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General Astronomy >> Beginners Forum

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sslcm56
super member


Reged: 07/20/12

Loc: Montgomery, Al.
$24.99 refractor!
      #6121923 - 10/07/13 09:08 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.com/telescopes/starter-scopes/meade-ng60-sm-altazimuth-ref...

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AnokaAstronomy
super member


Reged: 08/15/13

Loc: MN
Re: $24.99 refractor! new [Re: sslcm56]
      #6121973 - 10/07/13 09:37 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!!

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Joe Aguiar
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 02/10/07

Loc: none of your buss
Re: $24.99 refractor! *DELETED* new [Re: AnokaAstronomy]
      #6122006 - 10/07/13 09:54 AM

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

Edited by Joe Aguiar (10/08/13 02:30 PM)


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sslcm56
super member


Reged: 07/20/12

Loc: Montgomery, Al.
Re: $24.99 refractor! new [Re: Joe Aguiar]
      #6122015 - 10/07/13 09:59 AM

It would make a great finder for my dob!

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AnokaAstronomy
super member


Reged: 08/15/13

Loc: MN
Re: $24.99 refractor! new [Re: sslcm56]
      #6122028 - 10/07/13 10:05 AM

That's also true.

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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: $24.99 refractor! new [Re: sslcm56]
      #6122174 - 10/07/13 11:13 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


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: $24.99 refractor! new [Re: sslcm56]
      #6122182 - 10/07/13 11:15 AM

Quote:

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


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Allan...
sage


Reged: 10/24/12

Loc: Penticton B.C. Canada
Re: $24.99 refractor! new [Re: sslcm56]
      #6122184 - 10/07/13 11:15 AM

Here is another review for that scope: Scope Review

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StrangeDejavu
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/20/13

Loc: Florida
Re: $24.99 refractor! new [Re: sslcm56]
      #6122192 - 10/07/13 11:19 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.


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Qwickdraw
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: $24.99 refractor! new [Re: AnokaAstronomy]
      #6122457 - 10/07/13 01:15 PM

Quote:

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.


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Knight-Owl
member


Reged: 09/11/11

Re: $24.99 refractor! new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #6122471 - 10/07/13 01:22 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.


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DavidinFL
super member
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Reged: 08/28/09

Loc: Navarre, FL
Re: $24.99 refractor! new [Re: Knight-Owl]
      #6122752 - 10/07/13 03:24 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.

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Mxplx2
sage


Reged: 09/12/12

Loc: NE PA USA
Re: $24.99 refractor! new [Re: DavidinFL]
      #6122924 - 10/07/13 04:23 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.

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esd726
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/30/04

Loc: Rochester, IN
Re: $24.99 refractor! new [Re: Mxplx2]
      #6123105 - 10/07/13 05:10 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.


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starcrafter
super member
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Reged: 08/06/13

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: $24.99 refractor! new [Re: Mxplx2]
      #6123109 - 10/07/13 05:12 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!

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sslcm56
super member


Reged: 07/20/12

Loc: Montgomery, Al.
Re: $24.99 refractor! new [Re: starcrafter]
      #6123730 - 10/07/13 10:30 PM

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

Steve


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SpooPoker
sage
*****

Reged: 06/04/13

Loc: North Bay CA
Re: $24.99 refractor! new [Re: sslcm56]
      #6124000 - 10/08/13 01:38 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.


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: $24.99 refractor! new [Re: SpooPoker]
      #6124162 - 10/08/13 05:48 AM

Quote:

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

Edited by Jon Isaacs (10/08/13 06:51 AM)


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Qwickdraw
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: $24.99 refractor! new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6124195 - 10/08/13 06:41 AM

Jon,

You are always the voice of reason, thx


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gnowellsct
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/24/09

Re: $24.99 refractor! new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #6124341 - 10/08/13 08:50 AM

Quote:

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*?


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