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NexStar Evolution

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#1 Acaxual

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Posted 04 September 2020 - 12:42 AM

I am thinking of buying a Celestron NexStar Evolution, but I cannot make out my mind in what to get. 8" or the 9.25" model. I want to be able to see galaxies and planets in detail. Any advice?



#2 Astro-Master

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Posted 04 September 2020 - 12:46 AM

I think the 9.25" SCT is a bit too big and heavy for the Evolution mount IMHO.


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#3 photomagica

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Posted 04 September 2020 - 01:30 AM

I have an Evolution 8 that I bought when they first came out. I'm pleased with it. It is great on planets and if you have a good dark sky location very capable on star clusters, nebulae and galaxies.

Bill


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#4 Rac19

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Posted 04 September 2020 - 01:44 AM

I have the Evolution 8 and I think that it is about as large as I can handle, at age 72. While 9.25" doesn't sound much bigger, from posts that I have seen, it is quite a bit more difficult to handle.


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#5 Woody218

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Posted 04 September 2020 - 07:37 AM

My wife has an Evolution 9.25, and she sets it up herself. It is no more difficult to handle than the 8". The 8" has the flimsy weenie tripod, the 9.25 comes with the tripod they use on the CPC1100. Nice and sturdy!


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#6 junomike

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Posted 04 September 2020 - 11:36 AM

If it's possible, go check out them both and see if you think the larger set up is do-able.

IMO the larger Aperture will be noticeable (but not excessive).


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#7 lampcord

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Posted 04 September 2020 - 11:56 AM

I feel like the 8HD is about at my limit to be able to easily move the entire system as one unit. This is a huge time saver, nothing to plug in, nothing to attach, everything already balanced and lined up, and I can get setup and aligned in probably 5 minutes. It's more about how awkward it is getting it through 2 doorways than the weight.

 

If I went any bigger, I'd probably have to break it down. Either remove the OTA and move the mount and tripod or remove the mount / OTA assembly. Not a huge deal but just one more thing to do every time I set up.

 

But if you're willing to do that, I would say the 9.25 should not be much more difficult. I believe the OTA weighs 6 lbs more.


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#8 philc

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Posted 04 September 2020 - 11:56 AM

My wife has an Evolution 9.25, and she sets it up herself. It is no more difficult to handle than the 8". The 8" has the flimsy weenie tripod, the 9.25 comes with the tripod they use on the CPC1100. Nice and sturdy!

I know about the tripod upgrade (thumbs up) but thought the 9.25 also strained the limits of the mount...sort of like the 8SE concerns. So is your wife AOK with it?

I sold my CPC 9.25 because I found carrying the OTA and dual fork mount was just too much for my aging back. But I assume the Evo set-up is significantly lighter?


Edited by philc, 04 September 2020 - 11:57 AM.

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#9 Woody218

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Posted 04 September 2020 - 12:39 PM

I know about the tripod upgrade (thumbs up) but thought the 9.25 also strained the limits of the mount...sort of like the 8SE concerns. So is your wife AOK with it?

I sold my CPC 9.25 because I found carrying the OTA and dual fork mount was just too much for my aging back. But I assume the Evo set-up is significantly lighter?

Oh yeah, she loves her Evolution. She breaks it down every time, so all the parts are very manageable for her. And, even though it's a single fork, it is really stable. She has hooked up one of my Zwo ASI224MC cameras to it and used it to image star clusters and planets. The tripod is actually the heaviest part, it's built like a tank! It's sturdier than the tripod on my Celestron CGX!


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#10 Rac19

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Posted 04 September 2020 - 04:11 PM

To add to my earlier comments, the Evolution 8 tripod seems to be reasonably sturdy to me.

 

I was in the habit of mounting the OTA and mount as a unit and found the weight and bulk of the combination to be at the limit of my comfort zone.

