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View Full Version : Deciding on what telescope for beginners



ukwdwnut
16-07-2008, 08:01 AM
Im Looking to get a telescope hopefully soon

was looking at a this one (http://www.celestron.com/c2/product.php?CatID=8&ProdID=29) as im sure this was recommended to me by chris???

if not this one what recommendations would you say chris?

Skywatcher
16-07-2008, 08:18 AM
Tis is a HUUUGE topic and I will try and post some links and some tips when I get a chance. I had that scope Mick andi it was great but what I realised early on was that I wanted to do photography and that wasn't the best choice - but you live and learn.

My first tip however is - don't buy from Argos or the sunday supplements - cheaply made scopes on cheap tripods are a disaster and a waste of money - you will not see anything and be put off forever.

Sorry haven't got time at the mo but I will put something together for anyone interested - promise :D

keith
16-07-2008, 11:01 AM
definitely interested in this and would definitely want to take photos too :)

Britchick
16-07-2008, 11:07 AM
ooooohhhhhhhhhhh i can smell the money!!!

keith
16-07-2008, 11:11 AM
ooooohhhhhhhhhhh i can smell the money!!!

:lol:

Well many years ago I was in a local camera shop and about to buy a telescope. It was of course, a cheapy one from a non-specialist shop. Whilst the sales guy went off somewhere, a very knowledgeable guy explained to me exactly how rubbish anything cheap would be. So I quickly escaped before the salesman came back :lol:

Anyway, few years later I was at a party and someone showed me their "top of the range" argos scope and it was just rubbish, I've had better photos from my SLR camera with decent lens than we were seeing through that scope.

So very glad I didn't buy and looking forward to some good advice :)

Skywatcher
16-07-2008, 12:53 PM
You don't even need a scope to start
pleides
http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb84/sidleydoc/smallpleides.jpg
andomeda galaxy
http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb84/sidleydoc/chris_m31.jpg
and

orions sword
http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb84/sidleydoc/orionwidemidprocesssmall.jpg

were all taken with a canon 350d and a 100-300 zoom lens piggybacked onto a motorised mount

promise i will write more - but beware Keith Astrophotography is one of the most expensice words in the english language and if like me ( which I think you are) there is always something more you want and a better pic to be obtained through lower noise levels vignetting etc etc etc

keith
16-07-2008, 12:59 PM
promise i will write more - but beware Keith Astrophotography is one of the most expensice words in the english language and if like me ( which I think you are) there is always something more you want and a better pic to be obtained through lower noise levels vignetting etc etc etc

I suspect you're right and it will be an absolute money pit :) but the more I see of your photos the more it feels worth the expense!

ukwdwnut
16-07-2008, 01:00 PM
julie the one in he link is around 250 here so not that bad really

Skywatcher
16-07-2008, 06:55 PM
OK no point in reinventing the wheel - Ihave checked out this website

http://www.findascope.com/

and it offers much sound advice

please ask me if you need any clarifiation.

Simply put no scope will do all you want

Binoculars are a great way to start and I still use mine often.

If you have a local astronomy society pop along and have a look through theirs - it will give you an idea of what you can see.

oh and one other thing

You will not necessarily see through a scope what I have published in the pictures - the nebulae etc are theresult of multiply stacked long exposure photography -you will not see colour in neculas just whispy grey cloud

Planets are visible as discs and surface features are visible on Jupiter Saturn and MArs but they are small ( 5p piece on a dinner plate size)


Mick you ask about the 102 - it was a great scope and got me into astronomy I saw the rings of saturn and the moons of jupiter and took a few pics of both but I wanted a wider aperture for photography and now I have bought a smaller telescope for deep sky stuff on an equatorial mount as opposed to alt/az - Keith will understand about f values - big f numbers are good for planets small for deep sky.

there really is too much to put into 1 post but like I said pour over the site and let me know

eeyoreguy
02-08-2008, 11:15 AM
did anyone go though that site and decide what was a good starter scope to still take photos through?

I'm in complete awe of the shots on here taken by skywatcher?

ukwdwnut
02-08-2008, 01:16 PM
nope the link doesnt work for me, just get a blank page :(

ukwdwnut
02-08-2008, 01:18 PM
just edited the link as it was wrong

ukwdwnut
02-08-2008, 01:20 PM
im just going to email dan[watchingherskip] as he works in this field

Watchinherskip
03-09-2008, 04:21 PM
im just going to email dan[watchingherskip] as he works in this field

Hey Mick,
In the better late than never catagory, I am finally here with you. I think I sent an email response to you but I am a fan of the Schmidt - Cassagrains. We just got this scope:

Clestron NexStar 6 SE.
http://www.celestron.com/c2/product.php?CatID=13&ProdID=415

We got it for just under $1000 USD. Not sure what you could get it or a similar one in the UK for with the exchange rate being what it is. Guess you could get it here on your next visit and pay to have it sent home with you.

