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Thread: Need feedback or thoughts on Skywatcher scope BKP 150 DS + EQ3 w/steel tripod

  1. #1
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    Default Need feedback or thoughts on Skywatcher scope BKP 150 DS + EQ3 w/steel tripod



    To begin: I DO have a reasonable and rational level of expectation when it comes to what is possible or what are the limitations of equipment. So keep that in mind as you read. No need to reply assuming I have unreasonable expectations. Cool?

    Rather than try to describe the scope I've never actually used yet, I will direct you to the link below that is the product page. Keeping in mind that any company that's half decent can spin products and use marketing terms to make a POS seem like Top of the Line.

    http://ca.skywatcher.com/product/pro...steel-tripod/#

    Considering this scope, but wanted as many opinions as possible. Even if you have zero experience with the scope itself, any input is appreciated. Whether it be about any of the specs, the brand etc...

    Won't know until I see it in person, but at first glance, the tripod seems fairly sturdy. I am still in the first years of learning astrophotography, but don't have the disposable income that I would need to get serious stuff at this point. I've managed to pull off better than expected results in my first few months and first attempts at the hobby. I say this because the gear I was using would not be really considered suitable for any photography (a Ds-2090 that couldn't align due to gear issues and with a sensitive tripod. And a meade ETX astro telescope (original ETX without goto) that had manual tracking, but a missing center tray in the tripod...ie: the 3 legs weren't anchored evenly. I sound like the ghetto oliver twist of the astrophotography world Despite the gear that wouldn't be considered for imaging by most, even if it was in great condition....I was stubborn to the point where I did have some success.

    So, in looking at this skywatcher, I notice many features that seem geared towards astrophotography. I doubt it would be considered adequate for the experienced Astro imagers, but I'm wondering if it's worth checking out. If I'm reading correctly, your fully manual control unless you purchase and attach a tracking motor (which costs who knows how much). And even then, your just getting the most primal tracking possible. Unless I'm mistaken, just matches the feature I have on my super old ETX.

    Yes, I know you can get some decent results using that. But anything other than perfection on alignment is going to blur the shot (I am interested in all targets, but especially DSO's for imaging like galaxies, nebulas etc.... So longer exposures are needed). I could be wrong about the above based on lack of experience. So if a setup as seen in that link with a tracking motor would be the best I could hope for short of a $1000+++ computerized German EQ mount with guiding scope...Please let me know.

    Sizing....My scopes I've been using only hit 114mm. I do know that a jump to 150mm would be noticeable. My question is, is it that big of a jump that it's worth it? Is the gain in light gathering power or possible impact on imaging good enough to drop ~$500++? Or do I need a bigger step up to make it worth it?

    Lastly, I know this isn't accurate as a blanket statement, but I was under the impression that most newtonians are NOT ideal for imaging based on design drawbacks and issues.

    Thanks for putting up with my overly long post and throwing in your two cents

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    Default Re: Need feedback or thoughts on Skywatcher scope BKP 150 DS + EQ3 w/steel tripod

    For those of you who don't want to visit external links or just want the facts, here are the specs for the skywatcher:

    Optical Design Parabolic Newtonian Reflector
    Diameter 150 mm
    Focal Length 750 mm
    F/Ratio F/5
    Highest Practical Power 300x
    Faintest Steller Magnitude 13
    Finder Scope 6x30*
    Focuser Diameter 2" dual speed cryford
    Eye Piece 2"-28 mm
    Tube Weight 6 kg
    Tube Dimensions 182mmx690mm
    Shipping Weight 10+15 Kg
    Shipping Dimensions 80x39x34 cm3; 89x45x27 cm3
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    Default Re: Need feedback or thoughts on Skywatcher scope BKP 150 DS + EQ3 w/steel tripod

    The Sky-watcher scope and mount you mention make for a good entry level to astrophotography, though I would suggest the synscan version of the mount be purchased initially as this will work out lower cost overall as you would need to add tracking capabilities for DSO imaging anyway.

