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Attention !!!! Beginner Telescope ??????

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#1 sam.clearsky

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:00 AM

Hi,

I am now planning to buy a telescope, this will be my first purchase, I dont have much experience in handling a telescope so need your advice as to which one to buy.

Budget: $250
Type: Shall i go for refractors or reflectors ?
Viewing : In city most of the time, planets and few DSO's .
Any other accessories required??? like filters or eyepieces.

few in my mind:
1. AstroMaster 70AZ
http://www.telescope...ronastromast...

2. AstroMaster 114EQ
http://www.telescope...ronastromast...

3. AstroMaster 90EQ OR AZ??? which will be better???
http://www.telescope...ronastromast...

4.Orion GoScope 80mm Refractor
http://www.telescope...nd-Tripod-Bu...

Please provide suggestion and evaluate my choices above.

Thanks a ton :)
Sam

#2 LLD

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:22 AM

Hi Sam and Welcome to cloudy Nights! Of the scopes you have listed I would go with the 90mm AZ, But one scope to consider in your price range would be the Orion 4.5xt reflector, I'm sure more members will chime in with some excellent choice's as well!

#3 GeneT

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:30 AM

I believe that either of the refractors or a six inch Dob would be a good telescope for you.

#4 howard929

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:51 AM

Hello and Welcome to Cloudy Nights

IMO there's no such thing as a beginners telescope. Instead, I ascribe to the thought that any telescope purchase regardless of user level should be one that gets used often and for many years. To me, its in for a penny, in for a pound sort of deal but it can be a light weight pound.

A 6" or 8" dob fits that description IMO as either of them will produce the most bang for the buck and both are usually considered keepers.

Best of luck to you on this search you're on as mine is but one of many opinions you'll receive.

#5 BigC

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:54 AM

Sam,

EQ is much better for follwing objects in the night sky unless you buy a goto scope.And probably best to put money in optics over computers.

Instead of any on your list,I recommend the slightly bigger Celestron Astromaster 130 EQ reflector from your choice of vendors. It is still within your budget ($199 current price)even with the addition of the optional RA motor ($39)which I also recommend as very nice to have.

The 130mm is jsut enough bigger to let you see some of the more popular and brighter galaxies and nebulae as well as providing good planet views.

You will also need a chair of some kind because standing can become rather tiring,and a sky atlas bok unless you plan on having the computer by the scope.

#6 sg6

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:57 AM

Another agreement with either refractor, the 90 being bigger is the obvious option.

I assume that it comes wih a 25 and 10mm eyepiece, and I guess it is f/10 (all guesses). :help:

You mention additional items, perhaps a 7mm eyepiece which would be useful for Saturn giving (if right) 128x. If you buy one then the eye relief on a plossl is small at focal lengths below about 12mm. Cannot say which make as I am unfamiliar with those generally available in the US.

#7 rguasto

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:04 AM

Orion XT CLASSIC 6" F8 Dob.

#8 howard929

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:14 AM

Orion XT CLASSIC 6" F8 Dob.


Link added. even better for a mere $395 a 8" GSO dob.

#9 sam.clearsky

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:24 AM

I have read reviews wrt to 90AZ that since its AZ its a bit shaky and its better to go for and 90EQ instead. Is it true??

#10 BSJ

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:32 AM

I recommend that you don't get anything with "AstroMaster" in the name. They have way too many problems that need to be "fixed" before they're usable. I started with a 130mm AstroMaster. Ended up a waste of money and time...

The 80mm refractor will be very disappointing on Planets.

A 4.5" Dob would be the best bet within your budget.

#11 Ksearles62

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:41 AM

I would go with a Dob. Easy to use and more bang for your buck. With the holidays just around the corner you should be able to find some great deals

#12 Mike4242

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 12:18 PM

+1 on a 4.5" or 6" dob.

#13 frito

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 12:26 PM

I'll throw my predictable opinion in 6-8" Dob. new/used/whatever.

you can find 6's used under 200 dollars and 8" used at 200-250. if you live in the SF bay area i'd check out Orion's store in Cupertino. i was there a month ago and they had an XT6i for 200 bucks (discontinued intelliscope model) every time i go in there they have fire sale scopes for sale.

unless you have experience with EQ mounts and know what your getting into a cheap EQ mount alone will drive you to not want to use your telescope. Dobs are about the simplest telescopes to setup and use and the added bonus is also provide more aperture for your dollar and that's what makes them both a great beginner and value scope.

