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First 'scope on a budget


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im buying my first telescope this week and ive pretty much decided which one but i thought id get a few pointers on here first.

first of all my budget is £180 max

i live in a town centre but my back garden is very dark, no lights at all, apart from a neighbours security light which i will cover when observing.

i have little knowledge of the skies, spotting orion and the big dipper is about my limit.

i think my area of interest will mainly be astrophotography and DSO's

im willing to start with the basics, learn my way around the skies, so i dont want GOTO id rather buy a bigger aperture scope.

taking all of the above into account im pretty sure im going to get a skywatcher 130p.

my main question is what will i be able to see with this scope, will i be able to see DSO's or do i need to go bigger? i guess what i really asking is, will i get quickly frustrated with a 5 inch scope or will it keep me interested until funds allow for a bigger scope?

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welcome to sgl I have a 5inch scope some of the brighter nebula's are possible the andromeda galaxy can be seen as a smudge. I recently came back from a site very much darker than my usual site and have to say that 5 inches will only get the brighter nebulas even under dark skies. however that still leaves clusters, planets the moon, lots of double stars plenty to see in fact. but I have to say other than imaging the moon and planets with a webcam astrophotography is impossible with your budget unless somebody gives you most of the equipment.

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i have the 130p and its a cracking "little" scope but as good as it is, it is limited to what it can do, i would say in my opinion for astrophotography is it a no no, can see the bright DSO`s with lack of detail (smudges) and good on planets, its a good mobile & visual scope.

using this scope will help you learn the skies, and getting to grips with the movement of an eq mount.

what i have found so far doing this hobby in this short period of time you will always want something bigger and better, add more accesories, eyepieces etc.

IMO you need to decide what you want to do - visual or photography, want you want to see, and adjust budget accordingly, but with stated budget i would stick to visual and see the sights :icon_eek:

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Thanks for the comments guys, I'd pretty much come to the conclusion that astrophotography is something for the future, and I guess astronomy Is like anything else, there's always something bigger and better to spend you money on. To be honest I was very surprised at the price of telescopes, compared to SLR lenses they are cheap but like lenses you can spend some serious money. What's the mount on the 130p like could I for instance upgrade the scope to say a 200p then upgrade the mount later on, will the eq2 take a bigger tube or is it already at it's limits with the 130?

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i would say its not far off its limit tbf but if you wanted to take sum short exposures (15secs) you could piggy back on the tube rings to get wide angle shots, the mount itself is decent just dont go extending them legs all the way, unless your 7ft tall you shouldnt have much trouble, IMO if you wanted the apperture of a 200p you could buy a dobs (much cheaper) then during the time save up for a EQ5/6? just an idea? its the same ota

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