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JoeStarPR
member


Reged: 08/08/12

Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner)
      #5825410 - 04/26/13 10:19 PM

Hi all:
My budget is around $2,000, I have done my research but I'm a total novice!.
I am also a photographer and as such, I will eventually use it to take photos as well.

With that info here is what I have so far:

Mount - LX80 Multi-mount (like the expansion options and initially would like to spend the most amount of $$ on the mount instead of the scope)

Explore scientific 80mm ED APO Triplet
Orion 80 ED APO
Orion 102mm refractor
Explore scientific 127 or 102 AR Doublet
Sky-Watcher 100mm ED

Reflectors<-- don't know much about these
Cassegrains - I've looked through them before but I don't know much about them either.

This scope will need to last me a long time so quality is a plus!

I want to learn astronomy as a family activity so I would use it for visual observations first and imaging second.
I would like my scope to be versatile enough to be able to see faint fuzzies , Deep objects and planets

I don't have a backyard (2nd floor apartment) BUT I am 3 minutes from a park with an observatory and watch area with minimal light AND I am 15 minutes away from Alligator alley !

Any help, suggestions, ideas or advice would be greatly appreciated

Thanks for the help and evening from FL
JoeStarPR


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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: JoeStarPR]
      #5825442 - 04/26/13 10:38 PM

As a member of Cloudy Nights you will also get a small discount

click here to make your dreams come true


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GOLGO13
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/05/05

Loc: St. Louis area
Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: JoeStarPR]
      #5825456 - 04/26/13 10:48 PM

I have too many negatives about the lx80 mount. Look toward orion or celestron for the mount. Of those scopes I like the skywatcher 100 for visual...I would do an orion triplet 80mm for imaging.

The 8 inch sct suggested would be awesome...then get an 80mm triplet later.


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

Loc: Markham Ontario Canada
Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5825465 - 04/26/13 10:58 PM

Quote:

As a member of Cloudy Nights you will also get a small discount

click here to make your dreams come true


That is great choice. Depending upon what mount is included.

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JoeStarPR
member


Reged: 08/08/12

Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: panhard]
      #5825480 - 04/26/13 11:13 PM

What mount do you guys recommend? I want to get one that I can grow with !
Also, why the negatives on the LX-80 mount?
thanks


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Jarrod
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Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: JoeStarPR]
      #5825499 - 04/26/13 11:25 PM

That C8 Edge HD/AVX combo is what I was going to recommend too (and what I nearly bought - until I decided that I was going to have two scopes). The new AVX mount is getting rave reviews.

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JoeStarPR
member


Reged: 08/08/12

Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: Jarrod]
      #5825504 - 04/26/13 11:31 PM

I'm beginning to like that C8. what's the payload on that mount? Will I be able to attach say, an 80mmED later on?

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Momerath
sage


Reged: 05/31/11

Loc: Upstate SC,
Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: Jarrod]
      #5825523 - 04/26/13 11:52 PM

Quote:

That C8 Edge HD/AVX combo is what I was going to recommend too (and what I nearly bought - until I decided that I was going to have two scopes). The new AVX mount is getting rave reviews.




+1 on the AVX mount. I have heard nothing but good about them. Celestron Advanced VX Series 8" Edge HD Go To Telescope 12031 is $ 1999 which is in your price range.

I would go with that or a small refractor.
Stellarvue 90mm Raptor f/7 Triplet APO Telescope w/ Carbon Fiber Tube & 2.5" Dual Speed Focuser is $1495 add that to the AVX and you have 2200

Lots of good choices.


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JoeStarPR
member


Reged: 08/08/12

Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: Momerath]
      #5825537 - 04/27/13 12:18 AM

Just read a review of sorts of the VX mount, looks good so far but saw nothing about dual tubes config on that mount. That is the only reason I am looking at the LX-80. Knowing me I will end up with 2 scopes and was thinking on spending on a mount with a good payload but that I can transport easily. Still searching the web for the max payload on that VX tho.
Thanks for the info ! keep the suggestions flowing


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

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Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: JoeStarPR]
      #5825558 - 04/27/13 12:49 AM

I'd do a bit more research on the LX80 mount. It's been trouble plagued. I' definitely choose a different mount. Also, if you really think you'll end up doing a lot of imaging, it's unlikely that you'll be satisfied with a $2000 scope and mount combo for very long. Perhaps get a good sub-$1000 visual set-up first, and then when you have your star-legs under you, start deliberately upgrading gear or adding new gear to support and imaging foray.

I know very few astronomers end up preferring the gear that they chose to start out with. It's a process. When first starting, you have no idea what you're really going to like. Only with experience do you figure out your needs and wants. I'm a believer in going cheap to start, and then getting serious later once you know what's what and where.

Regards,

Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (04/29/13 02:53 PM)


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JoeStarPR
member


Reged: 08/08/12

Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5825567 - 04/27/13 12:57 AM

Was just checking youtube videos and it has indeed a ton of issues. Guess I'll stick with the Celestron VX. so far so good on the reviews

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Whichwayisnorth
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Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: JoeStarPR]
      #5825614 - 04/27/13 02:16 AM

The combo I pointed out is going to be great to start out with. Especially since you want to start learning the sky and using it visually. Sometime in June/July Celestron is going to release the focal reducer for it. I think it is 299? 399? Something like that. This will allow you to have a much better time taking photos with your DSLR camera. There is a lot of room to grow with the EdgeHD OTA. You can pick up the whole thing, OTA, mount, weights and all and then carry it outside. That is what I do. I keep it fully assembled and I just pick it up and carry it outside when I want to use it.

In the future you can also start saving up for perhaps the Celestron 8300 series one shot color ccd camera. Then grab a hyperstar lens which allows you to attach that camera to the front of the corrector plate to shoot at F/2!! That is a lot of fun but it is a chunk of change.

Now you've asked a few times about using two scopes at once.

You can buy a side by side saddle plate (extra) but the instrument capacity of this mount isn't high enough to support both the 8" SCT and an 80mm refractor at the same time. Not for photography anyways. If you are going to use that configuration for visual it should be fine.


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: JoeStarPR]
      #5825832 - 04/27/13 08:05 AM

Quote:


This scope will need to last me a long time so quality is a plus!

I want to learn astronomy as a family activity so I would use it for visual observations first and imaging second.
I would like my scope to be versatile enough to be able to see faint fuzzies , Deep objects and planets





Hi:

I suggest finding your local astronomy club or going to a star party before deciding on a purchase. It's best to decide on a scope with some first hand knowledge of what it will show you, how big it is, what it is like set it up, to observe with it.

Any scope will show the deep sky and the planets, but what you see and how deep you go, how much detail you see, that does depend on the scope. Your choices are all refractors, all 5 inches or under, some are achromats, some are apo's, some will provide a clear, clean view of the planes, some will shroud Jupiter and Saturn in a purple haze. If you want this scope to "last a long time" the first requirement is that you be satisfied with the views.

There is a lot to see in a 4 inch refractor but in comparison to a larger scope, say and 8 inch or 10 inch, the views tend to be underwhelming. I have one very nice 4 inch refractor, it is an amazing scope in it's perfection but alongside a $500 10 inch Dobsonian, it's perfection is overwhelmed by the shear power of the larger aperture.

It might be that a 4 inch refractor is the ideal scope for you but you ought to know that before buying it.

Jon


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KWB
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Reged: 09/30/06

Loc: Westminster,Co Elev.5400 feet
Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5825841 - 04/27/13 08:15 AM

What an excellent post and summation by Jon. I couldn't agree more with what he just stated.

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geekgroupie
sage


Reged: 01/07/12

Loc: Puebo, CO
Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: KWB]
      #5825984 - 04/27/13 10:17 AM

For what it's worth (disclaimer = inherent).... I had an astrophysicist pick out my first scope and he chose a NexStar. Sure would like a Dob as my next scope. Funny, tho.. I spent $1,000 on a scope and it's like I bought a canoe compared to what I see other "yacht club" owners play with. I guess that's the good thing about this hobby... the potential both intellectually and financially is endless.

