New Telescope

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Re: New Telescope

Postby Gfamily2 » Tue Oct 13, 2015 12:14 am

Jack101 wrote:I am a TOTAL beginner, I haven't a clue about what is the coolest equipment and have no desire to find out. I suggest you leave your cynicism off this issue.

Jack

Don't worry about him, he alternates between complaining that nobody's talking about 'astronomy' and showing his ignorance about the subject.

As for your questions, if you are really interested in Astrophotograpy, you then need to decide what targets you're interested in, as they have different characteristics which means they require different imaging systems
Planets - generally small but bright - so a small field of view is OK but they need a lot of magnification
Compact DSOs - (planetaries, distant galaxies, etc) tend to be a bit dim so a large aperture is better, but don't need a huge field of view.
Extended DSOs - (local group galaxies, extended nebulae) need a wide field of view, so a relatively short focal length refractor can be best.

The size and brightness of the target determines what sort of camera you're best using of course, and (for DSOs at least) you need to get a really good mount and drive system that is designed for imaging - and possibly even a guide scope set up.

Another issue with imaging is that some Newtonian telescopes simply are not designed to put their primary image in a place suitable for imaging. I simply don't know if that's the case with the two Skywatcher scopes you're considering, but you can find that out before you decide whether to buy.

I don't want to be negative, but if you're serious about Astrophotography, you need to start by spending £££ on the mount, then £££ on the camera (and filters and filter wheel) and ££ on the telescope.

However getting one of the two scopes on your list will be a sound investment in terms of learning how to handle the equipment, aligning the mount, finding your way around the sky etc.
They probably won't be any part of your future astrophotography set-up , but they will have been valuable tools for learning with.

If you have any local astro societies, go along to one of their observing sessions and see if there are any astrophotographers there, whose brains you can pick.

Good luck,
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.
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Re: New Telescope

Postby Gfamily2 » Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:31 am

Jack101 wrote:I have looked again and there are 2 models that might be better. They are:

Skywatcher Explorer 200PDS HEQ5 Pro Newtonian Telescope. and the

Skywatcher Explorer 250PDS EQ6 Pro Newtonian Telescope.

Based on the same comments as in the first post, what is your opinions of these models?


Looking at the details of those scopes online, it does look likely that those scopes are designed to be usable with a DSLR, and the mounts provided look like they should be good for beginner and intermediate imaging.
One advantage of having GOTO when imaging is that if you've got good alignment, you can slew straight to your target objects with the camera attached, and not having to swap to an eyepiece to locate and centre the target.

The question is then whether they are suitable for the type of astro imaging you want to use, and also whether it's physically suitable for you to use - it's easy to be tempted to buy a telescope that's just too big and 'too much bother' to get set up for a session.

As I said earlier, both of the mounts look as though they'll be suitable - and you'll be able to mount different telescopes onto them in the future.
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.
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Re: New Telescope

Postby david48 » Tue Oct 13, 2015 5:13 pm

Jack101 wrote:I am a TOTAL beginner, I haven't a clue about what is the coolest equipment and have no desire to find out. I suggest you leave your cynicism off this issue.

Jack


It's not really cynicism.

But can anyone really be a "total beginner" at the mature age which you and I both share?

I doubt it. If someone has a true interest in Astronomy, surely it will have shown from the earliest years?

The childhood years. When I went out and looked at the night-sky, and traced out the patterns of the constellations. Using my "Boy's Book of Astronomy" by Patrick Moore. And persuaded my dad to get me a "Charles Frank Junior Astronomical Telescope". This telescope was very inadequate by modern standards. It had a 38mm non-achromatic object-glass. And a single-element eyepiece, with a power of about 25X. Which was enough to show lunar craters, the phases of Venus, Jupiter's satellites, and views of star clusters such as the Pleiades and the Beehive.

But that simple telescope had a magic, which no later instrument has ever exceeded!

And in a way, I think that provides the essential clue to why some people keep coming on here, and asking for advice about a "new" telescope. They're chasing the pot of gold at the rainbow's end.

Searching for the magic, of an irretrievably lost youthful experience.
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Re: New Telescope

Postby dave.b » Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:17 am

Jack101 wrote:Hi,

Thanks for all replies, I think you have saved me from a bad choice for me.

