ICEINSPACE
Most Read Articles
Moon Phase
CURRENT MOON Waxing Crescent
17.9%
The Sun Now
Time Zones
Sydney*
12:51 pm
Perth
9:51 am
Auckland*
2:51 pm
New York
8:51 pm
Paris
2:51 am
GMT
1:51 am




Go Back   IceInSpace > Beginners Start Here > Beginners Talk

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
  #1  
Old 18-07-2017, 12:25 AM
Luca.C
Registered User

Luca.C is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 9
Hi from a newbie from Melbourne

Hi,

my name is Luca and I am from Melbourne.

I've been interested in astronomy for a very long time, and now it's time to finally get a telescope, though I am still quite confused.

Good news is that, given that this is my wife's bday present for my 40th, the budget could reach approx $1,500.

As of the choice of the telescope, I was hoping to get some
advices from you guys.

First of all, the idea is to start with basic sky watching with a focus on deep sky (galaxies and nebulae) and later on upgrade parts of the telescope for astrophotography. So first feature would be upgradeabilty.

Second feature is transportability. I live in an apartment and having a big telescope would be an issue. Also I want to keep it away from my kids reach. Plus the area where I live has lots od light pollution so I assume I will have to travel in dark areas.

In terms of set up of the telescope, on one side I think I would be patient enough to align it, but on the other side I am concerned about getting frustrated if this becomes challenging. I really don't want to end up putting the telescope in a store!

Thanks for any suggestion!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 18-07-2017, 06:13 AM
sil
Registered User

sil is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Canberra
Posts: 855
welcome to the nuthouse.

$1,500 will get you an ok beginners scope, but upgradeability is not a feature telescopes have. It can be done of course, but its not as simple as buy "this the scope" plus "this upgrade package" and your first criteria is already at odds with itself and can kill your use of a telescope for any purpose.

for astrophotography you really want an Equatorial mount (EQ) but its poor for visual use, for visual you want an Altitude-Azimuth mount (AltAz) but its poor for photography. Most people have both for the appropriate usage.

What people call a "telescope" really consists of three main parts: the Optical Tube Assembly (OTA, th telescope tube itself), a Mount (this is the mechanism that connects the OTA to the tripod and can offer motorised movement for tracking), the base (tripod, box, or post that provides a firm solid foundation to hold the mount and OTA). These all play their part and can all be replaced later on but on a budget if you make a poor initial purchase (which many do, going for the setup that "looks impressive").

You can use ANY telescope in light polluted skies but will gain improvement from a dark site. Its the eyepieces that determine the quality of the view and a single good eyepiece can cost $1,500 itself for this reason. Cheap eyepieces and particular the ones supplied when you buy a telescope will be poor and often a reason for putting people off using their telescope because they are uncomfortable to use.

All this stuff has been said and resaid many times. But if you want to make a good decision you need to experience some telescopes and eyepieces, get yourself to an astronomy club outing where you can chat to other owners, have a look through various eyepieces and see for yourself if its what you want. Number one, astrophotos do not show what these things look like through an eyepiece, galaxies and nebula are not bright and colourful, you'll be seeing in greyscale with your eyes. Planets won't fill the eyepiece view either but they are impressive to see for yourself even as a small dot.

Failing that just buy a dobsonian. Great for beginners and simple to use, photography difficult but not impossible. Or maybe a SCT on Alt Az mount (goto ideal, and Wedge available as option to help photography.)Maybe Celestron 5SE (has built in wedge, GOTO, and portable). Seriously you're asking what many people do "I want a scope that does everything and I've got peanuts to pay". The 5se is a great allrounder but slow so will struggle
with galaxies and other "faint fuzzies" while a dobsonian is great for that sort of thing (even in light pollution) but poor if you're serious about astrophotography. Its why there are so many confusing options, each type has its strengths and weaknesses, technically they can all do visual plus astrophotography but none are perfect for both at any price.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 18-07-2017, 06:38 AM
Malcolm
Registered User

