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Why is it we always buy another scope when we are happy with the one we have?

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#1 starman876

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 01:08 PM

Today I started thinking about all the scopes I have bought.  Both classic and non classic.  I have had some wonderful scopes over the last 50 years.   Some I still have some I sold.   When I started thinking about it some of the best scopes with the best optics I sold.  Not all of them, but some of them.  I always thought that with this hobby once you have a scope with awesome optics you stick with that scope.  However, for some of us that does not seem to be the case. We keep buying scope after scope and telling everyone about the really awesome one that got away.  I know for some this is called the hunt, but the hunt for what?


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#2 Terra Nova

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 01:35 PM

Maybe the 'hunt' is for happiness, not a scope per sé. Some of us have to learn to be happy with what we have. It's good to finally come to accept the idea that perfection is an ideal rather than a reality. There's imperfection in everything. Once we get to that, life becomes a whole lot easier. Then good enough winds up being best and you can start really enjoying what you have rather than wanting something else. It's like that with most things, not just telescopes.


Edited by Terra Nova, 29 June 2020 - 01:38 PM.

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#3 MikeTahtib

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 01:46 PM

Perhaps people just enjoy trying different things.  The idea you express is that the telescope is only a tool for observing.  But in reality, many people like working on things, getting old broken down things to work properly, restoring treasures from the past.  I don't think you need to feel guilty or that you have somehow failed for doing this.  Just understand that you like telescopes as much as, or more than, observing.  It's like that for a lot of things, like cars or mechanical watches.


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#4 starman876

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 01:57 PM

Maybe the 'hunt' is for happiness, not a scope per sé. Some of us have to learn to be happy with what we have. It's good to finally come to accept the idea that perfection is an ideal rather than a reality. There's imperfection in everything. Once we get to that, life becomes a whole lot easier. Then good enough winds up being best and you can start really enjoying what you have rather than wanting something else. It's like that with most things, not just telescopes.

That thinking may apply to certain applications, but not in this case.  Just my opnion.  We are talking about the variance in the quality of optics and mechanics both new an old.   It would seem that once we were in this hobby long enough we would know when we have reached the pinacle of perfection of what we can afford.



#5 CHASLX200

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 02:18 PM

At age 14 when i first saw real scopes at a star party in 1977 i said to myself i would own them all. Guess i just about did.  The last 20 years i was buying to keep my mind off of a bad life and never even used any of the scopes   i bought but maybe 1 to 5 times and it was off to the next. I guess after 43 years of buying the same old thing over and over i had enough and said never again. Been clean for a about a year and very happy to never see or own a scope again. Like a drunk to booze i guess.

 

Now i am clean and free of the sickness. In less than a year i saved enough to pay for a new Corvette. I was throwing away 100's of thousands over the years.


Edited by CHASLX200, 29 June 2020 - 02:20 PM.

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#6 Terra Nova

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 02:22 PM

That thinking may apply to certain applications, but not in this case.  Just my opnion.  We are talking about the variance in the quality of optics and mechanics both new an old.   It would seem that once we were in this hobby long enough we would know when we have reached the pinacle of perfection of what we can afford.

