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Advice for a beginner first purchase

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#1 eddie21

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:30 PM

Hello Everybody! for a long time ago I wanted to jump into astronomy, I already did naked eye and had fun with binoculars! I went through a couple of books already and I think its time to get some equipment. I live in a mountain that has a nice dark sky, my budget is 2 K for the whole thing (of course would be nice to keep it lower), I would really appreciate your wize advice in order to help me make the most of it. I have a clear statement about what I want:

- Is going to be used 99% of the time at home, so I dont mind if its huge and heavy.
- not interested in AP
- with Go-To, I think it makes life easier
- looking for a long lasting equipment if possible one lifetime purchase.
- I want to see the planets but I am more interested in nebulas and galaxies as delightful as it can be

so I have few questions:

#1. What do you think would be the best telescope for me? or should i keep saving? I did my research of course which is below, all of them 2 inch focuser, but I would appreciate the expert advice! am sure there are better options that I am not considering yet.

for an 8 inch apperture I thought about: (29x-300x)
- Orion SkyQuest XT8g ($900) F.length:1200mm F/5.9 sec mirror: 23%-5.0% Finderscope:EZfinderII(toy)
- Celestron C8-NGT ($1019) F.Length:1000mm F/4.9 sec mirror: 28%-7.5% Finderscope:9x50

or does it worth to investment in a 10 inches an get: both cost $1300 36x-300x
- Celestron C10-NGT F.Length:1200mm F/4.7 sec mirror: 23%-5.2% Finderscope:9x50
- Orion SkyQuest XT10g F.length 1200mm F/4.7 sec mirror: 25%-6.0% Finderscope:EZfinderII(toy)


#2. Optics: now here comes the tough part, Help! I dont need glasses, in a practical use, how does it worth a big FOV? what is the delightful difference between a 68 and a 82 degree?

#3. 2x barlow or not barlow? multiplies the amount of eyepieces but i read lots about degradation too unless its a very high quality. I am unsure about it, i would appreciate advice as that would change the eyepieces selected below.

#4 which eyepieces, in which brands and in which fov? I would preffer to go for high quality but I wont buy televue (remember I have a budget! it seems others are pretty close so i would preffer those) which set 6,12,25? 9,17,41? 7,13,26?

#5 the coma thing: in practical terms, how nasty is that? is there a not so expensive coma corrector? is that really necesary?

#6 besides a collimation tool (I would appreciate advice on that too) is there anything else I am missing?


Thanks in advance!

#2 panhard

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:42 PM

An 8" means that you can use less expensive eyepieces. With a 10" the eyepieces have to be of better quality. Collimation on an 8" is more forgiving than a 10".

#3 csrlice12

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:49 PM

You definitely won't need a paracorr for the 8", and can get along without one on a 10", at 12" and above, you will need one if the coma bothers you...

For collimation--get the Howie Glatter Laser and tublug...you'll never need another collimater then.

#4 howard929

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:51 PM

Realize i'm completely dob-centric.

Buy a XT10i, loads of people survive any coma they produce w/o a paracoor.

ES 82 eyepieces because they are that good.

A GSO 2" 2x Barlow.

Glatter 2" Laser and TuBlug for collimation.

A nice observing chair so you can be comfortable while observing.

The book Turn Left At Orion which will show you what's out there to see.

Start off as small as you care to, feed as needed.

And Welcome to Cloudy Nights.

#5 panhard

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:53 PM

That is a great wish list possibly Santa can help out.

#6 howard929

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:03 PM

I just ran the numbers.

XT10i, $800.

Chair, maybe $180.

2" Glatter tools, off the top of my head, $250?

The book and 3 ES 82's, another $350.

The barlow, $55

That's $1635 with a 2k budget. Not too bad I'd think though a nice finder EP would push it closer to the limit. And possibly some filters?

#7 JohnMurphyRN

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:12 PM

I just ran the numbers.

XT10i, $800.

Chair, maybe $180.

2" Glatter tools, off the top of my head, $250?

The book and 3 ES 82's, another $350.

