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A kind of unique either/or question

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#1 bouldergti

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 09:06 PM

I'm torn between two entry level reflector telescopes.

I currently have the chance to get a N.I.B. Celestron AstroMaster 130 EQ for $170 no tax, locally.

Before I stumbled across this deal, I was fairly set on the Orion SpaceProbe 130ST, which would be $299 with tax direct from Orion.

My primary question is this - is the quality of the Orion $130 better than the Celestron?

To this newb, they spec out about the same.

Thanks!

#2 bouldergti

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 09:08 PM

Celestron 130:
http://www.telescope...ronastromast...

Orion 130:
http://www.telescope...tor-Telescop...

#3 FLYcrash

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 09:30 PM

Welcome! :)

I haven't used either of these, but my general experience with inexpensive equatorially mounted scopes is not terribly positive. You get all of the fiddliness of aligning and messing with an equatorial mount without the precision and stability of the good mounts costing (much) more. Also, f/5 is going to give some off-axis aberrations with simpler eyepiece designs.

That said, if you're set on one of these, I'd go with the Celestron due to the significant price advantage.

#4 SpooPoker

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 09:35 PM

They both will be about the same quality optically imo. Price difference may be related to the mount.

#5 KWB

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 11:15 PM

I'm torn between two entry level reflector telescopes.

I currently have the chance to get a N.I.B. Celestron AstroMaster 130 EQ for $170 no tax, locally.

Before I stumbled across this deal, I was fairly set on the Orion SpaceProbe 130ST, which would be $299 with tax direct from Orion.

My primary question is this - is the quality of the Orion $130 better than the Celestron?

To this newb, they spec out about the same.

Thanks!

Hello and Welcome

Between the two,I'd select the Orion because it's an F/5 scope using a parabolic mirror. Optical this telescope is quite good. It's undermounted IME,and really needs an EQ3 mount for needed stability. Adding a solid,aftermarket wooden tripod helps.

#6 CosmoSat

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 11:34 PM

The optics of both the scopes come from the same OEM in china. Both are 130mm f/5 parabolic newtonians. The oprical tube assemblies being the same, the difference will be in the build quality of the mount, ergonomics and the accessories provided. I would suggest the Celestron, as $300 is a bit costly for a 5" scope. You could get a nice 6" dob for that money.

Clear Skies!

#7 Lamb0

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 02:35 AM

:cool: Same scope, focuser, & mount; different eyepieces. With the money $aved get a 32mm Plossl for ~2.4° TFoV, and maybe a $100 6.7mm Explore Scientific 82° Series Waterproof Eyepiece for high magnification. A Barlow can be added later. I find the Pocket Sky Atlas, binoculars, and a red flashlight are really useful tools. ;)

#8 Mr Greybush

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 04:08 AM

here's my $0.2, both scopes are jumk. Save your money for a better scope or spend your money on a pair of binoculars. The scopes have horrible optics, focusing, and cheeply made for the masses. The binoculars on the other hand are a great way to start out with astronomy a pair of 10x50 binos cost average $60-100 add a star atlas or chart, and this book " Nightwatch" will give you a great start to astronomy.

#9 Tony Flanders

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 05:14 AM

here's my $0.2, both scopes are jumk. Save your money for a better scope or spend your money on a pair of binoculars. The scopes have horrible optics, focusing, and cheeply made for the masses.


Sorry, this is simply not true. I know several people who have used the SpaceProbe, and by all reports the optics are quite good. Can't speak to the Celestron, but I would be very surprised if its optics weren't good as well. You would expect that in this price bracket -- it's not hard to make a good 5-inch mirror.

However, both scopes are clearly undermounted; that's obvious just from looking at the photos. Again, that's typical for equatorial-mounted telescopes in this price bracket -- good to excellent optics on a wobbly mount.

That's one of many reasons why Dobs are more popular in this price range.

#10 frito

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 05:25 AM

indeed, the scope should be just fine optically, the mount on the other hand will not be. I'd recommend buying a 6" or 8" dob both can be had in the same price neighborhood, used 8" commonly sell for 200-250.

