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Buy once cry once, what to get that's upgradable

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#1 Rmwsg1

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 09:25 AM

Hello all,

Thank you in advance for any and all feedback.  I'm struggling with too many choices.  So I will start with the desired use and then move on from there.

These will not be in order.

 

-Telescope and Mount to be robust enough for offroad camping trips - Picture a Grand Wagoneer in the middle of nowhere and having to get there, i.e. not on roads.

    Telescope will be stored in a pelican or hardigg case (water and dust proof with lots of foam padding)

 

-Relatively quick setup times, say 30 minutes (this does not include temperature acclimation as I'm assuming being in vehicle/campsite it's going to be close to ambient temp).

 

-I want to see planets but more importantly I want to see Deep Space Objects - galaxies, nebula, etc.

 

-I am not currently interested in stellar photography but I would like the option of taking a few pictures of what I'm seeing with a mount for a phone camera or small travel camera...I do not have a fancy dslr or such.

    I took a cool picture of the moon yesterday in the daytime with my android and a Leupold 60mm 15-45x spotting scope on a 1980's vhs camera tripod....it was annoying but gratifying.

    Tried it at night and while I could view the moon really well with the spotting scope the camera couldn't handle the brightness.

 

-I want to buy once cry once.  So if I need to spend the majority of the budget on a manual equatorial mount (that has the option of adding a motor later) that will support a refractor or reflector of up to whatever size then I'm fine with that.

    I know that there is not 1 scope that does it all so I know I might have more than 1 scope later on and they will probably be different types but it would be great if they used the same mount.

 

-Same thing with eye pieces if the better ones are 2" vs 1.25" then I'd like the scope to take a 2" without adapters so I can buy medium to higher end eyepieces.

 

I know this is confusing lets just say I want the accessories (mount, motor, eye pieces) to be higher quality and then the scope itself is the item to be upgraded/replaced/etc,  80mm upgrade to 127mm or 6" up to 10", whatever.

I know I mentioned budget....lets start at $1,000 but keep it under $2,000.

 

Let the comments begin.

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#2 rob1986

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 09:48 AM

only fully upgrade-able mount I know of is sky view pro. by orion. up to 20 lbs for visual.



#3 clearwaterdave

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 09:54 AM

Hello and welcome to CN.,I don't like to recommend scopes because everyone's situation is different,.but I can say 2" eyepieces are not better than 1.25". There are cheap ones and better ones,.just like 1.25".,They only allow for a wider field of view at lower powers. In a way they have drawbacks,in that they are heavier,.and need a 2" diagonal which is also heavier and 2"stuff cost more. 

Also you don't need an eq mount to do point and shoot pictures.,a little practice and you will get good moon pics.,

Good luck with your choices,.


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#4 eyeoftexas

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 09:56 AM

For the iPhone pictures at the eyepiece, this works well:

 

https://www.celestro...rtphone-adapter



#5 LDW47

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 10:19 AM

Hello all,

Thank you in advance for any and all feedback.  I'm struggling with too many choices.  So I will start with the desired use and then move on from there.

These will not be in order.

 

-Telescope and Mount to be robust enough for offroad camping trips - Picture a Grand Wagoneer in the middle of nowhere and having to get there, i.e. not on roads.

    Telescope will be stored in a pelican or hardigg case (water and dust proof with lots of foam padding)

 

-Relatively quick setup times, say 30 minutes (this does not include temperature acclimation as I'm assuming being in vehicle/campsite it's going to be close to ambient temp).

 

-I want to see planets but more importantly I want to see Deep Space Objects - galaxies, nebula, etc.

 

-I am not currently interested in stellar photography but I would like the option of taking a few pictures of what I'm seeing with a mount for a phone camera or small travel camera...I do not have a fancy dslr or such.

    I took a cool picture of the moon yesterday in the daytime with my android and a Leupold 60mm 15-45x spotting scope on a 1980's vhs camera tripod....it was annoying but gratifying.

    Tried it at night and while I could view the moon really well with the spotting scope the camera couldn't handle the brightness.

 

-I want to buy once cry once.  So if I need to spend the majority of the budget on a manual equatorial mount (that has the option of adding a motor later) that will support a refractor or reflector of up to whatever size then I'm fine with that.

    I know that there is not 1 scope that does it all so I know I might have more than 1 scope later on and they will probably be different types but it would be great if they used the same mount.

 

-Same thing with eye pieces if the better ones are 2" vs 1.25" then I'd like the scope to take a 2" without adapters so I can buy medium to higher end eyepieces.

 

I know this is confusing lets just say I want the accessories (mount, motor, eye pieces) to be higher quality and then the scope itself is the item to be upgraded/replaced/etc,  80mm upgrade to 127mm or 6" up to 10", whatever.

I know I mentioned budget....lets start at $1,000 but keep it under $2,000.

 

Let the comments begin.

You never stop buying, adding to the herd, upgrading this and that, downgrading that and this, its endless and its fun !  PS: If you don’t buy 2” capabilities you have missed out either now or in the future !


