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.

Photo

Beginner Looking for reccomendations

beginner Celestron
  • Please log in to reply
19 replies to this topic

#1 Gkawula

Gkawula

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: 06 Apr 2020

Posted 06 April 2020 - 06:27 PM

Hello everyone! ill jump right into it, i live in CO in the high rockies just over 11,000 feet elevation, some nights the moon is almost as bright as the sun with all of the white snow on the ground but (hopefuly) the snow will be melting soon revealing an insurmountable amount of stars in the night sky. Im looking for a scope that would be able to view planets in detail and deep star clusters, i have about $600 in credits to best buy so celestron is pretty much my only option. should i buy something in the 400 dollar range and buy upgraded accessories with the remainder? or just go all out on the scope. thanks in advance!

 

 

 

**Edit: I should mention that I go on long camping trips across the CO, Utah, Arizona, etc. so portability will definitely be a key factor in my decision making.


Edited by Gkawula, 06 April 2020 - 07:44 PM.


#2 MalVeauX

MalVeauX

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 7,010
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2016
  • Loc: Florida

Posted 06 April 2020 - 06:44 PM

Heya,

 

How portable does it need to be for you?

 

Go for a 6" (150mm) aperture, whatever you're doing.

 

Get as much scope and mount that you can with your money. You can get accessories later. You only need 1 eyepiece to get going.

 

That said, $400 can get you a brand new 6" F8 newtonian in dobsonian base. This would be excellent to start. I fear anything Celestron with any aperture more than 102mm (4") will be a SCT with a mount and at $600 it will be the smallest NexStar system. If you go this route, that's fine, get the C5 or C6 SCT on NexStar, avoid the achromatic refractor versions. Get a mirror unless you can get an ED refractor (at this price point, get a mirror).

 

Very best,


  • zakry3323 and Gkawula like this

#3 Jond105

Jond105

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 5,333
  • Joined: 19 Feb 2018
  • Loc: Detroit

Posted 06 April 2020 - 06:51 PM

Get the Star sense 102mm from Best Buy and use your cell phone to find targets. Otherwise I didn’t see much else I’d get from Best Buy 


  • mrsjeff likes this

#4 Beeham

Beeham

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 114
  • Joined: 08 Nov 2019
  • Loc: Oakland County, Michigan

Posted 06 April 2020 - 07:01 PM

You've got three basic flavors to pick from: refractors, reflectors, and catadioptrics.

 

In a perfect world, you'd have a scope that offered large aperture, easy portability, and fast temperature-acclimation.  In real life, you basically get two out of three.  If I had to summarize telescopes in a single table, it would be:

 

                  Aperture/$       Portability      Acclimation Time

Cats                OK               Good              Not So Good

Refract.    Not So Good         OK                   Good

Reflect          Good           Not So Good           OK

 

That being said - I would prioritize aperture and recommend a reflector, preferably on a Dobsonian-style mount, as these are typically the easiest to use and will let you see the most because of the relatively large aperture-per-dollar they offer.

 

Others may feel differently, but that's my $0.02.  I hope this is helpful - cheers!


  • LDW47 and Gkawula like this

#5 Jond105

Jond105

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 5,333
  • Joined: 19 Feb 2018
  • Loc: Detroit

Posted 06 April 2020 - 07:21 PM

For people reading. Be sure to read it all. He only has $600 in Best Buy credit. Best Buy does not sell dobs. Only celestron Nexstar, sky prodigy, beginner scopes, and the Star sense telescopes.
  • LDW47, SeaBee1, JohnnyBGood and 2 others like this

#6 mac57

mac57

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 517
  • Joined: 19 Feb 2013
  • Loc: DeLand of Oz, Florida

Posted 06 April 2020 - 07:25 PM

For your budget, and what you want to observe, I would recommend a 6 0r 8 inch reflector. A refractor at that price will have a shaky mount, and probably a slow f ratio, which is good for planets or double stars, but is limited on everything else.  A Mak or SCT will also be a bit shaky mount-wise, and again a slower f ratio.  Slow f ratios can be hard for beginners, because you only see about half the sky you'll see in a slower(f5 or 6) reflector.  There are always tradeoffs, as no one scope can do it all well.  I started out with an Orion Intelliscope reflector, and am glad I went that route.  Mark



#7 Gkawula

Gkawula

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: 06 Apr 2020

Posted 06 April 2020 - 07:33 PM

Get the Star sense 102mm from Best Buy and use your cell phone to find targets. Otherwise I didn’t see much else I’d get from Best

Would it be worth scrounging up some extra change and going for something in the Nextar SE collection? Disappointing they stopped carrying Meade scopes at best buy.