Edited by geekgroupie (04/27/13 10:25 AM)


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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: geekgroupie]
      #5826103 - 04/27/13 11:32 AM

You'll know you're part of the crowd when you walk around with one eye closed (unless you're one of those Binofolk)

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BoldAxis1967
sage
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Reged: 10/11/12

Loc: Kentucky
Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: JoeStarPR]
      #5826521 - 04/27/13 03:16 PM

It is great that you have a nice budget to select your first scope, it definitely increases the options available to you. Last year my first scope budget was $1000. I spent $600 on the scope and over the next month or so quickly spent the $400. If you spend all $2000 on a telescope (OTA, mount and tripod) this will exhaust your budget without having money for accessories and you will probably need 2 or 3 eypepieces and a Barlow almost immediately.

You mentioned you want this to be a family affair, that sounds really cool and it seems like you have a fantastic observing spot! These are two important ingredients. If you have small children you will need an observing chair or a stable step-stool. Another consideration is how much weight you are willing to haul to your car, unload and set-up, breakdown and haul back to your apt. If feasible you can keep the counterweights and maybe the tripod in your vehicle. I would carefully consider the weight factor. I would ask myself, “is this a telescope that I am going to feel comfortable setting-up 40 times a year?” A bridge table or something similar might also be in the cards .

I would carefully consider Jon and Jim’s comments. I do not have enough experience to suggest anything specific but I think you can get a really excellent first telescope for visual observation that includes Go-To for $1200 to 1500. This would leave some room for accessories over your first year. If after a year or so you decided you want a different scope you can sell it (keep you accessories) for about ¾ of your original purchase price, assuming it is in excellent condition.

Whatever you choose, you and your family will have a blast, but it may take a few times before you feel comfortable with the setup and learn how to operate the Go-To.


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BoldAxis1967
sage
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Reged: 10/11/12

Loc: Kentucky
Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: JoeStarPR]
      #5826566 - 04/27/13 03:35 PM

JoeStar: I did not mean to indicate that you need to spend $1200 to 1500 for an excellent scope. As others have stated above, $500 can get you a very powerful and excellent scope. I was just trying to make the point that you can go less expensive and still get very good quality. Another words, explore your options you do not need to spend $2000 to get a quality telesscope for visual observation.

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JoeStarPR
member


Reged: 08/08/12

Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: BoldAxis1967]
      #5827651 - 04/28/13 01:35 AM

Thanks all for the great suggestions. I will take them all under advisement. I went to the observatory tonight but it was really cloudy. I did had a chance to speak to a few guys about scopes and first buys and got a general idea as well. thank you !

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lamplight
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/18/12

Loc: western MA, U.S.
Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5827660 - 04/28/13 01:48 AM

Quote:

As a member of Cloudy Nights you will also get a small discount

click here to make your dreams come true



That's just too easy to click, no fair.


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Benson
super member


Reged: 05/22/10

Loc: -6 gmt
Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: lamplight]
      #5827728 - 04/28/13 03:16 AM

I'm partial to the GM8 mount for a modest aperature [<10"] scope. My AP rig is an AT6RC with ST80 finder. Total investment [including GM8] was about $1800. It's not a great visual scope, but, excellent for AP.

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Paco_Grande
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/14/12

Loc: Banana Republic of California
Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: lamplight]
      #5828289 - 04/28/13 12:58 PM

Remember that within your budget you'll need more than just the mount and scope. You'll want eyepieces, a chair, camera mounting parts, and other goodies - it adds up fast.

