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Do Yourself a Favor - Start with a Quality Mount

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#51 SonnyE

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 04:48 PM

Hello, Mark,

I followed that advice when I out grew my AVX and bought a G11G and I am confident that this mount will handle every thing that I ever want this mount to do for me.  For many this advice seems to just go by unnoticed, or it is misunderstood.

 

HAPPY SKIES AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro

We all grow, but when I began, the idea of a very expensive mount was just too far out of my realm of reasonable. I had to spread my money like peanut butter on toast.

4 years later the idea of another inexpensive mount to replace the failed one was unreasonable.


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#52 mattproulx86

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Posted 13 September 2020 - 11:04 PM

I started with a HEQ5, Now have an EQ6-R, looking to get something bigger now. I didn't waste any money thus far, I have some amazing images to show for it.  I see a lot of people on this forum have some high end mounts for quite a few years and no images to show for the supposed quality they're supposed to give you above "chinese" mounts. Their advice I cannot take too seriously. Their money may as well be wasted. /micdrop


Edited by mattproulx86, 13 September 2020 - 11:04 PM.

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#53 xthestreams

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 02:20 AM

Great advice and something I wish I had understood before I started. It’s just too easy to get swayed by the idea of large(ish) aperture 8” SCTs with forks and computer control and thinking that “surely they wouldn’t sell this stuff if it didn’t work, how hard can imaging be?”

 

Lesson learned the hard way - but I honestly don’t think there’s any other way to learn the lesson (for imaging). Riffing on the OP’s idea;

0). Skip the mount, buy a pair of binoculars - see 3).

1). If you own (or can justify to your loved ones) a decent DSLR or M4/3 camera, lens and tripod kit - you already own a “telescope” - it’s amazing what you can do with one of these things.

2a). Start with the best mount you can afford (EQ6-R is a great starting point for example - the bigger the better - if you can afford something with a higher precision/build quality it WILL show up in your final data)

OR 2b). get a SkyWatcher or iOptron Adventurer style RA only mount and slowly increase your exposure times, get better at polar alignment, etc - use the money you haven’t spent to start saving for a 10Micron ;-)

3). A good, wide field scope is much more enjoyable than a long FL SCT - don’t let those pictures of Jupiter fool you into going long FL until you have your brain around a nice wide field OTA 

4). Don’t forgot that looking through the eyepiece can be a humbling, breathtaking experience - so even if you suck at AP, don’t allow it to distract you from the awe and wonder that peering back in time through an eyepiece can give - start the night by looking around and enjoying your hobby before you let the demons of AP eat your will to live

5). Get a decent but not crazy expensive camera - full colour is sometimes sniffed at by the hard core types, but Trevor at AstroBackyard proves every night that a great OSC can generate award winning results

6). Buy an LP filter - again spend a little more to get a more finessed result (Trevor’s reviews are helpful here too)

7). If you can afford a Telegizmos cover, leave your scope setup overnight- you will get more out of a decent scope that’s ready to go than one worth 2-10x the price that you cant/wont leave out in the elements

8). Use it, suck at it, share and learn - if you think that Chris Woodhouse came out of the womb a brilliant photographer, well he probably did, but he’s a rare bird - this is a game of patience. If one target takes you a month, then let it take a month. 

 

But back to the OP’s advice, save up for the best mount you think you can afford - then save another month or two and get a slightly better one - the longer you hold off, the happier you will be in the long run - and the good ones really do hold their value.

 

Apologies if that was all a bit off topic, but it’s been something going through my mind as I think back over my journey so far.


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#54 epdreher

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 07:09 PM

I started with a HEQ5, Now have an EQ6-R, looking to get something bigger now. I didn't waste any money thus far, I have some amazing images to show for it.  I see a lot of people on this forum have some high end mounts for quite a few years and no images to show for the supposed quality they're supposed to give you above "chinese" mounts. Their advice I cannot take too seriously. Their money may as well be wasted. /micdrop

Matt, I'm curious as to the facts leading up to your mic drop.  Did you come to that conclusion because someone owns a premium mount, yet posts few or no photos here at all?  Did they post bad photos made while using their premium mounts?

 

I ask because I know several here that are either local or long-distance friends that have created masterful astrophotos, but choose to post them elsewhere or not at all.  Do you consider those people incapable of giving beneficial advice to beginners or even accomplished astrophotographers?  If so, how does one draw your conclusion?

