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New member, help & advice on telescope purchase please?


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Hello,

This is my first post so please excuse any 'faux pas' i may make along the way?

Having been fascinated since a child by the sky at night, the fact we have been lucky enough to move house into the country with low light pollution and having a young daughter who i'm hoping will join me in my attempt at enjoying the stars at night..we need any help and advice regarding purchasing our first telescope.

I know absolutely nothing about them so if anyone would be kind enough to spare a little bit of their time and explain the differing options and opinions on which type to go for as a first step into all things astronomical, i would be extremely grateful.

reflector, refractor?...size lens, focal ratio? etc. i've been viewing the table top types which look suitable for where we are planning to locate it, but i've no idea how good they are? we'd like a blend in quality ability and value for money..ie something not too expensive, but does the job well enough. If we purchased the cheapest which didn't give satisfactory results it would probably put us off and the telescope would just become an accompaniment to the table lamp! 

I've seen what looks like a good offer recently for a zennox reflector telescope but i have no idea if they are worth purchasing or not..read mixed reviews?

once again, hopefully someone will be able to spare the time to help and advise?

many thanks in advance, regs gavin 

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Hunt out a club in your area if possible: http://www.astronomyclubs.co.uk/Clubs/Counties.aspx Have a look and talk to people. Remember that many will tell you why they like a particular scope, their r

2" filters to be considered too ! But thats for another thread

http://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/skywatcher-evostar-90-az3-telescope.html

Something along the lines of this refractor will be a good start, especially as it is very easy to use and set up. You can get shorter length ones too that are pretty good also, but with the shorter scope you won't get as much magnification as the longer one. Also, the manual controls on the alt AZ stand mean that you can track objects better when zoomed in at higher magnification. The 90mm object lens will give you some nice images of the major planets, the moon obviously, but also some deep sky objects too, notably M31 in Andromeda, and the gorgeous M42 in Orion too to name just two.

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Welcome to SGL. I can recommend the Skywatcher mak 127 as a good starter scope. Great for looking at the moon, which is a good place to start. You get a lot of bang for your buck. Equally Knighty2112's advice is a good bet too.

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Hi Gavin and welcome to SGL.  :hello2:

http://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/skywatcher-skyliner-200p-dobsonian-telescope.html

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-200p-dobsonian.html

The links are to the UK/GB popular dobsonian... at least here on SGL!  :icon_salut:

Do you plan on astrophotography now or later? - It will work 'as is' for basic lunar & planetry, but for detailed photos, DSO's, nebulae, other faint fuzzies, etc; then it would have to be mounted on a sturdy GEM (equatorial mount) in an obsy with all the trimmings, ie polar aligned, guidescope, power, laptop, PC, camera... etc.   

Edited by Philip R
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Welcome to SGL. I can recommend the Skywatcher mak 127 as a good starter scope. Great for looking at the moon, which is a good place to start. You get a lot of bang for your buck. Equally Knighty2112's advice is a good bet too.

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/maksutov/skywatcher-skymax-127-supatrak.html

​I would agree with this as well.

Easy to set up & use.

Steve.

Edited by Grotemobile
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Hunt out a club in your area if possible: http://www.astronomyclubs.co.uk/Clubs/Counties.aspx

Have a look and talk to people. Remember that many will tell you why they like a particular scope, their requirements will not necessarily be your requirements.

You have Rother Valley Optics reasonably close I guess but another option if Greenwitch  who are in Batley: 3 High St, Batley WF17 9ES

Which they advertise as South Leeds - no idea if it really is.

The postcode comes up as Birstall (?)

Lee runs the GW North shop and is very good, I would suggest you drop in if at all possible: http://www.green-witch.com/

I would suggest something lkke the Evostar 90 or 102 refractor, they will do most aspects well and are solid and maintenance free.

The other being the Skywatcher 150P dobsonian. This will need occasional collimating.

The "scary" aspect is that once you have a scope you will start requiring other bits - mainly eyepieces, so expect future expenditure on these.

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Hunt out a club in your area if possible: http://www.astronomyclubs.co.uk/Clubs/Counties.aspx

Have a look and talk to people. Remember that many will tell you why they like a particular scope, their requirements will not necessarily be your requirements.

You have Rother Valley Optics reasonably close I guess but another option if Greenwitch  who are in Batley: 3 High St, Batley WF17 9ES

Which they advertise as South Leeds - no idea if it really is.

The postcode comes up as Birstall (?)

Lee runs the GW North shop and is very good, I would suggest you drop in if at all possible: http://www.green-witch.com/

I would suggest something lkke the Evostar 90 or 102 refractor, they will do most aspects well and are solid and maintenance free.

The other being the Skywatcher 150P dobsonian. This will need occasional collimating.

The "scary" aspect is that once you have a scope you will start requiring other bits - mainly eyepieces, so expect future expenditure on these.

Too true! I only got my new 120mm refractor last week, and already I am planning on upgrading the diagonal to allow me to use both 2" eyepieces (EP's) along with all my 1.25" EP's also. And of course need a new 2" EP to use with it too, most likely a wide angle 25mm EP. Somebody reign me in! Hehe! ;)

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Hi, welcome to SGL :)

If you are lucky enough to have dark skies, then you should get the most aperture you can afford. This would most likely be a Dobsonian telescope, a type of simple mounting for a Newtonian reflector. A selection of these can be seen here:

 http://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians.html

It will give you an idea of what is available and also the idea of price. Once we know how much you wish to spend then we can make more detailed recommendations.

I'm sure you and your daughter will find the night sky fascinating for many years to come.

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Hello and welcome to the forum :smiley:

Hunt out a club in your area if possible: http://www.astronomyclubs.co.uk/Clubs/Counties.aspx

Have a look and talk to people. Remember that many will tell you why they like a particular scope, their requirements will not necessarily be your requirements....

This is an excellent suggestion :icon_salut:

In this thread there have been well intentioned suggestions of 3 or 4 different scope designs which may add to the confusion rather than find a way through it !

As well as Ronin's suggestion, I think this article from the Sky & Telescope magazine is worth a read:

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-equipment/how-to-choose-a-telescope/

You will already be finding that the choice is wider than you imagined and there are some questions that you need to think about before the design and choice of instrument that best suits your needs can be arrived at.

Take your time and ask as many questions as you like :smiley:

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Too true! I only got my new 120mm refractor last week, and already I am planning on upgrading the diagonal to allow me to use both 2" eyepieces (EP's) along with all my 1.25" EP's also. And of course need a new 2" EP to use with it too, most likely a wide angle 25mm EP. Somebody reign me in! Hehe! ;)

2" filters to be considered too !

But thats for another thread :smiley:

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Hi Gavin and welcome to SGL, which telescope ? is always the one big question that causes difficulties of choice among newcomers to the hobby. You would be better off reposting you questions into the Beginners guide sections, as there more members following these sections, than here in the welcome section, which is meant more for introductions, enjoy the forum :)

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