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Juggernaut
member


Reged: 02/17/13

What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner.
      #5687951 - 02/18/13 10:21 PM

Hi,

I have a $1000 budget to buy the best telescope I can.

Can you please make a good recommendation for what I might consider?

I am new to astronomy.

My requirements:
1) Cannot be dobsonian because I need to move it easily - just a tripod and the telescope as 2 basic parts to transport.

2) I need it to have a mount for a Nikon DSLR camera (or be compatible with such a mount)

3) I want it to have that feature (is it called go-to?) which will find and track what you are looking for once you have calibrated it.

4) The best image quality I can get within these confines.

I hope my list of requirements is not unreasonable.

I would appreciate any advice.

Thanks!
Juggernaut


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obin robinson
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Reged: 10/25/12

Loc: League City, TX
Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Juggernaut]
      #5687982 - 02/18/13 10:40 PM

Hello there and welcome aboard. There are a lot of great people here who can help you out. Before we help tough they will want to know what you are trying to view. Far away galaxies? Asteroids? Planets? Satellites? Star clusters? If you are just trying to do astrophotography you may not even need a telescope. A good equatorial mount and a quality apochromatic camera lens may be enough.

obin


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jerwin
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 05/17/12

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Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: obin robinson]
      #5688103 - 02/19/13 12:03 AM

Astrophotography gets kind of tricky on a $1000 budget. The mount is the most important part of this. You'll want a Equatorial mount so it can properly track the sky as smooth as possible. Celestron makes an advanced VX mount that is getting good reviews, but the mount alone is 799. They make a 6" newtonian that rides on that advanced vx for 899 total.

you can get adapters that will hook your camera to the scope no problem, you want a nikon t-ring and something like a t camera adapter.

Honestly you're probably better off to post your question in the astrophotography forum and see what the guys say over there. There is also a post at the top of the beginners forum called why oh why AP for beginners that I'd suggest reading some of. AP can be kind of a money pit when you cut corners, and I think can be a bigger money pit when you buy the right equipment. However buying better equipment the first time saves you grief later on.

Anyway, welcome to cloudynights, and good luck to you.

Clear skies
Jim


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Maverick199
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Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Juggernaut]
      #5688223 - 02/19/13 02:19 AM

You need a telescope on an equatorial mount as you want to add a DSLR. But still that will not solve your issue of 'moving it easily'. These tripods are heavy, even the basic CG-5 with weights.

You can get an Alt/Az mount and scope like the Nexstar and still do a decent amount of AP with Nikon DSLR. Check the Nexstar forums for some of the images and comments made over there.


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lamplight
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Reged: 09/18/12

Loc: western MA, U.S.
Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Juggernaut]
      #5688360 - 02/19/13 06:17 AM

Hi and welcome!

I like the reflector on eq suggestion, or equally a small refactor like 80mm on eq. But then you're left with very little for accessories.

Your # 1 is ns not really met by doing astrophotography: need a good sturdy mount with plenty of weight capacity for whatever scope you get, the scope, counterweights, power supply. I could go on.. (Computer?).. Still a small scope setup won't be murder to move but just wanted to mention its not as simple as we all would hope it to be.

That said you can do tons of experimenting with a dslr and one of the scope types recommended.. I've barely begun myself, too busy enjoying finding objects with the scope


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Tony Flanders
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Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Juggernaut]
      #5688370 - 02/19/13 06:33 AM

I don't think you can get what you really have in the back of your mind, but I think you can come close.

Two cautions. You can't do serious astrophotography on your budget, especially when you take the other criteria into account. But you can certainly have fun messsing around.

Contrary to appearances, 8-inch Dobsonians are in fact quite easy to move around. Anything that's much more portable will also be much more limited in capability.

Having said all that, it seems very likely that the telescope that will satisfy you best is some kind of catadioptric -- probably an SCT -- on a Go To mount.


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kenrenard
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Reged: 12/13/12

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Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Juggernaut]
      #5688373 - 02/19/13 06:40 AM

If you are completely new do you have a pair of binoculars? They are the best beginner and experience tool you can have.
Also do you belong to a local Astronomy club? I would look into joining one. Photography can get tricky and very expensive.
For something simple you may want to look into a Celestron 6SE or a Meade ETX Goto.

Here is a link to the Nexstar 6SE
http://www.celestron.com/astronomy/celestron-nexstar-6se.html
I know of two folks in our astronomy club that own them. They are very good scopes with go to and you can take pictures with a DSLR. Although not long exposer pictures. This leaves you a little bit of room for eyepieces, books, etc.

With all that said a dob is very easy to move especially in the 6-8 inch range. I can be set up in under 30 seconds. But if your heart is set on a pictures that rules out the dob.

Hope this is helpful.

Ken


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edwincjones
Close Enough
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Reged: 04/10/04

Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: kenrenard]
      #5688397 - 02/19/13 07:24 AM

"I am new to astronomy"

back to the basics
1-join a club
2-naked eye viewing until you can find yourself around the sky
3-hand held binoculars (any size will do now)
4-then get a scope

There are 50,000+ members on CNs, and we can give you 50,000 different opinions, but what you really want, what you enjoy will be up to what appeals to you-something we do not know, and you probably do not either.
Going to star parties, looking at the various options, will help you decide much better than our recommendations

from someone who has spent a lot money to discover that he does not want,
edj


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kenrenard
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Reged: 12/13/12

Loc: Dunmore, PA
Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: edwincjones]
      #5688411 - 02/19/13 07:43 AM

Quote:

"I am new to astronomy"

back to the basics
1-join a club
2-naked eye viewing until you can find yourself around the sky
3-hand held binoculars (any size will do now)
4-then get a scope

There are 50,000+ members on CNs, and we can give you 50,000 different opinions, but what you really want, what you enjoy will be up to what appeals to you-something we do not know, and you probably do not either.
Going to star parties, looking at the various options, will help you decide much better than our recommendations

from someone who has spent a lot money to discover that he does not want,
edj




Ed,
I think you have explained it perfectly. We can always buy something, in the beginning we don't even know what we want or need!

Ken


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Jay Wise
sage


Reged: 11/21/08

Loc: Near Williamsburg VA
Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: kenrenard]
      #5688968 - 02/19/13 02:01 PM

Dear Jug,
You have close to $1000 worth of good advice on this thread alone! Tony Flanders is an editor with SKY and TELESCOPE and a specialist in astrophotography. Ignore his advice at your peril! Ed's advice is spot on as well. For $1000 you will have trouble beating a 6"SE or a 6" Meade LT. All you can do with a camera at entry level astronomy is noodle around and have some fun. Either of the 6" scopes can however keep you exploring for years when used as a visual scope.

JayW


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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Jay Wise]
      #5688979 - 02/19/13 02:12 PM

visit a star party and look thru the various scopes....you might even change your mind about a dob.......Orion has an 8" dob with GoTo (Visual only) for about that price.

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drbyyz
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Reged: 11/04/12

Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5689045 - 02/19/13 02:55 PM

You've received quite a bit of advice about astrophotography but it wasn't clear to me that's what you were asking about...is that indeed what you want to do? Or do you just want the mount to also be used for your camera? I think we all assumed you meant astrophotography, but please clarify for us what you plan to do with the camera.

To add on to others advice, if you are new, you probably don't know what you want or need yet. I definitely suggest seeing if you can get to an observing session with a local club and try a few different scopes. Unless you live somewhere weird, everyone will be very friendly and have no issue letting you take a look through their equipment(as long as you are polite and careful!)

I'd also suggest perhaps spending a small portion of your budget(or utilizing a local library if that's an option) on a book. I recommend Nightwatch by Terence Dickinson. A book like this will give you a great insight as to what different types of scopes are out there, and the pros and cons of each type.

Also, continue to use and abuse(well maybe not) these forums, there is an incredible amount of information contained here. All you need to do is search, or ask.

And Welcome!!!!


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GeneT
Ely Kid
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Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Juggernaut]
      #5689085 - 02/19/13 03:23 PM

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...


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Juggernaut
member


Reged: 02/17/13

Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: drbyyz]
      #5689096 - 02/19/13 03:32 PM

Hi all. Thank you for the information.

To clarify, as drbyyz suggested, I am not looking to focus on astrophotography - I want a good scope to see deep space objects and some casual capability to take pictures of space objects from time to time - casual photography only.

My only real experience is with the telescopes I have borrowed. None of them have been able to see Jupiter as anything more than a white circle - no definition at all. I want something better than those.

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...

Any problems, concerns with this scope?

I won't buy right now - just trying to learn what is what - trying to get rid of some of my ignorance and learn what I didn't know I didn't know :-)

Thanks!
Juggernaut


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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

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Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Juggernaut]
      #5689222 - 02/19/13 04:29 PM

A large Newt on an EQ Mount is a wild beast to control. It not only takes a lot of setup, but you have to lift that OTA (about 20-25lbs) way up and hold it steady (and with that weight, it ain't gonna want to remain steady) to get it mounted. Plus, any butterfly in the area beats its wings, and your scope's gonna turn into a wind sock. Truthfully, a large newt on an EQ mount is NOT a beginner scope. And truthfully, that scope is WAY too much for that mount. If you are looking for something with GoTo and future AP, I'd get at a minimum a CG5 Mount. For the scope, maybe a 650-800mm refractor (maybe a bottom level APO). This will give you a visual widefield scope, but being an APO, you can push the power better then an achromat for planetary/lunar use. It could also do entry-to intermediate level AP.

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kenrenard
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Reged: 12/13/12

Loc: Dunmore, PA
Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: GeneT]
      #5689407 - 02/19/13 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...





I agree with Gene. These are easy to use and set up and I have viewed through quite a few at my local club. They are quite popular and capable. You may be able to find one used. I know specifically one member who uses a standard T ring adapter with a DSLR with the 6SE and has taken some decent lunar and planetary images.

Also just about any telescope that is decent will show detail on Jupiter. I am not sure what you looked through but even a 60mm refractor will show the two main bands.

I would stay away from the 8 inch eq mounted scope you sent that will be a bit of work to set up and this may prohibit you from using it as much. You want to start with something you can set up quick and observe. I think the Nexstars fit that with the ability to find and track.


Ken


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Whichwayisnorth
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Reged: 07/04/11

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Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: kenrenard]
      #5689570 - 02/19/13 07:41 PM

Find a used CG5-ASGT mount for less than $500.00. One recently sold on the CN classifieds for $400.00 with upgrades. Then choose either an 8" SCT or a 80-90mm refractor. There is an AT 80mm ED Trip for $550.00 on the classifieds right now. Now you just need the adapter for your camera, an extension tube for propper back focus, a celestron serial cable and usb to serial adapter and make sure you have the correct power supply that you want to use. Either battery 12v or 110v. You're all set!

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Tony Flanders
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Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Juggernaut]
      #5689588 - 02/19/13 07:50 PM

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).


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geekgroupie
sage


Reged: 01/07/12

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Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5689737 - 02/19/13 09:14 PM

NexStar Se.... 5", 6" or 8". The bigger the better. Great portablility.... I travel much for my job. The OTA slides off easily, tripod legs shorten and fits nicely in back seats of my vehicle

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Paco_Grande
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Reged: 07/14/12

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Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5689756 - 02/19/13 09:25 PM

Ok, so dropping the idea of a goto computerized mount for a second, this is a lot of scope for $400.

http://www.optcorp.com/product.aspx?pid=1086-13719

I'm one of the guys who thinks a Newtonian on an alt/az mount is the bee's knees.

But if the Goto is really what you want, in that price range, how can you go wrong with a 6SE or an 8SE? You can't!

Lastly, if you can wrap your head around a Dobsonian, the Orion XT10i will blow your mind.

If you're in the SF Bay area, I'll sell you my CPC800 for what a new 8SE will cost you. Maybe even a bit less.


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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
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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
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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
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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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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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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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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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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
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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
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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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kenrenard
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Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5694210 - 02/22/13 08:50 AM

Tony,
I would like to see how the handles are attached to your tube. I have an Orion XT8. I put a know on one end for slow movements. But I have thought of putting a full handle on. If you have a picture it would be helpful. Thanks


Ken


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5694230 - 02/22/13 09:02 AM

Quote:



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






That's about the long and short of it. I once bought a filter from Mark Manner who is a dedicated astrophotographer. This is what his observatory looks like:

A serious observatory

Jon


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MawkHawk
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Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5694246 - 02/22/13 09:12 AM

If it were me, I'd skip the camera altogether and get an Orion XT8g. Good aperture, easy of use, goto and tracking. Can't go wrong.

Edited by MawkHawk (02/23/13 09:56 AM)


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Tony Flanders
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Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: kenrenard]
      #5694472 - 02/22/13 11:20 AM

Quote:

I would like to see how the handles are attached to your tube.




The handles on mine are built into the scope; it's an unconventional (but very effective) design. Try a web search for "Starmaster Oak Classic."

To put handles on a conventional Dob, I would probably tie a tight strap below and above the pivot point and then connect them with a handle, either rigid or just nylon webbing. Alternatively, you could drill right into the tube -- depending on the model.


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Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5694545 - 02/22/13 11:55 AM

Thanks Tony,
That is interesting design. I know Teeter's telescope makes something similar now with their STS series.

Mine has springs attaching the tube to the base. I can see now where to put the handle. I was thinking for walking down the street or bringing in and out of the garage.

I've already drilled some holes in the tube. I guess I could put a few more in:)


Ken


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FTLAUDSKY
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Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: kenrenard]
      #5694876 - 02/22/13 02:37 PM

Great advice in this thread. If you only have $1000 forget about AP. I am not kidding or trying to stop you. Just giving you advice from a newb myself. Your going to need two scopes at a minimum. One for visual and one for AP. Realize this now. There is no one scope for everything. I learned after many hours this is the truth. Short and sweet. Also the mount is the most important part of the rig. It will limit what you can guy so spend up. Accessories are another story...

