View Full Version here: : NexStar 130SLT Vs Meade LT 8" ACF
10-04-2012, 10:37 PM
I'm looking to buy my first real scope. I'm interested very much in observing the moon because hey, it's the only one we got! Also the other planets and any other deep sky interesting things I can see well.
I really want an automated scope because from what I've read it's way more fun and easier if you don't have a brilliant knowledge of whats even out there, plus I can connect it to my laptop and use stellarium which I love.
I've got a canon 550d and would like to use it for astro photography, and maybe video too? Most people seem to use webcams but surely it would be better to use an SLR right? Or not?
But right now my biggest decision is which scope to get.
The nexstar 130 is way cheaper but I know it's not as good, the meade has over twice the focal length, but I hear people say reflectors are better for photography. But look at the cost!
If I get the meade (which I'm leaning towards) it's say $1900 just for the scope and tripod stand, (Dont know if it comes with eye pieces?) but if I get the eye pieces then thats another say $350 for a kit, then I'd need an AC adapter etc etc. So say about $2500 for that scope!
The nexstar is so much cheaper, say $700, say $300 for an eye piece kit, so around $1500 less than the meade..
But I really think it's something I'll have for a very long time, so $2500 for say five to ten years isn't too bad?
I've never bought my own scope before and where I live there are no clubs etc where I can go check some out with others.. so I don't know if its worth an extra 1500?
Any advice would be appreciated!
10-04-2012, 11:46 PM
Why not split the difference and get a Skywatcher 8" reflector (newtonian) on an HEQ5 pro like mine for about $1499 from Andrews Communications. I use mine for visual and Astrophotography with a DSLR and I love it.
MUCH more light gathering than a 130SLT and even though its an F5 wide field scope with 1000mm focal length (less mag than the ACF Meade Schmidt Cassegrain), a great scope to get you going.
Alternatively, and because its a doddle to get easy photos from these scopes, perhaps an ED80 refractor on an HEQ5 for $2099 from Andrews would suit? LOTS of people use ED80's to get beautiful widefield photos.
Hang on, even better.....a 10" GOTO dobsonian for $1599!!! You can take photos of the moon and planets with this and its a light bucket for visual, has a goto computer and tracking for easy locating and keeping on target without having to drift align.
Search for JJJnettie's Saturn shots in the Solar System section for some truly EXCELLENT shots of Saturn with a DSLR on this scope. They are phenomenal.
Dobs are a doddle to use and for the money, are the best bang for your buck. No polar aligment to worry about and they resell very well if you decide to upgrade to an AP rig later on.
It's settled, check out the dobsonian GOTO 10" Skywatcher at Andrews, they will deliver this to you for only $30 more. So, for $1629, you will pretty much be ready to go, you will just need a T ring for your camera to connect to the focuser ($29 from Andrews) and then you can start taking photos of the moon straight away!
11-04-2012, 07:37 AM
The nexstar is a beginners scope, not really for astrophotography, you'd be much better waiting for an 8" Meade lc to come up in the classifieds here.
The closest astro club is in albury wodonga, they run a big camp border stargaze at the end of winter, I'd be waiting & then check out the many scopes there, google it or asaw
11-04-2012, 07:53 AM
Not taking anything from the 8" Meade but the Nexstar 130SLT is a great little scope. This (https://public.bay.livefilestore.com/y1pM3b6GDLAb7_Srg9isTxIXPECc0ccKtMc fDvRkDhfGietL-QUGZX7otIjbKquqQfqibvFu_gXhnPNXO48W OQVUA/NGC3372_ha_FFC5_ff.jpg?psid=1)was taken as a test at F/20 (2560mm). Star shapes are only due to micro-guiding errors. I was testing the AO but didn't get it going so this was guided through a finder. Optics don't fall apart at high resolution as you can see. This (https://public.bay.livefilestore.com/y1p4xAjH_y_Lhh_0F8EzaNind0nOMcG_rbx YdQOLlsP5gsy5rS_1JJtFwrBaIQdrSlfkpj t6Qb8FUPnZvaekuUl7g/SAG_lf_dp.jpg?psid=1)was also taken with the same scope at native res (4 panels).
11-04-2012, 09:13 AM
Man that second photo is AMAZING. Can you get photos like that with the dob that was mentioned in post 2?
Do you guys know if any forum members have the Meade 8 inch so I can see what kind of deep sky images they can get?
11-04-2012, 09:20 AM
Sorry I was referring to the mount of the scope
11-04-2012, 09:59 AM
Also how many images do you need to take to get an image like that? (The second one) do you have to use tracking?
11-04-2012, 10:00 AM
Welcome Andrew :welcome:
For $1500, I'd go for a second hand EQ6 Pro (about $1000) and an ED80 (about $300). The $200 can be used for accessories etc. Remember, the longer the focal length, the less forgiving the final image, so start small. The ED 80 has a solid reputation.
As Dannat said, mount is everything in AP.
Once you played with the ED 80, then get a SCT or a larger refractor and then the ED80 can be turned into a guidescope for detailed work.
11-04-2012, 01:47 PM
Yes you could take photos with a DOB. Short exposures and lots of them. Alex Cherney on IIS did that with a spectrum modified SONY NEX-5.
I suspect the Meade is F/10? The Nexstar is F/5. The Meade will be more challenging to image with as your guiding will have to be very tight. But it's also better for planetary than the shorter FL Celestron. I have a mate who's got the LX90 on a fork mount and he gets some real good results on a fork mount whith a Canon DSLR. 350D I think.
