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6SE vs. 8SE: Have you used both?

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#1 mkothe

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:33 PM

Hi,

I have an 8" dob which I enjoy but might upgrade to 10-12" in the future. Right now I am interested in a decent goto telescope to make the best of my infrequent and short sessions from my light polluted and quite obstructed backyard, and also to have something more compact to take on family trips.

I am leaning towards the 6SE, as it seems to universally be recommended over the 5SE, in part due to the better tripod/mount. I currently have a 102 SLT which is quite wobbly, both the tripod and the mount itself (I tried tightening the clutches but it did not help much).

My question is: How seriously should I consider the 8SE over the 6"? I know that generally larger aperture is recommended, but I think the 6" might complement my 8" or larger dob better, and I am hoping that the smaller SE might be more stable on the mount and more compact for transport. I also want to avoid mission creep and am reluctant to spend the extra money on the 8SE.

If you have first hand experience with both scopes, can you comment on the actual difference in size/weight? Sounds like they are actually pretty close (~3 pounds difference in the OTA only, with tripod and mount being identical), but how does it feel when you use/transport/store it? Am I correct to assume that the mount will be more stable with the 6SE than with the 8SE (and much better than the 102SLT)? I have read the comparisons in terms of light gathering etc, but how similar or different are the views between the two models?

Thanks,
Michael

#2 mkothe

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:18 AM

Oh yeah, one more question: Are there any accessories that are only compatible with the 8SE?

Thanks,
Michael

#3 RTLR 12

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 03:02 AM

I have both the 6 and 8" and they are close, very close in visual usage. Of course the 8" gives you deeper, brighter views, but i don't use my 8" on the SE mount any more. The 6" is just a better fit and involves less vibration frustration. I enjoy the smaller 6" and use it quite often, but there are times when the slightly bigger and brighter 8" is nice. If I were just starting out I would think, and did think this way, that the 8' is the way to go. However now that I have experienced both I think the 6" for the cost, performance, portability, stability and better ease of use, would be the better choice for me.

As far as accessories go, there are some things that are made for the 8" that are not available for the 6, but not many and maybe none you would miss.

Stan

#4 Midnight Dan

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:18 AM

Hi Micheal:

Normally, I'd recommend the 8 over the 6 any day. But as a compliment to a larger dob, I think the 6 is a better choice.

I own the 8SE and the 5SE for the same reasons. The 8 is my version of your dob, and the 5 is my travel scope. I felt the 6 and 8 would be too close so I went for the 5. And in my case the smaller, slightly lighter, mount was an advantage.

In the same way, I think the 8SE and a 10" dob would be too close. Now, if you get a 12" dob, there would be enough difference that you could make a case for getting the 8". But still, it sounds like the goal of the SE is to be very portable, not to get the most aperture ... you've got the dob for that. So I think I'd still lean towards the 6.

By the way, the tripod on the 4/5 SE mount is the same as that on the 6/8 SE mount. If stability is a concern, I would not downgrade the 5 on that regard. It is very stable on it's mount. The mount arm itself is smaller on the 4/5 and the motors and gears are not quite as robust as the 6/8 mount. So I still think the 6 is a better choice for your particular situation, but I just didn't want you to think that the mount/tripod on the 5SE is anywhere near the SLT level of stability.

-Dan

#5 Peter9

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:22 AM

Hi Michael,

I started my goto experience with the 6se and, for want of more aperture, upgraded to the 8se.
I think the 6se is more suited to the mount and makes for a better "grab and go" scope.

Regards. Peter.

#6 Skip

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 11:41 AM

Hi Michael,

Well you can look at my sig line and see that I agree with Dan, Stan, and Peter on the combo of scopes. I often set them up together, especially when my DW goes out with me. It is interesting comparing the visual images of both scopes.

#7 butsam

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:56 PM

Beginner here with the NexStar 8SE, haven't used the 6SE, but I didn't notice a vibration issue (visual observing) while you weren't actively focusing on my first (brief due to clouds) night of observation, with vibration suppression pads, on grass/snow, using down to 13mm eyepiece.

The 8" is quite portable; obviously the 6" will be a bit smaller, but I don't think anything other than the tube is smaller...the mount is the same, the fork arm is the same (if I'm not mistaken); the box the 8" tube came in was about the same size as the box the fork arm came in...and if you wanted increased portability you may be able to come up with a storage solution that kept the OTA on the fork arm, and in that situation the two would be nearly identical in portability.

Many of the common accessories I've seen are for the 6"/8".

I'll leave the experts up to the final verdict, though, especially if you choose a 10" dob; I don't have much experience at all, they have given you great advice overall. Also, the 6" will give you wider FOV with the same eyepieces (lower magnification and overall brightness of course; that's the trade space), but I don't have any experience to gauge off -- just throwing out a few things to consider.

