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Best telescope under $4,000?

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#26 Cliff Hipsher

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 11:10 AM

Sasquatch,

 

Meade is basically dead so I'd cross them off of my list.

 

If I had to do this over again I would start out with a simple Dob "kit" that has a couple of eyepieces and some sort of red dot or Telrad style finder.  The only real "accessory" you nee is a colimation tool like a Cheshire.  Don't get sucked into buying an eyepiece/filter kit.  All you end up with is stuff you don't need and a lighter wallet.  BTDT  DO NOT buy a department store telescope.. BTDT too..

 

If you have a laptop or a tablet, you can install some thing like Stellarium or SkySafari to help you learn the sky.

 

Some time before you break out the plastic you need to visit the local club and see what they have going on.

 

BTW:  I'm in Chesterfield County just south of Richmond. 


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#27 Cliff Hipsher

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 11:18 AM

Thank you all for all this information. With everything in mind I believe this is what I'm looking at. I will wait about a week before ordering the telescope to hear more ideas, suggestions:  smile.gif

1: Orion SkyQuest XT10i IntelliScope Dobsonian.

https://www.telescop...ByCategoryId=27

2: Telrad w/ heightened base. 

https://explorescien...cts/telrad-1001

Not sure if this is needed with this Dob, but if so I'll grab it.

3: APM 30UFF

https://www.eyepiece...p/17102030.htm 

4: Morpheus 12.5mm

https://agenaastro.c...ce-2954212.html

5: 2x Barlow

https://www.amazon.c...s/dp/B00008Y0TM

6: I have already ordered Turn left at Orion.

Most of these are suggested by Shinzawai. Thank you for taking the time to detail these. Thank you!!

:

While the Dob seems a bit larger than expected, I think a 10" would be a great start. I am signing up for the NVAC and am within an hour of their monthly meeting place so that works out well. (Thanks weis14).

I would really like to take pictures so I'm going to look into a camera mount for a camera, or my cellphone (Samsung S21+) since it takes great pictures.

I am also going to look into a tripod. Not sure how this can mount on one but I'm going to look into possible solutions.

I'm also going to look into an easy way to move or transport this between locations, a cart or ?

I do thank you all for everything, I really do. I now have a solid lead for the telescope as well as a lot of very useful upgrades. As I mentioned before, I am going to wait a week before ordering anything specific so if there's something I'm missing or if anyone knows an upgrade I'm missing I'd sure appreciate the heads-up. smile.gif

Thanks again everyone. Looks like my boss is coming around so I'd better get back to work. smile.gif

Thank you!!

#1:  Don't even think about taking pictures.   A Dob really isn't cut out for astrophotography. That is a looooooonggg way off.

#2.  Stick with just the telescope. Its more than enough to keep you occupied.

#3.  Forget the eye pieces and the barlow.  Put the money away..

#4.  A tripod is of no use. 


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#28 DaleEh

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 11:38 AM

#1:  Don't even think about taking pictures.   A Dob really isn't cut out for astrophotography. That is a looooooonggg way off.

#2.  Stick with just the telescope. Its more than enough to keep you occupied.

#3.  Forget the eye pieces and the barlow.  Put the money away..

#4.  A tripod is of no use. 

I agree, especially with #3. Eyepieces are very personal, everyone has their favourite brands/types, and you will experiment on your own or try at star parties. For example, I went from the eyepieces supplied, then added some other plossls, then celestron x-cel's, then baader, then televue, over a period of a year or two; each person is different. 


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#29 Sasquachh

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 12:44 PM

Csrlice12,

Thank you for the information. I am 65 and not having a great deal of knowledge relating to astronomy I'm listening to every word I'm hearing. I just joined Northern Virginia Astronomy Club and will be going to a Star Gaze event on the 30th of this month. At that time I hope to speak with others to get even more input. 