#11 Mr Greybush

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 07:11 AM

ok I apologize the mount is junk. The Orion is the obvious choice but buy a better mount. The other thing I can suggest were I know I'm better with is buy a Dob. A 8" if you have weight lifting issues or 10" if not.

Along with the scopes buy the books though or rent them from the library a seldom used facility anymore they even have sky atlas's you can scan and use in the field or may even let you take home.

The 8" dob is a good beginner with weight lifting issues but the 10" is the most bang for the buck. Again I'm sorry :)

#12 rnc39560

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 08:21 AM

while looking for a starter scope, I read as many reviews as possible from. I was going to start with a celestron astro master 114 or power seeker 114. That was my "torn between". Both scopes you mentioned seem ok for starting, myself I would go with the celestron. It sells for more than that actually. The website (telescopes.com) is having a sell, dealers adjust price accordingly. You can look around and find several sites selling it for a lot more. I ended up deciding on a Zhumell z8 though. Found a like new that's beautiful! Its not much more than the Orion bought new, and a big difference in aperture! Plus it will look good in the living room! Lol...

#13 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 08:21 AM

My primary question is this - is the quality of the Orion $130 better than the Celestron?



It's a tough call.

As others have said, they are both very similar, Synta manufactured 130mm F/5 Parabolic Newtonians that are on marginal mounts.

On paper, the Celestron would appear to be the better scope but looking at the photo on the Celestron website, I caught a glimpse of the secondary mounting, it appears to be a casting rather than the thin vaned spider of the Space Probe 130ST. In my mind, a cast spider is a sign that corners are being cut..

A few more thoughts:

I owned a SpaceProbe 130ST for several years, mine rode on a Orion AstroView mount fitted with wooden legs, a much more substantial mount that either of these two. It also had a 2 inch focuser. Optically it was a very good scope, I once split 52 Orionis with it, that's a 1.0 arc-second double star and very nearly the limit of a 130mm scope. On a solid mount with a good focuser and quality eyepieces, it was a good scope. But I also briefly owned the standard SpaceProbe 130ST. Good optics but it really did need the more robust mount.

Thinking it over, it really depends what you are looking for, how much you are willing to spend. $300 is getting mighty close to the price of an 8 inch Dobsonian, you can buy an Apertura 8 inch F/6 Dobsonian for $400.

This a far better scope, a far more serious scope than either the Astromaster or the SpaceProbe130, the mount is simple but solid, the focuser is a very good 2 speed 2 inch, it's got a 50mm Right Angle Correct Image finder, just all the right stuff and 8 inches of mirror. An 8 inch scope gathers 2.5 times the light, has 60% greater resolution, this really shows at the eyepiece, whether viewing Saturn, looking the globular M13 or a faint galaxy.

I think the 130mm scopes are enjoyable, capable but with significant flaws. If buy one and take a liking to observing, you will soon be wanting a more capable scope. If you invest in an 8 inch Dob, you get scope that is sound and much more capable and with a lot of room for your to grow.

If $300 is in your budget, then maybe $400 is too. If not, I would probably go with the Astromaster and start saving.

Jon

#14 rnc39560

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 08:41 AM

Actually I came back to post about the Apatura. I heard from someone here that they have really good customer service also. Even though I decided on z8, had I not found the one I did, Apatura would have been my choice. Between the ones asked , the celestron. From what I've read and price, but for a small amount more a Zhumell z8, or Apatura or a nice 6" dob from higher name brands is what I would do, and did.

#15 Billytk

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 09:23 AM

FYI, the Zhumell and Apertura dobs are made from the same company and are the same, just a different name put on them for different dealers. Now that you have a Zhumell, this thread shuold be interesting for you.

http://www.cloudynig...eflectors/Nu...

#16 rnc39560

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 12:19 PM

Different dealers, and Aptura's dealer has better service. That's what I was told here.

#17 rnc39560

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 12:23 PM

Thanks for the info. Actually my son is picking it up in Florida Saturday and bringing it to me the 18th when he visits. :praying: :drool5:

#18 frito

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 12:26 PM

AT8D, Z8, AD8 are all the same basic scope with slightly differient accessories that come with them. they are all made by GSO.

