I am currently using a borrowed scope and have started doing research on getting my own and could use some advice from those who know a whole lot more than me. I am currently using a 105 Astro Physics Traveler. It does not have a flattener nor a way of mounting a guide scope. I'd rather just buy my own scope rather than invest in something that does not belong to me. It will be used for astrophotography. Nebula will be my main subject matter. My budget will be around $1000. From what I have read I believe it will be in my best interest to go with a triple refractor which is why I am posting in this forum. I am hoping to shoot in the ballpark of 90mm aperture and a focal length in the area of 600mm. I don't know if these numbers are too high to get a quality scope in my price range. Any suggestions that would be of a good quality and close to the characteristics I am shooting for would be appreciated. Thanks!
Advice needed on starter scope
Posted 20 November 2020 - 01:59 AM
If it has to be 90mm:
Hope you live in Europe.
Edited by SeattleScott, 20 November 2020 - 02:07 AM.
Posted 20 November 2020 - 02:35 AM
I am open to any suggestions. Those parameters are more for guidance sake. If someone thinks that an 80mm would be a better fit I'll take the advice.
Posted 20 November 2020 - 04:29 AM
A 90mm triplet for around $1000 is going to be hard, partly as there seem few 90mm's around.
There are a number of 80mm's, I have the WO GT81, however that would be around $1200. I assume that offerings from AT and Stellarvue etc are in the same price bracket.
The ES scopes seem a little less, so have a look at what they have. OK, they are $1200 as well, FCD100 80mm f/6 = $1199.
For imaging I personally would go for the WO offerings. Will say I have 3 of them.
Reason is that WO make good solid scopes, they also seem to have "moved" to the imaging side and you can get all the required accessories for a WO scope without having to search round. If you want a flattener/reducer for a GT81 you rather simply go find a WO one that is meant for that scope. Some others you can find you end up asking for "What fits and works on XYZ?"
I have 1 Skywatcher, 72ED, and compared to my WO 61 it doesn't come close. Have said here previously the SW sort of just does it, sometimes it just doesn't quite do it. An example is the focuser, there is just enough travel, and I do mean less the 1mm before something bumps into something else. I had 2.5mm skimmed off the diagonal so it was more usable.
Will say don't buy a WO 61 then look down the front and wind the focuser fully in. It get close to that objective. But you have lots of travel. But for a while you stop breathing and stop blinking.
So that is my either ideas or experience. But I suspect you are going to need to add $200 to the budget.
Almost standard question: Any specific mount in mind?
Mounts are usually recommended as "as big as possible." Trouble is moving the things around. My big one very rarely gets used as it is too big (heavy). I do go by the idea that your best scope is the one you use the most. So smaller and convenient is more applicable for me.
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Posted 20 November 2020 - 08:58 AM
If you are in the US, you can get the Astro-Tech 80EDT triplet for around $900 from Astronomics.
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Posted 20 November 2020 - 08:54 PM
If you're borrowing a scope from someone, can I assume you don't have your own mount either? If you plan to image, the mount is just as important if not more important as the scope. So far all the 80-90mm options suggested are really fine instruments for your budget. If I were you, I'd start doing research on a cost-effective imaging mount. A good starting point would be something like a SW HEQ5 or iOptron CEM25p.
Posted 21 November 2020 - 02:09 AM
Thanks for the suggestions, definitely given me some stuff to research. And, after running some numbers it looks like I would be happy with an 80mm so that helps narrow down the search. Still open to any suggestions.
Edited by Nburns, 21 November 2020 - 02:14 AM.