Many of us agree that trying to consider both visual and AP for one's first scope is a mistake because the requirements are so different, and because as a newbie, you don't really know yet what you want. If you're like most of us, we bought the scope we thought we wanted at first, only to discover shortly thereafter that no, that's not really what I want; I want that instead. It happened to me. I thought I had to have an 8" SCT computerized scope and ended up enjoying manually operated Newtonians much more. lol

Ok, so. One option might be the Celestron 8SE, which is an awesome visual (and family) scope, and it's possible to do some basic AP with it. Plus it's easy to haul around. Then, when (and if) the AP itch really kicks in, you can use the 8SE's OTA on another mount, like the VX mount or something similar. And if you end up using just the new OTA/mount combo you've created, sell off the SE mount. The SE is hugely popular and holds its resale value very well compared to many others.

Seems like a good way to go.

http://www.telescopes.com/telescopes/catadioptric-telescopes/celestronnexstar...


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JoeStarPR
member


Reged: 08/08/12

Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5830322 - 04/29/13 02:10 PM

thank you all !. I think im going for the 8SE after all.

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: geekgroupie]
      #5830454 - 04/29/13 03:00 PM

"I had an astrophysicist pick out my first scope and he chose a NexStar."

That's a little like saying you had an engineer who designs screens for LCD displays pick out your oil paints for you. Observational astronomy as a professional tool has been dead for almost a century. Amateur astronomy is an aesthetic pursuit. Modern astrophysics is all about theory, probes, data, experiments and articles. Unless the astro-physist in question is also a visual observer hobbyist, I would tend to put *less* weight in his opinion than the opinions of experienced, active visual observers.

That said, I don't think the Nexstar 8 SE is a bad choice. But it wouldn't be my first recommendation for a noob.

Regards,

Jim


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Paco_Grande
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/14/12

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Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5830470 - 04/29/13 03:09 PM

Quote:

"I had an astrophysicist pick out my first scope and he chose a NexStar."

That's a little like saying you had an engineer who designs screens for LCD displays pick out your oil paints for you. Observational astronomy as a professional tool has been dead for almost a century. Amateur astronomy is an aesthetic pursuit. Modern astrophysics is all about theory, probes, data, experiments and articles. Unless the astro-physist in question is also a visual observer hobbyist, I would tend to put *less* weight in his opinion than the opinions of experienced, active visual observers.

That said, I don't think the Nexstar 8 SE is a bad choice. But it wouldn't be my first recommendation for a noob.

Regards,

Jim




Yeah, argument from authority can be fallacious.

The 8SE might not be the best noob scope but it is a scope he can grow into nicely without the hassles of handling a big GEM.

BTW, I'm taking up your 60mm observation challenge. I'm looking forward to it!


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bluesteel
sage


Reged: 03/24/13

Loc: KILM
Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5830932 - 04/29/13 07:10 PM

Do you have a camera and tripod already? If so I would recommend taking pictures of bright objects like moons and constellations with just a tripod camera combination to get your feet wet. Taking pictures is only 1/8th of the battle it seems with astrophotography. Processing and stacking the images to bring out the unseen pieces that the camera actually picks up is a very time consuming process with a steep learning curve at first. Registax is a program that is great for stacking pictures of the moon and planets. Deepskystacker is a program that is used to enhance stars, nebulae, etcetera. Both are free.

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JoeStarPR
member


Reged: 08/08/12

Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: bluesteel]
      #5831749 - 04/30/13 08:18 AM

Quote:

Do you have a camera and tripod already? If so I would recommend taking pictures of bright objects like moons and constellations with just a tripod camera combination to get your feet wet. Taking pictures is only 1/8th of the battle it seems with astrophotography. Processing and stacking the images to bring out the unseen pieces that the camera actually picks up is a very time consuming process with a steep learning curve at first. Registax is a program that is great for stacking pictures of the moon and planets. Deepskystacker is a program that is used to enhance stars, nebulae, etcetera. Both are free.



I am doing just that this saturday at the next star party. Bringin my camera, wide lens and tele and sturdy tripod!


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JoeStarPR
member


Reged: 08/08/12

Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5831750 - 04/30/13 08:18 AM

Quote:

"I had an astrophysicist pick out my first scope and he chose a NexStar."

