Another seeking recommendations for a first telescope question

We all started somewhere! Ask your questions here. We are a friendly bunch!
starguru
Earth Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:31 pm
Location: Northern Virginia

#21

Post by starguru »

Lady Fraktor wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:45 pm
The Celestron programming is one of the more intuitive of the various ones available from China.
Menus are easy to navigate and straight forward.
The Meade is quite good as well but the menu is not as streamlined and doing resets can be a hassle.
JayTee wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:37 pm
How do the Celestron SCTs compare with the Meade? I've seen a bunch of favorable reviews of the Celestron, but where they go south is talking about the mounts and the GOTO. Which of course would not matter if I did everything a la carte. I am still interested in the Meade telescope I referenced in my first post. Their alignment procedure seems very streamlined.
Firstly, Meade is going out of business so that pretty much seals that deal. Both manufacturers (Celestron and Meade) have alignment procedures that are easy to accomplish, (I own mounts from both of them). It is sad about Meade but at this time, I would steer clear if it is a new telescope you are interested in.

Cheers,
JT
Do you guys have any recommendations for SCTs? I listed a Celestron in the original post but posted my concerns, which primarily around the quality and longevity of the mount and gear system.

Is it better to go a la carte and buy the OTA and mount separately?
User avatar
Lady Fraktor
Co-Administrator
Articles: 0
Posts: 3674
Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:14 pm
Location: Slovakia

#22

Post by Lady Fraktor »

If you just want to do visual, (which I would recommend if this is your first telescope) get the SE package.
If you are wanting a AP set up then a SCT OTA and mount of your choice would probably be better.

*Before buying one I would recommend you look for a star party in your area and view through the various styles*

To me, again a personal opinion, they are a general use telescope. They can do a bit of everything but do nothing very well.
If you want deep sky capability a Newtonian will work better and a refractor will put up better contrast for planetary details.
The SCT is good just not great though some people really like them. Personal opinions :)
🇸🇰
Proper Telescopes: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNGDX 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen ED115s f/7.7
Mounts: Celestron AS-GT, Celestron CG-5 w/ Argo Navis & tracking motor, SLT w/ pier & tripod mods, Manfrotto 028b w/ SV M2C, Mantrotto 055Pro w/ 128RC, TAL MT1C, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 & half pier
Diagonal: 2" A-P Maxbright, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (P), 2" Zeiss/ Baader Amici Prism (DX2), 2" Orion Amici Prism, 2" Stellarvue DX, 2" TeleVue EverBrite
Eyepieces: Antares to Zeiss
User avatar
JayTee
Co-Administrator
Articles: 0
Posts: 2535
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:23 am
Location: Honolulu, HI
Contact:

TSS Awards Badges

TSS Photo of the Day

#23

Post by JayTee »

Based on your original post and the desires/concerns you have, I think the Celestron 8SE would work well for you because (to paraphrase Lady Fractor) SCTs are the "Jack of all trades and master of none." But, it is a tried and true design with thousands of instruments out there. If you are still concerned about the "one-armed bandit" mount then consider the CPC line. It has a very, very beefy alt-az mount but is significantly more expensive check this out: https://www.amazon.com/Celestron-Comput ... 4157&psc=1

If this is more than you want to spend and think the OTA on a Twilight I mount is the way to go, then remember you'll be paying only around $50 less for A LOT less capability. The 8SE will last for years and will be your most used scope because of aperture and ease of set up.

Hope this helps,
JT
∞ Scopes: Celestron CPC1100 #2 Scope: 8" f/7.5 Dob AP Scopes: TPO 6" f/9 RC, ES 80mm f/6 APO G&G Scopes: Meade 102mm f/7.8, Bresser 102mm f/4.5 Guide Scopes: 70 & 80mm fracs
∞ Mounts: iOptron CEM60, Celestron AVX, SLT & GT (Alt-Az), Meade DS2000
∞ Cameras: Canon T3i (x2), ZWO ASI294MC Pro & 120MC, Orion SSAG
∞ Binos: 10X50,10.5X70,15X70², 25X100
∞ EPs: ES: 21 100°, 30 82° X-Cels: 9, 12, 18, 25 GSO:15,20
Home Wx (click)

I never met a scope I didn't want to keep. "My God, it's full of stars." Searching the skies since 1966!
starguru
Earth Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:31 pm
Location: Northern Virginia

#24

Post by starguru »

Lady Fraktor wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 12:38 am
If you just want to do visual, (which I would recommend if this is your first telescope) get the SE package.
If you are wanting a AP set up then a SCT OTA and mount of your choice would probably be better.