Malcolm is offline
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Lismore NSW Australia
Posts: 116
An 8" GOTO dobsonian is probably close to your budget and later on you could look for an astro video camera, such as the IMX224 or the Revolution Imager. With that you can take short vids up to 30 secs exposure (before field rotation sets in) and stack to a single image.
An 8" or 10" dob can fit across the backseat of a car, the base needs a good bit of boot space, better if you have an RV. The best scope is the one you will use the most, that's portability, set up time, weight and so on.
Look at www.andrewscom.com.au website, there's usually a sale on.
Go to a meet up if you can find one in your area. Good luck. :-)
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 18-07-2017, 07:53 AM
gaseous (Patrick)
Registered User

gaseous is offline
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 203
As Sil and Malcolm alluded to, no one telescope is ever going to be all things to all people. A $1500 budget, while it doesn't seem insignificant for a first scope, probably won't stretch far at all into the astrophotography side of things, as this can be a hellishly expensive branch of amateur astronomy. If your primary concern is focusing on DSOs and learning the sky, then aperture is your friend and a dobsonian is probably the best value for money in this area, particularly if you can get to a dark site. However you do live in an apartment, and unless you have a lift I'd possibly have reservations about a dob, as lugging one up and down stairs would be asking for trouble on several fronts (damaging the scope, damaging your back, etc).
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 18-07-2017, 12:51 PM
m11 (Mel)
Registered User

m11 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: melbourne
Posts: 175
Hi Luca,

Welcome to an exciting hobby!

Sil, Malcolm and Patrick have provided excellent advice and recommendations in regards starting off.

I am still new into Astronomy but I an share my experiences starting off. I found that visual Astronomy is a better option for me starting off. Astrophotography can be frustrating to pick up without a decent understanding of the sky and scopes/guiding/alignment and the complications with additional cabling/power on top. I generally have limited time with family and work commitments - Astrophotography takes a lot of time to get right.

$1500 is a decent budget for a visual scope and you should be able to get 1-2 good eyepieces as well. Starting off you need to determine whether you want a manual or goto system. Starting off I found a goto system helped a lot but you need to learn some bright stars to align.

If I had to start off again, I would get a 8inch goto dob as the ideal compromise for portability and ease of use. Any 10inch scope SCT or Dob I have found starts getting heavy to carry unless you get wheels or a trolley.

Another thing is if the scope can be broken down and transported and if you have a partner in crime to observe with you . Having another person helps and its more fun to share the experience.

I have used my dob to do basic EAA which uses software to stack and stack short sec exposures.

Hope this helps.

Mel
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 18-07-2017, 04:01 PM
Luca.C
Registered User

Luca.C is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 9
Thank you all for your very thorough advices, much appreciated! And thanks for helping me understanding the astronomy glossary!

When I say "upgradeable" I mean for instance that I could get an OTA on a not so expensive EQ tripod for the time being. If this hobby gets serious I would then spend more money to replace the tripod with an expensier one. And when I am ready for astrophotography (and have more money) get a motor drive.

But perhaps my knowledge on scopes is so limited that I may miss some other factors.

I've been thinking a lot of a 8 inch dob, and still am concerned about its size. I really don't want to keep it in the living room as a piece of furniture or targeted by the kids - unfortunately I am limited by living in an apartment.

My main purpose remains nocturnal sky watching, AP is really not a priority now.

What would be an alternative to a dob in order to contain sizes?

Many thanks again!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 18-07-2017, 04:06 PM
Luca.C
Registered User

Luca.C is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by m11 View Post
Hi Luca,

Welcome to an exciting hobby!

Sil, Malcolm and Patrick have provided excellent advice and recommendations in regards starting off.

I am still new into Astronomy but I an share my experiences starting off. I found that visual Astronomy is a better option for me starting off. Astrophotography can be frustrating to pick up without a decent understanding of the sky and scopes/guiding/alignment and the complications with additional cabling/power on top. I generally have limited time with family and work commitments - Astrophotography takes a lot of time to get right.

$1500 is a decent budget for a visual scope and you should be able to get 1-2 good eyepieces as well. Starting off you need to determine whether you want a manual or goto system. Starting off I found a goto system helped a lot but you need to learn some bright stars to align.

If I had to start off again, I would get a 8inch goto dob as the ideal compromise for portability and ease of use. Any 10inch scope SCT or Dob I have found starts getting heavy to carry unless you get wheels or a trolley.

Another thing is if the scope can be broken down and transported and if you have a partner in crime to observe with you . Having another person helps and its more fun to share the experience.

I have used my dob to do basic EAA which uses software to stack and stack short sec exposures.

Hope this helps.

Mel
Thanks Mel,

the 8 inch dob with goto seems a pretty good solution, only concern is the size of the scope that is going to be stored somewhere in my apartment - likely to be the living room unless I store it at my parents place.

Would a collapsible dob help?

I think I need to take some time to join the local astro society and have a better idea of weight and sizes.