I have been watching You Tube videos and I'm starting to think the 8" might suit me better. While I hear so many positive things about this telescope I do want something that tracks so I might end up starting my search for a model, type all over. Ahhhh... Lol

Okay, so I'm going to take a deep breath and relax. I have plenty of time before I buy and with SO.. MANY.. OPTIONS.. how can I decide?? Lol

Oops, my boss is coming. :)


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#30 Shinzawai

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 02:02 PM

Even better for a the XT10", the highest visual acuity is around an exit pupil of 2.5mm, a highest power is 0.5mm, and lowest power 6mm (or perhaps 5 if you're 'old' as it is the maximum your pupil dilates to)
 
with a f4.7 scope, the best acuity computes to be 2.5*4.7 = 11.75 (Morpheus). The low power is 6*4.7 = 28mm (the APM UFF 30mm) and you can use a Barlow for high.

Got this advice and paying it forward because it was spot on.
I don't agree with don't get eyepieces yet, just get minimal quality so you're not always thinking what could I be missing out on. Yes you might prefer a TV ethos set, but that is exactly what you'll find out in due time. But if you've some cash to spend no need to get frustrated with standard plossels with little drift time.

Also you can get an intellifi adapter for $50 which allows you to connect your push to scope plug 'n play to any tablet or phone e.g. running sky safari if you like to instantly have a very cheap, capable smart guiding solution.

Enjoy.


Edited by Shinzawai, 15 October 2021 - 02:09 PM.

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#31 DaleEh

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 02:33 PM

Even better for a the XT10", the highest visual acuity is around an exit pupil of 2.5mm, a highest power is 0.5mm, and lowest power 6mm (or perhaps 5 if you're 'old' as it is the maximum your pupil dilates to)
 
with a f4.7 scope, the best acuity computes to be 2.5*4.7 = 11.75 (Morpheus). The low power is 6*4.7 = 28mm (the APM UFF 30mm) and you can use a Barlow for high.

Got this advice and paying it forward because it was spot on.
I don't agree with don't get eyepieces yet, just get minimal quality so you're not always thinking what could I be missing out on. Yes you might prefer a TV ethos set, but that is exactly what you'll find out in due time. But if you've some cash to spend no need to get frustrated with standard plossels with little drift time.

Also you can get an intellifi adapter for $50 which allows you to connect your push to scope plug 'n play to any tablet or phone e.g. running sky safari if you like to instantly have a very cheap, capable smart guiding solution.

Enjoy.

I did not ask if the topic starter wears eyeglasses with enough astigmatism to need higher eye relief eyepieces? If not, you have a lot more flexibility with eyepieces, but if you have to keep them on to focus while observing (I do), then you need 18-20mm of eye relief. There is a good link under equipment at cloudy nights that lists all the eyepieces available for sale, and you can load into the Excel and sort by your preferences. I finally ended up with a 12mm Televue Delos (if you want to use the formula above), which is a bit pricey, but has high quality, eye relief, and works in faster scopes well. But there are other options. Since you are not looking at go to, you should also ensure you have the widest true field of view (TFOV) eyepiece possible so that you can easily find objects when you star hop (there are other considerations as well). 


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#32 TomK1

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 02:51 PM

Use your scope at a dark site periodically during the year : https://darksitefind...#4/39.00/-98.00

Unless you live in a dark area, you won't realize the potential of your mirror.

 

Don't forget to buy an adjustable chair.   Either fixed 2 inch increments or infinitely adjustable.   It will add immensely to your comfort. 

Consider upgrading to a 2 speed focuser.  Orion's is relatively inexpensive.  Maybe Orion will let swap out the one speed which comes with the scope.   

Buy a red led flashlight.

Consider adding a small computer fan which will blow air onto the backside of your mirror.   This will 

bring your primary mirror to ambient quicker and will keep your mirror closer to ambient during the night:  better views.

 

Since you're probably still under $4000, you may want to seriously consider purchasing a Howie Glatter Laser and Tublug.   Very expensive tools but they allow extremely quick and accurate collimation of both mirrors, either in the day or at night.

 

You can use the search bar to get more info on each item mentioned on cloudy nights.   There is a wealth of info on this site.

