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Need Advice on a Telescope as a Gift

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16 replies to this topic

#1 HasAnyoneSeenMyNebula

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 07:28 PM

I wasn't sure how to categorize this, so feel free to move if desired.

 

I want to get my father a telescope for Christmas. I would like to stay under $200 for the package. I know this is a tall order but here is my wish list for him. I'd like the package to include the entire setup: OTA, mounting, mount, tripod, eyepiece. I'd like for it to be relatively transportable; he goes outdoors alot. He will only use this for visual and I'm guessing he will not spend much time, if any at all, on DSOs. So moon & easily seen planets. He does wear glasses and he's in his late 60s but pretty active. I envision him using this a small amount at home in a red zone on the light pollution map but more when he goes on his canoeing and weekend camping trips. He is very mechanically savvy, so learning collimation should not be too hard for him. I prefer to get him something new.

 

Among others, I have a 5" Newtonian which I really like, so I'm kind of leaning that way.

 

I found the Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ on Amazon: https://www.amazon.c...4QYH9BVPN9EY784

 

I like that it is nearly 5", brand new and comes with everything. Reviews say the tripod is flimsy. One review said collimating a Jones-Bird Reflector can be difficult and time consuming. I am planning to get him an inexpensive laser collimator on Amazon as well.

 

After reading how difficult the collimation on that scope can be I found the Celestron 70mm Travel Scope: https://www.amazon.c...RN1W8XRJKQ85SMH

 

Its nice that it's a refractor. One review said the tripod is stable. I don't love that it's only 70mm.

 

Comments on these scopes and suggestions for others are most welcome. 

 

Thank you


Edited by HasAnyoneSeenMyNebula, 25 July 2021 - 07:28 PM.

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#2 xvariablestarx

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 07:39 PM

I wasn't sure how to categorize this, so feel free to move if desired.

 

I want to get my father a telescope for Christmas. I would like to stay under $200 for the package. I know this is a tall order but here is my wish list for him. I'd like the package to include the entire setup: OTA, mounting, mount, tripod, eyepiece. I'd like for it to be relatively transportable; he goes outdoors alot. He will only use this for visual and I'm guessing he will not spend much time, if any at all, on DSOs. So moon & easily seen planets. He does wear glasses and he's in his late 60s but pretty active. I envision him using this a small amount at home in a red zone on the light pollution map but more when he goes on his canoeing and weekend camping trips. He is very mechanically savvy, so learning collimation should not be too hard for him. I prefer to get him something new.

 

Among others, I have a 5" Newtonian which I really like, so I'm kind of leaning that way.

 

I found the Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ on Amazon: https://www.amazon.c...4QYH9BVPN9EY784

 

I like that it is nearly 5", brand new and comes with everything. Reviews say the tripod is flimsy. One review said collimating a Jones-Bird Reflector can be difficult and time consuming. I am planning to get him an inexpensive laser collimator on Amazon as well.

 

After reading how difficult the collimation on that scope can be I found the Celestron 70mm Travel Scope: https://www.amazon.c...RN1W8XRJKQ85SMH

 

Its nice that it's a refractor. One review said the tripod is stable. I don't love that it's only 70mm.

 

Comments on these scopes and suggestions for others are most welcome. 

 

Thank you

Don't get the Powerseeker 127eq, it is a bad design (bird jones) but its really the accessories and mount that let it down.

If you could stretch your budget up to $300 you have more choices.

 

Maybe this on a table would work?  https://shop.astrono...ector-telescope

 

I think a mini-Dob like that would have the most flexibility for your Dad.

 

There is this Maksutov also, https://www.telescop...60/p/102016.uts

There is a version with a tripod but it adds $100 onto the price,.

 

There is this also. https://www.opticspl...-with-trip.html


Edited by xvariablestarx, 25 July 2021 - 07:41 PM.

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#3 betacygni

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 07:46 PM

Does he by chance already have a tripod, such as for a camera or spotting scope? If so the Celestron c90 (slightly over budget), is very portable, would deliver very good lunar and planetary views for the price, and also double as good daytime spotting scope. Might want to watch Ed Tings YouTube video on scope suggestions at different costs, first section is on sub $200:

https://m.youtube.co...lqVTNEWs&t=601s

Edited by betacygni, 25 July 2021 - 07:50 PM.

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#4 MitchAlsup

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 07:47 PM

I wasn't sure how to categorize this, so feel free to move if desired.

 

I want to get my father a telescope for Christmas. I would like to stay under $200 for the package. 

If the budget is firm, binoculars as your best option.

No $200 telescope is worth the bother..............


