Author Topic: First Good Telescope  (Read 780 times)

Christopher Buchanan

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Re: First Good Telescope
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2018, 07:02:12 PM »
I use a 90/1250 MCT for both wildlife and heavens, the 5"s are a bit larger but noticeably more "powerful", especially for stargazing (actually have placed an order to replace it with a 120/1250 last December, but am still waiting...); under this regard, if can came over its "awkward" price, the Celestron C5 can be the best pick: it is smaller and lighter than typical 5" MCTs, and its shorter focal allows a larger field of view, which is nice for wildlife, and quite useful even for stargazing; plus it can resort to a moderately priced focal reducer, bringing down its focal at about 2/3.
You can get a computerized package (Celestron SE5, whose routine does not require any knoweledge of the heavend nor orienteering skills), but this mount, as all other computerized mount, are extremely ill-suited to observe wildlife due to very slow movement and high noise. so you will have to purcahse either another small altazimuthal mount (e.g. Skywatcher Az4, Vixen Porta) or a good phototripod.
In that case, the C5 can be linked to 1/4" screws of standard photographic heads (e.g. ball-heads, fluid heads, etc...).

As for the ETX80, you can save a lot of money if purchase the Orion 80ST and a department-store phototripod: this optical tube has a huge field of view (larger than that of some binos) so you do not really need a computerized mount, especially if Meade has not vastly improved that specific ETX mount (the ones sold with the larger MCTs are better).

foarehortalp

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Re: First Good Telescope
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2018, 02:47:11 AM »
For astro purposes, a 6" telescope will produce views 125% brighter than a 4%. And 8" will be 70% brighter than 6%. With 10" being 50% brighter than 8".

pregdefciato

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Re: First Good Telescope
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2018, 04:56:22 AM »
An ED80 and a Twilight 1 mount would do double duty. Down the road, maybe pick up a used C5 or C6 for more aperture.  The ED80 on the T1 will be within your weight limits. No goto, but the mount does have slomo controls. You'll also have enough left over for some eyepieces/accessories (like a diagonal and a few Paradigm eyepieces).

manreistilles

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Re: First Good Telescope
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2018, 01:58:11 PM »
Here are some tools to consider.Binoculars - these are good entry level. There are certainly much more expensive models but these should be great to get you started. Also good for landscape, bird watching, hiking.  I use my 10X50s for bird watching and for astronomy.

