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Which 1st scope :)


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Hi guys!

Ive read through loads of post today trying to find which of my choices of scopes would be the best for me.

I am hoping to view and also do imaging with a DSLR or a webcam. Please can you let me know which is better for me! after 6 months of looking for a scope this is about the closest i have got to picking one lol.

Celestron NexStar 102 SLT Telescope

Celestron NexStar 102 SLT Telescope

Celestron Nexstar 127 SLT SLT Series - Celestron Nexstar 127 SLT

SkyWatcher SKYMAX-127 SupaTrak™ AUTO Maksutov-Cassegrain

SkyWatcher SKYMAX-127 SupaTrak™ AUTO Maksutov-Cassegrain [skyWatcher-10128] - £300.25 : 365Astronomy: Discovery for every day!

SkyWatcher Skymax 127 SynScan AZ GOTO

SkyWatcher Skymax 127 SynScan AZ GOTO on eBay (end time 03-Apr-11 20:52:27 BST)

Also what other EP would i need for the one you think is best?

I know i will need a moon filter.

Please advise which is best for photography and view :D

thanks guys!!

Gem

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You're asking the impossible Gem! There is no one scope that will enable you to image with a DSLR (I'm guessing this is for deep sky objects), and a webcam (presumably for solar system objects) and is a decent observing scope.

The Celestron and the Skywatcher 127's are essentially the same scope and will show a wealth of detail on the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn plus wouldn't be shabby on the brighter deep sky objects either. You'll also be able to use a webcam on it too :D. Using a DSLR on it though would be an exercise in frustration primarily due to it's focal ratio (It's a very 'slow' scope) so it'd be no good for that.

The 102 would make a decent little observing scope but I don't think imaging with it would be much good as the optics in cheaper refractors don't usually stand up to the demands of cameras.

Out of the three, I'd go for the Skywatcher Skymax 127 :p. But what sort of budget do you have?

Tony..

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I think the Skymax 127 is probably a good bet, too. An EQ mount might work better than an alt-az one, but it's fairly dependent on your budget. The goto version of the 127 on an EQ3-2 mount is £310 more than on a standard EQ3-2, but a standard one could be motorised for around £100 if you can live without the goto features.

James

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hmm lol ok, My budget is £450, but would like to also get more EP's and extras with that.. Ive seen a Celestron Nexstar 6se Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope going for £500 which i know is a bargin but finding it hard to actually get that extra £50 right now to buy it! :-/

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The 6se is a nice scope but it's not going to show you loads more than the 127, as there's only an inch of difference in aperture.

I think you're looking at it quite sensibly by keeping aside some of your budget for accessories, the 127 should serve you well.

Tony..

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OK you want to do visual, imaging DSO and planetary via DSLR and webcam.

Now put them in order and expect that at least one has to be dropped.

DSO imaging is the one to drop I would say, DSO+DSLR imaging is costly. As in £5000-10,000+ to do it properly

Any imaging should be done on an equitorial mount. They track the object better.

The long focal length scopes are fine for visual, not so good for imaging. Passable for planets but not suited to DSO's.

Goto's are fine once you have them aligned, that is not exactly straight forward all the time. You have to align them. They do not do it themselves.

Autotrack is easier to use, simply less to do with the alignment. Think it is get the thing level, aim it (scope unit) North and away you go. You have to find the object and point the scope at whatever it is.

For any imaging the alignment is critical.

For any imaging the mount has to be stable.

Edited by ronin
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Thanks :D

I know i wont be able to do DSO, i was hoping more for planets small clusters/nebulas.. maybe.. Altho above all i would just really love to do mostly viewing!

So when u all say the 127 is that the celestron one or the SW supatrak or SW auto goto?

Thanks :p

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I've got the Celestron 127SLT and it's a great little scope for the moon and planets, it works fine on Pleades and the nebula in Orion looks wonderful. The Andromeda galaxy was just a very dim haze (but it wasn't the best conditions) and I've managed some very acceptable webcam captures of Saturn - Not that I've tried it yet - but I'm not expecting to be able to do much with a DSLR - I'm looking at getting a 2nd faster scope for that - when funds allow.

Good luck with your choice

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They are both on an Alt/Az mount from what I can see. And look basically the same. Understandable s Celestron and SW are both owned by Synta now. The 2 offerings will slowly merge into one.

See you are in South London, did see mention of the Guildford AS having a meeting, possibly just gone. Look them up and if ihas not passed see if you can get down to where they meet. They usually have a meet for people to look at and through scopes and if I recall there tends tobe quite a few people turn up. You could get a lookat and through several scope to help make a decision.

Equally there are a couple of groups on SGL that meet up for viewing. one may have something that you could visit.

In central London there is The Baker Street Irregular Astronomers. they meet in Regents Park once a month.

