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Changing mind about equipment.

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#1 Mitten

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 03:51 AM

I was just wondering if anyone constantly changes their mind about what equipment to buy. Ive been flipping and flopping on scopes and i've seen peoples experiences on forums and such and its making me second guess if i want that scope.


 

#2 junomike

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 03:56 AM

I usually change my mind not long AFTER I've already bought something...lol.gif

 

Try to take your time to make a decision based on what you feel is best or you (and not us). 

 

Oh, and welcome to Cloudynights!


 

#3 Mitten

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 04:04 AM

Cheers Juno, I guess its probably because it would be my first setup and i dont want to blow a load of cash and then be disappointed lol. 


 

#4 Codbear

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 04:10 AM

Mitten - First, Welcome! 

 

Second, where's the other one? lol.gif  Yes we are a goofy bunch here.

 

It's a constant struggle for most of us to figure out what equipment works best for us. One look at the history of sales of many of our members and you can see that there is a lot of selling and buying over the years.

 

Sometimes it's because we want to experience different telescopes and equipment, other times it's trying to find what works best for us, whether it's for visual, astrophotography, or both...and the best way for us to find out is to buy it and try it.

 

I think one of the all-time great lines I saw related to this was a fellow CNer's wife who said,"He never really owns the astronomy equipment he buys - he's really just renting it." 

 

Never think of a purchase as a mistake...you're just figuring out what does and doesn't work for you.

 

Above all though...enjoy this hobby!


 

#5 Mitten

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 04:43 AM

Lol, thanks nice to meet you.

Yeah i bet it is a constant struggle lol.gif i'm having a hard time choosing and worrying what if the scopes optics arent checked and quality checked when it gets to me. I've been put off getting the Wo Star 71 ii because of the optics issue with them. The other scope wish is pretty much the same i guess is the Meade 6000 Series 70mm Quad but with that i've seen people have issues with Q/C on them, plus the way i would be purchasing it would be on finance. 


 

#6 aneeg

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 05:35 AM

If you buy a Stellarvue or Televue you can't go wrong. That is if you live in the US.

From here in Europe we have APM and TS as safe scopes. Plus PrimaLuce and Altair.

 

Arne


 

#7 Tony Flanders

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 06:45 AM

I was just wondering if anyone constantly changes their mind about what equipment to buy. Ive been flipping and flopping on scopes and i've seen peoples experiences on forums and such and its making me second guess if i want that scope.

Of course! I've owned perhaps 10 scopes, tested another 10 for published reviews, and used dozens more. And I still waffle every time I contemplate buying another scope. In fact, the more I know, the more I waffle.


 

#8 OleCuss

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 06:48 AM

If at all possible, go to several star parties with several clubs before you buy a scope/rig.  And everyone should have a good binocular (10x50 is great for most).

 

But go to the star parties.  Show up early so you can watch what it takes for each to set up their rig.  Let people know you are trying to determine what you should get.  Ask politely if you might take a peek after dark - and there is a very good chance that you'll get looks through lots of telescopes and start to learn what you like and how much it is worth.

 

Telescopes are worse than vehicles.  People really like certain vehicles and really dislike others - and others have opposite tastes.  Big, small, lifted, with turbo, without turbo, lots of cup-holders, gas, diesel, electric, ergonomics, etc.  My wife drives a diesel sedan and I drive a 1/2 ton pickup.  Just about everyone wants a test-drive before they buy a vehicle.

 

People often become devotees of certain optical designs or sizes while others like something very different.  Some people like it bigger and some smaller.  You flat-out won't know what you most like until you test-drive - and that means going to star parties.

 

If you cannot wait to do the star parties, then the safest purchase is an 8" Dobsonian because it is reasonably easy for most to transport, the FOV isn't too narrow or too wide for most, quite good light-gathering (8" Dobsonians were once considered light-buckets), they are easy/intuitive to use, the ergonomics are pretty good for most, and they aren't all that expensive.


 

#9 MalVeauX

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 07:41 AM

I was just wondering if anyone constantly changes their mind about what equipment to buy. Ive been flipping and flopping on scopes and i've seen peoples experiences on forums and such and its making me second guess if i want that scope.

All the time.