Bushnell 8X42 waterproof Roof Prism - Also good for daytime activity where you might be out in rain, snow or damp, such as bird watchinghttps://www.amazon.c...binoculars&th=1Orion 10X50 – Waterproofhttps://www.amazon.c...0X50+BAK4&psc=1Grab and Go - Remaining sensitive to your weight target of 3-15 pounds. These are listed by increasing weight. The refractors can be used for daytime either as they come or with a correcting image angle. The Newtonian reflectors are not suitable for daytime use. These are manual unless designated at GoTo or computer assisted. The ETX 80 is listed above so I have not repeated it here.Orion SkyScanner 100mm TableTop Reflector Telescope - 6.2 pounds
gets a lot of good reports. Includes 2 eyepieces and a finder scope.
Can also be mounted on a camera tripodhttp://www.telescope...25/p/102007.uts
Videohttps://www.youtube....h?v=-BEzRibaMdshttps://www.youtube....h?v=NihZIw8f1-o
Zhumell Z114 Tabletop reflector - around 8 pounds.
For only a few more dollars than the lower priced reflectors lot more value. Many lower priced tabletops have the eyepiece in a fixed position. But this one has the tube mounted in a ring with means you can turn the tube to get the eyepiece in a comfortable position. Gathers 30% more light than a 100 mm scope. Includes 2 eyepieces and a finder scope.https://www.telescop...ector-telescope
Here is a recent discussion about the Z100, which also includes a report on the Z114.http://www.cloudynig...m-f4-newtonian/
Meade Infinity 90mm Altazimuth Refractor Telescope - 600 mm FL - About 12 pounds
Received Sky and Telescope Innovative Astronomy Gear in Jan 2016 Sky and Telescope Includes slow motion controls, finder scope, 3 eyepieces and a 2X barlow for 6 magnifications.https://www.amazon.c...inity+90mm&th=1
Videohttps://www.youtube....h?v=FniHZOPwzYIhttps://www.youtube....h?v=0mfGjiT_PPc
AWB 'ONESKY' REFLECTOR TELESCOPE – Tabletop - 130 mm - 14 pounds
Reviewed in Dec 2015 Sky and Telescope – gets many good reviews. Collapsing design makes it very compact for storage and for transport. Includes finder scope and 2 eyepieces
Frequent out of stock situations so plan your purchase.http://store.astrono...qmqj5tia3qer8s7
Videohttps://www.youtube....h?v=-muZ9KRMY40
Meade Instruments Infinity 102 AZ Refractor Telescope - About 14 pounds
Includes 3 eyepieces and a 2X barlow and slow motion controls. Gets many great reviewshttps://www.amazon.c...02 AZ Refractor
Celestron Omni XLT 102mm AltAz refractor - all up around 14 pounds
Includes a 25 mm eyepiece, Red dot finder, slow motion controls, correct image focuser for day or night use
You would want to add a second eyepiece, perhaps a 10 mm, and a 2X barlowhttps://www.amazon.c...actor telescope
Videohttps://www.youtube....h?v=2oiPcZy2SQcCelestron 102 mm SLT computer assisted Goto refractor - maybe 18 pounds?https://www.amazon.c...s=Celestron SLT
videohttps://www.youtube....h?v=2ivG1M7-R4c
Orion SkyQuest XT4.5 Classic Dobsonian Telescope - 18 pounds
4.5”/114 mm Includes 2 eyepieces, finder scope and other accessories. The mount sits on the floor and is VERY stable.http://www.telescope...yCategoryId=398
Videohttps://www.youtube....h?v=-SAnFX8IKPYOrion Starseeker IV 150 GoTo – 22 pounds
Computer assisted and motorized, will find the targets and then track them.http://www.telescope...d=starseeker IV
Videohttps://www.youtube....h?v=Z7goOnANFZQ
How to align and usehttps://www.youtube....h?v=s0a4HKmEDGoAny of these would make valid starter astronomy telescopes.  All would likely fall into the grab and go category for most people.  If you get deeply into this and want to get something bigger later then that would be your light bucket. But they are going to be bigger and heavier.  Here are some examples.Celestron NexStar 6SE $799 – 30 pounds
SCT GoTo Scope - Computer assisted and motorized so it will find the targets and then track them. 6”/150mmhttps://www.telescop...-6-se-telescope
Videohttps://www.youtube....h?v=QDXyBIRooRAOrion SkyQuest XT8 Classic Dobsonian - 43 pounds but can be moved in 2 pieces
I have the computer assisted version of this telescope – Gathers about 70% more light than the XT6 and other 6” scopeshttp://www.telescope...ByCategoryId=13
Videohttps://www.youtube....h?v=kCNUv5Wj4vgOrion SkyQuest XT8i Intelliscope - $699 - About 45 pounds but can be moved in 2 pieces. - I own this one This is a PushTo rather than a GoTo
I have this scope - Computer assisted but not motorized so it finds the target but does not track. 8”/203mmhttp://www.telescope...rd=Intelliscope
Videohttps://www.youtube....h?v=BoVhWDftc3Ahttps://www.youtube....h?v=EmHogk9pwlwZhumell Z10 - about 60 pounds but can be moved in 2 pieces
Gathers about 55% more light than an 8” scope – 10”/250 mmhttps://www.telescop...Zg0AaAr8z8P8HAQ

mosretouless

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Re: First Good Telescope
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2018, 07:29:44 PM »
Wow, thanks guys. That's a lot to consider. I do have a couple pairs of binoculars already, which I use daily. The golf course on my backyard has views that extend out to about 2000 yards or so, hence the spotting scope idea.

As for storage, I'll simply be leaving it out all the time in front of a window. There's a sturdy desk in front of the window, so a tabletop could work there, as well as a lowered tripod since I'm tall. I will need to transport it outside for the night but not away from the house. As I say, I'm handicapped so I'm looking for something smaller/lighter for that reason alone.

From what I can tell in the NexStar video, it appears as though I can align to the South rather than the North, so I am leaning towards that type of system at the moment. Haven't looked at GoTo yet but will keep researching. I don't mind spending more than the telescope for accessories either over time. I understand that could happen. Right now my thinking is $400 to $1000 strictly for the telescope and mount.

