Help to buy first telescope

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Help to buy first telescope

Postby hwatkins » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:16 am

Hi, total newbie here!

After ages scouring the internet for advice for a first telescope, I'm pretty much down to the Skywatcher 130p-ds or the 150p-ds. I want to be able to take photos (it's OK, I know I won't be competing with Hubble!) My questions are:
1) Will I really notice the difference between the 130 and 150?
2) What does the ds mean - I gather it's helpful for photography but I don't understand what it is?
3) The mount! I'm undecided between an eq3-2 and an eq3-Pro GoTo. If I choose the eq3-2 on price, do I need a motor to drive it so that it tracks a star while I'm photographing it? Otherwise how does the telescope keep my image in view during a long exposure?

Basically I have a budget of a max £500, but I'd like to be able to have enough to buy extras that I find I need. Like a collimation eyepiece (which everyone says you need, but I don't know why!)

Sorry, loads of questions, but thank you in advance for all help!

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Re: Help to buy first telescope

Postby Aratus » Mon Jun 06, 2016 5:56 pm

Hello. I'll do my best to help you, but others here may be of more help

You will always notice a difference with a larger mirror. So yes a 150 will bring in more light than a 130, and if you were to compare them, an object will be noticably brighter.

'DS' probably means 'dual speed', and refers to the focus control. It allow you to focus the telescope in finer steps. It is good thing to have, but it adds a lot to the cost, and not absolutely necessary.

You need a motor for what you want. From what I gather, that means the more expensive mount.

You don't 'need' a collimation eyepiece. A newtonian reflector can be collimated quite easily without one.
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
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Re: Help to buy first telescope

Postby Supercooper » Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:28 pm

Hi there,

DS does indeed indicate that the focuser has a 'normal' and 1/10th rate knob. Dual - Speed.

The big difference between the telescope sizes you asked about will be in detail available. The 150mm will reveal 13.9 magnitude stars visually it will also will show much more detail (0.75 arc seconds) than the 130mm (13.6 magnitude stars and 0.9 arc seconds) Magnitude is worked out on a logarythmic scale, so 13.9 is significantly dimmer than 13.6 - However, I doubt the difference will be 'substantial' to the eye. The detail, however, is nearly 25% better in the larger telescope (And would be available in a Newtonian on several nights a year!) A 150mm refractor would have that max detail available on many more nights, due to the uninterrupted and closed optical system.

I have a guide on collimation that may help you. Also the other guides will answer many of your questions about different sizes and what you might see. (See my 'signature' below the link)

Cheers, Barry
For My FREE Telescope Help Website:

Using fab Helios f8 150mm Achromatic Refractor on SkyWatcher EQ5 - enjoing the views!
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Re: Help to buy first telescope

Postby The Man with the Corrugated Iron Roof » Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:08 pm

If you really are a TOTAL newbie, start with binoculars, rather than a telescope.
How can I be one with the universe when we don't know what 96% of it is.

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Location: Wiltshire but can be just about anywhere up to 41 000 feet

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