 

Since you're watching videos, go to Rob Teeter's site: teeterstelescopes.com.   He no longer is making custom scopes ( timeout for family after 22 years of scope manufacturing).    His scopes were/are all premium.   He has a wealth of information on his site.   You'll gain valuable knowledge by reading and viewing  just about everything on his site.  He even has a catalog of all scopes made and 10 to 30 photos associated with each scope.   His site will give you something to think about while you are rethinking your dob scope options.    

 

Around 6 years ago I bought one of his 11 inch f4.5 STS dob's with thin Zambuto mirror, 2 Spd focuser, encoders, computer, Rigel finder, ra 60mm finder, 3 inch longer tube, Televue paracorr II, couple ethos eyepieces:  Scope assembly is relatively light weight, easy to to transport, excellent views, OTA is adjustable axially and rotationally,  just a complete joy to use.  Especially at a dark site.  I'm about your same age.

Sure, in total it was well over $4000 and I'm not suggesting you you won't get very good views with what you are planning to purchase.   But, alot of his STS features ( which you can get from other manufacturers or add on yourself) take a basic dob, and turns it into a premium viewing experience.

 

Best wishes on your upcoming purchases.    Did I mention go to a  dark site periodically?   I really wish the days would clear up and give me some clear dark nights!


Edited by TomK1, 15 October 2021 - 03:08 PM.

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#33 weis14

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 02:58 PM

Csrlice12,

Thank you for the information. I am 65 and not having a great deal of knowledge relating to astronomy I'm listening to every word I'm hearing. I just joined Northern Virginia Astronomy Club and will be going to a Star Gaze event on the 30th of this month. At that time I hope to speak with others to get even more input. 

I have been watching You Tube videos and I'm starting to think the 8" might suit me better. While I hear so many positive things about this telescope I do want something that tracks so I might end up starting my search for a model, type all over. Ahhhh... Lol

Okay, so I'm going to take a deep breath and relax. I have plenty of time before I buy and with SO.. MANY.. OPTIONS.. how can I decide?? Lol

Oops, my boss is coming. smile.gif

If you want something that tracks, a dob is no longer the best solution in my opinion.  Tracking on dobs can work, but I generally think that dobs lose most of their advantages over Schmidt Cassegrains (SCTs) once tracking is involved.  For beginners who want tracking at a moderately sized scope (6-10 inches), I generally think SCTs make more sense. 

 

That said, SCTs can be cumbersome and choosing the right type of mount is a complicated endeavor by itself.  You are already doing one of the most important things, which is talking to others about what to buy.  I would not buy anything until you have had the chance to go to the event later this month and see some of the scopes first hand.  You might be surprised how much a simple thing like wanting tracking changes what type of mount people have.

 

Finally, I am not an astrophotographer, but I it is an entirely different hobby than visual observing.  Talk to the folks at the star party (and poke around in the Beginning Astrophotography Forum) and figure out whether it is something you really want to dive into.


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#34 Polyphemos

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 03:24 PM

I don’t have any advice, but as there are a couple of similarities between your and my situations perhaps my experiences will help.  Keep in mind that what follows only strictly applies to me, and that you may find the opposite applies to you.

 

I began last winter with my son’s Celestron 6SE, which left with him when he returned to school.  My wife and I both enjoyed the experience and so I came up with a plan.  I would research and purchase a relatively cheap but not incapable telescope with which to dip my toes into the amateur astronomy stream.  At roughly the same time I discovered and began listening to The Amateur Astronomy podcast which, along with this website, led me to my first purchase: an Orion ST80 which I paired with a used Manfrotto fluid head and Manfrotto XDB tripod.  It’s still my most used setup.

 

With a telescope to satisfy my immediate beginner observing needs, I further developed my plan as follows:

 

1.  Research and purchase a variety of used achromatic refractors to restore and rebuild to get a feel for their design and inner workings. I ended up with almost a dozen, some of which I still have, several of which I gave to other beginners, and a couple that ended up being recycled.  In the process I learned how to clean optics properly, how to collimate, how to tune and adjust focusers, and most importantly, how not to fear taking things apart for a look under the hood.

