for the shipping to Norway. And then I have to pay 25% VAT here in Norway.

So if I buy a £660 setup, it will in the end cost me around £1,000

If I buy from FLO, will they subtract the British VAT from the price? I really don't want to pay VAT to two countries lol.

Edited by Suzpaz
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It might be worth checking...

Norway is outside the EU so the purchase should be VAT free in the UK but you will pay VAT and/or import duty in Norway...

For goods shipped between member member states you pay VAT in the country that you purchse the goods from and no further VAT in your own country...

I think lol... thats what you pay accounants for...

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