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bbulldog
25th of October 2008 (Sat), 05:58
Am looking into buying a Meade ETX-90PE UHTC. It is on offer here http://www.meadeshop.de/item.php5?lang=de&id=110093 (Sorry it in German) but it seems to have what a newbie needs.

What do you guys think of this?

found this english link http://www.opticsplanet.net/meade-etx90ep-telescopes.html

Nighthound
25th of October 2008 (Sat), 08:36
What will you be using it for?

Photography or visual? If photography, which camera do you have and which type of objects are you interested in imaging?

Jeff
25th of October 2008 (Sat), 08:43
I think for photography it'd be a no-go. 3.5" objective, f/13.8 and being forkmounted would be difficult for anything but maybe planets and bright stars.

For a nice little travel scope I think it'd work. You probably won't see many deep sky/faint objects though.

bbulldog
25th of October 2008 (Sat), 14:14
Im looking into photographing, moon and planets. Maybe some stars, deep space i am not sure but would be good.

Nighthound
25th of October 2008 (Sat), 15:44
Im looking into photographing, moon and planets. Maybe some stars, deep space i am not sure but would be good.

For planetary and Lunar work a Maksutov-Cassegrain would do fine but keep in mind the f-ratio of this scope is very high ( f/13.8 ) which of course means slow in gathering light. I've seen some impressive planetary work done with web cams in the larger ETX scopes. It entails stacking multiple images which really brings out the detail. I wouldn't plan on getting accurate exposures long enough to go very deep on nebula, galaxies, etc. but tracking is sufficient for planetary/Lunar.

As an example for deep sky imaging, I prefer to shoot between f/4 and f/5 when shooting deep-sky objects. My mount tracks quite well but everything I do as far as scope choices, refined alignment, scope/mount balance, high ISO camera settings are all an effort to stack the odds in my favor for getting the most from every long exposure. So for deep sky shots an f/13.8 scope would be working against my goal. But as I mentioned the ETX 90 may be just right for you as long as you don't see yourself shooting mainly deep-sky objects in the near future. You could certainly sell the 90 down the road if you choose to go for longer exposure work.

I always find posts like these tricky because I certainly don't want to discourage anyone but I also don't want to see hard earned money spent on something that will be so disappointing that the scope will spend most of its time indoors, i.e. storage. Everyone has to find an entry point that is comfortable budget-wise as well as the level of difficulty and that varies from person to person. I don't think the ETX 90 would be disappointing but it would be limited to bright object imaging.

Are you going to mount a DSLR to the scope? Might want to research hardware and attachment. One other thing to remember is that these scopes won't allow you to shoot objects high in the sky right out of the box(without a wedge). The camera hanging off the back will hit the mount base(no clearance).

I hope this helps in some way, if you need any other suggestions or help with getting started let us know.