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$24.99 refractor!

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#1 sslcm56

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 08:08 AM

There is a user review on the Meade NG60-SM so I went to their website to look at it and they are selling it for 24.99. Here is the link http://store.meade.c...tazimuth-ref... :)

#2 AnokaAstronomy

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 08:37 AM

Nice price, but I do t think it'd be worth buying. Scopes like that can ruin astronomy for some people. I might buy it just to tinker with the mount and dissect the scope for parts. Thanks for the find!!

#3 Joe Aguiar

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 08:54 AM

it looks like a much better than the normal starter 60mm scopes to me that normally cost $100 or more.

#4 sslcm56

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 08:59 AM

It would make a great finder for my dob!

#5 AnokaAstronomy

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 09:05 AM

That's also true. :)

#6 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 10:13 AM

Steve,

I was twelve years old. A few years earlier astronomy had become interesting to me. I never had a telescope and saw a 60mm refractor on sale for $24.95, exactly what your scope costs. However, this was 1967. The eyepieces were not as good as the ones which come with the scope you are considering. The altazimuth mount is different and may, and I emphasize the word "may" be easier to use than what I had.

That 60mm scope initiated a 45 year hobby in stargazing and scoping. Two years later I began making an 8 inch reflector by grinding and polishing the mirror. Over the next forty years I would own and use thirty some different refractors, reflectors, maksutovs, and SCTs. But, the history of my desiring, acquiring and using telescopes began with this 60mm.

The only caveat I suggest is you get a clear commitment concerning returning the scope for refund if the mount or the optics prove to be poor.

Otto

#7 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 10:15 AM

It would make a great finder for my dob!


Not really.. The maximum possible field of view of a 60mm F/11.3 with a 1.25 inch focuser is about 2.25 degrees. The maximum possible field of view for your 10 inch F/5 is about 2.1 degrees...

A scope like this represents probably about the best new scope one can buy for $25 but it's still a $25 scope.. If one can invest more....

Jon

#8 Allan...

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 10:15 AM

Here is another review for that scope: Scope Review

#9 StrangeDejavu

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 10:19 AM

It's not a bad refractor at all, I bought one back in July for my cousin; well worth $25. The eyepieces that come with it are very, very cheap but everything else is a bargain for the money. Check out this topic if you want to see pictures/discussion of the scope.

Would I recommend it as a primary scope for an adult? No, I wouldn't. But this is great for a child who is showing interest and you're worried they might not take care of it. Considering you're getting a a telescope for the price of a Moon filter, I think it's a good deal. :ubetcha:

#10 Qwickdraw

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 12:15 PM

Nice price, but I do t think it'd be worth buying. Scopes like that can ruin astronomy for some people.


It is normally a $100 scope. Shouldn't ruin anything.

#11 Knight-Owl

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 12:22 PM

I recently purchased one of these for my cousin (more like a nephew really, he is 17 years my junior. I digress).

For $25 I energized a kid that already had a small interest in astronomy. He is taking a class at the local CC, and has gone out observing with me twice now in the month since he received it. He takes it out in his yard almost nightly.

Don't think for a minute that $25 would be wasted on this scope. It's much better than my first 60mm refractor, and was a small investment in bringing another person into the hobby that has already paid for itself and then some.

#12 DavidinFL

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 02:24 PM

I just ordered one for my kids to use since they always want to look through my scope when I'm out. Usually mine are up higher and I have to hold them up to the eyepiece which doesn't work so well. This should be about their size.

#13 Mxplx2

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 03:23 PM

I ordered one a week ago and am still waiting for delivery. Shipping brought it to $33.08 for me. At that price, I couldn't help myself.

#14 esd726

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 04:10 PM

Bought one when I saw the earlier post about it being on sale. Not a bad scope, esp if you have some better eyepieces at home. I haven't played with it too much but the only complaints so far are the cheap eps, cheap "finder" (don't like those kind anyway so take w grain of salt), if you use heavier eyepieces then the scope moves and doesn't stay where you want it.
Not a bad 3rd, 4th scope at all. "Steal" for the ~$35. I like the slow motion controls it has. My wife likes bidding on stuff at Shopgoodwill and I have gotten some good deals there too.