 

Maybe you should share some of your amazing images.  I'm not trying to be a smart aleck, but it was you that set the bar.


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#55 mattproulx86

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 07:47 PM

Matt, I'm curious as to the facts leading up to your mic drop.  Did you come to that conclusion because someone owns a premium mount, yet posts few or no photos here at all?  Did they post bad photos made while using their premium mounts?

 

I ask because I know several here that are either local or long-distance friends that have created masterful astrophotos, but choose to post them elsewhere or not at all.  Do you consider those people incapable of giving beneficial advice to beginners or even accomplished astrophotographers?  If so, how does one draw your conclusion?

 

Maybe you should share some of your amazing images.  I'm not trying to be a smart aleck, but it was you that set the bar.

 

I consider people who have been doing astrophotography for x years with premium equipment who are surpassed by 15yr old kids in 6 months with nothing but a asi1600mm a skywatcher newt and a HEQ5, inadequate to give equipment advice such as "save your money" " buy a premium mount" "buy once cry once". I see it on every forum. I say, buy and learn. Use it and grow. Some people have equipment fetish. They will set out to buy the most expensive and best equipment and never ever reach its capabilities. They promote how it is so much better but they'll never know. To me this is a waste. Anyone who has created masterful photos in the last 10 years is posting them somewhere. If they are not, then that is their loss. For how can we know a mans worth if not for his work? Let the art speak for you.


Edited by mattproulx86, 14 September 2020 - 07:55 PM.

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#56 epdreher

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 07:56 PM

There's the proverbial nail on the head:  It's YOU who "consider people..."

 

Naturally, we are all entitled to our opinion on any given subject.  I choose to follow the advice and suggestions from those whose work I've seen, who chose to share it with me.  And I'll listen or learn from anyone who's better than me, in astrophotography or playing a guitar.  The list for both is long and distinguished.

 

But I won't belittle someone, or a group, due to an opinion based upon no evidence whatsoever.  I cannot assume someone is inferior just because I haven't seen their photos.

 

As for your photos, I cannot offer any judgement as I haven't seen them.  Apparently you have chosen to keep them to yourself, and that's fine.

 

Just don't put yourself up on a pedestal until you do, because you're just in a different boat that happens to be floating on the same lake.


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#57 mattproulx86

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 08:22 PM

There's the proverbial nail on the head:  It's YOU who "consider people..."

 

Naturally, we are all entitled to our opinion on any given subject.  I choose to follow the advice and suggestions from those whose work I've seen, who chose to share it with me.  And I'll listen or learn from anyone who's better than me, in astrophotography or playing a guitar.  The list for both is long and distinguished.

 

But I won't belittle someone, or a group, due to an opinion based upon no evidence whatsoever.  I cannot assume someone is inferior just because I haven't seen their photos.

 

As for your photos, I cannot offer any judgement as I haven't seen them.  Apparently you have chosen to keep them to yourself, and that's fine.

 

Just don't put yourself up on a pedestal until you do, because you're just in a different boat that happens to be floating on the same lake.

I followed you on astrobin. Easy to find anyone ;)



#58 epdreher

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 08:36 PM

Ya' think?  lol.gif

 

Have yourself a great evening, Matt.  Really.



#59 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 09:07 PM

I consider people who have been doing astrophotography for x years with premium equipment who are surpassed by 15yr old kids in 6 months with nothing but a asi1600mm a skywatcher newt and a HEQ5, inadequate to give equipment advice such as "save your money" " buy a premium mount" "buy once cry once". I see it on every forum. I say, buy and learn. Use it and grow. Some people have equipment fetish. They will set out to buy the most expensive and best equipment and never ever reach its capabilities. They promote how it is so much better but they'll never know. To me this is a waste. Anyone who has created masterful photos in the last 10 years is posting them somewhere. If they are not, then that is their loss. For how can we know a mans worth if not for his work? Let the art speak for you.

As the starter of this thread, I really want to clarify that there is nothing written in my posts, nor any intent, to equate a worthwhile, solid mount having to be expensive. 

 

I've owned a lot of budget mounts over the years that, due to my own DIY ingenuity was able to make them solid and stable. 

 

My point was, and still is, make a solid stable mount a bigger priority than the scope. It doesn't have to be expensive...just solid. 

 

Play nice guys.


