Author Topic: Would this be a good choice first scope?  (Read 929 times)

Ryan Fletcher

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Would this be a good choice first scope?
« on: December 30, 2017, 10:32:50 AM »
Hello All,I have gone over many new guy 'help me buy a scope' threads. I have gotten a lot of good info and have started looking around a bit. I am looking for something that I can throw into the truck and take to my friend's cabin and set up on his porch, or in a field. I also would like to be able to stroll over to the park I live near and observe on good nights. I like the idea of electronic mounts and the like but I don't consider it a requirement. My main area of observation will be planets/solar system observing, and I'd like to be able to see some galaxies if possible. I am not interested in photography currently. I know a guy who got one of these (an older model) as a first scope for his family and they love it.http://www.telescope...Vc8aAmWD8P8HAQ

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?

Thanks for any help, and I'll continue to read over the new guy threads. If anyone is located in Northern Colorado, I'd love to see what you have and learn some things.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

-Chris



cromsotejbi

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Re: Would this be a good choice first scope?
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2017, 03:16:55 PM »
Don't get that. Get an Orion XT10i.

Kenneth Brown

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Re: Would this be a good choice first scope?
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2018, 04:44:14 PM »
Quote
Don't get that. Get an Orion XT10i.

Oh wow that thing looks awesome! Any particular reason you would go for it over the smaller one? Just better overall? Part of my apprehension is getting in over my head. This one not being on a tripod, is it as portable?

Steven Tolbert

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Re: Would this be a good choice first scope?
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2018, 09:43:09 PM »
Is there a Dobson mafia?

Michael Zamora

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Re: Would this be a good choice first scope?
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2018, 07:35:36 AM »
For the budget, the Reflector looks ok. A small Refractor would cool faster and require less maintenance but tough to come in under your budget.

Mike

engoecircming

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Re: Would this be a good choice first scope?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2018, 11:00:22 PM »
Quote
Quote

Don't get that. Get an Orion XT10i.

Oh wow that thing looks awesome! Any particular reason you would go for it over the smaller one? Just better overall?
Having twice the aperture gives it twice the resolution, and 4 times the light-gathering power.

acbacema

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Re: Would this be a good choice first scope?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2018, 02:37:34 AM »
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.

lodbelimfo

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Re: Would this be a good choice first scope?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2018, 03:42:52 AM »
Hey Chris,

 A lot of experienced users will chime in some great advice so don't take mine as written in stone.  Augustus' recommendation of the Orion XT10i will certainly give you a bang for your buck and is right in your budget range. It's a "push to" scope so it's not computer controlled per say, however, it will guide you pushing it until you're on target. It's a very handy feature to have without having to go through all the steps of full goto scope. Since you're wanting to look at galaxies and other "faint fuzzies", that 10 inch will certainly bring in views that will blow what the reflector you listed could do out of the water. The only disadvantage I could think of is it's not exactly light. Both the tube and the base are close to 30 pounds each, so fully assembled it's near 60 pounds and it's pretty big. The good thing about Dobsonians is they setup and break apart easily.

 I love Dobsonians but I don't quite jump on the bandwagon of them for beginner scopes. The larger ones can get HUGE and heavy, and can take up a lot of room. Most don't track so if you try to view anything at higher power for any length of time, you have to constantly adjust the scope with fine touches to the follow the object. I myself am a visual guy (no interest in astrophotography....at least not yet!), so I love full Goto / tracking scopes. I spent my childhood reading star charts in the dark, star hopping until I found what I was looking for, and constantly having to readjust the scope as I changed eyepieces or when others wanted to look. While I enjoyed that, I'm happy to let the scope do the work if possible now that technology is much cheaper. It allows me more observing time!  If I had to recommend one to a beginner with your budget range, I'd say either the Celestron Nexstar 6, or 8 inch scopes here: http://www.celestron.com/browse-shop/astronomy/telescopes/nexstar-se/nexstar-6se-computerized-telescope and http://www.celestron...rized-telescope. These are both excellent scopes that have goto and tracking, very easy setup / break down, and are very lightweight for the size. The 6 inch model FULLY assembled is only 20 pounds, and the 8 inch model FULLY assembled is only 30 pounds. And don't let the smaller size of the 6 inch model fool you. I have used both side by side, and the views the 6 inch bring in will be almost on par with the 8 inch in most cases. Both of those scopes completely put together weigh half as much as the Dobsonian. Again not that there's a thing wrong with the XT 10i. I'm just thinking in terms of weight and size. I hope this helps.

Eric

twenuvtentu

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Re: Would this be a good choice first scope?
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2018, 06:54:29 AM »
I think it depends on whether you find it too bulky for your needs.
An 8 or 10 inch intelliscope is pretty nice so long as it's not too big for you to take where you like. If you have a truck it shouldn't be a problem. Otherwise I like the idea of a 5-6" goto. Nexstar 6 is pretty nice but above your pay. Maybe the 130slt you are looking at will fit the bill. Expect a wobbly mount though.

canreosenbi

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Re: Would this be a good choice first scope?
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2018, 08:14:48 AM »
The scope you linked is not a bad choice. I like the mount, personally if I was choosing a portable solar system specialist you could get the Nexstar 127SLT for the same amount of money.

