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

Need advice for budget simple telescope

  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 Astrix

Astrix

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3
  • Joined: 21 Sep 2021

Posted 22 September 2021 - 12:45 PM

Hello everyone
First of all I am happy to join this awesome forum
And I am sorry for first topic is question 😅
Okay I will tell you what I did
I was looking for budget telescope for fun just watching the moon and planets like Jupiter and Saturn (not asking for HQ quality) but good enough to see it
So I bought telescope it's called " gskyer AZ70400 "
It's not bad but I have binoculars 10X42 Bushnell I bought 3 years ago for $80
And I swear god it has better optics than the $100 telescope !! Ok the telescope has bigger magnification but not quality!! You can not see any thing clear the even the moon details
Try to focusing and nothing work it's waste of money so I return it
So I found this spotting scope (gosky 20-60×60) for also $100
Is it possible to be better than the $100 gskyer az70400 telescope? Or equal my Bushnell binoculars??
  • aeajr and sevenofnine like this

#2 Bill Jensen

Bill Jensen

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,067
  • Joined: 23 Oct 2004
  • Loc: Springfield VA

Posted 22 September 2021 - 12:58 PM

Astrix, 

First, welcome to CN. You will find it is a great community that will support your astro pursuits in many ways. 

 

I recommend passing on a spotting scope unless your main hobby is daytime nature pursuits. 

 

If your budget is capped at $100, you may want to continue to save up until you can spend a bit more than that.  You may find that your money is better spent joining a local astro club. They will often have valuable advice, and some clubs, like mine, have a library full of loaner scopes and equipment to try out. Go to the club's observing sessions, and try other scopes out. 

 

Buying used is a good approach to maximizing your budget. Often fellow club members may have something to sell. Also, you may find something here on CN classifieds, or your local Craigs list/Facebook Marketplace. 

 

I just don't think you will get a new scope of good quality for that budget range. 

 

Good luck. 


  • ShaulaB, sevenofnine and Bistromath like this

#3 vtornado

vtornado

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,307
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2016
  • Loc: 42N 88W

Posted 22 September 2021 - 12:59 PM

Hi Astrix and welcome to the forum.

 

The telescope should have given you a better view of the moon/Jupiter/Saturn then the binos.

It is hard to figure out the weak link.   Usually the objectives of these scopes are good.

Usually the weak link is the diagonal or the barlow followed by the eyepieces.

 

In general a good magnification for the the moon and planets is about the same as the

objective size of the scope (70mm in this case).

 

I cannot vouch for the quality of the spotting scope.

 

moon and planets start revealing detail around 100x.  You should be able to see

belts on Jupiter and the Galilean moons.  Saturn you should be able to see rings.

 

The moon starts to pop around 20x.

 

Another advantage of a telescope is that it comes with a tripod.  It is too hard to

hand hold binoculars over a certain mag.

 

It takes a larger telescope to compete with binoculars, becasue binos are two telescopes,

and the "brain" can do a better job picking out details when both eyes are engaged.

However ... A 70 mm telescope should out perform 42mm binos.


  • gitane71 likes this

#4 siriusandthepup

siriusandthepup

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,407
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Central Texas, USA

Posted 22 September 2021 - 01:02 PM

Hi Astrix - and welcome to CN.

 

I'm glad you are here. Don't buy any more telescopes until we have a chance to assist you.

 

Also, it's useful to have your location in your info so everyone knows where you are (not your street address - just closest city/state/country). In some cases a local CNer might be willing to personally help you.

 

$100 is not a huge budget, but we can find you something that will show you Jupiter's cloud bands and Saturn's rings.

 

Ed


  • Bill Jensen and ShaulaB like this

#5 Lastinline

Lastinline

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 92
  • Joined: 06 Dec 2020
  • Loc: NJ, USA

Posted 22 September 2021 - 01:09 PM

$100-150 should be enough for a small tabletop reflector around 4". If I were a beginner with this budget, that is what I would shop for. Maybe something like a Zhumell Z100.

 

Cheap refractors can be quite bad. Cheap mirrors tend to be better than cheap lenses.


  • spaceoddity and RobertMaples like this

#6 gitane71

gitane71

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 843
  • Joined: 16 Jan 2012

Posted 22 September 2021 - 01:32 PM

I pretty much agree with Vtornado

A longer refractor would get you to the powers you'd need to see planetary detail.  

I used to see 80mm Celestron (Vixen) f/11 scopes for around $125 or more.

I am not sure what they are now, but if you could find one, I think it would be capable 

of giving very good images of the moon and planets.  