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#60 epdreher

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 09:12 PM

Young 'uns.  smile.gif


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#61 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 09:32 PM

I believe in over-mounting.  Atlas (EQ-6) for a four inch class refractor is just fine.  A six inch refractor needs at least a G11, G11T, or EQ8, depending on f/ratio. 


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#62 epdreher

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 09:37 PM

My original AP scope and mount that I used in the late '80s to mid-'90s, described in my .sig.

 

Considering the weight capacity of the Schaefer, it was over-mounted.  smile.gif  

 

DSC03122.jpg


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#63 halx

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 09:47 PM

I guess that's covered already, but here is my 2 cents piece:

That's simply wrong.
 

A garbage telescope wouldn't perform well even on a $14K Losmandy.
I could put "period" right here. As the OP is against the basic Logic already grin.gif.
But there are more cases.

 

A classic Dobson mount is nothing more than a telescope carefully lowered on a wooden stool of a special shape. That's the best telescope mount money could buy. Because "Zero moving parts" means ideal engineering design (just don't confuse Dobson mount with modern "lazy suzan spinners").

Basic Physics tells us that any force creates the counterforce. The mount suppose to counter forces of gravity and inertia (skipping the wind for now). That's its primary purpose. And it's satisfied as the mounted scope is perfectly steady in space and time (period?). But to the surprise of some mounts makers, there is also a user capable of applying unknown forces to that mount creating counterforces here and there which are making the telescope view shaking and hard to hold in place as it's striving to get into the pre-engineered "zero sum of forces" or "mechanical balance". In other words, almost any mount holding the scope weight is actually an OK telescope mount. The problem is actually in that user's inability to operate it without disrupting that balance too much or for too long.

AP is a bit different story, but you will be amazed how primitive some autoguiding AP rigs looks like mechanically behind produced with them stunning imagery. Same is possible with non-Dobson visual mounts, you just have to learn how.



#64 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 09:18 AM

A garbage telescope wouldn't perform well even on a $14K Losmandy.

I could put "period" right here. As the OP is against the basic Logic already grin.gif.

Be it a top end, high quality scope or a garbage scope, either will only perform to the capability of the mount it sits on. 

 

I agree that no mount will transform a "garbage" scope into a high quality one, but I contend that an unstable, wobbly, almost unusable mount/tripod will most certainly turn even a high quality scope into garbage.


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#65 Ramos

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 10:21 AM

Good afternoon everyone, here I will tell my story. For almost 4 years I have been reading and rereading a little bit of everything about the mount's on this forum, and I came to the conclusion that it is better to wait to spend the extra €€ or Dollars at the beginning of the Hobby on a mount. It all started almost 3 years ago, I spent a year and little to add €€€ to buy the SW Eq6-R Pro, I was just a click away from buying it, when that day came the news of the iOptron GEM 45, since I always need a Setup where portability is a very important conclusion, purchase aborted. I waited to see the Feedback for this new Mount, and I liked it. It is not easy to deal with the passion I have for Astronomy / Astrophography since I was very young, which led me to almost despair / to make the impulse purchase of the SW EQ6-R Pro, today and soon I will receive my 1st mount dedicated to Astrophography my GEM45, and I have a clear conscience because I made a purchase with 100% certainty.


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#66 epdreher

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 10:48 AM

Good for you, Ramos.  I wish I'd have had someone to help me avoid the long chain of mistakes I made that are listed in my .sig.

 

My old Schaefer mount never gave me a bit of trouble.  After selling it, taking a several year leave from the hobby, then entering back into it with three successive and troublesome CGEMs that all suffered with the notorious 8/3 problem, I tried two other Chinese mounts.  The first had wild PE that could not be guided-out.  The second had me pushing the weight limit, so I sold it.  I'm not even going to discuss my G11G.  I swore that I'd not spend time bashing any one brand.

 

My Mach1GTO just worked right out of the box, and consistently reproduces excellent guiding time after time.  No muss or fuss.

 

Buy once, cry once.


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#67 SonnyE

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 11:58 AM

"A garbage telescope wouldn't perform well even on a $14K Losmandy.

I could put "period" right here. As the OP is against the basic Logic already grin.gif.
But there are more cases."

 

 

To the best of my knowledge and research, Scott Losmandy does not make a "$14K" mount.

Look HERE.

