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Hope so😃 also have a budget of £1000 and looking for amazing planetary/lunar views but would like to observe some dso, any recommendations on the best scope out there for around a thousand.  Many thanks 

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Hi Milzy, I had a Meade EXT90 quite a while ago and didn't find it very accurate but the views were OK.

If you read through some of the threads on here you will see that not one scope does not fill all requirements

so some compromises will be needed.. Is it for just visual and will you want to do astro photography?

That will also make a difference... Good luck and keep asking questions... 

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Thanks RonC,  I've massive interest in the sky's but also a big newbie to it all, would like to buy nice set up for around a 1000, as stated above is what I would like to see, as for the astro photography side of it, a setup with the capability would be a bonus. any recommendations? 

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Wow that mount is not cheap..lol

I take it for astro photography it's best to have a larger fov, so the meade ext125  probably not best but I'm sure you can catch some dso with it, also looking at the nexstar 5se or a full grand for the 6se. Or is it best to buy scope and mount separately.  Sorry for these noob questions🤣

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Hi Milzy


A thousand pounds is a nice amount to spend and you will get a really good scope for that amount. 


I have found most of the money one spends is wrapped up in the electronics such as go-to and motors. If you are going to be mainly a visual obswerver then you do not require these and in my opinion the money is better spent on the mirror side.


For visual I would go for a 10" dobsonian and learn my way around with either planetarium software on a phone or tabley or better still if you are keen an atlas of the sky. You will see hundreds of deep space objects with a 10" mirror.


Something like these links are the scope I'm looking at:






This will leave you at least £450 for quality eyepieces and a collimator.


If you are interested in photography then a dobsonian is no good and you also need a telescope that tracks the sky.


In this case you are looking at the following:


Mount  https://www.firstlightoptics.com/equatorial-astronomy-mounts/skywatcher-eq3-pro-synscan-goto.html

Scope  https://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/skywatcher-explorer-200p-ds-ota.html


Also a dobsoniam is easier to set up then an EQ mount, there is no polar aligning and you basically just plonk it down. But on the other hand you need to learn collimation which you do not need to learn with a refractor. 


So much to learn and i hope I haven't confused you.

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For a very general overview: The Meade is a nice little maksutov cassegraine and should give you nice sharp planetary and moon views, though small. You might even get some nice sharp images of planets too. Mak/cas's tend to have a long focal length and high focal ratio so near objects (solar system) come out reasonably clear and sharp.


If you want to look deep into space though, then it's aperture and a low f-ratio that counts cos it's about collecting light rather than just focussing on it. Your Meade is a small aperture in this respect and something like a 10" or 12" newtonian will see further. But then the mount is important if you want to image.


For imaging the Meade is a motorized alt/az scope and great for planetary/moon, but for deep space objects (DSO) photography an equatorial mount is better cos it tracks in one plane only, right ascension or RA once the Dec axis (declination) is set. Basically the spin of the Earth does the tracking for you. Tracking in RA helps eliminate star trails that are inevitable with alt/az scopes - amongst other benefits like staying dead on the object, and object framing.


Like Ron says - there's no single scope that does everything and there's a lot to consider to get the best value for your hard earned cash. 🙂




Edited by Brantuk
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Personally I would steer well clear of the Meade ETX range.

Whilst the optics are pretty good the electronics are second rate to put it mildly.

Meade also have a poor after sales service with no spares being available to the general public.

I suggest you go for a more modern mount, 

The Skywatcher HEQ5 is a great starting point mount.

Although they are getting on a bit they are unbeatable as a first mount.

They can be controlled from your computer via the EQMOD download.

You can pick one up second hand for a few hundred pounds on Astro buy and sell UK

This will leave you a good percentage of your budget for your scope.

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Hi Milzey, a warm welcome mate.

My first proper scope was a Meade ETX80, a little frac, as Graham says, the optics are good, but the GoTo is shocking. I had a neighbour complain about the noise it made while in the garden in the early hours and to be fair they are loud. But it broke after around 18 months, the dec clutch and gear mech frame cracked as it was made from cast monkey metal, but I was fortunate to pic up a second hand part to repair it.


With a budget of a grand you should be able to pick up a scope and mount way better than a Meade that will serve you for years.

If you spot something that takes your eye, stick a post up on here and run it by a few folks, there's not much out there one or two of us haven't tried or still own. That way you know you'll get a nice bit of kit you can trust and enjoy using.



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  • 4 weeks later...

I have a similar 'scope but no electronics. I have a Skywatcher 127mm Maksutov and think it is great. Although not much use for deep sky, I have managed to bag all Messier objects from SW England. It is good for lunar, solar and planetary photography but for deep sky, I only use it for double stars. I do most of my deep sky photography with an undriven DSLR. There's so much to "snap" that I have barely scratched the surface.

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