The barlow, $55

That's $1635 with a 2k budget. Not too bad I'd think though a nice finder EP would push it closer to the limit. And possibly some filters?


Used XT12i, less than $600.....

#8 killdabuddha

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:24 PM

For $2k I'd go for primary quality, and two 82 degree EPs--ES 31mm and their 11mm, with a 1.5x Siebert Barlow or the 1.6x Antares to enjoy the OMVA (Optimum Magnified Visual Angle for DSOs) magnification progression seamlessly and well-situated for most seein conditions. You can always opt later for the luxury of a big EP (+6 to 7mm exit pupil low power wide field for ideal dark sky conditions) and a high power EP (+300x and down to .5mm exit pupil for ideal transparency/seein and dark sky conditions). Most times we use the 24mm (4mm exit pupil) and 11mm and Barlow, and we're light-polluted. If you're not, and cuz of yer primary size, go with the 31mm. Even a 2x Barlow is still a good progression. Barlows are pretty good these days, so I wouldn't sweat it. We thought when we started out that we'd never Barlow, til we looked into them. (LOL No pun intended.) And if I had to choose one, it'd be the 8" f/8 we wanna make next, from one of the makers/opticians, or from an old Cave...It can be done or found used cuz with the go-to and Paracorr that you can forgo, thanks to the WF 82 EPs and the faster primary, the $$ is better spent in the optical surfaces/chain. Just goin by what Zambuto is supposed to have said, that "The magic begins at f/8." (We're probably gonna go with f/6 tho, for the car scope.)

http://www.rfroyce.c...and_mirrors.htm



#9 MikeBOKC

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:30 PM

I think the Orion go to 10 inch Dob would be ideal for you -- excellent aperture which would really shine under darker skies, go to and tracking convenience, no huge collimation challenges. The Explore Scientific eyepiece recommendation is a good one -- 11 and 24 perhaps, or 11 and 30 with a Barlow. Power tank, chair, red flashlight, maybe a planisphere and you are good to go for years for about $1600.

#10 kfiscus

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:03 PM

Sky & Telescope Pocket Atlas
At least a 10" dob. You'll never regret this.

#11 Mike4242

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:28 PM

I agree with the others, you can't go wrong with the Orion XT10g and ES 82 degree eyepieces. My 24mm ES 82 is by far my most used eyepiece.

#12 Billytk

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:16 PM

The XTG models are very good. I love mine.

#13 Erik30

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:31 PM

My 10"dob (non goto) and my 20mm Nagler T2... Wow!! all I'm saying..

#14 TexasRed

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:45 PM

I love my XT12g. I have to leave my glasses on, so most of the ES 82 eyepieces aren't for me. I settled on the Baader Hyperions instead, but you don't need to.

I'd go with a 2" GSO 2x Barlow, which can also be used as a 1.5X for maximum eyepiece versatility. (Choose your focal lengths carefully, and you'll get the equivalent of 9 out of only 3 eyepieces.)

A Cheshire/sighttube combo is all you really need for collimation.

The Orion Ultrablock Narrowband filter is the one you'll use most often and be least willing to give up.

Let's see, you'll also want a good adjustable observing chair, mosquito repellant in summer and warm clothes in winter and a planisphere. Turn Left at Orion, Nightwatch, and Star Watch are all good guides you'll enjoy using.

Have we gone a little over your $2K budget now? Well, you knew you would eventually, and the good news is that you don't have to buy it all at once right away. Just don't skimp on the telescope, and enjoy adding the accessories one at a time as you go.

#15 eddie21

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:15 AM

Thank you very much for your advice guys!

I already have a nice chair, a flash light, a power tank, turn left at orion and few other books including an atlas.

I'll go for an Orion 10 inch (or 12 if bargain), 10i or 10g? How tough is to point manually an object in the sky?

And definitely, I am going to buy 82 ES with a nice Barlow and the collimation tool, thank you for making this easy!

#16 SeattleScott

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:44 AM

The act of pointing with a Dob (if you are referring to goto versus push to) is pretty easy unless the object is near zenith (straight up). For objects high in the sky I could see goto being an advantage, otherwise it doesn't matter much. However, the goto will also have tracking, which will keep objects in view rather than the Earth's rotation causing them to eventually drift out of view. The 10g is a heavier scope because of those motors, but it sounds like you are not too concerned about weight.

