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Celestron NexStar 6 SE or Celestron NexStar 5 SE ?

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#1 SilentKnights

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 01:28 PM

Thinking of buying one of these two scopes as my first telescope is the 6 SE worth the extra money ? :question: Next question is this a good scope for a beginner ? :question: Any downfalls to buying this scope or problems anyone has heard or experienced owning this telescope ? :question: Thank you fellow star gazers !! :help: Any info on this type of telescope would be appreciated !! :grin:

#2 Peter9

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 01:35 PM

Hi Steve,
Take a look at the thread lower down called "New scope advise".
It may be of help to you.

Regards. Peter.

#3 SilentKnights

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 02:24 PM

Thank you Peter I will check it out ! But I really think I have my decision down to these two scopes the 5 SE and the 6 SE ! I will read that thread though thanks Peter ! :waytogo:

#4 barbarosa

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 06:47 PM

The darker the sky at your observing site, the more likely it is that the 5 SE will satisfy you. In a suburb or urban area you will not be able to see many of the DSOs in the database. The 6 SE will do a bit better.

I own a C5 (spotter version on a 6 SE mount) and had a Nexstar 8. The 5 is really an excellent scope. Last night under unusually steady seeing, I enjoyed Jupiter with a 6mm EP. However, more aperture is helpful, the 5 is not very good with dimmer DSOs at my suburban location.

The 6 SE has a lot of fans and being lighter it is a better fit for the the mount than the 8 SE. The mount for the 5 works OK, but it has gears and motors similar to the SLT mounts; not quite as nice as those in the 6/8 SE mount.

Something that I and only a few thousand others have discovered, is that you can extend the reach of these scopes by using an inexpensive security camera. I would guess that it adds 2+ magnitudes to the range of objects you can see, as well as more detail and sometimes color.

The Samsung SCB-2000/ SDC-435 runs about $100. Check the Video forum for threads on a 17-second integration camera for some alternatives.

Both scopes are good, the 6 just catches more photons.

#5 BigC

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 01:22 AM

Really it is worth the extra $100 to get the additional inch aperture and better mount.

#6 burb scope

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 07:06 AM

If you purchased the NexStar 6 SE as your first scope, then your second scope could be a NexStar 8 SE optical tube which could already ride on the same mount.
I have the 6 and I love it. You will outgrow the 5 faster than the 6. Learn the sky with the 6 and figure out what kind of observing you like best (lunar/planetary? doubles? DSOs?) then plan an investment for your next scope (we ALL know that there will be a NEXT scope).

#7 chemist

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 01:29 PM

Hi Steve, and welcome to the forum.
The 6SE was my first scope two years ago and it has been a great tool for learning and enjoying the night sky. If aperture fever strikes later on, the 6/8SE mount will accommodate a larger OTA, although the 6SE seems to be the ideal size and weight for the mount. Although I'm not into astrophotography, most would agree that the wedge on the 4/5SE mount is a poor substitute for a solid german-equitorial with worm gears.
So, my take is that $100 is a small premium for more aperture and a better mount.

Chemist

#8 orion61

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 03:14 PM

Hi Steve:
I have owned both,(I kept the 6") By all means, 6SE. it seems that there is a fine line between "pea shooter" and serious telescope.
My experience has been 5" scopes are the next step where objects begin to POP out at you.
Where the difference lies, is the extra inch will make Deep Space Objects directly viewable in the 6 and you will need
averted vision with the 5".
If you plan to use the tube for Photography the 6" is a great scope. You will always wish you went with the 6" if you don't buy it. Just my first hand experience.

#9 Dave Ponder

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 03:33 PM

The 6" is most likely the best choice...more aperture. However, I have owned a few of each...I have found the 5 to have sharper images, maybe just my luck. I now have a 5 and an 8...no more 6s...I may be in the minority on this one, but I liked my last 5 better than the last couple of 6s...

#10 Sorny

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 05:59 PM

Having a 5" and an 11", I'd recommend as much aperture as you can get. I started with the NexStar 5SE due to budgetary concerns. While the 5 is a fine instrument, it does not wow like my 11" does. I keep the 5 since it is so easily portable and has incredibly quick setup.

I'd suggest the 6" over the 5" since you can later add the 8" OTA to the mount you've already got when aperture fever sets in. The 6" won't take much more time to acclimate over the 5", is not much heavier than the 5", will give better direct vision views of some DSOs, and is still extremely portable (all of the SCT NexStar line is very portable).

