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Old 19-10-2014, 06:37 PM
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Benik (Ben)
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Question New Telescope Advice Please?

G'day

I have been doing some basic DSLR AP and admiring the fantastic skies we are blessed with here in Auz (WA).

I have decided that i would like to invest in a descent scope & mount and am looking for any recommendations.

I am interested in general observing of the solar system and deep space objects and would like to move on to AP down the line.

I started off looking at Celestron SCT's, (9.25 & 11) seem easy to use and maintain and reasonable bang for their buck.

However after further research started looking at Refractors such as Skywatcher Esprit 120 ED PRO Triplet (or the 150ED at a push) because with my photography i really appreciate good quality optics.

But then saw Sky-Watcher Quattro 250 CF - Newtonian and looks like a lot of aperture for the price!

And now i am totally confused , and i have researched my self to a stand still reading reviews etc..

The tripod & mounts i have been considering are the Celestron VX or CGEM in a kit if i go the Celestron SCT route, or a Sky watcher NEQ6 Pro or AZ EQ6-GT if i buy a separate OTA.

Any comments or advice from you experience would be highly valued.
Cheers
Ben
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Old 19-10-2014, 08:02 PM
glend (Glen)
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You will get many differing points of view but one thing to keep in mind - newtonians are the most cost effective aperture you can buy. I have tried imaging with both refractors and newtonians and generally the newt wins every time on light gathering (which means shorter exposures) and true colour rendition ( whih only the most expensive refractors can deliver. You need to consider your budget but buy a good mount that is imaging capable ( a goto Equatorial for xample). Don't try to overload the mount, generally you don't want more than 2/3s of the capacity on the mount for imaging. You can probably find a second hand HEQ5 or NEQ6, but again think about what you can afford. As to the scope, there are 8" imaging newtonians of good quality that you can pick up new for around $500 - that might be a good size to start with.

Good luck and be ready for many other opinions.
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Old 19-10-2014, 08:51 PM
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alocky (Andrew lockwood)
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Hi Ben,
The progression always seems to be towards longer focal length and usually people start with a 500-600mm apo on a reasonable mount- the ed80 neq6 combination seems to be about the best bang for buck. Then as you start looking for longer focal lengths you'll have a much better idea what you want. I'm South of the river in Bateman, and will have my gear running in the backyard over the next few nights - if you'd like to see a good 4" apo and a 10" newt in action pm me and you're welcome to drop by for a look.
Cheers,
Andrew.
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Old 19-10-2014, 09:12 PM
raymo
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You make one point that should direct your purchase. AP is further down
the line for you, so for now, visual is most important. Anything under
8" will fairly quickly become a bit disappointing visually. A solid mount is
an absolute must visually, and for AP, so an 8" Newt on an HEQ5 or an
NEQ6 [according to your budget] would seem to be a logical choice, as
suggested by Glend. You may decide on a different scope for imaging
eventually, but until you do, the Newt will do a good job.
raymo
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Old 19-10-2014, 11:04 PM
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Benik (Ben)
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Thanks!

Sounds like some solid advice all around there!

The mount seems to be the key item regardless of scope so i am quite happy to go down the Skywatcher HEQ5/NEQ6 or AZ-EQ6 (i will check second hand/Gumtree but from experience, second hand gear in Perth is usually not far off new price!).

8" or above for visual - Sounds good leaves either the SCT 9.25/11 or the Newt 250mm either fits the basic profile?

And later down the line maybe add a Refractor!

Almost a plan!
Cheers Guys

p.s. Alocky, thanks for the invitation, your very kind, i have PM'd you Thanks!
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Old 19-10-2014, 11:41 PM
PeterEde (Peter)
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I bought recently what many advised. ED80 scope but I could only afford an EQ3 mount without goto or drive motors. I have since put the motors on but no goto. this just means I have to find my way around the sky.

If you want to image planets you will need a bigger scope than the ED80.
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Old 20-10-2014, 10:56 AM
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rustigsmed (Russell)
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hi,

some good suggestions down below ... have you got a total budget in mind? it may help to give some more advice. the mount is the most important part of the puzzle... the focal length on the SCT is reasonably extreme and would require some good guiding. I would probably give that a miss and put the money saved into the mount (NEQ6/G11/EQ8) or accessories (eg moonlite focuser/camera).

I would suggest an 10" newt it opens up some nice planetary opportunities and has a good reasonable FOV. if you are after more of a widefield view then go a refractor or an 8" newt.

happy hunting!


rusty
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Old 20-10-2014, 04:11 PM
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Camelopardalis (Dunk)
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My advice would be to start off with a short focal length refractor on a good mount such as the AZ-EQ6 and go from there. It will take time to become familiar with your equipment, master polar alignment, etc. The short refractor will be easier to get started with and will give pleasing results on heaps of targets. Once you're ready to zoom in, you can get another scope to suit, depending on your interests.

For planetary imaging...a 9 or 11 inch SCT is easily accommodated on the above mount and can deliver the goods when the weather plays nice...which after all is the primary requirement for planetary imaging...
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Old 22-10-2014, 11:02 PM
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phobos27 (Nick)
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Hi Ben,

Earlier this year I got my hands on an AZ-EQ6 mount with the 200mm F/4 CF Newt. This set up is great and I would recommend it to anyone getting serious about AP. The good thing about this scope is that it provides easy AP because you just put your DSLR on and fire away. It also has enough length to let you look at all the main planets in enough detail for me to be happy with.

I would highly recommend the AZ-EQ6 if you want to get serious because it has the belt driven motor over the gears like the NEQ6 and 5. Makes the tracking smoother. It really is a good mount because the next step up is the EQ8 and that's just too massive unless you have your own mini van !

Really it just depends on your budget but you don't want to buy something you might find you grow out of too quickly! Good luck with finding something as i was in the same boat earlier this year!

Nick
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