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Old 26-03-2010, 06:44 PM
tu plang (Ben)
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Standard new guy questions - First refractor

Hi All,

I've had a search around the equipment forum and found some great info but I was hoping for some more specific answers to my current deliberations.

I'm looking at getting an APO refractor to get in to some astrophotography (I have a 50D which i'll use for imaging and some reasonable photographic (but not astro) knowledge). So with no further ado, my n00b questions (which as a seasoned member of other hobby-orientated websites, I'm sure you've answered a million times - I'm happy enough to be directed to other relevant threads):

I've narrowed my searches to a few scopes which cover a bit of a range of price and spec:

WO Megrez 90 Doublet - $1200 from Andrewscomm
Stellarvue SV90T and SV80ST Triplets - $1700 and $1300 US + shipping
TMB 80 ST - $1000 US + shipping from astronmics
TMB 90 ST light - $1500 US + shipping

So first question and I suspect this may be the age old question with no clear answer but given the trade off between a good 90 mm doublet (say WO Megrez 90) and a good 80 mm triplet (TMB 80 or even Meade 5000 80 mm) what is the way to go? By my reckoning, less light gathering ability can be compensated by longer exposure time but poor colour correction is what it is.

Secondly, are there any Australian dealers of Stellarvue? I havent been able to find any and the prospect of expensive shipping plus running the customs gauntlet is a bit of a barrier for me. Same goes for the TMBs.

Thirdly, I've seen a few examples of people using finderscopes with CCD tracking cams (like the orion cam). I know ideally you want a second guide scope but is this a workable solution (rather than buying a second OTA straight off the bat - albeit a smaller, cheaper one)

Next up, are there any other scopes in this sort of price/quality range I should consider?

How flexible are some of the US retailers with their disclosure of item value? In my experience in other industries, some are willing to bend the rules and some aren't (apologies if this question breaks any rules)

My plan is to get a scope, wack it on my Manfrotto photo tripod for a bit and search the skies for a while and then a bit down the track drop the money on a goto mount, maybe an EQ6 or similar and a guide cam. If I buy all at once i tend to end up with lower quality stuff that I grow out of so I prefer to be patient and build up a reasonable kit slowly (based on how my other hobbies have panned out anyway heh).

If you read all of that, you have my vast appreciation already.
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  #2  
Old 26-03-2010, 06:54 PM
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duncan
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Firstly Welcome Ben. Have you checked out the "Ice Trade Section". Ive seen a few really good deals on here lately. Other than suggesting that i'll leave it to the more experienced on here.
Cheers,
Duncan
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Old 26-03-2010, 07:00 PM
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multiweb (Marc)
ze frogginator

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Hi Ben, if you want to do astrophotography in the long run and you're starting with the 50D get a good mount before you get any scope. It's a case of measure twice and cut once. There are heaps of things you can image with a 50D and a good widefield lens.

If you decide to go deeper down the road then you can start looking for longer FL imaging with a refractor or scope. The point is that your mount will already be there to support any future expansion.
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Old 26-03-2010, 07:02 PM
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Screwdriverone (Chris)
I have detailed files....

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Hi Ben,

I agree with Duncan, there is a Skywatcher ED80 Pro on sale in the IceTrade here going for $400 which is an excellent APO scope for you to "cut your astro teeth on"

Take a look, its a bargain and a really good scope. AND its in Brisbane!!!! unreal!

Cheers

Chris
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Old 26-03-2010, 07:07 PM
tu plang (Ben)
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Thanks for the replies already guys!

I've read a few times on here to spend up big on the mount before the scope but I guess for me I'm just as keen to observe for a while and get to know my way around the sky. To that end the scope is the enabling item first up. Then a pay cheque or two later I can grab a good mount to go with. I've had a look at the skywatchers and they seem to be great value but I'm not averse to spending a bit more money up front to get something which will keep me happy for longer. (self assessment tells me I can be a bit of a brand whore)
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Old 26-03-2010, 07:13 PM
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Screwdriverone (Chris)
I have detailed files....

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Nicely Put Ben,

I am a brand freak myself, Skywatcher for me, until I win the lotto, then look out!

