Jump to content


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Telrad or red dot finder or...?

  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Tokamak


    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 64
  • Joined: 01 May 2018
  • Loc: Clearwater, Florida

Posted 25 August 2019 - 11:19 AM

I have a 6se and my kids broke my red dot finder.   It was always awkward to use because of the bracket placement requiring a shim to align to the scope.  Should I just replace it with the stock red dot finder...should I get a Telrad instead?  Any other preferred options?  I dont think I should need anything fancy since the site is just used to align the scope.   

#2 Stellar1


    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 529
  • Joined: 08 Dec 2018
  • Loc: Ontario, Canada

Posted 25 August 2019 - 11:39 AM

A Telrad is large but, it has always been my most fav finder regardless of scope type. The tetrad has been around for 25 years or so, theres a reason it has been unchanged in all this time, 

it's reputation in amateur astronomy circles is somewhat legendary. If i had to choose only one finder it would be my telrad, it is easy to use, comfortable to look through and, has never 

let me down.

#3 m1618


    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 804
  • Joined: 18 Sep 2012
  • Loc: CA

Posted 25 August 2019 - 11:43 AM

Yes. A game changer. Those stock red dots are meh. Telrads use double stick tape but stays on fine on my dobsonian tube. There are plenty of options with mounting brackets as well which are less bulky. Larger the viewable area (without too much plastic bezel) is better. But yes, Telrad is very popular.

#4 Allanbarth1



  • -----
  • Posts: 4,021
  • Joined: 29 Apr 2016
  • Loc: Central New Jersey

Posted 25 August 2019 - 01:11 PM

I would go with a Telrad. I love mine.I live in a bortle 8 zone and naked eye stars are few,only the brighter outline stars of the constellations. I have never seen the Milky Way with my own eyes.(yet)   I bought the  4 inch riser to lift the Telrad up higher so I wouldn't need to contort myself as much as I had to with my red dot finder. I also have a Stellarvue 50mm RACI  that I use in conjunction with the Telrad for DSO's. Once my Telrad is aligned it hold's alignment very well. I keep mine mounted on the scope and keep my scope on it's mount to speed up setup and tear down time. As long as it doesn't get bumped hard no realignment is needed.


I don't use the RACI for the naked eye planets (Jupiter,Mars,Saturn) only the Telrad. Once the planet is in the center circle its in the eyepiece every time. I have also found that after finding some DSO's by star hopping using the RACI with the Telrad two or three times, I can find that object again using just the Telrad. (most of the time) If it's not in the ep it is usually just a degree or so one way or the other.


Hands down the best tool for me to aid me finding objects. If I were to choose just one finder it would be my Telrad. The reason for my choice, once a starting star is chosen to begin a star hop from. I can move my scope by using the circles of the Telrad 2°, 4° or a half degree at a time until I arrive at the desired object. To aid me I cut 3 holes in a piece of cardstock,  4°,  2° and the third is half a degree making an overlay mask scaled to my Cambridge Star Atlas and the Telrad. What a help that has been in finding objects at the scope using the Telrad. This helps to know how many degrees (Telrad circles) to "hop" until at the desired target. If the target is not in the eyepiece it is usually easily found by a nudge one way or the other. There are a few good articles explaining the technique online if anyone is interested in it. I find this easier for me because there are not always stars seen to start a star hop from in my location. 



#5 sandconp



  • *****
  • Posts: 411
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2018
  • Loc: Minnesota USA

Posted 25 August 2019 - 10:18 PM

My red dot finder broke too and I replaced it with a Telrad Finder and I love it. Granted I don’t use it that much since I have Star Sense and a GOTO scope but it’s nice to have it as a backup.

#6 chicagorandy


    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 52
  • Joined: 12 Jun 2019
  • Loc: Chicago, IL USA

Posted 25 August 2019 - 11:13 PM

With my 127SLT I switched to a sturdy red dot - fits my needs for basic alignment - along with an illuminated reticle eyepiece for precise centering. More than sufficient for my GOTO use.





#7 Chrispy


    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 163
  • Joined: 22 Dec 2006
  • Loc: Clifton Springs, Vic, Australia

Posted 26 August 2019 - 01:39 AM

I have to agree with chicagorandy.

In a perfect world you would only use the finder once for initial alignment on a GOTO rig.

Save the money and invest in a better eyepiece!

#8 Ski-Patroller


    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 214
  • Joined: 16 Apr 2010
  • Loc: Portland Oregon

Posted 27 August 2019 - 03:21 PM

The Willams red dot finder is a lot more solid and nicer to use than the Celestron, but it is more expensive than a Telrad.   For a Dobs, I would not be without a Telrad, but it is kind of over kill on a go-to scope. 

#9 Jay6821


    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 121
  • Joined: 28 May 2019
  • Loc: Kalamazoo Michigan

Posted 12 September 2019 - 04:57 PM

I replied my the red dot finder on my Evolution with a Celestron RACI Illuminated 9x50 Finderscope.  The magnification makes a huge difference for me. It's also easy on my back to have a right angle finder scope. 

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Recent Topics

Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics