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    Default Looking for light weight (6 or 8inch) telescope...



    Hi,

    I had a 60mm refractor for more than 20years.
    Now, afters years away from astronomy, I am excited about buying a 8inch telescope, to allow much better deep sky observation (as well as better planetary details).

    My criteria is this:
    - aperture. Ideally 8" (6" is the absolute min). Also could be 10". My goal is deep sky observation. I want to see NGC galaxies and nebula, and the moons of Saturn and even from Neptune. (With my old 60mm refractor, objects like the ring nebula, M51 or M1 were always too faint)

    budget ideally under £1000. So I considered something like a XT8 or 10 Dobsodian as a good choice. Cassengrain telescopes would too expensive. Or do you know of a good one that fits my wishes?

    - portability and convenience are my most important criteria. I have back problems, and need to carry telescope 30 meters (1min walk) to the backyard (luckily only 3steps in front of the door) or a 5min forest walk to a better darker spot (or perhaps an occasional 45min drive).

    Ideally under 20kg or whatever easy to carry. Could I carry the mount in a wheelbarrow and the tube in a backpack? How much do the XT8 and 10 weight?

    I want ease of transportation and comfort, otherwise I may not use it as often as I should!
    How long does collimation takes with the XT10? Is the 10" much heavier?

    - 2 years from now I might move from Scotland back to mainland Europe, in the Alps. Could I ship it in the same box it came?

    - as budget is not too important I may consider a push to (allowing much more objects per session) or even a go to system (what if I began thinking of starting with astrophotography)

    -will probably buy a 2" wide angle eyepiece in any case.

    Feedback much appreciated!!

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    Default Re: Looking for light weight (6 or 8inch) telescope...

    I will rewrite my criteria, as I can't edit the original post:

    My criteria is this:

    1. Larger aperture, 8" upwards could be a good start for a second telescope (6" is the absolute min). Also could be 10", as my goal is deep sky observation, such as seeing NGC galaxies and nebula, or the moons of Saturn and Neptune. (With my old 60mm refractor, nebulas and galaxies were always faint and fuzzy, for example M51 or M1 and even M33)
    2. Budget ideally under £1000. So I considered something like a Orion XT8 or 10 Dobsodian as a good choice. Cassengrain telescopes, though very practical, would too expensive. Or do you know of a good one that fits my wishes? Would a 6'' Cassengrain satisfy my cravings? The Celestron SE6 seems attractive and just at the top of my budget. Are there any Cassengrains (especially 8'') without Goto that could fit my budget?
    3. Portability and convenience are my most important criteria. I have back problems, and need to carry the telescope 30 meters (1min walk) to the backyard (with 3 steps in front of the door and another 3 steps into the garden) and a 5min walk in the forest, to a dark spot. So I am unsure if I can carry easily anything above 20Kg. Or could I carry the mount in a wheelbarrow and the tube in a backpack? Is the weight much different between the XT8 and the XT10? Overall, I want ease of transportation and comfort, otherwise I may not use it as often as I should! When fully assembled, how heavy is the Orion XT8 and XT10 and the Celestron SE6 and SE8?
    4. I may do an occasional 45min car drive to a dark spot in the mountain. Does the XT10 also fits in the backseat of a car? If I carry it with the backpack bag, do I need to collimate it again? How easy is the collimation for the Orion XT10 and for the Celestron SE8?
    5. Two years from now I might move from Scotland back to mainland Europe, in the Alps. Could I ship it in the same box it came?
    6. 2" wide angle eyepiece. I am planning buying one as an accessory.
    7. Push to or GoTo are highly desirable. As I think it might allowed me to see far more deep sky objects per session.
    8. Is there much difference between Orion XT range, Skywatcher, Bresser? Which one is lightest? I also considered the Skywatcher Explorer 200-P Newtonian Goto, the Skywatcher Skyliner 200P Dobsodian GoTo, and the Bresser NT150 (6'') EXOS2 GoTo (available in 1200mm and 750mm focal lenght). Would all of these be fit for astrophotography too? That would be a bonus! Is setting the Goto as easy as the 3 star alignment of the other two scopes? I do not know if these are ligher and heavier than the XT8i and 6SE. Does anyone knows their weight for the fully assembled telescope?


    If you think of anything else that may fit my criteria, please let me know!
    My main options are Orion XT8i and XT10i, and the Celestron 6SE, the SkyWatcher Explorer 200P GoTo and the Bresser NT150 GoTo.