#8 LDW47

LDW47

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,626
  • Joined: 04 Mar 2012
  • Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada

Posted 06 April 2020 - 07:35 PM

You've got three basic flavors to pick from: refractors, reflectors, and catadioptrics.

 

In a perfect world, you'd have a scope that offered large aperture, easy portability, and fast temperature-acclimation.  In real life, you basically get two out of three.  If I had to summarize telescopes in a single table, it would be:

 

                  Aperture/$       Portability      Acclimation Time

Cats                OK               Good              Not So Good

Refract.    Not So Good         OK                   Good

Reflect          Good           Not So Good           OK

 

That being said - I would prioritize aperture and recommend a reflector, preferably on a Dobsonian-style mount, as these are typically the easiest to use and will let you see the most because of the relatively large aperture-per-dollar they offer.

 

Others may feel differently, but that's my $0.02.  I hope this is helpful - cheers!

But does Celestron make a dob, that brand = Best Buy seems the posters only option by the sound of it !  Clear future skizes !



#9 LDW47

LDW47

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,626
  • Joined: 04 Mar 2012
  • Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada

Posted 06 April 2020 - 07:40 PM

The only option is buy the best model you can from Best Buy in the brand they carry and have fun and be happy !  As my old grandmother always said ‘ Live for today ‘, tomorrow will work out !  Clear Skiys !



#10 Jond105

Jond105

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 5,333
  • Joined: 19 Feb 2018
  • Loc: Detroit

Posted 06 April 2020 - 07:44 PM

Would it be worth scrounging up some extra change and going for something in the Nextar SE collection? Disappointing they stopped carrying Meade scopes at best buy.


If you have a smart phone I’d go for the Star sense in this case. I’ve read great things and a 102 somewhat faster achro may be nice in your area.

#11 Classic8

Classic8

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,211
  • Joined: 12 Apr 2006
  • Loc: Naperville, IL, USA

Posted 06 April 2020 - 08:01 PM

Out of the options I see, the 102mm Star Sense refractor looks pretty good. I try to stay away from scopes that are useless unless the electronics are working - because you can have issues sometimes and it's frustrating. Otherwise I'd prefer the Maksutov scopes.



#12 river-z

river-z

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 101
  • Joined: 02 Nov 2019
  • Loc: Los Angeles

Posted 06 April 2020 - 08:41 PM

My 0.02 ...

 

Celestron is pretty solid so don't over-worry about which model to get.  

Over-worry about learning the night sky and whether you actually go out and use the telescope.

Pair your observation with the telescope with observation with binoculars, if you have some.

 

Also, use part of your budgeted money to get at least one more eyepiece (like a 13mm or thereabouts) and a Barlow lens (which doubles your magnification)



#13 LDW47

LDW47

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,626
  • Joined: 04 Mar 2012
  • Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada

Posted 07 April 2020 - 07:01 AM

My 0.02 ...

 

Celestron is pretty solid so don't over-worry about which model to get.  

Over-worry about learning the night sky and whether you actually go out and use the telescope.

Pair your observation with the telescope with observation with binoculars, if you have some.

 

Also, use part of your budgeted money to get at least one more eyepiece (like a 13mm or thereabouts) and a Barlow lens (which doubles your magnification)

Or a Celestron zoom ep for that variable look !  Clear wide skizes !



#14 whizbang

whizbang

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 641
  • Joined: 18 Mar 2018
  • Loc: NE of Seattle, WA

Posted 07 April 2020 - 08:57 AM

I went out to bestbuy.com.  I was not impressed with the offerings, cheapie scopes on wobbly mounts.

