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About to take the plunge with..........

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Hello everyone,

I'm a beginner and this is my first post on this forum so be gentle please.

I've been lurking in the sidelines for a while and have been keenly researching prior to taking the plunge and buying my first telescope. With my budget (£700 for scope and mount) and viewing intentions I'm going to go for the Skywatcher Explorer 200P EQ5 Pro Synscan Goto. I have been flip-flopping between the normal EQ5 and the Goto version for a while and have finally come to the decision that, as my intention is to do some astrophotograhy that the goto mount would be a good idea. Does anyone have any experience with this combination of scope and mount? And, also I'd be interested in other peoples opinions on my choice of hardware good or bad??

I live in a fairly light polluted area (Milton Keynes) but my girlfriend lives in north Norfolk which has dark skies so I'm planning to take the scope up there a lot of the time (Plus she has a garden which would be useful!)

Anyway, I just thought I'd introduce myself and let you know my plans before I finally take the plunge into the world of astronomy.

Clear skies!


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Welcome Ed.

Have to say I have only been here for a few days myself.

Everyone is soo friendly.

As you can see from my first posts I am also thinking about going for that scope.

Good luck and enjoy your stay :D


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welcome edf, still a noob myself but in my first six months i changed from a eq2 mount to a full goto very pleased with it for photography,off for my first attempt at saturn now.:D

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The eq5 is capable of photography but you are at the top end of its weight limit a slightly smaller scope will give you a little more wriggle room for photography, (won't be as good visually however) you really would be better with a eq6 for photograhy with a 200p as its quite a heavy scope or this one might work better for photography with an eq5

Reflectors - Skywatcher Explorer 150P DS OTA

forgot to say welcome to sgl

Edited by rowan46
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

I agree with Rowan above the EQ5 is at it's weight limit with the 200P, I bought the 200P with EQ5 and dual axis motors (not Synscan). I found it excellent visually and having the lack of GOTO meant I got to learn the sky a bit.

I have dabbled a bit with a astrophotography and got some acceptable results but found the EQ5 struggled a bit. I have since bought the EQ6 Synscan which is a bit of a beast which you will have to bare in mind if you want to transport the whole lot regularly to a dark site.

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I'm looking at the same scope but on the HEQ5 Pro mount. Unfortunately, there are no Skywatcher Explorer 200P in the country at the moment. Most of the retailers I have spoken to are saying it will be the end of the month until they are back in stock. So you've got a few more weeks to agonise over your decision as I have been doing for the past month :D

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I agree that the '5' mounts will be pushed with an 8 inch Newt for imaging.

In imaging GoTo has advantages you may not have thought of.

-It is perfectly possible, even commonplace, to image objects invisible in the eyepiece because they are too diiffuse and faint. These two, for instance, are effectively invisible;



-Time is terribly precious. Searching is a waste.

-Removing the camera is bad news. You lose focus, framing and flats. Not what you want at all!

-Recovery from problems like lost guide star etc is so much faster.


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Hi Ed. Welcome to SGL.

I echo the commernts about photogrpahy and the EQ5 with an 8".

I work on the basis of DSLR straight down the focus tube (FL1000) will allow 30sec max exposure before you get trails. Bright objects like M42, M45 are fine in these times. But you won't be long before you want to 'go dimmer'.

So for scope photography, as said previously, you are looking at a smaller scope on the EQ5, or a larger mount. Mounts get heavy and expensive.

A DSLR with a half decent lens of any FL from 20mm to 250mm on the EQ5 will give stunning pictures from a dark sky, within reasonable time limits. Old manual M42 thread lenses are often unwanted cheap items.

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Hi Ed, Welcome to SGL :D

For astro-photography you'll find the book Making Every Photon Count (by SGL's very own steppenwolf & now onto it's 2nd Edition) helpful in getting started. Easy to read, it's full of advice aimed at the imaging novice, including choosing the right equipment, tips 'n' tricks and lots of other vital stuff.

The imaging section, too, is full of experienced, talented folk who, I'm sure, will be more than happy to share advice and guidance with you.

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Thank you very much for all your welcoming words and the advice already given. To my girlfriends bemusement I've been flirting with the idea of getting a larger mount. I've got to say that I've been looking at the HEQ5 not the EQ6 becauase they do seem to increase in price quite dranatically with size. I was surprised to see the HEQ5 Pro synscan on a website in the past week for only £540. I immediately emailed the shop who quickly came back and told me that it was no longer available and would be removed from the site. I thought it was too good to be true.

Unfortuately my budget is limited to a maximum of £700 all in so I'm not sure if can stretch to a HEQ5 manual mount. I'll have a look around. If i can then I could buy this with the intention to upgrade it later. On this note, I was wondering whether the EQ5 or HEQ5 with upgrade kit is identical to the Pro synscan bought off the shelf? If not what are the differences?

Anyway thanks again for all your advice and welcomes


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