Best Beginner To Intermediate Telescope

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Best Beginner To Intermediate Telescope

Postby gordyb » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:53 pm

Hello all i remember patrick moore saying all those years ago that a 3inch refractor or a 6 inch reflector would be a great strating point (if you had the cash of course) but is it worth spending maybe £150 or £200 more to get a really decent one,what are the best makes i am more interested in stars,galaxies,nebulas etc rather than planets,is it worth get a computerised one which dont seem to cost that much more on UK telescope websites i have looked at any advice would be greatly appreciated thanks.
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RE: Best Beginner To Intermediate Telescope

Postby uea74 » Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:00 pm

If you want stars galaxies and nebula than, for the last 2, you need aperture. If by stars you refer to clusters then again better.

Cheapest aperture per penny is a Dobsonian. A Newtonian reflector on a Dobsonian mount. The mount is easy and inexpensive to make so you can buy one with a bigger mirror.

They are completely manual, you move them up, down and round to locate and see objects. Sounds easy.

If you can see stars and only know that they are stars and nothing else, then a goto is an option. People will say you are paying for the electronics and so getting a smaller scope but SW/Meade/Celestron do not give the electronics away free, so what do you expect.

Goto's need setting up!!

Say this as many people have troubles in setting them up. Usually the solution is simple and often just a case of do it accurately. Also know what you are doing and what you have to do.

That is basically the 2 extremes - fully manual and computerised.

On the goto side for aperture and cost the SkyWatcher 127 Mak is probably the best value. If used with 20/25/30mm eyepieces they should be OK, I do mean all 3 at different times and not just one of.

The 30mm will give a wider view, less magnification and so an initally smaller but brighter image which you centre and then magnify.
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RE: Best Beginner To Intermediate Telescope

Postby james s » Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:40 pm

Hi gordyb

I think that just about sums it up.

You can get a decent 10" dobsonian for around £500. Look around, there may be some deals going!

My father gave me a Tasco refractor scope years ago and while he thought the "views rather disappointing", my first glimpse of Saturn through it as a colourless white dot with a suggestion of rings was an unforgettable and magical moment.

It is tempting to go for a GOTO when it's your first scope.

If you want galaxies and aren't too bothered about astrophotography, then a dob sounds like the one - and truss tube dobs are easier to lug around.

The cost doesn't end there though: you might want a collimator, a light shroud, a barlow, some bins, a red torch, a nebula filter, moon filter, a couple more eyepieces etc...

Hope you've got dark skies...!

Best of luck
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RE: Best Beginner To Intermediate Telescope

Postby gordyb » Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:16 am

Hello chaps thanks for the excellent replies i have probably overstated somewhat in my astronomical abilities i am looking for something decent but easy to set up maintain etc i would hate to buy something with say a dodgy mirror or parts through lack of experience, is a refractor a better choice for ease and low maintenence and i have read many times that a refractor less than 75mm is not great any recommendations of telescopes in that range would be much appreiceated.

ps, i wonder if i can see a fly on the nearest quasar.mmmm

this seems to be a good deal.
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Skywatcher-Skymax-127-Maksutov-accessories-/190433832996?pt=UK_Telescopes#ht_500wt_896
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RE: Best Beginner To Intermediate Telescope

Postby james s » Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:10 pm

Hi gordyb

Well, I've been tempted to go for a Mak, just to take with me when camping! That one doesn't appear to have a mount?

You can check out what you might see through a scope by searching You Tube etc... they have some recorded views for you to see before you part with your hard earned cash!

Get in as much research as you can. Dobs are by far the easiest to set up: you take the rockerbox outside, then the OTA; pop in an EP and you're done!

...I'm awfully biased, I know.

Other scopes take longer to setup.

The main thing is to pull in the right info. See which scope you can bear to live with and see which scope will suit the objects you want to point it at. Don't forget, it's all been there for quite a while and it's not about to go away...you wont miss anything (except perhaps a surprise passing comet).

My money's on a dob.

Best of luck
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RE: Best Beginner To Intermediate Telescope

Postby uea74 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:26 pm

That is basically the SW 127 mentioned. However it is just the tube.
As well as the tube you will need a mount, the EQ3-2 comes to mind at £180.

That would be a manual set up and I would suspect that additional bits may in reality be needed. You would have to get a finder (unless there is one), then it is down to you to locate things.

People often sell refractors as OTA only (Optical Tube Assembly) but it is rarer on the other scopes. If that unit came off of a goto system what happened to the rest?

I would suggest getting a complete set up, either on an equitorial mount, an Alt/Az mount or as a Dobsonian.

Do you want a goto?
If so then the SW 127 Mak is about the best.
If you want a goto refractor then perhaps the SW 102 on the goto base, they do a 120 and possibly a 150 as well.

You can get both the ones mentioned on an equitorial mount.
If you get an equitorial mount I suggest considering a pair of motors, a lot easier to move the scope to the next object.

A good retailer site for SkyWatcher scopes is Sherwood Photographic. Have a look as they tend to list a fair range so you can have a look at what is available.
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Re: Best Beginner To Intermediate Telescope

Postby phillmatrix » Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:56 am

Astronomy is my personal favorite field of science and telescopes are the main periphery used to make science experiments. Thus it is important to choose the right equipment for the job. I would recommend looking through telescope buying guide 2019. Above all, it is essential to know which telescope is better so searching for telescope comparison would be a great idea as well.
Last edited by phillmatrix on Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Best Beginner To Intermediate Telescope

Postby Gfamily2 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:50 pm

phillmatrix wrote:Astronomy is my personal favorite field of science and telescopes are the main periphery used to make science experiments. Thus it is important to choose the right equipment for the job. I would recommend looking through telescope buying guide 2019. Above all, it is essential to know which telescope is better so searching for telescope comparison would be a great idea as well.

Are they your sites?
They're in serious need of an editor.
:roll:
Scopes: Meade 8" SCT, Skywatcher 127mm Mak, Raffle winner of SW ST80
For imaging: Pentax K5, Asda webcam, Star Adventurer (new toy)
For companionship: Mid Cheshire Astronomical Group.
(Not a moderator)
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