You would have to buy or build (old plumbing pipe mount?) your own mount though,

but that can be done without too much expense for an 80mm.  



#7 Anony

Anony

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 504
  • Joined: 24 Oct 2018
  • Loc: Long Island, NY

Posted 22 September 2021 - 01:34 PM

Hello everyone
First of all I am happy to join this awesome forum
And I am sorry for first topic is question
Okay I will tell you what I did
I was looking for budget telescope for fun just watching the moon and planets like Jupiter and Saturn (not asking for HQ quality) but good enough to see it
So I bought telescope it's called " gskyer AZ70400 "
It's not bad but I have binoculars 10X42 Bushnell I bought 3 years ago for $80
And I swear god it has better optics than the $100 telescope !! Ok the telescope has bigger magnification but not quality!! You can not see any thing clear the even the moon details
Try to focusing and nothing work it's waste of money so I return it
So I found this spotting scope (gosky 20-60×60) for also $100
Is it possible to be better than the $100 gskyer az70400 telescope? Or equal my Bushnell binoculars??

If on a $100 budget, you may wish to scour your craigslist for a used scope. You can get a decent scope (depending on location and luck) for $100 if used. Maybe look for a 80-90mm refractor or used starblast tabletop.

 

 

Costco is currently selling a $160 90mm refractor that may be decent. Plus side with Costco is super easy returns if you don't like it. You'll get some false color with it, but it'd probably not be too bad.

 

They also have a $90 ST80 clone (sorta)... but I'm not sure if it's up to ST80 standards. But it's more for wide views, not the planets.

 

Orion also has some tag sale scopes around $100ish... perhaps something there would be suitable for you.

 

https://www.telescop...60/pc/6/397.uts


Edited by Anony, 22 September 2021 - 01:37 PM.

  • Bill Jensen likes this

#8 DouglasPaul

DouglasPaul

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 855
  • Joined: 19 Aug 2020
  • Loc: Monroe Washington

Posted 22 September 2021 - 01:46 PM

For $100.00 the obvious choice for me would be used off Craigslist, Offer Up etc. For quick and easy viewing of solar system objects it's tough to beat a 60-80mm refractor, if you can find a 102 even better. The older Japanese models are much better built that the more current Chinese if you can find one.

 

Also a longer focal length would improve planetary views.


Edited by DouglasPaul, 22 September 2021 - 01:50 PM.

  • Bill Jensen, godelescher and gitane71 like this

#9 sevenofnine

sevenofnine

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,594
  • Joined: 16 Apr 2016
  • Loc: Santa Rosa, California

Posted 22 September 2021 - 02:23 PM

Welcome to C/N! flowerred.gif  Most if not all telescopes in the $100 range are a waste of money. Decent starts at $200 but in reality it's more like $350. It is what it is I'm afraid. You can look for a used scope for that but you really have to know what you're doing. Even well intentioned sellers may be offing a lemon. Some C/N members recommend the table top Dobs like the Orion Starblast but figuring out what to put it on can test your patience. Most tables don't work. If you're serious about getting a good scope this time, I recommend looking at the Sky-Watcher Classic 150P Dobsonian Reflector ($340) or similar. While you're deciding what to do, a good astronomy guide book will be your best investment. Terence Dickinson's "NightWatch" is excellent! He explains all the telescope types and the accessories that go with them. He also includes seasonal star charts so you will feel more at home under the night sky. Best of luck to you and your decisions! waytogo.gif



#10 aeajr

aeajr

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 15,745
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Long Island, New York, USA

Posted 22 September 2021 - 03:10 PM

Hello everyone
First of all I am happy to join this awesome forum
And I am sorry for first topic is question
Okay I will tell you what I did
I was looking for budget telescope for fun just watching the moon and planets like Jupiter and Saturn (not asking for HQ quality) but good enough to see it
So I bought telescope it's called " gskyer AZ70400 "
It's not bad but I have binoculars 10X42 Bushnell I bought 3 years ago for $80
And I swear god it has better optics than the $100 telescope !! Ok the telescope has bigger magnification but not quality!! You can not see any thing clear the even the moon details
Try to focusing and nothing work it's waste of money so I return it
So I found this spotting scope (gosky 20-60×60) for also $100
Is it possible to be better than the $100 gskyer az70400 telescope? Or equal my Bushnell binoculars??

Welcome to the forum.

 

I did a review of the AZ70400 - Not recommended

https://telescopicwa...lescope-review/

 

 

Spotting scopes are made for daytime use and not for astronomy.  I have a Celestron spotting scope that I like.  Yes, I can point it at the sky but I would not recommend a spotting scope to anyone for astronomy.  The eyepiece is at the wrong angle and the field of view is generally fairly narrow. 