 

Now that I am using a wedge, I find that I am not at all comfortable with that so I put the mount on the wedge first then the OTA. For me, the mount alone is awkward enough  to fit to the wedge. The OTA, as already mentioned, is not the heaviest item. I like to cradle it in one arm while tightening the dovetail screw and wonder whether or not a 9.25" OTA would be more of a challenge under such circumstances.

 

EDIT: Post #11 mention the 8" HD which I think would be worth serious consideration. 


Edited by Rac19, 04 September 2020 - 05:59 PM.

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#11 audioengr

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Posted 04 September 2020 - 04:39 PM

I could probably handle the 9.25" OTA on the normal tripod, but when the mount is attached to the heavy-duty wedge and you have to lift it onto that or lift it with that attached, I think the 8" is more manageable.  The HD wedge weighs about 30 lbs alone.  I ordered the 8" and the heavy duty tripod for the 1100 series.  Stability is key to getting good photos and vibration-free viewing.  I'm even screwing these to the deck to make sure the legs of the tripod never move.

 

Also, I am looking at using the Hyperstar sometimes with it.  The 8" has a lower focal length and wider FOV for AP than the 9.25", so more objects will fit in the frame.  Things like the veil NGC6992 barely fit in the frame even with the 8".   Even with the 8", you need about 3 frames to get all of Andromeda galaxy.  The Hyperstar for it is also less expensive than the one for 9.25". 

 

The magnification (focal length) of the 9.25" is higher, so the same cameras and eyepieces will not have as big a FOV.  more difficult to find widefield eyepieces.  55mm is about it, and it's only a Plossl.  For the planets, a lower power eyepiece will be enough with the 9.25", so they will probably be more clear and bright.  Once I have a guider attached along with the Starsense, a finder, a counterweight, and a second dovetail bar and handle for carrying it, this is enough weight and awkward enough.

 

Since there is only one support fork and not two, I believe the less weight, the better for keeping repeatable alignment and polar alignment.  Also less likely to vibrate when tracking.  If the gears have less stress and the motors have to work less hard, that is a plus.

 

I would highly recommend the EdgeHD version for better optics.


Edited by audioengr, 04 September 2020 - 05:20 PM.

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#12 Acaxual

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Posted 05 September 2020 - 01:07 AM

Thanks to everyone for the tips.

Will I be able to see the Andromeda Galaxy if I used a Celestron f / 6.3 Focal Reducer / Corrector? on the NexStar Evolution 9.25"



#13 junomike

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Posted 05 September 2020 - 07:33 AM

Thanks to everyone for the tips.

Will I be able to see the Andromeda Galaxy if I used a Celestron f / 6.3 Focal Reducer / Corrector? on the NexStar Evolution 9.25"

See it, Yes.  See it entirely, no, but the 8" SCT wouldn't  show it entirely either, even using the largest 2" FOV + Reducer.

 

Also, IMO the purpose of the 0.63X reducer is to be able to use 1.25" eyepieces and get similar FOV's as you would with longer

focal length 2" eyepieces.

 

Trying to stretch the FOV using the Reducer and longer focal length 2" eyepieces is possible but this increases the FOV only slightly

over using a longer 2" eyepiece and also I found the eye placement uncomfortable and much preferred the lone 2" EP.


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#14 audioengr

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Posted 05 September 2020 - 11:00 AM

Thanks to everyone for the tips.

Will I be able to see the Andromeda Galaxy if I used a Celestron f / 6.3 Focal Reducer / Corrector? on the NexStar Evolution 9.25"

You will see a small piece of it, maybe 1/6 and that's with a really low power eyepiece, like 55mm.  The only way to see the whole thing is to use another telescope with shorter focal length.  Even the 8" will not allow you to see the whole thing in the frame.  For AP, I am looking at getting the Hyperstar for the front.  With that and a large-format camera, you can get the whole thing into the shot.  You can see it real-time on your laptop anyway, and it is much more interesting when the color and detail develops after live stacking for a minute.  Otherwise, it's all white and hazy and pretty dim, without much detail to the eye.  All DSO's except the planets and moon will be like this.