 

One minute, I'm ready to spring on a C11. The next minute I'm back to wanting a 150mm refractor. The next day, I'm looking at 16" reflectors. And then in between, I'm looking at a 60mm MightyMak and a 150mm F5 reflector. Plus accessories, cameras, etc.

 

Too much. Too often! It's the curse of clouds. I shop less and look at things less when the sky is clear!

 

Very best,


 

#10 Ulmer Spatz

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 07:54 AM

Perfectly normal. I've given away a scope thinking it wasn't what I wanted. A few months later, I ordered it again. Talk about flip-flopping...


Edited by Ulmer Spatz, 25 February 2018 - 12:47 PM.

 

#11 baron555

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 08:01 AM

I was just wondering if anyone constantly changes their mind about what equipment to buy. Ive been flipping and flopping on scopes and i've seen peoples experiences on forums and such and its making me second guess if i want that scope.

A lot of times, folks do their own homework, but have unrealistic expectations.  Then when they vet out their choices to others, many who have lots of experience or have gone down a particular path, they begin to realize that their preconceived notions are incorrect.  Example would be "I want a scope that does it all!"   Or, "I want to image DSOs but only have $500."


 

#12 leveye

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 08:28 AM

Just do it.


 

#13 Ken Sturrock

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 11:18 AM

Yes. There's a tremendous amount of analysis-paralysis here. Although, depending on your particular level of neurosis, some folks would consider it normal. As leveye says, "Just do it." At a certain point you need a piece of hardware to decide what you like & don't like. While telescopes are expensive and important, you're not proposing marriage.

 

Moreover, you'll eventually hear bad news on the internet about everything. If there's universal condemnation, that's one thing - but occasional negative reports by people with little knowledge, unusual needs or whacked expectations shouldn't be too alarming.

 

Good luck.


 

#14 AnalogKid

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 11:53 AM

I was just wondering if anyone constantly changes their mind about what equipment to buy. Ive been flipping and flopping on scopes <snip>

Yep been there done that, got the t-shirt....  Actually I'm still deciding from back in December.   Narrowed it down to a 10 or 12" Dob.  Very different from where I started.   Now just trying to decide if the 12" will be worth the extra $$ as it will need to be collapsible/truss for transport.  

 

The long story so far... https://www.cloudyni...eccomendations/


 

#15 csrlice12

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 12:04 PM

I'm still on the edge on buying a Vixen ED81s, have been for a few months.  I've got the money saved...just that I haven't had much observing time the last couple of years...so I keep on saving...who knows, if I save long enough, maybe that TV85 will be affordable...


 

#16 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 12:11 PM

 

I was just wondering if anyone constantly changes their mind about what equipment to buy. Ive been flipping and flopping on scopes and i've seen peoples experiences on forums and such and its making me second guess if i want that scope.

Of course! I've owned perhaps 10 scopes, tested another 10 for published reviews, and used dozens more. And I still waffle every time I contemplate buying another scope. In fact, the more I know, the more I waffle.

 

 

I've owned enough telescopes and mounts of the various types to know myself and what works and doesn't work for me.  These days, when i think about buying equipment, it's a small deviation from what i already have so I'm pretty clear on what I will be getting .

 

But in the beginning,  it wasn't that way and i just dove in . I really had no idea of what this was all about but i found my way . I've bought a lot of used equirement,  sold a fair amount , given away more .

 

About the only advice i have is don't expect your first scope to be your last and don't expect what you thought you'd like about amateur astronomy to be what you actually do like about it.  That only comes from experience .

 

Jon


 

#17 havasman

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 12:28 PM

I've never had the problem myself but see it all the time. The good thing is that a modern scope that doesn't brag about how it cleverly violates the laws of physics is likely going to work well.

For instance, a friend of mine does this with a small WO refractor - https://www.cloudyni...exposure-time/ 

So snap it off on one of those. Or one of these - https://www.astronom...ota_p20307.aspx  -   https://www.astronom...-f6_p20533.aspx


 

#18 dr.who

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 12:35 PM

If at all possible, go to several star parties with several clubs before you buy a scope/rig.  And everyone should have a good binocular (10x50 is great for most).
 
