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Thinking of buying a better telescope for looking at moon's craters and I need suggestions.

beginner Celestron equipment moon
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#1 erseavetir

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 10:44 AM

Hello all! My father lives in Istanbul and he has the Gskyer AZ70700 Refractor Telescope. He has been really enjoying it as you can see from the photos I've uploaded in the Amazon review I've left for this item (Btw, I've just realized that this review is now the most helpful/liked review on this item which is cool):
https://www.amazon.c...R35LBDSUABUUAU/

 

My father is OBSESSED with looking at the moon's craters and he had this telescope for almost a year now and he probably never skipped a day at looking at the moon as long as the moon was visible. I've made the post below on this forum before asking for suggestions on what upgraded equipments I should buy for his telescope:
https://www.cloudyni...ctor-telescope/

 

And after the suggestions and more research, I've bought these items:

 

1) Celestron 8-24mm Zoom Eyepiece (1.25")
2) Celestron 90° Star Diagonal (1.25")
3) SVBONY 1.25" Barlow Lens 2x Multi Coated T Adapter

4) Orion 05598 1.25-Inch 25 Percent Transmission Moon Filter (Black)

 

Now basically, my father's only wish in this life is to be able to zoom at the moon more and see the craters of the moon more clearly while being zoomed more. Right now, when he uses the 2x Adapter with 8mm eyepiece, things get blurry but he keeps trying to zoom more some nights and tells me that he is hoping one day it won't look as blurry on that amount of zoom smile.gif I showed him a youtube video of the moon's craters zoomed in with a better telescope once and he was basically shocked and almost didn't believe me that that was possible with better telescopes though I am not sure how bigger/better/expensive those telescopes would be.

 

Now my father had an open heart surgery recently but he is OK now and I really want him to experience using a better telescope while he can and me being a good son, I want to buy him a better telescope now as I have a bit extra money to spend. I bought the telescope he is using now for 130$ (btw, this telescope had 5 star average reviews on Amazon at the time of my purchase which is why I bought it but I wish I knew about this forum before and asked you guys before buying that one although my father still loved the telescope a lot so I don't have many regrets about it).  I was wondering if there are better budget telescopes that are around 180-300$ that can be at least a bit better than his current telescope when looking at the moon's craters while being zoomed more with better/clearer visuals. Btw, because of the light pollution in Istanbul Turkey, only the Moon, Saturn and some big stars are visible in the sky but my father only cares about the Moon craters anyway. It's also important for me that the telescope I'll buy will support 1.25" eyepiece that my father has.

 

After I've read many Top 10 articles online, the Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ seems like a good budget option for me and I hear that because it has 1000 mm Focal Length, it's a good option for looking at the moon? I wouldn't know much about that thought which is why I wanted to get you guy's opinion on this. I've also seen that this telescope is being sold in Turkish websites (such as n11, hepsiburada, gittigidiyor etc.) which would mean I wouldn't pay anything for shipment to Istanbul and that he would have the option to return it in 14 days with a full refund if he doesn't like it. However, if you guys think that this telescope wouldn't really differ much from the telescope he has now when it comes to looking at moon's craters zoomed in, or that there are better telescopes than this 127EQ that is not too much more expensive than 127EQ but better at looking at moon's craters zoomed in and still beginner/mid-level friendly when it comes to looking at the moon, then please let me know! I'd really appreciate any input on this before I make my purchase. Thank you in advance!


Edited by erseavetir, 20 June 2018 - 01:58 PM.

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#2 NEOhio

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 11:34 AM

The moon is a pretty easy target (bright, lots of detail), so there are a lot of options. I don't want to suggest any particular scope, but just discuss generally.

 

Larger aperture gives more resolution. Your current scope has a 70 mm aperture so almost anything will be larger. The general rule is your maximum magnification is 50 times the aperture in inches. Your current scope is 70 mm = 2.75 inches, so multiply by 50 and your maximum magnification is 137x. That is highly approximate, and in particular with a bright object like the moon a higher magnification may be possible, but it is a rule of thumb. So lets do some math. Your current telescope has a focal length of 700 mm and magnification is the focal length of the telescope divided by the focal length of the eyepiece. Your zoom eyepiece runs from 24 mm down to 8 mm giving a magnification range of 700/24= 29x up to 700/8= 87x. Both of those should be well within the range of your existing telescope. But if you add the Barlow, this doubles the magnification to a maximum of 87x2=175x, which is probably higher than your 70 mm telescope can handle. If you want to run at 175x you might be better off with an aperture more like 3.5 inch (about 90 mm). So something of at least 3.5 to 4.0 inch diameter aperture would probably be a good target, though a larger aperture would also be fine if you can afford it (cost usually goes up with aperture size). 