#15 starcrafter

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 04:12 PM

Geez, seriously. I don't even particularly want a refractor and at that price it seems crazy for me not to try one! Great find Steve!

#16 sslcm56

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 09:30 PM

I have got to try one just for giggles if nothing else. It will be an adventure.

Steve

#17 SpooPoker

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 12:38 AM

I am always surprised at the concept that a 60mm scope is deemed a beginners scope, it is actually a tool only an experienced astronomer could "make work".

I think it is more a beginners trap (even one with superior optics). A 60mm f/11.7 with poor optics would be a beginner's nightmare.

#18 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 04:48 AM

I am always surprised at the concept that a 60mm scope is deemed a beginners scope, it is actually a tool only an experienced astronomer could "make work".

I think it is more a beginners trap (even one with superior optics). A 60mm f/11.7 with poor optics would be a beginner's nightmare.


I agree that a 60mm is not an ideal beginner's scope.

As I said previously, I do think a 60mm scope is something best suited for more experienced observers, people who know their way around a telescope and have already developed their skills to the point that they can see what a 60mm can show. And a good 60mm on a solid mount can be a surprisingly good telescope..

My experience with scopes like this one are that optically they are OK but not up to the level of the Japanese 60mm from 60s and 70's and that the mounts are undersized, wobbly and prone to vibrating while focusing, difficulties a first timer best avoid.

But I stop short of thinking a 60mm as a "beginner's trap." Too many of us started with some pretty poor quality scopes, too many to believe that even a rather poor 60mm could keep someone from this fine hobby. I have come to believe that if one has the inherent curiosity and patience that amateur astronomy requires, a 60mm is not going to stand in the way...

My first scope was a 60mm refractor that I bought at a garage sale for $5.. it was caked with dirt, the mount was missing important parts and there was but one eyepiece. But at the time, $5 was what I could afford. I washed off the dirt and cleaned it up as best I could. I ended up using bungee cords to strap it to a department store photo tripod, it was quite a contraption..

But I did have a copy of Peterson's guide to the Stars and Planets and there was single line that said that a 60mm telescope was a capable scope. That was enough for me so one night out on the Arizona desert, I stumbled upon the Orion Nebula and that was all it took.. that was the spark that ignited a fire.

But I have to think that if the Peterson's Guide had said that a 60mm scope was incapable of serious observation, I might have been discouraged and never discovered the joys of stargazing with a telescope...

So.. I think there are certainly better scopes for beginners but if $30 is the budget, a scope like this, warts and all, is capable of providing interesting, educational and enjoyable views of the night sky.

Several years ago, I reviewed a 60mm Meade Telestar for Rod Mollise's Skywatch ezine and it was later published in the quarterly Amateur Astronomy. It's worth a read... It's called "Fifty Dollars at Walmart.

Bottom line: Scopes like these, they are not the best but they are sufficient. I like to think that if my circumstances were to change and suddenly my only scope was a NG 60mm, I like to think I still would be out each and every clear night with the same passion...

In my mind, the equipment is part of the equation but the spirit and mind of the observer, those are the most important parts..

Jon

#19 Qwickdraw

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 05:41 AM

Jon,

You are always the voice of reason, thx

#20 gnowellsct

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 07:50 AM

But, the history of my desiring, acquiring and using telescopes began with this 60mm.

The only caveat I suggest is you get a clear commitment concerning returning the scope for refund if the mount or the optics prove to be poor.

Otto


*If*?

#21 SpooPoker

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 12:20 PM

Jon:

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your reply and your enthusiasm is infectious :)

You are totally correct, those 50's/60's and 70's 60mm f/12 - f/17 are definitely a cut above the 60mm offerings today (with possible exception of that ludicrously expensive Parks 60mm f/15 achro). There is something fascinating about these old 60 - 80mm achro's in various flavors - much has been written and said about the old skool Unitron's, Mayflower's, Vixen's, Jaegers and so on... Products where a lot of emphasis was placed on sound engineering and good objectives - it certainly feels that one is using a legitimate instrument versus a toy. Even Tasco, much derided today, offered pretty good gear way back then and these scopes are worth picking up at a flea market or thrift store.