#14 GOLGO13

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 12:37 PM

With a $250 budget, you are really close to better scopes. I may suggest saving up just a little more to get a lot more capability.

Of your scopes listed...I'd give a big no to the number 4. I have not heard much good on those. I'd pick the 90mm refractor out of those.

I'm a fan of AZ mounts. Of course these ones are probably not the best AZ mounts. A 90mm refractor is a nice size scope, but not sure the AZ mount here would really support that tube well. But I bet the EQ for that isn't too great either.

There are benefits and detractions for both types of scopes (refractor/reflector). I personally like both types. Refractors cool down pretty quick (useful in winter with limited time). Refractors have an unobstructed view. But, refractors cost more for the aperture. Reflectors require collimation (lining up the optics). Cool down takes a bit longer. There is an obstruction in the light path.

I think it's tricky picking which type one in the $250 range. If we were talking $300 I would say the 6 inch dob. $400 I'd say the 8 inch dob (Apertura or Astro-tech). $500 is tougher because there are some nice refractors in that range, but an 8 inch newt would provide a better view for many objects.

It really comes down to what you find more appealing scope wise.

#15 Erik30

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 12:59 PM

+1 for a Dob.. Easy to setup, less frustration.

#16 Jerry-rigged

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 01:05 PM

To the OP - this past spring, I was about where you are now - looking at 3-5" scopes, trying to find the most bang for under $300 or so. What I found was a Craigslist 10" dob for $200, with a few eyepieces, barlow, and a telrad. Just yesterday, I was looking at CL and saw a 6" dob, 6" newt/GEM, 2 8" dobs, and a 10" dob all listed under $300. Some of them were about 4 hours away, but still...

#17 kfiscus

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 01:23 PM

6" dob on the used market for around $150. Only buy from well-rated sellers or one you can physically check out. People here can help you with specific questions about deals you find.

#18 csrlice12

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:15 PM

Costco Online has the Astromaster 130 EQ (on a CG3 mount) on sale for $149 right now. THAT is one heck of a deal.

#19 maltydog

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 07:24 PM

another costco recommendation: the celestron 102. it is $199. the scope is great. the mount is computerized and has goto. the mount is a little light though. but for first scope and $199 - a great scope.
gw

#20 Meadeball

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:56 PM

another costco recommendation: the celestron 102. it is $199. the scope is great. the mount is computerized and has goto. the mount is a little light though. but for first scope and $199 - a great scope.
gw


Ditto on that. One caveat though -- if you're at all interested, go to Costco now. They're only sold for the holiday season and they're already running low. I purchased mine last year in late October and they were all gone by the first week of December. I was in my Costco this evening and they had about 15 left. You can read about the scope here.

There's also a thread about this telescope over in the Refractors forum and it's active this evening, so it'll be highlighted with new activity.

Meade

#21 Sonomajfk

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:36 PM

I highly recommend Craigslist; I spent a couple of months looking, finally found a nice (older) 90mm refractor with a nice (heavier, solid) EQ mount and motor drive for $100. It was being used as a decorative piece in the family's living room. I love this scope and am having a great time with it. I keep watching the ads and see good deals all the time. You should be able to find something really good for $250, if you're not in a hurry. Have fun with it.

#22 howard929

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:45 AM

It was being used as a decorative piece in the family's living room.


That's funny. Did they look at you like you had two heads for wanting to look though it rather then at it, or didn't you tell them?

#23 newtoskies

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:22 PM

I would suggest the 6" Orion Dob. This is what I did because of budget and not knowing if I would like the hobby.
Well it was the best thing I did. I have heavy LP so the Dob still lets me observe a LOT. More bang for the buck and it will give the wow affect.

#24 BigC

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:48 AM

It was being used as a decorative piece in the family's living room.


That's funny. Did they look at you like you had two heads for wanting to look though it rather then at it, or didn't you tell them?

Did you know there are telescopes being made and sold purely as decorations?

ANd some are priced as much as a usable scope!






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