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Hi, need help; going around in circles about which telescope to buy. Start off with considering a Mak then fancy a frac followed by a dob. Then the whole process repeats! Always drawn to a mak (say a 180) but will it cater for planetary and deep sky observing? Then considered a 200 Newt but these are big scopes with big tripods, same with the dob, although you get more mirror for your money and no tripod to trip over and these appear to be the best for deep sky. The Mak and frac are sealed so little if any maintenance as opposed to the open OTA on the newts. So there is my dilemma, somebody must have gone through this so if you don't want me to take up basket weaving, help!! Although the amount of clear nights we have had you can count on one finger, so at present I am not missing much observing. Thanks please reply to save my sanity and eyesight from reading and re-reading reviews :glasses1:

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First take a step backwards and explain what you're really interested in seeing. A bit of everything, but willing to accept that your scope might have to be a compromise? DSOs? Planets? Astrophotography? Are you willing to work at learning your way around the sky, or do you want something that does the work for you? What's your budget? How much space have you got for storage? Will you want to use it mostly in the garden, or are you somewhere with so much light pollution that you'll need to be putting it in the car to do any observing?

As others have said elsewhere many times before, the best scope for you is the one you will use most.


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Hi, James,

I am interested in planetary, nebulae, galaxies so I req an all rounder; not imaging as yet, nearly pollution free garden, no storage problems. I think that finding my way round would be more interesting so I am not really going for a goto. Would like to keep to around £800 or less if poss but would rather spend extra if the perfect solution arose (is there a perfect solution to anything?) Difficult isn't it?


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I don't think there is a "perfect solution" but some scopes come close. I've always felt the 8" F/6 newtonian on a dobsonian mount a pretty versatile piece of equipment that performs well on a wide range of objects, is simple to operate and offers a great £-performance ratio. The one I had was straightforward to collimate and keep collimated because it was F/6 and the reasonable sized secondary obstruction allowed it to deliver decent contrast on planets.

8" is enough aperture to show the brighter deep sky objects quite well and at least to detect some of the fainter ones as well.

I even managed to get some good splits of binary stars with it as well, just to add to the variety :)

They don't suit everybody of course but thats just the way of it :glasses1:

Edited by John
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Hi, Pete

I feel your pain! Spent ages agonizing on this site & browsing astro-retailers. Finally chose a Mak 127 on a light GoTo mount, largely on the grounds of relatively low maintenance, and a wish not to spend megabucks on an HE5/EQ6 mount until I had at least some idea what I was doing.

But I could just as easily have picked an 8" - 10" Newt on a Dob mount, and to be honest, the latter is probably closer to being an all-rounder. But, for me, it would have been higher maintenance, more unwieldy, and for me, would likely have been used less, though of course it would have been usable on any future heavy duty mount.

On the other hand, for me, the Mak could well be a keeper on the grounds of sheer portability - time will tell.

And on a third hand, the low maintenance and lower cool down time of a good 'frac (TAL 100RS, maybe)............aaagh!!!

Cheer up, choose a scope, and learn to get the best out of it. And whatever you choose, it seems to be the case with almost all of us that you will want something else.

And for now, don't even think about serious photography :glasses1::D

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Mine is quite good, although I wish I had gone for a 127mm model. It's fine for the brighter star clusters, planetary nebulae and so on. The field of view is too narrow for the Pleiades or M44 though.

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Mak, great on the planets, too tight for the nice big clusters. Mak and binoculars?

At least you haven't made the question unanswerable by saying you want to do deep sky imaging as well!!

Truly great thread title. My dear friend Bernard is a retired gastro-enterologist but this is France! Curses, how can I make this pun work in French??


Edited by ollypenrice
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As Ags & Ronin said, the real limiting factor on the Mak re dsos is the relatively narrow field of view. If the object is too big/too diffuse, you'll struggle to view the whole thing, although sticking to lower-mag eps will help.

So far, it seems to be OK on compact dsos, but bear in mind, when considering my opinion, that I expect to be a newbie for a long time yet :)

Nonetheless, I'm happy with the 127, and would recommend it unless your only interest is faint fuzzies!

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