Skywatcher
03-09-2008, 04:27 PM
It is a minefield though as I have said before - no one scope will be perfect for all your needs and you need to decide 1st off if you want a goto mount or want to find things yourself. After than you need to decide on whether you want to image or not as this will deterimine whether you go equatorial or Alt Az and then you need to decide on the targets you want to grab.

Each type of scope ( refractor , reflector or SCT/mak etc) has its own drawbacks and advantages

Over all this is budget

The longest threads on any astronomy forum are about which scope to get and for good reason

There really is no perfect scope - I would seriously seriosly think about looking through some before you invest -

Watchinherskip
03-09-2008, 04:35 PM
Very true Chris. We had an 8 inch Dobsonian donated to the museum. Collumation is always an issue. The SC's don't seem to need the same amount of attention. We also had a few nice Orion and Meade refractors donated too. They are nice in their own right. I can only liken it to my paddling websites. Whitewater boats come in all differnt catagories and their is always debate on volume, length, angle of chines etc. Goes on and on.

ukwdwnut
04-09-2008, 02:12 PM
Hey Mick,
In the better late than never catagory, I am finally here with you. I think I sent an email response to you but I am a fan of the Schmidt - Cassagrains. We just got this scope:

Clestron NexStar 6 SE.
http://www.celestron.com/c2/product.php?CatID=13&ProdID=415

We got it for just under $1000 USD. Not sure what you could get it or a similar one in the UK for with the exchange rate being what it is. Guess you could get it here on your next visit and pay to have it sent home with you.

yes you did say you would join as soon as you finished your degree in something was it ?

i think a goto mount would be best, if that means it finds stuff for you lolbut i suspect they are more expensive.......do you need a special mount for the camera too?...wow i havent a clue which to choose now,. reflecor, refractor....some one explain the difference please :D

Watchinherskip
04-09-2008, 02:39 PM
I think Dr. Chris has spent a lot of time in his selection process, and I do believe he has a link to pick the best scope option for you. In a nutshell, optical telescopes are divided into refractor (lens gathers light), reflecting (curved mirror gathers light) and sort of hyprid (lens and mirrors used). Generally you can make a better mirror than and lens at a lower cost. The objective lens on refracting telescopes, the one furthes away from your eye is curved to collect the light and focus it down the tube to the eyepiece. Large telescopes are limited in the size of the objective as the weight would be difficult to support. The larger the objective the more light in theory it should gather. Mirrors are supported at the base of the tube and have more support for a larger size. For lack of a better term a hybrid scope can have some sort of lens at the objective and a mirror at the base so you can make it more compact. Our tele has that set up. We have an 8 in reflector. The problem is they tend to be larger tubes to go with the larger mirror, and they need to be aligned or collumated just about every time you use it. Ours is a point and look scope, made to be low price. It has a Dobsonian mount, basically a wood cradle with friction pads. The fist "Dob" scope was made by a monk or something with a vow of poverty. He wanted a scope but didn't want to give up his poverty vow, so he made it with scraps of wood and ground his own mirror. Oh the depravity!:shocked025:

I think for the masses a go to scope is pretty cool and easy. Once you get it out for viewing you will most likely have to align it. Easily done as the brains are in the control. Ours requires you to locate 3 bright stars in the center of the view. It figures out where you are by comparing the angle to the stars with the known catalog and using the local time. Then you can use the go to button to find deep space objects, planets or in some cases, a tour of the night sky.

ukwdwnut
04-09-2008, 02:46 PM
wow thx dan will have to have a look at the goto's then, will als have to weigh up if i get enough clears skies to actually use the thing first lol

keith
04-09-2008, 02:46 PM
yeah think I want a goto one as well :yes:

Skywatcher
04-09-2008, 03:13 PM
Just as you asked - yes you will have to buy something to attatch a camera to the scope - most goto cheapish scopes are alt az mounts (up/down) which means you will be able to do some rudimentary imaging with a webcam - moon craters /smallish pics of planets etc and very short ( 20 second or so) prime focus photography with your dslr if the scope and mount will take the weight - however if you want to do more of the deep sky long exposure photography you will need an equatorially mounted scope.

My initial advice would be not to go instantly for an expensive imaging setup but buy either a 4 inch refractor or a 6 inch reflector on an alt az goto mount. Get to know the night sky and enjoy what you can see before you splash out on an awful lot of gear - you will know early on if it is the right hobby for you - both of these scopes should give you good views of both planets and deep sky stuff , excellent views of the moon and will let you toy with the early stages of imaging.

Refractors are more expensive per inch but require little or no maintennance - they do for imaging though intraduce some colour abberations

Reflectors need the mirrors aligning (collimating) from time to time to get the best views.

once yo have your scope let either me or dan know on here and we will go through eyepieces/scope cooling how to use them etc.

I hate to be drawn on stuff like this but for a moderate first scope both those scopes are well in advance of a begnners setup

ukwdwnut
09-09-2008, 01:05 PM
great info chris thanks a lot :)