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crcooney

If anyone is looking into buying your first scope, read this!

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I looked and looked at countless reviews, forums and "Best Of..." articles every single night for 3 MONTHS, not exaggerating. I wanted to make the best decision and not experience buyer's remorse or wish I would have gotten "that other one" after my purchase. I changed my mind several times; I thought I wanted a refractor...I thought I wanted a Newt...I thought I wanted a dob...I didn't think I wanted a go-to mount...The list goes on. So many choices, so many opinions.

And then the light came unexpectedly in the form of yet another random article called "So You Wanna Buy a Telescope... Advice for Beginners". The part that got me says, "Finally, avoid "paralysis-by-analysis." If you spend more than an hour a day reading telescope catalogs, you are probably in this category. Just get something; you'll feel a lot better."  After reading that I sat back and thought, "You know what? He's right". So I did. even though I went over my budget I still felt GREAT. My seemingly never-ending search was finally over. Do yourself a favor and JUST GET SOMETHING!! Of course, always do your homework on what your buying first!

I settled on the Celestron 8se (not even close to what I originally had in mind). It came in today, and best of all...0 cloud cover predicted tonight! I'm itching for the Sun to hit the horizon as I type this so I can test it out. 

 

Best of luck to you all.

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5 minutes ago, crcooney said:

I looked and looked at countless reviews, forums and "Best Of..." articles every single night for 3 MONTHS, not exaggerating. I wanted to make the best decision and not experience buyer's remorse or wish I would have gotten "that other one" after my purchase. I changed my mind several times; I thought I wanted a refractor...I thought I wanted a Newt...I thought I wanted a dob...I didn't think I wanted a go-to mount...The list goes on. So many choices, so many opinions.

And then the light came unexpectedly in the form of yet another random article called "So You Wanna Buy a Telescope... Advice for Beginners". The part that got me says, "Finally, avoid "paralysis-by-analysis." If you spend more than an hour a day reading telescope catalogs, you are probably in this category. Just get something; you'll feel a lot better."  After reading that I sat back and thought, "You know what? He's right". So I did. even though I went over my budget I still felt GREAT. My seemingly never-ending search was finally over. Do yourself a favor and JUST GET SOMETHING!! Of course, always do your homework on what your buying first!

I settled on the Celestron 8se (not even close to what I originally had in mind). It came in today, and best of all...0 cloud cover predicted tonight! I'm itching for the Sun to hit the horizon as I type this so I can test it out. 

 

Best of luck to you all.

I tend to agree with that sentiment. So long as you stick to the more popular and recognized brands you should be ok, and honestly you never really start learning until you start using your own scope.

We all make mistakes and poor purchases at times, but end up learning more about what we really like so the next purchase is likely to be better.

Buying on the used market, either on SGL or safer places like AstroBuySell helps to reduce how much you lose If and when you sell kit on to try something else.

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I also read Ed Ting's advice before I chose my first scope. It's good advice. After you've researched as much as you can, you know that it's going to be a compromise whatever you choose. You probably know what you want, but keep agonizing nonetheless. Just go for it. There's stuff you can only find out by diving in and getting on with it.

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Good advice. I think most of us though, start by buying the wrong scope. It's how we learn what we really want.

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Congratulations on biting the bullet and buying your first scope. Now it's time to enjoy yourself.

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You shouldn't suffer any headaches with the  C8 se.
A good photon collector, and all round useful instrument.
Just enjoy what it is capable of bringing to your eye, which should be pleasing.
Aperture fever can strike at any time hence forth, but resist the temptation, until you have 
totally had you fill with the Celestron. Another year you can start straining at the leash.
In the meantime, just enjoy the telescope, and this forum, which can teach you much.
Best Wishes.

