Greetings one and all. I am looking to reintroduce myself to the hobby. And I need the basics. I'll start with the telescope and a few basic eyepieces......But the scope is the key for this discussion. To give a history, I started with a very old 6" reflector when I was 8. Then a borrowed 8" SC when I was 10. Then a 10.1" Coulter when I was just out of high school back in the early eighties. That is what I am accustomed to....and what I know. The 10.1 didn't even come with a finder scope. Did it the old fashioned way.....looking up the tube and finding an object using The Force.
I have about 2K to spend. In time, I will look into photography, but I can't have everything for only 2K. I understand this is a loaded query, as there are many favorites for many gazers. I am not interested in photography at the present time. Perhaps later, but I can't have it all for only 2K. I am especially interested in imaging planets and nebulae. The Meade 12 inch collapsible looks halfway decent, but I am unclear as to its quality and capabilities as compared to, say, an 8 or 10" SC. Weight is an issue, as my spine is old(ish) and my lifting capabilities are a lot less compared to others my age. I can do it, handle 50 pounds, but it'll hurt. So less is better. I have a good brain, so feel free to hurl numbers and data at me. What I don't immediately understand I will look up and learn. And thank you, all, for your time in answering this post. I've been saving for about two years and will be able to do this in a couple of months, just in time for winter viewing. From what I remember, that is primetime.