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SkyProdigy 70 on sale for $299

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#26 wcstarguy

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 10:45 PM

Just noticed that Adorama has the SP70 for $229 with free shipping....I'm very close to pushing the button....I've got a couple of other scopes that should work with this mount (maybe removing the plastic shroud thingy), a c90 mak, and a bushnell flextube ares 130....might even try my 120st...

#27 Tel

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:03 AM

Aside from the bargain prices and the possibility of using this mount to support other OTAs, (of limited weight and/or length), can anyone explain to me the attraction of this 'scope.

Forgive my possibly unfounded aversity to this series of 'scopes, but isn't it such it that all that is surely acquired here is an achromatic OTA of limited aperture, high focal ratio, (f/10), and thus a narrow field of view, on a state of the art mount supported by a tripod of perhaps questionable stability.

The mount itself sports, of course, the latest in self-alignment technology, but any alignment of GoTo mounts can be learned in a very short time making the technology here of dubious value if no more than an expensive gimmick.

And, with regard to the OTA's performance, what has one got? As it stands, probably something of nothing ? It certainly won't give wide views of the heavens and its aperture size and thus magnification and resolution limitations, prevent it surely, from showing much in the way of planetary detail or close double star separation.

It somewhat reminds me of the first department store 'scope I bought for a week's wages back in 1971. An Alt.Az. 60mm f/11 wooden tripod mounted achromat.

With that experience behind me, I can't therefore say that I'm in any way personally attracted to this despite the price.

Best regards,
Tel

#28 Skip

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:31 PM

I am in violent agreement with Tel on this! I think Celestron just did this to counter the LightSwitch technology of Meade's. And at last news, Meade was still having problems with their's.

But maybe I'm wrong...?

#29 Midnight Dan

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:47 PM

For the original price ... no interest at all. For $299 ... not really.

But for $170 used? Now it starts to fall into the range of just something fun to have. If I didn't have other items tugging at my wallet, and I had $170 burning a hole in my pocket, I'd probably get one.

Not sure I'd want the 70mm on it, but I could throw on my ST80 if I wanted wide views and have a nice little grab and go setup with goto. Or my EON 72mm ED/APO might find a home on it. I might try my 5SE OTA on it, but I have a hard time thinking I'd like it better than the SE mount. One nice feature is the battery pack rated at 30 hours. No external power to drag along. Plus, it would be fun at a summer party to let guests play with it by just powering it on and letting it do it's thing.

Certainly not something I'm dying to have, but at that price ... well like I said, for a lark I think it would be fun!

-Dan

#30 WaterMaster

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 04:55 PM

At star parties I like to set up my 80GTL on the nexstar mount, with the tripod legs as short as possible, point it at a planet with a 15mm plossl and use it for little kids (I used to pick them up to look through the dob, but I'm getting older and I don't really like kids anyway :p).

Anyway, for a couple hundred bucks, someone interested in outreach might be quite interested. :shrug:

#31 Mgauthier

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:08 PM

I find it attractive as a gadget. Some people will find that silly, others won't. The fact of the matter is that most people are not purely into astronomy, or purely into woodworking, or purely into this or that. We have multiple interests and hobbies with ill-defined borders. I like seeing into the heavens, but I also like buying cool stuff to play with. The two feed off one-another until my wallet contains negative space.

#32 wcstarguy

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:31 PM

Let's see, I don't have a goto mount currently, this one will work well with my smaller scopes, plan on giving the 70mm away on a cheap alt-az mount (I already have a larger dob mount newt, to compliment the smaller scopes). The reviews I have found on this mount have been mostly positive, it works well in dark skies or lp suburbs (my area), it has manual adjustments for both level of darkness at your site and to specify what areas of the sky it uses for the initial guidance setup, if some portion of your viewing site is blocked (buildings or trees). At the $200 price range (new, with two year warranty) for a mount = or better than the slt mount (which runs around $300 new)it is affordable. I can use this mount with a small solar scope, I can use this mount for short exp. wide field imaging with either a dslr or video cam (like mallincam).

