Planning to buy a first telescope?


by turbo
Tags: planning, telescope
turbo
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#199
Jan10-13, 03:53 PM
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Another good rule of thumb is that you can buy base-level optics from a well-respected manufacturer and probably get superior quality. I bought my basic Nikon 50x7s from L.L. Bean, and they are wonderful. High-end manufacturers can let their quality-control and good materials permeate their whole line without busting the bank. Buying optics from some line that sources their gear from various manufacturers in China offers you no such advantages. Good luck!
jim hardy
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#200
Jan22-13, 07:32 PM
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not to hijack - but seems not worth a separate thread.

Is it possible to clean a telescope mirror?

About 30 years ago i bought Dad a 6" Meade mirror out of Sky&Telescope magazine.
We built a simple newtonian with a redwood twelve sided tube. Local astronomy club deemed it "handsome" which Dad enjoyed tremendously.

It has now sat for fifteen years since his death and is quite dusty.

Is this something an amateur can do, or should i mail it someplace?

Suggestions welcome -

old jim
Chronos
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#201
Jan22-13, 08:22 PM
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You will be better off sending the mirror out and getting it recoated. After sitting around that long the coating will almost certainly need professional help. Optic wave labs, for example, [http://www.opticwavelabs.com/coating.php] will strip and recoat a 6 inch primary for around $50, and the secondary for $30 [perhaps less]. That is not a bad deal.
jim hardy
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#202
Jan23-13, 06:53 PM
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thanks, chronos - that'll be the plan.

old jim
QuantumPion
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#203
Feb19-13, 04:38 PM
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I just bought my first telescope, finally settled on the Orion XT8 after originally considering a Celestron 90EQ refractor or 130EQ Newtonian. Figured I might as well get something that will last me a while from the get-go instead of wasting money on lower end scopes.

Anyway, what are some good eyepieces to consider getting? I believe the XT8 only comes with one 25 mm piece, so I think I'd like to get a 6-10mm piece for planetary viewing. Also, should I get one of those laser collimators, or will I be able to get by without one?
chemisttree
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#204
Feb21-13, 07:49 PM
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Quote Quote by jim hardy View Post
not to hijack - but seems not worth a separate thread.

Is it possible to clean a telescope mirror?

About 30 years ago i bought Dad a 6" Meade mirror out of Sky&Telescope magazine.
We built a simple newtonian with a redwood twelve sided tube. Local astronomy club deemed it "handsome" which Dad enjoyed tremendously.

It has now sat for fifteen years since his death and is quite dusty.

Is this something an amateur can do, or should i mail it someplace?

Suggestions welcome -

old jim
Personally, I won't do business with Cary at Optic Wave Labs. Too risky. He hasn't taken any of my money but he has wasted a lot of my time. Search Cloudy Nights for the many tales of woe... and just as many happy endings. If you've already jumped in then good luck!

I think you'll need it.
chemisttree
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#205
Feb21-13, 07:57 PM
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Quote Quote by QuantumPion View Post
I just bought my first telescope, finally settled on the Orion XT8 after originally considering a Celestron 90EQ refractor or 130EQ Newtonian. Figured I might as well get something that will last me a while from the get-go instead of wasting money on lower end scopes.

Anyway, what are some good eyepieces to consider getting? I believe the XT8 only comes with one 25 mm piece, so I think I'd like to get a 6-10mm piece for planetary viewing. Also, should I get one of those laser collimators, or will I be able to get by without one?
Great scope! Get a good ED shorty barlow if you don't already have a barlow. Your next EP should be in the 10mm range. I would get a good quality LER (long eye relief) eyepiece at the shorter focal lengths or use the plossl with a barlow and a spacer to give a range of magnifications with your 25mm plossl (which should have at least 20mm eye relief). This thread has my recommendations a few pages back.
CONGRATULATIONS on your new telescope.

You can wait on the laser collimator.
QuantumPion
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#206
Feb21-13, 09:06 PM
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I put the scope together last night but by the time I got it ready, it got cloudy out.

Today, it was 100% visibility all day long but as soon as I got home, bam, clouds! Is this a curse or what?

I did manage to get a moon shot though since it was almost full.

Drakkith
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#207
Feb21-13, 09:14 PM
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Nice job QP!
QuantumPion
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#208
Feb21-13, 09:31 PM
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I took the above by just carefully holding my iphone up to the eyepiece. I have a DSLR, is there a mount I can get which would allow me to mount it directly in front of the eyepiece?
Drakkith
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#209
Feb21-13, 09:44 PM
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Quote Quote by QuantumPion View Post
I took the above by just carefully holding my iphone up to the eyepiece. I have a DSLR, is there a mount I can get which would allow me to mount it directly in front of the eyepiece?
How about this? I've never done any imaging through the eyepiece, so I can't be sure how well it works.

http://www.telescopes.com/telescope-...aptersmall.cfm
QuantumPion
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#210
Feb21-13, 09:45 PM
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Sweet, on sale too.
Chronos
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#211
Feb21-13, 11:41 PM
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I would caution against eyepiece projection photography. It is more difficult than prime focus and generally yields disappointing results. Even planets typically yield better images at prime focus than with eyepiece projection. A good barlow lens is all you probably need.
QuantumPion
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#212
Feb24-13, 08:11 PM
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Quote Quote by Chronos View Post
I would caution against eyepiece projection photography. It is more difficult than prime focus and generally yields disappointing results. Even planets typically yield better images at prime focus than with eyepiece projection. A good barlow lens is all you probably need.
What would you recommend as the best method for novice astrophotography with my equipment (XT8 scope, Canon EOS 20D camera)?
Drakkith
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#213
Feb24-13, 08:26 PM
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Quote Quote by QuantumPion View Post
What would you recommend as the best method for novice astrophotography with my equipment (XT8 scope, Canon EOS 20D camera)?
Without a motorized mount you won't be able to do much astrophotography. You should be able to get images of the planets and moon, but anything more than that is just not going to happen really. If you really want to learn more about it, head over to cloudynights.com and hit up their forum. That site is dedicated to astronomy and there are a lot of resources there.
Chronos
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#214
Feb25-13, 02:40 AM
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Prime focus is my suggestion. You will need an adapter to mount the camera to the focuser. I also recommend APT for software. It allows you to preview your shots and is not expensive. You should be able to get decent moon and planet shots even without a clock drive.
QuantumPion
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#215
Feb25-13, 09:08 AM
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Alright I'll look into that. My other question is for eyepieces. I read somewhere that a telescope has the best acuity with an eyepiece focal length equal to about twice the focal ratio. So that would be 12mm for my scope (2*1200mm/203mm). However this would only give me 100x zoom, and I'd like more zoom for planetary viewing. Should I get a 12mm EP and a 2x Barlow? Or a 6mm EP? Or some other combination? Also what is a good recommended eyepiece for < $100 range? I was just going to get the Orion 2x shorty Barlow and the 12mm long eye relief eyepiece from telescope.com, but I was also considering the 12mm ED eyepiece as well, not sure which one would be better or if there is another brand which offers better bang for the buck.
Drakkith
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#216
Feb25-13, 03:28 PM
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I'm not big on visual observing, I mostly do AP, so I use a Zhumell kit of eyepieces. I'm sure they aren't spectacular, but I find them to be alright.

http://www.telescopes.com/telescope-...dfilterkit.cfm


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