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Buying a starter scope
Posted 27 September 2007 - 10:32 AM
Posted 27 September 2007 - 10:33 AM
I think the first question would be, what is your budget??
Posted 27 September 2007 - 10:42 AM
Posted 27 September 2007 - 11:01 AM
But will it be easy to use in the location you have in mind?
Thank you for your quick replies. What difference does location have to how easy it is to use, sorry to ask the obvious
Posted 27 September 2007 - 11:03 AM
Posted 27 September 2007 - 11:06 AM
Posted 27 September 2007 - 11:13 AM
ps my budget is under £200 ( his love is cheap)
Posted 27 September 2007 - 11:26 AM
Yes and No. People start buying accessories for their scope which they can use on the next, bigger scope. This scope is the smallest recommended starter scope in terms of light gathering ability and ability to show interesting detail.
Can most low cost scopes be built upon as your experience increases?
Posted 27 September 2007 - 11:37 AM
I would normally recommend either the Skywatcher Explorer 150P or Skyliner 150P Dobsonian. However, Celestron have reduced their C6-N and C4-R by £50 (to make way for new models) which brings their price down to £199, or £179 after SGL discount.
Hope that helps.
Posted 27 September 2007 - 12:14 PM
Posted 27 September 2007 - 02:25 PM
I have the 114 and have had no worries with it whatsoever! Its very portable, cost effective and is the simplest way of finding everything in the night sky you could want to see!
Ive been to starparties where people have spent 30mins to an hour getting their kit setup, i go out and within 5-10 mins im sorted and away gazing at the stars!
I can pretty much say he wont be dissappointed!
Hope its not too much out of your price range, but its one of the cheapest with a goto mount which does all the hard work for you
Posted 27 September 2007 - 03:20 PM
To spend money on optics, go for a Dobsonian. They offer the best views to the human eye.
To spend money on mechanics, go for a C6N. They will maximise your photography options.
To spend money on electronics, go for a NexStar. They will maximise ease of use.
But as Steve said, there are offers all the time from different vendors that complicate the decision. Right now, the C6N from FLO is attractively priced.
PS: I hope I will be corrected quickly if I have said something out of order.
Posted 27 September 2007 - 03:44 PM
If you want a 'scope that can be used for imaging and tacking the stars then a newtonian telescope on an equatorial mount is the way to go.
If you have never had a scope before and want a nice big 'scope then the dobsonian are the best
If you want a scope that will find things for you and does not need a lot of setting up the SLT130 is the way to go.
The Konusmotor 500 won a best buy award in a recent review in Sky at Night magaine (think it was that mag anyway). I think I still have the mag somewhere so I can idg it out and see if it gives a supplier.
For the money it seems a good buy, good optics, an Equatorial mount (I think) and an electronic focusser.
Posted 27 September 2007 - 04:01 PM
The 6" dobsonian is an excellent choice for good views and easy use. I have a friend who is a very experienced astronomer, who doesn't use anything else for observing.
Whatever you choose, get a good guide, such as Nightwatch, or Turn Left at Orion. Some scopes come bundled with a star program on disc.
Good luck with your choices!
Posted 28 September 2007 - 12:58 PM
Why not go for something like this
Looks good but a bit out of my price range..... he's an engineer so I think spending hours fiddling with knobs would probably be half the fun for him, but being a keen photographer I'm starting to get interested in the possibilities of astro photography so might treat myself sometime in the distant future.
Many thanks to everyone for their help you have given me exactly the advice I was looking for, just have to make a decision and then find somewhere to hide the thing 'til Christmas :santa:
Posted 28 September 2007 - 02:59 PM
Posted 28 September 2007 - 09:43 PM
I won't add to the debate but do run your thoughts past Steve before you part with the cash.
Posted 28 September 2007 - 11:00 PM
I think telescopes can be classed as an exception. As your partner is just starting out, perhaps it might be a wiser choice to buy a used instrument, as the interest in astronomy may well be a fleeting one. Hopefully not, but it's a point you should maybe consider.
Besides, there are plenty of bargains to be had in the second hand market, and you could get a higher spec piece of kit for the budget you have. Seek advice before you buy though, that's if you decide to take that route.
Posted 28 September 2007 - 11:11 PM
There are some great suggestions in this thread. The advice of a good pair of binoculars, while not exactly wrong, was better advice 10+ years ago when optics were hand figured and if you wanted a good, cheap telescope you had to make your own or hope you got lucky in a secondhand shop. Now with the mass-production of decent quality optics in China, a good telescope can be had a price that most people can afford.
Posted 01 October 2007 - 08:39 AM
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