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Celestron NexStar 5 SE vs. 6 SE

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#1 PorkyCorky

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 11:51 AM

I am looking at purchasing a new, modestly priced telescope and this line of telescopes has caught my eye. I'm still a beginner in the hobby (I'd like to think an advanced beginner) and these scopes seem like a fit for me.

Now, my question is, how would the 5 SE compare to the 6 SE? Would the 6 SE be worth the extra $100? How would they compare observing?

#2 gary-sue69

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 12:01 PM

the bigger the better and i do believe that the 6se mount is sturdier. The same one as the 8se i thank. If you have the money i would go with the 8se. :jump:

#3 Seiko4169

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 12:54 PM

I doubt you'll see too much difference visually between a 5 or 6 however the mount is certainly very different.
I've just picked up a new in box 5i having sold my 8i and CPC800 a few years back. The 5i,8i, 6SE and 8SE all share the same mount, albeit the 5i/8i version is a fraction quicker and quieter. where as the 5SE now shares it's mount with the 4SE Mak. I've not used the new 5SE mount but believe it has a built in wedge but slews slower and is a little less stable.

Ultimately though, I chose a 5i because it represented the maximum size/weight that I felt was genuinely portable/grab and go. When aperture fever strikes I'll look at a Rays bracket and 8" OTA noting it'll then be borderline portable.

Either way it is a difficult decision that only you can make based on your personal preferences. As noted above I chose sheer portability over aperture along with fast slewing and sturdier mount. I had to sacrifice a whopping 3" aperture for that portability but opted for the i as opposed to SE to ensure I had a method of interchanging the OTAs. Although that concept is available for the 6SE I felt having both the 6SE and 8SE OTAs would be wasteful as they are simply too similar in terms of size and weight.

In closing,

I'd go with a 5i/5SE for sheer grab and go or 8SE noting it is much bulkier to transport.

:)

#4 Joe Aguiar

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 09:08 PM

if its only between the 5 or 6 get the 6 for $100 an inch is not huge but thats about 20% to 25% more light gathering power, the brighter the better.

Now i agree with gary-sue 69 if you can go for the 8se then do it its 3" daimter bigger than the 5 & thats getting to the point where its a big difference in light gather power & its only a 3 pounds (i belivie) heavier than the 6se.

But if its not possible because of the size or portability then get the 6se.

Joe

#5 jason_milani

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 10:28 PM

I always thought, even before they came out with a 6 inch SCT, that it would be the perfect grab and go scope. Portable, yet with good light gathering. I still believe that and i now have another C-6 although it currently rides on a Half hitch mount. I still have the Nexstar mount, though because it's a nice, sturdy little tracking, go-to mount.
I've owned 5 C-6's - i keep coming back to them. I've also owned some nice C-5's (4 or 5 of them).
The Nexstar 6 is smaller than the 8" (i've had a couple of them too) but not too much bigger than the 5".
Go with the Nexstar 6.

Great little scope and quite an unbelievable bargain at the new price. Heck, it was a bargain at $999.00 IMHO.

This is an exiting time to be a stargazer - great prices and great optics and as this economy stinks it's a great time to stay home and enjoy some family time sky watching.

:)

#6 Midnight Dan

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 06:03 AM

if its only between the 5 or 6 get the 6 for $100 an inch is not huge but thats about 20% to 25% more light gathering power, the brighter the better.


Actually, the 6 SE has 42% more light gathering capability than the 5SE. That's still not a ton, but as others mentioned, the mount is substantially better. The 6 is definitely worth the extra $100.

-Dan

#7 Joe Aguiar

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 04:17 PM

ops i should have calculated it but i was too lazy & just took a guess, i guess i was a bit too low on that % but 42% is still a gain in light. Still good.

Joe

#8 rmollise

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 06:11 PM

I am looking at purchasing a new, modestly priced telescope and this line of telescopes has caught my eye. I'm still a beginner in the hobby (I'd like to think an advanced beginner) and these scopes seem like a fit for me.

