6SE vs. 8SE: Have you used both?
Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:33 PM
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?
Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:18 AM
Posted 03 January 2013 - 03:02 AM
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.
Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:18 AM
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.
Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:22 AM
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.
Posted 03 January 2013 - 11:41 AM
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.
Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:56 PM
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.
Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:00 PM
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.
Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:17 PM
Posted 03 January 2013 - 10:28 PM
Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:55 AM
Still have the 6SE to go along with the Dob...
Posted 04 January 2013 - 01:55 PM
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.
Posted 04 January 2013 - 04:03 PM
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.
Posted 05 January 2013 - 07:58 AM
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.
Posted 05 January 2013 - 08:30 AM
Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:43 AM
I keep my Antares reducer in permanently.
Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:23 PM
Where aperture is concerned, the 8" wins hands down over the 6" of coarse. I find the difference quite striking.
Posted 05 January 2013 - 02:56 PM
Actually the 6" give you a larger FOV than the 8".
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
Posted 09 January 2013 - 05:05 AM
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.
Posted 09 January 2013 - 01:32 PM
Posted 10 January 2013 - 01:24 PM