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Darren Bown

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Posted
  • Location: Newton-le-Willows, Warrington, Merseyside
  • Location: Newton-le-Willows, Warrington, Merseyside

    I'm thinking about buying a telescope, as I have quite a bit of money, and never seem to spend any on anything I want. However, I'm finding it difficult understanding all the jargon that goes with buying a telescope, such as aperture size etc. and do not fully understand what is important.

    I was hoping you guys might have some suggestions for a good beginner telescope, that will last me a while, and will allow me to view stars, galaxies and planets :lol:

    Daz

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    Posted
  • Location: Nr Appleby in Westmorland
  • Location: Nr Appleby in Westmorland

    The single most important factor is size. The bigger the aperture, the more it will show you. The amount of light it collects is FAR more important than the magnification (which a telescope doesn't do anyway...that's down to eyepieces). I've had over twenty scopes in my time, and my favourites haven't always been the biggest (even though they show more) but smaller refractors which are lighter to carry and therefore get used more.

    For some really sound advice and recommendations, look here and here.

    My advice would be to ignore anything with motors or that requires batteries as when it;s cold and dark, you'll not be bothered with anything that takes effort to set up. I've currently got a 10" Dobsonian and a 3" refractor. A perfect combination.

    What's your budget?

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    Posted
  • Location: Newton-le-Willows, Warrington, Merseyside
  • Location: Newton-le-Willows, Warrington, Merseyside

    How about an 8" Dobsonian then? Likethis one

    Seems like Im better to start off with a small reflector from reading those guides. Cheers OON.

    Daz

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    Posted
  • Location: Bridgnorth, Shropshire, WV16
  • Weather Preferences: Storms, Storms...Did I mention Storms?
  • Location: Bridgnorth, Shropshire, WV16

    I have the Revelation 10" Dob, its a fantasic scope!

    You can't go far wrong them mate, if you have the 8" you will be able to put it on a EQ mount too.

    Kain

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    Posted
  • Location: Newton-le-Willows, Warrington, Merseyside
  • Location: Newton-le-Willows, Warrington, Merseyside

    How big are these Dobsonians? Are they carryable? As I live in a leafy suburb of Manchester :lol: I'm probably going to have to travel sometimes.

    Daz

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    Posted
  • Location: Nr Appleby in Westmorland
  • Location: Nr Appleby in Westmorland

    You'd fit a 10" in the back of most cars, and they're moveable a bit as the tube and base come apart. Total weight would be about 60lbs. An 8" is suprisingly smaller than a 10". However, if you're wanting to travel out into the Peaks, I'd stick with a smaller 3" refractor. Ok, it doesn't show you as much, but it shows one hell of a lot still, and won't kill your back. There's also a fantastic book called Turn Left At Orion which will explain loads of things to see in a small scope.

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    Posted
  • Location: Newton-le-Willows, Warrington, Merseyside
  • Location: Newton-le-Willows, Warrington, Merseyside

    Thank's for the info guys, I feel really overwhelmed by the amount you need to know about telescopes. Having a quick look on the internet, I find that 3" refractors are prety expensive, but the 8" Dobsonian's may be a bit large. What is viewing like in a suburb?

    Daz

    EDIT: I bought the book from Blackwell's, and will have a good read of it!

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    Posted
  • Location: Nr Appleby in Westmorland
  • Location: Nr Appleby in Westmorland

    If I had light pollution, I'd really stick with a smaller refractor. Light pollution will limit what's visible anyway, and while a bigger telescope would show you more detail on anything compared to a 3", you won't be using it to its full potential.

    Refractors cost more because lenses cost more than mirrors. However, refractors don't take time to cool down (and a warm reflector shows you almost nothing and can take a couple of hours to cool down in the winter), doesn't require collimating (lining up the optics precisely) and is far more manouverable.

    It's a astronomy cliche, but the best telescope is the one you use the most, and if you have to wait two hours for your 60lb hulk to cool down before you can see anything through it and when you do you're restricted by orange skies, then you're better off with a small scope you can grab with one hand and use straight away. Better still, be like me and have two.

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    Posted
  • Location: Newton-le-Willows, Warrington, Merseyside
  • Location: Newton-le-Willows, Warrington, Merseyside

    So are we looking at something like the Meade ETX 80AT (for example, from here @£299).

    Or even this

    Daz

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    Posted
  • Location: Nr Appleby in Westmorland
  • Location: Nr Appleby in Westmorland

    Yeah...but you're paying extra for having fancy mounts which find things for you and track what you're looking at. If that's your thing, then they're great. But each time you take them out, you'll spend 15 mins setting them up properly.

    I prefer good old basic things like....well, like these http://www.brayimaging.co.uk/Astro/TechSpe...TSRef.html#TS80 (TS102 on an EQ3 mount)

    You'll get bigger, better optics for your money, but you'll have to track stuff by hand and find your own things!

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea

    That's a really neat 'scope OON, & a very good price for good quality optics. Might be tempted myself. I'd say it was an excellent choice for a beginner. The Williams Optics also gets very good write-ups & is a good price. If you're really loaded, dazmaster, & might want to use your 'scope for photography as well, then look at Astro-Physics and Takahashi. Orion (UK, not US) also make high quality kit at fair prices.

    :) P

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
    I've just got a Williams Optics Zenithstar80 and it's truly excellent. Almost as good as a Televue at four times the price. Close enough for me anyway.

    I had an Orion Europa 200 and thought it was outstanding VFM, but I would say, for a starter, ease of use is everything; My sis-in-law was interested, was bought an average Newtonian, couldn't see much, and gave up.

    Just to confuse things, there are quite a few people who swear by binoculars and bino-viewers for nebula-gazing & comet-spotting, but I've found that the optics have to be Astronomy-specific and quite high quality, hence expensive, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend this. Might be worth asking the dealer if they'll throw in a pair of 7x50's as part of a deal, though.

    Easily the best book, apart from Patrick Moore's, that I use all the time, is 'The Observer's Sky Atlas' by E. Karkoschka.

    :) P

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    Posted
  • Location: Nr Appleby in Westmorland
  • Location: Nr Appleby in Westmorland

    I;'ve also got an Orion 250dx on a dobsonian mount. It's excellent too and great value.

    I know what you mean about binoculars, but they're just not sexy enough.

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    Posted
  • Location: Swallownest, Sheffield 83m ASL
  • Location: Swallownest, Sheffield 83m ASL
    I know what you mean about binoculars, but they're just not sexy enough.

    ah.. so you just like to wave something about thats long and hard.. i see.. :lol: :)

    Ive been thinking about getting a telescope for a while now.. dad has a small reflector and i think its an orion.. its good though whatever it is.. how much do camera mounts cost for these things? or a webcam mount?

    paul

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
    ah.. so you just like to wave something about thats long and hard.. i see.. :p:)

    Ive been thinking about getting a telescope for a while now.. dad has a small reflector and i think its an orion.. its good though whatever it is.. how much do camera mounts cost for these things? or a webcam mount?

    paul

    Depends on what sort of 'scope it is and what you want to do with the camera. Can be cheap; a few quid. If you have a good webcam, you can pick up stunning stuff by linking through the eyepiece of almost any 'scope. If you want to take photos like Nik Syzmanek, you'll need to shell out some. If it's an Orion your dad has, there should be a knob on the top of the rear mounting already fixed, that you can screw an SLR to. But you'll probably need a motor drive, too. Those are less cheap.

    :lol: P

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    Posted
  • Location: Swallownest, Sheffield 83m ASL
  • Location: Swallownest, Sheffield 83m ASL

    Cheers for that P..

    Ill have a look the next time i pop over there.. I know he has a base that you turn the handle once a minute to track what youre looking at.. hes happy with it.. im just thinking about going on a scrounge.. :)

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
    Cheers for that P..

    Ill have a look the next time i pop over there.. I know he has a base that you turn the handle once a minute to track what youre looking at.. hes happy with it.. im just thinking about going on a scrounge.. :lol:

    That's okay for looking at stuff, PottyP, but for crisp pictures of stars you need very long exposures of things which are constantly 'moving' relative to you. You can get star trails and moon shots without a motor, but most of the rest will be trickier. Try the webcam trick. I'm sure I saw an article on how to do it in 'Sky and Telescope' ,online. Astrophotography is not as easy as you might hope.

    :) P

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    Posted
  • Location: Bridgnorth, Shropshire, WV16
  • Weather Preferences: Storms, Storms...Did I mention Storms?
  • Location: Bridgnorth, Shropshire, WV16

    I can get the 10" Dob in the back of the car easy, the 8 it's alot smaller, but better than a frac in IMO. Fracs have been known to get a nastic tinge to the object your viewing especally stars.

    Still each to there own really, but I would got with the 8" Dob, it aint that big, I mive the 10" around on my own (without the car)

    Kain

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
    I can get the 10" Dob in the back of the car easy, the 8 it's alot smaller, but better than a frac in IMO. Fracs have been known to get a nastic tinge to the object your viewing especally stars.

    Still each to there own really, but I would got with the 8" Dob, it aint that big, I mive the 10" around on my own (without the car)

    Kain

    It's true that some refractors suffer badly from chromatic aberration, but the one OON recommende, for example, is an ED APO; there should be no noticeable problem.

    BTW, PottyP; I've just spotted your sig. Why not look up/visit http://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/ ?

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    Posted
  • Location: Swallownest, Sheffield 83m ASL
  • Location: Swallownest, Sheffield 83m ASL
    It's true that some refractors suffer badly from chromatic aberration, but the one OON recommende, for example, is an ED APO; there should be no noticeable problem.

    BTW, PottyP; I've just spotted your sig. Why not look up/visit http://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/ ?

    been meaning to pop over there.. they are just below where my mate lives and the shop looks fab when i pass it.. poor parking though so i never stop..

    know what you mean regarding the trails and i bookmarked that article you mentioned on the other machine (which the brats and the OH have claimed coz its better than this one).. so i will have a look at what it says.. think it mentions old 35mm film containers and a webcam with variable focus.. not having a telescope here it sorta got left.. :D thanks for jogging my memory though..

    Paul

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    Posted
  • Location: Nr Appleby in Westmorland
  • Location: Nr Appleby in Westmorland

    Cheaper refractors do show some false colour, but only on the brighter objects, and then it might not bother you and 99% of stuff it won't even be visible.

    No such thing as a perfect scope.

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    Posted
  • Location: Newton-le-Willows, Warrington, Merseyside
  • Location: Newton-le-Willows, Warrington, Merseyside

    I think i will browse sites for a while longer, and have a look through that book when it arrives. That TS 102 scope seems awesome, and is probably at the top end of my total budget (£399 max probably). I know it seems stupid, but how do I buy from that website?

    Daz

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
    I think i will browse sites for a while longer, and have a look through that book when it arrives. That TS 102 scope seems awesome, and is probably at the top end of my total budget (£399 max probably). I know it seems stupid, but how do I buy from that website?

    Daz

    I think you might have to email them. Read the customer comments, too; go back to their main page from the button on the right. Can't see an online shop.

    :) P

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    Posted
  • Location: Nr Appleby in Westmorland
  • Location: Nr Appleby in Westmorland

    I've bought from them in the past. Phone them and ask for Chris Garvey. The good thing about Bray is they check all the scopes first and hand-pick the gooduns.

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