    Feedback much appreciated!!
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    Default Re: Looking for light weight (6 or 8inch) telescope...

    Hello and welcome, a large dobsonian sounds like it will be ideal for your wants.
    Collimation is easy to learn and only takes a couple of minutes to check when you go to use the telescope.
    Depending on how you are planning on shipping the telescope the original packaging may be used (ground transport would probably be best)

    Skywatcher makes a series of collapsible dobsonians and another series with synscan system that may be what you are looking for: https://www.harrisontelescopes.co.uk...elescopes.html
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    Refractors: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNG 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
    Mounts: Celestron SLT w/ pier mod & EQ-3 tripod, Celestron hypertuned CG-5 w/ tracking motor & Argo Navis, Manfrotto 028B w/ Stellarvue M2C, Manfrotto 055PRO w/ 128RC, TAL-1 HD EQ, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 SXG & half pier Diagonals: 2" Astro-Physics MaxBright, 2" Zeiss/ Baader prism, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (Photo Version), 2" Orion Amici prism, 2" Stellarvue Dielectric, 2" TeleVue Everbrite Eyepieces: A-Z

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    Default Re: Looking for light weight (6 or 8inch) telescope...

    If lightweight and ease of moving and storage is one of your concern, 8" SCT on a manual AltAz mount will address your needs perfectly. SCT OTA is under 5 kg, and my mount is ~8 kg. For comparison 8" DOB OTA is ~9kg and base is ~10kg.

    Here in US I got new 8" SCT OTA and Explorer Scientific Twilight I mount, together under $1000.

    https://www.highpointscientific.com/...tube-11069-ota

    https://www.highpointscientific.com/...ripod-maz01-00

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    Default Re: Looking for light weight (6 or 8inch) telescope...

    Since I have a bad back like you, I will answer your question with that in mind. I have an Orion xt10i and a 6" Nexstar.

    For deep-sky observing, and especially observing galaxies, then the larger the aperture, the better. Ideally a 10", but an 8" can be nearly as good, depending on how dark your sky conditions are. Since you say that push-to or go-to are highly desirable, then you may as well go down that road, although you will always pay a premium for this facility.

    There is not a considerable weight difference between an 8" and 10", after all, most dobsonian telescopes are mainly a thin aluminium tube with a couple of mirrors and fresh air. A 10" can be more awkward to handle, since that aluminium tube is bigger than the 8"

    There are plenty to choose from, and all the main telescope dealers in the UK will be within your budget.

    I did notice though, that the Orion xt81 is a particularly good price at the moment both on Amazon and here

    https://uk.telescope.com/Orion-SkyQu...e/p/109948.uts

    The xt10i is coming in at around £200 more expensive.

    The optical tube of the Skywatcher Flextube 8" go-to would be a bit easier to handle, as you can shorten it down, but the base is heavier to carry because of the go-to motors

    https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dob...tube-goto.html

    Again, the 10" is a couple of hundred pounds more.

    If you are planning to buy a 2" eyepiece, you would be hard pressed to beat the Explore Scientific 18mm

    Please note that dobsonian telescopes are not suitable for astrophotography (AP). This is, in many ways, a completely different hobby, with different requirements in mounts, scopes and all sorts of other equipment

    Reflector telescopes on tripods will show you the same view as a dobsonian of equal size, but the eyepiece can end up in awkward positions, and you have to start turning the tube within its rings to be able to see your target. For visual observing, a dobsonian is the way to go.

    The Celestron Nexstar 6se is a superb telescope, but is not the best for galaxies.

    Good luck
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    Default Re: Looking for light weight (6 or 8inch) telescope...

    I think I already have a clear picture of what the Celestron SE6 and the Orion XT8i are!
    Stevie, what sort of differences do you see with galaxy and nebula observation between both of these? Would the SE8 be more similar to the XT8?

    I would like to hear more about the Skywatcher 200P Explorer and the Bresser NT150S/750.
    How good are they for DSO compared with the XT8i? Anybody with an experience with those? Are they lightweight and easy to carry?
    Are they suitable for EAA or any imaging of some of the bright galaxies and nebula (by stacking 30s exposures)?

    Many thanks for the suggestions so far!

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    Default Re: Looking for light weight (6 or 8inch) telescope...

    And one more question (away from Dobs): is is possible to buy a compact, simple and portable 8'' reflectors or Cassengrain telescopes, similar to the Celestron SE8, but without Goto?

    I find the Celestron SE8 perfect but a bit too expensive, if I would find something similar without Goto, it would be cheaper.

