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You probably won't get much for fifty quid (but I havnt looked so I could be very wrong), maybe best to look for something used. Second hand scopes hold their price well, what you pay now you'll get back on resale if you look after it. You'd probably be better getting some binocs, as well as giving great wide views they'll help you learn the night sky and will still be useful when you get your scope.

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You are perhaps better off with a pair of binoculars for that budget. You might get a used ST80 (80mm achro refractor), or little mini dob for that sort of price

Stu

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Not much at that price, and to an extent you could be better off keeping the money and using it on a better one later in the year.

Throw into this the light nights meaning prolonged periods of observing are not really possible for another month or 6 weeks so you are not going to be outside at 9:00 to look at anything.

If you want something then have a wander past a few of the charity and cash converter type of shops, they can often have scopes in, or as has been said an inexpensive set of binoculars, try them out first.

If you do not already then use binoculars and a map to work out where things are, constellations and the things in them. Helps a lot when you get a scope to know the basics and where to point the thing. Otherwise you look at about 3 or 4 things then get fed up.

Sorry to be "negative" but the £50 would go nicely towards a better scope in a few months time. As in 150P instead of a 130P.

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I would look on ebay for a Tal 1 second hand, they are superbly made and I still have and use one, they can be picked up for 50-70, they are quite heavy so need one local.

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Very hard to get a useful scope at that price, but it does depend a lot on if you have a mount?

A spotting scope may serve well but you have to be aware of the limitations of what your buying.

I have a C50 mini mak I use for a travel scope. It costs about £70 new but the mount is nearly useless and the EP is also pants but if you happen to have a half decent mount for it and either a good EP or use a camera it has a built in T2 thread and fine focus adjustment so can perform well considering its price.

This type of setup can be incredibly frustrating though as you may find it hard to find anything at all. I wouldn't recommend it if you don't know how to find things already.

Unless you have a specific reason you want a scope binos may well be a lot better in that price range.

10x70 is a good start but be aware that planets will just be dots at that magnification. Higher magnification requires a mount or you just get a bouncy view. Avoid zoom binos as at that price range they will be awful.

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£50 isn't a big budget, even for a telescope that you will only be using for a short time. A good pair of 10x50 binoculars would be a better buy that you will also be able to use after you have later purchased a telescope.

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£50 will buy you something useable.  I'm one of those that can't get on with binoculars, so I went straight to a telescope and have been pleased with my choice. 

The best place to start is, as you would expect, eBay. 

Here is my "Teach Grandma to suck eggs" paragraph on how to set the search up on eBay.  Please feel free to skip it if you know what you're doing - I won't be offended!!

Click on "Shop by category" (up by the logo), then "See all categories".  Under "Cameras and Photography" is the subgroup "Telescopes & Binoculars".  Click on that, then select the category "Telescopes" on left near the top.  Part way down the left hand side of the next screen you will see the option to set "Price" leave the first box blank and put "60" in the second box and click on the >> symbol next to it.  I know you said £50 was your limit, but if there happens to be something fantastic for £55, you'd kick yourself.

And we're back!!!!

Here are a few things I've found with a quick search:

A 76mm diameter Celestron but the mount is pretty basic (Link)

A 114mm Tasco, but you'd have to collect it from London or arrange a courier if the seller was ok with that (Link)

A 80mm Jessops scope - they say it's new, but the box looks pretty battered.  Probably an unopened gift (Link)

What looks to be quite a nice Skywatcher that's currently at £50 with no bids ending tomorrow (Link)

Hope this helps - I can't spend any more time looking, as one of my cats has decided she's hungry and wants to try eating my leg if I don't get up and feed her.  Life in the fast lane!!

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I'd tend to hang on until later in the year. The Autumn and WInter skies are the most rewarding and that additional £50 towards your purchase then might enable you to get something a step up the ladder rather than still be close to the bottom rung.

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As suggested above, if you can pick up a used Tal 1 (110mm, F7.3), off of fleabay or Gumtree etc, then go for it. You should be able to sell it on for the price you pay('tween £50-70), when the time comes for a bigger scope. Excellent optics and extremely heavy build. Do check that the scope comes with the stock accessories.

There are several on the bay of fleas at the moment, including a nice Tal 120, which is similar-ish to the Tal 1.

I'd always recommend a nice pair of bincs. Will give nice wide, low power views, that no scope could give.

Andy.

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Thanks for the feedback guys, will have a gander on gumtree as I've already got binoculars which are decent enough but no good with the planets. Anyone suggest the best scope around the £100 mark for future reference that would be great

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Use the binoculars and get a good idea of which bits are where, assuming the garden is not too bad for light.

It really is worthwhile, and is something I need to get out and do again.

Ignoring a budget for a first and half reasonable scope I would sugest the Skywatcher 150P dobsonian (reflector) or the Skywatcher Evostar 90 (refractor). Both are over £100 however.

These both seem to be a reasonable start point, meaning if you carry on you can use either for some time.

Whatever you get budget for 2 (or 3) additional eyepieces, both the above will be fine with a reasonable plossl about £25 each. Also for the reflector you will eventually need a collimator, about £25.

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scott,

to be honest , I would wait and put the £50 towards your new scope later in the year, or at least for a reasonable eyepiece

how much use would you get of your £50 between now and the end of the year ?

its only a few months 

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I have a slightly different perspective. Do you have kids?

How about getting a 76mm Celesstron Firstscope or Skywatcher Heritage? They're anywhere from £39 to £50 new. I think you'll see more through that than through similarly priced binoculars. Some adults buy them for themselves! Then, when you buy a better scope later on, you can let the kids use the 76mm.

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even at £100 I would still go for a tal1 and buy one more eyepiece. They are vastly under valued. I still use mine , the mount is lovelly and stable,  the eyepieces especially the 25 plossl is superb, the barlow is great and the mirrors are first class. As an equatorial package (imo) you would need to spend over £250 to get anywhere near its equal.

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