 

Now, many would not consider my Orion ED80T CF a quality refractor, because even today it's still just under $1,000. But at the time I bought ~6 years ago, my next step up in Aperture would have cost $1,700 more for a mere 20 mm gain.

So I settled for my 80 mm. And a garbage (to relate to your terms) mount. Now, lots of Triplet refractors are available, in a myriad of sizes.

4 years of hard labor later (I had to work it to death), I replaced that mount with a GM811G HD Losmandy. A giant step forward for me. And well matched to my quest to image deep sky objects.

And still with my "Garbage" Telescope.

But before you rattle off, you really need to do the tinyest amount of research. Lest you look like a complete fool.

 

Period.

 

Some bonifides:

 

Losmandy 1w
 
 
Scott Losmandy And I
 
 

 


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#68 Mitrovarr

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 12:36 PM

"Get a decent mount" is one of the best reasons to start with a dob. Dobs nearly always have nice stable functional alt-az mounts. They're fine and they're cheap, another key beginner consideration.

Beyond that, though, I agree, but I also think that beginners need not spend a fortune to get a decent starter mount. A Twilight 1 or an Omni is fine for small scopes and an AVX fine for medium ones. You don't need a Losmandy or AP mount or anything.
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#69 halx

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 01:23 PM

To the best of my knowledge and research, Scott Losmandy does not make a "$14K" mount.
Look HERE.

...
But before you rattle off, you really need to do the tinyest amount of research. Lest you look like a complete fool.

"Losmandy" is just a figure of speech to point at some well-known high-end mounts' class.
$14K is just an average price of these mounts for those with the severe GEM fever multiplied by the aperture fever with the "Selfitis" precondition lol.gif 
(or would you like me to google a $28K mount for you?)

Besides, the OP is about visual astronomy and telescopes explicitly, not about you photography passion and astrographs (the latter could be as much a "garbage" as a pinhole in a box (camera obscura), as you have to "photoshop" thousands of your pinhole pictures later anyway to match your artistic liking for the "social networks" sharing). The difference is obvious even for a complete fool like me: touching the mount when it is "observing" is a taboo for AP-ers, while real stargazers touching it every several seconds when observing.

 

My point above was just about the ballance. The truth is, that diametrically opposite to the astrophotography, the visual astronomy ballance favors the telescope and the observer's skills first, mount, electronics, "photoshops" - very second.


Edited by halx, 15 September 2020 - 01:45 PM.


#70 SonnyE

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 02:09 PM

"Get a decent mount" is one of the best reasons to start with a dob. Dobs nearly always have nice stable functional alt-az mounts. They're fine and they're cheap, another key beginner consideration.

Beyond that, though, I agree, but I also think that beginners need not spend a fortune to get a decent starter mount. A Twilight 1 or an Omni is fine for small scopes and an AVX fine for medium ones. You don't need a Losmandy or AP mount or anything.

Maybe.

But getting a Dob, when your goal is imaging could be a wrong turn.

For someone who wants to look, OK.

But for someone with different ideas, such as DSO's and long exposure AP, a Dob could be almost as bad as acquiring an inadequate mount.

Doing your research before clicking that buy now button avoids expensive errors or mismatched equipment for the desired results. wink.gif


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#71 Mitrovarr

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 02:17 PM

Honestly, for actual beginners, my advice on imaging is "don't". Or rather, later... after you have years of visual experience under your belt.

The cost of a decent beginner dob is honestly almost a rounding error when compared to an imaging setup.
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#72 SonnyE

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 02:29 PM

"Losmandy" is just a figure of speech to point at some well-known high-end mounts' class.
$14K is just an average price of these mounts for those with the severe GEM fever multiplied by the aperture fever with the "Selfitis" precondition lol.gif 
(or would you like me to google a $28K mount for you?)

Besides, the OP is about visual astronomy and telescopes explicitly, not about you photography passion and astrographs (the latter could be as much a "garbage" as a pinhole in a box (camera obscura), as you have to "photoshop" thousands of your pinhole pictures later anyway to match your artistic liking for the "social networks" sharing). The difference is obvious even for a complete fool like me: touching the mount when it is "observing" is a taboo for AP-ers, while real stargazers touching it every several seconds when observing.

 

My point above was just about the ballance. The truth is, that diametrically opposite to the astrophotography, the visual astronomy ballance favors the telescope and the observer's skills first, mount, electronics, "photoshops" - very second.

