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Good travel/beginner telescope?

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#1 Random_Roughneck

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 11:50 AM

Hello everyone,

I recently started getting in to astronomy, and have been sorta doing astronomy-stuff for the past few weeks. I currently stargaze with binoculars, and i have pretty much seen everything that could be seen with them. (they are not really good nor bad for it) i want to dive deeper in to the hobby but don't really know what to buy.

 

I'm looking for something that can be easily carried around on a bike / in a backpack, so something like a travel scope. My budget is around 160-180 euro's, max 200-210. i don't really want anything less than 80mm in refractors and 130mm in Newtonian styled scopes. I would prefer a 90mm refractor but those are a bit pricey. i don't know if i should use an Equatorial mount or something simple like an alt/az. I am currently only looking at refractors, because of the compactness of them, but other telescopes like newtonians and maks are welcome.

currently i'm looking at buying https://www.astrosho...vel-ota/p,21952 this, but i am unsure.

So what do you people recommend?

 

Btw i am from Europe just so y'know.



#2 watchplanets

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 12:00 PM

that's pretty much what I was gonna say a 80mmf/5 anything more and its too big to carry in a backpack. In fact this may already big too big. you also need a tripod a good decent camera tripod can be ok here if you put a small hand controller thingy on top, as using the panhandle is too clumsy, unless you are talking about a more expensive model.

 

another scope maybe a 90mm mak/cass to 102? but if this is for camping I kinda like the wide fields you will get with a ST refractor over a narrow one, which is more intended on planets.



#3 sg6

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 12:20 PM

Bresser (or ES or both) do a 90mm 500mm refractor. Sometimes it comes on a Nano mount - simple Alt/Az manual one.

 

Apparently Bresser and €129 90/500 OTA

 

Also 80/640 Bresser and €189, which used to be the ES Firstlight.

The 80/640 should show a bit lesst CA and it comes with the Nano mount. Not great but a mount to get going with.

 

Cannot see the 90/500 on a mount, sure I have done recently.

 

If quick then: Bresser Display they have an 80/640 at €135 on the Nano mount 80/640-Nano


Edited by sg6, 20 June 2019 - 12:26 PM.


#4 rkinnett

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 12:48 PM

Here's a good review and demo by Trevor Jones, "astrobackyard" on youtube, of a William Optics RedCat 51 he took with him to Costa Rica:

https://www.youtube....h?v=etMSt-pJgjs



#5 jcj380

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 12:53 PM

Aside from binos, my lightest grab-n-go is a Meade ST80 clone (Adventurescope) on a panhead mount on an aluminum Benro tripod.  I think the ST80 is maybe 18 inches long (and came with a padded backpack)) and the pod collapses to maybe 2 feet long.  Very light and portable with minimal set-up time.

 

Scope was around $90, panhead was around $40, but the tripod was $110 since it's decent quality (IMO anyway).


Edited by jcj380, 20 June 2019 - 12:56 PM.


#6 SeattleScott

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 12:55 PM

Maybe a AWB OneSky and find a rock to set it on? Don’t need a tripod that way.

Scott

#7 Hesiod

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 02:36 PM

In my opinion the main issue would be the mount: you can backpack surprisingly large telescope once can rely on a sturdy but light and compact phototripod; however these are rather expensive (lighter and sturdier, the more expensive...).

Unlike to popular believes, refractors are the worst option as far as compactness goes; if want to pack the biggest aperture for any given size/weight you have to opt for reflectors; refractors have other virtues, but not "size-efficiency".

 

Given your budget, the best option, performance-wise, is IMHO a bundle with a 90/1250 Mak-Cass optical tube: at such price point the provided equatorial mounts are very rough but, due to the diminutive size of the optica tube, can be used to decent results.

It goes without saying that german equatorial mounts are not the bes option for backpacking (you have to carry also a counterweight), but do not know if could get both the optical tube and a suitable phototripod

 

Here's what I was using:

 

gallery_215679_8115_2334460.jpg

 

gallery_215679_8115_635454.jpg

 

The whole telescope can fit into a rather smallish backpack, the phototripod hung at the iceaxe's hook

 

A similar tripod could be purchased at 70€ or so (I strongly recommend to get the kit with the ballhead: the fluid heads at this price pount are basically trash).


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#8 vtornado

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 08:16 PM

For vacation where space is limited and I have to carry the scope from our hotel about a mile to get out of the glare,

I was using a 80mm f/5 on a  medium duty photo tripod.  Where I go on vacation is not the best place bortel 4/5 vs my home which is bortel 5/6, so seeing the  faint fuzzy things is still hard.  The 80mm does not lend itself to high power, which is better when viewing under a light dome.

 

I just purchased a c5 and am pretty excited about it/   125mm of aperture, no CA, and a 1250 mm focal length.

It still mounts on the photo tripod, and can be put into a back pack.  Of course not as wide as the 80 f/5, but wide is not so great in bortel 4/5.



