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geekgroupie
sage


Reged: 01/07/12

Loc: Puebo, CO
Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5689760 - 02/19/13 09:28 PM

good post, Paco

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hectar
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Reged: 12/24/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5689912 - 02/19/13 10:53 PM

Quote:

Quote:

During my first check I found this scope which seems pretty good to me. It says it has a camera adapter, but I don't know if that means it is universal or not. It is a bit above my budget, but that is ok:
http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Reflector-Telescopes/Reflector-Telescopes...




I'm not sure what the "camera adapter" in question actually is. You could call and ask. It might just be a 1/4-20 bolt on the tube rings that allows the camera to ride "piggyback" on the scope but not actually shoot through it.

Nothing wrong with piggyback photography by the way; it's a great way to break into the field. But it's only good for wide fields of constellations or star fields, not close-ups of individual objects.

In any case, a camera adapter is a standard commodity, readily purchased. One end goes into a standard 1.25-inch or 2-inch focuser; the other end attaches to a standard T mount. And you can easily buy T adapters for any camera model. All this does cost money, of course ...

Be aware that this scope is seriously big and heavy -- much less portable than an 8-inch Dob. Also, the tripod is a bit tall for a Newtonian; you will probably sometimes need a short stepladder or stepstool to reach the eyepiece.

Also, equatorial-mounted Newtonians have a problem with tube rotation. With all equatorial mounts the tube rotates as the mount tracks the sky -- that's why they're needed for photography. But it means that the eyepiece can end up at some very awkward angles. You can fix this by leveling the tube, loosening the tube rings, rotating the tube, tightening the tube rings, and then returning the scope to the original position. But that takes time. And it takes some experience to guess just how to rotate the tube so that the eyepiece will be right after the scope has been returned to its original position.

You can buy "rotating rings" that allow you to rotate the tube without first returning it to a level position. But they're not cheap. If you loosen conventional tube rings without first leveling the tube bad things happen. Been there, done that.

Many if not most Newtonians have a problem coming to focus with a camera at prime focus. The problem is that the camera body takes up an extra inch or two, so the focuser needs to be racked an inch or two inward of its normal position when using an eyepiece. I don't know if that's possible with this scope. Again, you could ask.

The SkyView Pro mount is pretty robust; however, the tube is a lot for a mount of this class to handle. My guess is that it will work beautifully for visual use but not be steady enough for long-exposure photography.

I'm not saying this is a bad scope; it's undoubtedly ideal for some people. But as a rule of thumb for the average beginner, I'd say that if you want a reflector, you should buy a Dob. And if you want an equatorial mount, you should buy a catadioptric (if you want substantial aperture) or a refractor (if you don't mind small aperture).


I agree with Tony. Here is a another smaller newtonian but it has AVX mount. (They were offering it with free shipping couple of weeks ago, not any more).
I would suggest to start with better mount and smaller scopes...
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/917580-REG/celestron_32054_advancd_vx_6...


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cpsTN
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 04/26/07

Loc: Rutherford Co, TN
Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: hectar]
      #5690270 - 02/20/13 07:12 AM

Judging by most of what you want, I suggest the Celestron SE6 (or 5). By the way, dobs CAN be moved in two pieces.

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Brad Greig
member


Reged: 01/06/10

Loc: SE Texas
Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: cpsTN]
      #5690973 - 02/20/13 02:03 PM

I'd agree with the 8SE. That was my second telescope. The goto is a nice feature. It's not too terribly heavy, even when completely assembled.

The Orion XT10i was my first telescope. That's a great one too, but the goto of the 8SE is nice to have, especially when others are looking through the scope and they don't know how to follow the object being viewed.

I have since moved on to dabble in AP, recently acquiring an Orion Atlas mount, with a 8" Newt on the way. But as previously mentioned, this gets very heavy and very expensive quite quickly.

The SCT adapter and T ring for the 8SE is quite inexpensive. You can start there with short exposure AP. Then see where it goes from there.

Good luck!


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Juggernaut
member


Reged: 02/17/13

Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: GeneT]
      #5691444 - 02/20/13 06:07 PM

Quote:

Take a look at this telescope. Given your budget, it may be a good choice.

https://www.astronomics.com/celestron-nexstar-8-se-8-inch-go-to-sct-telescope...




Hi,

How does it compare in image quality to the one I was looking at:

http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Reflector-Telescopes/Reflector-Telescopes...

They are both 8 inch but I know there is more to image quality than the number of inches...

