View Full Version here: : Noooob
14-01-2012, 08:58 PM
Hey everyone, totally fresh noob here & I'm trying to decide what sort of scope to get. I want one which will be easily portable and atm I'm torn between a Saxon 1206AZ3 4.7" f/5 refractor and a Saxon F1501QE23 5.9" f/8 reflector.
Any help would be great here and I am open to any suggestions, I have a budget of about $800.
Also, if there are any star parties local on the Central Coast can you let me know so I can find out some hot spots & get a feel for some different types of scopes.
14-01-2012, 09:13 PM
Hi Justin welcome to IIS, i'm still new around here too, but i'm sure someone with more knowledge and experience will be along shortly :)
14-01-2012, 09:27 PM
I only joined recently as well. This is a great place to learn the ropes. I do not have enough experience to offer advice on a refractor purchase but there are some good buys available on the ISS classifides.
15-01-2012, 06:52 AM
Hi Justin, (and you two as well ):welcome: to the madhouse.
I'll jump in and ask some questions before I recommend anything.
Firstly what are you wanting to see and where are you likely to be using a scope? The recommended start point these days for amateurs seems to be an 8"-10" Dobsonian Newton due to it's ease of use and light gathering ability so you can see more.
The 'AZ' in your first choice indicates it is an Altizimuth mount which makes it easy to use but of limited value for photgraphic purposes. The 'EQ' in your second choice says it is able to track or follow an object ( star, planet etc ) as it moves across the sky but the EQ type mount can be awkward to use visually sometimes.
The Refractor is a good size but will show some colouration (Chromatic Aberration) at the edges of objects. Only expensive Apochromatic Refractors have most of this characteristic resolved through special glass elements and design.
The Newtonian will gather more light ( although I would opt for at least an 8" ) but have no edge colouration although it will have diffraction spikes on the stars due to it's secondary mirror supports. (often regarded as a plus visually ).
Your requirement of 'easily portable' depends on why and where you will use it and whether you have suitable transport if necessary and a good back for larger size scopes.
I'd suggest before you buy getting along to a local Astro clubs viewing night to get some hands on advice and experience through the various types and sizes. Buying secondhand on here is also good advice, these guys take care of their equipment and you'll get extras normally and setups that have been proved, a good price, and advice to get you started.
Also remember that your first scope is probably not going to be your last scope. As you find out what you want to do more specifically and gain experience you will move on and get 'Aperture Fever' or worse still get bitten by the 'Astrophotography Bug', a very expensive and frustrating affliction :shrug: :D. So you can always resell and move up as your interest (and budget ;) ) allows.
I've only been here nearly two years and already built 2 scopes and bought about 3 more along with various appendages for them so be warned :rolleyes:.
And ask more question on here. Plenty of people willing to help and loads of excellent knowledge and experience.
15-01-2012, 09:48 AM
Thanks guys, I'm wanting to start with our solar system & then try some deeper viewing nebulas & clusters etc. Hopefully no astrophotography..... I don't like my chances though :)
I definately need to get out there to get a taste & 2nd hand sounds like a great way to go. I'll wait to here of some local gatherings & try not to jump into something too quick that will only disappoint me.
I will keep you updated.
15-01-2012, 12:27 PM
Brent has some good advice there Justin. For $800 I would look at an 8" dob as it will leave you with some dollar left over for the accessories you will need. Give fantastic views of planets and deep space objects, easy to transport, very easy to set up and use.
In this caper aperture is your best friend and dobs give the most aperture per $.
Stay away from EQ mounts unless you are absolutely sure that is how you want to go. I spent over a year wrestling with a cheap EQ mount, not worth the aggravation!
16-01-2012, 01:46 PM
If photography isn't your bag, then steer clear of EQ mounts.
A dob would be great, as would a 2nd hand fork mounted SCT (like a C8 or Meade 8") the SCTs are easier to transport and have a nicer viewing position in my opinion, but bang for buck a dob is hard to beat.
19-01-2012, 08:22 PM
:thumbsup: Yep make that 3 votes for an 8 inch Dob , one of these will give you years of viewing pleasure , and if you hobby grows , or dies it will be easier to sell on here in the classified's section at IIS , without loosing to much $$$ .
Watch the apateaure / up grades bug ! :lol: Its fun but expensive :welcome:, but over all enjoy the hobby , it can become a life time one that is always evolving .
I started with a horrible 60mm refractor that I would not use as a door stop today but it got me started over 25 years ago , so still has a place in my fondest memories.:)
20-01-2012, 09:40 PM
Hi Justin, I'm in the same boat as you, I'm still deciding what to go for, haven't made my mind up yet. There is a star party on tomorrow night, Saturday 21st at the Pony Club at Mangrove Mountain, I can't go but the weather may be not too good either, but visitors are welcome, good luck with the scope hunting, Chris
21-01-2012, 11:24 AM
Looks like dob gets the biggest all round vote! I haven't seen the size of one yet but it shouldn't be an issue.
Weather pending, I will probably end up at the pony club tonight.
Hope to see you there.
05-02-2012, 12:17 PM
Well I finally decided & went with an 8" skywatcher collapsible dob.
I got my first clear night last night & was blown away.
I had some great close up views of the moon, saw venus, mars, jupiter & 4 moons (although I thought i saw more than 4) & a globular cluster. Just to name a few.
Saturn is next on the list, I just couldnt quite make it till 2am I think the mozzies are immune to aeroguard at my place.
I am definately even more hooked now & going to find some less light polluted areas to get some clearer views.
05-02-2012, 06:14 PM
Be careful with the aeroguard though, it can bugger your optical surfaces real fast.
hope to see you at the Pony Club soon.
And any other of the new IIS members from around the Central Coast, come along, it friendly, its informal, its informative and its free.
05-02-2012, 06:21 PM
Nice choice on the Skywatcher Dob.
That should be a quick and easy scope to move around quickly.
Thumbs up for the Pony Club. Hopefully, we will get a clear night, when there isn't a full moon!
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