I'm not sure of that Johann. I think this relates to another thread that you started recently with a somewhat similar question. After being through about fifty telescopes over the past ten years or so, I really feel that way myself. I think I responded to that one in terms of trying out and trading up. I know that experience did allow me to try out lots of scopes, and I was able to have lots of things that I thought I really wanted. Scopes that I thought would be the be all, end all for me; like the Unitrons and Gotos, especially the 4" equatorial Unitron and the 3" Goto. But after six Unitrons including the big 4" model 152, I wound up keeping just one, the little model 114. I didn't keep either Goto. I actually had a orange tube C8, decided I didn't like it, got rid of it, decided I wanted to try one again, and got rid of that one. Now I'm down to a dozen scopes, all keepers, most I enjoy using regularly; a couple of the 60mm scopes I keep more as collectors items. Now I haven't bought a scope in nearly a year and there's really not one that I want. More recently, for a long time I thought I wanted a go-to GEM and so, during the early part of the pandemic I bought one. I thought it would enhance my backyard observing during the lockdown. I've only used it a few times and now I have it up for sale. I realized that I still enjoy the hunt, even in my light polluted yard, and that I'd rather spend a couple of hours out on the patio or deck hunting for a half dozen objects the old way, (binocular aided star hopping with an atlas) than to see thirty things by just pushing buttons over the same two or three hours. I do chalk it all off to the learning experience, but I've learned as much about myself as I have about the equipment. It's been fun but I don't care to keep repeating it. And it's costly, especially with shipping these days, plus I've really grown to hate packing and shipping, and trying to hang on to and store boxes and packing materials. So no, for me anyway, I stand by my convictions. Nothing is perfect but I'm happy using what I have. (It's a whole lot easier too!)

 

And with regard to the last part of your statement about reaching the pinnacle of perfection for what I can afford, I agree with that and again, I feel pretty much that I'm there too. For me, it has always been a balance between what I want and what is a practical size scope for me, knowing that I don't and will never have an observatory, and that most of my viewing will be from home, but when I do get out to a dark site, I have to be able to transport it all myself. So I've learned over time what is too big and heavy for me and what is just right, so I now have smaller scopes and have gone for quality scopes and I think that my Questar, my TeleVue, Taks and Vixens, have pretty much brought me to that pinnacle as well. 


Edited by Terra Nova, 29 June 2020 - 02:31 PM.

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#7 deepwoods1

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 02:28 PM

In my opinion, it comes down to the number of options. A grab ‘n go? 60mm or 80mm? What’s grab ‘n go for you? Short focal length or long? ED, APO, or Fluorite? Perhaps a Newtonian to try. DOB or GEM mounted? Oh wait, there’s Catadioptics. SCT, CT, MAK? Did we just dip our toes in and now we want purchase the best? Clearly there’s a wide array of opinions on that. It’s no wonder that beginners are so confused. They want to get the right scope for the money and there really isn’t one. It was a little simpler way back when, refractor (Sears) or reflector (Criterion RV6). One could blame the gas crisis and the coming of compact cars for the popularity of SCT’s (Celestron C8). Of course there was Questar, but unless you were a doctor or lawyer, you weren’t buying one. And of course the best way to chose a scope....... is by color! Do I want a blue one or an orange one! Or black, red, white.....


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#8 grif 678

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 02:45 PM

I have often wondered about this myself, and I believe I started a thread about this a couple years ago, maybe not exactly, but close. I do think that age will have a lot to do with it. When I was younger, I would always be reading about scopes, and would believe everything I read. I had a couple of scopes in earlier years that if I knew what I do now, I would have never sold them, one being my Sears 76mm. But the advertising business has a way of making you think that each new scope is better than the last. But over the last 10 years or so, I have found out that is not true, and that the bigger the scope, is not always the better.

A good 80mm refractor, like the C-80 (Japan Made) is really about all the scope that a casual observer really needs, if he is just observing occasionally. And the small 9ETX is a wonder in itself, if you have a good one. If I had of had these when younger, and just stuck with them, it makes me sad to think about the money I spent foolishly trying to get something better.

Now this is just for the casual, once in a while observer, who is not into imaging.

I now have a nice Celestron C-60, a great C-80, and the 90ETX. I also have a mint vintage Celestron C-90 for nostalgic reasons, but is also a great scope. Buying no more, at 70 years old, I know what to expect, and these will do what I need in my hobby.

Also, you can now just go to the internet and see anything that you want to see in more detail than the observatory telescopes, so why do we need to spend so much money over and over again, when we will never get a scope to show us images like that.


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#9 ccwemyss

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 02:58 PM

As MikeTahtib noted, for some people it is the fun of buying something classic, restoring it, and possibly gifting or reselling it. Much cheaper and less difficult than restoring a classic car. 