Thanks!
Juggernaut


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Tony Flanders
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Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Juggernaut]
      #5691516 - 02/20/13 06:44 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Take a look at this telescope. Given your budget, it may be a good choice.

https://www.astronomics.com/celestron-nexstar-8-se-8-inch-go-to-sct-telescope...




Hi,

How does it compare in image quality to the one I was looking at:

http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Reflector-Telescopes/Reflector-Telescopes...

They are both 8 inch but I know there is more to image quality than the number of inches...




I'd have to compare them side by side to tell, and there might well be more variation between two different scopes of the same design than between the designs. Probably pretty close, is my guess.


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Paco_Grande
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/14/12

Loc: Banana Republic of California
Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5691862 - 02/20/13 10:21 PM

I'm going out on a limb and say the Newt will probably show a bit more contrast. But it's one of those things that you could only see with them side by side. And even then it might not matter to most.

I have several Newts and am never tempted to use them on an EQ mount. It just seems a nightmare to me. They're awesome on an alt/az or Dobsonian (which is alt/az.) Dealing with the size and weight, and the likely weird EP position with a Newt on an EQ, is not for the faint of heart. You gotta be committed to use one. LOL.

There's a reason why Celestron sells a gazillion 8 and 6SEs. They're just so good all around.

Maybe the Newt/EQ hardware is calling your soul - so be it. We're just trying to suggest another view. Sometimes even the experts are wrong. You might fall in love with a Newt on an EQ. Who knows?

View-wise, you're not going to be disappointed with either.


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Juggernaut
member


Reged: 02/17/13

Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5691946 - 02/20/13 11:11 PM

Quote:

I'm going out on a limb and say the Newt will probably show a bit more contrast. But it's one of those things that you could only see with them side by side. And even then it might not matter to most.

I have several Newts and am never tempted to use them on an EQ mount. It just seems a nightmare to me. They're awesome on an alt/az or Dobsonian (which is alt/az.) Dealing with the size and weight, and the likely weird EP position with a Newt on an EQ, is not for the faint of heart. You gotta be committed to use one. LOL.

There's a reason why Celestron sells a gazillion 8 and 6SEs. They're just so good all around.

Maybe the Newt/EQ hardware is calling your soul - so be it. We're just trying to suggest another view. Sometimes even the experts are wrong. You might fall in love with a Newt on an EQ. Who knows?

View-wise, you're not going to be disappointed with either.




Hi,

I don't have a bias. Easier to move around for similar image quality sounds good to me. I guess I am more concerned because I have used a Newt before with good results and one like the Celestron with poor results, but I do not know the specifications of either, unfortunately, so it is not a valid concern.

Another ignorant question - are their "zoom" capability the same? At least with cameras, 200 mm on one camera might be 300 mm on another...depends on the sensor.

Thanks!
Juggernaut


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Gregen
super member


Reged: 11/25/12

Loc: CA
Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Juggernaut]
      #5691960 - 02/20/13 11:21 PM

I'd go for any dobsonian . You can probably get a 10inch for 1000. If the viewer is real young- 5-7 I would go in the investment of a goto. But if not go for the aperture and get a nice dob! Good luck!

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Gregen
super member


Reged: 11/25/12

Loc: CA
Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Gregen]
      #5691983 - 02/20/13 11:30 PM

Sorry I just read your whole post. So because you need transport and you want to take astrophotos, I'd go for a small, but nice, refractor that is only 5'' s. I would not dive right into astrophotography right away though ( i know it's tempting) It is a super complicated process that takes lots of time and practice. Also if you want to get the best experience I would say go for a non goto and just a tracking motor because it teaches you to navigate through the sky and really teaches you your way around the sky. Now if you still do want to take astrophotos, and you have a Nikon, guessing a D3100, you should buy a simple light projection photography tube. You can get them from Meade and Orion. You should also try prime focus later. Good luck to whatever you chose though. It may be rough in the beginning but it is worth it with a lifetime passion.

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Tony Flanders
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Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Juggernaut]
      #5692221 - 02/21/13 06:02 AM

Quote:

I guess I am more concerned because I have used a Newt before with good results and one like the Celestron with poor results.




There were some poor SCTs made back in the 70s and 80s, but the ones made in the last decade seem to have consistently high quality.

Both SCTs and Newts need to be collimated properly, and will perform arbitrarily badly if the collimation is sufficiently bad.

The one indisputable advantage of the Newt from an optical standoint is that it has better wide-field ability, in other words it can achieve lower magnifications.

