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  1. Hi all, I'm sure the more experienced of you will have already encountered this, but I felt I had to raise it (it's that time of year). A work colleague was given a telescope for Xmas by her husband (hadn't asked me first, by the way). It's a Celestron 114EQ Power Seeker, on an EQ2 mount (not cheap!). She'd tried looking at the moon over Xmas, but couldn't find it. Anyway, I spent an hour after work on Friday getting her started, setting it up, balancing it, polar aligning it, aligning the finder, explaining general issues as I went along. */rant/ Honestly! Why do manufacturers produce and market items like these. An EQ2 is useless for astrophotography, and more hassle than it's worth for purely visual. The tripod is wobbly, the finder awful, the EPs poor quality. Most beginners will want something to set up/put down/look through/see stuff easily (basically, something manageable on an Alt-Az mount, with a decent finder and sturdy legs/base). Most beginners will be given a telescope as a gift, with little research done, and only manufacturers specs and descriptions to go on (for example, the 114EQ on Amazon boasts of x675 magnification!). /end_rant/* I understand that the argument might run that quite a lot of people will give up the hobby anyway (for any number of reasons), and a scope like this will give just a taste of the hobby/experience, but I feel that it's equally true that a scope like this will put off more people than cold/late nights, the dark, light pollution, etc. Not being able to set up easily, and see things (even if it's only the moon) will be very disappointing. Grrrr. Kev
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