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Telescope Shortage + Strategy?

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#1 BromoGNU

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 04:53 PM

Given that you can't just decide what scope is best and expect to go and get one right away, what strategies have people employed to secure themselves a scope?

I got very lucky in calling up the sponsor to this forum, and they had *just* received the telescope I wanted.  But looking for a smaller, portable one, I have realized to pick a price range, and not to be too fussy about the exact one provided it's a decent design.

But ... how have all of y'all done?



#2 Gen 1:16

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 04:57 PM

The first one that can ship me a scope, gets my money.

 

No matter if it's a Dobsonian, a Maksutov or anything else.


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#3 Supernova74

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 05:09 PM

Simple don,t settle for second best patients is a virtue!? Otherwise can end up not being truly satisfied 


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#4 CarolinaBanker

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 05:39 PM

What do you mean by smaller, portable design? A small dob will fit easily in a SUV, but if you mean something that you can take on a plane it won’t do at all.

I started by figuring out what I wanted to see, what I valued (portability, push to/go to) and a budget. Add in any constraints and that will help you triangulate.

#5 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 05:40 PM

Simple don,t settle for second best patients is a virtue!? Otherwise can end up not being truly satisfied 

 

I can be satisfied with just about any telescope. Yes, you can see my photo with some big Dob but I'll spend a night in the backyard with a 50 mm finder on a tripod.

 

Astro-Tech 50mm finder.jpg
 

And for a first time scope buyer, the scope one might be wanting is just a guess, getting some eyepiece time is what's most important.

 

Jon


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#6 AstroDog77

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 05:42 PM

I wanted a C8 and got a used C8 (SE) OTA from the Astromart classifieds. I still think it was a good choice, I paid $875 but it came with a Feathertouch focuser, a Starizona Microtouch focuser, and some astrophotography stuff (should I decide to dabble with that), eyepieces, and a few other accessories. The seller ate the PP fees and shipping was included. The optics are great and I'm pretty happy that I went that route.


Edited by AstroDog77, 13 April 2021 - 05:43 PM.

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#7 weis14

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 05:45 PM

Identify what you want and place a wanted ad. Plenty of used items are changing hands and doing so quickly.

Given the market, if timing matters, I'd even be willing to state in the ad the price I was willing to pay and make it close to the new price. It all depends on the rarity of the item in question.
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#8 TOMDEY

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 06:36 PM

Interesting! I haven't been in the market for a ~new telescope fix~ in a long time --- but have been surfing the dealers and the reliable used markets (CN and Astromart) quite impressed (in the negative sense) how bare the shelves are. Exactly like seeking a pathetic roll of toilet paper or loaf of bread when the Global Pandemic kicked in over a year ago. I'm sure the Telescope Markets will eventually become a glut though, although that may still be a year off. At that point, half the unmasked hobbyists will discover that they really don't need so much excessive scarcity impulse-bought gear, and that they can return to hugging friends again, rather than their scopes.

 

So just hang in there and wait for the supply to recover. You don't really need that new scope now, tomorrow, or next month. Will prices ever recover to what they were a couple years ago? No, never. Plan on paying more and being thankful for the opportunity. Prediction: The used market will become attractive and bountiful within two years. But you may have completely lost interest by then. That would be a win-win. There's more to life than Astronomy.

 

All that said, I'm grateful that I bought too much good stuff back when prices were bargainful, supplies were cornucopian, and quality was good and reliable. With guys like me still hanging on by threads... there should be some really great Estate Sales over the horizon. My prudently prescient contemporaries are already musing over ~downsizing~ and ~thinning the heard~.      Tom



#9 GGK

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 08:32 PM

Out-of-stock, more-on-the-way, and backordered are definitely very common on dealer’s websites today.

Posting a Wanted ad might get a favorable reply for a good used scope. 


Edited by GGK, 13 April 2021 - 08:40 PM.


#10 gnowellsct

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 12:37 AM

Given that you can't just decide what scope is best and expect to go and get one right away, what strategies have people employed to secure themselves a scope?