The other difference is that the Newt is equatorial mounted. In theory that makes it suitable for long-exposure astrophotography, which the alt-az mounted 8SE definitely is not. However, I have my doubts about whether that mount is adequate for the job with that optical tube.

Without a doubt, the EQ-mounted Newt would allow longer piggyback exposures; the mount certainly should be good enough for that.

Beyond that, equatorial and alt-azimuth mounts have radically different feels -- hard to describe. The ergonomics are considerably better with an alt-az mount. And they're inherently simpler and lighter.


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

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Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Juggernaut]
      #5692249 - 02/21/13 06:45 AM Attachment (2 downloads)

Quote:

Quote:

Take a look at this telescope. Given your budget, it may be a good choice.

https://www.astronomics.com/celestron-nexstar-8-se-8-inch-go-to-sct-telescope...




Hi,

How does it compare in image quality to the one I was looking at:

http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Reflector-Telescopes/Reflector-Telescopes...

They are both 8 inch but I know there is more to image quality than the number of inches...

Thanks!
Juggernaut




Hi:

The two scopes in question are the Celestron 8SE and the Orion SkyView Pro8 Goto, an 8 inch F/5 Newtonian on a Sky View Pro Mount. My thinking:

8 inch Orion SkyView Pro: I like Newtonians, have a number of them that I use on a regular basis. I do have an 8 inch F/5 Newtonian on Celestron CG-5 ASGT mount, the scope is the same as the Orion but the mount is beefier. In my opinion, the Sky View Pro undersized for a 8 inch F/5 Newtonian. Celestron is coming out with an upgraded version of the CG5-ASGT mount, that would be the one to choose.

8 inch Celestron on the VX mount

Between the 8SE and an 8 inch F/5 Newtonian I would choose the Newtonian but for most people I would recommend the 8 inch SCT. Newtonians on Equatorial mounts put the observer is some awkward positions, you tangle with the counterweight and the tripod trying to get to the eyepiece. As you move around the sky, the tube rotates and so the focuser rotates. The tube needs to be frequently rotated in the rings, this can be awkward, the tube can slip, you can lose alignment.

The advantage of the Newtonian is that it is capable of a wider field of view, cools faster. On the downside, it will require more frequent collimation... it's bigger.

Alt-az mounts are in general more comfortable than Equatorial mounts, the tube does not rotate. The SCT has a short tube so the eyepiece position does not change drastically, the rig is lighter..

In my mind, a Newtonian is best mounted on Dobsonian mount. It is just so much simpler to use, more comfortable, no awkward straddling of the counterweight or the tripod legs, the tube does not rotate... My Dobsonians get frequent use, my Equatorially mounted Newtonians not so much...

Jon

Edited by Jon Isaacs (02/21/13 06:50 AM)


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Paco_Grande
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/14/12

Loc: Banana Republic of California
Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Juggernaut]
      #5692624 - 02/21/13 12:13 PM

Quote:

...
are their "zoom" capability the same? At least with cameras, 200 mm on one camera might be 300 mm on another...depends on the sensor.

Thanks!
Juggernaut




Yes, but with a telescope it's a bit more simple than, say, how a particular lens will work on a full frame camera like the Canon 5D compared to the 7D or 40D's crop sensor.

Generally we look to the focal ratio (focal length/aperture) as the basic means to determine how "wide" the view is and/or how it might perform using different eyepieces. A basic comparison between a telescope and a camera lens that might make sense could be:

f5 telescope - 50mm camera lens (wide field)
f10 telescope - 200mm camera lens (moderate)
f15 telescope - 400mm camera lens (narrow field)

Those are not direct relationships except in the sense of how wide the field of view will be.

The second consideration you'll run into around here is how demanding, or how "hard" a scope is on eyepieces. The faster the ratio, the more demanding it will be on the ability of the eyepiece. For example, an f4.5 telescope will need higher quality eyepieces than an f10 in order to have excellent views. That is purely a physics issue. It also means that eyepieces for the f4.5 scope are going to be more expensive - sometimes a LOT more expensive.

As for magnification ability. Generally, high power (slower ratios like f10+) are used for planets and maybe a couple of other specific objects. Faster ratios/wide field (f5-f8) for deep space objects, to gain nice big views of the sky. Each has its advantages, which is why many of us own more than one telescope. Still, a good quality wide-field scope can do very nicely on planets, and vice versa.

http://www.synapticsystems.com/sky/scopes/telbasic.html


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panhard
It's All Good
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Reged: 01/20/08

Loc: Markham Ontario Canada
Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5692662 - 02/21/13 12:33 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Take a look at this telescope. Given your budget, it may be a good choice.

https://www.astronomics.com/celestron-nexstar-8-se-8-inch-go-to-sct-telescope...