But go to the star parties.  Show up early so you can watch what it takes for each to set up their rig.  Let people know you are trying to determine what you should get.  Ask politely if you might take a peek after dark - and there is a very good chance that you'll get looks through lots of telescopes and start to learn what you like and how much it is worth.
 
Telescopes are worse than vehicles.  People really like certain vehicles and really dislike others - and others have opposite tastes.  Big, small, lifted, with turbo, without turbo, lots of cup-holders, gas, diesel, electric, ergonomics, etc.  My wife drives a diesel sedan and I drive a 1/2 ton pickup.  Just about everyone wants a test-drive before they buy a vehicle.
 
People often become devotees of certain optical designs or sizes while others like something very different.  Some people like it bigger and some smaller.  You flat-out won't know what you most like until you test-drive - and that means going to star parties.
 
If you cannot wait to do the star parties, then the safest purchase is an 8" Dobsonian because it is reasonably easy for most to transport, the FOV isn't too narrow or too wide for most, quite good light-gathering (8" Dobsonians were once considered light-buckets), they are easy/intuitive to use, the ergonomics are pretty good for most, and they aren't all that expensive.


This is spot on save I would change the 8” Dob to 8” SCT with a 3-4” APO refractor as a companion riding on a AZ-EQ5 or Advanced VX mount. The APO can sit on top of the SCT in the case of the SVX or next to it on the AZ-EQ5. This way you get the best of both worlds. If you are more into the hunt and don’t want GOTO then a solid Alt/Az mount like the Stellarvue M2 or Losmandy AZ8 is a good option.

As to brand... Celestron has the lighter weight SCT and makes a good one. Meade is also a good scope though heavier. For the APO Explore Scientific FC100 series is good and it is a lifetime transferable warranty. If you get a bad sample they will replace it. Stellarvue is more expensive but also a good scope though for that price a Takahashi FC-100DF may be a better option even though it is a doublet. Lastly the Tele Vue 85 is a very nice option too.

I mentioned that change because some people are Dob people and some are not. There is a certain level of intimacy as you interact with a Dob you don’t get with other scopes. You tend to be pressed closely up against it and its movements are done with very much hands on motions. With other scopes you tend to be behind the scope and are much less hands on. Lastly even a 8” Dob can be a large heavy thing to move and that can be a challenge in both the car and in its setup and takedown.

Really the best thing is @ star party where you can see things in person and make the determination yourself.
 

#19 dr.who

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 12:42 PM

Oh and I was there too.this is my only hobby and I tried an amazing and amazingly stupid number of scopes, mounts, and other kit to finally get to where I am now. I believe I am pretty much set at this point and don’t see much change in the future unless I am injured or get too old and weak to use what I have.
 

#20 sg6

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 12:43 PM

I was just wondering if anyone constantly changes their mind about what equipment to buy. Ive been flipping and flopping on scopes and i've seen peoples experiences on forums and such and its making me second guess if i want that scope.

I don't but I do know what I like and therefore what I generally want.

The items you are unsure of are in the astrophotography area. How about, don't - at least yet.

The WO Star 71 Mk2 seems a reasonable item but just about everyone sold here gets checked over and any realignment/tweeking performed. After that people like them. One person is just far too happy with his. Slight hiccup is I am not aware of a similar service in the US.

 

I would say go half way, get a good goto mount and an inexpensive smallish scope and get outside and get familiar with the sky, the mount and general use of it all. Learn first then get an imaging scope and try a few images and all the computing and software that is involved.

 

Imaging scope I get the impression that although ones like the Star 71 are nice they still have not ended up problem free and so the older but proven route of good apo and flattener/reducer is holding its own. Basically people have not abandoned the apo+flattener and changed to the compound apo with it all built in.

 

You could opt for a setup that some years ago was sort of common here, an EQ5 goto mount and a 72mm ED refractor (usually at that time the Megrez 72). And that was about it, some had a flattener, not all, and most used a DSLR. They all had a good time. And it was inexpensive.

 

But they got some good images, had a good time and learnt a lot. Honestly consider that as a step in. It will be at a guess 2 years before the real need to upgrade occurs.

 

If you ask What do I need? then expect cost to go up and likely end up something like Hubble and the processing power they need for images.