 

2.  If I was still interested after a couple of months, I’d purchase a telescope favorable for the Jupiter and Saturn opposition.  It turns out I remained interested and so I purchased a new Celestron Omni XLT102 equipped with a CG-4 mount, which worked brilliantly, which I still have, and which I had out last night looking at Jupiter, Saturn, and the moon.

 

3.  If after the opposition I was still interested, I would move up the next level into ED glass refractors, and then onto full on apochromatic refractors.  This is where I’m presently at after ten months of continual observing and learning.  I have an AstroTech AT72EDII and a Stellarvue SVX102D on order, and I’m finalizing plans to acquire a pair of Takahashi refractors.  At least until the Taks are ordered, and including the yet to arrive AT72EDII and SVX102D, plus my present six achromats each on a mount, and along with a variety of eyepieces, diagonals, and filters, I’m into the hobby for considerably less than your budget.

 

In the last ten months I discovered that seeing trumps optics by a huge amount, and that a 40 year old 60mm Tasco in great skies will show more than a 102mm telescope in poor skies.  You can’t buy your way to good views if the seeing is junk, and even a dirt cheap telescope will reveal remarkable views when the seeing is excellent.  You also won’t observe anything if you don’t take yourself and your gear outside, so I do what I can to make this easier for myself.

 

I found I don’t care at all for goto capability.  I discovered this when I visited my son at his college and we set up his 6SE in a small light-polluted park adjacent to his student housing.  I suggested we take a peek at the Hercules Cluster, he punched his keypad, and there it was, right in the center of view.  The experience left me completely and utterly unsatisfied.  There was no searching for the Hercules constellation, no identifying the trapezoid in the constellation, and no star hopping to the cluster.  I missed the hunt and I had no desire to continue in that manner.  

 

Now we couldn’t see the Hercules constellation and so I completely understand the practical value of goto, and particularly so for viewers that cannot travel to dark skies, but if that were all that amateur astronomy had to offer I’m not sure I’d have nearly the same interest.  I instead found that I’m happiest in dark skies, that a pair of wide field binoculars eliminates (for me) the need for goto capability, and that a tremendous number and variety of deep space objects can be located with the naked eye or binoculars, and that the hunt makes the whole experience infinitely richer.  A great interactive sky chart like the excellent Stellarium is a tremendous help in learning the night sky.

 

My smaller and lighter scopes and mounts get used far more often than my larger and heavier ones, and I find that if I can’t lift the entire setup fairly easily it hardly gets used at all.  I attribute this mostly to laziness on my part, which gets worse the older I get, but in my gatherings with other amateurs l find that while I enjoyed looking through other’s large aperture scopes, I have no interest in wrestling with one of my own, or at least not until I move to a truly dark site of my own and the beast can stay where it’s put down in the first place.  That’s why my ST80 is my most used scope; one hand is all it takes to go from living room to back yard and back again.  Super easy.

 

So that’s my story, and in it I mean no disrespect or disparagement for anyone else’s advice or approach. Everyone’s situation is different, and so everyone’s story will be different, and so will yours be.  The only bad story is the one that ends in having made poorly considered choices and leaving this most wonderful and rewarding of past times out of frustration.  So if I were to give you any advice it would be to consider starting small and portable but capable, meet with other amateur astronomers and examine their equipment to see how it might or might not apply to you, and take your time.  There is no ultimate telescope, just a bunch of very good ones.  Good luck, and a pox on floaters!


Edited by Polyphemos, 15 October 2021 - 04:41 PM.

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#35 AstroDog77

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 04:40 PM

Csrlice12,

Thank you for the information. I am 65 and not having a great deal of knowledge relating to astronomy I'm listening to every word I'm hearing. I just joined Northern Virginia Astronomy Club and will be going to a Star Gaze event on the 30th of this month. At that time I hope to speak with others to get even more input. 