Hi,

How does it compare in image quality to the one I was looking at:

http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Reflector-Telescopes/Reflector-Telescopes...

They are both 8 inch but I know there is more to image quality than the number of inches...

Thanks!
Juggernaut




Hi:

The two scopes in question are the Celestron 8SE and the Orion SkyView Pro8 Goto, an 8 inch F/5 Newtonian on a Sky View Pro Mount. My thinking:

8 inch Orion SkyView Pro: I like Newtonians, have a number of them that I use on a regular basis. I do have an 8 inch F/5 Newtonian on Celestron CG-5 ASGT mount, the scope is the same as the Orion but the mount is beefier. In my opinion, the Sky View Pro undersized for a 8 inch F/5 Newtonian. Celestron is coming out with an upgraded version of the CG5-ASGT mount, that would be the one to choose.

8 inch Celestron on the VX mount

Between the 8SE and an 8 inch F/5 Newtonian I would choose the Newtonian but for most people I would recommend the 8 inch SCT. Newtonians on Equatorial mounts put the observer is some awkward positions, you tangle with the counterweight and the tripod trying to get to the eyepiece. As you move around the sky, the tube rotates and so the focuser rotates. The tube needs to be frequently rotated in the rings, this can be awkward, the tube can slip, you can lose alignment.

The advantage of the Newtonian is that it is capable of a wider field of view, cools faster. On the downside, it will require more frequent collimation... it's bigger.

Alt-az mounts are in general more comfortable than Equatorial mounts, the tube does not rotate. The SCT has a short tube so the eyepiece position does not change drastically, the rig is lighter..

In my mind, a Newtonian is best mounted on Dobsonian mount. It is just so much simpler to use, more comfortable, no awkward straddling of the counterweight or the tripod legs, the tube does not rotate... My Dobsonians get frequent use, my Equatorially mounted Newtonians not so much...

Jon


Jon you hit the nail square on the head.

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Juggernaut
member


Reged: 02/17/13

Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5692774 - 02/21/13 01:35 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Take a look at this telescope. Given your budget, it may be a good choice.

https://www.astronomics.com/celestron-nexstar-8-se-8-inch-go-to-sct-telescope...




Hi,

How does it compare in image quality to the one I was looking at:

http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Reflector-Telescopes/Reflector-Telescopes...

They are both 8 inch but I know there is more to image quality than the number of inches...




I'd have to compare them side by side to tell, and there might well be more variation between two different scopes of the same design than between the designs. Probably pretty close, is my guess.




Hi Tony. Thank you for the information.

Sorry for my ignorance:

I see the nexstar 8 is f/10 and the Newton is f/4.9

Despite that difference they will still be similar?

(maybe I should reconsider the dobsonians - if they can be separated into 2 parts for easy moving...)

Thanks!
Juggernaut


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kenrenard
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/13/12

Loc: Dunmore, PA
Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Juggernaut]
      #5692796 - 02/21/13 01:45 PM

Juggernaut,
You'll find nothing works as easy and as well as a Dobsonian. It's a miracle how something so simple can be so useful. Thank God for John Dobson!

Ken


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Juggernaut]
      #5692810 - 02/21/13 01:52 PM

Quote:

(maybe I should reconsider the dobsonians - if they can be separated into 2 parts for easy moving...)

Thanks!
Juggernaut






Each and every type of scope has advantages and disadvantages. Dobs are quick to setup, cool quickly, provide widefields of view as well as solid high magnification performance. They are robust, SCTs have the corrector plate that needs protection. Dobsonians are comfortable for most objects in the sky.

GOTO Dobs are available but I think of the classic Dob and totally manual.. In the smaller sizes Dobs are bigger than other scopes but in the larger sizes, (14 inches and up), truss Dobs are about the only practical design.

Dobs are definitely worth consideration, (as are, EQ Newtonians, SCTs and refractors), not because they can be less expensive but because of their capabilities...

Jon


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Tony Flanders
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Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Juggernaut]
      #5693050 - 02/21/13 04:19 PM

Quote:

I see the nexstar 8 is f/10 and the Newton is f/4.9

Despite that difference they will still be similar?




