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I am a newbie here. Ive been through and through this site for a good while now, and finally decided to join up and say hello to you all :D

the main purpose of my post though is some guidance for purchasing my first telescope. Ive come to a sort of stand-off with myself over either the skywatcher explorer 150p eq 3-2, 150pl eq 3-2, or the 200p eq5.

having read through this site over the past week or so, i have arrived at the conclusion that the 150pl, not having the Dual-fit 1.25/2-inch Crayford focuser, is the lower on my list.

and so, we arrive at my point of post...


is the 200p the obvious choice or am i being lured into wanting bigger? around the £400 mark is what im looking to spend and would like to have the option of upgrading to astrophotography in the future. which is why i ruled out the dobs(was this wrong)

anyways thanks in advance for any advice that is forthcoming, and i hope i wrote a lot more clearly than my head currently feels!

Edited by red chad
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These questions come up more or less every week, as I'm sure you know. To me, this doesn't sound like a bad choice but I've not used these scopes. Bigger is always nicer but bigger also means heavier, longer set up time, longer cooling time, etc. Those with giant scopes still retain an 8" or 10" for nights when the big one isn't practical. So a nice scope of this size range won't go unused in the future. If you buy an 8" now it will be useful in the future.

I have two concerns though. Firstly, make sure that those mounts are able to hold the scopes. Ask those who own one. One reason why Dobs are popular is because the design is a cheap way of creating a very stable mount. Stable EQ heads become very expensive, particularly those for AP. Make sure the EQ5 head and tripod I stable enough for AP should you want to do it. If they're not, then it may not be worth the money. Second point is that the 8" scope you list is F5. There's nothing wrong with that, but you need to know that F5 scopes are a little more picky with eyepieces. Faster scopes reveal astigmatism in cheaper eyepieces. You're more likely to get nicer views for your money if you're at F6.

Remember that those are just things to think about. I'm sure the scopes you mention aren't bad, and there is no such thing as a perfect scope. Every one is a compromise. Buy what feels right for you and enjoy it. If you stick with the hobby it won' be your last scope, so don't sweat it too much! :D

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welcome to sgl, I agree with umadog. Imaging and visual have different priorities with visual its all about the optics size matters with imaging its all about the mount. it needs to be rock solid and capable of accurate tracking whilst guiding. The 200p on a eq5 is a great scope for visual bit it will struggle with such a large scope when it comes to imaging can I suggest if imaging is where you want to be going read this book before you buy anything else

Books - Making Every Photon Count - Steve Richards

it may save you some money further down the line. To answer your question the 200p on the eq5 is the best package for visual it may not be the best for you if you want to go down the imaging route. If imaging is where you want to be going I would suggest the book a pair of binoculars and Stellarium this is a free planetarium software to help you find things, once you have read the book and are aware of whats needed you may have some different ideas for what you need in a scope package

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thanks for the replies, i will do more research into the mounts.

i am primarily looking forward to the visual side of things, but just thought that if imaging was a simple upgrade away, i would quite like to go that route in the future.

also, im just wondering, is the extra in price between the 150p and the 200p due to the scope being so much better, or the mount being sturdier to support it?? any help guys, thanks again :D

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In answer to the question about size and cost its a bit of both the 200p is 2inches bigger which gives it substantially more light grasp but also makes it a fair bit bigger consequently the size of the mount has to go up to accomodate it this means a more expensive and better mount has to be used. As for imaging being a simple upgrade away this is only true if an imaging mount is one of the first things you buy. In short visual is all about the scope then the mount. imaging is the other way round.

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so in theory imaging can be done with pretty much any scope so long as the mount is suitable?

think im gona go for the 200p, will researchinto the eyepieces now.

thanks again, im sure il be around very often asking and learning. im so excited, feel like a little child waiting for christmas again!!:D

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if you really want to investigate imaging get the book its a good read full of info and the guy who wrote it has probably forgotten more about imaging than i'll ever know, as to what scope for imaging all scopes can be made to image but withpout a doubt some are better and easier than others

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