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127/1500 Maksutov Cassegrain or 150/750 newtonian

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#1 dantherun

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 01:28 AM

Hello there, today I want to but my first telescope, and in my store, there are two telescopes:

 

https://www.astrosho...scovery/p,47470

 

and:

 

http://www.skywatche...k-mak127-az-gt/

 

Unfortunately there aren't dobs there, and that why I ask about them.

 

I know what are the basic differrences between them, but I don't really know what better, size, or magnification and focal length.

I know that size is the most important thing, but if so, there must be a reason for the Maksutov to be out there isn't it?

 

Thanks you



#2 dantherun

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 01:30 AM

Edit: thank you, not thanks you* 



#3 Ken Sturrock

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 01:48 AM

Rather than posting a correction, you can edit your post by clicking the "Edit" link at the bottom of your message.

 

Maksutovs tend to have much longer focal lengths than Newtonians of similar size. You can see this in the advertisements that you linked. The Maksutov is 1500mm and the Newtonian is half of that. What this means is that the Maksutov has greater inherent magnification and will tend to create images of objects which are larger, but dimmer. Moreover, the field of view in the Maksutov will be smaller. For example, an online Field of View calculator, like this one, will allow you to experiment with different telescope & eyepiece combinations to see the effect on the FOV. Remember, however, that the maximum magnification that will be feasible in these telescopes is something like 270x, or so, depending on conditions. Newtonians require periodic alignment whereas Maksutovs are pre-aligned and also sealed. The sealed design keeps dust out of them but also means that they take longer to come to temperature.

 

If your goal is to look at DSOs then a Newtonian might be a better purchase. For planets and the moon, the Maksutov might be better. Both of these instruments appear to have similar mounts and are probably made to similar quality.

 

Of course, a Dobsonian is simply a Newtonian optical tube assembly placed upon a simple mount inspired by John Dobson. They represent good bang-for-the-buck because both the OTA and mount are simple and cost effective. On the other hand, a GoTo mount also presents joys if you like the technology.


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#4 dantherun

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 02:06 AM

Rather than posting a correction, you can edit your post by clicking the "Edit" link at the bottom of your message.

 

Maksutovs tend to have much longer focal lengths than Newtonians of similar size.

<…snip…>

Wow, thanks for that great information, will I still able to see some deep sky objects with a Maksutov, like Orion nebula etc?

Thanks again



#5 radiofm74

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 02:25 AM

Wow, thanks for that great information, will I still able to see some deep sky objects with a Maksutov, like Orion nebula etc?

Thanks again

Be able to see: depending on your observing site, yes certainly.

The question is "how much of it". A telescope with 1500mm Focal length has a much narrower field of view (= the portion of the sky that "fits" in your eyepiece). I'm not sure that even at lowest magnification you'd be able to take all the Orion Nebula in.

 

But we're putting the proverbial cart before the horses. For us to give you any meaningful advice we'd need to know a deal more. The questions that come to my mind are:

-- Where do you observe: will you have to move the scope around a lot, or will it basically stay in one place? Apartment with balcony, house with a backyard? Etc etc… any and all details can help in making a good choice.

-- What do you look for primarily? Highly detailed views of lunar surface, extended deep-sky objects like nebulae, or "a bit of both"?

-- Do you prefer the (in)convenience of a GoTo system (no hassle looking for objects, but dealing with batteries etc etc) or would you rather spend the same money on a more solid mount/better optics and learn the sky looking for objects yourself?

-- What is the budget?

 

With this info, the good people on CN will be able to help you much better.

 

Right now there is a dearth of equipment, but I would not restrict my choice to what's available in your local store. First determine what would be good for you, then look for it. 

 

Just my 2 cents! Welcome!


Edited by radiofm74, 03 March 2021 - 02:26 AM.


#6 dantherun

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 02:40 AM

Be able to see: depending on your observing site, yes certainly.

<…snip…>

Firstable thanks, I will take those advices to my next posts, and for now:

I want my scope to be in my balcony, I want to see both deep sky objects and planets equally, I think Goto is better for me because I want a tracking system, and my budget is around 300-500 dollars


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#7 radiofm74

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 03:05 AM

Firstable thanks, I will take those advices to my next posts, and for now:

I want my scope to be in my balcony, I want to see both deep sky objects and planets equally, I think Goto is better for me because I want a tracking system, and my budget is around 300-500 dollars

OK. Bear in mind that I am still relatively inexperienced, but I've been in your shoes just two months ago so here's the result of my "research"

 

1. For viewing from a balcony, where you have to clear obstacles like railings etc… tripod-mounted is better than a Dobsonian mount – which makes your scope sit very low. You lose something in stability though… so make a mental note that you need a good tripod and mount or observing will end in frustration (stability is key).