 

Use this tool to see how large things are with your eyepiece or camera and scope.


Edited by audioengr, 05 September 2020 - 11:05 AM.

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#15 sanbai

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Posted 05 September 2020 - 11:35 AM

I'm glad I got the 8" (edge, but that's not that important for visual) vs the 9.25". I can lift my whole setup and move it few meters from the covered area to the grass. It would be difficult to do that with the heavier tripod and OTA of the 9.25". That would also result in lesser use, especially when I'm tired and I only want to take a short look at the planets.

 

If that's not an issue for you, then go with the larger aperture. The issue with the SCTs is that they are good for larger magnifications (given the focal length). If you want larger fields, a small refactor (in a separate mount) would be a good complement.

 

You may also think about getting just the OTA, a refractor, and a dual mount like the AZEQ6 (same as Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G), iOptron AZ Pro, Rowan AZ100 or DSV-3. I may get one of those in the future, all of them have tracking (the rowan will get that option very soon).


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#16 Tfer

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Posted 05 September 2020 - 12:20 PM

I'm glad I got the 8" (edge, but that's not that important for visual) vs the 9.25". I can lift my whole setup and move it few meters from the covered area to the grass. It would be difficult to do that with the heavier tripod and OTA of the 9.25". That would also result in lesser use, especially when I'm tired and I only want to take a short look at the planets.

 

If that's not an issue for you, then go with the larger aperture. The issue with the SCTs is that they are good for larger magnifications (given the focal length). If you want larger fields, a small refactor (in a separate mount) would be a good complement.

 

You may also think about getting just the OTA, a refractor, and a dual mount like the AZEQ6 (same as Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G), iOptron AZ Pro, Rowan AZ100 or DSV-3. I may get one of those in the future, all of them have tracking (the rowan will get that option very soon).

I’ve got a CPC 1100 on its way.

 

I’ve learned that my grab and go for quick views is my 10” Dob. Using a 31mm Baader Aspheric EP, I can get almost all of M31 into view.

 

The CPC will be used when I have hours of observing planned. 


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#17 Hikescdnrckys

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Posted 05 September 2020 - 12:35 PM

I know about the tripod upgrade (thumbs up) but thought the 9.25 also strained the limits of the mount...sort of like the 8SE concerns. So is your wife AOK with it?

I sold my CPC 9.25 because I found carrying the OTA and dual fork mount was just too much for my aging back. But I assume the Evo set-up is significantly lighter?

I have had the evolution 9.25 for at least 5 years, and it is very stable on the mount. I always leave the OTA on the mount and carry it and the tripod in 2 trips. Not too difficult and I am 65 with a bad back. If I am feeling tired, I take the OTA off the mount and make 3 trips. So it is manageable. For public outreach sessions I put the mounted OTA in a plastic tub with wheels. I admit the trip down the stairs in my cottage to the garage is much easier than the trip up the stairs. As I get older I may have to do the OTA and mount separately, but the views are worth it.


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#18 robodan

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Posted 05 September 2020 - 07:36 PM

over here in New Zealand, the Evolution 8 edge HD with starsense was $200 dearer than the 9.25.

I almost got the 8", but with advice from here and further looking decided on the 9.25, not an edgehd version, but if I want a corrected view can just buy field flattens.

Getting older and at 65, thought the 8" would be lighter, but then again got a skywatcher 10" collapsible goto dob abd can handle that and harder as i leave the tube fully extended and longer than the 9 25 will be, so what the heck, ordered the 9.25, you can improve the field of view by add-ons, and as good as the edge HD if I wish but got the 8" cannot improve it unless I did get a bigger apature.

I have star sense on my dob allready so will put it on the 9.25 and in conjustion with star portal will be a great setup.