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#5 HasAnyoneSeenMyNebula

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 07:52 PM

Don't get the Powerseeker 127eq, it is a bad design (bird jones) but its really the accessories and mount that let it down.

If you could stretch your budget up to $300 you have more choices.

 

Maybe this on a table would work?  https://shop.astrono...ector-telescope

 

I think a mini-Dob like that would have the most flexibility for your Dad.

 

There is this Maksutov also, https://www.telescop...60/p/102016.uts

There is a version with a tripod but it adds $100 onto the price,.

 

There is this also. https://www.opticspl...-with-trip.html

 

 

Does he by chance already have a tripod, such as for a camera or spotting scope? If so the Celestron c90 (slightly over budget), is very portable, would deliver very good lunar and planetary views for the price, and also double as good daytime spotting scope. Might want to watch Ed Tings YouTube video on scope suggestions at different costs, first section is on sub $200:

https://m.youtube.co...lqVTNEWs&t=601s

I think out of these the C90 with the tripod from Optics Planet seems like the best option. I think there are many times where he is without a table, so I like the tripod and OTA design. I'm not sure what, if any tripods he has so I want to include that in the purchase.



#6 firemachine69

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 07:53 PM

Orion Starblast
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#7 HasAnyoneSeenMyNebula

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 07:55 PM

If the budget is firm, binoculars as your best option.

No $200 telescope is worth the bother..............

He already has some old Nikon Binoculars, unfortunately I cant remember the size. They are mid-sized and incredibly heavy. I think I could stretch to $300 if it really made a difference. Any 5 " Newtonians under $300 worth getting?



#8 davidmcgo

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 07:58 PM

Orion Starblast as Firemachine69 suggested.  Would be an excellent choice!

 

Dave


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#9 HasAnyoneSeenMyNebula

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 07:58 PM

Orion Starblast

Yes this is exactly what I envisioned: https://www.amazon.c...0157059668&th=1



#10 vtornado

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 08:07 PM

We have a young rising star here name Augustus.  

He has tested a powerseeeker 127.  Besides being hard to collimate a test of the mirrors reveled that they

were of poor quality as well.  So its not just about collimating the scope its about over all poor quality.

 

The only scope I know that is high quality and around $200 price is the AWB one sky

or Zhummel Z130. 

 

The 70 mm travel scope you showed picture is probably optically fine, but the mount looks

flimsy.


Edited by vtornado, 25 July 2021 - 08:15 PM.

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#11 RyanSem

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 08:08 PM

If it's for Christmas, my best recommendation would be to scour the used marketplace on craigslist or Facebook and wait until something comes along. I got my first scope, a Nexstar 4, for $110. Can't beat that. 



#12 HasAnyoneSeenMyNebula

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 08:09 PM

Ordered.

 

Thank you everyone. I'm so excited. Christmas in July haha


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#13 xvariablestarx

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 08:16 PM

Ordered.

 

Thank you everyone. I'm so excited. Christmas in July haha

I think this comes with an EQ1 mount, so it may be a little shaky, but there are ways you can lessen it, as far as I know.  I am sure your dad will be very happy.



#14 ShaulaB

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 08:23 PM

Yes this is exactly what I envisioned: https://www.amazon.c...0157059668&th=1


The equatorial mount is not the best for a beginner or someone who just wants a "grab and go" set up. #1 Balancing the optical tube on the mount takes time. #2 learning how to use the equatorial mount is not intuitive, like an alt-az mount is.

But given these constraints, this is not a bad inexpensive choice. Collimation is easy for this.

Best of luck!
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#15 betacygni

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 08:26 PM

I used to own a starblast and a c90, still have the c90, gave away the starblast to a kid I hoped would develop interest in astronomy. Starblast is a good scope for the price, and would be ok for general interest in astronomy, but if you think his interest will be just in planets and moon, from light polluted skies, the c90 is going to win hands down (assuming you can budget in an acceptable tripod). The longer focal length will also make it easier to get to high magnifications with cheap, long eye relief eyepieces that work with glasses.

Edited by betacygni, 25 July 2021 - 08:30 PM.


#16 betacygni

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 08:35 PM

As an addendum to my above post, the c90 also looks more like a “real” telescope and has some nice heft to it. I know I’d be more impressed by opening that as a gift, just based off looks!

#17 HasAnyoneSeenMyNebula

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 09:05 PM

I went with the StarBlast for a few reasons. I like that it’s nearly 5”. It’s got the same tripod as my 5” Newtonian which I feel is adequate. I also like that it’s lightweight. That’s one thing about mine. I love that I go to heft it off the mount and it’s feather light. It will get plenty of use because it’s easy to carry.
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