*Before buying one I would recommend you look for a star party in your area and view through the various styles*

To me, again a personal opinion, they are a general use telescope. They can do a bit of everything but do nothing very well.
If you want deep sky capability a Newtonian will work better and a refractor will put up better contrast for planetary details.
The SCT is good just not great though some people really like them. Personal opinions :)
Awesome advice, thanks. Are there any resources for finding star parties? I did a google search and the best I could come up with events at the GMU observatory, but there aren't any planned until march so far as I can see.
User avatar
Lady Fraktor
Co-Administrator
Articles: 0
Posts: 3674
Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:14 pm
Location: Slovakia

#25

Post by Lady Fraktor »

Here is a small listing: https://www.astroleague.org/societies/VA

This is a copy of my browser page if you want to look through the listings: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=Astronomical+ ... ave&ia=web
🇸🇰
Proper Telescopes: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNGDX 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen ED115s f/7.7
Mounts: Celestron AS-GT, Celestron CG-5 w/ Argo Navis & tracking motor, SLT w/ pier & tripod mods, Manfrotto 028b w/ SV M2C, Mantrotto 055Pro w/ 128RC, TAL MT1C, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 & half pier
Diagonal: 2" A-P Maxbright, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (P), 2" Zeiss/ Baader Amici Prism (DX2), 2" Orion Amici Prism, 2" Stellarvue DX, 2" TeleVue EverBrite
Eyepieces: Antares to Zeiss
Larry 1969
Pluto Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 453
Joined: Fri May 17, 2019 12:33 am
Location: Pittsburgh PA USA

TSS Photo of the Day

#26

Post by Larry 1969 »

JayTee wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:29 pm
mikemarotta wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:58 pm
You need to adjust the alignments of the optics. Typically, it takes $300 of laser and four to six hours.
@mikemarotta
Mike,

This information is both biased and flat out wrong!!! I can collimate my 8" Newtonian reflector with a film can with a hole poked in the bottom in less than 5 minutes. Oh wait, that's both free and quick. It is important with newbies seeking advice to inject as little bias a possible.

JT
I was going to comment but decided not to. Glad someone did though.

Larry
For visual:
10" Skywatcher collapsible goto dob, various EP's and a Celestron StarSense auto align.

For imaging:
Orion 8" astrograph 800mm @ F3.9
Eq6-R Pro controlled by APT via EQmod with a refurbished Windows 10 laptop.
Explore Scientific HR coma corrector
Full spectrum modded Canon T3i (APS-C size sensor)
starguru
Earth Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:31 pm
Location: Northern Virginia

#27

Post by starguru »

Lady Fraktor wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 1:05 am
Here is a small listing: https://www.astroleague.org/societies/VA

This is a copy of my browser page if you want to look through the listings: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=Astronomical+ ... ave&ia=web
Ah ok. I misread and my local club has a meeting next Sunday. Unfortunately I’ll be on a plane then, so will need to wait a month. :(
starguru
Earth Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:31 pm
Location: Northern Virginia

#28

Post by starguru »

JayTee wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 12:47 am
Based on your original post and the desires/concerns you have, I think the Celestron 8SE would work well for you because (to paraphrase Lady Fractor) SCTs are the "Jack of all trades and master of none." But, it is a tried and true design with thousands of instruments out there. If you are still concerned about the "one-armed bandit" mount then consider the CPC line. It has a very, very beefy alt-az mount but is significantly more expensive check this out: https://www.amazon.com/Celestron-Comput ... 4157&psc=1

If this is more than you want to spend and think the OTA on a Twilight I mount is the way to go, then remember you'll be paying only around $50 less for A LOT less capability. The 8SE will last for years and will be your most used scope because of aperture and ease of set up.