Cheers,
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 18-07-2017, 04:12 PM
Luca.C
Registered User

Luca.C is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm View Post
An 8" GOTO dobsonian is probably close to your budget and later on you could look for an astro video camera, such as the IMX224 or the Revolution Imager. With that you can take short vids up to 30 secs exposure (before field rotation sets in) and stack to a single image.
An 8" or 10" dob can fit across the backseat of a car, the base needs a good bit of boot space, better if you have an RV. The best scope is the one you will use the most, that's portability, set up time, weight and so on.
Look at www.andrewscom.com.au website, there's usually a sale on.
Go to a meet up if you can find one in your area. Good luck. :-)
Thanks mate,

Yes, I've been looking at andrewscom website - i think I will end up buying from them though I haven't decided on the scope yet.

A 8 inch dob with goto it's a pretty attractive solution to me, though not sure sizewise.

What's your opinion on something like a Celestron 6SE compared to the above mentioned dob?
I am still not sure if the extra cost for the 6se is worthwhile.

Thanks
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 18-07-2017, 05:32 PM
m11 (Mel)
Registered User

m11 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: melbourne
Posts: 175
Hi Luca,

I have the Celestron 6se and its a great scope. The ota is compact and the goto is pretty good. I find it a bit dim for deep sky observing but for planets and moon is pretty good. I picked my one second for a good price.

The funny thing is i find the 6se takes more space for me as i have it ready to go and setup with the tripod. The dob is pretty compact and i have it on its mount as well. The 6se will take more time to cool down outside as compared to the dob as well which maybe a factor if you are limited in viewing time outside. Most of the time i end using binos for a quick 5 min view of the sky

I can take a photo of both if you want a comparison if you want?

I guess you need to work what you see as value and what you would want to use more. The scope you are comfortable with and ok to move outside frequently is the best value

A collapsible will help with portability and the weight of the scope. If you get a dob i recommend to get a collimation tool like a laser collimation tool. Pretty easy to do.
The funny thing I thought I would only get one scope in my lifetime. How wrong i was! Wait also until you see the eyepieces out there as well. I have found you never stop being on the lookup for the next upgrade
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 18-07-2017, 06:17 PM
Malcolm
Registered User

Malcolm is offline
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Lismore NSW Australia
Posts: 116
I think your best bet is to go with the 8" collapsible GOTO SkyWatcher. You'll have enough to get a 2" GSO Barlow and a GSO 2" 32mm lens as well from the same site. The collapsible cools very quickly, having an open tube and is easy to carry. I owned one of these, not a GOTO though. Since then upgraded to a 10" solid OTA 10" GOTO. Aperture is king, and the dob is known as a light bucket. The first mod you do should be fitting leveling feet, buy these at Bunnings, and a small spirit level, so you can get the base level which is important for GOTO tracking. I fitted three small blocks and then the adjustable feet. If I don't have power on-site I use one of those jumper packs from Autobarn that has a cig lighter output on it. One advantage of a collapsible is that if you cannot achieve forward focus, you can always lower the struts 30mm or so to get that sweet spot of focus. You'll probably need some sort of adjustable height chair to save your back as well. The whole thing is a bit of a learning curve, but don't be dissuaded by it, it's never too late to learn something new. Download Stellarium, and if you have an Android phone, drop me a pm. And when the scope is delivered, it'll be cloudy or pissing down rain for sure. LOL! :-)
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 18-07-2017, 06:28 PM
gaseous (Patrick)
Registered User

gaseous is offline
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 203
Luca,

I've got both the collapsible 8" goto and 16" goto skywatcher scopes, and the 8" is reasonably easy to move. Without too much effort I can pick it up by the handles in one piece and moved 20m or so to the backyard. If you were taking it down stairs the OTA can be easily taken off in about 10 seconds, and making two trips should be easy enough for someone in good health. The base is about 550mm across so a decent wardrobe should be deep enough to keep little fingers off it, and collapsed it's maybe 1m high. You should be able to score an 8" goto for around the $1500 mark, and while the eyepieces aren't brilliant, they should be sufficient to get you started. If you go through Andrews, their GSO superview eyepieces for around $90 are good value too.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 18-07-2017, 06:31 PM
m11 (Mel)
Registered User

m11 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: melbourne
Posts: 175
Celestron 6se
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (20170718_184313.jpg)
86.0 KB9 views
Click for full-size image (20170718_184302.jpg)
74.8 KB8 views
Click for full-size image (20170718_184234.jpg)
88.2 KB9 views
Click for full-size image (20170718_184326.jpg)
108.6 KB9 views
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 18-07-2017, 06:32 PM
m11 (Mel)
Registered User