 

Not being able to get the scope you want right away is actually pretty normal once you get into the boutique producers.  Astro-physics, get in line and wait for a call five to ten years later.  CFF, well, nine months in my case.  Losmandy has sometimes taken six to nine months to ship mounts.    Significant delay on my T-pod (a tripod from Italy.)

 

There is no telescope shortage in my house or among my immediate friends but I have heard rumors of telescope insufficiency.  There is also gpu insufficiency in the gaming world.

 

Greg N


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#11 Hexley

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 12:49 PM

I’ve found every scope I’ve wanted pretty quickly. Got my 6SE new-open-box from Highpoint. Found my 8” Dob from a CN classified, member lives about 2 hours away, we met in the middle. The Z73 I got from Agena. 
 

A lot of scopes are backordered, but a little persistence and you’ll find one at the right price pretty easily. Just don’t overpay $850 for an 8” SCT that should be $500 used... it’s a sellers market right now. 


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#12 Russell Smith

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 07:31 PM

Telescope shortage?
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#13 jpengstrom

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 10:30 PM

I’ve been looking at the night sky for the past two years since I moved to a much darker location than my previous Bortle 8 neighborhood. I’ve been using my DSLR and lens to take pictures of stars for the past 6 months or so. I placed my first order for a scope about 6 weeks ago and then cancelled that order 2 weeks ago and placed it with Astronomics. I’ll happily wait and look at the night sky with my eyes and my camera for however long it takes. 



#14 Redbetter

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Posted 16 April 2021 - 03:56 AM

It is a tough time for beginners who have not observed before and are trying to find a first scope.   Availability is quite poor and prices are up.  ES eyepieces that I paid $95 a few years ago for my son, run $200 now and are out of stock.  The only advantage of the situation is that it gives the patient more time to figure out what they want to try...then put in an order (or search classifieds) and wait.  

 

I don't know what to recommend to novices for a first scope, because scopes that would normally be available aren't at this time.  It is not quite a seller's market, because the sellers mostly lack inventory--they are supply restricted so their potential for profit is limited and they are likely as frustrated as their customers.  However, for an old timer with misc gear wanting to clear out scopes in storage, this is a great time.

 

As far as what I am buying now...nothing, I ordered an AT72EDII last year and had my order lost/bumped several times before I received it last summer.  Fun little scope.  I have had the opportunity to add some local garage sale level stuff, but nothing has really beckoned to me.  

 

I figure in a year or two or when the housing/stimulus market collapses there will be a lot of gear available on the used market, and new prices will be discounted as well.  The market is too rich for my blood at this time (stock and scopes.)  


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#15 RaleighNC

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Posted 16 April 2021 - 08:59 AM

I ordered an Orion XT12G six months ago and the date keeps getting pushed. It’s now 6 weeks out and will likely get pushed again. Anyone else experience this?

In the meantime I went super low power and bought the $150 Orion 2X54 and really enjoying those. Also stalking the classifieds looking for things to go with my scope whenever it gets here.

#16 Gen 1:16

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Posted 16 April 2021 - 09:44 AM

I ordered an Orion XT12G six months ago and the date keeps getting pushed. It’s now 6 weeks out and will likely get pushed again. Anyone else experience this?

In the meantime I went super low power and bought the $150 Orion 2X54 and really enjoying those. Also stalking the classifieds looking for things to go with my scope whenever it gets here.

It seems like Orion changes the "ship date" every time it gets within 30 days.

That happened in February and March, and now April is nearing the 30 day mark for a May ship date.


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#17 Dave61

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Posted 16 April 2021 - 10:25 AM

Me being me I could not wait, so put an order in for a Bresser Messier AR 102/1000mm just need to get a stand now.  As I have a rock solid camera tripod I might try that out if I get some bits to help fit it.



#18 nebula24x

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Posted 16 April 2021 - 10:44 AM

I recently moved to a area slightly less light pollution but more important less trees. Been wanting a new scope forever to replace a junk 80s 60mm.

