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Whats a Good scope for £600


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Hi all,got skywatcher130p with goto mount.

Not happy with it so I have £600 to spend on a new scope can anyone help.a good all round scope thanks Scott

What is it that you are not happy with? As that may affect the advice you get. And what are you looking for? Deep sky viewing, planetary and lunar viewing, or both? Imaging? Do you want goto again?

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I agree. The answer is probably all of them. The best one for you though depends on the factors Sarah mentioned plus do you want to travel with it? Can you handle heavier weight?

If you want a good all rounder though the 8" newt is an excellent choice.

If, however, you really want to make use of more aperture and see fainter stuff (as well as all the stuff the 8" can show) and can handle the weight and are happy to find things yourself (and no imaging) then a larger 10-12" dob would be better again.

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I think it's time to campaign for a sticky as this sort of question is the most frequently asked question in the beginners and equipment help sections.

IMO there are several key factors, and bear in mind that a lot of the choice is a personal thing, even down to how cool something looks (even though it may not appeal to others)

1) - observing preference. To resolve faint deep sky objects, aperture and short focal ratio tends to be preferred. Planetary tends to favor focal length so that high magnifications can be used. Thus mak or sct telescopes tend to be a good balance between the two, having large apertures and long focal lengths, but a large aperture sct is very expensive. This then leaves refractors and traditional Newtonian reflectors. Again, refractors have the edge IMO on magnification, but the reflector will give more inch of aperture per ££ spent.

2) - Location. Do you live in a city, town or out in the middle of no where? If you live in the middle of no where then the darkness and decent clear skies will mean a small scope will perform better than the same scope in a town environment. Yes there are filters for light pollution, but every time you put a lump of glass between the light coming in and that reaching your eye or CCD the less bright the image will be.

3) - Visual or imaging. Do you hope to do some imaging with the scope. If so then having a stable mount that can be driven is a must. Larger mounts tend to be expensive and heavy. Long exposures also require a german equatorial mount to avoid tube rotation. That said, there are lots of quality images on this forum which were taken with simple modified webcams, or digital cameras, and often proving that it's knowing how to get the best out of the gear that gets the results and not necessarily having expensive gear.

4) - future proofing. Are you looking at an upgrade path to larger costly scopes or are you looking at getting something that will cater for your needs now and in 5 - 10 years time ? Do you see yourself crouched at the eyepiece or sitting in a warm room watching the results in a computer monitor ?

5) - goto or not. Some find the goto a bonus as it helps them find objects and learn the night sky. Others feel it's a waste of money that would be better off invested in aperture or better mount with just a basic drive system.

6) - portability. Do you intend to travel to dark skies. Do you have a large car or small (try fitting a 12" reflector with an EQ6 mount in a Micra !). Do you want a grab and go, can you lift heavy items?

The SW200P on a EQ5 has been mentioned in a lot of these posts. I have to agree that it ticks a lot of the boxes in the points raised. At £720 for the goto, less for the basic mount with just drive it's a lot of scope for your money. But for £600 there are a lot of options available to you. Do lots of research, visit a showroom and actually see what the things look like first before purchase, and take your time. This could be a life-time investment and shouldn't be rushed

[/steps down off soap box :) ]

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excellent post Malc. I agree with all you say but not necessarily your final point. If you consider all the points you make then you should end with the right scope. If not, it's not a total disaster as there's a ready market for good used equipment and you can swap and change things to suit so it's not the end of the world if you make a mistake with the caveat that these comments apply to well known and respected brands.

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Thanks, and I agree that if at the end of the day you soon outlive your purchase or later feel that the option you ended up with was the wrong one, there is a market for second hand items. But, if that mistake is realized a few weeks after purchase then it can prove to be an expensive one and you could end up loosing a few hundred pounds in the process.

Personally I don't think that there is that "right scope". We all end up thinking that we should of opted for the HEQ5 when we've purchased the EQ5... or then the EQ6 if you upgrade to the HEQ5... and then we see someone who posts a "blow you away" image of Saturn taken with a MAK and we start getting ideas about buying another OTA or wishing we had gone down that road rather than a fast newt... Humans are seldom satisfied ! :D

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Personally I don't think that there is that "right scope". We all end up thinking that we should of opted for the HEQ5 when we've purchased the EQ5... or then the EQ6 if you upgrade to the HEQ5... and then we see someone who posts a "blow you away" image of Saturn taken with a MAK and we start getting ideas about buying another OTA or wishing we had gone down that road rather than a fast newt... Humans are seldom satisfied ! :D

That's why lots of astronomers end up with multiple scopes, with each one meeting one of the many needs!

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I have an 8" Reflector with goto mount made by Celestron for sale.

It is made by the same company as Skywatcher and trumps over the often recommended 200pEQ5 setup, it offers:

> Fully operational Goto with over 40,000 objects

> Sturdier tripod than Skywatcher with 2" steel legs

> Better tracking bearings than an equivalent Skywatcher mount

> Easier alignment software than the skywatcher

It is currently at the stonking price of £550 that is within your budget. One just sold on ebay for more than this and I only bought it new for £250 more a couple of months ago.

I also have a powerpack that would go hand in hand with this scope if you are interested I could make you a good deal.

Thought you might be interested!

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