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Equipment First Telescope Advice

Discussion in 'Photography, Art & Design' started by Splooshiba, 8 Feb 2012.

  1. Splooshiba

    Splooshiba Minimodder

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    I know its a bit of a leap from photography, but I've seen some amazing pictures from some of you guys through telescopes, so some of you must really know your stuff.

    I'm looking to buy my first telescope, but what with computer purchases I'm trying to keep it on a pretty small budget (around £150). I have been looking around and thought this looked to be best:

    http://www.celestron.com/astronomy/telescopes/celestron-astromaster-90eq.html

    [​IMG]

    From what i have read, refracting telescopes are better for looking at bright objects like the moon and planets (which is what i would prefer), whereas reflectors are better at deep space objects and dim objects (because they have larger apertures for the price range).

    I have read really differing opinions on differing sites about what to expect from a telescope like this, so have any of you used a similar thing, and what should i expect to be able to see?
     
  2. AoE

    AoE What's a Dremel?

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    yeah I also will be getting a celestron in time, highly recommend them from what I've read about them
     
  3. Splooshiba

    Splooshiba Minimodder

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    i went out a few nights ago with the celestron 130eq (the reflector version of the one i listed above). was really impressed with the detail on the moon we saw.
     
  4. lcdguy

    lcdguy Minimodder

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    well i can say that I have been very pleased with the one I have. I use a reflector it's a skywatcher 6" newtonian reflector. The part I love about reflectors are they are relatively cheap for the performance you get. They work great for observing a wide range objects (in the spring I was observing saturn for the first time and could even make out some of the moons and the rings). Also if your thinking of getting into the photography side of astronomy there are certain things that will make your life easier.

    Some of the other advantages of a reflector is they reach temperature equilibrium quicker than a refactor as all the optics are exposed. Also since they are essentially a long empty tube they have a built in dew shield.

    1. Get a T-Ring adapter for your camera mount (if you have a slr)
    2. Get a remote trigger (if you have item number 1.
    3. A motor drive on the RA axis will make your observing sessions longer without an adjustment.
    4. an equitorial mount is a must for long exposures 60seconds+

    nice to haves would be a full motor drive system (RA, DEC, Focuser), Polar Alignment Scope, Barlow or powermate

    This is the one i have http://www.skywatcher.com/swtinc/product.php?id=63&class1=1&class2=104

    I am also super excited as I have been able to find a canon to m4/3 adapter so I can slap my Panasonic g3 on it and do some 1080p video recording
     
  5. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    Refractors can offer better views of planets, but only because of magnification. The paertures are generally small at that price so the level of detail will be no better than a 6" reflector with a decent barlow lens. The down side is that a 6" reflector AND a motorised EQ mount is around £300.

    Without the motor though, £250 will get you a Skywatcher 150P on a EQ3-2 mount. Great piece of kit.

    With a 2x or greater barlow lens, you still get decent planet views.

    [​IMG]

    That's through my Skywatcher 150P,
     
    Splooshiba likes this.
  6. Splooshiba

    Splooshiba Minimodder

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    Wow that picture looks amazing, thanks for the tips guys.

    I think il be using it for observation rather than photography for now at least, but its interesting to keep it in mind for future purchases. Im not too fussed about a motor drive, where did you guys buy your telescopes from? The best place i found for the celestron was just on amazon, i found a lot of sites with bad layouts made shopping for one really hard.

    When you say it will be no better than a 6" reflector, do you think i can expect to make out similar detail to the picture you posted with the 90mm refractor?

    edit: forgot to say, the other reason i was favouring the refractors was that I need to walk a mile or so from where i live to get to a decent location away from lights, as well as moving it from home to uni quite often. I was thinking I could just about get a refractor and mount into one hiking style backpack.
     
    Last edited: 9 Feb 2012
  7. Splooshiba

    Splooshiba Minimodder

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    Bumping for this question, this is the main thing i wanted to know.

    Do you think a 6" reflector would give roughly the same level of detail to a 90mm refractor?
    If not, what sort of differences should i expect?
     
  8. lcdguy

    lcdguy Minimodder

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    well as for where i bought mine from. I got it from a local shop that specializes in telescopes and other similar things.

    As for portability a 90mm refractor is going to be ALOT more portable than a 6" reflector. With all the gear i normally bring it fills the trunk and back seat of my car.

    If it all possible try to get one from a specialized shop instead of amazon as if you have any questions they will be much better suited to answer your questions. Not to mention they will sometimes make sure they are setup correctly. (the store i use colimates the reflctors prior to sale so you don't have to .... Initially).
     
  9. srgtherasta

    srgtherasta Minimodder

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    I've got a 8inch reflecting skywatcher scope on a heq5 motorised mount, its a great piece of kit but it's bloody heavy and hard to transport about tho the images you can get are awesome with a dlsr mounted to it. It's fine for looking at planets etc but excels at deep field work.
    A refracting scope is usally much more expensive to get the same image quality but is alot easier to transport about, one slight draw back of refactors is around the edge of the lens you can get aslight bloom effect.
    At the end of the day it really depends on what you want to spend and how much hassle you can put up with, but the same rule apples to both buy the biggest you can afford.
     
  10. ruko

    ruko What's a Dremel?

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    I also intend to buy a telescope. your advice is certainly useful. thanks;)
     
  11. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    I would say not. You have pretty much half the light gathering, and hence resolution. It's not just about magnification... you have to have the resolution to magnify.
     
  12. lcdguy

    lcdguy Minimodder

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    Also keep in mind that reflectors are better suited for DSO (Deep Sky Object) but are ok for planetary. While Refractors are better suited for planetary and don't do to well with DSO. Also keep in mind that most large ground based telescopes are some form of reflector.

    I like the 6" as it's not to bad to transport (unless your bussing it) and it's a pretty good jack of all trades telescope.
     
  13. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    That's only because of magnification though, nothing inherent between mirrors versus lenses. You can get longer, slower reflectors too. There is a special "planetary" version of the Skywatcher 150 called surprisingly, the 150P which is a f8 scope instead of f5. It's just longer is all... hence higher mag with equivalent eyepieces.

    Reflectors don't suffer from chromatic aberration either... which unless you pay a large amount of money, refractors do.

    Reflectors suffer from coma however... but that's relatively easily corrected.
     

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