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Most magnification for my money

  1. Apr 7, 2014 #1

    DHF

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    Hello folks. The last time I owned a telescope was about 30 years ago in New York. My dad and I used it to look at the moon, mainly because that was all we could see in the city ;)

    My son has taken an interest in astronomy and seeing as how we currently live a few hours away from a dark sky park, I was considering getting a scope and doing some sky watching with him. I would prefer to start out with something under $150 but I am not sure where the best use of my money would go. I have spent a few days sifting through this thread but most of the discussion on equipment is a little too deep for me.

    I would like to get the most magnification for my money but I am not sure what brands or models are known for quality and which are a poor investment. Here is the model I was looking at so far, if you could tell me if I am heading in the right direction I would appreciate it.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/370185-REG/Celestron_21049_PowerSeeker_127_EQ_5_0_127mm.html

    I don't mind going a few dollars over my stated budget if it will get me markedly better quality.

    thank you in advance for any advice you can part my way.

    Don

    P.S. I am very interested in capturing whatever we see with my DLSR, I have had very little luck in finding information on mounts and adapters for Cameras.
     
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  3. Apr 8, 2014 #2

    Chronos

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    Magnification should not be a concern. Aperture is far more important. A bigger lens captures more photons and more photons means everything is brighter. You should be able to pick up a basic 4-6" reflector in your price range - although I would not suggest anything over 6". Ease of use is inversely proportionate to the square of the aperture. Astrophotography is a challenging hobby. Prime focus is the easiest route. You need nothing more than an adapter to affix your DLSR to the telescope focuser - which should be less than $50. You can tweak the focus using the view screen on your camera for bright objects, like the moon and planets.
     
  4. Apr 8, 2014 #3

    DHF

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    ok that is good to know. brings it down to two models.
    For $130:
    -127mm
    -f/8
    -1000mm focal length
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/370185-REG/Celestron_21049_PowerSeeker_127_EQ_5_0_127mm.html

    and for $234:
    -130mm
    -f/5
    -650mm focal length
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/545212-REG/Celestron_31051_AstroMaster_130_EQ_MD.html

    The more expensive scope has only 65% of the magnification but its a full stop brighter and you stressed that brightness was more important. Will the larger aperture of the more expensive scope make it that superior to the less expensive one? Or at my skill level should I opt for the cheaper model until I have enough experience to make use of the more expensive models?
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
  5. Apr 8, 2014 #4

    Chronos

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    The 130 EQ is the better choice, IMO. The aperture difference is negligible, f5 v f8 is not. It will be much brighter, have a larger field of view, and better portability. It also has a better mount. These differences easily justify the extra $100.
     
  6. Apr 9, 2014 #5

    DHF

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    Excellent. thank you very much for the insights. I had been wrestling for days over justifying the extra cost for a beginner scope, this sounds like its worth it to go a little outside the budget to get something that we will be more satisfied with.

    I also read that Equatorial mounts are where you want to be if you are doing photography. so I should have looked at that sooner.

    anyway thank you again and happy stargazing.
     
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