Hope this helps,
JT
Can you help me understand this “master of none” description? What telescopes would be perfect for what tasks? For amateur astronomers, I’m aware of planet viewing, DSO viewing, and maybe sun viewing if that’s different. As well as photography...what would be ideal for each of those tasks?
User avatar
JayTee
Co-Administrator
Articles: 0
Posts: 2535
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:23 am
Location: Honolulu, HI
Contact:

TSS Awards Badges

TSS Photo of the Day

#29

Post by JayTee »

Here, have a read of this relatively short post.
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2696&p=22780&hilit= ... ubs#p22780

Cheers,
JT
∞ Scopes: Celestron CPC1100 #2 Scope: 8" f/7.5 Dob AP Scopes: TPO 6" f/9 RC, ES 80mm f/6 APO G&G Scopes: Meade 102mm f/7.8, Bresser 102mm f/4.5 Guide Scopes: 70 & 80mm fracs
∞ Mounts: iOptron CEM60, Celestron AVX, SLT & GT (Alt-Az), Meade DS2000
∞ Cameras: Canon T3i (x2), ZWO ASI294MC Pro & 120MC, Orion SSAG
∞ Binos: 10X50,10.5X70,15X70², 25X100
∞ EPs: ES: 21 100°, 30 82° X-Cels: 9, 12, 18, 25 GSO:15,20
Home Wx (click)

I never met a scope I didn't want to keep. "My God, it's full of stars." Searching the skies since 1966!
User avatar
Sky Tinker
Mars Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 193
Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2019 4:16 am
Location: Mid-South, U.S.

#30

Post by Sky Tinker »

Aperture-wise, let's look at the sweet-spots...

Refractor(1608): 4"
Newtonian(1668): 8"
Schmidt-Cassegrain(1964): 8"
Maksutov-Cassegrain(1941): 5"

Those are the four types of telescopes most commonly encountered in the marketplace.

How about a classical-Cassegrain(1672)...

6"... https://agenaastro.com/gso-6in-f12-clas ... black.html
8"... https://agenaastro.com/gso-8in-f12-clas ... black.html

An open-ended tube, with no dew forming on a corrector-plate. Just pick the type of supportive mount you'd like best, manual or go-to. Go ahead, and think outside the box.
"Look, son! Up there!" His son shouted back, "I see it! What is it?" The father regaled, "The galaxy! Andromeda! Our origin, our destiny!" And so the boy was hooked, and for the rest of his natural life.

Alan

Apochromat: Takahashi FS-102 f/8 - Achromats: Meade "Polaris" 90mm f/10(flocked & blackened), Antares(GSO) 805 80mm f/6(flocked & blackened), Celestron(Synta) "AstroMaster" 70mm f/13(flocked & blackened), Sears(Towa) #4-6340 50mm f/12(flocked & blackened) - Newtonians: Orion(Synta) 6" f/5(flocked & blackened), Meade "Polaris" 114mm f/8, Zhumell(GSO) Z100 100mm f/4 - Catadioptrics: Explore Scientific(JOC) 127mm f/15 Maksutov-Cassegrain, Celestron "PowerSeeker" 127mm f/8 "Bird Jones" reflector(modified, flocked, blackened...& collimated!)...and mounts, eyepieces, barlows and diagonals.
starguru
Earth Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:31 pm
Location: Northern Virginia

#31

Post by starguru »

JayTee wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 2:57 am
Here, have a read of this relatively short post.
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2696&p=22780&hilit= ... ubs#p22780

Cheers,
JT
Heh I like the analogy. For the record one day I was playing so poorly I played the last 5 holes with a 5 iron and did relatively well.

But it didn’t answer the question of which scopes are optimal for what tasks. If I missed it I apologize.
User avatar
Refractordude
Orion Spur Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 686
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 1:05 am
Location: United States

#32

Post by Refractordude »

starguru wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:04 pm
Refractordude wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:27 pm
Buy cheap and used to start. A used scope can be resold for what you paid for it. Be sure to test it out with a friend that has some hobby experience. My favorite beginner scope is the Meade 102mm infinity refractor. Right click both images.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Meade-Instru ... e/41147082
Refractordude how would something like the Orion Nebula look in a scope that size? I’m having trouble finding images online.
How bright and detailed what you observe will depend on light pollution/dark skies. Under bortle 4 skies Orion will look great with a 102mm aperture scope. I live under bortle 9 or worst skies. At home I just observe the moon, planets, and some bright stars. Once a month I drive to a darksite with my 120mm f8 refractor, and 20x80 binoculars. Right click your location on the light pollution map, and right click the image below.

