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Strongly considering this telescope


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Go for it. I started with the 150p which is smaller and lighter so a bit easier to handle. It would help if you could see one in the flesh to appreciate the size and weight if you want to move it around. It's too much for your average person to lug around the garden fully assembled. You will find EQ mounted reflectors a bit awkward to start but soon get used to it.

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The EQ mount does take some getting used to and the eyepiece will end up in some awkward positions at times. You can rotate the tube in it's rings, as long as you do it carefully, to bring the eyepiece to a more convenient position.

On the plus side you can add a motor / motors to the EQ mount so that it tracks objects and keeps them in the field of view at high power.

So it's a "swings and roundabouts" thing.

The alternative is the dobsonian mount which is dead easy to use but you do need to gently nudge the scope, unless you get one of the tracking ones that have recently come out.

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....wondered how well the 'EQ5 Deluxe Heavy-Duty Equatorial Mount' handles this scope?...

Well enough for visual observing. You probably need something more heavy duty for imaging.

Edited by John
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Reflectors - Skywatcher Explorer 200P EQ5

Is this a good one to start up with? One guy said "it's awkward to look through"

Any thoughts? It will be my first telescope, and I'm hoping to spend many hours looking at as many objects in space as I can (especially deep space stuff).

To explain but not put you off as an 8in reflector is a decent light gatherer. :)

You see in the picture that the focuser/eyepoint is sticking horizontally out the left side with it mounted. That mounting position is when it's first set up and pointing toward north and Polaris the pole star. The way an equatorial mount works, when you move it around to other parts of the sky the focuser will not be pointing horizontally and will end up pointing toward the ground. That's when it can be awkward, and also the finderscope viewing suffers too.

A way around is to loosen the rings holding the tube and rotate it till it's comfortable, which needs some care in doing. There is a way of getting extra rings to have ring-within-ring and this is outlined in astro-baby's website.

follow tutorials Astro-Baby Astronomy Website

Cheaper than the EQ mounted is the dobsonian version which though having same focuser position it will stay poking out the left side as you move the scope around from the base. You just need to walk or move your comfy chair around to maintain the same viewing position. Perhaps you could get a 10in dob for the same money and get better deep sky gathering power.

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They are pretty large. I'm sure I'll find room for it somewhere. But the eyepiece position is a bit annoying. I could, however perhaps buy a dobsonian mount and upgrade to a good mount later on if my interest is still as strong in a years time perhaps.

Dobsonians - Skywatcher Skyliner 250PX Dobsonian

This costs about the same. Perhaps that would be a good alternative for a newbie. Not gonna go in to long exposure photography

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If you want an idea of size of a 200 - I am about 5'6" and heres a pic of me next to my 200 with my old 130 scope.

hi Astrobaby, one of the most useful pics I've seen - should get this and a few like it made into a sticky on this forum to help people who live nowhere near a decent astronomy supplier! love your website, btw.

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Hi Suzpaz and welcome to the forum :)

The 200P on an EQ mount is going to give you a great start in astronomy. 8" is about the size that really begins to show you a lot of stuff in better detail - so excellent choice.

The "straight through" finder can be manipulated to a comfy position whilst in use as indicated above. If you still don't get on with it though you should consider a "right angled finder" which will transform your viewing position. E.g.:

Finders - Skywatcher 9x50 Right-Angled Finderscope

I would stick with Equatorial mounts if you ever intend to do photography. It's an option which is difficult to implement on a dobsonian or alt/az mount.

Hope that helps :D

Edited by brantuk
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The 200 is an excellent scope. I have one and it is my weapon of choice overtime. I use it on an EQ4 for both visual and imaging work (although I'm just starting on the latter) - that'll upset some folk who insist it needs an EQ5 minimum. I like to be a non-conformist! :)

The EQ mount is easy to get used to and the scope will how you plenty of detail.

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I can't get the 200 out of my mind. I want it, but it is just so amazingly huge. I don't think I even have room for it here. The only place to put it would be in the middle of the living room which is not happening :)

I think I'm gonna have to go with the 130 o_O

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For a bit of balance I've got a 150PL which is a smaller scope but a bit longer and it's not really a problem to look through. Despite a smaller objective the 200P is shorter so if the overall weight of the setup isn't an issue and you've got the budget then the 200 is the way to go.

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Hi' I have a same size scope and mount but a different name.I have had the scope now for 8 years and it as never let me down for finding deep sky stuff.It comes with a adapter which you can fit 2'' eyepieces' and you can buy RA and DEC motors for the mount to track objects in the night sky once your scope is lined up to the pole star.I would say go for the scope for enjoyment of the night sky.Mark

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Do not get two hung up on your choice. Most of us have bought and sold scopes many times gradually upgrading or getting to the scope that works best for us. Ultimately they say the best scope is the one you will use the most. What good is a massive scope if you never feel like taking it outside.

At the moment I have a large set of binoculars and it is easy to pop outside for 15 minutes look at a couple of galaxies, Jupiter and a few star clusters..

If you buy a skywatcher in good second hand condition you can normally sell it on for a reasonable price on here or on astro buy and sell when you want to.

So if space is limited why not go for the 130mm. If you want to go bigger then sell the 130mm. I started out with a 110mm TAL and that was large enough to see hundreds of objects!

Mark

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