#9 Tony Flanders

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 04:48 AM

Hello everyone,
I recently started getting in to astronomy, and have been sorta doing astronomy-stuff for the past few weeks. I currently stargaze with binoculars, and i have pretty much seen everything that could be seen with them.


Sorry, I hate to disagree with you, but a lifetime isn't long enough to see everything that can be seen with a good pair of hand-held binoculars.

Just to take one example, have you seen all of the Messier objects? And how many double stars have you split?
 

I'm looking for something that can be easily carried around on a bike / in a backpack, so something like a travel scope. My budget is around 160-180 euro's, max 200-210. i don't really want anything less than 80mm in refractors and 130mm in Newtonian styled scopes. I would prefer a 90mm refractor but those are a bit pricey. i don't know if i should use an Equatorial mount or something simple like an alt/az. I am currently only looking at refractors, because of the compactness of them, but other telescopes like newtonians and maks are welcome.


I do carry telescopes on my bicycle fairly often, so I can answer this with some authority!

In general, you will probably want to strap the tripod to the bicycle. It is possible to carry a tripod in a backpack, but since it's most of the weight, it's more comfortable not to have all that weight on your back. The telescope, however, should go into the backpack to protect it from jolts and vibration.

An alternative would be to take a very small Dob like the Heritage 130P, put it on the ground, and sit next to it on the ground. When I did this I found that I wanted a cushion about 5-10 mm thick to get me up to the correct height, but that's easily arranged. I am comfortable sitting for long periods cross-legged on the ground, but many people aren't.

Assuming that you want to use a tripod, a refractor is probably your best choice. Maks offer similar portability per unit of performance, but have very narrow fields of view, which makes it much harder to locate objects. And robs you of the glorious wide-field views that a small, fast refractor can provide.

 

The tripod itself should be a good, sturdy photo tripod -- expensive but highly portable. You can often find good ones for cheap on the used market. If you care about portability, don't even think about equatorial mounts!

I have carried refractors as big as a 100-mm f/6 achromat in my backpack, but that might stretch both your budget and your portability limits. See this thread for a description of the 80-mm GoScope that I will be bringing to South America in a few days. I chose that scope because it works particularly well with a ballhead mounted "side-saddle." From an optical standpoint, one of the lightweight 80-mm f/5 refractors would be slightly better, and perhaps easier to find in Europe.



#10 watchplanets

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 01:40 PM

I used to go camping back in the early 90s and I didn't really wanna go camping but get away from a heavy LP white zone. At that time I had no car so I went alone as I didn't know anyone who wanted to tent camp. Anyway my back pack had all the regular things like tent sleeping bag, bubble pad, food, flashlights batters, clothes, small radio, astro book eps charts,portable 1 flamame and couple small 1lb propane tanks for heating coffee and food. this bag was pretty heavy.

 

then 2 gym bags one on each hand for the scopes. One had the 6"f/5 reflector and the other bag the EQ3 mount  tripod and weight. Man was this pretty heavy after 400 meters. I had to take subway to the go buss then a 2nd go buss then a taxis to the camping site then a km walk to my site.

 

also paying for a site for 3 days (fri sat and sun) wasn't too expansive but when u add up the whole weekend iy does add up, not too mention theres no garrenty it would be clear.

 

and that only got me to a yellow zone from a white and took 3 hrs each way by transit. This is abit too much for most to be considered portable. I would consider a 5" or 6" sct would be half the size but its the mount tripod that's still the problem to hold it steady have controls to track etc. I guess u could mount a c5 on a eq2 if you really had to just its wont be solid but if its just for visual only.



#11 tony_spina

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 03:48 PM

The 80mm f/5 is my travel scope of choice.  I have that in a backpack with a lightweight photo tripod with a compact dwarfstar mount. 3 eyepieces and 2x barlow 

 

Sometimes I will take a SCT 5.

 

IMG_5727-35.jpg


#12 Harr70

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 09:46 AM

I'm new to the forum from Sheffeld, UK. I've always been into science and engineering. I've started star gazing a few years ago and I've just signed up to the forum to be able to join in with discussions. Have a look for Bresser Messier AR-80/640 AZ Nano Telescope. They are around £150.

 

Hope that helps. 

 

Harry



#13 dgordontx

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 10:51 AM

I still have my Meade LightBridge 130. It is a great beginner scope that offers a lot to see. Very easy to use and something I would recommend to anyone just starting out.



#14 treadmarks

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 01:45 PM

I've got some experiencing biking and backpacking with scopes. As someone said, the mount is the major issue here. Your typical astronomical mount is not made to be backpacked. So you need something that works on a photographic tripod.

 

The great thing about CATs is they balance extremely well on mounts, while packing a lot of aperture. You can put a refractor on a photo tripod, but I guarantee you it will have less aperture than the CAT. For that reason, I think the Celestron C5 is the best telescope that is truly portable. It is just about the most aperture you can put on a photo tripod.




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