m11 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: melbourne
Posts: 175
8 inch dob size. A goto 8inch will be heavier with the motors.
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (20170718_184153.jpg)
65.0 KB9 views
Click for full-size image (20170718_184144.jpg)
53.7 KB7 views
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 18-07-2017, 07:54 PM
pfitzgerald's Avatar
pfitzgerald (Paul)
Registered User

pfitzgerald is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 453
Hi Luca (and welcome to IIS)
Before buying any gear might I suggest that you consider joining the Astronomical Society of Victoria. As well as holding Star Parties - where you would have the opportunity to look at and through a variety of different telescopes - with owners willing to share their knowledge with you - there is also the opportunity to hire, for a very reasonable fee, a Dobsonian type scope which you can then test drive to see if it meets your needs. Just a thought...
Kind regards.
Paul
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 19-07-2017, 10:08 AM
Lognic04's Avatar
Lognic04 (Logan)
Registered User

Lognic04 is online now
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Melbourne, VIC
Posts: 182
Just to let you know, although it seems like it you CANT do any astrophotography with the 6se, because it is alt-az (tracks the stars the wrong way for astrophotography!), and the fact that is it very slow (f/10) makes it very difficult even on an EQ mount, so in my opinion steer clear!
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 19-07-2017, 11:18 AM
m11 (Mel)
Registered User

m11 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: melbourne
Posts: 175
Hi Luca,

One question I forgot to ask is if you have had experience with looking through a scope?


Mel
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 19-07-2017, 02:40 PM
xelasnave's Avatar
xelasnave
Gravity does not Suck

xelasnave is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tabulam
Posts: 8,368
I have been looking at an 8 inch on a decent equatorial mount on Andrews Communication site at $1700.
That would be my choice.
It listed as an astro imaging package.
Add a DSLR and you are away.

I believe one can get away without guiding if you are properly aligned and take short exposures..

In fact I may buy one myself.
But the main thing to remember is if viewing or doing photography (ignoring filters which help with photos) is that things won't be too flash in the city..

The main thing is a dark site and then even small binos are very useful.
I have a 12 inch and frankly I enjoy my 80mm binos more.
Also in a dark site a 6 inch works for me.

So I suggest the scope for $1700 or buy something smaller and cheaper...after a while it will either stay unused or you will have learnt more and know what you want...and that can cost $15000 and more.

Good luck...just do it before your eyes go on you.

Alex
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 19-07-2017, 02:46 PM
Nebulous's Avatar
Nebulous (Chris)
Registered User

Nebulous is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Perth Hills
Posts: 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lognic04 View Post
.. you CANT do any astrophotography with the 6se, because it is alt-az (tracks the stars the wrong way for astrophotography!)
Hi Logan,

Why do you say that you can't do astrophotography with an Alt-Az mount?

Any point in the sky can be identified by coordinates along two axes, and keeping track of that is not a hard task for a computer. Surely the issue isn't just the type of mount it's the accuracy of the gearing and programming in that mount?

I can't see why a good quality alt-az tracking mount shouldn't be able to track a location accurately. If a mount can track one axis accurately then why not two? Presumably you would have to allow for the effect of field rotation but I'm guessing that might be possible to correct (realign) with the processing software, provided the exposures aren't too long? No? I guess it depends on how long the exposures are before things get blurry.

This is pure speculation on my part as I have only used a variety of alt-az mounts for basic non-tracking astrophotography so far, but others do seem to manage it. The guy in this video for instance:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekGg-xBIYng

Clearly he's done a huge amount of post processing, but he seems genuine enough. Is he too good to be true?

Cheers,

Chris

Last edited by Nebulous; 19-07-2017 at 03:12 PM. Reason: typos and corrections..
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 19-07-2017, 02:53 PM
xelasnave's Avatar
xelasnave
Gravity does not Suck

xelasnave is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tabulam
Posts: 8,368
Chris
I think there is a problem called field rotation.

Alex
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 19-07-2017, 03:12 PM
xelasnave's Avatar
xelasnave
Gravity does not Suck

xelasnave is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tabulam
Posts: 8,368
Many sites but here is one.

http://calgary.rasc.ca/field_rotation.htm

Alex
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +10. The time is now 11:51 AM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.7 | Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Advertisement
Atik 16200
Advertisement
NexDome Observatories
Advertisement
SkyWatcher Star Discovery
Advertisement
FLI Cameras and Imaging Accessories
Advertisement
Meade Instruments
Advertisement
Bintel
Advertisement
Lunatico Astronomical
Advertisement
Tasco Australia
Advertisement
OzScopes Authorised Dealer
Advertisement
Astronomy and Electronics Centre
Advertisement