True. The original tripod is not adequate for anything really. Even goto is horrendous.
Yes - you should spend your money on a good mount. All I'm saying is the 5" newt is ok to image with. I'm still using mine. Whichever scope you chose they're both ok. The second photo was 4 panels each 10x10min I think. So one night work.
11-04-2012, 08:13 PM
This is great advice I think I will go with one of these mounts. The Meade just seems a little more like a 'toy' ? That sounds stupid but anyway, the NEQ6 mount looks very precise. There is one for sale now but I might be too late.. but I'm sure another will come out.
Do all scopes use the same type of mount to connect? Or not? Also there seems to EQ3, EQ5, EQ6, so EQ6 is the best right? Are EQ5 almost as good or? Dang this is complicated!
Also is there something a little bigger than an ED80? I don't mind if it exaggerates errors I just want to be able to see the moon really close, and have good light collection? I don't have to spend only 1500, I can spend more if I can get a bigger scope! Say 800 for the scope? Leaving 200 for eyepieces etc, so 2000 approx all up?
Is it difficult to align the EQ6 everytime? I'm watching a video and it seems pretty hard.. Also all of the Skywatcher EQ6-5 videos I've seen, the mount's gears grind every time the mount starts/stops slewing. Doesn't sound very good??
11-04-2012, 08:30 PM
Complicated alright Andy, and expensive :D
EQ6 is considered a good starter mount (NEQ is simply New EQ) and has a carrying capacity of about 17 kgs (excluding counterweights). Before you say that's a lot, consider the weight of the scope, guidescope, cameras etc. EQ5 is ok, but has a smaller payload capacity and is not as future proof as an
Eq6. Forget EQ3 unless you are interested in visual only.
Most mounts accept Vixen style saddles, otherwise you can get adapters for them if your scope has a different saddle.
There should be a few EQ6 coming up as I think a few people have placed an order for the new Meade LX mounts.
11-04-2012, 09:33 PM
Ok so the NEQ6 sounds like a good mount. Do you have any links to the meade LX mounts? I can't seem to find any info are they not out yet?
11-04-2012, 09:39 PM
Here is a link for NEQ6 (http://www.bintel.com.au/Mounts---Tripods/EQ-Mounts/Skywatcher-NEQ6-Pro-GoTo-Mount/97/productview.aspx)and here is a link for the new LX80 (http://www.bintel.com.au/Mounts---Tripods/EQ-Mounts/Meade-LX80-AZ/EQ-Mount/1280/productview.aspx)
The LX 80 is due later this year, but it's not been tested (maybe in the US, but not in Oz), whereas the EQ6 is a proven performer.
Search under sites such as cloudy nights etc to see various write ups.
12-04-2012, 12:06 PM
Well it's settled, the meade LX80 is a clear winner! I'd much rather buy something new than something for the same price that is a few years old, even if the meade hasn't been around long. I'm putting in an order today! I rang bintel and they had no idea when the stock would be coming in.. Now I just need to decide on a scope. I don't mind an ED80 but like I said would like something a little bigger, do you have any other suggestions to go with that LX mount? Sorry to hassle, you've already helped a lot!
12-04-2012, 12:26 PM
No worries Andy, we are all here to help :)
You might want to read this thread (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=83099)as well. I have nothing against the LX80, it's just that it's new and as with any new computer things, there are usually bugs to be sorted out. Having said that I would have ordered a LX80 if I didn't spot an EQ6 for sale :).
Re the scope, there is ED80 ED100 (there was one of each for sale here recently, I missed them both by a cat's whisker! :sadeyes:), or if you have really deep pockets ED127. You might consider getting a 0.5 reducer if you are getting longer FL scopes though.
The reason I suggested 80 is that its very forgiving and can be used as a secondary or guidescope later.
12-04-2012, 09:27 PM
Take the eq6 route if you plan to get into ap. If its mostly visaul and light ap and planet images then grab a goto dob. The 130slt is a great starter scope but for the same money i would go a non goto 10"-12" dob. The meade 8" with the LX80 would be a better buy then the LT, problem is its being put off from dec last year, then to feb this year, then march now there saying 3rd quarter this yr? Best idea is to set a budget and get the best you can with it for what you want to do.
12-04-2012, 09:29 PM
:question: Dont forget the Ioptron IEQ45 , its avaliable now , not like the mayby ?? sometime , mabe next ,, hmmm ,, whenever ? Meade LX80 , I know of 2 people who have cancelled there orders for this mount because of delays ( of comming up to a year now ) that Meade are famous for .
Good ;) looking mount tho , If any one gets to buy one ?? .
Sad but true .:shrug: .
My Ioptron is a winner for me , give it a thought ?
13-04-2012, 01:16 AM
Hahah true that, myself and wife have being looking at since last yr. There's no way in hell though I would pre-order it, if it seems to good to be true it usually is. I hope they prove this rule faulse but till reviews hit maybe next year:rofl:we won't know.
13-04-2012, 10:57 AM
Do meade make any others EQ mounts with their GPS go to functions? I dont need the LX80s super transformer configurations..
13-04-2012, 04:22 PM
They used to, but I think they are gambling on the new LX80 (when it comes out). Skywatcher mounts are popular because they are affordable, reliable and has lots of third party support (EQMOD etc).
Others mentioned Losmandy and Astrophysics etc, but they come at a cost.
Best thing to do is to go to a star party and see what setups others have and pick their brains.
14-04-2012, 03:02 PM
:thumbsup: true there Bo, and the Ioptron team is comming on stronger these days,.:rofl:.
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