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    Default Re: Looking for light weight (6 or 8inch) telescope...

    For galaxies and nebulae, the 8" of the reflector (or the Celestron 8se) will show you a brighter image than the 6" of the Celestron 6se, for the very simple reason that the mirror is larger. Having said that, it is possible to see galaxies in the 6se. I have seen many galaxies with it, albeit in the very dark skies of the west of Ireland. In the light pollution of Belfast, it is a very frustrating enterprise.

    The Skywatcher 200p will be the same as a dobsonian of equal size. Note my comment regarding reflectors on tripods in my previous post. I have never seen or used the Bresser 150, although it has to be said that Bresser are making some excellent telescopes at the moment, especially refractors. The short 750mm focal length will mean that you may struggle to see much detail at higher magnifications.

    Cassegrain telescopes are quite hard to find just as optical tubes, the second-hand market may be your best bet. Maksutov telescopes (Maks) are easier to find. However, if you were to buy an 8" Cassegrain optical tube, or a similar MAK, you will still have to buy a mount to put in on.

    Just in case you are not aware of it, here's the link to UK Astronomy buy and sell

    https://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/

    Click on "browse ads" and select "telescope - catadioptrics", select a maximum price, and see what there is. Just on the first page, I can see a couple of Skywatcher 170 MAK OTA's for less than £450, and a Celestron Evolution 8" go-to for exactly £1000. There is also a Celestron Nexstar 8SE also for £1000.

    I'm sorry I can't comment on the suitability of any of these telescopes for astrophotography, it's a subject I know almost nothing about.

    Good luck
    Last edited by hal2000; 01-28-2019 at 01:01 AM.
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    Default Re: Looking for light weight (6 or 8inch) telescope...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pcbesa View Post
    And one more question (away from Dobs): is is possible to buy a compact, simple and portable 8'' reflectors or Cassengrain telescopes, similar to the Celestron SE8, but without Goto?

    I find the Celestron SE8 perfect but a bit too expensive, if I would find something similar without Goto, it would be cheaper.
    You can buy just the 8" SCT telescope (OTA) without mount and mount it on a manual mount.

    It seems that 8" SCT OTA is a bit pricey in UK, but 6" SCT OTA is on a good sale

    https://www.firstlightoptics.com/opt...ssemblies.html

    You can put it on AltAz mount like this

    https://www.firstlightoptics.com/alt...nt-tripod.html

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    Default Re: Looking for light weight (6 or 8inch) telescope...

    I also have back problems. I suggest you look on the 2nd hand market.

    The Vixen Cassegrains are good optical quality, no front element to dew up and without a front element are quite lightweight and portable.

    The 8" VC200L is more of an astrograph, ok but not outstanding for visual observing due to the large secondary but the VMC200L is a better visual scope. The 8" OTA's only weigh about 6.5 kg.

    The 10.5" VMC260L is also a good optical instrument and only weighs about 10kg. Even 2nd hand it's probably outside your budget and they only come up rarely. All the Vixen OTA's have a carry handle that makes them very easy to handle, hold and lift.

    Any of those OTA's could comfortably sit on a HEQ5 PRO mount for visual use. The equatorial head weighs 9.8kg, tripod 5.6kg + counterweights. The Vixens sell 2nd hand at low prices because people don't realise how good they are. If you want to go for an 8"SCT weighs about 8kg, a Celestron 9.25" SCT tube weighs about 9kg, and a C11 weighs about 12kg. I am not familiar with ALT-AZ mounts but you should also look into these.

    So putting a scope together out of any combination of these, you won't need to lift more than 10kg for any single lift. The components could be transported in one of those tow along garden carts. You might need to make a cradle for the tripod.

    Stay away from the all in one SCT-mount combinations. The OTA+fork mount head combo is always heavy.


    I prefer Newtonian's for observing DSO's but the OTA's weigh more than you should lift or carry unless you buy or build one of the ultralight designs. Look up travel scopes for ATM designs. Hubble Optics make an ultralight 12" newtonian dob that weighs about 13-14kg assembled and breaks down into smaller lighter components for transport although at USD2000 may be beyond your budget. http://www.hubbleoptics.com/UP12.html

    In Australia -
    2nd hand 8" SCT's sell for £100-£300.
    2nd hand 8" Vixens sell for £500-£800
    2nd hand HEQ5's sell for around £400-£800.

    Good luck

    Joe
    Last edited by ozeclipse; 01-28-2019 at 03:20 AM.
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