My own experience with a 60mm = more challenging than a dob commonly available for under $400. One really needs that trained eye to pick up detail with the 60mm. I agree that a good 60mm scope (actually even a relatively modestly made one) will show a plethora of objects and should, in principle, be perfectly acceptable for would be astronomers. However, crucially, as you suggested, one needs an imagination and appreciation for the aesthetics of the sky. Rather than looking at a faint smudge and thinking "the Andromeda galaxy looks bad", a person really appreciating the scope and the object under investigation would probably think "I cannot believe I am seeing an object so far away that when that photon of light left it, the earth was covered with towering and ferocious beasts". My wife thinks like that, and thus is never dissapointed in what a telescope offers, big or small. Always excited at every object uncovered - it is an absolute pleasure to observe with her. My brother popped his eye through my 60mm and his reaction was more along the lines of "this is boring, I can hardly see it, lets look through a bigger scope".

You have a deep passion and interest in this hobby, I can easily envisage that if all you had was a pair of binoculars or an imitation scope of the one Galileo used, you would still be out there figuring things out and getting exited with every challenging object detected. However, when one has this passion in limited supply (a passion that can of course grow), a 60mm may be somewhat a disappointment. I personally view a 60mm scope as a perfectly viable instrument doing exactly what it is meant to be doing, challenging to use, perhaps yes (experience being a factor here), dissapointing, no.

#22 Pastor Collux

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 01:55 PM

Just ordered this scope for my wife. After looking through my 8" Dob, she expressed desire in having her own portable, lightweight scope she can use by herself, but without putting a huge investment into it should she lose interest. This scope seemed like a good place for her to start.

However, I did warn her that she may want to put a little money into upgrading from the stock eyepieces. I suggested Agena Astro's new Starguider (AT Paradigms) eyepieces that just came in stock. Seems like they are decent quality and she'll need good eye relief, eye lens opening (she doesn't like to squint through a tiny pinhole) and a wide field of view.

Do you think the Starguiders would be a good fit for that scope and if so, what focal lengths would be best if her budget can swing only two eyepieces? I was thinking the 18mm and the 5mm coupled with a GSO 2x achro Barlow might give a decent range of mags, but not sure. Also, would it be worth upgrading the star diagonal?

She'll basically be sticking to observing naked eye visible objects, moon, planets, stars and sweeping the sky for other interesting things to look at. Suggestions?

#23 csrlice12

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 02:03 PM

WWhile a little more expensive, I'd look at the ES 68*s. Up thru the 24mm They are pretty light weight, so balance problems won't arise. They are also sharp to the edge and affordable....They'll also work in your other scopes......the problem is, you may not want to let her have them back.....

If on a budget, at f11.7, maybe try the Orion Expanse/clones (Agena Astro, Owl). These are 66* fov and come in 20, 15, 9 & 6mm. The 9 & 6 will even perform in a faster scope. As clones, you could probably get the whole set of 4 for around $150.

#24 Pastor Collux

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 02:12 PM

While I agree that the ES 68s are probably a great choice (I have the ES 11mm 82 for my Dob) I'm sure she'll balk at the $100-$119 price each (especially for a $25 scope). Also, Agena has only two focal lengths in the 68s in stock (16mm and 24mm) so not much magnification to choose from at the moment.

#25 Gert K A

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 05:41 PM

I agree with you both on price and size the Paradigms are a good choice
I got the set and like every one of them, they work well and are relatively small and easy to handle
they have a good eyerelief plus a semi wide view they are a good all-round deal.
You get a lot for your money and I’m sure your wife will not be disappointed.

The GSO Barlow is great but since you are getting that anyway, why not opt for the 8mm eyepiece instead of the 5mm
The 8mm I personally use a lot it is a more versatile and pleasing power
and she would be able to barlow it on those rare occasions where the weather cooperates ;)







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