Try this one then, nice package, in Brissy AGAIN - woot!, and a better scope than the ED80, its a BD100 on an EQ5!

If not, tell me to pull my head in and I will go back to spending someone else's money for them

Cheers

Chris
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Old 26-03-2010, 08:56 PM
Hans Tucker (Hans)
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Standard new guy questions - First refractor

A triplet refractor is by far better corrected than a doublet and for an explaination you just have to google the two designs. If your main focus is Astrophotography then your best bet would be to go with the triplet refractor. If you are talking refractors then colour correction is far more important than apature.

I believe the Stellarvue dealer in Australia is/was SDM Telescopes
http://www.sdmtelescopes.com.au/

but Stellarvue does sell direct into Australia...which would be cheaper. Just contact them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tu plang View Post
So first question and I suspect this may be the age old question with no clear answer but given the trade off between a good 90 mm doublet (say WO Megrez 90) and a good 80 mm triplet (TMB 80 or even Meade 5000 80 mm) what is the way to go? By my reckoning, less light gathering ability can be compensated by longer exposure time but poor colour correction is what it is.

Secondly, are there any Australian dealers of Stellarvue? I havent been able to find any and the prospect of expensive shipping plus running the customs gauntlet is a bit of a barrier for me. Same goes for the TMBs.
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Old 26-03-2010, 09:10 PM
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acropolite (Phil)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben
My plan is to get a scope, wack it on my Manfrotto photo tripod for a bit and search the skies for a while
Ben, I wouldn't suggest trying to put any of the OTA's listed on a Manfrotto tripod, while Manfottos are excellent photography mounts, they simply aren't sturdy enough for the job.
A bare minimum for the OTA's you have listed would be a Vixen Porta mount or the GS clone, even they are only just acceptable for those OTA's. Even with a sturdy mount the OTA's in your wish list will disappoint for visual use.

If you want to have a look about the skies and intend to get in to Astrophotography, it wouldn't be a bad idea to get an 8 inch dob (you'll pick up one second hand for under $400) and hold off until you have the money for the basics, OTA, mount and guiding extras.
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:21 AM
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AlexN
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While I'd agree with others about spending money on the mount first etc etc, and all those scopes you suggested likely disappointing you for visual use etc..

If I were looking to buy an APO refractor, and those 4 scopes you mentioned were in my list, I'd go with the TMB 80 Signature Series or the TMB 92 Signature Series over the WO or SV.

I recently sold a TMB 80mm F/6 triplet APO.. It was by far the best scope I've owned thus far... Although this new one I have now might shake things up a bit if I ever get a chance to use it)

I really can't recommend TMB optics enough for photographic use, but for visual, nothing beats aperture. And when it comes to aperture, you can not beat a Dob for value...

For example, an 90mm TMB scope will cost you $1700AU by the time you get it here.. a 305mm dob will cost you $1200~1300AU.. Having said that, photography will be much easier with the 90mm TMB..

What you really need to decide is what you want to do... If you're interest lies more in photography... save up, get yourself an EQ6 or something a little larger perhaps, and a TMB APO, a guide scope and guide camera.. and have the time of your life...

If visual astronomy is more your thing, get a 10~12" dob and a few nice eye pieces..

If you're unsure which you prefer, I would recommend getting along to one of the new moon weekends out under dark skies (there is one this weekend an hour an a half north of Brisbane) Have a look at a few different setups, visual and imaging rigs, see how everything works... See how the imagers swear a lot and throw things in disgust, while the visual astronomers have a ball haha

Theres many things to consider, but its best to get a feel for what you want to do before you throw a lot of money at astronomy...
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Old 02-04-2010, 03:57 AM
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bmitchell82 (Brendan)
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Ill agree with alex here, its taken me nearly a year and a half to start figuring out the difference between an astrograph (telescope dedicated to astrophotography) and a visual scope.

sit down have a think about what you really like doing for a start its a Red Pill or Blue Pill decision, after that everything gets rather hazy.!

as for the different tribes of people on a dark sky site 100% astrophotography can be a very very frustrating hobby.! hope you have patience!
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