I have been watching You Tube videos and I'm starting to think the 8" might suit me better. While I hear so many positive things about this telescope I do want something that tracks so I might end up starting my search for a model, type all over. Ahhhh... Lol

Okay, so I'm going to take a deep breath and relax. I have plenty of time before I buy and with SO.. MANY.. OPTIONS.. how can I decide?? Lol

Oops, my boss is coming. smile.gif

If your astronomy club is like mine than they'll have loaner/rental equipment available for you to work with, if they do take advantage of that and lean on the people in the club to walk you around the gear a bit, I'm sure there will be people willing to do so. I went all in from the start but I'm happy with my choices, granted the SCT was a bit of a learning curve, especially starting out with a GEM goto mount, but hey I enjoy a challenge. I'm sure if I started out with a dob I would have wrestled less with equipment and observed more out of the gate but I do enjoy tinkering too so we all have different interests.

The mid-size reflector and a small refractor coupled with binos gives me a lot of flexibility, for instance it's partially cloudy here now and probably cloud cover is going to thicken into the evening so I won't bother with the SCT but I can grab the refractor or binos and be ready in minutes.


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#36 stubeeef

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 04:45 PM

The one you will use a lot!


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#37 ulrichsd

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 05:40 PM

You may ask yourself why you want go-to and if it is just to find objects, then you might consider push-to as a cheaper and lighter alternative. The main disadvantage being that it won't track your item, but will at least show you where to go. I agree with everyone that you are eventually going to want two scopes anyway. 

 

If it were me, I'd plan to spend some on a 5" or 6" Newtonian or a 6" or 8" Dobsonian, something with push-to. 

Orion XT8i

Celestron 130AZ

 

Light map shows you maybe in a bortle 4 or 5, and both of those telescopes will show you a lot. Hopefully your location has a nice unobstructed from trees view.

 

And get an upgraded eyepiece or two. Then after you play with one of those and know you are into to it, you will have most of your budget to upgrade to something larger like a 16".

 

I have the Celestron 130mm (5") and a 10" Apertura dobsonian and I almost always get out the smaller telescope. Just too much light pollution in my area to be worth getting out the big scope, that is primarily for taking to darker sky.

 

*Edit* Just read you were 65 - you want something you can use in retirement, and even an 8" dob with particle board base is going to be heavy, I'd probably get the Celestron, for only $400 plus maybe a couple of upgraded eyepieces would be a nice easy (light) option. Or maybe consider a Celestron 6SE or 8SE...


Edited by ulrichsd, 15 October 2021 - 08:31 PM.

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#38 dnrmilspec

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 05:49 PM

Just to be contrarian.

 

If I could only have one shot at this and I had $4K, I would get the Celestron 9.25" SCT, on a VX mount, focal reducer, 2" diagonal, three nice eyepieces.  It is a cult telescope.  It will be super in your reasonably light polluted skies.  And it leaves you a capable mount for your, virtually inevitable, smaller scopes.   


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#39 cooking-astra

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 06:53 PM

This Ed Ting video is funny and on point: https://youtu.be/NvslqVTNEWs

I agree with his advice to get a 8” (or 10”) Dob and then get a second scope or more eyepieces after a few months of experience.
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#40 PNW

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 07:32 PM

There are several reasons why an 8", single arm SCT is a very popular beginners scope. It breaks down into 3 pieces with none over 20 pounds. It's long focal length allows you to use less expensive mid range eyepieces. It has GoTo and tracking. Granted, it has a narrow field of view, but it is excellent at high power views of the planets etc. Over time, if you want wider field of views you can get a "fast" refractor or reflector to compliment the SCT. Dob's are heavy. If you want to know how heavy, make 3 trips from your storage area to your viewing area with a 5 gallon water jug.


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#41 Shinzawai

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Posted 16 October 2021 - 01:23 AM

While I can get behind the don't splurge, or even invest, in EPs yet. Get to know the night sky, your viewing prefs et al. first, all valid but the man has $4k to spend, he's not an 18yo with an interest in the hobby. I wouldn't know why he shouldn't invest in some top notch, and arguably best value, glass from the start!
It won't hurt his budget much, can always resell, and does make the experience.kre enjoyable. The cookie cutter advice isn't always right for everyone.
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#42 whizbang

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Posted 17 October 2021 - 11:33 PM

IMHO, the best two scopes to start out with are:

 

Orion XT10i,  or the

 

Celestron Evolution 8.

