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Mak vs Reflector? Under 0.

Need our opinion on a telescope Optics Planet has on sale, go ahead and ask! Post some hints and tips on various telescope brands and configuration.

Mak vs Reflector? Under $500.

Postby Guest on Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:41 am

I currently have a small beginner scope and I'd like to move up to something better. I can see detail on the moon but that's about it. Mars looks like small red dot.

I'd like to be able to see Mars, Jupiter and Saturn with good detail. Deep sky objects would be great as well but I don't think my budget will get me there. I may want to eventually try astrophotography also, but I guess that depends on good things look!

I was leaning strongly to something like the Bushnell North Star Maksutov Cassegrain 5" Telescope. That is just under $500. But then I started to consider a reflector like the Meade 5" 130mm GoTo Computerized Reflector Telescope for less. Will one of these be better for planets/deep sky/astrophotography?

I have no brand knowledge. I just want to look at Saturn and have that, "Wow, it's Saturn!" feeling.

Any suggestions would be helpful! Thanks!
Guest
 

Postby Jne_K on Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:01 am

Hi

A small telescope can see exactly the same TYPES of objects - moon, planets, galaxies, nebulae, star clusters - as a large telescope, it just can't see as many of them or as much detail in them as a larger telescope. A 5" scope, though small, will still show you many deep-sky objects. No need to wait for a bigger scope. As for planets, Mars is always a challenge in any telescope, so don't expect too much, there, but any 5" scope will show plenty of detail on Jupiter or the rings of Saturn, though the rings are not currently in a good position for observing.

A Mak will offer better image quality than a reflector, primarily at the edge of the field, where a reflector is at its weakest. In fact, A Mak is second only to a good and very expensive APO refractor in terms of image quality. If you want to do mostly planets, I would go for a Mak in a heartbeat.

The Bushnell Mkas are good news/bad news. The good news is that the optics and tube construction are quite good for the price. Great value in terms of optics. Bad news is the Northstar computer. It is a very distant third behind Meade and Celestron computers and it will also limit you severely if you plan to do astrophotography. A better choice is the Celestron Nexstar 4SE, which does offer a much more capable computer and it also has an astrophotography ready mount.
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Postby Guest on Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:08 pm

Joanie, thank you for reply.

I definitely want good planet detail so it sounds like my original plan to go with a Mak was right.

Will the single arm mount be an issue with the Celestron? Especially if I try astrophotography?

Can you recommend a set of eye pieces I should purchase with that scope?

Thank you!
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Postby Jne_K on Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:16 am

Hi

You are very welcome.

A single arm mount is not quite as good as a fork, but still adequate. Should not be a problem. Eyepiece kits are always a good bet for getting started. For good values, try the Celestron. For a higher grade kit, the Meade 07678 is a great choice.
Thanks for posting with us
Joanie K - Your personal optics expert

Forum: http://www.opticsplanet.com/msgboard
Blog: http://blog.opticsplanet.com/
Store: http://www.opticsplanet.com/

Phone: (800) 504-5897
Fax: (847) 919-3003
Jne_K
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7665
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2003 3:09 pm