That's a little like saying you had an engineer who designs screens for LCD displays pick out your oil paints for you. Observational astronomy as a professional tool has been dead for almost a century. Amateur astronomy is an aesthetic pursuit. Modern astrophysics is all about theory, probes, data, experiments and articles. Unless the astro-physist in question is also a visual observer hobbyist, I would tend to put *less* weight in his opinion than the opinions of experienced, active visual observers.

That said, I don't think the Nexstar 8 SE is a bad choice. But it wouldn't be my first recommendation for a noob.

Regards,

Jim




What would be your recommendation if I may ask?


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J. Barnes
super member


Reged: 04/11/09

Loc: Kalispell, Montana
Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: JoeStarPR]
      #5832193 - 04/30/13 12:33 PM

That Edge 8 w/ AVX looks like a sweet rig. Even though it would blow your whole "jump in with both feet" budget, and leave no room for accessories, it would be a solid foundation for years worth of discovery. At the very least you could do some prime focus Solar system imaging and buy an inexpensive mount for your DSLR and do some long exposure wide-field stuff. Andromeda is easy pickings with a cheapy telephoto lens mounted on top of my old-school fork mounted C8. I think an 8" SCT is a "Jack of all Trades" scope and I use mine more than anything else besides my binoculars. Now I wouldn't recommend a C8 to a beginner who might be riding the fence, but your aggressive plan doesn't strike me as "not sure I'm ready."

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tedbnh
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/14/07

Loc: New Hampshire
Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: J. Barnes]
      #5832264 - 04/30/13 12:55 PM

A used C8 with XLT coatings ($500) and a used iOptron MiniTower ($500) will put you where Galileo only wished he could be, with a grand to spend on accessories. If you don't like either one, you can sell them for close to what you paid.

XLT coatings are important for looking at bright objects like planets, and Saturn is coming up nicely now for summer. 8" will give you the aperture to see hundreds of DSOs. And the mount will give you the ability to track at high power, which is important for sharing those views with the family.

Just my $.02...


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JoeStarPR
member


Reged: 08/08/12

Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: tedbnh]
      #5832299 - 04/30/13 01:08 PM

Thanks guys for all the suggestions !!. I do plan on doing a photo shoot at the site this Saturday. I have a tele zoom and a Wide angle, the mount is also a sturdy Manfroto ($350) mount, I bet i t can hold a Telescope too hehe.!

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JoeStarPR
member


Reged: 08/08/12

Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: JoeStarPR]
      #5835374 - 05/01/13 10:51 PM

Ok, so now that I have decided on going for the NexStar 8SE I have a few questions:
What accessories do you recommend?
What adapters would I need to attach my camera (Nikon 5100) To the scope? does it attach to the front or the back?
I plan on buying the Piggyback mount as I want to take some wide shots with my 17-55 Lens and also have a 70-300 Lens I think it would be useful.
I think if I buy the 8SE I'll have enough money to spare for the accessories
can you offer any suggestions?

Again, thank you for all your help!
JoeStar


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SeattleScott
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/14/11

Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: JoeStarPR]
      #5835450 - 05/01/13 11:42 PM

Good call, the scope just went on sale!

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BoldAxis1967
sage
*****

Reged: 10/11/12

Loc: Kentucky
Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: JoeStarPR]
      #5835481 - 05/02/13 12:12 AM

Congraulations! I think you made a fine choice.

I do not do astrophotography and I do not have an f10 scope so I cannot suggest anything. But if you or your wife wear glasses this would affect your choice of eyepieces (EP). In general eye relief and field of view are important considerations.

If possible try to get one EP that can frame clusters like the Double Cluster and the Pleiades. Of course they are really out of view now, but they will return in a few months! Don't worry, there are other star clusters that will benefit from an EP that provides a wide field of view.

Enjoy.


