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Settled on the Orion XT8

  1. Feb 19, 2013 #1

    QuantumPion

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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?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 21, 2013 #2

    chemisttree

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    Re: Planning to buy a first telescope?

    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.
     
  4. Feb 21, 2013 #3

    QuantumPion

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    Re: Planning to buy a first telescope?

    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.

    rm80mOy.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  5. Feb 21, 2013 #4

    Drakkith

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    Re: Planning to buy a first telescope?

    Nice job QP!
     
  6. Feb 21, 2013 #5

    QuantumPion

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    Re: Planning to buy a first telescope?

    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?
     
  7. Feb 21, 2013 #6

    Drakkith

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  8. Feb 21, 2013 #7

    QuantumPion

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    Re: Planning to buy a first telescope?

    Sweet, on sale too.
     
  9. Feb 21, 2013 #8

    Chronos

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    Re: Planning to buy a first telescope?

    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.
     
  10. Feb 24, 2013 #9

    QuantumPion

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    Re: Planning to buy a first telescope?

    What would you recommend as the best method for novice astrophotography with my equipment (XT8 scope, Canon EOS 20D camera)?
     
  11. Feb 24, 2013 #10

    Drakkith

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    Re: Planning to buy a first telescope?

    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.
     
  12. Feb 25, 2013 #11

    Chronos

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    Re: Planning to buy a first telescope?

    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.
     
  13. Feb 25, 2013 #12

    QuantumPion

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    Re: Planning to buy a first telescope?

    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.
     
  14. Feb 25, 2013 #13

    Drakkith

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  15. Feb 25, 2013 #14

    Chronos

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    Re: Planning to buy a first telescope?

    You will discover yourself drawn to widefield eyepieces for general observing. I would suggest something in the 20mm range for this purpose. For planetary viewing, a 9mm ep along with a 2x barlow is a good choice. Unbarlowed it will yield 133x, which will be just about ideal on most nights. With 2x barlow, you can get 266x, which is about as much useful magnification as you can coax out of an 8" primary under very good seeing conditions. In theory, you push it to as much as 400x, but, that assumes near perfect optics and seeing conditions. Not terribly realistic. Owl astronomy has a good selection of good quality eyepieces like these at very reasonable prices.
     
  16. Feb 25, 2013 #15
    Re: Planning to buy a first telescope?

    Just a quick pointer about OWL astronomy; it's a family-run business, and one of their family members is currently recovering from a stroke. I know this after some short email exchanges, where I originally inquired about several of my purchases that had to be refunded due to my purchased items not being in stock, despite seeing the items openly offered on their website, with no warning of them being out of stock.

    This isn't to say that they are a bad business; they aren't. I would just expect some unpredictably with certain items.
     
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