Edited by LDW47, 23 February 2021 - 10:20 AM.


#6 LDW47

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 10:21 AM

In this hobby there is no buy once ......... !  LOL !


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#7 astrochaser

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 11:06 AM

So true is your comment LDW47


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#8 DSOGabe

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 12:39 PM

The big question is your budget.

Depending on that I would say an 8" SCT (with a reducer for wider views) or a 4-5" refractor may work for your needs. Neither are too big or bulky so transport and set up should be quick. Explore Scientific make a couple of refractors that are decently priced. 

Since AP is not really on you agenda a good basic mount that I like is the Celestron AVX. It probably the EQ mount that is most economical and has an adequate payload rating; it be excellent for visual and good enough for short exposure photography.



#9 LDW47

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 01:02 PM

Research the pros and especially the cons of EQ mounts before you decide but if you definitely want tracking then .......... !



#10 rgsalinger

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 01:11 PM

The last thing that I would buy is an equatorial mount. You will never get everything assembled, aligned and calibrated in 30 minutes or I'll eat my vintage San Diego Chargers hat. A C8 alt AZ is a good choice BUT I think that the best solution is a Dobsonian with all the bells and whistles.

 

One of these fits your budget more or less and they make an even cheaper one for less money. I'm sure that there are other similar offerings if you research it. 

 

These are what I would buy if: 

 

I wanted a visual scope with just an occasional short exposure shot

 

was not an expert in finding objects in the night sky,

 

wanted fast setup

 

AND

 

wanted something that fits in an SUV and can be handled by a single person without a struggle. 

 

Rgrds-Ross


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#11 LDW47

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 01:22 PM

The last thing that I would buy is an equatorial mount. You will never get everything assembled, aligned and calibrated in 30 minutes or I'll eat my vintage San Diego Chargers hat. A C8 alt AZ is a good choice BUT I think that the best solution is a Dobsonian with all the bells and whistles.

 

One of these fits your budget more or less and they make an even cheaper one for less money. I'm sure that there are other similar offerings if you research it. 

 

These are what I would buy if: 

 

I wanted a visual scope with just an occasional short exposure shot

 

was not an expert in finding objects in the night sky,

 

wanted fast setup

 

AND

 

wanted something that fits in an SUV and can be handled by a single person without a struggle. 

 

Rgrds-Ross

And make sure you get a 2” focuser with any scope you choose, the 6-8” dobs will give wonderful views of everything in those black nite skize have to offer with minimal stress as you learn !



#12 Rmwsg1

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 01:48 PM

So I was looking at a dob 8" but then I saw that for not much more I could get a 8" reflector meant to be tripod mounted and figured that if I bought an Equatorial mount for the 8" reflector I could later grab a refractor and use the same equatorial mount.  I acknowledge that there is setup time for the mount to consider.  Maybe 30 minutes wasn't realistic.

I will admit I've already ordered the smart phone mount and it's shipped so I can for the time being mount the phone to my current setup.

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Edited by Rmwsg1, 23 February 2021 - 01:48 PM.


#13 JMW

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 02:02 PM

At good alt/az mount that can handle the scope you start with and maybe handle a larger scope done the road plus the tripod can exceed your $1000 budget pretty quickly. Having the option for adding encoders and a Nexus DSC done the road is a great option. Once you have a quality alt/az mount on a good tripod you have a lot of flexibility on the scopes you can put on it.

 

For $1000 buget you may be better buying a 6-8 inch Dob with a 2 inch focuser plus a couple of decent eyepieces, Telrad and collimation tools. The Dob mount is the best value consider the stability and usability it provides for a modest cost. I bought an 8 inch f/6 newtonian tube with an 8 inch Pyres mirror and had a custom Dob base made out of birchply for stiffness with less weight for about $450. I had encoders added at the time of build but they can be added later. I upgraded the focuser to a Moonlite 2 speed but the default 2 inch focuser was usable. 

 

If you buy a refractor, small newtonian or SCT on a goto mount for $1000 you end up with a $300-400 scope and a $600-700 mount/tripod with optical performance that will probably be less than the 8 inch dob.

 

You can get a device that will hold your phone at the eyepiece at take simple short exposures of brighter objects. 


Edited by JMW, 23 February 2021 - 02:02 PM.


#14 LDW47

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 02:11 PM

So I was looking at a dob 8" but then I saw that for not much more I could get a 8" reflector meant to be tripod mounted and figured that if I bought an Equatorial mount for the 8" reflector I could later grab a refractor and use the same equatorial mount.  I acknowledge that there is setup time for the mount to consider.  Maybe 30 minutes wasn't realistic.

I will admit I've already ordered the smart phone mount and it's shipped so I can for the time being mount the phone to my current setup.

Its just not the set up time, with an EQ mount in some positions you almost have to be a contortionist to view unless you loosen the rings and rotate the tube to prevent a sore neck, lol !


Edited by LDW47, 23 February 2021 - 02:15 PM.



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