#8 Kon Dealer

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:00 PM

Have both the 6SE and 8SE and use the 6SE about 10X as often as the 8SE.
Don't get me wrong the 8SE will provide brighter more detailed views, but all too often the seeing simply does not permit it to show its advantage. This coupled with a long cool-down time would lead me to buy the 6SE, if I were to have to choose just the one.

#9 bogg

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:17 PM

I have the 6SE and an 8 OTA that I occasionally use on the SE mount. I agree with Stan the 6 I have found better for transport and the SE mount seems to match it better. Cooldown is quicker with the 6 and arround the area of lake Huron I am matches the seeing more often

#10 mkothe

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 10:28 PM

Thanks everyone, great feedback! Looks like there is a consensus that the 6SE is a good choice. It was very helpful to hear from some of you who have both and use the 6SE more.

Michael

#11 BSJ

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:55 AM

Started with a 10" Dob with a wonky mirror. Then got a 6SE. Got a 8SE OTA later. Got the Dob mirror re-figured which made the 8" OTA redundant so it was sold off.

Still have the 6SE to go along with the Dob...

#12 stryder

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 01:55 PM

I was wrestling with the same issue. I ended up getting the 8SE. I'm finally hoping I get to use it tonite... it's gonna be cold, but I should have clear skies.

I choose the 8 mainly due to apature size. I had a 10" dob and I really didn't want to get rid of the faint fuzzies.

#13 Dunkstar

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 04:03 PM

Both are great scopes but I use my 8SE more :D The 8 shows plenty more detail in a lighted suburb. The mount is a bit happier with the 6 on board, but if you can tolerate a bit of wobble it works OK. I keep it in the garage so there isn't much temperature difference, but otherwise would get a cat cooler.

For travel the 8 is a couple inches each way bigger and a little heavier, but the mount uses more room in the trunk than either ota. The 6SE and 8SEbuse the same mount, so that factor is the same either way.

#14 mitaccio

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 07:58 AM

There is something to be said about aperture. I had the 6 and traded for the 8. I am SO glad I did. Sure it weighs a bit more and is larger for storage/transport. But it brings in SIGNIFICANTLY more light. I am easily able to move my 8 mounted in and out of my garage for easy grab-n-go sessions and cool down is modest in my location. Never more than about 10-15 degrees between day and night. Yes, with the SE mount it takes longer to settle down and vibration to cease. That is a reason to lean to the 6. But remember that the 6 still has vibration too, just for a shorter time. As for accessories, the 6 has a very limited FOV due to the baffle tube. 2" eyepieces don't get you any more sky with the 6, but with the 8 you do get more FOV.

IMHO, if you have a larger DOB (10"+) then go for the 5SE. It's cheaper than the 6 so you have more for accessories. More portable and you don't lose much light. But if you will only have one scope, get the 8.

#15 RTLR 12

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 08:30 AM

Actually the 6" give you a larger FOV than the 8".

Stan

#16 Kon Dealer

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:43 AM

Get a f/0.63 focal reducer and the 6SE will give a FOV of about 1.7 degrees.
I keep my Antares reducer in permanently.

#17 Peter9

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:23 PM

My comments in my post above relate to the 6se being better than the 8se as a "grab and go" scope.
Where aperture is concerned, the 8" wins hands down over the 6" of coarse. I find the difference quite striking.

Regards. Peter.

#18 coutleef

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 02:56 PM

Actually the 6" give you a larger FOV than the 8".

Stan


i would doubt this as the diameter of the baffle tube is bigger in the 8 than the 6 se.

i never found (i had both scopes) that the difference in size and weigth was that big between these scopes. that is very personnal and will vary from person to person.

the difference in what you can see is there at the advantage of the 8se especially from the city.

i would say that the biggest difference betwwen these scopes other than the aperture is the cool sown time. much quicker with the 6se and that can be a relevant advantage depending on your location and season as well as the other scope you own

#19 phillip

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 05:05 AM

I find able to move the 6SE as one unit even down apartment steps then outside to a park across the street. Abit to handle but prefer to keep it all together.

I have an XT8 Dob when I require the brighter view. Friend of mine in the early days had the older Celestron 8, my scopes smaller than, but I rarely missed the views, by the time he setup sometimes missed things as sky's cloud frequently here.

#20 Pat at home

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 01:32 PM

Which ever one you get make sure to obtain a suitable power supply, jump start boxes from motor parts stores are excellent for this. The Nexstar mounts can operate with onboard batteries but not for very long. These things chew up batteries like mice with cheese. I have a 6SE and use a 17ah no name jump start box, have done from day three.

#21 BigC

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 01:24 PM

If you have a 8 to 10" Dob or other non-goto scope the 6SE makes sense as a complementary scope,and buying the 6SE saves several hundred $$ versus the 8SE.






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