I'm looking for advice on a first purchase and after quite a few nights of solo research I do need some advices from the community.
So here's the deal - I have an 8year old who seems to really passionate about astronomy, we're already looking at the sky almost every evening for weeks now and I'm thinking of buying a telescope.
I've narrowed it down in my mind (and budget) to either a Skywatcher 102/500 on Stardiscovery mount or a Skywatcher 120/600 on a AZ3.
We'll be observing from our yard in the city center (Bortle 8, very sad I know) about 75% of the time, from somewhere near the beach/seaside (Bortle 3/4 as I see on the map) about 25% of the time and maybe some dark places in a few rare occasions. Considering we'll have sand around quite a few of the times and also as I would prefer in the beginning to avoid collimation, plus also due to size constaints I excluded the newtonian options. Then, considering the little guy is more passionate about constellations, star clusters and nebulas I've kind of excluded a Mak version - leading to the two refractor options above, for which I see some pros&cons
Skywatcher 102/500 on Stardiscovery mount - about 500 euros
- the go-to seems great for kids, gaining time and also for a beginner like me
- on the same mount I could also add later a Mak127 I guess, for observing planets in more details if we'll be into that
- the mount is however limited, that's about the biggest telescope size you can put on it and it's alt-az
Skywatcher 120/600 on a AZ3 - about 420euros
- needs manual adjustment so it will take some learning
- bigger telescope, so more light
- almost at the price of the tube alone
- if we keep to it and get the kicks I expect we will, I can buy later an EQ5 mount ideally with go-to, maybe I'll find a good one used
One final comment - while I'm very aware of what AP involves and I'm not getting any hopes up, I still would like to have a tube that allows me to put my D600 or Olympus m43 in prime focus and fool around with some shots especially in some dark sites - one more reason I've excluded for instance the Stardiscovery with 150P. And yes, I know achromats have a bagful of CA :-)
Now, any and all suggestions/ideas are welcome. Thank you all in advance for your time and support.