 

#21 BillP

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 12:45 PM

I was just wondering if anyone constantly changes their mind about what equipment to buy. Ive been flipping and flopping on scopes and i've seen peoples experiences on forums and such and its making me second guess if i want that scope.

 

IMO that is normal, especially when you have not yet had a lot of experience with the major designs to know what you will really prefer.  If it's all just a list of features, capabilities, and numbers, well that's just not enough information to know if you will be "satisfied" with the scope, as those data will tell you nothing about how you react to using it in the field.  So IMO finding the right scope or scopes, is more of a journey rather than a decision.  Let the equipment come and go, enjoy the skies and enjoy the journey!


 

#22 Sketcher

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 01:02 PM

I've done plenty of "flip-flopping" prior to my "primary telescope" purchases;  That being said, I've only purchased a primary telescope three times over a period of about fifty years.  Other telescope purchases were less critical to me -- since they needed to only fill-in a small niche -- often a niche that wasn't of any particularly great significance.  For those, there wasn't much need for flip-flopping.

 

My final primary telescope (now 20+ years old) came at the end of my lengthiest period of flip-flopping.  I was undecided (if I recall correctly) for perhaps three years or so.  I had set aside a dedicated telescope fund that continued to grow larger as long as I remained undecided.  That fund was key to my final decision, because I ended up with a telescope that originally would have been well beyond my financial means -- a "dream" telescope.

 

Sometimes extensive flip-flopping can be a good thing; but for a first telescope there's little point to it.  The beginner typically lacks the experience and knowledge on which to base an intelligent decision.  For the beginner, it's good enough to start with any working telescope -- and begin the process of learning and gaining experience.

 

Oh, and unless your chosen telescope has a 2.4 meter (or larger) objective and operates above Earth's atmosphere -- expect to be disappointed! smile.gif


 

#23 Adun

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 01:10 PM

I was just wondering if anyone constantly changes their mind about what equipment to buy. Ive been flipping and flopping on scopes and i've seen peoples experiences on forums and such and its making me second guess if i want that scope.

 
Hi
 
I think that's actually a very healthy thing to do/feel.
 
Now that I've got my fifth scope, after 14 months in the hobby (and one or two scopes that could perhaps be considered regrettable purchases in hindsight), I've come up with a new way of thinking:
 
In the past, and specially when I got my first scope, I'd try to optimize for value (value per money), thinking that'd be a good way to avoid to "blow a load of cash and then be disappointed".
 
Now that I've learned more about scopes, and about my tastes and behaviors, I think I would have been better off identifying each candidate's long term role, assuming I was going to eventually spend what I have spent, in the hobby.
 
For example: my Z114 reflector (114mm, F4) was a supremely optimum value purchase: just $119, and needed no tripod (which I didn't have). But now I feel ambivalent about keeping it. My 5th scope is a more powerful grab and go for home, and my 3rd scope travels better (and provides even wider fields of view).
 
Had I known what I know now, and analyzed the purchases as "let's pick something that is a keeper, excelling at a particular job/role, that I'll want to keep even if I get something bigger/costlier tomorrow". I'd probably never have gotten my first two scopes. They were great value, but I'm not sure they are keepers.
 
To help you out with less abstract feedback, here's my slice of "roles" for telescopes. Some adjustment is of course needed for someone under different circumstances, location, preferences, etc, but it might give you an idea:
 
* The grab and go scope: Something that can be grabbed, taken out and used, without much fuzzing about carrying weight, collimating, powering up (or gosh, replacing/warming batteries), waiting for big optics to cool down, etc. For me this ended up being a 6" SCT on a manual mount. For others it's an 8" dobsonian on a dolly cart in the garage, or a 80mm~110mm refractor, or a 5" Mak, etc. Which will it be depends on you, the key question is whether a candidate excels at this role, meaning other scopes may be better at one thing (aperture, tracking, optical aberrations, weight, mount weight, ergonomics, setup time, cooldown time, tube length, etc), but worse at something else in a way that the whole feature combination makes it a worse "grab and go" (in your criteria). For me, the 6" SCT on manual mount ended up being best (the bigger ones ruin the weight and cooldown aspects, smaller ones lack DSO aperture, etc). Even if I win the lottery and one day get a ranch with a go-to 14" SCT on it, I'll still want the 6" SCT for those quick "grab and go" observing windows.
 