 

An 8 or 10 inch DOB is the most bang for the buck while still being a manageable size and weight.  The 10i will also interface with SkySafari and an Android tablet.

 

The Celestron C8 is a classic and has been in continuous production for over 40 years.  The Evolution mount is Celestron's top Alt-Az offering.  I like em so much, I bought two!


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#43 Sasquachh

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 01:34 PM

Thank you all for such great news. I will keep all this at heart and after the club's meeting on the 30th I'm sure I'll be able to move forward.

I FINALLY understand the difference between a telescope for viewing and one for photography. I have to say I'm leaning towards the photography side so I'm also looking at those setups, but being in this forum I'll keep that on the down-lo. smile.gif

Can't wait till the 30th to speak with others and see what's in use. In the meantime I do want to thank all of you for all this great information. While some of it I've already applied (Already reading "Left turn at Orion" as well as purchased a couple things) I can't wait to apply my purchasing power on something that allows me to gaze at the stars. Thank you all!

sasquachh


Edited by Sasquachh, 18 October 2021 - 01:34 PM.


#44 PPPPPP42

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 07:57 PM

Getting into photography involves either spending many many thousands of dollars (like $5k+) or getting sub par stuff you will end up replacing if you really stick with it and see how much nicer other peoples pictures are. I would wait.

Stuff that is good quality but easy for a beginner to use like an 80-100ish mm high quality refractor and good tracking mount give you about the same view as a pair of binoculars, lots of small dots and not much else. Not very fun for visual but the camera picks up all the stuff you can't see.

 

And definite yes to doing nothing until you have seen the scopes in person at the party. Get there early so you can see what it takes to set stuff up and align it. That might change your decision a lot.


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#45 dnrmilspec

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 08:57 PM

Getting into photography involves either spending many many thousands of dollars (like $5k+) or getting sub par stuff you will end up replacing if you really stick with it and see how much nicer other peoples pictures are. I would wait.

Stuff that is good quality but easy for a beginner to use like an 80-100ish mm high quality refractor and good tracking mount give you about the same view as a pair of binoculars, lots of small dots and not much else. Not very fun for visual but the camera picks up all the stuff you can't see.

 

And definite yes to doing nothing until you have seen the scopes in person at the party. Get there early so you can see what it takes to set stuff up and align it. That might change your decision a lot.

You are joking, Right?

 

1.  You can take wonderful astro photographs for far less than $5K.

 

2.  AP is not a competition.  The only person one should be out to impress is themself.  There is always someone with more money and  frequently less sense who can outspend all of us. 

 

3.  A 100mm "high quality refractor and good tracking mount" does not give "about the same view as a good pair of binoculars".  Unless you have some 300X binoculars and superman to hold them for you.  What is that comment all about?

 

4.  If you have  looked through your CPC-800 and your FDC 100 Triplet using all those nice eps you have in your signature, and all you saw was "lots of small dots and not much else" you need to go to the star party with him and learn how to use your scopes. 

 

I do not find your post helpful to someone who is asking an honest question and should expect a considered answer. 

 

So.

 

Astrophotography can be done pretty affordably.  A nice used camera and a moderate telescope can have someone taking very fine photos for far less than the $4000.00 budget the OP has to spend.  And in possession of a fine scope (or two) and some nice EPs not to put too fine a point on it. 

 

@Sasquachh

 

If you want to have a lot of fun, laugh quite a bit and learn a ton about astro photography, often for not too much money, I recommend spending time watching the YouTube videos by a wonderful Brit who calls himself Astrobiscuit.  His videos and articles really are eye-openers.   There is no doubt that he would shock and appall PPPPPP42.     You can find him HERE.


