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For the first time in 57 years I'm having the itch to look up , I'm fed up with looking at people wearing masks, moaning there's no loo rolls and 2mtr distance markings on the floor, so I think me needs to take a deep breath and look through some quality glass and see the amazing views above the clouds. The problem I'm having, after watching many YouTube videos, is lots of different views on what your first scope should be, so, I need your help please.
My budget started at around £500 but I'm starting to think I need around £700 to get something I'm going to be pleased with, unless I come across a used one of course. I'm pretty sure it's going to be mostly visual star gazing I'll be doing and then perhaps as my interest and curiosity grows, I'll have a dabble into astrophotography, although this side of it does look very complicated, not to mention much more expensive. I have noticed in many videos that there is a push for newbies to get a reflector scope but they do seem a bit too big and cumbersome, and storage is an issue where I live, so I'm thinking more of a refractor.
There's a few nice 80 ed scopes out there but as I understand it, the moon will look nice but I'll have a hard job making out the planets like Saturn at maximum power. 102's and 120 seems a good starter but the jump in cost to an ED version is BIG, so I'd like some help on whether or not it justifies the extra money please to remove much of the Chromatic Aboration that many complain about of the cheaper scopes. I've also noticed that some scopes out there, although different in colour and name, the build is exactly the same and it's said by some, but it's pretty obvious it is, that they are just re-branded and come from the same factory in Shenzen. So, can you help/advise please, is a 102 or a 120 a good choice, should I pay the extra for ED, and which brands should I consider, i.e. Skywatcher, Celestron etc. Also, any advise on what extras I will need, I can see most advise on upgrading the 10mm eye piece that comes with most scopes for a better one, and a decent 2x Barlow, but anything else I'll you'll think I will need please and any tips and tricks for a very keen, getting on a bit, newbie, thank you very much.
Just so you know, I've made my first purchase, it's a planisphere and I'm learning how to use it from a nice chap I've found on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbz3QnAbzFM&t=962s&ab_channel=AstronomyandNatureTV
Take care, stay safe and clear skies as they say
Hi everyone, about a month ago i got my first telescope. Wasn't sure what to get but i wanted something portable and easy to setup and use. After some internet "research" i decided to go for a refractor on a manual alt/az mount. The telescope was on a 50% sale so i decided to go for it , the Meade infinity 90.
The scope came in one big box, everything was inside. Included was the optical tube, the mount, 3 eyepieces (6.3mm, 9mm and 26mm), a 2x barlow lens, 90 degree diagonal, red dot finder, an eyepiece holder for the mount and a few manuals. The optical tube:
The tube has a 90mm (3.5in) aperture and 600mm focal length. It looks and feels as a quality instrument, it has a small dew shield and the focuser is smooth when you move it back and forward. As expected the lens looks to be coated. It has a dovetail bar on it with 3 holes for screws. The mount:
Light but stable, made of aluminium. It has 3 extendable legs, and 2 slow motion cables (alt/az). One screw to mount the tube on on top (adjustable back and forward). The eyepieces and barlow:
All 3 are modified achromat eyepieces, the lenses are made of glass and are OK for the beginner, but i would suggest upgrading if you can. The barlow is bad i even think that the optics are plastic (not sure), it is usable if you don't have other options but this should be the first upgrade in my opinion. Observing: First light:
The telescope arrived in the morning so the first thing i did after a quick setup was to adjust the red dot finder. I looked at some mountains about 20km away, the view was nice and very detailed using all eyepieces. Combining the 6.3mm with the barlow got me a bit blurry view, but the barlow in combination with the other eyepieces was ok. Night came and it was a moonless and clear night (only light pollution from the city i live in). I saw orion right infront of me, "marked" it with the red dot finder where i thought M42 should be and looked through the 26mm eyepiece. It was a bit blurry but after adjusting the focus i could see some nice pinpoint stars and also something fuzzy, i realized it was the orion nebula. After letting my eyes adjust to the view for a few minutes i started seeing 2 faint "wings" on both sides and in the center were 4 very tiny stars, i didn't expect to see that on my first night. I followed my target for about 15 minutes using the slow motion controls , it was easy to do. Also tried the 9mm eyepiece and with it the 4 stars were more easily seen but the faint clouds got fainter so i moved back to the 26mm. Next target was venus, i tried all eyepieces + with combination with the barlow. It looked like a very bright half moon without any details. When using the barlow the view was ok but purple glow was showing around the planet, without the barlow the purple wasn't noticeable. I also looked at the star Sirius which looked nice, bright and much bigger then any other star i could see that night. After Venus went down i decided it was enough for day one. Moon:
I expected it to look good, but not this good. I was observing the moon for a couple of nights until it got full. I could see a lot of details at the terminator , with low and high magnification. When the moon was full it was very very bright and it looked best with the smallest magnification using the 26mm eyepiece. Jupiter and Saturn:
I got 2 opportunities to look at these 2, the first time i think the "seeing" was bad. I could only see Jupiters 4 moons and the planet was a bright disc without any details at any magnification i tried. Saturn also wasn't very good, i could see the rings but they were blurry and "dancing" around. But the next time i had the chance to look at these planets the conditions were much better, first target was again Jupiter. With the 26mm eyepiece i could see a white disc with 4 moons.With the 9mm i could see the moons again but now the disc had very faint 2 bands without any color. The view was best with the 6.3mm eyepiece, the 2 bands were clearly visible and on the upper belt on the right side there was a small dark dot, i am not sure if it was anything . Next target was Saturn, event with the 26mm eyepiece i could see that it has rings, i switched to the 6.3mm right away and wow there it was, Saturn and its rings clearly visible, i even think i could spot the cassini devision, but it might have been my eyes playing tricks. I tried using the barlow on both targets but it was making the image blurry, but at this point i had purchased a higher quality barlow and the views were very nice with it , but the max magnification i could use that night was 133x, anything higher and the image was getting wobbly (probably that was due to the atmosphere that night). After that some clouds came in and it was time to get back to bed (got up just to see the planets in 4am). Conclusion:
I think i got what i wanted, a small and very portable telescope for some basic amateur observing. I do recommend this telescope to anyone as a first telescope or even to an experienced astronomer who is looking for something light, portable and being able to set it up and start observing in 2 minutes. Also i would recommend you replace all of the eyepieces and the barlow. I got me a few plossl eyepieces and a nice barlow, it was worth it.
Feel free to ask me anything regarding this telescope i will be more than happy to answer.
Sorry for any spelling mistakes this review probably contains
Also i am attaching a few images i took directly off the eyepiece using my smartphone (handheld).
After many hours of researching and asking on forums I’ve decided not to go down the imaging road as I’ve come to realise it’s way out of my budget. Now after realising this I’ve narrowed down to three telescopes that I’m considering on getting purely for visual use.. Skywatcher 150p 150pl or the dobsonian 200p. What is the difference between the 150p and the pl? I’m after something that can let me see enough detail on planets that I’ll enjoy and also allows me to get views of deep sky objects. I have been talking to Martin from FLO as well and still can’t decide. I’m hoping you can help me make my decision. I’d also like to know how comefortable these three are as I’ll be most likely doing long sessions for sketching. My budget is £400 max.
Thanks for for the help (again).
Hey all. I have a plan for an observatory in the back garden, hopefully starting in a year or two. That will be set up mainly for imaging. But I need something to keep me going until then
In in the meantime I would like to get a fairly basic telescope for viewing. I won't be imaging with it. I want something portable, so when I have the obsy set up I still have something small to take to friends houses. I also want it basic enough to teach a young child with
Price wise i am I am looking at the couple of hundred pound mark. I don't want to spend much more in case I don't use it much when I have the obsy (and with building an extension I have limited money to spend on hobbies!).
the startravel 102 on an eq1 mount seemed to fit the bill, but I think planets will be a particular selling point to the little one. (DSO's don't seem to impress kids when they just look like a smudge in the sky!). Having read this forum it doesn't seem to be that good for planets. I like the evostar 102 but coming purely on an eq3-2 mount nearly doubles the price.
Howdy, all. I am in the process of searching for my first telescope. I am looking for something that is great for both planetary gazing and stargazing. I live in an area that has light to medium light pollution, but have access to foothills and mountains, only a couple hours away. So, I am looking for something that is semi portable, yet still big enough to have a good fov. Most of the viewing would be done from the back yard, however. I do plan on doing AP in the future, but just looking or a gazer at the moment. I have read a lot of good reviews on the skyliner 200p, but was just wondering if there are any that are comparable in quality for a tad less. the 200p is about $400 US, which is about the top of my price range. Thanks in advance, everyone.