This mount would be great for outreach with kids or other newbies. Guerilla observing, sometimes I don't have time/too tired after work for hours of observing, I could throw the SP in my car with a small scope, head to a dark site a few minutes away, or just off the road somewhere and observe for a bit. The tripod can be beefed up easily,there are several threads on this. This mount can be used on other tripods with a little adaptation.
I don't have any particular problem with Celestron regarding the SP line other than its original price is too high and the tripod is too weak. I read a good thread regarding the SP line: CN-thread, particularly a response where ProAstroPD gives a good review. Celestron is coming out with this technology as an add on for their larger goto scopes in March, I read about $300 or so, again overpriced but interesting Star Sense Technology . Sounds good for my various uses, I just ordered one. WC :tonofbricks:

#33 BigC

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:00 PM

I find it absolutely amazing that many of the same people who get excited over small apo in the 70mm-80mm aperture condemn achro 70mm as useless. :confused: :confused:

70mm is 70mm .And the additional light-gathering of an 80mm over a 70mm is rather modest.

A good 70mm 0r even a 60mm 0r yes,a tiny 50mm, will be capable of striking views of the brighter objects.Such scope sizes were more usual in the 1950s when the sky was a lot darker.I first viewed Saturn here with an iOptron 70/900 I believe it is the light pollution that now limits viewing more than the scope! If the glass is good the 70mm can go 140-150X which is in the range most observers say they use anyway;certainly you will be limited compared to an 8" SCT.

My experience is the 70mm f10 will go to higher magnification than an 80mm f5 before CA becomes unbearable.

These scopes are best for,and doubtless intended for, the stargazer who has limited time and money,and doesn't yet know the stars and their names but wants to see at least some interesting stuff right now.

It would be kind of silly for someone to take the OTA from a working goto mount and put on this UNLESS they really need or want the sel-align function.It would be quite reasonable to swap the OTA from a non-goto setup,in my opinion,or if one happened to get a good deal on an OTA by itself .

#34 wcstarguy

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:11 PM

I agree, the 70mm F10 is a very usable scope...I will try mine out before giving it to my nephew, hopefully will get his astro interests going a bit more...he is taking a basic astronomy class this term so the interest is there. WC

#35 Midnight Dan

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 07:34 PM

My experience is the 70mm f10 will go to higher magnification than an 80mm f5 before CA becomes unbearable.


For me it's purely an issue of the fact that I already scopes that do the high mag thing quite well. So if I was going to play around with this, I'd rather have a scope like the ST80 that does better with the low mag, wide views. I think the mount is more suited to wide views as well, not being a heavy duty, solid mount.

-Dan

#36 BigC

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 09:00 PM

Dan,

to repeat,this scope isn't built for you anymore than Huffy builds 16" bikes for Corvette drivers,

These scopes are best for,and doubtless intended for, the stargazer who has limited time and money,and doesn't yet know the stars and their names but wants to see at least some interesting stuff right now.

I,too,have bigger scopes and bought this only because of the "gadget factor".

#37 Tel

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:26 AM

Reading through this thread, it certainly appears as if the prime intention here is to take advantage of a very special offer to acquire a Prodigy mount on which to place other, (better?) OTAs ; the acquisition of the 70mm f/10 OTA being a secondary issue. And why ever not should this be the case ?

But otherwise, let's please not delude ourselves.

It is very difficult to make price comparisons with so many price reductions and special offers flying about but at brass tacks, recommended price level, who would in all sensibility consider purchasing any of this series of 'scopes when, just for example, over here, the Prodigy 6 is overpriced to the extent that it costs about the same as the 8SE, a price structure which is, by and large, reflected throughout the Prodigy series range.

Indeed and particularly as far as this model is concerned, one might wonder why the price has dropped so drastically to $299 from that which seems to have originally been pitched anywhere between $797, (Amazon) and a more normal $400, (BH, Telescopes.com etc.). (?)

Growing customer awareness ? Loss cutting ?

Standing by original opinion therefore, I submit that these 'scopes are a poor investment and as such the "stargazer who has limited time and money" might well be advised to buy more wisely even if this requires a little more cash outlay; cash however, ultimately better spent.

Best regards,
Tel

#38 BigC

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 11:40 AM

Tel,

I will agree that the SkyProdigy70 at $299 is still not the best investment when the Celestron Costco 102 is available for $200 with a bit better mount and larger tube of good reputation.

However, I continue to regard the doubly-discounted used,evidently customer returns, backed by Amazon, at a price of mere $171 as an excellent scope buy that will thrill the casual stargazer.