 

How Much Does a First Telescope Cost?
https://telescopicwa...telescope-cost/

 

 

At your $100 budget level you are going to find mostly poor quality equipment.   If you can push to $200, this one would be a good choice.

 

 

Celestron Starsense Explorer

https://www.astronom...-telescope.html

Video

https://www.youtube....h?v=mmq26MyuLxg

 

Or this

 

Zhumell Z130

https://www.amazon.c...32341729&sr=8-3

 

 

At $400 you are getting into some pretty good stuff

 

 

https://www.highpoin...refractor-22460

 

https://www.highpoin...h/result/?q=DT6

 

https://www.telescop...uts?keyword=XT6


Edited by aeajr, 22 September 2021 - 03:20 PM.

  • Bistromath likes this

#11 Astrix

Astrix

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3
  • Joined: 21 Sep 2021

Posted 22 September 2021 - 03:59 PM

Hello thank you everyone for your time and help all of you guys thank you so much So in short words Save more budget and get decent telescope right!! I am from Bahrain (small island country in middle East) and the local store are very overpriced like 2x !! For example the zhumell z100 telescope on Amazon is about $158 On local store same model is priced for 148 BHD = $420 !!! So my shopping options is online only Specially from Amazon & eBay
  • aeajr likes this

#12 Paul Sweeney

Paul Sweeney

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 653
  • Joined: 19 Feb 2018
  • Loc: Heidelberg, Germany

Posted 22 September 2021 - 04:10 PM

I can only confirm what has already been said. Nr 1: join your local club, try out their scopes and see what you like. Most clubs have scopes you can borrow, or club members have scopes lying around that you may get cheap. Keep an eye out on the internet for used scopes. After a while, you will get an idea of what the normal scope prices are, and when a bargain pops up, grab it.

#13 godelescher

godelescher

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 480
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2009

Posted 22 September 2021 - 05:43 PM

Your telescope is a 400mm focal length with 70mm aperture, which is a small f5.7 scope. Just about the worst scope possible for looking at planets. Not enough focal length to provide you meaningful magnification and not enough aperture for very interesting wide field views. I'm not surprised your binos give you a better view.

 

If your options are amazon and ebay and you want to see planets, I honestly think you'd do better with ebay and pick up a cheap 40 year old japanese long focal length  refractor for about $50 plus shipping. You won't have a wide field of view, but you'll have better optics, easier magnification, and far less color fringing on bright targets like Jupiter and Saturn.

 

If you want nice wide field views for $100, your only real option is better binos. The gskyers of the world promise everything and deliver nothing.


Edited by godelescher, 22 September 2021 - 05:44 PM.

  • DouglasPaul likes this

#14 mac57

mac57

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 660
  • Joined: 19 Feb 2013
  • Loc: DeLand of Oz, Florida

Posted 22 September 2021 - 05:47 PM

Where on Earth do you live?



#15 siriusandthepup

siriusandthepup

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,407
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Central Texas, USA

Posted 22 September 2021 - 05:49 PM

Here ya go: BAHRAIN STARGAZERS

 

Join this group and they will guide you.

 

good luck!


  • spaceoddity, SeaBee1 and DouglasPaul like this

#16 DouglasPaul

DouglasPaul

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 855
  • Joined: 19 Aug 2020
  • Loc: Monroe Washington

Posted 22 September 2021 - 06:03 PM

Your telescope is a 400mm focal length with 70mm aperture, which is a small f5.7 scope. Just about the worst scope possible for looking at planets. Not enough focal length to provide you meaningful magnification and not enough aperture for very interesting wide field views. I'm not surprised your binos give you a better view.

 

If your options are amazon and ebay and you want to see planets, I honestly think you'd do better with ebay and pick up a cheap 40 year old japanese long focal length  refractor for about $50 plus shipping. You won't have a wide field of view, but you'll have better optics, easier magnification, and far less color fringing on bright targets like Jupiter and Saturn.

 

If you want nice wide field views for $100, your only real option is better binos. The gskyers of the world promise everything and deliver nothing.

That's good advice.

 

Something similar to this.

 

https://www.ebay.com...BkAAOSwQr9hKlnc

 

Notice the focal length, 900mm. 700mm should be as low as you should get for what you're looking for. It's not a high end telescope but will still give pretty decent views. I see the PM I sent you won't help as I didn't realize you were not in North America.


