Author Topic: Would this be a good choice first scope?  (Read 699 times)

subliliva

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Re: Would this be a good choice first scope?
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2018, 02:17:33 PM »
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Do you think this or something like it is a good choice for a beginner with those criteria in mind? I very much like spontaneous observing, "hey that looks cool, let's go look at it". So I am not looking for something that will require a truck to move and a team to set up.

If you don't see this as a good option, let's say my budget is $800-$1000. What do you think would work for me? Portability, image quality, no photography, focus mainly on solar system. With something like this, would I be able to see Uranus or possibly Neptune?

You could do worse than a 5" GOTO reflector. Just remember to get collimating tools. Other scopes are always better. Let me be another person to warn you away from the 10" Dob, given your requirements. Yes, a 10" works well out of the trunk of a car, or the back of a truck, but it is a heavy, relatively clumsy beast to move around. No way are you taking it to the park, and it's not fair to purchase something that a spouse has to help with setting up, especially if that spouse's interest in astronomy doesn't match yours.

Are there other options. Sure. If you forgo tracking and computerized finding, there is the XT6. It has a handle that lets you carry the assembled scope with one hand, though it may be a bit of a haul to walk it to the park. The XT6 Plus probably weighs a bit less. Either will show more than the scope you are interested in, and will be easier to collimate (the shorter the f-ratio, the harder to collimate). Anything larger will need the extra expense of a wagon with large wheels to get to the park.

What will the scope your 5" show? Saturn's rings and Cassini's Division. Cloud bands on Jupiter, probably more than two, in fact. Lots of moon craters. A bit of surface detail on Mars when it comes back next year. Phases of Venus and Mercury. Uranus and Neptune; you will be able to say you saw them, and that is it.

redoroto

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Re: Would this be a good choice first scope?
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2018, 04:00:21 PM »
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A large dob is impractical. I'm spotting mythology around it. I've seen them recommended to people who I can swear would have benefittedfrom other scopes.

That 5-inch isn't necessarily a bad choice, but while it might slew and point at a large number of objects, seeing them is another matter.

That 10-inch will show most or all of the objects you can see with the 5-inch, but show them four times better. The 10-inch will also show ~seven times as many more objects too, all else remaining the same.

So if you can figure out how to store, transport and use the 10-inch and don't mind all of that and can afford it, get the 10-inch.

highdabbkofi

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Re: Would this be a good choice first scope?
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2018, 12:39:06 AM »
i can't speak for that particular scope- as i have never used it, but it looks like a good scope for the money, your intentions. I have an old 8 inch Meade SCT- that while portable, can be a pain in the butt to move around and set up. So, i recently got a 6 inch Celestron Evolution, and I like the size, portability.

As far as a bigger scope- This might work in reverse for you, but I go to my local astronomy club. They have bigger scopes set up- the way I see it is that I get the benefits of viewing through their equipment but don't have to deal with the price and hassle of transport, set up, take down, storage and general maintenance.

proporasat

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Re: Would this be a good choice first scope?
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2018, 06:56:32 PM »
I'll issue my standard warning on the Celestron NexStar SE series. From what I've read, you cannot slew them by hand. If your power pack/batteries are depleted and you don't have AC power plus an adapter, your done. Pack it in. Some people are perfectly okay with that limitation, and that's fine. Just so you know before you buy.

Freddy Banks

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Re: Would this be a good choice first scope?
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2018, 11:04:52 PM »
To Chris, the OP, the ball is in your court. Scope choice is such a personal thing and we don't know you- you might not know you either, yet. I usually recommend smaller dobs for beginners- the Orion 4.5XT or 6XT for families with young kids or the 5" Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) for people that want aperture and a compact scope.

The next step up would be the Zhumell Z8 or Z10, depending on your strength and ability to haul. I have never been a push-to or go-to guy but it is an amazing tool for many people. If I were forced to choose one, I'd go for the push-to because you get more scope and less motor for your money. Push-to uses your muscles which are much more dependable, quiet, and paid for.

I have gotten to use and respect the Celestron 6SE. It is user friendly, tracks well, and gives sharp views. You'd need a dew shield and external battery pack to be happy with it.

Good luck and welcome!

tiogeroligh

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Re: Would this be a good choice first scope?
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2018, 01:57:18 AM »
Personally I think the zhumell z8 dobsonian is an excellent first scope. Collimation is easy to learn, and it comes with collimation tool. The collimation laser should be accurate enough assuming it is aligned properly. At F/6 is has easy collimation tolerances and a coma corrector is not required. An 8 inch aperture will be great on planets and also will show many deep sky objects. It also comes with a dual speed focuser and behind the mirror cooling fan. Also, at $400 it leaves room for some quality eyepieces. If the budget can be had at 1,000, I would add the 6.5, 9, and 14 mm baader morpheus eyepieces while they are currently on sale for 200.00 each. Another idea would be to get the 9mm morpheus and a good wide field such as the 24 panoptic, 27 panoptic, or 22 Nagler T4. I would check the used classifieds for better eyepiece deals (and the 6.5 morpheus if budget allows for higher magnification on planets). Good eyepieces and a z8 will provide amazing views in your budget. Also, free online star charts and planetarium software such as stellarium  (free) will help you find objects and help you get better at star hopping manually. Also, the rigel quickfinder is a nice add to the z8 to use with the 9x50 finder for starhopping.

birchzufhyro

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Re: Would this be a good choice first scope?
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2018, 09:52:17 PM »
Awesome info thanks again! I think what I'm struggling with is that all the Dobs appear flat bottomed, and don't have tripods. Are they too heavy for tripods? What kind of base do they use?
I work for an optics company so I have a lot of experienced people at my disposal who all know how to collimate. They do binoculars but I'm sure they can offer some additional advice.

brunenrizap

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Re: Would this be a good choice first scope?
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2018, 10:34:35 AM »
It is a dobsonian base, simple for alt/az movements and very stable to support the weight of the optical tube. Also, explore scientific 82 degree eyepieces are also great alternatives that perform good for the price if you do not wear glasses.