Lifelong armchair interest in astronomy, but only very recently had the time to do any observation. Wish I had started when my eyes were in their prime!
Started small - a Bresser Skylux 70mm f/10 refractor on manual german mount. Added a couple of better eyepieces and a Barlow. This has been fine while I've been finding my way around the sky, but I started running up against limitations of (a) aperture and (b) tracking. I live in outskirts of a small town within near reach of some decent darker skies, but realistically I'm likely to do most observing at home. Back garden is apparently Bortle 4. I also share hobby with my partner, but she understandably doesn't want to spend long hours waiting around in the cold while I tinker and try to find the fainter stuff. I also do occasional outreach evenings (before Covid). So I decided the next scope must have GoTo. Partner is also keen to try photography but I realized there is a whole can of worms and tradeoffs with visual vs imaging. So we decided to stick with visual for now, and not spend too much. After getting advice on this forum we went for the Skywatcher 150i, and so far we are very pleased with it.