I'm interested in astrophotography and since I haven't left my home in six weeks, my interest in photographing the skies has been growing. I'm on a tight budget and I've found these two options:

  • A Meade Infinity 70mm (f/10), a cheap refractor.

  • The Omegon Maksutov MightyMak 80mm, only for 20€ more.

The Meade has a T2 mount, the Omegon uses 1.25" but comes with a T2 adapter; meaning in both cases I'd need the T2 to Canon adapter.

I would also like to be able to use it for terrestrial photography once the lockdown is over, and that's a big factor in my case, even if the results are not excellent. I know that for astro the mount is extremely important, but I'm not thinking about deep sky, mostly planets and the Moon and, of course, terrestrial.

In most forums they always talk about expensive options, but these cheap ones are not often discussed for obvious reason.

  • $\begingroup$ rather than each person looking up two telescopes, it would be better if you did some comparison here. Do they both have camera mounting for your DSLR? How do their mounts compare? Will you need tracking? $\endgroup$ – uhoh Apr 30 '20 at 15:30
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    $\begingroup$ The Meade has a T2 mount, the Omegon uses 1.25" but comes with a T2 adapter, meaning in both cases I'd need the T2 to Canon adapter. I expect both mounts to be pretty bad in this price range, but I'll look for more info about it. $\endgroup$ – kramkor Apr 30 '20 at 15:37
  • $\begingroup$ Don't get that Mak. Not for use as a telescope, at least. You say "these cheap ones are not often discussed for obvious reason" - the obvious reason is because they're not good and will give disappointing results. Why don't you instead look at a star tracker and put a camera on it? You can even make your own tracker if your budget is tight: search for "barn door tracker". $\endgroup$ – Aaron F May 12 '20 at 9:38

Both of these look OK to me. The biggest plus in the Omegon looks like the extra 10mm. If you're on a budget, taking a cheaper refractor and later taking a decent budget tracker (e.g. SkyTracker Pro) is a good move. Gradually building up your set of gear is key. Good luck!

ps. Don't think you're going to take "budget photos" because you're on budget gear. Good amateur astropics don't necessarily come from people with the best gear.

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    $\begingroup$ Hi! Thanks for you answer. I ended up spending a bit more and got myself a Skywatcher mak 90, since neither of the scopes I mentioned had many reviews in astronomy forums. Hopefully it's a better base to build up my gear as you mentioned. $\endgroup$ – kramkor May 4 '20 at 14:15
  • $\begingroup$ Excellent choice, especially for planetary imaging and globular clusters. It will be challenging to take deep-sky images, because Maksutov-Cassegrain scopes are high powered with narrow fields of view and slow optics. This is all fine for Planetary use, where the targets are bright and long focal lengths increase resolution, but photographing deep space objects like galaxies and faint nebula require long exposures, which in turn require expensive mounts and auto-guiding. Stick with planets and globular clusters and you will be happy. $\endgroup$ – Dan Hanson May 5 '20 at 16:10

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