 

2. For an "all rounder" beginner scope, a Newton has many attractions. It's the cheapest inch-per-aperture design (aperture rules how much light you can gather = how faint the objects you can see + how detailed the view can get). 150/750 is what I also have, and it means that you have good light-gathering capabilities, a good field of view while retaining good magnification potential.

 

3. The downsides of a Newt are: it's bulky relative to a more compact Maksutov or Schmidt (but not very heavy). Ssince it will stay in one place most of the time, not much of an issue. A Newt also needs regular collimation by you. The first time can be tough, then it's a breeze. It's a consideration only if you're completely averse to doing technical work on your scope. 

 

4. Note that you already have a few "trade offs" to consider. The bigger the aperture, the greater the capabilities of your scope, but the bigger and heavier it will be, and the sturdier, heavier and pricier the mount you need for it. (Dobs are a huge success because they are typically big newtonians – 8" and upwards – on very stable, basic mounts). 6" (150mm) was for long considered the "serious beginner scope". Another trade-off: the longer the focal length, the higher the inherent magnification but the smaller the field of view. 150/750 has wide field, good mag. 150/900 more mag and a slightly smaller field of view. There are terms like "fast" and "slow". These refer to the focal ratio of the scope (aperture:focal length). A 150/750 is "fast": less bulky but a little harder to collimate. 150/900 is a little "slower": a bit bulkier, but a little more forgiving. As a complete noob, I did well with my "fast" 150/750 Newt. 

 

5. Whatever you do, avoid Bird-Jones telescopes like the Powerseeker 127EQ. Consult the spec sheet: if you see a long focal length (say 1000mm) for a tube that is physically shorter, it's not a true Newtonian and you should steer well clear. Also: if you buy a Newtonian make sure that is has a "parabolic" (as opposed to "spherical") primary mirror. That's one of the corners that must not be cut.

 

6. The mount. The fact that you want to "track" does not mean automatically that you need a GoTo. A manual equatorial mount does that equally well. Getting a manual mount might get you a better overall setup (tube and mount). But you have to "enjoy the chase" and sometimes it involves contortions around your scope. The learning curve is also a little steeper perhaps, though entirely feasible. If you'd rather go out, punch the coordinates and have the object in your eyepiece (well… that's the idea at least!) a GoTo is for you and there's no harm in that. Note: a big tube on a flimsy mount is a recipe for frustration. Whatever you buy, make sure that the mount has a payload that exceeds with a margin the tube you're buying for it… and ask around here for advice. I am afraid that I don't know the mounts in the kits you're suggesting, but the cavalry will be along soon.

 

After all the deliberation, I opted for a Celestron OMNIA 150 XLT: a good 150/750 Newtonian on a good beginner equatorial mount. Sky-Watcher has similar offerings for a little less IIRC. It's a little above your budget, but you might find something similar – or buy separately a good 150/750 Newtonian tube on a relatively sturdy EQ 3.2 or GC-4 mount. And given the current shortage – you might look in the classified for used scopes and get a very good combination.

 

But this is just one take… others will suggest other scopes. Each kind has its relative advantages and disadvantages. Before you buy, do some reading on that.

 

A resource I found super-useful: http://telescopicwatch.com


Edited by radiofm74, 03 March 2021 - 03:26 AM.

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#8 dantherun

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 03:23 AM

OK. Bear in mind that I am still relatively inexperienced, but I've been in your shoes just two months ago so here's the result of my "research"

<…snip…>

That was VERY helpful, many thanks. Appreciate it.


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#9 DAG792

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 03:52 AM

Wow, thanks for that great information, will I still able to see some deep sky objects with a Maksutov, like Orion nebula etc?

Thanks again

You will be able to see Deep sky objects with the Maksutov, but I will still recommend the 6 inch Newt. It is a very versatile instrument, capable of wide fields as well as decent planetary performance.

However, I will warn you. Deep Sky Objects(DSOs) do not look anything close to what to you see in pictures.

For example, The Orion nebula looks really pretty and beautiful in pictures, like this:

 

600px-Orion_Nebula_-_Hubble_2006_mosaic_18000.jpg

 

However, when you actually see it with your own eyes, it looks a bit lackluster. Mind you, it is still incredibly detailed and beautiful, but it is not colorful and is very faint. Here is a sketch I did a while back, which is more depictive of what might be glimpsed through the eyepiece in excellent conditions(ignore the coffee stains in the lower left):

 

DSC_0505-min (1).jpg

 

Of course the sketch is quite a bit easier to see than the real thing. The sketch is also a mosaic of sorts, which means that at no one moment will you able to see all this detail; you will have to scan around and then mentally 'stitch' the images together.