 

I think for others, there is a curiosity factor. "I wonder what it was like to use this classic?" In many cases, it turns out that even though it may have been a dream scope in its era, what you learn is that it also had some issues that you don't want to deal with, so you move on. For some people, like Terra, curiosity killed the SCT. wink.gif

 

Then there are the collectors. You discover one scope of a brand that is really appealing, and you get caught up in building a full set (either decking it out with all the options, or expanding up and down the line). Then one from another brand comes along. 

 

For the loaner collection, there was a process of trying out different models to see what the students enjoy most (then getting more of those), and having some variety for students with different levels of interest and ability, and sometimes letting the most interested keep them (then looking for a replacement). For teaching beyond the loaners, I have three more that go to observing evenings, which I generally don't take out otherwise. 

 

For my own use, I have four that serve different purposes (two portable, two in the observatory), and don't really feel a need for anything else. Sometimes I get a little curious about playing with a 4" refractor (e.g., Takahashi FC-100, Pentax 100, or a Unitron 152), but the Pentax 85 is so close, so sharp, and in such a sweet spot of size and convenience, that I have so far avoided the temptation. Not that I don't still look though...

 

Chip W.  


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#10 Bomber Bob

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 03:25 PM

That thinking may apply to certain applications, but not in this case.  Just my opnion.  We are talking about the variance in the quality of optics and mechanics both new an old.   It would seem that once we were in this hobby long enough we would know when we have reached the pinacle of perfection of what we can afford.

Except... Telescope technology continues to evolve, so there are "new" designs to buy & try.  I don't think scopes are at perfection, yet.

 

And, we get more capability now for our $$$$ than we did 10 / 20 / 30 years ago.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 29 June 2020 - 05:40 PM.

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#11 rcwolpert

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 03:44 PM

Like many things in life, I think that certain telescopes are often meant for only a season in our lives. Situations change, living conditions change, observing interests change. Our telescopes change along with them.


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#12 icomet

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 05:35 PM

I believe you could apply the "Lays Potato Chip Theory" for telescope acquisition.

 

Clear Skies.


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#13 clamchip

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 06:07 PM

Even before internet it was about 'a greener pasture' the hunt for the perfect telescope.

With the internet it's a King's banquet, anything can be yours with a blink of a eye.

I'm still not sure what I like best, one minute I think its a Newtonian, the next a refractor.

I suppose I'll just keep on truckin' and see what awaits me around the next corner. 

 

Robert


Edited by clamchip, 29 June 2020 - 06:09 PM.

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#14 oldmanastro

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 07:07 PM

My classics stay with me and that includes my first two telescopes. Some of my newer ones are also keepers. Bad experiences have been just a few in many years. Most of my telescopes, classics and modern, have very nice optics. What can I say? I just like them all.

 

Guido


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#15 LDW47

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 07:30 PM

Today I started thinking about all the scopes I have bought.  Both classic and non classic.  I have had some wonderful scopes over the last 50 years.   Some I still have some I sold.   When I started thinking about it some of the best scopes with the best optics I sold.  Not all of them, but some of them.  I always thought that with this hobby once you have a scope with awesome optics you stick with that scope.  However, for some of us that does not seem to be the case. We keep buying scope after scope and telling everyone about the really awesome one that got away.  I know for some this is called the hunt, but the hunt for what?

No reason, we just want to, plain and simple ! Life can be tough, lol !  CS !


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#16 starman876

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 10:22 PM

No reason, we just want to, plain and simple ! Life can be tough, lol !  CS !

Just want to what?



#17 RichA

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 10:23 PM

Today I started thinking about all the scopes I have bought.  Both classic and non classic.  I have had some wonderful scopes over the last 50 years.   Some I still have some I sold.   When I started thinking about it some of the best scopes with the best optics I sold.  Not all of them, but some of them.  I always thought that with this hobby once you have a scope with awesome optics you stick with that scope.  However, for some of us that does not seem to be the case. We keep buying scope after scope and telling everyone about the really awesome one that got away.  I know for some this is called the hunt, but the hunt for what?