Now, my question is, how would the 5 SE compare to the 6 SE? Would the 6 SE be worth the extra $100? How would they compare observing?


My answer? None of the above. Save your pennies for the 8SE. It's only slightly more expensive and slightly more heavy, and it will deliver a lot more performance than either of the Little Sisters.
;)

#9 Midnight Dan

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 06:20 PM

I was trying to stick with the 5/6 decision, but Uncle Rod makes a good point. The 8SE has nearly double the light gathering capability of the 6SE and is only 3 pounds heavier. If you can save a bit longer and go for the 8, you'll be a VERY happy camper!

-Dan

#10 mejacobs

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 11:50 PM

Is the NexStar single arm mount really able to support the 8 inch OTA? The 5 and 6 inch scopes just look more suited to the mount.

#11 Midnight Dan

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 06:09 AM

Is the NexStar single arm mount really able to support the 8 inch OTA? The 5 and 6 inch scopes just look more suited to the mount.


Yes, and it does the job well - for visual use. It is not going to be as solid as dual fork, or as a good GEM mount will be. But the tradeoff is reduced weight and cost and that tradeoff is worth a little extra vibration settling time for many happy 8SE owners.

To be honest, most of the jiggly-ness that some new users report is due to the tripod, not the mount. I use vibration pads under the feet, keep the legs as short as is reasonable, and hang a weight (such as a 12V jump start unit) from the spreader. These reduce vibrations considerably.

-Dan

#12 Luigi

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 06:19 AM

Just remember, perceived brightness goes more like the square root of the aperture than it does the square. For example, a 1.5x increase in aperture provides over 2 times the amount of light gathering, but only appears 20-30% brighter.

That said, go for the 8.

#13 Joe Aguiar

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 06:26 AM

the Nestar single fork arm has been around since 1999 so its stable enough & has proven it since the begining.
That arm was made for the 8" size they just use it for their smaller scopes as well.
Joe

#14 Bob Griffiths

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 10:59 AM

Well My 8i is loaded down with 5-6 pounds of extra "stuff" on top of the OTA and is still plenty stable enough for visual viewing...BUT I do use a motofocus so I can view hands free

Almost of the vibrations I see are self induced by my fat heavy handed use of the focus knob...


As for the stability issue...As someone has already stated...90 percent of that is due to the tripod...

IF I mount my 8i on my CPC1100's tripod (perfect fit BTW) the stability jumps up dramatically ...IF I mount the 8i on a 36 inch Antares 4" Portable pier its even more stable then on the CPC tripod...

Bob G.


.

#15 PorkyCorky

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 01:01 PM

I made a decision and I've purchased a 6 SE. The 8 SE just wasn't within my budget and seeing as how I will be storing the telescope in a dorm room starting in a couple of weeks, the 6 SE just seemed a better fit for my circumstances.

FedEx says it should be here tomorrow! Hopefully, no new scope curse!

#16 Doug76

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 05:42 PM

Now, my question is, how would the 5 SE compare to the 6 SE? Would the 6 SE be worth the extra $100? How would they compare observing?


The 5" is good, the 6" is better. and the larger mount that comes with the 6SE is a bit more accurate.
I've had both mounts, and both scopes, and still own the 6" OTA.
For the difference of $100, you get a more than $100 gain, IMO.

The 8SE may be the better choice, however. But the 6SE is a real winner, IMO.

#17 jake47

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 07:26 PM

I made a decision and I've purchased a 6 SE. The 8 SE just wasn't within my budget and seeing as how I will be storing the telescope in a dorm room starting in a couple of weeks, the 6 SE just seemed a better fit for my circumstances.


Perfect dorm scope. I have an 11 inch Nexstar and recently bought a 6 inch to go with it and love it. Don't worry about size - you can always get a bigger one later and find, like me, that the 6 is a great grab scope.

#18 Tokyo Smith

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 08:05 PM

I believe that you will like the 6SE. I have had one for a couple of years now and it never fails to impress me. Another thought is that it might be fairly easy to upgrade to the 8" tube if you want to later on down the road.

Enjoy your views!
Greg






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