Edited by DouglasPaul, 22 September 2021 - 06:05 PM.


#17 DouglasPaul

DouglasPaul

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 855
  • Joined: 19 Aug 2020
  • Loc: Monroe Washington

Posted 22 September 2021 - 06:30 PM

Here ya go: BAHRAIN STARGAZERS

 

Join this group and they will guide you.

 

good luck!

That is the best option yet, they even give telescope lessons.



#18 Myk Rian

Myk Rian

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,157
  • Joined: 11 Aug 2017
  • Loc: Hartland, Michigan

Posted 22 September 2021 - 06:35 PM

A lot of naysayers on the short scopes. I have a Meade adventure 80/400 that came with a couple EPs, Barlow, and a cheap tripod.
I've been surprised by it with great views of jupiter and saturn, as well as the moon and sun, and even the ring nebula, all with a 5mm ultra wide EP.
  • vtornado and JohnnyBGood like this

#19 Echolight

Echolight

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,052
  • Joined: 01 May 2020
  • Loc: Texas

Posted 23 September 2021 - 06:34 AM

If you just want to look at moon and planets and a little daytime spotting, I’d look for a 90mm Mak. All you need is something like a 26mm Plossl for wide views and as a finder. And a 2x barlow or an eyepiece in the 12mm range to double the power to get you started.

I got this old Celestron C90 for very little money.  I’m not sure how old it is. Maybe 30 or 40 years. But it’s still in excellent shape and solar system images are nearly equal to what you’d get with a much more expensive 80mm refractor with ED glass.

It came without a mount. But what you get with a 70mm scope for $80 isn’t really a mount either. The 90 Mak is small enough to go on a small photo tripod though.

CEC545AE-5ED9-40A6-952C-93935017D73E.jpeg

But of course, on the used market, keep an open mind and don’t dismiss a small newt in the 4.5 inch (114mm) range like an Orion Starblast.

Refractors in the 80 to 100mm range can be decent. But you need to be a little more discriminating. Something above a tiny internet “travel scope”. In your price range, the used market should yield the best value.

 

The 60mm spotting scope will show you a bit. But a 90 Mak will show the rings of Saturn, banding on Jupiter along with the four Galilean moons, and terrific closeup details of craters and other details on our own Moon.


Edited by Echolight, 23 September 2021 - 10:19 AM.

  • Bsalty likes this

#20 aeajr

aeajr

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 15,745
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Long Island, New York, USA

Posted 23 September 2021 - 08:49 AM

TIPS

Top right of the screen you will see your screen name with a little down arrow.
Go to My Settings.  This is where you can make a number of changes.

You can set whether you want to receive private messages from people and how
you want to be notified about posts.

 

COUNTRY/REGION/STATE:  A good thing to do, if you have not, is to go into
your profile and enter your country and/or your city so people who are
trying to help you will know approximately where you are in the world.

 

SIGNATURE:   Also, I recommend you create a signature (my settings)
where you can list your telescope your eyepieces or whatever you wish.  My
signature is at the bottom of this post.  A signature helps people help you
because they know what you have.  We get a lot of requests from people
saying, "I am new, what eyepieces should I get?"   Now we play 20 questions
to find out what telescope they have, what eyepieces they already own, etc..

 

BUDGET: When asking about things to buy it is good to provide a budget.   An
eyepiece can be $30 or it can be $300.  If we don't know your budget we
don't know how to aTipsdvise you.

Terms like "budget priced" or "low cost" have absolutely no meaning.  What
is low cost to me may be expensive to you.  We need numbers. In fact, consider
rephrasing to something like this, “I have the following telescope and
eyepieces and this much to spend.   What would you suggest?"   Give it a try.

 

LINKS: If you are asking a question about a specific product I suggest you

provide a link to that product so we know exactly what you are talking
about.  For example, Orion sells the Starseeker IV 150.   Well, it turns out
there are two different telescopes that could be described by that name.
One is a 150 mm Newtonian reflector and the other is a 150 mm
Maksutov-Cassegrain.   Which are you asking about?

 

Or someone says they just got a 4” Celestron GoTo
scope and wants to know what eyepieces to get.   Well, Celestron makes a
number of 4” GoTo scopes.   If there is no link then people will answer
based on the one they think you are asking about rather than the one you
want to know about.

 

If you are not in the USA, a link is even more important.   Offer a link to
a web site in your country that sells telescope equipment so we can try to
understand what things cost and what equipment is available in your country.

Part of what makes Cloudy Nights so great is that people are very happy to
help one another.  These tips just make it easier for us to help each other
or to understand what is being discussed in the thread.  I hope you find
these tips helpful.