And why is the scope sold always described as the most "wonderful scope ever made!!?"



#18 starman876

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 10:24 PM

My classics stay with me and that includes my first two telescopes. Some of my newer ones are also keepers. Bad experiences have been just a few in many years. Most of my telescopes, classics and modern, have very nice optics. What can I say? I just like them all.

 

Guido

There was not a scope I did not like.  However, I think for some of us we want that scope that takes our views beyond anything we have ever viewed.  Takes us where no man has gone before.  



#19 starman876

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 10:25 PM

And why is the scope sold always described as the most "wonderful scope ever made!!?"

I have noticed ads like that also.  I have often asked if the scope is that good why is someone selling it. 


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#20 stevew

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 10:29 PM

I have plenty of scopes. More than I deserve to be honest.

But what I really need is more perfect nights to enjoy them.  


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#21 LDW47

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 10:57 PM

Just want to what?

Read the title to your post and then have some fun figuring out my answer, its pretty simple and obvious !  Clear simple skize !


Edited by LDW47, 29 June 2020 - 11:00 PM.


#22 AstroKerr

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 12:25 AM

If it was just best views, I'd have 6 or 7 scopes, I'd get this that that aperture from that this that mfr, pay this this that much. I'd have (plus or minus opinions) 'best' scopes for the various tasks and I'd stop acquiring scopes, end game.  Buutttttt - right now it's fun to compare something to itself a few times, then to similars a few times, then to make a 'dumb' choice or twelve just in case, then compare this ap to that ap, cat to cat, sct to sct, frac to frac, newt to newt ad stupidinitum even though I can be pretty sure what to expect, what I'll get. One surprise - a little chaos - can be a huge amount of fun. 'Besties' minimize random chance; that is boring.

 

We all know things few others ever truly know - because we get that next, last scope - because we want to, because we can. So some people have 'full' sets of a brand or a focal ratio or a focal length or an aperture or mixtures or subsets. Most of it is a search for something other than best views / greener pastures - those are easy. 

 

 

or not. No one has mentioned collecting glass for a custom melt...


Edited by AstroKerr, 30 June 2020 - 12:27 AM.

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#23 GreyDay

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 06:06 AM

"Why is it we always buy another scope when we are happy with the one we have?"

 

I've lost count of the number of times i've read the statement  " this one's a keeper! "  here on CN, but seldom read the words "last telescope i'll ever buy".

 

The simple answer is "to fill a hole!".  Most people go through life thinking "if i just had.... life would be so much better" Terra hit on this earlier in the topic. We all to some degree place a focus on what we need to attain contentment. Sadly that focus shifts a lot.

 

As we get older we become more focused because we learn as we go, we realize we don't need all the stuff we have, though some people as they say, "will never learn!".

 

Over the past 10 years I've learned a lot about my telescope habits, I've bought a lot of astro stuff i don't need and i've become more focused on what i want. What i want doesn't exist yet...! so in the mean time i'll keep buying whatever catches my eye as a reward to myself for putting up with the day to day grind. :)


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#24 starman876

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 08:01 AM

There are times that I know the answer, but fail to admit that I do.   I believe that we want to see images through the eyepiece that leave nothing to the imagination.  We want to see images like they see in the large observatory instruments.    We wan to be able to have a Hubble telescope at our fingertips.  Because most of us cannot afford such an instrument we keep seeking that one magic telescope that can come close.    While at times we do find a telescope that does perform very well it still is not provide those perfect images we are seeking.   I have seen images through my 12.5" porta ball that left me breathless.  I still have that scope.  Nothing has ever provided better images.  



#25 Senex Bibax

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 08:38 AM

I've bought and sold several scopes over the last year and a half, and for me it comes down to finding out what works for my eyes and interests, and what doesn't.  I'm much closer now, and there will be one or two more purchases and sells before I'm settled. Top of my list right now is to acquire a good pair of astro binoculars, then thin the herd of small scopes.


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