The telescope in question.
Jessops Reflector Telescope TA800-80
* 800mm Focal Length
* 80mm Objective
* Electronic Red Dot Finder Scope
* 3x Barlow Lens
* 6mm, 12.5mm & 20mm Eyepieces
20mm eyepiece = 40x magnification or 120x magnification when used in conjunction with the 3x Barlow lens.
12.5mm eyepiece = 64x magnification or 192x magnification when used in conjunction with the 3x Barlow lens
6mm eyepiece = 133x magnification or 399 magnification when used in conjunction with the 3x Barlow lens
This Telescope retailed for £100 originaly, then dropped too £50 - and as low as 39.99 clearance price. So is an extreamly cheap scope. I have seen many people advise not touching this scope or any "department" type scope with a barge pole, however i feel if you understand thier limitations and what too exspect from them they can be of use in the right circumstances!.
First impressions strait out the box-this telescope acctualy looks pretty sturdy! the tripod is aluminium and takes seconds too assemble/dismantle, very novice friendly. It took me and my girlfriend 5 mins too unpack and assemble the complete telescope having never done so before.
The instructions included were poor, they explained how too set up the telescope but didnt give any information how too use it, nor did it mention the red dot scope needs aligning!, this may not be a problem too a more exsperianced astronomer who realizes this, but too a novice its not apparent..the red dot looks central and many new people seem too pass it of as useless strait away. The first night i used the scope i too thought the red dot sight was a useless gimick and had a hard time finding anything at all without it.
The second night i realized there was a couple of screws that could be adjusted and i then realized it needs aligning, i found the easiest way was too get the moon in view and then center the red dot too its center, once this was done the red dot sight is very effective..
You can get views of saturn and its rings with this scope very easily one the red dot finderscope is aligned.
Placing the dot over saturn with the 20mm eye peice found saturn again and again, its effective..but due too lack of instructions i feel many people may dismiss it as useless.
The selection of eye peices was pretty good, the 20mm is very easy too use,the 12.5mm also very easy, the 6mm has a poor field of view but did give the largest views of saturn seeing a gap beetwen the rings and the planet, but with slightly less clarity than the 20mm, the barlow only seems any good for lunar viewing. This telescope shows some beautiful view of the moon and saturn,the moon looked much better than i exspected it to,great detail. And saturn even tho it is very small its still an amazing sight.
This scopes main weakness seems too be the mount from the tripod too scope, it dosent stay in place great and needs tightening sometimes. The tracker bar seems very poor, i do not believe you could track objects with this scope effectivly without too much wobble, but it only needs a nudge in the right direction too get what your looking for, and another nudge too refocus after object has left the field of view, it takes about 5/10 seconds for tripod wobble too subside depending on distance of object.
Another weakness is the instructions, they only really tell you how too assemble the telescope and mention nothing about aligning the red dot finder,since this is a novice scope i would have thought they would put in some very basic help on getting started.
Overall id rate this telescope as excellent value, if you only have £30 pounds too spend (can be delivered too your door from ebay for this price on average) and you would like too see some amazing views of the moon and see saturn for the first time this scope may be for you.
Some may say that you are better putting that £30 too a better telescope, and they may be right..But this telescope is certainly enough too spark interest, provided you keep it in good condition you could get most your money back on ebay. I bought this telescope too get an idea if astronomy is for me , and then bypass the £200 price range telescopes and go strait into £400/500 price range.
I hope this novice review is helpfull too others like myself who have considered this scope but been put of by warnings of how bad they are, i feel if you understand what too exspect from them they are EXCELLENT value!,But not discounting the warnings, MANY more people have been dissapointed with these scopes than happy it seems,and being a complete novice i understand that everyone knows a lot more than i do on the subject so thats certainly worth thinking about, i have thought that myself and have just wondered if im just amazed at my first proper views, but I felt i had too mention my feelings on this scope from a complete novice perspective because for the money i think it is great.
Edited by SteveL, 15 April 2011 - 12:26 PM.
edited to change black on grey text to something more readable