 

Settled on a dob6f8 (any brand) or z130 tabletop. Just went to telescope sites often and also checked Amazon a lot. Got the z130 as it was 1st to be in stock and got for correct price ($200). Had to wait until zhumell selling it on Amazon and not resellers that doubled price to $400. Just a handful in stock so hand to jump on it that day when saw they had them.

 

2nd scope will wait and see what shows up used locally post pandemic or garage sale. Also want to visit local store to see different scopes and mounts in real life.



#19 csrlice12

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Posted 16 April 2021 - 11:15 AM

Me being me I could not wait, so put an order in for a Bresser Messier AR 102/1000mm just need to get a stand now.  As I have a rock solid camera tripod I might try that out if I get some bits to help fit it.

I doubt a camera tripod/mount will hold a 102 f9.8 refractor.  That's a long scope that needs proper balancing, and by the time you add a finder, a 2" diagonal, and a 2" eyepiece, it will be way too heavy.   Mine came with a CG4 mount, which would be about the minimum for this scope.  Mine is even too much for a Twilight 1 mount, too much shaking.


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#20 Dave61

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Posted 16 April 2021 - 11:41 AM

I doubt a camera tripod/mount will hold a 102 f9.8 refractor.  That's a long scope that needs proper balancing, and by the time you add a finder, a 2" diagonal, and a 2" eyepiece, it will be way too heavy.   Mine came with a CG4 mount, which would be about the minimum for this scope.  Mine is even too much for a Twilight 1 mount, too much shaking.

 

 

Thank you for the heads up, I will just wait till the stand comes back on sale again.



#21 N7GTB

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Posted 16 April 2021 - 12:09 PM

I'm still very much a newbie, and I'm not sure when or if I'll find, build, buy that 'best' scope.  But I always try to do my homework and research what's available first.  I also reached out to my local astronomy club, who like others, have several scopes to loan to members.  I'm also a fledgling ATM, and found used scope pieces parts, etc., via club members (as well as here on CN) and have built a couple of Newt/Dobs.  After my wife realized what could be seen through two of them, has become active and very supportive in/of my hobby.  I'm still amazing myself what I can see with a set of decent quality 'Vintage' binoculars from ebay (~$40), with lenses made in Japan.

 

From my (now 64 yr) perspective, it's all just another adventure.  For me it's never just about the destination, but the journey along the way as well...

 

Vern



#22 Speedy1985

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Posted 16 April 2021 - 03:58 PM

After doing a bunch of reading here and from various other sources, I decided what I wanted and just ordered it, knowing I would wait. I don't like "settling" just for the sake of having something. I wanted a 12" Apertura, not an 8" Orion or 10" Skywatcher. In my opinion, too many people are impatient and wind up getting something other than what they really want. It's like the astronomy version of Veruca Salt and her "I want the goose that lays the golden eggs, and I want it NOW" syndrome. There are so many other things that can be accomplished while you wait, especially for newbs like me. 



#23 ayadai

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Posted 16 April 2021 - 05:49 PM

In my opinion, too many people are impatient and wind up getting something other than what they really want. It's like the astronomy version of Veruca Salt and her "I want the goose that lays the golden eggs, and I want it NOW" syndrome.

The funny bit is that serendipity can work in favor of those who are impatient. I had decided to get a 6SE and was haunting the usual sites, when I spied an 8SE in stock and grabbed it. In retrospect, I got a much better scope than what I thought I wanted.


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#24 Menarambo

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Posted 16 April 2021 - 06:03 PM

I figure in a year or two or when the housing/stimulus market collapses...


You make a lot of assumptions there :)


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#25 whizbang

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Posted 16 April 2021 - 06:25 PM

It's a combination of persistence and luck.

 

After the pandemic hit, I got the last EVO 9.25 that Agena had in stock.  I ordered a 102mm Mak and waited 5 weeks for that.  I ordered a C6 OTA and waited 10 weeks for that.

 

Just keep sniffing around.  Stuff comes up in the CN classifieds every day.




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