XT8 are made by Synta for Orion, they are just as good optically as the GSO but lack some nicer features and accessories new but if buying used they should not be discounted as they are good scopes on their own but if buying new the GSO variants offer more bang for your buck.

The one major issue I have with recommending the GSO's is their lack of a zero mag finder on most models, The Orion's come with zero mag finders, granted the EZ finder found on the normal XT's is pretty cheap and often breaks its easier to use to find easier than a straight through or even worse a RACI finder on its own, the XT8 Plus is more comparable to the GSO scopes sold today as far as features and asscessories go but priced at 500 its overpriced IMO. the good news however is you can and should buy a Rigel Quikfinder or Telrad for 35~ dollars solving the no zero mag finder issue/cheap finder issue on any of these scopes and your set with a great scope.

If your absolutely dead set on an EQ mount for whatever reason you need to spend a lot more money or buy used and put something together, like buy a used CG-5 AGT goto mount for ~400ish and then get a decent F/9~ Acro refractor for it for 2-300~ bucks. or find a deforked or broken fork mount SCT that you can get for cheap and defork and put on the mount etc. at 300-400 bucks there is no such thing as a good brand new GEM+scope combo out there, mounts in the class of the CG-5 like the AVX and Sky view pro all run in the 700-800+ dollar range for just the mount if they are Goto, new manual operated SVP's are 400~ ish and with the CG-5's loosing their value and being so common it makes no sense to buy a solid manual GEM when you can get a goto for the same price if your patient and buy used. plus there are few advantages to a manually operated GEM, for someone new it can actually be a turn off trying ot learn how to manually operate one as their axis are quite conter intuitive to use and the main advatnage of a GEM is its tracking over alt az tracking, something that really is only important with long exposure AP anyways.

#19 rnc39560

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 12:30 PM

WOW! Thank you billy! Nice thread on some mods that won't break you. appreciated!

#20 Billytk

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 01:55 PM

Different dealers, and Aptura's dealer has better service. That's what I was told here.


Yes, their customer service IS excellent.

#21 bouldergti

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 10:53 AM

Thanks everyone for their feedback.

I decided to take some of the initial advice offered in this thread and get some Orion 20x80 binocs and a decent tripod, and will crawl before I walk.

For now one of the more important things was to get something that was highly portable since I need to be able to travel a bit to escape the light pollution.

I'll start saving for a 10" or 12" dob.

#22 newtoskies

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 11:12 AM

The binos are great to learn the stars and constellations. I always have mine out with the scope and use it first to find my major stars when star hopping, then I use the view finder and my 25 or 30mm ep to hop to the target.
The Z/AD8 or Z/AD10 is a great starter scope that will last a loooong time. I love my XT6 but I know once I finally have clear skies and use the new (to me) Meade 10" light bridge I will be all set.

#23 StrangeDejavu

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 11:34 AM

Thanks everyone for their feedback.

I decided to take some of the initial advice offered in this thread and get some Orion 20x80 binocs and a decent tripod, and will crawl before I walk.

For now one of the more important things was to get something that was highly portable since I need to be able to travel a bit to escape the light pollution.

I'll start saving for a 10" or 12" dob.


A great decision. :waytogo: I learned much about the night sky in a pair 10x50's before purchasing a scope. Even with my 10" Dob and 4" refractor, my binoculars still see a lot of use. I cruised the Milky Way last night in mine for probably 20 minutes before bringing out the refractor. When I go camping, some nights I don't even set up the telescope. I'll just lay down in the bed of the truck with my binoculars and take in the sky. They're also nice in light polluted skies for pre-checking areas before pointing the scope there. :)

#24 Billytk

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 03:12 PM

20x80s are really strong and very hard to use by hand. 10x50s would be better.

#25 thomasb98908

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 03:29 PM

I don't know about the Celestron, but my Orion Spaceprobe 130 is not bad for a beginner scope. It does NOT have a parabolic mirror in it, just a flat mirror. That said, I get some pretty good DSO's with it. Definately a light bucket. I've moved on to refractors which for my eyes seem to give me more contrast and sharp clear views of DSO's, planets and clusters. I had to take the EQ mount apart and relube with some lithium grease an it works pretty well now. A good pair of binoculars and a stable mount will give you some great views of the night sky. Enjoy.






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