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Telescope choice


ricktom
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Hello everyone


i was just wondering if anyone has experience of a 


Skywatcher Skymax 127 (EQ3-2) & Sky-Watcher Evostar-120 (EQ3-2)


i have been using a pair of binoculars for a while now with great but limiting views and i would love to see and study the planets and stars, i have spent hours trying to decide what would suit my budget and space limitations and i have got down to these two (are there any pros and cons between the two types) and is the mount stable enough for use with either telescopes, also would people recommend a GOTO system with the Skywatcher Skymax 127 or a manual mount (i have no experience of either i'm afraid)  


I would mostly be watching from my garden that has quite bad light pollution apart from the south & southwest, with this being my first telescope i would like to have something that will hopefully not be difficult to use or maintain (i am slightly put off with a reflector because of this, perhaps unnecessarily),


Many thanks  


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Hi, it depends on what you want to concerntrate on? The MAK is ideal for planets and Lunar, the 120 for DSO's etc and a Dob is an eay choice for DSO's etc too.


Goto is a thorney question  :) Do you want to find your targets or look at the targets?? (I am a Goto man, more interested in seeing the object than hunting for it!) so


you see that also is a personal thing. EQ3-2 good starter mount although the tripod legs can be flimsey? If you can get to one of EMS's viewing nights you could check the scopes (MAK127 is popular), mounts ans future eyepieces. Good luck with your choice..


 


Cheers


Ron


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Tough one there. Both quite capable scopes. If you are mostly interested in Planets then go for the 127, if you want a bit of both worlds I would say the 120 evo. However...... on the eq2/3 the evo will be quite heavy in comparison to the 127 so the 127 would be more stable on that mount.


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The EQ3-2 is so much more sturdy than the goto alt az mount which comes with the skymax 127, but it's not got goto.

As i said in another thread today, if at all possible, i'd just bite the bullet and get a goto equatorial mount from the start, and skip the intervening steps you'll otherwise take.

---------

I think most DSOs visually look pretty unimpressive in anything under a 10 inch scope, so if not doing DSO imaging (and for that you have to have a motor drive equatorial mount), then i'd got for a mak or an SCT, the greatest aperture possible.

Jd

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If it were me, I would go for the 120 but on a non go to eq5 which would be a similar price to the eq3 go to I would think. The eq5 will be much better for it but you will need to manually find the objects. In some respects though that makes it more fun. As for DSO's being no good in anything under 10", ignore that, it just isn't true. There are plenty of objects that will look great in the 120. It will give you a wider field of view than the 127 but will still be long enough to show Jupiter, Saturn and Mars quite nicely. The moon will also look quite splendid in it too.

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One thing to point out, you mentioned space limitations. The evostar 120 is quite a big scope. I've got the next size up frac and it is 1300mm long. The 120 won't be quite that long but still easily 1000mm (ish). Lovely scope though. You wouldn't regret buy one.

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many thanks for all the suggestions and help, I might be leaning more to the refractor now, just something I forgot, are the eyepieces supplied with the telescopes  adequate for most viewing or would I need to budget for something like a X2 Barlow lens or a better quality eyepiece than the ones supplied as my eyes are not as good or as young as they used to be!  


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eyepieces can be very much of a personal thing, so very difficult to recommend one that does a great job on all scopes, i tend to stick with the baader hyperions as they seem very versatile but the stock ones will certainly get you going


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Guest fondofchips

Tough one there. Both quite capable scopes. If you are mostly interested in Planets then go for the 127, if you want a bit of both worlds I would say the 120 evo. However...... on the eq2/3 the evo will be quite heavy in comparison to the 127 so the 127 would be more stable on that mount.

I would agree with this, I have a 102mm refractor (size smaller than the Evostar-120) on a manual EQ5 mount, still get some shake even when the scope is properly balanced. 

Only needs a light breeze to make control more difficult.

Put it this way I would rather have a nice stable view with a manual heavier duty mount than a poor one with GOTO.

That 's my opinion of course.

There is no substitute for going to a meeting & talking to scope owners & doing plenty of research before buying, if you are not sure keep reading up on your purchase.

There is no rush.

Clear Skies,

Harry.

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Others on here have far more experience than I do, but this is what I found as a total beginner with a Skymax 127. 


 


I've had a  Skymax 127 for around 3 years and bought it as a step up from binos.   I found the 127 scope to be great for visual and webcam imaging for lunar, planets and solar (with a suitable solar filter!), I did manage to get views of some of the brighter DSO's, but nothing spectacular (and in some cases quite disappointing) .  


 


The default eye pieces that it comes with are usable but not particularly great, this seems to be the case with many scopes so I suspect the same could be said for the 120.  They are good enough to use the scope, but are worth upgrading eventually. The scope is nice and compact and easy to store and transport.  


 


My 127 is on an AZ GoTo mount and found this to be the weakest part of the setup!


The slightest breeze or touching the mount (focusing) causes mount/scope to wobble, taking at least a couple of seconds to settle down.  I did find that not fully extending the mount legs did make things a little better. 


 


I have used this scope on my HEQ5 and it's far, far better.  So I'd pay as much attention to the choice of mount as to the scope.  


Personally I would avoid the az goto in favour of a sturdier EQ mount.   I actually find the EQ mount easier and quicker to set up for acceptable visual tracking than the AZ mount, particularly during the day time for solar viewing.   I added a Telrad finder to my 127 and found this to be a big improvement over the default finder scope.


 


Finally, I upgraded from binos to the 127 and eventually moved from the 127 to a VC200L, but I still have the binos and 127 and although I'll end up selling the 127 I wouldn't be without the binos!

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I don't find the 127 Mak (which I have) ideal for DSOs but with a "screw-in" focal reducer and 32mm eyepiece I have managed to see all Messier objects, although the larger ones do not fit into the field of view. I have sometimes been quoted as saying the "I don't like GOTO 'scopes". What I really mean is that if I didn't have a limited budget, I would get a GOTO mount but I prefer to spend the money on optics instead. I bought a 9x50 RA finderscope and it was one of my best buys ever.


 


For DSO imaging, it really has too long a focal length. Actually you don't NEED a driven mount to capture DSOs but you won't get the fainter ones. I'm hoping to bag M45 and M44 when I get a clear night but will be using a Startravel 80 (F5) and not my Mak. However, I'm intending using the Mak to image some double stars, something I've only done before using afocal and webcam imaging.

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