* The travel scope: this is something that travels well (and I mean air travel, maybe even hikes, and including it's mount/tripod). The best ones are custom made 10" truss Dobs that fit into a suitcase (found in these forums), but for mere mortals, more popular choices include C5 (5SE) SCTs, 80mm short refractors, the AWB OneSky, and for some, 125mm maks. The choice depends on your preferences (planets vs DSO? CA vs coma vs FC, etc) and your travel style, but the point is, if you get a scope that's the best travel scope for you, then it won't disappoint in that role, and you won't be tempted by stuff with more features or aperture that travels worse.
 
* The light bucket: This is plainly the one scope that gives you all the aperture you need (or can physically handle), meant usually for observing faint DSO. This is often a dobsonian, usually manual (to spend the money on aperture instead of electronics), although many people prefer this to be an SCT (8", 9.25", 12.5", 14", etc). Some people who don't like central obstructions (refractor fans) have gotten huge 8" refractors for this. Compromises are made: weight, size, collimation, cooldown, tracking, setup time, transportability. All in the name of aperture. You are not disappointed by those compromises if you know you made them consciously for a light bucket (and not for -say- a grab and go).
 
* The planet killer: This is the best scope to observe planets. Does high power very well, without chromatic aberration nor any severe optical aberrations, has good contrast, is easy to collimate (or requires no collimation), has a tracking mount (or at least good slow motion controls). The ideal planet killers are apocromatic refractors, followed by Maksutovs, but depending on your tastes, an SCT or F8+ reflector could do.
 
* The imaging scope: for those of us who do electronically assisted observing, or those folks who do astrophotography, a proper imaging system is needed, a scope with fast optics that's lightweight (easier on the mount), and most importantly: a very good tracking mount that's "over specced" for that scope. Also, properly matched cameras, reducers, and whole lot of costly stuff.

 
* The rich field scope:  Basically, a very wide field scope, meant for observing very large objects that often don't fit in  the field of view of most scopes (Andromeda galaxy, Pleiades, Large magellanic cloud, Hyades, veil nebula, etc). This is usually a short focal length scope or (for many) just binoculars.
 
Sometimes one scope can serve on two roles. My imaging scope is my travel and rich field scope until I can get a used C5. My grab and go is also my planet killer.
 
It's impossible for you to understand all this, specially to know what your preferences will be, regarding the many features of scopes, until you have experienced them. Will you be ok with diffraction spikes on a newtonian, or tolerate nothing else than the "pinpoint, pure" view of a refractor? Will you prefer the spherical aberration of refractors and SCTs, or the coma of reflectors (or the nuances of dealing with coma correctors or field flatteners)? Will you be ok with the chromatic aberration of inexpensive achromat refractors? Will the bulk/weight of a dob be too much for you? Will you dig go-to, or prefer manual? Equatorial or alt azimuth mount? When you eventually face the realities of what you can't see even with a big, 16"+ scope (due to the limitations of your eyes) will you consider imaging or night vision to observe more? Or will you only want the purity of visual?
 
All these questions and more, must be answered before you truly know which scopes would fill each role best for you. But without experience, you can't answer that question. That's why it's usually good advise to tell newcomers to join a club, go to a star party, and observe through different scopes. When you do this, try to notice the many features of each scope that would make it good (or terrible) for each role, and then you'll know better, to get your first one.

 

Because no amateur astronomer has only one telescope. No scope can do it all.


Edited by Adun, 25 February 2018 - 01:52 PM.

 

#24 Mitten

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 06:39 PM

Cheers guys, i've read through all the replies and thank you for the insight you've all had on this. I'll keep all this in mind while im still researching everything but i am set on getting an imaging set up for DSOS and jumping in both feet. Maybe im naive and stupid for doing this but will be a learning experience. grin.gif


 

#25 dr.who

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 08:48 PM

Ah. In that case wander over to the Beginning and Intermediate forum. There is quite a bit of good information there on topic for what you are looking for. And you won’t hear “buy a Dob” type advice there. This forum is geared more for the beginning observer not imager so the advice will be different.
 


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