However for the budget you specified you could actually get two good scopes. I am thinking a 4 inch refractor like the Omni 102 XLT AZ and an 8 inch Dob like the Orion XT8. Of course you don't have to buy them all at once. A short refractor would be easier to use and a better starting point. If you want one good (and portable!) scope, Eric's recommendation of the Nexstar 6SE is a good one.

ecidjapa

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Re: Would this be a good choice first scope?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2018, 02:25:34 AM »
Quote
Quote
Don't get that. Get an Orion XT10i.
Oh wow that thing looks awesome! Any particular reason you would go for it over the smaller one? Just better overall? Part of my apprehension is getting in over my head. This one not being on a tripod, is it as portable?

You mentioned you would like to be able to "walk to a park" with your scope. A Dob is definitely not a good choice for that. They are in fact the least portable of all the options. They are "portable" assuming you have a car that is not loaded up with other things.

The reflector you linked however would do alright I think, you'd probably be carrying the mount in your hands but I think the scope and your other things (eyepieces, binoculars etc) could make it into a backpack.

longtichaten

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Re: Would this be a good choice first scope?
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2018, 09:01:28 AM »
Thank you everyone for all the help so far. I think I have forgotten one important thing...size. Are any of you able to post a picture of one of these (or similar size) assembled? I believe I am picturing these as quite a bit smaller than they actually are...

Edit: as far as the park, worst case scenario I can drive the 200 yards over. Plus the wife would be helping me setup and carry everything. I do have a pickup truck and my dark spot is a meadow waaaayyy up in the mountains that I can drive right into and set-up. I do however have limited space as we are house hunting and currently in an apartment.

I would LOVE to be able to set up so that I can view with a chair, as we frequently sit on the porch at the cabin and observe with our binos.

Tarence Allen

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Re: Would this be a good choice first scope?
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2018, 04:29:36 PM »
I bought a NexStar 6SE as my first scope and - with the exception of the aperture fever that seems to strike everyone entering this hobby - I still think it was a great choice. It has enough resolution to see cloud bands on Jupiter, the great red spot, shadow transits of Jupiter's moons, Saturn's rings and the Cassini division, Uranus and Neptune (prepare to be underwhelmed, but you can see them). Under dark skies, I've seen around a hundred galaxies plus around a hundred other deep sky objects. I leave my scope set up in a corner of my family room, and I can grab the tripod legs, sling the mount over one shoulder, and walk out the back door to my deck in 30 seconds.
Downsides? The Schmidt-Cassegrain design is notorious for the front corrector dewing up, but using a simple (homemade) dew shield I've avoided the problem so successfully that I honestly wonder what all the fuss is about. YMMV. Cooldown is sometimes a problem, but for the most part I've never waited longer than 30 minutes to get views that are completely acceptable to me. The electronics will (very) occasionally act up, but it's never been something that's cut an observing session short or anything - just minor annoyances. Finally, a 10" dobsonian will definitely show more and see deeper. There's no arguing that point, so if you think you'd be down with all the other things that go along with the dob experience, then I'm not going to argue that the 6SE is a better scope or better value for money.
Whatever you get, enjoy it and know that $1000 today buys a telescope that's simply a miracle by historical standards.
Sent from my LG-H915 using Tapatalk

Pablo Abreu

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Re: Would this be a good choice first scope?
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2018, 01:35:03 AM »
Dobsonians are in fact *very* portable...for their aperture. The mount is very compact. However, any 10-inch scope is going to be bigger than "stroll over to the park" portable. Carrying it in one piece is impractical except for very short distances. However, if you're willing to use a cart or something, I'm willing to call an 8inch dob "portable", with 10 inch starting to stretch things a bit (and a 12 is not portable by any definition I'd use).

That Starseeker is probably a pretty good choice, actually. It will actually take up more space, fully assembled, than a dob, but it's about 1/2 the weight of even an 8inch.

I like treadmark's suggestion of a smaller refractor, *and* and 8inch dob (maybe later), if you're OK with spending up to $1000. The smaller lighter refractor will get your feet wet very nicely and will be convenient to use, and then get the 8 inch dob (or 10?) later for nights when you're feeling a little more serious. I have a 90mm refractor and an 8 inch dob myself, it's a nice combo to end up with.

Joe Wellard

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Re: Would this be a good choice first scope?
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2018, 04:10:46 AM »
With a Newtonian, as that found somewhere within an XT10i, there will be the collimation of a Newtonian to learn and master...

http://www.schlatter...y/collimate.htm
http://www.forumskyl...Collimation.pdf

...and for the higher magnifications of planetary objects. If you're good with your hands and like to tinker with things, machines and what-not, then a Newtonian on a computerised push-to Dobson mount might be just the ticket.

This would make for a very good simulation of a 6" f/10 Newtonian, for planetary observations...

https://www.bhphotov...s=REG&A=details

...and fully go-to.

I have a 6" f/5 Newtonian. I enjoy the freedom and simplicity of observing with it on a manual alt-azimuth with tripod...
http://www.highpoint...CFVc2gQodeFcI5w

Either one of these alt-azimuth mounts would support the 6" f/5...

http://www.telescope.../35/p/10105.uts
http://agenaastro.co...CFQwRgQod_rQAxw

A 6" f/5 Newtonian offers a wide range of magnifications, from a low 19x, to 250x and beyond with the aid of 2x and 3x barlows or eyepieces alone of very short focal-lengths, 4mm and shorter. On occasion, I have taken snapshots through the eyepiece with the telescope, and to illustrate what one might see during a live viewing session...

If portability is among your concerns, you don't have to sacrifice aperture and performance in choosing a 6" f/5 Newtonian, for bright it is and quite the jack under the night sky.