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Looking for feedback on potential scope for newbie

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#1 pkmoor

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:17 PM

Local CL has a Swift Model 853 for sale. 4.5" Newtonian reflector with an equatorial mount and wooden tripod. Comes with 6, 9 and 20 mm Kellner eyepieces, a 2x Barlow and a moon filter. It's priced around $100 and is around 10 years old. I can't find any real info on that model for reviews or pricing. How does it sound for a newbie?

#2 MikeBOKC

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:42 PM

I am not familiar with the brand, but those little 4.5 inch reflectors can be good starter scopes and give nice views of the moon and planets. For $100, assuming the mirror is in decent shape, I don't see how you could go wrong.

#3 killdabuddha

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:38 PM


Just Googled Swift 853 4.5" reflector. Yer the 1st and only hit with yer question here. Then just googled Swift Telescopes. Again, nada, except for the last entry which had this

http://www.cloudynig...5019114/page...

Good old CN. And from exactly one year ago. Think you'll find yer answers there. Some good feedback.

#4 Tim2723

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 08:06 AM

A LOT of us got our start years ago with telescopes like that. If all the pieces are there (so you don't double the cost fixing it) and everything works fine, then $100 is a good place to start. Depends on how newbie the newbie is. Will you be able to tell if everything is OK before you spend?

#5 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 08:39 AM

Local CL has a Swift Model 853 for sale. 4.5" Newtonian reflector with an equatorial mount and wooden tripod. Comes with 6, 9 and 20 mm Kellner eyepieces, a 2x Barlow and a moon filter. It's priced around $100 and is around 10 years old. I can't find any real info on that model for reviews or pricing. How does it sound for a newbie?


Hello and Welcome to Cloudy Nights... :goodjob:

I have purchased a number of similar scope via Craigslist, this Swift could be a good first scope. A 4.5 inch F/8 Newtonian is definitely a capable scope, the mount looks to be a bit sturdier that what one would get today with similar scope.

The price might be a bit high, $65-$75 would make it more attractive, but if it is like the one that Killthebuddha found, it's probably a reasonable scope if it is in good condition. Make sure the eyepieces are 1.25 inch rather than 0.965 and that everything is there.

Jon

#6 pkmoor

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:39 AM

Thanks for the replies. I did get him to come down a little on the price - I'm hoping to pick it up tonight. I figure I'll get the seller to at least demo it somewhat for me to make sure it at least functions. Found lots of reviews for older Swift models which were positive, but nothing current. It has a lot of the features I was looking for, so I'm very hopeful.

#7 pkmoor

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:52 AM

Here's a pic of the scope

Attached Files



#8 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 10:05 AM

Thanks for the replies. I did get him to come down a little on the price - I'm hoping to pick it up tonight. I figure I'll get the seller to at least demo it somewhat for me to make sure it at least functions. Found lots of reviews for older Swift models which were positive, but nothing current. It has a lot of the features I was looking for, so I'm very hopeful.


Swift has been around a long time but mostly as a binocular company. Looking around the web, I see the Swift 863R is still being sold. It might not be such a bargain, not sure. I would be more confident in an older scope, one made in Japan and probably with wooden legs but with a 1.25 inch focuser.

Jon

#9 howard929

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 10:25 AM

Jon,

From that photo, does't it look like a 1.25" focuser with an adapter to .965"? My 60mm Tasco refractor had one of those and after removing it, worked fine with 1.25" EP's.

#10 pkmoor

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 09:44 AM

Picked up the scope last night. Checked out Jupiter for a test drive (first time for me). This all started because my parents picked up a scope from Toy 'R Us for my sons. It had a piece broken so I took the opportunity to try to find a better used scope at a reasonable price. I think they'll be happy with this as a starter. Thanks again.

#11 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:10 AM

Picked up the scope last night. Checked out Jupiter for a test drive (first time for me). This all started because my parents picked up a scope from Toy 'R Us for my sons. It had a piece broken so I took the opportunity to try to find a better used scope at a reasonable price. I think they'll be happy with this as a starter. Thanks again.


:goodjob:

It's not only a starter scope but one that could provide some instructional, enjoyable views for years to come...

Jon

#12 dpwoos

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:27 AM

Absolutely correct. Having the biggest/best/most expensive stuff does not make one the best observer, or the best teacher/mentor or the best anything. I suggest paying some attention to making sure that the scope is working well (collimation, cool down, etc.), but you don't have to go crazy with this. You can even do quite a bit of observing through a window - last night I spent an hour observing Jupiter through a picture window at around 160x, and the view was pretty good and a lot better than not observing.

#13 BigC

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 12:40 PM

Absolutely correct. Having the biggest/best/most expensive stuff does not make one the best observer, or the best teacher/mentor or the best anything. I suggest paying some attention to making sure that the scope is working well (collimation, cool down, etc.), but you don't have to go crazy with this. You can even do quite a bit of observing through a window - last night I spent an hour observing Jupiter through a picture window at around 160x, and the view was pretty good and a lot better than not observing.

A post worth repeating.

There are very usable and reasonably priced .965 eyepieces and barlows available from suppliers like telescopewarehouse.com that can enhance the experience .

#14 BigC

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 12:46 PM

That is a nice looking example of the classic design;and one I wouldn't mind having.The blue tube and wood legs look nice and not quite so "boring" as plain white nor so quick to show every speck of dust as the common black tube.

Could look quite nice displayed in living room or large foyer between viewing sessions.Besides,the closer it sits to a door the more likely it will be carried outside!

#15 CJK

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:51 PM

Could look quite nice displayed in living room or large foyer between viewing sessions.Besides,the closer it sits to a door the more likely it will be carried outside!


That's my excuse for ours sitting next to the TV in the living room! :cool:

-- Chris

#16 John Kuraoka

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 03:21 PM

That's a good idea - our (small) telescope is currently sitting atop a short bookshelf on the opposite end of the room from the front door. There are bookshelves by the door. I think I'll try to clear a spot for the scope there so it can live closer to the open sky.

The binoculars are in a bin right next to the front door, so they're already positioned well.

#17 BigC

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 09:44 PM

If your small scope is the 90mm Mak-Cass there nothing to feel "small" about.I saw Saturn and rings last year in a Meade DSX-90 .Small but sharp image.It is the same size as the Questar,just a few thousand $$$$ less expensive.
Seems ro me Maksutov hit on a great design :you get the long focal length of a slow refractor in a compact package.

I was pleasantly surprised by what one can see in a 3" reflector way back in '09 so of course I now have a 12"! :grin:

Seriously, for those times when one wishes to look at the brightest couple hundred thousand objects a 3" scope that weighs little is very convenient.

Had my Starclast 4.5" EQ out before the clouds rolled in;Saturn in the 6mm Expanse EP boosted by Orion 3x Barlow was pretty good.COnditions certainly not good enough to wrassle the 12" outside for a half-hour session.






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