 

The best option is to add $100 to your $600 credit and get the Nexstar 5 SE.

 

If you absolutely have to stay with the credits, I recommend the Nexstar 4 SE. 



#15 JOEinCO

JOEinCO

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 946
  • Joined: 28 Sep 2017
  • Loc: Colorado Front Range

Posted 07 April 2020 - 09:03 AM

I'd try to come up with the extra $200 and get the Celestron 6SE, which Best Buy lists. Keep in mind the mount itself is different from the 4SE and 5SE mount, so the 5" and 6" differ in more than their aperture.

 

The 6SE is fairly compact, too, for your travels. You'll have to protect it, but the mount/OTA isn't too cumbersome. 

 

 



#16 LDW47

LDW47

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,626
  • Joined: 04 Mar 2012
  • Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada

Posted 07 April 2020 - 10:51 AM

DA28807F-89C4-4465-9C86-985285A6DDE3.jpeg E9A630FC-7BF4-4A37-833E-6BA64EC0F88A.jpeg 4073487C-018A-47EF-9EE5-0B6E35518817.jpeg

I had a 4se for a while, it had excellent optics the only draw back as with all those types is a narrow field of view but if you aren’t used to the wider you won’t know the differnce, wider can come later ! The 4se if the $ is an issue is a great start ! These pics were taken with my Samsung Note4 through mine !  Clear future skizes !



#17 rhetfield

rhetfield

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 421
  • Joined: 14 Aug 2019
  • Loc: Suburban Chicago, IL, USA

Posted 07 April 2020 - 12:01 PM

This strays from what you can get from best buy, but for camping, nothing beats the $200 AWB OneSky tabletop dob. At some point, you can pick up a travel tripod and pack it all into a small backpack.

It is good to have money left over for accessories. $200 will get a nebula filter, a Barlow and 1-2 eyepieces.
  • SteveG and Anony like this

#18 mrsjeff

mrsjeff

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 240
  • Joined: 22 Dec 2018
  • Loc: Cincinnati, OH USA

Posted 07 April 2020 - 01:13 PM

Get the Star sense 102mm from Best Buy and use your cell phone to find targets. Otherwise I didn’t see much else I’d get from Best Buy 

I think this is a great recommendation. The only other thing I would consider within your budget would be the StarSense 130mm reflector. 

 

If you want to add some cash to your credits, you could consider the Nexstar 6SE, but I think the Star Sense refractor or reflector would be a better "first scope" choice. And they're not too expensive, so you can consider adding a couple more eyepieces and still stay under your limit. 


  • Jond105 likes this

#19 Anony

Anony

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 298
  • Joined: 24 Oct 2018
  • Loc: Long Island, NY

Posted 08 April 2020 - 05:50 PM

Just want to mention that the OP should check prices at amazon and anywhere local to Best Buy, before he buys, as BB will pricematch. I notice Amazon has a couple of scopes and accessories cheaper than BB's website, for example.

 

Chat or call should be fine for the match.

 

As for the scope, well, if it was me, I'd save up most of that $600 at BB for down the road (xmas presents, electronics, etc) and just pick up something inexpensive somewhere else -- AWB for $200, or $250-$300 dob. And maybe use $60 of the BB money on the Celestron zoom eyepiece (pricematch to amazon).

 

The Starsenses look kind of neat, but this is also 'just released, retail pricing'.... one would think they'll eventually be somewhat cheaper as time goes on. Basically paying $200 extra just for starsense.


Edited by Anony, 08 April 2020 - 05:52 PM.


#20 Classic8

Classic8

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,211
  • Joined: 12 Apr 2006
  • Loc: Naperville, IL, USA

Posted 08 April 2020 - 08:20 PM

It wasn't mentioned in the OP but if you also want to use it as a spotting scope (I'd imagine the scenery and wildlife there might be worth checking out) then the reflecting telescopes would be a lot less useful.




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





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: beginner, Celestron



Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics