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Should my first scope be a 300mm synscan dobsomnian?


starbarkingduck
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Hi everyone,

I could really do with some help/tips/advise on whether or not to go ahead with above scope......?

I've been agonising over which telescope to buy for about 5 weeks! The trouble is, When it comes to understanding what to buy - the more I learn - the less I know!!!!:icon_eek:

Originally I was keen to get something transportable as we go camping throught the year and something that I could eventually start to use with astrophotography. Its my understanding I wouldn't get the magical swirls of colour etc just by looking through the eyepiece. Unless those coloured filters you can buy help with this as well as with bring out detail on planets??? Any ideas anyone?

The more I look into things the more I starting to rethink astrophotography. Seems to me like it may well be an ever-increasingly expensive part of the hobby?

I'm currently thinking about buying the skywatcher 300p synscan dobsonian telescope. Something - probobaly not suited to long exposure photography due to basic mount.

I'm concerned I may have fallen in to the "appature is king" trap. Bigger is better! Is there a trap?

I haven't given up on wanting something transportable and feel I could manage to take this one away with us - not prehaps in my current Fiat punto but in the peugeot 3008 I'm getting in May.

I've found this 12" scope with synscan for £1295 which I'm just about willing to spend up to.

I wanted to ask what peoples views were on this scope? Good or bad - but preferably great!

Do you think I'd be dissappointed with the views - particularily with regards to lack of colour?

Is the a good scope for moon, palnets & Deep space (deep space being what I think i'd most like to examine)

I'd appreciate any tips/help/oppinions etc that you could offer.

Regards,

Starbarkingduck

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Do you think I'd be dissappointed with the views - particularily with regards to lack of colour?

Yes. A bigger scope makes objects bigger because you can use more magnification, but most DSOs are just too faint for the eye to see much colour, whatever scope you're using.

A 12" / 300mm Dob is HUGE. Get a 8" / 200mm, use it for a year or so then decide what you want to do in terms of going bigger (and accepting that you will be able to see smaller, fainter DSOs but will not see Hubble type detail) or smaller for learning imaging.

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You won't see much colour apart from planets and M42 which will show a little lime green. But that's the same for all of us.

A 12" is a very impressive scope to use but very large and transportable rather than portable. I'd really urge you to see one "in the flesh" before ordering one.

Personally I'd keep away from astro imaging for now - the equipment needs are entirely different - you need two setups really. You don't need big aperture for imaging - small, shortish apochromatic refractors seem to be the way to go but you can't see a great deal with those visually.

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i went for a 10 in the end instead of a 12. I find the 10 to be quite a pain when transporting it in my ford focus. especially if i want to take a passenger out.

someone did a comparison for me on my first thread. the 12 is mahooosive! but i bet the views are certainly worth the extra aperture. over 50% more light gathering i think? i could just be blurting out incorrect facts mind... lol

love my 10. i don't think i could easily/be arsed to transport anything larger without a buddy to help.

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Hi

Big a fan of large Dobs as I am I wouldn't recommend one as a first scope.

For a start are you sure you wanna spend that amount of money on a hobby your not sure you'll even like yet?

As others have said a 12" is a pretty bulky beast. Go and see one at your local society.

Also most large Dobs are fast f ratios and need collimating every time they are used.

Unfortunately you are the only person who will know if the lack of colour will disappoint you.

As I said go along to your local society and have a look through their scopes. That will give you at least an idea of what to expect.

Most people settle on scopes under 12" so it's obvious you don't need the aperture to enjoy astronomy to the full.

Good luck on your scope hunt

Regards Steve

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i wouldnt let the fact that they are fast put you off.

Sure you have to buy expensive eye pieces to stop the edge of the FOV from distorting but collimating a reflector is quick and easy. grab a packet of bobs knobs and it's even quicker.

i thought i would have a problem with my expectations to be honest.

I had a look at an eye piece simulator online and it really put me off buying one, but they are awful! a really bad misrepresentation of what you actually see.

everything I've seen so far has left me wanting to see more.

good luck!

Edited by DrNeb
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Hi

If the big dob meets your criteria, go for it!

I would echo the thoughts above.

Try and get some hands on with a scope that size

I had a go at my local club on a 12" dob. M31 had serious detail compared to the fainter image that my scope produces.

But I like lunar/planetary and portability, hence my choice.

(plus I have a 2 year old son and hate to think what he might pour down the end of a large dob! !!):icon_eek:

Not easy, but I'm sure you'll make the right choice.

Good luck

Neil

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Hi.

The best question is what do you want to do? Observe or image. Do you know the nights sky or not?

If you want to observe and know the sky then a 300mm dob will give you great views and be easy to manouvre around the nights sky.

If you want to image then thats a whole different ball game. A good starter would be a Skywatcher 200PDS on an HEQ5 or NEQ6 Pro mount and be just under your budget.

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For starters I'd get a Skywatcher 200p Skyliner Dob and a Telrad finder( look at then print out charts on t'net.This along with Stellarium is a great introduction to astronomy.

Remember for Dso s there are only a few nights each month when the moon is out of the way. There are fewer nights of fine weather.

I've seen so many folk spend huge amounts of money , then lose interest.

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Best thing I did when I was looking into buying a telescope was to go and visit an astronomy shop.

I explained what I wanted to see, what my future plans were, where I would observe from, what my budget was etc... The man in the shop talked through the various options and gave me a realistic idea of what I would be able to see. Originally, I had been thinking about a 130mm alt/az goto, but his advice was to go for a 200mm dobsonian. That was a big surprise but I went away and thought about it then decided it was the right idea for me.

I didn't know about SGL when I was doing this so the advice I got from the shop is the same as the advice you can get here, and it's good advice. The advantage of the shop is being able to look at the different telescopes and other bits and bobs.

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Definitely try and get to a shop. Compare the different sizes and models.

The 12" Flextube is quite transportable. A member of our astro group transported his in a Mini Cooper S. So it will go into a pretty small car. And the view through a 12" is worth the effort but it is quite a bit more effort. I was happiest with the 8" if am honest.

I personally am not a fan of motorised dobs, prefer them as nature intended....naked without the motors and cables :icon_eek:

Edited by russ
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That's the thing about specialist shops, they do really do give impartial advice since if you get the right kit you will come back to spend more, if you get a piece of junk with a high profit margine you'll throw it in a cupboard and not bother ever again.

They know the difference between someone happy to spend £100 for something to use now and again and someone who wants a new hobby. they also know you're only able to spend what you can and that you've wrung out the last penny you can. It's not like selling a computer where once you have it that's it so you can rip someone off. If you walk in to a specialist with £350 and if he thinks a 200 Dob is better for your needs than a NexStar 130SLT then he'll tell you. He might suggest a good course of action on what to spend you're change on, though but that's business :icon_eek:

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You would certainly get some very impressive views with a scope that big, also you will only need a couple of decent filters to bring out the colour. they're on my shopping list as well. But if you decide to go for a 10" the money you save would pay for the filters.

good luck.

Adamski

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... also you will only need a couple of decent filters to bring out the colour...

I'm not aware of any filters that enable you to see colour in deep sky objects :icon_eek:

You can enhance the contrast of some of them (nebulae) but capturing the colour needs imaging rather than visual.

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I'm not aware of any filters that enable you to see colour in deep sky objects :icon_eek:

You can enhance the contrast of some of them (nebulae) but capturing the colour needs imaging rather than visual.

Indeed. Filters are no magic bullet, remember that they always absorb some of the light you're trying to capture!

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I recently bought a 305mm Skyliner Flex Tube after a number of years observing with 11 x 80 binoculars. The views are impressive but it is a big scope and does need collimating at the start of each observing session. Filters certainly help bring out the detail on the surface of the planets, such as the bands of Jupiter. Have added a Telrad and downloaded the finder charts from Utah Skies website, so more DSO's are now on the target list. A dark site is most definitely required to get the most out of the scope. The beams of light sweeping my garden from a nearby lighthouse do not help dark adaptation!!

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