Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:32 PM
Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:50 PM
now 3000-8000..that's doable
Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:59 PM
Check out the XLT 120, I have the 102 model and absolutely love it. It's a point-and-go scope, near maintanence-free and easily customizable. They also don't require much cooldown time compared to a reflector type which can sometimes take 1-2 hours before it can be used.
Posted 29 March 2013 - 05:03 PM
Does that mean you are stumped? Not at all. Visual astronomy can be done on a budget like yours to great satisfaction.
My first suggestiion would be to find a local astronomy club and attend some of their meetings and especially star parties and observing sessions, which will give you a chance to learn about the varous types of equipment available. You may also find folks there with equipment for sale at very reasonable prices, or who can steer you to the right gear. You will find a lot of gearheads there as well with pretty elaborate (and expensive) scopes, mounts, eyepiece collections etc. That does not mean you can't jump in for a lot less and have fun. A surprising number of people come to this hobby at or near retirement, and I suspect you will find a number of kindred spirits in a local club.
Don't be discouraged . . . everyone walks before running in ths=is hobby, and no one is holding a stopwatch. It ain't competitive, but it is great fun.
Posted 29 March 2013 - 06:30 PM
How portable would you need the telescope setup to be? It can be a really big consideration, because as the telescopes get larger, they get heavier, bulkier, and less convenient to move about.
I would also like to mention that astrophotography at more than a basic level greatly benefits from very robust mounts. And of course, those are big, heavy, and expensive. My personal suggestion would be to focus on visual observing for now with a setup in the range you mentioned, and then look into something separate for astrophotography later.
For a visual, do it all scope with good light grasp for DSO's, it's hard to beat dobsonian mounted reflectors. Maybe a 6-8" depending on how easily you want to be able to move it around? If you're more interested in a refractor, then maybe an Omni XLT 102 or 120 package (comes with the CG-4 mount).
Another option at the top end of your price range would be an SCT like the Nexstar 6SE. Out of the ones I listed, that is the only one with a motorized mount. I believe the 6SE would let you take short exposure photos, with the proper adapters and all that.
Posted 29 March 2013 - 08:29 PM
That's gonna be tough with 300-800
now 3000-8000..that's doable
Maaaan. don't tell him that! besides being untrue, you are going to give him the idea that this is a very expensive hobby, which it CAN be, but is not necessary to spend a lot of money to enjoy this hobby.
FairObserver , your price range is very doable... especially if you look for used equipment.
ask questions (the only dumb question is the one that goes unasked!) a lot, and read a lot.
Posted 29 March 2013 - 10:38 PM
You can think of a telescope as a tool. You can use a slotted screw driver on a Phillips headed screw but it is not optimal. You are probably going to buy a Phillips screw driver before too long. The same is true with telescopes. If you look at people's signature lines, you will see many with multiple scopes. Yes some have only one, but they are usually happy with what that scope was designed to do or are plotting to get a second scope.
A Dob is a great starter scope but is not suited for deep space AP. That is the scope I started with. Like many people, I was interested in taking pictures through it and took AP with it as far as it could go. I even built a tracking platform for it. I then decided to buy that Phillips screw driver, I mean refractor and equatorial mount. I just got the mount in last week, so I have a ways to go before I learn it well enough to do AP with it.
I guess what I am trying to say is, don't try to get a scope that does it all. Prioritize what you want from a scope and go in that direction. If you are like many of us, you will probably pick up one or more scopes down the road.
Posted 29 March 2013 - 10:56 PM
I had a version of the 5SE (the one before it) and it was great scope. Here is a link to the scope: Celestron 5SE
Posted 29 March 2013 - 11:57 PM
food for thought. https://www.astronom...mak-telescop... or https://www.astronom...ct-telescope...
BTW, often buying used will save you a couple hundred bucks so check astromart or the cloudynights classifieds.
Posted 30 March 2013 - 02:07 AM
Welcome to Cloudy Nights.
The choices can be overwhelming. You can certainly get something that will be very satisfying and a lot of fun. You don't need to spend a fortune. I am new at this also and as much as I want a Dobsonian, I don't have room right now where I live. But, refractors...even small ones are really fun. To get something that would be easily adaptable for photography, etc. etc. might be a challenge. There are many people here who have great information.
And there are some great books to read..."Backyard Astronomers Guide" is a good one along with many others.
Have fun with your quest. This is a wonderful hobby with zillions of choices and opinions. You have come to the right place for help.
Best, Linda B.
Posted 30 March 2013 - 08:53 AM
Posted 30 March 2013 - 09:18 AM
Posted 30 March 2013 - 09:32 AM
Posted 30 March 2013 - 03:03 PM
Posted 30 March 2013 - 10:00 PM
So, beyond this, there are so many choices, as I'm sure you're aware, and it can make your head explode.
Safe bets? 8-10" Dob ($400-$600). SE6 or SE8 ($800-$1200). Or something a bit different, like a 130mm Newt on an Alt/az mount ($400). Any of these would be a fine place to begin.
Posted 31 March 2013 - 07:24 AM
Since this will be your only telescope ...
Only if he/she decides he/she isn't interested in astronomy after all.
Most people who fall in love with stargazing end up with two or more telescope -- often in fairly short order. Part of the beginning of wisdom is that no one telescope can do everything. And it's generally much more cost-effective to get different scopes for different purposes than to try to get one scope that can do everything.
Posted 31 March 2013 - 12:37 PM
I hope that FairObsever comes back and ends up with a nice telescope and then starts another thread expressing the wonder and excitement of viewing the moon and Jupiter etc. And sharing that with everyone.
'Cuz that's what we love to do".
Best, Linda B.
Posted 31 March 2013 - 03:57 PM
This scope was recommended to me by my local telescope shop as a great starter scope with flexibility. Below is my scope, but there are similar products from other companies.
How is the stability of your scope and mount combo?
Posted 31 March 2013 - 06:39 PM
The mount and scope are actually quite stable with minimal vibrations. I really like using it in az mode for scanning the sky if my AZ4 is not available. Now the AZ4 is also a nice mount for the 150Newt. Very stable and easier to use.
Posted 31 March 2013 - 09:00 PM