 

But also keep in mind, maximum magnification is also affected by the stillness of the air, sometimes called "seeing". When you say the view gets "blurry", does this mean it is moving around over time, wiggling like looking at something over a hot road? If so, then that blurriness is probably seeing-limited, by which it is meant that the air itself is moving around (hot air rising, stuff like that) and you will not actually get any improvement by getting a larger/better telescope. What you need in that case is simply to go out on another night when the air is not moving so much.

 

Another thing to consider is whether you want to have a goto scope or a manual scope. You certainly do not need goto to point the scope at the moon, but a goto scope also provide tracking to keep the object (moon) in the eyepiece field of view as the Earth rotates, and that can be useful at higher magnifications which is your stated goal. Does your father have difficulty nudging your current scope to keep the moon in the eyepiece field of view? If so, that nudging will need to be done more frequently, and must be more precisely done, at higher magnification. A goto scope with tracking could make viewing at higher magnification much more comfortable and enjoyable as the moon will stay stationary in the eyepiece. OTOH, if your father is fine with nudging a manual telescope to keep the moon in view, then you can get a better scope optically by buying a manual telescope simply because you are not putting money into the gearing, sensors, and computer that make up the goto. (Keep in mind also that with a goto scope you may need to buy a battery or ac adaptor which adds further cost).

 

Hopefully the above helps more than confuses.


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#3 Mike G.

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 11:37 AM

if he is a lunar observer exclusively, then you should be looking at something with a longer f/l than the powerseeker. the shorter f/l scopes give wider views and aren't designed for sharp views at high power (unless you are willing to pay a lot more than your budget).  I would be looking for a refractor or SCT/MCT in the 90 to 100mm aperture size with a f/l of 9 or more.  a refractor in this price range and size will be achromatic and will throw up a bit of chromatic aberration but if he is zoomed in on craters, it will probably not be noticeable. as above, I'm not going to point you towards a specific scope but a Celestron C90 might be a good option.  lots of people really like them and they are pretty inexpensive.


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#4 JohnnyBGood

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 12:12 PM

I bought my own father a Meade Infinity 70/700 scope very similar to the one you bought your dad. A couple years later I upgraded him to the Infinity 102.

 

I agree with the small Maksutov recommendation. I have an older Meade ETX 90 RA that I love to use for looking at the moon. Maksotov Cassegrain (MCT) scopes like this usually have very sharp optics and are low maintenance. On good nights I can use it up to 250x magnification and still have (to me) acceptable images. The newer ETXs are all GOTO which adds to the price a lot. But for looking at the moon and planets it's hard to beat the ETX for its size.

 

Several brands sell non-goto Maks. While I haven't personally used any of these, they might be worth your consideration:

 

https://www.amazon.c...ywords=maksutov

 

https://www.amazon.c...s=maksutov&th=1

 

https://www.amazon.c...ywords=maksutov

 

https://www.amazon.c...ywords=maksutov

 

Any of those (at least in theory) should work well with the zoom eyepiece and Barlow lens he already has.

 

Alternatively, a longer 90mm refractor might work, too. I considered purchasing a Meade Polaris 90 before stumbling on a good deal on the used ETX. If you like the Gskyer brand this looks like a really robust telescope: https://www.amazon.c...skyer telescope


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#5 vtornado

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 12:25 PM

Hello erseavetir welcome to the forum.

 

I would not buy the Celestron PowerSeeker 127.    Notice the short tube.   If the focal length of the scope is 1000mm how can if fit in a 500mm tube?

The answer is that this a bird-jones type reflector.   There is a lens in the draw tube that extends the focal length.  This lens is difficult to make well,

and also will interfere with you collimating (aligning the optics) of this scope.

 

In your price range, I would look for one of these options.

long tube 114mm f/8 reflector.   This is a simple newtonian, and the tube length will be about the same as the focal length.  -- mounts on an eq mount.

long focal length refractor 100mm f/10.  -- refractor,  no fuss can be eq mounted.

100mm maksutov telescope. (MCT)  -- smallest, eq mounting.

6 inch f/8 newtonian.  -- best view, big, a little cooling time needed.

 

Your choice would be made based upon portability, ease of maintenance, personal preference etc.

 

Now one other thing is the mount.

You can use lots of power on the moon, because there is so much light.  You will be only limited to your scopes aperture, and the turbulence of the atmosphere.

The more power you use, the faster the moon will zip through the eyepiece.  Therefore you need a steady mount that can easily track the moon.

The longer your scope, the more rigid will the mount have to be.   A lot of cheap mounts are shakey.   That is why I made the recommendation of the

MCT. the scope is tiny and will not stress the mount.

 

There are two kinds of mounts in general an EQ mount and a Alt-Az mount.   an EQ mount tracks the moon as it moves through the sky, you will only have

to turn one dial to keep the moon in your eyepiece.  The mount can also be motorized and the moon will just sit in the eyepiece without moving.