https://www.lightpollutionmap.info/#zoo ... FTFFFFFFFF
Attachments
image 1.PNG
Telescopes: Meade LX70 120mm f/8 Refractor, Vixen 70mm f/12.9 Refractor, Tasco 49N 50mm Red Refractor
Binoculars: Zhumell 20x80 Giant, Levenhuk Sherman 7x50
Mounts: Orion SkyView Pro Equatorial, Orion Versago II Altazimuth, Farpoint Universal Parrallogram Mount
Finders: GSO 8x50 Raci, Svbony Red Dot
Diagonals: GSO Dielectric 2", GSO Dielectric 1.25"
Eyepieces: GSO Plossls 32mm/25mm/20mm, GSO 20mm Superview, Svbony 20mm/15mm/9mm/6mm, Svbony Aspheric 23mm/10mm/4mm, Agena Super Wide Angle 15mm, Few No Name Brand Ebay Plossls
User avatar
helicon
Co-Administrator
Articles: 1
Posts: 4033
Joined: Mon May 06, 2019 1:35 pm
Location: California

TSS Awards Badges

#33

Post by helicon »

Refractordude wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:07 pm
starguru wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:04 pm
Refractordude wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:27 pm
Buy cheap and used to start. A used scope can be resold for what you paid for it. Be sure to test it out with a friend that has some hobby experience. My favorite beginner scope is the Meade 102mm infinity refractor. Right click both images.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Meade-Instru ... e/41147082
Refractordude how would something like the Orion Nebula look in a scope that size? I’m having trouble finding images online.
How bright and detailed what you observe will depend on light pollution/dark skies. Under bortle 4 skies Orion will look great with a 102mm aperture scope. I live under bortle 9 or worst skies. At home I just observe the moon, planets, and some bright stars. Once a month I drive to a darksite with my 120mm f8 refractor, and 20x80 binoculars. Right click your location on the light pollution map, and right click the image below.

https://www.lightpollutionmap.info/#zoo ... FTFFFFFFFF
Great light pollution map. Pinpointed my location (Grizzly Peak) and see that is between orange and red, 6-7, white zone only 3 miles to the west.
-Michael
Various scopes, 10" Zhumell Dob, ES AR152, AWB 5.1" Onesky newt, Oberwerk 25x100 binos, two eyeballs
User avatar
AbbN
Mars Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 167
Joined: Fri May 10, 2019 1:38 pm
Location: Windsor Ontario Canada

#34

Post by AbbN »

I too in agreement with an 8" Dob as a first scope. However I actually started out with a 5" Celestron XLT 120 first although I did consider the XLT 102 that Lady Fractor mentioned. Later I went with the 8" Dob for my 2nd scope. After that the AR102 and ST80 came as I love/prefer refractors.

Considering your budget of "$1-2k", good lenses once you get comfortable with whatever you go with shouldn't be a problem :)

Abb
TELESCOPES: Celestron Omni XLT 120, Explore Scientific AR102, Orion ST80 Refractors; 8" Skywatcher Dob; Orion Apex 102 Mak; Coronado PST. LENSES: ES 4.7, 6.7, 11, 18 and 30mm 82° EPs; Baader 24mm 68°; Luminos 15mm 82°; Meade 8-24mm Zoom. OTHER: CG4+16" Orion Pier Extension; Celestron Skymaster 20x80 binos etc;
starguru
Earth Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:31 pm
Location: Northern Virginia

#35

Post by starguru »

Would an explore scientific 152mm with EQ mount and sorted peripherals for $1100 used be a good deal?
User avatar
Lady Fraktor
Co-Administrator
Articles: 0
Posts: 3674
Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:14 pm
Location: Slovakia

#36

Post by Lady Fraktor »

What mount is it? We would need more information to advise accurately.
🇸🇰
Proper Telescopes: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNGDX 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen ED115s f/7.7
Mounts: Celestron AS-GT, Celestron CG-5 w/ Argo Navis & tracking motor, SLT w/ pier & tripod mods, Manfrotto 028b w/ SV M2C, Mantrotto 055Pro w/ 128RC, TAL MT1C, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 & half pier
Diagonal: 2" A-P Maxbright, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (P), 2" Zeiss/ Baader Amici Prism (DX2), 2" Orion Amici Prism, 2" Stellarvue DX, 2" TeleVue EverBrite
Eyepieces: Antares to Zeiss
User avatar
Bigzmey
Local Group Ambassador
Articles: 5
Posts: 2202
Joined: Sat May 11, 2019 7:55 pm
Location: San Diego, CA USA

