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    Lizard84's Avatar
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    Default Just another newbie needing advice



    Hi to everyone.

    I've decided to buy a telescope, I want something that requires little or no maintenance, I don't want to deal with collimation at this stage so I have a couple a choices in mind. A Orion ED80T CF of I go refractor or if I go with catadioptrics possibly something from the Celestron line around 8 inches. I'd like to keep my initial investment in the $1500 range or below not counting accessories but I'm flexible on hat line.

    I'm in my mid upper 50's and wear eye glasses so any advice on viewing with that in mind will be very welcome, any advice at all is welcome I should say.

    I'm getting into this for viewing pleasure but that's not to say at some point I wouldn't want to take some photos or video to document my activities.

    Thanks, Bob
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    Default Re: Just another newbie needing advice

    Welcome to the forum.

    AN 8" SCTis an excellent all-purpose scope. If you get it on an equatorial mount, like the AVX, it will be ready for astrophotography. If your photographic ambitions are in the more distant future and you want to avoid polar alignment, an alt-az mount like the 8SE package will work well.

    If you are looking for the most scope for the least money, you should consider a 6" or 8" Dobsonian.
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    Default Re: Just another newbie needing advice

    Bob, you sound like you're exactly where I was six months ago. I'm a little older than you, also wear eyeglasses (for astigmatism), and use my telescope solely for visual use. I had an initial target budget of $2000. At one time I had firmly "decided" on an 8" Celestron SCT, but noticed that even after I'd "decided" I continued longingly looking at ED refractors. I ended up ignoring a lot of conventional wisdom, and some very good advice and bought the 127ED white tube from Explore Scientific, and went "lower end" with my mount, choosing a Bresser Exos2 so I could stay somewhat within budget. I have loved the 127ED. The mount is OK for visual use, and is what I expected it to be.

    I bought Baader Hyperion eyepieces, which advertise 20mm eye relief. They are satisfactory, but I still struggle with eye relief. I wonder if I am getting an actual 20mm eye relief with the Baaders, because my 10x50 binoculars also advertise 20mm eye relief and I can easily see the full field of view through them while wearing my eyeglasses. There are lots of long eye-relief eyepieces now. I'm still new enough at this that I only have experience with the Baaders, but I'm not married to them.

    The one real mistake I made was choosing to save $50 by ordering a straight-through 9x50 finder scope. This was the worst $50 I ever saved, and quickly spent even more money on a 9x50 RACI.

    This is just how I started, there's no single "right" shopping list. There are lots of choices, and I predict you'll be thrilled with whatever you end up choosing. I'll be looking forward to hearing more as you continue researching options and make decisions.
    -Jay

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    Default Re: Just another newbie needing advice

    I second Keith's recommendations. The most common scope in our club is the 8-inch SCT, and with good reason. It's the ideal compromise between size and portability. With many configurations to choose from, you can find one that's just right for you. I have an 8SE, which isn't the best for imaging, but I'm quite satisfied with it for visual use. As to collimation, it's really no big deal. You should collimate an SCT once in a while anyway.

    Regarding glasses: If all you need is dopter correction, you might get away without the spectacles. If you have astigmatism and must wear the glasses, you'll want eyepieces with high eye relief. Someone has compiled a list of over 1000 eyepieces into an Excel sheet that lists the eye relief among other specs. I don't have the URL handy but you should be able to find it with a search engine. And there are supplementary lenses you can get for some brands that will correct mild astigmatism.

    If you can, visit a club to check out some scopes before you buy. Even within the choices of 8-inch SCTs the sizes of the mounts differ substantially and you'll want to be sure everything will fit into your vehicle. Remember that you'll pack a lot more than just the scope: tripod, eyepiece case, power supply, case for other stuff, chair, folding table, warm clothes, food, camping gear perhaps.
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    Default Re: Just another newbie needing advice

    Hello Bob,

    Welcome to the forum. I can't top the advice you've already gotten. I own both an SCT and an APO refractor and I love em both.

    I'm a big fan of the CPC line of scopes from Celestron because I like the extra support of the dual fork mount, not the "one-armed bandit" version see on the SE models.

    Keep us appraised of what you finally purchase as we have A LOT more advice if you need/ask for it.

    Cheers and clear skies,
    JT
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    Default Re: Just another newbie needing advice

    Thanks, I'll keep you posted as this unfolds. Going to pull the trigger soon but I'm still undecided as to which but leaning heavily toward a Celestron 8 inch.

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    Default Re: Just another newbie needing advice

    The Celestron 8" should be a good all around scope as Keith says. They are useful for both visual and AP, and it will take a long time before you can exhaust the capabilities of such a scope. I normally recommend Dobs, but as you don't want to hassle with collimation I think an SCT will be better. Whichever way you go, good luck with the purchase.
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    Default Re: Just another newbie needing advice

    JT is right about the dual fork arm stability, but be sure you see one in person before you buy. They are much larger than the single arm of the 8SE or the Evo. I was going to upgrade from my 8SE to a CPC until I discovered that the CPC, when in it's case, wouldn't fit into the jumpseat of my extended cab pickup. I solved much of the stability problem of the 8SE by putting it on a heavier tripod.

    BTW, a friend of mine bought the Evo and I don't think it's worth the extra price just to get iPad control.
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    Default Re: Just another newbie needing advice

    Don't let collimation 'scare' you its not that hard. That opens the door to low cost wide aperture Dobs.
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    Default Re: Just another newbie needing advice

    Quote Originally Posted by UlteriorModem View Post
    Don't let collimation 'scare' you its not that hard. That opens the door to low cost wide aperture Dobs.
    I understand, but for a first scope I want something that I can use on a limited basis on my deck looking east from my condo or up on our flat roof. The Dobs are very attractive and knowing myself I'll probably spring for one of those later. When acquiring new toys I always find it better to ask for forgiveness instead of permission .

    For now I want to start out with something capable but smaller than a Dobs.

 

 
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