 

An Alt-Az simply moves left and right and up and down.   It is very intuitive to point it anyplace in the sky.    It makes tracking a single object harder, and cannot be motorized.  The dob is a special type of atl-az mount and has no issues with steadiness, but you will have to bump the scope to keep the moon in the eyepiece. 

 

hope any of this info helps you.

Bless you and your dad.

VT


Edited by vtornado, 20 June 2018 - 02:44 PM.

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#6 NEOhio

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 01:20 PM

One other item to consider is a moon filter, such as this one:

 

https://www.amazon.c...rds=moon filter

 

This filter simply screws into threads at the end of your eyepiece, and blocks the light to 13% of full intensity. When the moon is near full, it can reduce that staring-with-one-eye-at-a-lightbulb effect.


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#7 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 01:22 PM

I would not buy the Celestron PowerSeeker 127.    Notice the short tube.   If the focal length of the scope is 1000mm how can if fit in a 500mm tube?

The answer is that this a bird-jones type reflector.   There is a lens in the draw tube that extends the focal length.  This lens is difficult to make well,

and also will interfere with you collimating (aligning the optics) of this scope.

 

 

:waytogo:

 

These are best avoided .

 

Jon


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#8 droe

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 01:34 PM

I have seen the moon in many scopes but I have never seen it with the clarity as in my es127mm fcd100 apo scope. Anyone who has seen the moon through this scope just says 1 word 'WOW'. It is best with the 4.5mm baader but the baader zoom look awesome too.
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#9 Adun

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 01:34 PM

I take it you are in the U.S. and ship him the stuff, right?
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#10 erseavetir

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 03:44 PM

Thank you so much for all your comments guys, I feel way more educated on the subject now thanks to you guys and I am definitely not buying the Celestron PowerScammer 127EQ.

 

I am now actually thinking of only purchasing a telescope from Turkish sites (gittigidiyor.com, hepsiburada.com, n11.com) as that would be way easier for us when it comes to refunding with 14 days full-refund policy in case of something going wrong and also, the Turkish sites offer installment payment options up to 12 months in which case my budget now can be around $500 or more as well.  However, the major problem with that is that the Turkish sites don't provide as many options. (Btw, I am an international student in Canada who has been living here for 7 years but I was visiting Turkey last year which is when I bought his first telescope for those who were wondering)

 

Also, when purchasing items from the US, they ask A LOT of money for shipment and there is a high chance it won't pass customs. I actually recently bought the "Wingspan Optics Explorer 12x50" from Amazon for my father as a little fathers day gift but it got stuck in customs and they asked me to get allowance papers from very high places from the capital of Turkey and those places didn't respond to my emails yet so probably I'll ask for a refund from Amazon on that. As you can see, dealing with customs can be a mess (even though I bought his first telescope from Amazon and everything was fine back then) and for some reason, I couldn't find any Europian company that ships good telescopes to Turkey as well, for now, I am stuck with Turkish websites.

 

Anyhow, as far as I understood:

 

1) A refractor telescope would be a better purchase than a reflector telescope for my father's needs (looking at moon's craters with more zoom power)

2) I need to buy a telescope with an aperture of 3.5" (around 90 mm) at least because I want to run my telescope around 175x zoom with better image quality and I need to get more than 3.5" aperture if I want to run the telescope on more than 175x zoom. Also, the focal length should be at least 900mm as well.

 

According to the suggestions, these are the telescopes I've found in Turkish sites and I've listed them from most expensive to least expensive:

 

1) Celestron 21064 AstroMaster 90 EQ Refractor Telescope
632$ USD - 90mm/1000mm

https://urun.gittigi...eskop-353330616

 

2) Celestron Inspire 100AZ Refractor Smartphone Adapter Built-In Refracting Telescope, Blue (22403)
617$ USD - 100mm/660mm
https://urun.gittigi...eskop-326737247

 

3) Meade Instruments Infinity 102mm AZ Refractor Telescope
472$ USD - 102mm/600mm
https://www.hepsibur...p-p-OUTAST102AZ

 

4) Meade Instruments 216003 Polaris 90 EQ Refractor Telescope
464$ USD - 90mm/900mm
https://www.hepsibur...p-HBV000001EYJ7

 

Now the question would be, which one of these would be the best possible option for my father's needs when it comes to zooming to moon's craters more and seeing them better?

 

I got that when the aperture is bigger, the more zoom power telescope gets but I am confused as to, what happens if the aperture is as big as 100mm but the Focal Lenght is only 660mm like the second option above. Does that a bad thing since 660/8 is 82.5x and times 2 is only 165x but because of the aperture size, the telescope should be able to handle 196x so my father would need to use the 3x Barlow Lens that his initial telescope came with but that was of poor quality and I'd imagine that the Barlow Lenses would give out worse quality and it would be better to get a bigger Focal Lenght telescope than to use more powered Barlow Lenses? What do you guys say?

