I've been getting into this hobby during 2018, using a Celestron AstroFi 130mm newtonian telescope. I picked that up as an entry level to see whether I was truly going to take to... which I have.
I've got a lot out of it but am itching to upgrade. I do most of my observing at my parent's country home which is a very dark site (and also elevated about 1100m) which is where the scope will live 90% of the time. I am primarily interested in visual, the photography I do is simply the equivalent of happy snaps to help record what I've seen. I've been reading different parts of this site and others to get some tips.
I've become interested in getting the Celestron 9.25 Evolution but haven't ruled out going the extra mile to get the CPC Deluxe HD in the same size. It is a fair amount of extra $$$, but wonder whether I should be trying to "future proof" my purchase if I can.
My queries are:
- The extra stability of the dual fork arm on the CPC is appealing, but is the Evolution mount reasonably stable with a little light breeze, say? I note the 9.25 Evolution has a heavier tripod which would help stability I presume.
- The battery in the Evolution seems a fantastic convenience, but I worry if it will become a problem longer term - will the battery lifespan reduce significantly in say 5 years time, and if so can they be replaced without buying a new scope? I run my existing scope off mains power with a long extension lead and would have no problem doing the same with a new scope (say the CPC)
- I have read that the 9.25 is a "sweet spot" and so the difference with the Edge HD is less noticeable. I've also seen one can get the focal reducer / field flattener which I suspect may be enough for visual?
- Is the focussing similar in these two scopes? A big bugbear with my current scope is that the focusser doesn't have any sort of fine tuning, it's a very blunt instrument.
However my MAIN query is:
- I've been disturbed reading some comments suggesting that getting a good quality scope is luck of the draw due to a wide variability in manufacturing quality within a given model. Is this really the case? Without having a second one next to it, how can one tell that it's up to scratch? Is there any recourse with the store or manufacturer? Some of those comments about variability may be a little old, so not sure if they are still relevant.
Many thanks in advance for any thoughts that can be offered.