Bob Meade

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Re: First Good Telescope
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2018, 03:03:50 AM »
Is there a local Astronomy Club in your area? If so, there's a good chance that you could see telescopes like the ones you are considering at their next "Star Party", and could ask the owners all about them.

formberrotog

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Re: First Good Telescope
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2018, 07:08:08 AM »
I'll look into the astronomy club idea too, thanks.

It just occurred to me that I likely wouldn't need the 45 degree viewer if I could look straight on. I'd prefer that actually for terrestrial since I'm on the 2nd floor. Is that possible with all telescopes, or do they require a 45 or 90 degree viewer? I guess that would still leave the issue of the image being uncorrected and upside down.

Lasaro Tourabi

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Re: First Good Telescope
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2018, 11:59:06 AM »
If you look "straight on" through a Refractor or Reflector telescope, the eyepiece image will be upside-down. You need a 45-degree Star Diagonal to get an upright view. Here's a video to explain what's happening: https://www.youtube....h?v=VtAwdO0Dhnc

Clint Trotter

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Re: First Good Telescope
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2018, 03:40:19 PM »
And you will want a 90 deg for night viewing. The scope should come with that though.

Joe Wellard

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Re: First Good Telescope
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2018, 03:52:10 PM »
You could consider getting a Celestron C5 Spotting Scope ( https://www.celestro...-spotting-scope ) and place it on a sturdy Altitude-Azimuth (Alt-Az) mount+tripid, such as the Vixen Porta II ( https://www.celestro...-spotting-scope ). I did this with my (similar) Celestron NexStar 127mm Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope (MCT), and it makes a nice, compact, portable setup: https://www.cloudyni...rson/?p=7854638

writgobetfcoo

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Re: First Good Telescope
« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2018, 04:53:21 AM »
Quote
You could consider getting a Celestron C5 Spotting Scope

But then I couldn't use a computerized system like Nexstar or GoTo, or could I still? I'm really sold on going the computerized route for my needs.

I realize I'm still in that "all in one" thinking mode when I shouldn't be. Some of these videos do say that their telescopes can be used for terrestrial viewing, including the Nexstar 6SE, so I keep coming back to that notion.

loraderclot

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Re: First Good Telescope
« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2018, 05:07:41 AM »
OK, but it's possible to mix-and-match the Celestron C5 Spotting Scope ( https://www.celestro...-spotting-scope ) with a Celestron NexStar SLT Computerized Mount/Tripod ( https://www.celestro...puterized-mount ) and still staywithin your $1,000 budget....

sennessningwilch

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Re: First Good Telescope
« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2018, 12:14:03 PM »
Great to know. I wasn't sure which computerized mounts are compatible with which telescopes. I'll have to research that a bit too.

Daniel Horton

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Re: First Good Telescope
« Reply #28 on: February 02, 2018, 04:56:15 PM »
Another thing you'll want to take into consideration is the focal ratio of the scope you get. In a different post I mentioned that I goofed on my first scope, a skywatcher 180 mak-cas. Its ration was 15 which makes it spectacular for planets and small targets like the ring or dumbbell nebula but the field of view is very narrow, making alignments and gotos a lot more difficult (not impossible by any means and with experience and tuning its not so bad). I ended up trading that in and getting an f/5 which is what I probably should have started with. The other ETX scopes are slower and I wouldn't recommend them at first - wait until you've done it for a while then decide.

The NexStar 6 is an F/10 which is the same as my current main OTA. Not as wide angle as the F/5 (my second/guide scope) but not so narrow that you can't find targets. I'd still be kind of iffy about recommending that as a first scope but the alignment routines on the SE are pretty good and flexible so even your south facing balcony shouldn't be too big a challenge.

The other good thing about using Celestron is that you can add a Starsense to it later (if needed). that's a stand alone camera that literally does the alignments for you. I have one and it works very well. Its alignments are so good that targets are always near the crosshairs on my F/10.

Of course you can also mix and match. Many OTAs can be used with different brands of mount. I liked the CGEM DX mount but preferred the Meade ACF OTA so that's what I got.

Ralph Gleason

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Re: First Good Telescope
« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2018, 10:34:47 PM »
Thanks for the further info Pat. Starsense sounds like a good time/energy saver if I feel I need it, like you say. Hadn't come across that gizmo yet. A bit bulky and pricey, but handy.

Just curious, would there be any big difference between buying a Nexstar 5SE and a 45 degree diagonal vs a C5 spotting scope and a star diagonal? Perhaps buying a nicer star diagonal would tip the scales. I'd have to look at the price differences though.