You are just plain wrong, Alex. And I called you on it.

Now you link Astro-Physics and offer to go find a ridiculous $28,000.00 mount to try and dodge.

 

Nowhere does Mark state this is about visual astronomy. His post is specifically guiding to getting a mount of the highest quality one can muster.

 

You came in with your completely false reference to Losmandy (By Name) and an erroneous $14,000 price remark.

And I, for one, will call you on your complete BS. wink.gif


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#73 SonnyE

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 03:07 PM

Honestly, for actual beginners, my advice on imaging is "don't". Or rather, later... after you have years of visual experience under your belt.

The cost of a decent beginner dob is honestly almost a rounding error when compared to an imaging setup.

When I started, I spent a month deciding IF I even wanted to take pictures. There are so very many available in the web.

Then the next 4 months creating wish lists and refining them toward the goals I wanted to reach.

I understandably made some bad choices due to not knowing, and going on others advice. All well intended, but I trusted in names I knew from my much younger days.

But I knew, or had decided on, WHAT I wanted to do, then sought out how others were getting that done.

 

If Mark's advice had been available back then, I might have had a better beginning.

But I would have missed all the boulders rolling down the learning curve, the repairs, and the hard knocks.

 

I can say at this point I'm languishing over getting a visual set up, probably a monster parallelogram and Binoculars to fill in the waiting times during my AP sessions.

My wife has a pair of 10 X 50 Bushnell binoculars. And my thinking is with a Parallelogram and Big binoculars, we could use them camping as well as at home.

A big step sideways for me. But I find I'm deeply hooked on this fun.


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#74 deonb

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 03:08 PM

I initially got a Edge 1100 and CGX combo and figured out ok, well at that FL you just can’t touch or breath near the scope - it’s just the way of things.

I even put on a EAF with a remote so I can focus without touching the scope. Nvm pushing your eye up against an eyepiece.

Somewhat thankfully the CGX broke close to the return period and I made an agreement with the dealer to return it and upgrade to a CGX-L at the same time.

Wow, what a difference. Where the CGX is like working with a camera suspended from the ceiling by a fishing line, the CGX-L at least behaves like a camera with a 200mm lens on a tripod. Not perfect, but at least orders of magnitude more usable.

I honestly can’t believe people sell the C11/CGX combo. The same would probably go for many scope+mount combo deals :(.

You don’t necessarily need a $14000 AP mount (though I’m sure it would be awesome), but your mount and scope should at least be in the same weight class.

Edited by deonb, 15 September 2020 - 03:18 PM.

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#75 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 03:10 PM

Visual/AP, who cares? 

 

I could have entitled this thread, "Put Your Money Where Your Mount is".

 

I don't know why this is a concept so difficult to grasp. We buy and use telescopes to magnify these objects in the Universe in order to see them with the most amount of detail we can. Some just want to look, some want to take photos, but the fact remains, these scopes have to somehow be pointed at the object of our desire.

 

Nevermind the mount. Its just another accessory. Buy the best scope you can afford. Put an EP of the highest magnification (or a camera, I don't really care) in the focuser and hold it in your hands and point it at any object you want to look at/take a photo of. Fun isn't it? 

 

What's that? You can't keep it in the FOV or focus it while you hold it up? OK. So put it on something. How about a stick? Maybe a stick with forked branches. Ah...that's better. Now you can see the object...wait, now you can't. Ugh. I can't hold it still!!! Maybe they make a mount for it. Wow! They do make mounts for telescopes! Who would have thought? Wait. My scope is on the mount now, but its sitting on the ground. Maybe I need to find something to put the mount on. Maybe a chair...nah...not high enough. How about a stool? Wait, you mean they make tripods to put the mount on? Wow, how cool is that?

My point from the very outset was just to suggest to beginners that if they invest in a mount/tripod that can hold that new scope still long enough to focus it and enjoy the view, perhaps they'll continue on in this hobby. What kind of mount? Who cares? Find one that is solid and stable enough to do the job, whatever that may be. Lots to choose from these days.

I couldn't care any less where this debate is heading. Put your money where your mount is. You'll be glad when you try to focus that scope. You'll be glad when you look through it when a bit of a breeze crops up. Upgrade your scope and/or mount as needed. 


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 15 September 2020 - 03:32 PM.

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