Another thing I heard is with the 9.25 you can use 2" eyepieces and no light cut off near the edges

Also a stronger tripod, and thr bigger you can get with your money the better.
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#19 Tfer

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Posted 05 September 2020 - 11:15 PM

over here in New Zealand, the Evolution 8 edge HD with starsense was $200 dearer than the 9.25.

I almost got the 8", but with advice from here and further looking decided on the 9.25, not an edgehd version, but if I want a corrected view can just buy field flattens.

Getting older and at 65, thought the 8" would be lighter, but then again got a skywatcher 10" collapsible goto dob abd can handle that and harder as i leave the tube fully extended and longer than the 9 25 will be, so what the heck, ordered the 9.25, you can improve the field of view by add-ons, and as good as the edge HD if I wish but got the 8" cannot improve it unless I did get a bigger apature.

I have star sense on my dob allready so will put it on the 9.25 and in conjustion with star portal will be a great setup.

Another thing I heard is with the 9.25 you can use 2" eyepieces and no light cut off near the edges

Also a stronger tripod, and thr bigger you can get with your money the better.

Same Dob as I have, except mine is fully manual.  If I want a quick look, that’s now my go to.  I can be set up and observing in under 3 minutes with (for now - once winter arrives, I’ll need to let the scope cool).

 

You won’t regret getting more aperture. It’s the one thing you can’t simply upgrade. 


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#20 robodan

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Posted 06 September 2020 - 01:52 PM

Yes true there, as there are always field flattens you can buy giving it the same performance as the edgehd models. So yes can upgrade it to match an edgehd performance, but as you can cannot upgrade apature.

While the mirror lock is a good feature I can see it come back abd bite people, forget to unlock your mirror locks may lead to damage?

Edited by robodan, 06 September 2020 - 01:59 PM.

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#21 Rac19

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Posted 06 September 2020 - 03:32 PM

While the mirror lock is a good feature I can see it come back abd bite people, forget to unlock your mirror locks may lead to damage?

I operate my 'scope remotely, with a focus motor and it had occurred to me that a mirror lock would be a problem under such circumstancesconfused1.gif.


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#22 Woody218

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Posted 06 September 2020 - 05:05 PM

Thanks to everyone for the tips.

Will I be able to see the Andromeda Galaxy if I used a Celestron f / 6.3 Focal Reducer / Corrector? on the NexStar Evolution 9.25"

Keep in mind, the Andromeda galaxy is probably twice the diameter of the full moon!


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#23 Michael Harris

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Posted 06 September 2020 - 05:58 PM

I traded in a 10” dob for the Evolution 8 due to portability issues and, for me, it is a great fit. Last night I saw the Andromeda and Whirlpool galaxies, four planets, and about a dozen globular clusters from a dark sky site. Andromeda is too big to fit into even a low power eyepiece with this scope, but if you add the Hyperstar for photography it fills the frame nicely. I have not used the 9.25” version so I can’t speak to that but the 8 just seems like a sweet spot for me. This is M31 with a C8 and Hyperstar - still working on post processing to bring out details.

M31 Processed for dust lanes

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#24 Acaxual

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 04:35 PM

I traded in a 10” dob for the Evolution 8 due to portability issues and, for me, it is a great fit. Last night I saw the Andromeda and Whirlpool galaxies, four planets, and about a dozen globular clusters from a dark sky site. Andromeda is too big to fit into even a low power eyepiece with this scope, but if you add the Hyperstar for photography it fills the frame nicely. I have not used the 9.25” version so I can’t speak to that but the 8 just seems like a sweet spot for me. This is M31 with a C8 and Hyperstar - still working on post processing to bring out details.

Wow !! this is a wonderful photo, how is the visual view with no Hyperstar?



#25 trigger

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 04:52 PM

Wow !! this is a wonderful photo, how is the visual view with no Hyperstar?

When Hyperstar is in place, there are no views. The scope is now a dedicated astrograph.


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