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Getting ready for a bigger telescope !

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#1 Reuub

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 07:49 PM

Good evening !

My adventure started about 2 months ago, when I bought a Celestron Astromaster 70az off of someone for about 50$.Since I spend most of my time watching smaller things in a microscope, ive been having a blast watching bigger stuff, nerding at the moon and getting a small glimpse of red from mars. Since I can't go out past 8pm due to lockdown, star gazing has been less interesting since I need to drive about 25 minutes to reach a spot with decent light pollution and less obstacles around me. I first tried to do some research to see if I could upgrade the telescope I bought, but I quickly realised that it was pretty much useless. Even if I was investing 200$ in it, I could simply buy a larger telescope to gather more light. So instead, I started looking for a telescope that packs more power, but with all those models, diameters lenghts and what not, I felt a bit lost so I decided to hop in here and ask a couple questions for two projects. 

 

For the celestron 70az, my plan was to use it for star gazing only when im out camping or at the cabin. I want it to have a larger field of view to watch big chunks of the night sky. From what ive seen online, the telescope has a cheap amici diagonal which affects the light I see so I was thinking of buying a basic 15$ mirror diagonal and put a 40mm lens in it. The question is simple, would this be optimal for star gazing ?

 

Now, for the bigger telescope.... I have a budget between 400 and 500$ canadian (300-400$ us). Ive been looking at alot of models and reviews but there is so many I dont know where to look anymore. I mainly want a proper viewing of saturn and jupiter, watch some deep sky objects and simply have the ability to gather more light from my backyard. I also have an old DSLR, so maybe I would like to try and grab some pictures with the telescope in the future. Celestron seems to have some decent options for my budget, starting form the powerseeker 127 EQ all the way to small motorized mounted telescope. The main problem im having is that I am unable to tell if what im getting for a bigger price tag is actually worth it. Do I lose image quality from a motorized telescope ? Should I buy a less expensive one and invest in better lenses ? Etc..

 

If anyone has some tips and recommendations for me, that would help alot ! Sorry if its a big post, just want to make sure I put enough information ! Thanks ! :) 


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#2 Bean614

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 08:21 PM

First, as most of us have been there, even if decades ago, try understanding what you're looking to get out of the hobby.  Visual?  Photo!  Both? Visual and photographic are SO different, that those who do both usually have different scopes for each.

So, start slowly,  visual first.  Your 70AZ is a dead end. Sell it on Craigslist,  or give it away.

Now, if not for Covid, and the fact that NO retailer has any sort of stock right now, your budget would allow a nice 8 inch dob, or a 5 inch GoTo.   However, there ARE the Classifieds here on CN, and your $$$ will go further with used equipment!  Get a decent 5 or 6 inch SCT or Mak on a GoTo mount, or a decent 8 or 10 inch dob, and start exploring and Learning the sky.

  AVOID,  at all costs, the temptation to upgrade eyepieces, diagonals, barlows, finders, etc.  Use what you have and what came with the scope.  RESIST the temptation to take photos with your phone, or to plop in a DSLR into the focuser!

On your phone get SkySafari,  or at the very least, the free SkyPortal.   Find, and visit, the Planets (not many until Summer), Nebulae,  Clusters, Doubles, Galaxies (Galaxy season is NOW!), and other items that interest you.  Get to know your scope, how to collimate it, what limits it has and the sky has, and what you can, and can't,  see with it.  Start understanding that you're not going to see Hubble type views, but that you ARE seeing Live Views.

   Then, after a few months, decide if you want to keep on going, or if maybe a camera is in your future.  This, then, is decision time. Like visual, but want to improve it?  Great! What do you like best?  Come back here and lay out your new goals, and you'll get lots of help!

   Can't resist the camera?  Great also---- and the Imaging Fora can help with that!

Whatever you choose,  just get out there, as often as you can!  The rest will follow.......


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#3 tjschultz2011

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 08:31 PM

I agree, get an 8" dobsonian scope for about $400 USD new or 2-3 hundred USD used on craigslist or the classifieds section on here. Learn how to collimate it and it will be great for planets and the moon and will also allow you to see hundreds of deep sky objects. 


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#4 sevenofnine

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 08:47 PM

The very first thing to do is get some good and enjoyable reading material about astronomy and the necessary equipment. There's no substitute for this. T. Dickinson's "NightWatch" is excellent. It has star charts so you can start your journey learning the night sky. For most starting this hobby a 8 inch manual Dobsonian reflector is the best option. But there are lots of options and Terence goes through the pros and cons of each. Good luck with your decision! hmm.gif


Edited by sevenofnine, 01 March 2021 - 08:49 PM.

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#5 Reuub

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 10:46 PM

Thanks for all the answers ! That was fast !

