A place to talk about Sky at Night Magazine's comprehensive reviews section
Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:26 am
I'd like to suggest that the equipment reviews could include some comparative information.
For example, the January 2016 edition has a review of the Celestron Omni XLT AZ 102 telescope package, with a stated price of £325. This is not too dissimilar to the price point, circa £349, of the Celestron 102SLT. The Omni AZ102 is an F6.5 (102mm by 660mm) refractor on a manual alt-az mount with tripod. The 102SLT is an F6.5 (102mm by 660mm) on an alt-az goto mount with tripod. Which begs the question of how a manual telescope competes with a goto telescope when the optical specification appears to be the same?!
The review could have better explained the advantage the XLT coatings in the Omni range, which I don't think the 102SLT has. But that could well be meaningless to a novice over the attraction of a goto mount.
Having said that, I am pleased to see a half-decent beginners 'scope on an alt-az "point and look" mount. I just can't fathom the price point!
The January 2016 issue also had a binocular and a CCD camera reviews. Both of these would have benefited from comparison with some benchmark. For example, the ZWO ASI224 could have been compared against the other cameras in the ZWO ASI range, or against long standing webcams (for those considering an upgrade), or against a DSLR (for those considering what a CCD camera can do for them that a DSLR can't already do).
Sat Jan 30, 2016 11:13 am
I'd go along with that Dave. I have a DSLR, but I have sometimes wondered if a CCD, especially one of the latest models, would give an advantage. If it does, is it worth the huge cost of these items? Articles could be bench marked against a commonly owned item.
I am bewildered about the choice of telescopes today, I must admit. At one time a goto mount cost more than the optical tube, but today it seems to make less difference. Is the mechanism of a manual telescope better than that of the modern goto equivalent? Is that why the price difference is not so great? Or is it simply that more gotos are produced and therefore cheaper than a more expensive, but shorter run of manual ones? Coatings can make a big difference to the price, but like you I rarely see an explanation about them.
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