Again, I very much like my 5", but hindsight is 20-20 and a 6" would have been a better "starter" scope.

#11 Matt N

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 07:18 PM

+1 for the 6SE. It was my starter scope and I was and am still quite pleased with it. I sometimes wish I had gone with the 8" instead but the 6 fit the budget better.

Matt

#12 barbarosa

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 12:20 PM

Really it is worth the extra $100 to get the additional inch aperture and better mount.

That's the question. I've owned a 4" Mak, and 5, 8, 9.25 and 11 inch SCTs (the lure of wanting to see more). In my opinion each was a clear improvement over the smaller size.

The 1 inch difference between the 4 SE and C5 is a difference you can see. I kept the 5 and sold the 4.

I never did find the wedge on the 4 to be useful although there are some who do. I know that many will disagree but I think the 8 SE (~12 lbs) is a bit too heavy for the mount. The C5 (6 lbs) does very well on the 6/8 SE mount and 6 SE (~10 lbs) somewhere in between.

Price vs. value is subjective of course, but were it me on a tight budget (which I always am at least attitudinally) I would look at used equipment. The two-year Celestron warranty is worth something, especially to those who might not feel comfortable changing a board. Four of my scopes were used and two of them have made the trip to Torrance The 8 SE (used but still in warranty) made two trips, almost back to back. However assuming the parts were available, shipping cost = parts cost (in this case).

Someone made the point that a new scope will include additional costs for accessories and these should be included in the budget. My advice on that point for a smallish budget is not to go and buy an eyepiece set, chair, sky atlas, red flashlight, etc. Instead use the scope with an inexpensive power brick, a stool or chair from the house or thrift store, and the stock eyepiece while you master the “easy” setup and learn your local sky. Use the money for the telescope.

#13 Dunkstar

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 03:48 PM

The 6SE is a great scope to get started with and gives you an easy upgrade path to the 8SE, but remains small and very portable.

#14 SilentKnights

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 03:49 PM

Thank you all for the great responses all all your help ! It certainly was appreciated :waytogo: making my choice easier for me to decide.

#15 BigC

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 12:18 PM

Really it is worth the extra $100 to get the additional inch aperture and better mount.


Just in case it wasn't understood,word order is important. I meant my comment to be positive for the 6SE .Best in long run to spend the extra $100 and get the better mount and better scope of the 6SE package..

"It IS." being a recommendation, whereas "IS it?" questions the value.

#16 Phil Wheeler

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:09 PM

For all the reasons above I'd go to 8SE *now*. Why buy a second OTA later? An 8" SCT is the "sweet spot": Not that much harder to deal with than a 6" but about 80% (1.78x) more photons. OTOH, 11" SCTs take more mount and more muscle.

#17 SilentKnights

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 09:33 AM

Glad I waited and changed my mind just ordered a Celestron NexStar 8 SE on sale for my Christmas present. I must have been good this year and the 8 SE should be much better than the 5 SE and the 6 SE right ? :question:

#18 Midnight Dan

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 10:58 AM

Hi Steve:

Great move! You will be VERY happy with 8SE! Yes, you can see substantially more with the 8" scope.

-Dan

#19 BigC

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 01:46 AM

I found the switch from a 5" to an 8" easily seen,but not so much from 6" to 8".

The 8SE is an excellent choice.Enjoy!

#20 phillip

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 03:58 AM

Portability was a strong option few years back so purchased the ETX 90, defintely a light grab and go. The diagonal recently locked upward and out of commission so elected the 6SE, only 2 days with clouds, poor conditions was detecting the GRS on Jupiter, nice.

Smart on the 8 choice, better aperture will perform well. Note I do have the XT8, but my smaller scopes are used more frequently, enjoy!

#21 BigC

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 01:33 PM

The size and weight of the 8SE over the 6SE is not much,but the extra $400 may be the problem for many.If that is the case for anyone then I recommend they either look really diligently for a good used 8SE or just get the 6SE NOW!

You can see NEARLY everything with the 6 that you would see with the 8 but if you buy neither you won't see anything!

Yes,the original poster has made his(excellent) choice,but no doubt there are many more with the same question.And the scopes are on sale for the season!!! :)

#22 faltered

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 04:51 PM

that was an excellent move. You will love the 8SE.






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