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#46 scadvice

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 10:53 PM

Because you've mentioned interest in the astrophotography side do you currently own a DSLR camera? Preferably a Canon or a Nikon?

 

This information helps me make a suggestion. 


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#47 Sasquachh

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Posted 21 October 2021 - 01:29 PM

I came to realize I wouldn't be able to afford the telescope and all the camera gear so I decided to get a viewing telescope, then after paying it off (since I'll already have the mount) I can get a better telescope and the camera equipment at the same time. I figured I could either get a viewing telescope now so I have something to use then after having a better understanding of all this I can get a setup I know I'll be very happy with.

Last night I purchased:

1: The CEM40 Mount

https://www.highpoin...ard-case-c402a3

2: The Meade 6" LX65 ACF

https://www.highpoin...elescope-228013

3: The Baader Hyperion 8-24 Clickstop Zoom Eyepiece and 2.25X Hyperion Zoom Barlow Kit

https://www.highpoin...with-hyp-barlow

4: Baader 1.25" Amici 45º Erecting Prism w/24 mm Clear Aperture

https://www.highpoin...erture-amici-45

Total it was almost $4,000 which was the budget I was trying to stay at without sacrificing quality. While I heard I should stay away from Meade it was only $800 so not too much of a loss if it doesn't work out. I'll just give it to one of the kids. :)

Yeah I figure with the descent mount I can go in any direction so once I pay this off I should be able to get a sweet scope and the camera gear at the same time.

A couple of the things are backordered (I think I got the last 6" Meade on the site) so I won't get the stuff right away, but I can't wait.

I do thank you ALL for all your help and advice. 

Thank you!!


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#48 smacbride

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Posted 21 October 2021 - 02:07 PM

I purchased my 10" LX200 system used off of craig's list, and I've been using it for over 8 years now.  I've never had any issues and their are tons of 3rd party add-ons etc.  So no worries on your Meade optical tube, you shouldn't have any issues.


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#49 PPPPPP42

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Posted 21 October 2021 - 06:19 PM

The links didn't work for me so I had to look it all up.

I think you did very good.

You don't need to worry about the whole Meade thing as all your electric and mechanical parts are from iOptron which is a good company.  The OTA itself almost never wears out if its treated right.

A 6" will show you a decent amount for visual plus you can swap back and forth with a high quality 80-100 refractor and use that same mount for some pretty good astrophotography down the road so no waste there.

You could eventually put an 8" SCT on that same mount.

I have that Baader, very good choice for a single eyepiece to do everything well. Its weakest point is that its not an exceptionally wide field of view. I don't know if they make a reducer for that 6" like they do with the celestron one but that would be a good accessory to get wider and brighter views (with less magnification) with that same zoom.

The zoom will work in both 1.25" and 2" diagonals and it looks like that tube comes with a 1.25". If its anything like the celestron you wouldn't need a 2" diagonal on it.

You might never use that barlow though since the 8mm will likely give you about the max that typical seeing will allow.


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#50 iseegeorgesstar

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Posted 21 October 2021 - 07:56 PM

Hey,

I'm really bias here because I'm the new owner of a svx102d but I really recommend you check out that scope. Or depending on your needs check out the svx127d.

I really doubt you'll be disappointed and I think you'll be amazed at how good the optics are and how wonderful and robust the mechanics are.

The bigger question would be what mount do you need for such scopes since you dont want a manual mount. Also the 3" stellarvue focuser is fine, you dont need to spring for the feathertouch.

Svx127d - $3000
https://www.stellarv...larvue-svx127d/

Svx102d - $1900
https://www.stellarv...larvue-svx102d/

Check out the refractor subforum for first light impressions which is basically just a bunch of "wows!"

I think the svx127d is probably your best best bang for the buck option. However since you say you want to get a large dob eventually you might be fine with the svx102d as a grab and go instrument. You could then probanly get a cheaper mount and transfer those savings to better eyepieces.

Clear skies and welcome back!

Edit: Looks like you already choose a scope. All the same, welcome back.

Edited by iseegeorgesstar, 21 October 2021 - 08:05 PM.

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