And if the choices are buying a $171 scope NOW or saving for another year hoping to buy the $1000 scope many here seem to think is required to enjoy the sky,I say buy the $171 scope!!!!!!!

The $999 price of the SkyProdigy 6 would need to be discounted to $499 ,at which point I would think it also a great deal.

#39 Tel

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 06:23 AM

Hi Carl,

First and foremost I, like you, am fully in support of encouraging and enthusing newcomers to this hobby. Likewise however, I am equally aware that it's not one of the cheapest to pursue.

Disregarding therefore, the conjecture that anything costing less than $1000 is of dubious value if one is to enjoy the sky, which both you and I know is not so, the case here does not appear to be one of 'scope quality but one of economy.

Sure, the SkyProdigy 70, like the rest of its ilk is normally overpriced; "Starsense" bearing a large proportion of the cost; but an opportunity to buy one cheaply doesn't improve its performance or overall usefulness, unless, as previously discussed, there is an different reason for purchasing "on the cheap": i.e. the acquisition of the mount. But then, this has nothing to do with enthusing new stargazers.

For interest, I took a look at the SkyProdigy manual covering the "70", "90" and "130" and certainly at first glance, the alignment procedure(s) appears just as complex or simple, (depending on one's perception), as the options provided in, for example, the SLT or SE series' manuals.

Neither are such aspects of backlash adjustment, alignment refinement, screening filter set-ups etc. ignorable with these 'scopes, making them possibly less of an attraction to the newcomer to astronomy than perhaps initially thought. (?)

As always, just this guy's opinion with all respect to yours and to others.

Best regards,
Tel

#40 Mgauthier

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 12:05 PM

To be sure, if my choice was between a SkyProdigy 6 and a Nexstar 8SE, I would buy a Nexstar 6SE and go to a fancy restaurant for dinner. I was never interested in the tube itself- I have the nicer 102SLT short tube for that- but the mount does look like a convenient improvement over my SLT mount.

EDIT: Looks like our (by which I mean your) purchases have pushed the Amazon Warehouse price up to about $200.

#41 wcstarguy

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:56 PM

Noticed that too, Adorama is now out of the new SP70 but B&H Photo is still selling them for $229. I really am looking forward to using the mount, not having a goto mount currently. I plan on trying my 120ST on the mount, along with a couple of other smaller scopes I have (I like small scopes :cool:). I know the sky fairly well from using simple alt-az mounts and sky hopping but this one will be fun, for me and the kids...WC

#42 bda

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:49 PM

New here...... found this thread while researching this scope, fyi they are selling it new at B&H for 229 with free shipping....

I'm still a relative novice myself and picked this up for my mother to see if it will help her be more confident in what she is looking at.... I'll keep my fingers crossed that it pans out.

#43 bda

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:51 PM

ooops, the newbie already screwed up....didn't see that last post!

#44 Midnight Dan

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:14 PM

Hi bda & welcome to the forum!

>. ooops, the newbie already screwed up....didn't see that last post!

No worries! We all do that from time to time! :grin:

Let us know how you mother likes it!
-Dan

#45 wcstarguy

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:25 PM

Hello bda, I'm kind of a newbie/oldie myself. Been lurking on here a long while but haven't been able to be too active with astronomy for a few years, getting the equipment back out and watching the skies again is great fun! WC

#46 bda

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:02 PM

thanks for the welcome...... having the scope shipped to me to try out before passing it along so we'll see how it goes

#47 BigC

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:15 AM

EDIT: Looks like our (by which I mean your) purchases have pushed the Amazon Warehouse price up to about $200.

So I see! Must be that supply and demand free-market forces at play!

By the way,when I first looked at this the used prices were $19x, but the next day amazon notified me of a price reduction to $171 ,at which time I ordered one.The $171 price held steady for a week then jumped back up.

#48 Mgauthier

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 08:38 PM

Amazon Warehouse now has a SkyProdigy 6 for sale for $761. That's much better than retail, but only so-so next to a brand new 6SE.

Amazon Warehouse SP6

#49 BigC

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 01:38 AM

I'd order the used,Amazon customer return SP6, IF it was $499 !!

$719 IS too close to a new 6SE,or a good used 8SE from private (and non -warranted) seller

#50 BigC

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 08:27 PM

Amazon used SkyProdigy 70 now at $293 !! ;glad I grabbed one for $120 less.






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