    Later on a guide scope and camera can be added for improved imaging.

    If you already have a scope (OTA) you could start off by purchasing only the EQ3 Synscan, adding a better scope at a later date.
    650/130 reflector, SkyWatcher 150PL, CG5, EQ2. DIY 1.25"
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    Default Re: Need feedback or thoughts on Skywatcher scope BKP 150 DS + EQ3 w/steel tripod

    My question is, why not just put that money toward a good AP mount and use the scope you have used for AP with better results?

    If the cost is the issue, then why not get the mount (same as CG4) with tracking motor (which you will NEED) for less money and again use the scope you have?

    This scope will be more demanding for AP than the mount can support even once you get the tracking motors. Can you stubbornly work, work, work with it and get results? YES. But you can get better results with much less effort with a different set up. This mount and tracking motor can give decent results with a small short refractor, but putting this scope on it drastically increases the difficulty.

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    Default Re: Need feedback or thoughts on Skywatcher scope BKP 150 DS + EQ3 w/steel tripod

    Quote Originally Posted by Ozman13 View Post
    My question is, why not just put that money toward a good AP mount and use the scope you have used for AP with better results?

    If the cost is the issue, then why not get the mount (same as CG4) with tracking motor (which you will NEED) for less money and again use the scope you have?

    This scope will be more demanding for AP than the mount can support even once you get the tracking motors. Can you stubbornly work, work, work with it and get results? YES. But you can get better results with much less effort with a different set up. This mount and tracking motor can give decent results with a small short refractor, but putting this scope on it drastically increases the difficulty.
    Thanks for the perfect feedback. Exactly the type of Information I was seeking. Based on the size difference, would that amount of gain make a big difference in possible result?

    00

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    Default Re: Need feedback or thoughts on Skywatcher scope BKP 150 DS + EQ3 w/steel tripod

    Quote Originally Posted by Ozman13 View Post
    My question is, why not just put that money toward a good AP mount and use the scope you have used for AP with better results?

    If the cost is the issue, then why not get the mount (same as CG4) with tracking motor (which you will NEED) for less money and again use the scope you have?

    This scope will be more demanding for AP than the mount can support even once you get the tracking motors. Can you stubbornly work, work, work with it and get results? YES. But you can get better results with much less effort with a different set up. This mount and tracking motor can give decent results with a small short refractor, but putting this scope on it drastically increases the difficulty.
    And also, the scopes I described that I have... Apart from the problems I mentioned, would those be good enough to use for AP? Worth the time?

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    Default Re: Need feedback or thoughts on Skywatcher scope BKP 150 DS + EQ3 w/steel tripod

    Quote Originally Posted by Starlord101 View Post
    Thanks for the perfect feedback. Exactly the type of Information I was seeking. Based on the size difference, would that amount of gain make a big difference in possible result?

    00
    It's not really the aperture that makes the big difference, it's the speed (f/#) of the scope. A small aperture fast scope will be better than a large aperture slow scope. Also the longer the focal length of the scope, the more challenging it is to image with, especially on the mount.

    Yes, the scopes you already have would be worth using on a new mount and good results can be achieved using the mount you are considering with a tracking motor. Yes, a better mount would yield better results, but this mount IS capable when matched with a small scope. You will probably have better results using the 114mm reflector than the 90mm Mak (except on planets) but that is not because of the larger aperture, it is because the 114mm is faster and has a shorter focal length (you want longer focal length for planets).

    The path I would take is to get the better mount (AVX) if possible, but would not hesitate to get this mount and tracking motor if the other is just not going to happen ($$$s). I would skip on this scope and use the two you already have as well as mounting my DSLR only (no scope) to my new mount. A DSLR only will give you excellent wide field results on either mounts we are talking about and you can get some fairly long focal length lenses for it. While I was working with this set up, I would start to save for a short 80mm APO triplet, which will give you excellent results on either mount.
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