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Originally posted by metalshredmetal
this makes me want to get a new tele. I have a very small (3 inch) one that my dad left me...but i'd like to get something more advanced.
and connecting with "star watch" groups is an excellent idea. I'm sure there's a lot to be learned (about scopes AND space) from the veterans and experienced sky watchers.
now that i see there are experienced users here, what would be a good/useful/efficient/cost friendly beginner's scope?
The Orion SkyQuest XT8i IntelliScope Computerized Dobsonian Telescope is capable of providing you and your family with years of entertainment under the stars. Its 8" (203mm) aperture parabolic primary mirror serves up jaw-dropping images of the planets, cloudy nebulas, star clusters, and galaxies. Outfitted with great accessories, the XT8i IntelliScope Dobsonian includes two 1.25" telescope eyepieces, a removable eyepiece rack, base handle, collimation cap, and a finder scope. The 25mm and 10mm included Sirius Plossl eyepieces provide magnifications of 48x power and 120x power respectively for a variety of viewing options right out of the box. The included finder scope is our Orion 9x50 Right-Angle Correct-Image model which allows convenient and comfortable aiming and alignment of the telescope. The XT8i Dobsonian’s precise Crayford focuser accepts 2" and 1.25" telescope eyepieces, and provides silky-smooth, backlash-free motion that eliminates image shift, making it easier to achieve the sharpest possible focus.
Originally posted by Druid42
I'm not a big fan of the Go To systems. They work fine, but if you are out in the field, they suck the life out of your batteries, and your scope becomes nearly useless.
They are for beginners, IMO, and rob the delight that can be found in "star-hopping", and actually being able to navigate the heavens on your own.
Originally posted by Saint Exupery
I don't do astrophotography, and I'm quite happy with my ETX-90 because of it's portability and ease of set-up. I have a larger scope (a Celestron C8) that I love, but I wind-up using my ETX more.
Go-to telescopes are for wimps.
Originally posted by Druid42
reply to post by sarra1833
Excellent choice. You'll have a powerful scope with plenty of power, with going to the bulkier 10 inch model.
They sell adapters for ANY camera, believe it or not, but there are specific kinds you'd want for astro photography. ngc would be the expert in that area, a good starter model that won't break your budget, and hopefully he'll pipe back in.
Myself, I made an adapter for my webcam, and sometimes take a laptop out on the back deck for planetary shots. It's functional, a wire streaming to my usb port, and live resolution on my screen, but far from the optimal setup. I got the idea from a you tube video. I let post processing software (Registax) take care of the rest.
Originally posted by sarra1833
I believe I'm going to go with the Orion SkyQuest XT8i IntelliScope Computerized Dobsonian Telescope after all. It seems much better and a hundred dollars more. I really like what it offers.
I'm so excited! Now to look into cameras for this. I trust it's a certain kind; not any one can find at walmart etc, right?
I'd recommend the Orion XT8i to beginners or to anyone looking to upgrade from a starter scope. But keep in mind that the Intelliscope finder must be installed precisely and used with exact alignment or else it will be so off from its altitude/azimuth that it won't work properly.