I recently purchased a SkyWatcher Evostar 90MM Refractor. I've also been adding goodies to my setup such as an AZ-GTI mount which has helped tremendously.
However, there was something about that big (in length!) refractor that didn't feel right. On reflection (sorry), I had a feeling it was just too unwieldy for me in my current situation. I've got a fairly limited view of the sky, and a lot of the stuff I want to see is fairly high in the sky, which is good for viewing, but bad for my back! I seemed to have to get into all sorts of contortions to try and get the initial alignment of the mount done, to the point where it just wasn't a pleasant experience. And then quite often the object I wanted to see was at such a high angle I'd be kneeling on a frozen ground trying to get my head down to the viewing area, even with the tripod at its highest level.
So I thought I'd dig out my original little scope - the Sky-Watcher Heritage-100P. I'd only ever used this on the provided table-top mount, but noticed it was the same mounting fixture as my refractor so popped it on to the AZ-GTI. What a revelation! Because the eyepiece tube is up near the top and the tube is so short, it has a much narrower range of movement, so my aging body doesn't have to get into the sort of positions it's not really made for to enable me to get my eye to the eyepiece. This is a much better experience.
To my untrained eye, I'm not noticing a huge difference in the views I'm getting between the 2 scopes and I've been pretty pleased with my initial attempts at astrophotography and also visually, given the obvious limitations of such a small scope.
However, as usual, I'm in the "Bigger must be better" phase lol and I've been looking at larger scopes (something along the lines of the SkyWatcher 127 Mak, because it seems well reviewed and is short, and hence, for me, better).
It recently occurred to me, though, that all of these beautiful images I see are only attainable through astrophotography? Will getting a bigger scope really better my visual experience? I know on paper if I get a scope that enables me to double the magnification, the image should be double the size, but will that in reality be much better visually? (I know it'll help with the astrophotography, but I'm specifically thinking of visual here). Or will it just make the small dot of Mars a slightly less-small dot?
In summary, I want the perfect scope lol. One that will provide me nice visual views of the planets and beauties such as the Orion Nebula, and also allow me to play with my SV305 camera for astrophotography. All for less than 300 quid
Maybe I'm just trying to move too fast. Perhaps I should just take a breath and get used to what I currently have and try and make the most of that first. After all, it was that that led me to try my older scope and that worked out well.
Thanks for letting me ramble!
P.S. Please let me know if that perfect scope exists