To a good first approximation, all that it means is that you will need a different set of eyepieces to yield the same set of magnifications. Or a 2X Barlow, which effectively converts the f/4.9 Newt to f/9.8.

Quote:

Maybe I should reconsider the dobsonians - if they can be separated into 2 parts for easy moving...




All Dobs can be separated into two pieces; that's how they're shipped. With classic models -- no setting circles, springs, or motor drive -- you just pick the tube up off the rocker box and put it back on to restore the scope to working configuration. Takes less than a second each way.

I have handles on both the tube and rocker box of my 7-inch Dob, so I routinely walk around with one in each hand, for counterbalance. It gets old after a quarter mile or so, but it's a piece of cake for carrying it short distances.


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Juggernaut
member


Reged: 02/17/13

Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5694106 - 02/22/13 07:22 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I see the nexstar 8 is f/10 and the Newton is f/4.9

Despite that difference they will still be similar?




To a good first approximation, all that it means is that you will need a different set of eyepieces to yield the same set of magnifications. Or a 2X Barlow, which effectively converts the f/4.9 Newt to f/9.8.

Quote:

Maybe I should reconsider the dobsonians - if they can be separated into 2 parts for easy moving...




All Dobs can be separated into two pieces; that's how they're shipped. With classic models -- no setting circles, springs, or motor drive -- you just pick the tube up off the rocker box and put it back on to restore the scope to working configuration. Takes less than a second each way.

I have handles on both the tube and rocker box of my 7-inch Dob, so I routinely walk around with one in each hand, for counterbalance. It gets old after a quarter mile or so, but it's a piece of cake for carrying it short distances.




Hi,

Thanks for the information - so basically they are a scope and a base rather than a scope and a tripod, right?

If there is no GO TO feature, then is there any built in ability to counteract the rotation of the earth? Won't this be needed if I want to take any pictures at all of deep space objects?

Thank you!
Juggernaut


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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Juggernaut]
      #5694183 - 02/22/13 08:32 AM

Quote:

Thanks for the information - so basically they are a scope and a base rather than a scope and a tripod, right?




Right. More accurately, a conventional scope has three pieces: a tripod (or pier), a "head" that allows for rotation, and an optical tube. A Dob dispenses with the tripod entirely, and places the "head" right on the ground.

Quote:

If there is no GO TO feature, then is there any built in ability to counteract the rotation of the earth? Won't this be needed if I want to take any pictures at all of deep space objects?




That's correct; Dobs are unsuitable for long-exposure astrophotography. You can place them on equatorial platforms that track the sky, but that adds considerable weight, bulk, and cost.

You can, however, take fine snapshots of the Moon through the eyepiece of a Dob, and passably good snapshots of the planets, too. These objects are so bright that the Earth's rotation isn't an issue -- or is less of an issue, anyway.

Note that the 8SE is also not suitable for long-exposure astrophotography because it has an alt-azimuth mount. That causes smearing due to field rotation; the objects in the sky rotate but the tube does not.

As I said before, there's a limit to what kind of deep-sky astrophotography you can do for $1000. If you really want to make that your first priority, you best bet is to spend most of that money on the mount and buy a very small optical tube to put on it -- something like an 80-mm refractor.

However, that will seriously compromise your views; smaller scopes show less than bigger scopes. Mind you, that's not the end of the world -- I love the views through 80-mm scopes. However, they're nowhere near as impressive as the views through an 8-inch scope. If wow is what you want, an 80-mm scope may not supply it -- depending on your sensibility.

If you want to get the best possible views for your money, you should buy a Dob. But that rules out long-exposure astrophotography.

The danger is that if you try to get both in one telescope, you may end up with a scope that's satisfactory for neither.

Here's one way of looking at it. An 8-inch Dob is a really good visual scope, something you could use happily all your life. And it costs just $400, which is small change in the context of astrophotography.

To get a rig that's comparably good for deep-sky astrophotography would cost many thousands of dollars. So maybe it makes sense to start with the Dob and then move on to astrophotography when the time comes. Meanwhile, you can take snapshots of the Moon through the Dob and wide-field scenic shots of the constellations using your DSLR on a fixed tripod.

Alternatively, you could get a more modest EQ-mounted scope which wouldn't be adequate for through-the-scope deep-sky photography but would work fine for piggyback. Then you could get deeper into astrophotography using telephoto lenses on your DSLR.

Edited by Tony Flanders (02/22/13 08:49 AM)


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