 

Lastly, I asked the same question on another forum (https://goo.gl/oZBqie) to get as many opinions/options as I can and they were suggesting me to get "150mm F/8 dobsonian by Skywatcher or GSO" or "Sky-Watcher 127mm f/13" and I was wondering if any of these would be much better then the four options I listed above? However, I couldn't find those options in Turkish sites but found these ones while searching for those, from most expensive to least:

 

1) Bresser telescope Messier AR-127S/635 EXOS-1/EQ4

1181$ USD - 127mm/635mm

https://www.hepsibur...p-HBV00000A10NU

 

2) Celestron NexStar 102SLT Computerized Telescope

840 USD - 102mm/660mm

https://urun.n11.com...skop-P247720820

 

3) Celestron NexStar 127SLT Computerized Telescope

770$ USD - 127mm/1500mm

https://urun.gittigi...eskop-341195002

 

I assume because these ones are more expensive, they may be better but because my father's needs are very specific (zooming more to moon's craters with sharper visuals), maybe that's not the case and that some of the cheaper options would do as good of a job on that as the more expensive ones?

 

I am sorry for the novel but I really want to make the right decision on this one smile.gif


Edited by erseavetir, 20 June 2018 - 03:59 PM.


#11 Adun

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 04:26 PM

the major problem with that is that the Turkish sites don't provide as many options. (Btw, I am an international student in Canada who has been living here for 7 years but I was visiting Turkey last year which is when I bought his first telescope for those who were wondering)
 
Also, when purchasing items from the US, they ask A LOT of money for shipment and there is a high chance it won't pass customs. I actually recently bought the "Wingspan Optics Explorer 12x50" from Amazon for my father as a little fathers day gift but it got stuck in customs and they asked me to get allowance papers from very high places from the capital of Turkey and those places didn't respond to my emails yet

Yes, customs and shipping will be the killer. I'm from South America so I've had to resort to tricks to get my telescopes.

 

Regarding the scope itself, I think the question of the scope will be easy but the question of the mount will be harder.

 

For lunar, a Maksutov of 102mm or 90mm will be ideal for zooming in and out the moon. A 127mm Mak will be heavier, require a much beefier (and more expensive) mount and can suffer more from poor atmospheric seeing.

 

A 90mm or 102mm Maksutov is also small and lightweight (5 lbs) so it can work on a more modest mount and it's cheaper to ship (or to take with you when you travel to Turkey). My 90mm Mak with my Celestron zoom and my 2x Barlow (Items you already got) can go to almost 200x on the moon.

 

The problem is the mount: A photo tripod would work for the lower powers (netting you an upgrade that's optically more powerful than the Gskyer AZ70700, but with poor ergonomics) the problem is that to take advantage of the higher powers for closer zoom to the moon, you not only need better optics, you also need a better mount. And mounts are expensive (can be more expensive than a 90mm Mak) and are heavy (surely more expensive to ship than a Maksutov optical tube). This guarantees that in Turkey (as in my country) you'll only find poor overpriced mounts.

 

Right now there's a Mak on sale at Orion's store right now for $149 that includes a tabletop (tripodless) mini-dob mount. I have a reflector on one of those mounts and it's a lot better than photo/fluid/ball head. If you father can get it on a crate (or screwed on top of a decent hefty tripod) it would be a winner. Orion does ship to Canada, the question is whether you can get it shipped to Turkey (it probably weighs ~9 lb).


Edited by Adun, 20 June 2018 - 04:31 PM.

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#12 Sky Muse

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 05:43 PM

Would ordering a kit from Germany be a problem?  Teleskop Service is an international dealer, is why I ask...

 

https://www.teleskop...102-1000mm.html

 

With the equatorial, your father could track any object with the slow-motion hand controls, and the RA-axis could be motorised in future for automatic hands-free tracking.

 

I think it's a wonderful thing that you're doing for your father, which is also why I ask.


Edited by Sky Muse, 20 June 2018 - 05:44 PM.

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#13 erseavetir

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 07:30 PM

Would ordering a kit from Germany be a problem?  Teleskop Service is an international dealer, is why I ask...

 

https://www.teleskop...102-1000mm.html

 

With the equatorial, your father could track any object with the slow-motion hand controls, and the RA-axis could be motorised in future for automatic hands-free tracking.

 

I think it's a wonderful thing that you're doing for your father, which is also why I ask.

That's actually awesome that they ship to Turkey and I checked the cost which is only 50 Euro which is acceptable and the whole thing comes to $500 only but this is what they say:

 

"For shipments to non European Union destinations the delivery service may charge additional costs, particularly taxes, duties and frequently a fixed customs clearance charge. These costs are not covered by the prices listed here. If you wish to learn the exact amount you need to pay please contact your local customs office and the delivery service!"

 

which is the scary part. Knowing what I dealt with customs, there may even be a chance it gets stuck in customs and I may not even get a refund for it which would be horrible so I wouldn't want to risk it.