I have looked again and there are 2 models that might be better. They are:

Skywatcher Explorer 200PDS HEQ5 Pro Newtonian Telescope. and the

Skywatcher Explorer 250PDS EQ6 Pro Newtonian Telescope.

Based on the same comments as in the first post, what is your opinions of these models?

I have read the comments on GoTo and I am relaxed about having it even if I don't always use it.

Thanks again

Jack

Back to the OP's question... The EQ6 is a better mount than the HEQ5, but you'll pay more feit it. A 250mm Newtonian is notionally better than a 200mm one, but you'll pay more for it. In both cases the "better" option is also the larger and heavier option. So for us to provide any specific advice you'll need to set out some more specific requirements and constraints. Setting a budget and having an allowance for necessary accessories is always a good start.

Dave B.
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Re: New Telescope

Postby Jack101 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:07 pm

Dave.b

I haven't had an interest in astronomy up until recently, but I am finding my reading quite absorbing now. My situation is perhaps contributing to that. In the last year I have been diagnosed with a tumour on my thymus gland. I have had chemo and intensive radio therapy, surgery to my chest to remove the tumour plus 2 additional weeks in hospital to aid recovery. The tumour is now regrowing and I have to go for a scan to decide nest steps.

I am therefore in the position of the "Transient Contemplating Eternity", this may explain my sudden conversion to your hobby. I want to buy a telescope because I am in a hurry, for obvious reasons.

I want something to keep me totally absorbed and this seems to be working.

Thanks for your reply.

Jack
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Re: New Telescope

Postby Gfamily2 » Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:53 pm

Jack101 wrote:Dave.b

I haven't had an interest in astronomy up until recently, but I am finding my reading quite absorbing now. My situation is perhaps contributing to that. In the last year I have been diagnosed with a tumour on my thymus gland. I have had chemo and intensive radio therapy, surgery to my chest to remove the tumour plus 2 additional weeks in hospital to aid recovery. The tumour is now regrowing and I have to go for a scan to decide nest steps.

I am therefore in the position of the "Transient Contemplating Eternity", this may explain my sudden conversion to your hobby. I want to buy a telescope because I am in a hurry, for obvious reasons.

I want something to keep me totally absorbed and this seems to be working.

Thanks for your reply.

Jack

That sounds rough, all the best for future treatment.

Again, I'd strongly advise you find out if there are any local astronomy societies nearby, so that you can get a feel for how the equipment works in practice, and what's needed for taking good astrophotos.

You may find that visual observing is just as satisfying - as there can be a lot of frustrations with imaging, being so dependent on getting everything right; and if they're not you may find you spend hours on capturing and processing images, but are never really happy with the results.

If you're only just starting out, there is a long and steep learning curve for getting really good images, so if you make that your main aim, it can be frustrating - whereas starting with visual observing is much more forgiving - and combining this with 'basic' imaging can add enjoyment without it being the main driver.

Just my 5p
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.
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Re: New Telescope

Postby david48 » Thu Oct 15, 2015 4:31 pm

If I was on my death-bed, suffering from terminal cancer, I don't know what I'd be thinking about.

But probably - it wouldn't be to consider the merits of varying brands of astronomical telescopes.

So, is this a wind-up?
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Re: New Telescope

Postby Jack101 » Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:04 pm

No, it is not a wind up. I did not say I was on my death bed, I am still hopeful of a recovery. I am looking at it as positively as I can.

Jack
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Re: New Telescope

Postby david48 » Sun Oct 18, 2015 4:26 pm

Why come on a serious Astronomical forum, and start tediously mentioning ill-health problems, like cancerous tumours.
Nobody wants to hear about such things. We've all got our own troubles. What the heck have they got to with Astronomy?

Like I said already, Jack may be trying to wind us up. Even if he isn't, I don't see what we can do for him.

Except, advise him not to take up observation of long-term variable stars.
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Re: New Telescope

Postby Jack101 » Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:51 pm

Dave 48

You said "But can anyone really be a "total beginner" at the mature age which you and I both share?"

I was simply trying to answer your question and then you criticise me. Perhaps I should not have done so, and if I have offended anyone, I apologise. I agree it is not really a subject for such a forum.

Jack

I will keep to the point in future.
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