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Explorer 150P or 150PL


tinsalegend77
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I'm looking for some feedback.

I'm after a new scope and have posted previously. However, I have seen them in the flesh now and can't make up my mind between the Skywatcher Explorer 150p or 150pl. Same price range, same kit comes with both. It's just that extra focal length the major factor.

Which is best?!

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Depends what you want to do or look at. They both have their strengths.

150PL - the lunar/planetary observers friend. Nice f8 focal length means a small central obstruction for improved contrast. Also, f8 Newtonians are easier going on cheaper eyepieces. Even cheap widefield eyepieces will work very well with this telescope. And the telescope is less critical with collimation for good views.

The downside is the physical length of the tube and it's inherent smaller field of view. Still a capable of good deepsky visual views but the 1.25" focuser limits the max field of view possible. This is definitely not a deepsky imagers friend either.

150P - a great all round scope. Small and compact, quite lightweight too. Still a capable planetary performer but really excels on wider field views. The short focal length means that even a 24mm widefield eyepiece will give a large true field of view. For instance the Hyperion 24mm will give a true field of 2.2deg. No real need for a 2" eyepiece. Collimation is critical for good planetary views. And the F5 focal ratio is very unforgiving on cheaper eyepieces, especially cheap widefield eyepieces.

Edited by russ
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Excellent. That's the sort of information I am looking for.

I thought I was settled on the 150P but when I saw them both, and thought the PL wasn't that much bigger! then it just seemed you were getting more scope for your money. I think the 150P is still leading!

Regards

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If you're new to the hobby, it's hard to decide what you may want to "focus" on in terms of planets/deep sky etc. Most of us want a decent all rounder and to begin with and to be honest, there's not much in it. The 150PL I have has been great for both planets and deep sky (I don't know any better as nothing to compare it with) but the views have been just great.

However, I hear good things about the 150 too. Confused? We all are from time to time I guess!

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I'd go for the P on that mount. As others have pointed out the length will make vibrations an issue. I've been in the exact same dilemma as you recently, and having asked questions on here and speaking to FLO, th general advice has been that the P is much better suited to the mount.

Have you spoken to FLO? They would be extremely helpful and help you make up your mind.

Tom

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The 150pl will be good on the EQ3-2 mount if you use motors, without them the vibration is too much and focusing and tracking becomes a pain. The motors are a real good upgrade, I enjoy using mine.

I really need to put my motors on mine then, they have been sitting around since they arrived and now the forecast is clear I feel a bit motivated.

I do second the notion that on the 3-2 mount the PL can be very sensitive to any movement, it's not the end of the world though.

I love mine.

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Thank you for all the feedback so far.

I was going to add a motor at a later date once I had got used to it a bit more.

Is it a general consensus that the autofocuser is recommended?

I notice on the 150p it now comes with the crayford focuser that gets good comments - but I couldn't see this mentioned on the 150PL.

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The Skywatcher Autofocus is also a great upgrade for the 150PL, whether it is on the EQ3 or EQ5. No more focus wobbles while focusing.

Hi Russ, that's my next upgrade after last nights thread. Pibbles you will not believe the difference they make, get them on ASAP. :)

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Thank you for all the feedback so far.

I was going to add a motor at a later date once I had got used to it a bit more.

Is it a general consensus that the autofocuser is recommended?

I notice on the 150p it now comes with the crayford focuser that gets good comments - but I couldn't see this mentioned on the 150PL.

The PL still has the 1.25" R&P focuser but dressed up in flashy white with nice wheels.

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Hi Russ, that's my next upgrade after last nights thread. Pibbles you will not believe the difference they make, get them on ASAP. :)

Well worth getting. I had the PL is 2009 and used it for some planetary imaging. Would have been near impossible without the Autofocus. :(

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Thanks for the advice Russ, was going to spend money on a new mount until I got the motors. Am hoping the motor focuser will be as good a upgrade as the RA and Dec motors were. Listening to someone who has used and rates them well makes the decision to get a no brainer. :)

Thanks

David

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could one of you be kind enough to measure the length of your 150PL please? I read that the tube length of the 150P is about 67cm but cannot find anything on the longer version of it.

Many thanks.

Edited by prbaxter
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