#14 erseavetir

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 07:44 PM

Yes, customs and shipping will be the killer. I'm from South America so I've had to resort to tricks to get my telescopes.

 

Regarding the scope itself, I think the question of the scope will be easy but the question of the mount will be harder.

 

For lunar, a Maksutov of 102mm or 90mm will be ideal for zooming in and out the moon. A 127mm Mak will be heavier, require a much beefier (and more expensive) mount and can suffer more from poor atmospheric seeing.

 

A 90mm or 102mm Maksutov is also small and lightweight (5 lbs) so it can work on a more modest mount and it's cheaper to ship (or to take with you when you travel to Turkey). My 90mm Mak with my Celestron zoom and my 2x Barlow (Items you already got) can go to almost 200x on the moon.

 

The problem is the mount: A photo tripod would work for the lower powers (netting you an upgrade that's optically more powerful than the Gskyer AZ70700, but with poor ergonomics) the problem is that to take advantage of the higher powers for closer zoom to the moon, you not only need better optics, you also need a better mount. And mounts are expensive (can be more expensive than a 90mm Mak) and are heavy (surely more expensive to ship than a Maksutov optical tube). This guarantees that in Turkey (as in my country) you'll only find poor overpriced mounts.

 

Right now there's a Mak on sale at Orion's store right now for $149 that includes a tabletop (tripodless) mini-dob mount. I have a reflector on one of those mounts and it's a lot better than photo/fluid/ball head. If you father can get it on a crate (or screwed on top of a decent hefty tripod) it would be a winner. Orion does ship to Canada, the question is whether you can get it shipped to Turkey (it probably weighs ~9 lb).

Thank you for letting me know all of this! However, I am only planning on buying the options presented in Turkish sites so that I don't deal with any customs issues etc. Also I assume that the mount that will come with the telescopes will be OK for now. Unless my father complains about it after he gets the mount that comes with the telescope then I can think about that.

 

If you guys were to pick your TOP 2-3 telescopes out of the options I've list before, do you mind letting me know which one would you pick yourself if you had a father like mine who only cared about seeing moon's craters better.

 

On the other forum that I mentioned you guys before (https://goo.gl/oZBqie), out of my list, everybody picked this telescope to be the best for my father:

 

Celestron NexStar 127SLT Computerized Telescope

770$ USD - 127mm/1500mm

https://urun.gittigidiyor.com/fotograf-kamera/celestron-22097-nexstar-127slt-bilgisayar-donanimli-teleskop-341195002

 

Any opinions on this?

 

Also while searching Turkish sites, I've also found this other telescope that is more expensive than 127SLT but it has a 48 months installment payment option so that may be an option for me as well if it's going to be way better than Celestron NexStar 127SLT?

 

This is the telescope I am talking about:

 

Meade Instruments 218006 StarNavigator NG 125 Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope, Black

1,110$ USD - 125mm/1900mm

https://www.hepsibur...p-HBV0000039MOR

 

What do you guys think?


Edited by erseavetir, 20 June 2018 - 07:47 PM.

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#15 erseavetir

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 08:19 PM

Also, there is one thing I am really confused about. I understand that the aperture is important when it comes to the capacity of the zoom power the telescope can have. I kinda understand that the longer the focal length is, means it can zoom more. Like a telescope with 1000 focal length can zoom with 1000/5 = 250x power with a 5mm eyepiece and if the aperture is 5" (5*50 = 250) then that aperture should be able to handle the zoom power. Correct me if I am wrong please laugh.gif

 

However, this is the thing I am very confused about:

 

This Celestron 127SLT telescope says that it has 1500mm Focal Lenght but I've seen this telescope in Youtube videos and it looks like it has a very short focal length, like 500 mm or something along those lines so I am confused how they claim they have 1500mm focal length? Can someone enlighten me, please? smile.gif

 

It's especially confusing with the Meade NG 125 telescope because they claim it has 1900mm Focal Lenght, say what! I don't get it... xD


Edited by erseavetir, 20 June 2018 - 08:26 PM.

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#16 Sky Muse

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 08:42 PM

The focal-length of a Maksutov is indeed long, and as long as stated for each of those.  In order to place those long, zooming-in, focal-lengths into a short tube, the focal-length is folded twice, and into three sections...

 

https://starizona.co...kcass_scope.jpg

 

The Maksutov was specifically designed to simulate a long-focus refractor, like this one...

 

https://stargazerslo...-1398196793.jpg

 

...but housed in a short, compact tube.

 

The focal-length of refractor is identical to the length of its tube.  What you see is what you get, in other words...

 

https://starizona.co...actor_scope.jpg

 

...as is a traditional Newtonian, or a "Dobsonian"...

 

https://starizona.co...onian_scope.jpg

 

A Schmidt-Cassegrain is quite similar to a Maksutov-Cassegrain...