My concern is that for a first scope, Mak's have a narow field of view, long focal length, which makes using them a bit more of a pain then others. On a goto a wide view is useful (essential) to get the first alignment star in the field of view. Equally all scopes have pro's and con's.

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Hey Gem,

As a rule of thumb if you want to image planets, then go for a longer focal length slower scope, something around the f7-f10 (Pref F10 and above), if you want to image nebula and dso, then go for some something with a shorter focal length around the F7-F4 range.

Obviously if you plan to do any dso imaging you will need a mount that tracks well.

Contrary to what people have said so far you can get scopes that will perform well doing both planetary and dso it just depends on your budget.

The problem here is the imaging side of things, as the most important factor is not the scope, it's actually the mount. The budget your suggesting only really allows you to do planetary imaging. To do DSO imaging, you need a half decent mount, something like a Heq5 which start at around £500 for the mount alone.

Basically what i'm saying is that for your budget, you're going to have to reel in your expectations a bit.

anyway if you were going to choose a starter scope in your budget range i would personally look at the skywatcher 130P auto track goto telescope.

Skywatcher 130P

Rich.

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Thanks for that ronin, my main trouble is am a single mum and I don't drive and also find it almost impossible to get a sitter, one being a toddler it's totally impossible for me to take her, but the 11 & 9 yr olds wud be fine and love it. My first ever choice of scope was a SW explorer 150 ten I thought maybe the 200 dob but thought if I was ever able to get someone to drive me up to reigate hill or box hill they wud be too much trouble.

Everytime I think I'm getting somewhere I always end up at the first step again lol. Very frustrating for me as I'm dying to view Jupiter and Saturn lol.

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Hi again, just read your follow up posts, So are you mainly interested in the planets ? if so then that changes things a bit. If you're most interested in the planets and that's your main focus then go for the Celestron Nexstar 127 SLT

The explorer 130P will give you views of both, DSO and planets but if you're mainly interested in seeing the planets then the longer focal length of the Celestron would be the better choice.

Rich.

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Hi Gem, i can't keep up with your rate of posting......lol.

ok answer these questions and i'll help.......

What is your Max budget ?

Do you really want to do DSO imaging or would you be happy with just imaging the planets ?

How well do you know the sky ? do you want something that will automatically point at the planets for you, or are you happy to find the planets yourself ?

Rich.

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If the explorer 130P lets me see both then surely thats the better choice :D

Another thing is what EP will i need to add? I know a moon filter is a must to be able to view it properly but which EP to reach its max potential? or adapters to add a webcam??

And another thing, ive heard you can get a solar filter for some scopes so i could use it to view the sun, do any of these scope have that available or can i make my own for them?

Thanks again

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Hi Gem,

I think you're trying to run before you can walk, so lets forget about filters etc for now........i was exactly the same when i first started....lol

if you can answer the questions from my last post i can help you pick a good scope.

Rich.

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Sorry Rich lol.. I said in my introduction post that i do babble a lot! haha.

right.. going to answer your questions..

What is your Max budget ? £450 for scope and extra EPs and filters

Do you really want to do DSO imaging or would you be happy with just imaging the planets ? Would be happy to just image planets and maybe view DSO? lol

How well do you know the sky ? do you want something that will automatically point at the planets for you, or are you happy to find the planets yourself ?

I have been using my eyes and binoculars for over a year now, i can find and tell you most constellation (thanks stellerium!) I wouldnt mind either TBH, but i was told that if i wanted to image planets then i would need a goto.. have i been misinformed?

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Hi Gem,

right it's an easy choice then. Firstly you have been misinformed, the goto bit just point at the target for you, it's the tracking but you need for imaging.

This makes it an easy choice.......The Skywatcher Skyliner-200P FlexTube AUTO

This is the right scope for you for many reason :-

1) It had a good Focal ration F6 @ 1200mm which will be perfect for planets, and it will also give good views for DSO, it's right in a nice sweet spot for doing everything.

2) since you're happy to find targets yourself, you get the advantage of the much larger 200mm aperture which will give much better contrasty views.

3) The mount tracks, so you can image planets

4) easy to service and maintain

5) Now i will need to check this with Chris from Eqmod, but seeing it has dual motors/ Encoders it might be possible to give the scope goto capability using your laptop and eqmod cable. i'll look into this.

Rich.

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Hi The satanbug, If gem just wants to image the the planets with a web cam she would be fine with a dobson as you're only taking a few minutes of video capture, so field rotation does not come into play, and the tracking motor will keep the image centered nicely.

Rich.

Edited by ribuck
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Thank you Rich! Big help!! :D

This has been the scope i keep going back to but was told i would only be able to image the moon with it. I love the way it slides down for ease of storage.

And i had seen online about connecting it to your laptop. So if it is possible then even better!

thank you so much again! :p

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