Two options: both good
1. Small refractor with EQ mount - spend most on the mount and less on the scope - I would go with AVX mount/72mm Astro-Tech (new) or CG5/80-90mm (used) - realize this will not be the best for visual/but can get used for AP
2. 6-8" SCT with go to mount - Good for visual, not great for AP - go used for a 8SE and buy some ep's

Whenever possible buy used if your ok with it. You can save a lot of money, but your taking a risk so be careful.


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Kevdog
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Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: FTLAUDSKY]
      #5695215 - 02/22/13 05:23 PM

I have a Meade LT8. It's for sale for just under $1000. With the single arm mount (like the nexstar 8 SE) it shakes too much for any serious photography. You can get so-so shots with it.

Look on the used market. My local CL has had some great deals. I should have bought a fully configured AP setup with a Meade 8" LX200 for $1500. I screwed up and someone else bought it before I did. Ended up with a C11 NexStar and wedge, but haven't had time to really set it up for AP.

AP takes lots of time and lots of fiddling to do it well.

Here are some shots with my LT8 and my Olympus E-PM1 hooked to it:




Note how they are not sharp. The mount can't keep still enough for a sharp picture. It also makes focusing hard. They were fun to take though.

Hoping for much better with the C11.


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Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Kevdog]
      #5695581 - 02/22/13 08:35 PM

I think they look pretty good. Not bad for a scope under $1000.00. Think how much something costs that produced pictures like yours 30 years ago?

Ken


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Tony Flanders
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Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: kenrenard]
      #5696092 - 02/23/13 05:55 AM

Quote:

I think they look pretty good. Not bad for a scope under $1000.00. Think how much something costs that produced pictures like yours 30 years ago?




That's a very helpful perspective. It certainly is possible to take photos with a scope that costs less than $1000 -- as long as your expectations aren't too high and as long as you're willing to invest some serious time and effort.

Serious time and effort was the name of the game three or four decades ago; if you weren't willing to spend hours staring through your guide scope and tweaking the slo-mos, you didn't take up astrophotography. And even then you were lucky to get pictures as good as the ones posted above. Even with top-notch equipment.


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Juggernaut
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Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5697330 - 02/23/13 09:07 PM

Hi all.

As I think about it and realize how difficult it is to take good images here on terra firma, I think that at this point I would be happy to forgo the idea of astrophotography (there are great shots on the web that I could never duplicate at a bargain price without devoting my life to technique!)

That being said, if I get a dobsonian unit without "go to", will I find myself frustrated for having to constantly adjusting the scope. I have young children who I would like to show the sky - is a "go to" scope the least frustrating way to go? In my prior experiences, it seemed that by the time they got situated, often the object being viewed was about to leave the viewing area of the scope.

Thanks!
Juggernaut


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Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Juggernaut]
      #5697888 - 02/24/13 08:41 AM

I've shown my kids 2 and 6 plenty with a manual dob. I have been to numerous outreach events and had kids as young as 8 finding things by themselves in a few minutes of coaching. My favorite experience was when a kid about 10 showed up with his dad at a local state park star party. I showed him how to line up the telrad to an object and told him look at that star over there. Knowing it was Saturn his jaw dropped and he and his Dad couldn't stop looking for stuff for the next hour. His dad thought the scope costs thousands of dollars. When I told him he could get something for under $400.00 he was amazed. I hope I opened a whole new world to that kid and his dad.

Ken


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Juggernaut
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Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5698602 - 02/24/13 05:03 PM

Quote:

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.





Hi again,

Just to clarify. For the dobsonian, when you say you can place it on an "equatorial platforms that track the sky" is that the "go to" feature, or something else?

Thanks!
Juggernaut


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Jarrod
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Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Juggernaut]
      #5698965 - 02/24/13 09:40 PM

Quote:

That being said, if I get a dobsonian unit without "go to", will I find myself frustrated for having to constantly adjusting the scope. I have young children who I would like to show the sky - is a "go to" scope the least frustrating way to go? In my prior experiences, it seemed that by the time they got situated, often the object being viewed was about to leave the viewing area of the scope.




Yes. If you're willing to forgo astrophotography for now, I'd get this, a couple of good widefield eyepieces, and call it a day.


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Tony Flanders
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Re: What telescope for $1000 budget? For beginner. new [Re: Juggernaut]
      #5700484 - 02/25/13 07:57 PM

Quote:

Just to clarify. For the dobsonian, when you say you can place it on an "equatorial platforms that track the sky" is that the "go to" feature, or something else?




No. Go To Dobs and equatorial platforms are fundamentally different. Go To Dobs track by moving the scope in altitude and azimuth. That means they can't be used for long-exposure photography because of field rotation.

Equatorial platforms track by moving just one axis, just like a conventional equatorial mount. It's kind of hard to explain how they work. Try a web search for "equatorial platform" to find a photo, that might help.


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