 

I had a astronomy class in college about 2 years ago and I currently have optic physics class that are more focused on the lab equipement I use, but it still gives me a general idea of how things work and what to expect. I can still pin point alot of stuff and I pop out my cell phone app once in a while to identify what im looking at. But obviously, nothing beats experience and thats where it gets tricky when its time to invest some money and making the best out of it! 

 

These answers helped me alot and I thank you for that ! I will be squatting the classifieds trying to catch something that will make me enjoy the skies even more !  :)



#6 SeattleScott

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 11:46 PM

For $400-500 retail you aren’t going to get a suitable setup for DSLR imaging. So I would focus on visual for now. If you find you are really serious about this stuff, then you can refinance your house to buy some nice imaging gear, and quit your job so you have time to learn how to use it.

Scott
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#7 LDW47

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 11:56 PM

The very first thing to do is get some good and enjoyable reading material about astronomy and the necessary equipment. There's no substitute for this. T. Dickinson's "NightWatch" is excellent. It has star charts so you can start your journey learning the night sky. For most starting this hobby a 8 inch manual Dobsonian reflector is the best option. But there are lots of options and Terence goes through the pros and cons of each. Good luck with your decision! hmm.gif

Great post !



#8 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 01:12 AM

The PowerSeeker 127EQ is an optically compromised Bird-Jones catadioptric reflector and is a rather poor choice.  The advice to get a 8" Newtonian on a Dobsonian mount is given often here but there are very sound reasons for doing so.

http://astrowiki.jmh...Jones_Telescope

https://skyandtelesc...pes-not-to-buy/

Visual observing and astrophotography are two very different pursuits.  Imaging at a high level involves a lot of know-how, expense, and time invested.


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#9 Mrcloc

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 07:31 AM

I used to have an 8" Dobsonian, now I have a 5" Mak. I do get to travel with the Mak (with children in the car), and that was the purpose, but now that I'm living in a bigger house with easier access to my garden (and have a bigger car), I'm planning on buying an 8" or 10" Dobsonian again. They're extremely satisfying to use. I'm of the opinion that exploring the sky visually is beneficial, even if you want to do astrophotography. Also, a decent Dobsonian visual setup will give you joy well past buying an extremely expensive AP setup. What better than to do some fantastic observing while taking hours of video for a few images?

 

And I agree to just use what you get with it. Spend all you can on the telescope first - don't compromise on it. Eyepieces will come. It took me something like 15 years before I bought my first additional eyepiece, and by then I knew exactly what I wanted.



#10 aeajr

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 03:30 PM

Good evening !

My adventure started about 2 months ago, when I bought a Celestron Astromaster 70az off of someone for about 50$.Since I spend most of my time watching smaller things in a microscope, ive been having a blast watching bigger stuff, nerding at the moon and getting a small glimpse of red from mars. Since I can't go out past 8pm due to lockdown, star gazing has been less interesting since I need to drive about 25 minutes to reach a spot with decent light pollution and less obstacles around me. I first tried to do some research to see if I could upgrade the telescope I bought, but I quickly realised that it was pretty much useless. Even if I was investing 200$ in it, I could simply buy a larger telescope to gather more light. So instead, I started looking for a telescope that packs more power, but with all those models, diameters lenghts and what not, I felt a bit lost so I decided to hop in here and ask a couple questions for two projects. 

 

For the celestron 70az, my plan was to use it for star gazing only when im out camping or at the cabin. I want it to have a larger field of view to watch big chunks of the night sky. From what ive seen online, the telescope has a cheap amici diagonal which affects the light I see so I was thinking of buying a basic 15$ mirror diagonal and put a 40mm lens in it. The question is simple, would this be optimal for star gazing ?

 

Now, for the bigger telescope.... I have a budget between 400 and 500$ canadian (300-400$ us). Ive been looking at alot of models and reviews but there is so many I dont know where to look anymore. I mainly want a proper viewing of saturn and jupiter, watch some deep sky objects and simply have the ability to gather more light from my backyard. I also have an old DSLR, so maybe I would like to try and grab some pictures with the telescope in the future. Celestron seems to have some decent options for my budget, starting form the powerseeker 127 EQ all the way to small motorized mounted telescope. The main problem im having is that I am unable to tell if what im getting for a bigger price tag is actually worth it. Do I lose image quality from a motorized telescope ? Should I buy a less expensive one and invest in better lenses ? Etc..

 

If anyone has some tips and recommendations for me, that would help alot ! Sorry if its a big post, just want to make sure I put enough information ! Thanks ! smile.gif

Buying you first telescope - what you need to know

https://telescopicwa...telescope-cost/

 

 

Different types of Telescopes
https://telescopicwa...-of-telescopes/

 

 

Dobsonian Telescopes
https://opticsaide.c...ian-telescopes/




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