 

https://starizona.co...6/sct_scope.jpg

 

...except that the Schmidt was designed to simulate a long-focus Newtonian, like this one...

 

https://www.rit.edu/...ges/tel/k01.jpg

 

...with the exception of the Schmidt's considerably larger secondary obstruction.  That of a long-focus Newtonian is much smaller.

 

And those are the four telescopic designs that are commonly found in the marketplace.

 

A 125-127mm Maksutov would be great for observing the Moon; luxurious even, as it would be very easy to zoom in on the Moon.  However, would you or your father be able to get it serviced in the event of possible, future issues with the motorised go-to system, if such appeared?  I don't think that either go-to mount can be operated manually in the event of either a motor or computer failure, certainly not with the Celestron SLT mount.  That's one reason why I suggested that refractor kit, and with a manual mount; as well as his having been used to using a refractor.  In addition, a refractor is virtually and practically maintenance-free.  Maksutovs, like all reflector telescopes, sometimes require collimation, alignment, of the optical system, but it can be performed by the user, after researching the procedure.  If the Maksutov could be serviced easily enough, all around, the Meade would perhaps be the best choice, but either would do.  Then there are some who avoid the go-to mounts altogether and simply place a Maksutov OTA onto a manual mount of their choice, whether an equatorial or alt-azimuth.

 

My apologies for the extensive editing of my post.


Edited by Sky Muse, 20 June 2018 - 09:07 PM.

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#17 erseavetir

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 09:03 PM

Wow, mind blown! Thank you for the explanation and the images which made everything better! 

 

Now the scary part is that getting it serviced part because I'd assume that they wouldn't do that in Istanbul, though maybe some places, or people would know/do that.

 

It's especially scary that when on motor or computer failure, you can't even use the whole thing manually which is baffling to me.

 

However, if this telescope can last him 1-2 years then than that would be OK in my eyes because in 10 months I'll graduate and get a web development job, then a few months later I can upgrade his telescope to even a better telescope without any issues.

 

Btw, when you said "That's one reason why I suggested that refractor kit" are you talking about the "Skywatcher Evostar 102 on EQ3-2" telescope?

 

Other than the customs issues, the reason I wouldn't want to buy that kind of telescope is because of this comment that I got on the other forum:

 

"The Celestron NexStar 127SLT Computerized Telescope is the way to go for your dad. Here's some images taken with this scope under another brand. (https://www.cloudyni...tov-neximage-5/) Is that the sort of sharp, high powered imaging of the moon he would like to see?  The rest of the listed scopes are achromatic refractors similar to what he already has, and they won't give much sharper images than what your dad has right now, so he would be disappointed with them."

 

And I REALLY want my father to be amazed and not just get a little more improved telescope, I want him to see it was worth it to do this upgrade etc and I'd like the difference of the two telescopes to be humongous :D


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#18 Adun

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 09:57 PM

A fully electronic, go-to, Nexstar Mak would offer plusses and cons:

Cons:

  • The need to align the scope with two stars, in order to be able to use it at all. This means longer setup, batteries always needed, difficulty to align when part of the sky is clouded, and need form your father to learn to identify some stars. For lunar observing feels unnecessary. Depending on your father's preferences and skill, this may or may not be a disadvantage.
  • No manual operation to move the scope. Considering it's meant for mostly observing the moon, not being able to manually aim and move, may or may not be a disadvantage depending on your father's tastes.

Plusses:

  • Automatic tracking, meaning the scope moves as the moon moves, helping keep a particular crater in the center of the view, is very helpful, specially to really zoom in close, and once you have done all the alignment, aiming and focusing, viewing is then more pleasant.
  • The Nexstar mount is more solid than most of the tripods seen in that store. Less vibrations then.

 

I just took a long look at the scopes sold at those stores you linked. I can't say I recommend any of them to replace your father's 70/700 for lunar. For a moment I thought of the Celestron astromaster 130 but then I read a review.

 

They are just like the telescopes available in my country: when you have a devalued currency (like my country and now Turkey), vendors usually just import the cheapest stuff. And then call it "professional". There's a reason why I've ended up importing all my scopes. I pay US$3.5 per lb, and that's preferrable than the stuff (and prices!!) available in my country.

 

A Barlow and zoom will already improve the 70/700's lunar abilities a lot. For a new telescope to be a worthy improvement, it will take something like a Nexstar Mak, or 100mm F10 reflector for it to be worth it.

 

Maybe you could research and learn the tax laws of Turkey, and see how much it would cost, with taxes, to import from Germany.


Edited by Adun, 20 June 2018 - 10:23 PM.

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#19 Sky Muse

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 10:09 PM

"Btw, when you said "That's one reason why I suggested that refractor kit" are you talking about the "Skywatcher Evostar 102 on EQ3-2" telescope?"

