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first scope purchase

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11 years 7 months ago #95894 by katata
first scope purchase was created by katata
So after a year or so of coveting an 8 inch reflector, the time has come to spend some money. The problem is that I've got 3 flights of stairs to negotiate with whatever scope I buy. Is an 8 inch too much scope for bringing up and down those stairs?

I've seen the skywatcher star travel refractors for similar money in the 100-120mm range, would one of these be a decent first scope? Or am would that be committing myself to spending a large amount on lenses & filters to make up for chromatic aberration, coma and the like? F5 against the F5.9 of the skywatcher 8 inch dob.

Currently using a pair of 10x50s so anything will be an upgrade.

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11 years 7 months ago #95903 by lunartic_old
Replied by lunartic_old on topic Re: first scope purchase
Hey there.

Three flights of stairs :rolleyes: , wow, that would be tiring.

A 120mm f/5 refractor would show plenty of chromatic aberration around the moon, planets and brighter stars, for deep sky objects this would be less of a problem, as you say, there are filters that can help, but not eliminate the problem. Then there is the mount, you are looking at either an EQ or an Alt-Az, I use the Skywatcher AZ4 and it is an excellent mount.

In astronomy aperture is king and a 200mm scope will show so much more than a 120mm scope, the 200mm is also an excellent all round scope showing the solar system and deep sky in great detail. Having used a dob in the past I found the mount was the most awkward part to move, not up three flights of stairs, thankfully, it is a tricky boxy object to transport.

Have you considered the Skywatcher Flextube dob? The tube collapses down to make transportation easier.

In the end the best scope is the one you use most.

Hope this helps.

Paul

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.

Rich Cook

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11 years 7 months ago #95915 by mykc
Replied by mykc on topic Re: first scope purchase
Hi,

Paul's advice is sound. I have a 200mm reflector and I wouldn't fancy carrying it up and down three flights of stairs. Apart from the difficulty of manoeuvering a scope of that size and weight, I'd be worried about banging it against the walls and damaging it, or at the very least ruining the collimation. A 120mm short tube refractor wouldn't give the same views, but would be much more stairs friendly. A relatively inexpensive alt az mount (AZ3 or AZ4) would be portable and would allow you to see what the scope could do. The Startravel scopes have red dot finders, that are easy to use and excellent for star hopping. Of course, those are just my personal opinions, not everyone will agree.

Keep an eye on adverts.ie, donedeal.ie, etc., as well as the dealers (Ktec is an Irish supplier of SkyWatcher products).

Good luck in your search.

Mike

Skywatcher 120 mm ED on a CG5 mount.
Orion UK 300mm Dobsonian

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11 years 7 months ago #95927 by RandomPillars
Replied by RandomPillars on topic Re: first scope purchase
Hi

Paul and Mike know what they are talking about. Go with their advice. Above ALL else, never forget Paul's last bit of info:

"In the end the best scope is the one you use most."

If you get a big aperture scope, it will be great when you get it out to a dark sky. But, carrying it up & down three flights will soon have you reaching for your Binos again.

Good luck with whatever you choice. You will love it.

Sean

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11 years 7 months ago #95932 by stevie
Replied by stevie on topic Re: first scope purchase
If you are considering a 5" refractor, then also consider one of the Skywatcher Maksutov's. The Skymax 127 has a long focal length and is very compact, easy to handle and store, but gives outstanding views, especially of planets and double stars. The Synscan go-to is very accurate.

www.firstlightoptics.com/maksutov/skywat...synscan-az-goto.html

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11 years 7 months ago - 11 years 7 months ago #95934 by katata
Replied by katata on topic Re: first scope purchase
Thanks for the replies. A lot to think about there, the mak is another option. Moving in last month made me rethink the dob ideas, bouncing boxes off the walls on the stairs happens a lot more often than you would want to.

I'm looking at the eq3-2, az3 or az4 from sky-watcher for a mount. Most reviews seem to be complaining about the aluminium legs meaning they can't take much payload but an eq5 with a steel tripod or heavier is probably over-doing it for a 120mm/127mm short-tube and the lower weight would suit me at the moment. My initial inclination would have been towards the eq3 but I think that would be the heaviest and from the reviews I've seen the az4 is both light and very quick to setup. Anyone with experience of more than one of the above?

With the synscan, does it always need a power source or is there a manual setting?
Last edit: 11 years 7 months ago by katata.

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