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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone know anything about scopes for sky gazing. I want to buy myself budget scope for observing the night sky and hopefully taking some decent photos eventually. I've been looking around and there are loads out there. I don't want to spend more than 250-350 quid and I have worked out I need an equatorial mount and at least an 80mm objective but I can't decide between refractive or reflective or anything else. All the reviews are a mix of 5 star and 1 star (I usually only read the poor reviews).

Yes I know I can go on a nerd star gazer forum but I would trust a recommendation from someone here who actually uses one than a technical diatribe on collimation and spherical aberration.

We are moving to a new house in Portugal, and there is a good terrace and a reasonably dark ambience. Skies are usually clear too.
 

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Super Moderator Technical Supremo Platinum Member
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I suppose that asking what is an equatorial mount is showing my ignorance on this :grin2:

One thing that does strike is that if you want to mount a camera, the scope must be suitable with relevant adapter kits available.
Which may limit your choice but is something to add to the check list.
Apart from that, as with any scope/lens, bigger aperture will suck in more light and you get what you pay for.
Apart from that, not a scoobie.

Quick google and review sites like this says one hell of a range of choices :frown2:
https://www.t3.com/features/best-telescope
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Mounting a camera is reasonably standard. You can even take pictures with a smartphone these days. I would probably rig up my old pocket Lumix as a semi-permanent fixture. I've looked at many review sites. Apart from the fact that, say, five "top ten telescope" sites seems to give you close to 50 choices leaving you no better off, reviews on Amazon from actual purchasers reveal all sorts of setup and quality issues. Many are made in China where some great stuff can come from but quality control is not the greatest so it's always a lottery.

Found one at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Orion-08944e-Reflector-Telescopes-11-6-inch/dp/B001DDW9UW/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=sl1&tag=stargazinguk-21&linkId=f66cf36f99a8a10e7d6a0bfc2a2dde91 with great reviews

...and got really excited until I read that it is over 5 feet tall. You can't tell from the pictures and it seems even some buyers were shocked when it arrived.

No hurry, I'll keep looking.
 

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The photos of that beasty don't give too much idea on size.... until you think that the tube has to be at least 6" in diameter, which sorta puts the length and mount into perspective.

It'll be fine on the balcony.
Point it straight up, put a potted plant on top, call it a jardinière >:)

What sort of movement control is on that sort of mounting ?
I know you can get some motorised with GPS and self finding and tracking and the like but has that one got tuning wheels/knobs or do they need them ?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Some have got azimuth and elevation control. This is the cheapest and you have to develop the skill of turning both at the same time to compensate for the rotation of the earth, which can be quite a challenge as the telescope also inverts the image. On the equator you would only need to rotate one dial as the sky moves overhead. An equatorial mount uses this simplicity to connect both azimuth and elevation to one screw. You just need to set up the scope to its latitude location. Computer controls are the simplest to use as they do all this for you, and theoretically can keep a target steady within its sights for long camera exposures. But if they are going to find anything they have a complex set up and alignment procedure, usually involves locating three stars and synchronising a clock. The can be surprisingly low cost but you need a reliable one, and a power supply. The ones I have looked at only last 10mins on 8 AA batteries.
 

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Discussion Starter #7

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Settled for a mid range Orion 9024. Arrived yesterday, same time as the first clouds of the year. Very pleased with it so far but glad I didn't spend too much on it since it seems there are a bunch of accessories that I might like. It's a refractor (lenses) as opposed to reflector (mirrors) but that gives me an opportunity to use it for land photography too. Now waiting for a clear night. Watch this space.
 

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Hi, I'm just working about big article-review, where want to collect all best models of telescopes (so will be glad to your critic) - about the topic I can recommend to see best models in category "best telescopet to make photo" as examle - Celestron - PowerSeeker 127EQ Telescope.
 
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