 

Yes, that's the one.  Granted, at f/10, that Sky-Watcher 102mm achromat would not perform quite as well as, say, a 102mm f/19 achromat, in so far as false-colour exhibited when viewing brighter objects.  It's not so bothersome when viewing the Moon, but it can be annoying when viewing the brighter planets.  Still, at f/10, it would be minimal with the Sky-Watcher.  Did you see this Bresser kit...

 

https://www.hepsibur...p-p-SPORMEADE46

 

It's very similar to the Sky-Watcher; impressive, no?  Incidentally, you stated, "...this comment that I got on the other forum...".  What and where is the "other forum"?

 

Of course, the Maksutov kits might be easier for him to handle and move about, as they may be lighter, and are certainly smaller than either one of the two refractor kits.  I realise that.

 

But then, in addition, have you thought about if it will be possible to coordinate the go-to system with the sky?  Would your father have access to enough of the sky for that?  Then, in general, it has been troubling for some to conduct the procedure itself, if not for quite a few users.  Is your father good with computers?  Then, it may be possible for him to simply move the telescope with the motors wherever he likes, and then start tracking the object.  I do not know. You can research that aspect.  Also, have you consulted with him as to your wanting to give him a go-to Maksutov?  If so, does he like the idea?

 

Or, would it be best to place a 127mm Maksutov OTA on a manual mount, and with a good-sized finderscope, like an 8x50?  A Maksutov will take a bit longer to acclimate to the outdoors before the higher powers can be used; about an hour, depending.  A refractor is usually ready to observe at the higher powers after about 10 to 15 minutes.  

 

So many things to think about, but I feel that you'll arrive at the best solution.


Edited by Sky Muse, 20 June 2018 - 10:12 PM.

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#20 erseavetir

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 10:57 PM

After Adun mentioned the cons of that 127SLT telescope and said this:

 

"A Barlow and zoom will already improve the 70/700's lunar abilities a lot. For a new telescope to be a worthy improvement, it will take something like a Nexstar Mak, or 100mm F10 reflector for it to be worth it."

 

and you (Sky Muse) also keep mentioning me about the potential risks/cons of 127SLT I think that might not be the best telescope for my father then. The fact that it can't be manually used is already a big bummer. 

 

I guess in that case buying this for 957$ USD from the Turkish site:

https://www.hepsibur...p-p-SPORMEADE46

 

or risking it with the customs issues and buying the one you mentioned from the German site for 500$ USD to save money:

https://www.teleskop...102-1000mm.html

 

will be a better deal. I am sure my father will like manually moving better although I'll talk to him about that and ask if he'd enjoy the auto movement with the 127SLT because I know that he not only really enjoys looking at the moon himself, he really wants to share great images that he wants to take from the telescope with his iPhone (or rather equivalent android phone with similar cam quality). And he, for some reason, REALLY wants to live stream the things he is seeing on his Facebook and I even bought him a "Cell Phone Adapter Mount" but he wasn't able to take the kind of zoomed in clear shots that he wanted.

 

Lastly, since you said this:

 

"Incidentally, you stated, "...this comment that I got on the other forum...".  What and where is the "other forum"?"

 

I've linked it twice before on a shortened google link but this is the full link to it:

https://stargazerslo...ed-suggestions/

 

Over there, they don't know my last struggles with this thing yet. Man, it's a tough business to buy a good telescope for specific needs and buy it for Turkey especially laugh.gif

 

Oh well, I'll sleep on this now and read you guy's comments about it tomorrow I guess. What would I do without you guys laugh.gif


Edited by erseavetir, 20 June 2018 - 11:15 PM.


#21 Freezout

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 04:22 AM

Hi Erseavetir,

 

Very nice attention to buy a better telescope for your moon-lover father, so I payed attention to your post.

Sorry to come with additional advice while it seems that you settled on a refractor. It's a lot of effort for you and you have this issue of customs.

From my side I would really advice a Maksutov-Cassegrain. Why?

Small so convenient to use! Never underestimate the convenience factor

high power: with your current eyepiece setup, you will reach high magnification easily

No chromatic aberration like with low-cost refractors: pure image

Flat picture, no coma like in many Newton telescopes

The mak-cassegrain has one disadvantage: it takes some time to cool down. Your father could eliminate that issue by putting the telescope outside some time before observing. This issue is more important for big telescopes.
I might have a bias, my main telescope is a Mak. I owned a Newton before. Yesterday I was on the moon with the Mak. The only limitation was the seeing. 200X with a 102 or 127 aperture Mak is easy I suppose (mine is 150mm). The picture is just amazing.