Even to see this much detail, you need excellent skies and good dark adaptation. If you observe from the city you will only be able to see the central 5-10% of the nebula(the areas in my sketch which are the darkest). And when I was a beginner, I was lucky to see anything at all. I don't mean to deter you, I'm just trying to give you an accurate image of what can actually be 'seen' through the eyepiece.

Planets, I'll admit, were really pretty even the first time I looked at them. So, you'll enjoy the planets when they come along this year with either of the two scopes.

 

One more thing I want to add here is that the Maksutov is far more forgiving of eyepieces than the Newt. you can basically put anything in the Maksutov and it will work(I've tried this, it even works with a simple lens!). In the Newt, Plossls work great and are about the minimum quality I'll recommend if you are on a tight budget. If you want a wider FOV, expect to pay $$$.


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#10 radiofm74

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 04:02 AM

You will be able to see Deep sky objects with the Maksutov, but I will still recommend the 6 inch Newt. 
<…snip…>

Bravo DAG792: All true and wonderful sketches!

So if you expect to see Hubble photos… go on the Hubble website ;D

But just so you set your expectations right – not too high, but not too low either – the first time I could get the Trapezium in my sight from my city balcony, and managed to make out a little bit of the nebula, I nearly fainted lol.gif A faint smudge, but it sent my head spinning with just the thought of what I was observing!

And for more detailed views, just the Moon can be awesome. Yesterday I located the exact landing spot of Apollo 11. At the end of the session I thought I'd shoot my first astro-photo…  iPhone into the eyepiece at medium power. I can assure you that the real observation, at higher power, was unreal. I could see the light reflecting off the rilles and escarpments 

 

q8Ltt7Ml.jpg


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#11 DAG792

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 04:05 AM

Bravo DAG792: All true and wonderful sketches!

Thanks!


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#12 dantherun

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 04:57 AM

You will be able to see Deep sky objects with the Maksutov, but I will still recommend the 6 inch Newt. 
<…snip…>

Yes, I actualy know about the image, but it still fantastic and almost heart breaking to see.


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#13 dantherun

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 04:59 AM

You will be able to see Deep sky objects with the Maksutov, but I will still recommend the 6 inch Newt.

<…snip…>

And, yes I acually a little suprise that the macsutov comes with so such good eyepieces and barlow x2, and still 30 dollars cheaper than the newtonian



#14 dantherun

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 05:00 AM

Bravo DAG792: All true and wonderful sketches!

<…snip…>

And what about in a very light pollutioned city? Will it be like that there too?


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#15 DAG792

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 05:39 AM

And, yes I acually a little suprise that the macsutov comes with so such good eyepieces and barlow x2, and still 30 dollars cheaper than the newtonian

I think you might have misinterpreted me here. I meant to say that cheap eyepieces don't work as well in a Newtonian telescope.  maksutov has a 'slow' focal ratio, while the Newtonian has a 'fast' focal ratio. I wasn't actually talking about the eyepieces that come with the scope, but rather about all eyepieces. The Maksutov is likely cheaper because its a bit smaller than the Newtonian(5 inches vs 6 inches or 127 mm vs 150 mm).

 

And what about in a very light pollutioned city? Will it be like that there too?

And yes, the moon and the planets are always very pretty- provided that the seeing is good.


Edited by DAG792, 03 March 2021 - 05:39 AM.

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#16 radiofm74

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 05:54 AM

And what about in a very light pollutioned city? Will it be like that there too?

The picture was taken from my balcony in Milan, with lots of parasitic lights around and pretty bad light pollution, by a totally unskilled photographer, and with a dirty iPhone camera. It's the absolute nadir of lunar photography lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif

 

Light pollution reduces contrast and affects your ability to see FAINT objects: galaxies, nebulae, some clusters.

The observation of bright objects like the Moon, the planets, bright stars and clusters is much less impacted, or even not impacted at all. Good news if you're a city dweller like me: there's still a lot to be seen and enjoyed in the night sky, and you can save your trips to a dark place for faint (and beautiful) objects.

 

Which reminds me: if you live in the city, do observe from there regularly. BUT: make sure that you buy a scope that you can take to darker skies. "Portability" is very subjective: it depends on how much you're ready to put up with, what car you have, whether you have family competing for space… Personally, I had no trouble taking my 150/750 Newton and its mount to the mountains, but have bought a more compact OTA for when we'll leave for family vacations and room in the trunk will be limited.

 

Whatever you do, take this aspect into consideration: you WANT to travel to darker skies with your scope (… and be utterly blown away by the view of e.g. M42 in all its splendor and majesty bow.gif ). 



#17 dantherun

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 07:29 AM

The picture was taken from my balcony in Milan, with lots of parasitic lights around and pretty bad light pollution, by a totally unskilled photographer, and with a dirty iPhone camera. It's the absolute nadir of lunar photography lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif

<...snip...>

Oh really, it looks good smile.gif


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#18 dantherun

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 07:30 AM

I think you might have misinterpreted me here. I meant to say that cheap eyepieces don't work as well in a Newtonian telescope. 