Glad you decided to join us in the sky.   :)



#21 Dobs O Fun

Dobs O Fun

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 549
  • Joined: 24 Jun 2021
  • Loc: Louisville, KY

Posted 23 September 2021 - 11:48 AM

Hi and welcome to CN.

I almost bought what you purchased. I did a lot of research, mainly this site. I ended up with an 8" reflector, 1200mm fl. I went from getting a 80mm refractor instead to getting a 200mm reflector. I do not regret it at all. It brings in a lot of light and able to see planets very well as well as the Moon and some Messier objects.

All the above is great advice. You will get many options and opinions but these experienced folks here won't steer you wrong. The main goal is to get you into a useable and enjoyable hobby.

I bought my scope used and got a good deal for it.

#22 teashea

teashea

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,111
  • Joined: 20 Dec 2020
  • Loc: Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

Posted 23 September 2021 - 09:12 PM

The mount is as important as the telescope.  


  • aeajr and Echolight like this

#23 JohnnyBGood

JohnnyBGood

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 612
  • Joined: 10 Mar 2016
  • Loc: Panama City Beach, FL

Posted 24 September 2021 - 10:50 AM

I'm a big fan of using budget telescopes. They do require a little more patience and tolerance than a higher end scope but that doesn't mean they can't be fun to use. Some are better than others, though. I think a scope in the 70mm size range is perfect for beginners and remains useful even if you upgrade to a larger scope in the future. I spend just as much time with my small scopes as I do my large ones and I enjoy using them equally.

 

My son has a 70/400 scope that he likes to use. It's excellent for low power, wide angle sweeping views. It is not good for high power (i.e. anything more than 40x) views of the moon and planets, where it was blurry and hard to focus. The tripod and mount it came with was usable but pretty wobbly and hard to use to point up more than 45-degrees or so, and it was especially jerky and hard to use if you were trying to use more than 40x magnification. I got my son a heavier duty tripod and mount for home use and we use the lighter one for travel. The scope has definite uses: my son had no problem carrying it hiking for miles to scenic overlooks when he was 8 years old. I wasn't about to carry my 8" SCT on the same trip.

 

A longer focal length 70mm scope (I prefer 700mm focal lengths) is much more versatile and usually comes with slightly better tripod and mount. I really, really like the Meade Infinity 70 for beginners since it comes with everything you really need right out of the box. I've bought several of them as gifts and loaners. One of the Infinity 70s I loaned out was liked so much the borrower playfully refused to give it back (I let him keep it). I loaned another Infinity 70 and an Infinity 90 to a friend to try both (told her she could keep whichever she liked better) and so far she hasn't given either one back. The Celestron Powerseeker 70 is pretty much the same scope but with lower quality eyepieces that need upgrading pretty much right away. The Meade StarPro 70 has a fantastic mount with excellent slow motion controls but they're a little more expensive and harder to find used. The biggest things to look for are the mounts and tripods. You don't want a mount that looks like a camera mount. They're made for pointing horizontally and not for pointing up in the sky, so when you point them up they tip over until they point straight up because they're topheavy with all of the weight above the pivot point. "Yoke" or "horseshoe" style mounts are usually much better balanced (or you can make them balanced without too much grief) and most "sidesaddle" type mounts are good, too.

 

I also really like 76mm reflector scopes, too. I spent my entire first year observing with a 76mm scope and was able to see nearly every object in the book Turn Left at Orion with it. I strongly recommend that book as well. There are several 76mm/3inch scopes on the market. The key is you want either Kellner/Modified Achromat(MA)/"Super" eyepieces or better yet Ploessl eyepieces, but *not* Huygens(H) or Ramsden(SR) eyepieces. Usually something around 25mm and one around 10mm plus a 2x Barlow is good. You don't want a 4mm eyepiece; it will not work with the scope. The same eyepiece guidance applies to the 70mm refractor as well.

 

An 80mm or 90mm scope is, of course, usually better but these days they're hard to find in your budget. Sometimes you can find a used Celestron Powerseeker 80eq (or sometimes an older Celestron 80eq version with wood legs) for less than $100 that can be an excellent value. Depending on the vintage it may need an eyepiece upgrade and the German equatorial mount ("GEM") takes a little getting used to. Don't let the mount scare you off, though, they're really not that hard. After my first night trying one out I fell in love with the concept and never wanted to use a simple up-down-left-right altitude-azimuth ("alt-az") mount again. They can be heavy and awkward for larger scopes but for small ones they're a match made in heaven in my opinion.




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