TSS Awards Badges

#37

Post by Bigzmey »

starguru wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:41 pm
Would an explore scientific 152mm with EQ mount and sorted peripherals for $1100 used be a good deal?
I have 150mm refractor and 8" SCT. Both are great scopes, but if I would be limited to just one scope, that would be 8" SCT.
Scopes: Stellarvue: SV102 ED F7; Celestron: 9.25" EdgeHD F10, 8" SCT F10, 6" SCT F10, Omni XLT 150R Achro F5, Onyx 80ED F6.3; Meade: 80ST Achro F5.
Mounts: ES: Twilight I; Bresser: EXOS2; SW: SkyTee2, AzGTi; UA: MicroStar.
Binos: Orion: Little Giant II 15x70, WorldView 10x50, Nikon: Action EX 16x50 & 8x40.
EPs: Pentax: XWs & XFs; TeleVue: Delites, Panoptic & Plossls; ES: 68s; Vixen: SLVs; Baader: BCOs, Aspherics, Mark IV; Russell Optics: SuperPlossls.
Diagonals: Baader: BBHS silver mirror, Zeiss Spec T2 prism, Clicklock dielectric; TeleVue: Evebrite dielectric.
Filters: Lumicon: DeepSky, UHC, OIII, H-beta; Baader: Moon & SkyGlow, Contrast Booster, UHC-S; Astronomik: UHC, Orion: UltraBlock, SkyGlow.
Observing: DSOs: 1763 (Completed: M110, H1, H2. In progress: H3: 259, H2,500: 1336, S110: 77). Doubles: 1304, Comets: 15, Asteroids: 75
starguru
Earth Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:31 pm
Location: Northern Virginia

#38

Post by starguru »

Lady Fraktor wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:19 pm
What mount is it? We would need more information to advise accurately.
Lady Fraktor thanks for your continued patience with these questions. How is that brand and that scope in particular? If I were to buy new what mount and accessories would I want?
User avatar
Lady Fraktor
Co-Administrator
Articles: 0
Posts: 3674
Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:14 pm
Location: Slovakia

#39

Post by Lady Fraktor »

The refractor is a good wide field one and will provide some great views.
I would recommend an EQ-5 sized mount for it as they are a fairly heavy telescope.

I have not used the ES EXOS-2 mount so cannot say how it would work compared to a Skywatcher EQ-5 or HEQ-5 or the Celestron AVX mounts.
There are a few people that have them so hopefully they will give their impressions of it.
🇸🇰
Proper Telescopes: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNGDX 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen ED115s f/7.7
Mounts: Celestron AS-GT, Celestron CG-5 w/ Argo Navis & tracking motor, SLT w/ pier & tripod mods, Manfrotto 028b w/ SV M2C, Mantrotto 055Pro w/ 128RC, TAL MT1C, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 & half pier
Diagonal: 2" A-P Maxbright, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (P), 2" Zeiss/ Baader Amici Prism (DX2), 2" Orion Amici Prism, 2" Stellarvue DX, 2" TeleVue EverBrite
Eyepieces: Antares to Zeiss
User avatar
Sky Tinker
Mars Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 193
Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2019 4:16 am
Location: Mid-South, U.S.

#40

Post by Sky Tinker »

starguru wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:41 pm
Would an explore scientific 152mm with EQ mount and sorted peripherals for $1100 used be a good deal?
That 152mm f/6.5 achromat would exhibit quite a bit of false-colour when viewing brighter objects, like the planets, and the brighter single and double stars. It's an ideal for the dimmer deep-sky objects however.
"Look, son! Up there!" His son shouted back, "I see it! What is it?" The father regaled, "The galaxy! Andromeda! Our origin, our destiny!" And so the boy was hooked, and for the rest of his natural life.

Alan

Apochromat: Takahashi FS-102 f/8 - Achromats: Meade "Polaris" 90mm f/10(flocked & blackened), Antares(GSO) 805 80mm f/6(flocked & blackened), Celestron(Synta) "AstroMaster" 70mm f/13(flocked & blackened), Sears(Towa) #4-6340 50mm f/12(flocked & blackened) - Newtonians: Orion(Synta) 6" f/5(flocked & blackened), Meade "Polaris" 114mm f/8, Zhumell(GSO) Z100 100mm f/4 - Catadioptrics: Explore Scientific(JOC) 127mm f/15 Maksutov-Cassegrain, Celestron "PowerSeeker" 127mm f/8 "Bird Jones" reflector(modified, flocked, blackened...& collimated!)...and mounts, eyepieces, barlows and diagonals.
Post Reply

Return to “Beginners forum”