Personally I went with the ES 82 24mm instead of the 30mm for my 10" reflector since I prefer eyepieces I can lift with one hand. Also provides a darker background sky, which is helpful if there is light pollution where you live.

#17 eddie21

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 10:16 PM

Thank you scott! And everybody for such amazing advice :)

#18 bandhunter

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:03 AM

I would go with the biggest dob for your budget if size is not a concern. Don't overlook "push to" Dobs. The setup alignment is a EASY! No noise, less weight, will put you on your observing target accurately with easy to understand arrows that tell you where to move the scope. If you are not interested in AP then not having tracking shouldn't be a big deal. I'll admit it would be nice for sketching. My point, is that if you are just considering a goto scope because you want help in finding objects, due to time constraints or light pollution you would be better off with a "push to" dob. Just my .02.

Daniel

#19 newtoskies

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:59 AM

The standard 10 from Zhumell and Apertura ( same scope) are cheaper than the Orion. If your going with the inteli or full go-to then only Orion.
With the budget you first posted you can get one hell of a Dob. The Orion catalog lists the XT12g goto as $1700.
Very easy to 'point-to' with a Dob manually. Yes at Zenith you can't really do much. I did find that moving the scope to a different area, my case was about 20 feet move the target away from Zenith enough to be able to aim the scope to find the target. In this case M31 was directly at zenith and I was trrying to show a friend M31. By moving the scope the 20 feet I was able to get some movement enough to find M31.

#20 panhard

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 12:11 PM

The XTG models are very good. I love mine.

+1

#21 Jb32828

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:31 PM

I have to chime in on the Orion Goto dobs as well. You can try to pry mine from my cold dead hands. Love it, love it, love it. The 10" is the perfect balance of portability and aperture - any larger really requires being a truss dob to be portable IMO. The gotos are decently accurate enough. They are fantastic scopes. The best part about them is that you can use them in tracking only mode as well - align the scope, then push to your targets and the thing tracks pretty well.

And above all, if the electronics ever fail in the field, its still useable the old fashioned way. There is something to be said for that.

#22 eddie21

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 11:13 PM

My point, is that if you are just considering a goto scope because you want help in finding objects, due to time constraints or light pollution you would be better off with a "push to" dob. Just my .02.

Daniel


Actually I was concern about the difficulty in finding objects, I saw several videos and seems simple, cheaper, lighter, doesn't need a power tank and does the job!

Just one final question: when a 12 inch dob is pointing the zenith, how tall is it? More than 170cm?

#23 kfiscus

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 11:39 PM

Depends on the dob. I customized my Z12 (f/4.93) to get rid of the extra height (2"?) built into it to accomodate different balance points. I have a telrad, standard 8x50 finder, and some heavier EPs. These all mean that my scope needs the bearings adjusted to put the mirror closer to the ground (always a plus for stability). My dob rides on a dedicated EQ platform that raised it about 4". All this being said, my EPs are right at my eye when pointed vertically and I'm only 5'8". My eye is at about 63.5" (161cm) above the ground.

#24 csrlice12

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:30 AM

I'm 5'7" and my 10XTi perfectly puts the eyepiece to my eye juts standing there (with the scope pointed up). I use a stool to sit on when pointed lower.

#25 cadfour

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 05:40 PM

Fly in the ointment time! All this for a beginner....really?! Here is my advice, and I am only trying to save you from spending 2000 dollars on all this equipment only to possibly have it sit in the closet. If you really want to step up from naked eye and binocular observations, just get a decent beginner scope. Why not start with, at most, a good quality 6" reflector? Use it for a year and make sure you still have the same excitement for this hobby as you do now. If you find that it is what you want to do after a year, sell the one year old 6" reflector and put that money back in with whatever you have left over from the 2000 and buy the scope you are talking about in this post. Seems like a reasonable plan to me. I say stick a foot in the water before doing the belly flop.






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