<...snip...>

Ok, thanks laugh.gif



#19 SeattleScott

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 08:18 AM

There are balconies, and then there are balconies. When I was looking at houses, there were a couple homes with huge, sprawling decks. And then there is a downtown apartment with a balcony barely big enough for a bbq grill. GoTo and balconies don’t always get along. Viewing from a balcony means viewing next to your house normally. So your house could be blocking close to half the sky. So the scope might keep pointing to things behind your house. This can make it challenging to get a successful alignment. It can also be frustrating if half the targets you tell it to go to are blocked by your house. Not saying it can’t work but think about your balcony and how much sky you can see on it.

Mount. The picture with the newt shows a nice robust mount and tripod. The tripod for the Mak does not look as substantial. This could result in annoying vibrations when adjusting focus. This is a key cost issue. Maks are more expensive than newts. The reason the price is similar is the Mak has a cheaper mount and a bit less aperture. Granted the Mak is smaller so it doesn’t require as substantial of a mount, but that tripod does not inspire confidence even for a small scope.

Maintenance. The Mak is lower maintenance. Pretty much maintenance free. Almost. Not so with the newt. You would need to regularly align the mirrors for best results. Some would argue every session, but it just depends on how picky you are. Granted there are tools that can make this a five minute job with a bit of practice. Also you have an open tube that dust and pollen will go down and get on your mirror. Every couple years or so you should pull the mirror out and clean it, which is a much more delicate procedure than cleaning your bathroom mirror. Every 10-20 years you should send the mirror out for recoating. This all assumes regular use.

Scott
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#20 rhetfield

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 09:20 AM

my recommendation for a first scope would be to go with the newt.  The wider field of view will not only allow you to see bigger objects like pleaides and orion nebula but will also make it easier to find things - a narrow field scope will need much better alignment for goto and tracking to work well.  You will also gain a bit more light gathering capability.

 

The biggest concern is that if the balcony is narrow, the eyepiece may be out in space on a newt.


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#21 radiofm74

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 10:13 AM

I've taken possession of a lovely little C6 tube and at first impression I love it.

But I can now confirm from experience: the Newton, with its generous 2°+ FoV, is a much easier ride to locate objects.

So after all the yin and the yang… one more vote for the Newt as your first scope, if space allows. 

And since I've started to blurt out my whole uninformed opinion: forego the GoTo and get it with a good manual mount. You won't see as many objects per night and there will be moments of frustration (well… probably with the GoTo as well…). However, you'll learn the night sky and savor every find.



#22 SeattleScott

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 01:43 PM

Some people will only use GoTo and others prefer manual. Some people like sailing and some prefer motor boats. Do you want the connection with nature? The thrill of the hunt? Or leverage modern technology for greater efficiency? Some people star hopped for decades but gladly gave that up when GoTo became affordable. So a very personal thing that you just have to figure out for yourself.

Scott
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#23 radiofm74

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 06:00 PM

Some people will only use GoTo and others prefer manual. Some people like sailing and some prefer motor boats. Do you want the connection with nature? The thrill of the hunt? Or leverage modern technology for greater efficiency? Some people star hopped for decades but gladly gave that up when GoTo became affordable. So a very personal thing that you just have to figure out for yourself.

Scott

Entirely true. That's why I was saying that I was just blurting my opinion. But you're right – offering advice on something that has so much to do with personal inclination is not really useful waytogo.gif


Edited by radiofm74, 04 March 2021 - 06:01 PM.


#24 SeattleScott

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 07:01 PM

Entirely true. That's why I was saying that I was just blurting my opinion. But you're right – offering advice on something that has so much to do with personal inclination is not really useful waytogo.gif

Although you did establish that not everyone prefers GoTo. Most of the time I don’t use GoTo. It is fun once in awhile.

Scott
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#25 vtornado

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 09:13 PM

I have both a 6 inch reflector and 127 mct.

I prefer the view of the 6 inch reflector on all targets, both planetary and deep sky.

I don't have these mounts, but the 6 inch newt look under mounted to me.

It is a fairly heavy and large tube.   around 5-6 Kg, and 750mm long.

 

The Mak is much shorter and lighter. I do note however that the tripod on the mak is

not as sturdy as the one on the newt.  Too bad they are not offered on the same mount package.

 

Goto is handy in light pollution.   Many dim targets are difficult to find.

 

Very good suggestions about the balcony.  Pay attention to what direction it faces.

Balconies may be too narrow for a dob, and the railing may interfere with its movement.

Most dobs have a 48 inch tube.   Balconies are also heat sinks it can interfere with high power viewing.




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