Telescope Purchase Which one? Suggestions

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  #1  
Old 09-11-08, 06:38 PM
diyplank's Avatar
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Telescope Purchase Which one? Suggestions

Hello all, I applogize in advance for the post here but I don't know where else to put it. I wanna buy a telescope to observe the stars, moon, etc. There are so many out there I wanted to see if anyone had any ideas. I don't wanna buy a 50 dollar tasco but I also don't wanna spend over 200 either. I am just getting started and thought it would be fun for the family to get one. I know this will get moved but I hope someone can help.
Thanks
ps - I applogize to the moderator!!
 
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Old 09-11-08, 07:25 PM
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No need to apologize, this is as good a spot as any.

I have a $200.00 telescope and find that a 32 power spotting scope on a tripod is better.
It does not magnify as much but the image is much brighter and what you are looking at is right side up unlike a telescope which is backward and upside down.
You would have the added bonus in that a spotting scope is perfect for viewing birds up close.


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Image courtesy of cabellas.com


Binoculars are good too but it can get tiring not having them on a tripod.

If you are new to astronomy learning where everything is in the sky is more important IMO than concentrating on a telescope.
If you find you are really interested you can budget for a good telescope in the future.
 
  #3  
Old 09-16-08, 06:12 PM
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With optics like everything in life, you get what you pay for. Have fun with your new scope ($200) but do not be disappointed that what you see through the eyepiece does not look like what you see on TV from the Hubble Telescope ($2'000'000'000+). I personally think $300-$500 is the bottom of the range for something more than a "toy" telescope.

A spotting scope is a good, cheap way to get started in astronomy. Two big things to look for are a big objective (the big lens on the front) and a 45 or 90 degree eyepiece. The larger objective will gather more light so you can see dimmer objects and the angled eyepiece will save your neck because you will be looking up at a 45-90 degree angle.

A good pair of binoculars is also a good way to start and they can be used on vacations and animal watching so you might get more use for your money.

Take a chance to read the beginners advice section of scope reviews.com. http://www.scopereviews.com/begin.html It is a long page but it is full of good information.

I loved my Orion Short Tube 80 which are $200 new (tripod is not included) and about half that used. It is a small, lightweight wide field scope which makes it easier to find things in the sky. You can use any camera tripod or astronomy models start at about $100.
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I could talk for days about optics (telescopes, binoculars...) so do not be afraid to ask questions.
 
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