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Momerath
sage


Reged: 05/31/11

Loc: Upstate SC,
Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: JoeStarPR]
      #5835722 - 05/02/13 07:26 AM

Quote:

Ok, so now that I have decided on going for the NexStar 8SE I have a few questions:
What accessories do you recommend?
What adapters would I need to attach my camera (Nikon 5100) To the scope? does it attach to the front or the back?
I plan on buying the Piggyback mount as I want to take some wide shots with my 17-55 Lens and also have a 70-300 Lens I think it would be useful.
I think if I buy the 8SE I'll have enough money to spare for the accessories
can you offer any suggestions?

Again, thank you for all your help!
JoeStar




I will just say this. The Nextstar 8Se is a good beginner scope for visual. the 1 arm bandit scopes are not that great for photography. the arm cannot really take the load of a camera hanging off the back. Not to mention the mount will not compensate for field rotation which means you are going to be limited to very very short exposures. I would still recomment getting the avx mount combo instead.

as far as your other question you will neeed a T-Ring, to attach to your camera. this converts the camera body twist connecter to a threaded female. you will then need a t adaptor which screws into the t-ring. the whole assemble then inserts into the visual back of the telescope. This si considered "Prime focus". to achieve a wider field you will most likely want to add a focal reducer.

For planets you will need a Barlow. you can buy these with threads to attach to the t-ring. this is then inserted into the visual back or diaganal.


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JoeStarPR
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Reged: 08/08/12

Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: Momerath]
      #5835738 - 05/02/13 07:43 AM

I was also considering the SCT 8" Advanced VX Series (non-Edge HD) for $1,599 but that leaves little room for accessories. I was thinking on the 8SE then later on buy the VX mount, that way I have a cheap Alt Az for another OTA when the time comes

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Momerath
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Reged: 05/31/11

Loc: Upstate SC,
Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: JoeStarPR]
      #5835817 - 05/02/13 08:47 AM

I will give this advice, and i give it to many people about many products. You should get what you WANT!. if you want 1 thing and then settle for another you are rarely ever happy.

Also you really dont need that many accessories. 2 or 3 decent EP's and a few adaptors for your camera is all you really need. and lateer you can grow your EP collection. There are a LOT of accessories you can live without, but make certain things easier. those are the things that add up fast. 30 dollars here and 65 there adds to a big check.


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MikeBOKC
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Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: JoeStarPR]
      #5835837 - 05/02/13 09:08 AM

One important but often overlooked accessory for a fork mounted scope is a comfortable adjustable observing chair. I use a drummer's throne, but there are also several special astro chairs out there. Sitting comfortably while you tease out detail in Saturn's rings or a galaxy is much much easier than standing and leaning into the eyepiece.

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J. Barnes
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Reged: 04/11/09

Loc: Kalispell, Montana
Re: Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner) new [Re: JoeStarPR]
      #5836091 - 05/02/13 11:31 AM

Quote:

I was also considering the SCT 8" Advanced VX Series (non-Edge HD) for $1,599 but that leaves little room for accessories. I was thinking on the 8SE then later on buy the VX mount, that way I have a cheap Alt Az for another OTA when the time comes



I saw that one as well, and after shipping you would probably have enough for a x.63 focal reducer, barlow, t-adapter and just make it under your budget. I would have to say that I have my doubts about using the 8SE for anything other than visual. My old SCTs came with wedges, so basic AP was a little easier for me. I know that several of my fellow club members have alt/az fork mounted Meade LX200's and they are limited to mostly planetary AP. It wasn't until one of them got a wedge, that the DSO AP opened up to him.
I think that EQ mounting is the only way to get a decent exposure over 45 seconds. I was lucky one night and got a clean four minute exposure with my C11, but 2-3 minutes is more often the max. Even then, fork mounting is stressed with a DSLR hanging off the scope. I can't imagine losing one arm.
I know it sounds like I'm recklessly spending all your money, but if you want to do any AP then expect to hear cash registers ringing every time you Google astro-images and tell yourself "I want to take that picture!"


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