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  1. #1
    DigitalNinja's Avatar
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    Default It really makes you feel good...

    I didn't know where to put this, but I got this e-mail as a reply to my review I think from cloudynights. Just wanted to share this with everyone so you can see how good the community is for astronomy.

    Email from sender:

    Hi Matthew,

    I am writing to you about your recent review of the Celestron Nexstar 8SE. I recently agonized over which telescope to buy my husband as a surprise for his birthday. I won't be giving it to him until his birthday mid-January, but I wanted to make sure that I got the one I wanted particularly with purchases up around holiday time. I'm no slouch to physics, however, my husband is the one who knows astronomy---not me. Last year I bought him a very cheap Meade scope at Costco (yes, Costco) was sort of an after thought. It turns out that he really is enjoying the scope, despite that fact that you can hardly see anything (it's so cheap). So this year I wanted to do it right and get him something that he can actually see things with and will enjoy and grow with for many years. I wanted something also that would be portable as we do travel up to cottage country occasionally during the summer. I originally looked at the Celestron Nexstar 8SE in November and they assured me that it would be no problem for me to get it if I came in around the holiday time or even early January, even if they weren't in stock. I had pretty much decided on this scope. So I went in last week to buy one and Murphy's Law, they were sold out and they were on backorder until at least the end of January (maybe longer). They tried to then sell me the Meade ETX-LS 6". It looked like a pretty cool scope with auto-aligning and video monitor capability. The auto-aligning I thought would be helpful because we live in the city and there are houses and trees that may inhibit aligning otherwise. I also thoughs the video monitor would be neat as my husband always attracts a crowd of people who want to see what he's seeing (not to mention that our daughter, when she grows up, might like it). Somehow, I had my heart set on an 8" scope though. I understand they are coming out with an 8" model maybe next year. I hope that I haven't made a mistake by not buying this scope even though it's a 6". The reviews I read say that this technology is still experiencing growing pains. What do you think? So, then they tried to sell me the Celestron CGEM 8" (with the equatorial mount) and assured me it was still portable. I think it's 88lbs---how portable is that??? I liked the idea of a more stable mount particularly since I am interested in taking photos with my DSLR, but couldn't wrap my head around putting this monstor scope in the back of our car (with two Labradors, our baby and all of her paraphenalia) when we go to the cottage!! I kept coming back to the Celestron Nexstar 8SE. I knew that it wasn't the end of the world if I couldn't get the scope for the actual day of my husbands birthday, but I really wanted to surprise him on that day. I managed to find what I think may have been the last Nexstar 8SE (new in box) in the city (at a good price too) and after several agonizing hours decided on impulse to purchase it. I'm a little worried because a) I don't know if I bought the right scope (even though he has 7 days after I give it to him to exchange it for another one) and b) I think I bought it from a scope store that is notorious for lousy post-sales service or help. I unfortunately read reviews about this store after I bought the scope. I picked up the scope yesterday along with a powertank, just so that they wouldn't try and sell it or risk it getting damaged. So, your thoughts, advice, support would be greatly appreciated!! Also, I have a Sony DSLR camera. Do you have any advice for getting started taking photos? Can you recommend any other accessories I should get to get him started? What about eyepieces and/or filters? Should I buy him anything additional to what comes with the scope?

    I was very re-assured after reading your review that I probably did by the right scope??!!


    PS. I like your viewing buddy...we have two Labradors.

    My response:

    First of all, aligning the 8se even in heavily light polluted skies wont be an issue as long as you can see 3 birght objects in the sky.
    The Meade LS series scopes are plagued with problems, as the software isn't as good as you would like it to be. The monitor for it is gimmicky as it only shows basically what is a hubble picture that you can get online not worth it at all.
    The CGEM is an awesome mount, might be a little much for a beginner though.
    You will need one if you want to do any serious astrophotography, but the 8se will be bale to take about max 30 second exposures.
    Also, you can buy the CGEM separately later on if you really decide that you want to get into the photography aspect. So then you will have a portable mount as well as an astrophotopgraphy mount.
    The 8se scope will serve him great, it will be an excellent step up from the crappy meade.
    I wouldn't worry about service from the store, because after those 7 days you will never have to go back again. the powertank was a great idea a much needed asset.
    Anything else about the scope you will be better online, and if something is wrong celestron are the people who will help.
    Do you know if he has a 2x barlow with the scope he has now? If not it will be a good idea to get him that because with the 25mm eyepiece it will give him a 25mm or 80x zoom, and barlowed so 2x will be 12.5mm or 160x zoom, great to start off with.
    Next thing I would suggest is a Variable polarizing filter for looking at the moon and bright planets, very much needed.
    If you don't live in desert or a very dry region, at least buy him a Dewcap they are called, they will keep the condensation off the scope for a little while at least, once you get more money you will want to buy a dew heater system, I recommend the Kendrick system, it is very nice.
    I just bought a sony DSLR camera so I haven't had a chance to do any photography with it. But what I did buy is a Orion steadypix deluxe camera mount and hooked up a point and shoot camera to it, I'd recommend this to start off in astrophotography, because it's so easy and very inexpensive.
    Later on, I'd get a celestron 6.3 focal reducer to get a wider field of view on those big Deep space objects.
    A baader Hyperion zoom eyepice
    And maybe a 31 or 35mm eyepiece, the baader ones are great.
    You did buy the right scope.

    Thanks for your questions


    I thought it was great, really made me want to support this more by doing more reviews.

  2. #2
    dmbryan's Avatar
    dmbryan is online now Super Moderator
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    Good work man.
    name: Derek

    Various scopes and such.

  3. #3
    sxinias's Avatar
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    Good show Mathew

  4. #4
    Bob327's Avatar
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    Matthew Thanks....

    Kind of worried me that the dealer had none in stock...but at this time of year even a very popular scpe could be out of stock BYUT the attempt to sell the lady an smaller LS scope or the CGem mounted scope indicates to me at least that they just want her money and have no concern why she even wants a telescope..

    Ya did good....

    Bob G
    CPC1100 housed in a slotted domed observatory (Exploradome) 4 and 5 inch refractors for use from the lawn, a 8" Sct (NS 8i) for star parties...
    I Hate the winter so I use heated Motorcycle clothing to stay warm while observing in winter
    Retired, also have 2 other hobbies
    1. tinker with older Corvettes (6 in garage)
    2. make a heck of a lot of sawdust in my wood shop.



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