 

OK enough talk here are my suggestions. I tried to look first at Turkish websites and I found one selling Skywatcher. Skywatcher is manufactured by Synta, Chinese manufacturer who's famous to make very good quality maks for a reasonable price. There is quite a consensus even on a picky forum like this one to say that their maks are satisfying even experienced observers.
http://www.teleskobu...1,PR-12344.html

http://www.teleskobu...,PR-100452.html

Optic tubes alone also possible, to couple then with a mount (seems this seller doesn't supply manual AltAz). This combo might explode your budget and I know it's unbearable to receive advice over budget, but in case you convince other people to participate or whatever...
http://www.teleskobu...,PR-100483.html

http://www.teleskobu...,PR-100484.html

 

Here is another shop from Europe who might ship to Turkey. They have the advantage to sell AltAz mounts which are more user-friendly than EQ. Equivalent can be found at Teleskop Service, I put you this alternative only because they might have a more arranging policy for shipment, who knows. But TS are also very nice guys, I purchased a lot from them! It's worth giving a call to all these people.

https://www.astrosho...27-az-5/p,55152

https://www.astrosho...-pronto/p,55215

https://www.astrosho...d-neq-3/p,14980

 

I like EQ. It's a delight to track a target just with one control to turn. But it's a hassle to setup and can end up in uncomfortable viewing position. 

I strongly think that goto is useless here, it would really be throwing money through the window.

 

Good luck!


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#22 erseavetir

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 08:49 AM

Thank you for letting me know Freezout! To be honest, nothing is settled yet, I am planning on reading what everybody will say on both forums until weekend and then maybe read them again to more properly understand everything xD and then I'll explain everything you guys explained to my father on the weekend and then we'll decide on something after maybe a few more days.

 

I REALLY appreciate everyone's input on this especially since I am a noob. It's also interesting to see that this is how I felt like when buying a new PC or a car, there seems to be a lot of different opinions on this and it's super cool to hear everyone's perspective to make the best decision at the end. Thank you guys! heart.png


Edited by erseavetir, 21 June 2018 - 08:52 AM.


#23 erseavetir

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 09:31 AM

Btw, I just explained this in detail on the other forum and I guess this is an important thing to consider but we have a balcony where my father uses his telescope every night. These are the pictures from the first night of him using the telescope I got him almost a year ago:

https://imgur.com/a/97Nudpk

 

So please let me know if this information changes everything and if I should choose only a specific kind of telescope over some other kind of telescope. 



#24 vtornado

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 10:19 AM

If you father's passion is the moon,   and you seem to be limited in choices and price, I might go for something like this.

 

https://www.amazon.c...ords=127 mm mak

 

https://www.amazon.c...ASIN=B0007UQNY0

 

I am not recommending these specifically but as a representative of a 127 mak and a mount that can hold it.

 

This scope will show him much more than his 70mm refractor.

The mount above will hold this scope.  You just have to do a little research to see how to bolt them together. 

There are no electronics, so no batteries, no alignment, and nothing to break.

 

I have the celestron  mount and it is stable for a scope of this size and has slow motion controls which will help him track the moon.

 

One step up on the mount is this one.

https://explorescien...wilight-1-mount.  It may be sold as bresser in Europe.

 

A red - dot finder and a low power eyepiece (32mm plossl) would be all that is necessary to get the moon into view.

 

thanks for sharing the pic of your dad.

He's got a nice setup there.  He looks like cool dude too.

 

VT


Edited by vtornado, 21 June 2018 - 10:22 AM.

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#25 Adun

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 11:00 AM

I agre with Freezout that a Maksutov in a manual alt-az mount with slow motion controls would be the best telescope for a moon fan. No sacrifices in optics, no sacrifices in ergonomics, no sacrifices in ease of tracking, and no complex setup (which you'd get form a GoTo electronic mount and also from a heavy equatorial mount).

 

Both options sold at astroshop are really good:

 

127mm Mak for utmost optical power (heavier for your father to carry, longer to cool down, and more expensive), with a perfect AZ5 mount:

https://www.astrosho...27-az-5/p,55152

 

102mm Mak for good enough optical power, (lighter carry, quicker cool-down, less costly) on an AZ Pronto with slow motion controls (for a 5 lb short tube, it's more than enough):

https://www.astrosho...-pronto/p,55215

 

Those are the "no compromises", best options. Bigger scopes will come with downsides, as will cheaper scopes, and longer-tube scopes, and achromats, and shorter reflectors. Either of those two maks on slow-motion control alt-az mounts would be ideal, but you'd need to find a way to get either shipped to Turkey.

 

Also make sure to give your father the S&T Field Map of the Moon. It's a very good, largish map detailing hundreds of craters and features, Apollo landing sites, etc. It comes in two versions, one Mirrored/inverted (to match the views that your dad would get through his 70/700 or a Mak) and one "straight" (to match the views he'd get if you got him a reflector/newtonian or binoculars). Very inexpensive ($13), lightweight (easy to ship by mail) but the perfect companion to a powerful lunar scope.


Edited by Adun, 21 June 2018 - 11:04 AM.

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