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2 hours ago, crcooney said:

I looked and looked at countless reviews, forums and "Best Of..." articles every single night for 3 MONTHS, not exaggerating. I wanted to make the best decision and not experience buyer's remorse or wish I would have gotten "that other one" after my purchase. I changed my mind several times; I thought I wanted a refractor...I thought I wanted a Newt...I thought I wanted a dob...I didn't think I wanted a go-to mount...The list goes on. So many choices, so many opinions.

And then the light came unexpectedly in the form of yet another random article called "So You Wanna Buy a Telescope... Advice for Beginners". The part that got me says, "Finally, avoid "paralysis-by-analysis." If you spend more than an hour a day reading telescope catalogs, you are probably in this category. Just get something; you'll feel a lot better."  After reading that I sat back and thought, "You know what? He's right". So I did. even though I went over my budget I still felt GREAT. My seemingly never-ending search was finally over. Do yourself a favor and JUST GET SOMETHING!! Of course, always do your homework on what your buying first!

I settled on the Celestron 8se (not even close to what I originally had in mind). It came in today, and best of all...0 cloud cover predicted tonight! I'm itching for the Sun to hit the horizon as I type this so I can test it out. 

 

Best of luck to you all.

Great! That lightbulb moment was right on the button ... and, I suspect, the first of many to come.

Enjoy the trip. It's your trip. ??

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Yeah, it was honestly the best thing that I read haha.

Got to peer through the 8se last night and was not disappointed. I got it set it up, looked up and thought "What should be first?" I look over and see Jupiter shining bright, and got it lined up. I was honestly blown away. I also got the cheap celestron 8-24mm zoom ep (a good starter for now until I can get some funds built up for better ep's) that made things a little better. Later on in the night the Moon made a late appearance and I got to see the difference in views from the zoom ep and the 25mm Plods that came with the scope. I definitely saw the plossol difference.

Jupiter looked amazing and I saw the 4 moons shining brilliantly. I had the wife with me and she also was amazed.

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A very nice telescope you went for! Congratulations! It's a Celestron! :p

And you've found an excellent forum - too! We love helping newcomers to the field find the answers to the many questions you're sure to have.

No rain? Wow!! Even the Astro-Gods are smiling on you.

Enjoy, and do tell us about more views through such a powerful and great telescope. And you'll never forget that 'first-light' on Jupiter. I still remember mine as though it was yesterday!

Starry Skies -

Dave

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Go get em!

wasn't it another Italian who coined the phrase, "carpe diem"?

John

Edited by westmarch

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I had exactly the same problem using also approx 3 months for my paralysis by analysis period to come to an end - I read the same article.

I started out reasonably sure i wanted a small goto on an alt/az mount ala Meade ETX simply because i thought they would be simple to use. I was only really interested in planet and sun observations  A Meade ETX 90 was my 1st serious suggestion although within a week that had changed to a Meade ETX 125

Then i found a FOV calculator online and that really set the paralysis in. So many different views from a huge array of equipment. Not just that. I started getting an idea that it would be great to actually photograph the things i was seeing. Also i realised that just looking at planets and the sun might get pretty old pretty quickly. 

This started a whole new line of analysis with accompanying paralysis as i ploughed through tons of youtube vids and forum posts regarding astrophotography/equipment . I quickly realised that i'd be swapping the alt/az mount out for an EQ (as well as buying a lot more than originally planned plus having to learn an assortment of software) and started looking more along the lines of buying mount and OTA separately. Another long period of youtube vids, articles and forum posts later and i actively started searching for specific bits of equipment. The new prices were generally higher than i had imagined so i spent another 2 or 3 weeks searching online ad's hoping to find just what i wanted. I was prepared to drive over Europe to collect.

I was in correspondence with a couple of chaps with questions being asked and answered and almost drove down to Germany when doubt set in again. What if i brought a lemon, what if something breaks or malfunctions, who would i call, how could i fix it..

Bang, thoughts of used equipment went out the window. It was going to have to be new with warranty....Ended up buying the scope and mount from a retailer not more than an hour away and a few other bits and bobs posted from telescope express in Germany.

My final choice also turned out to be a Celestron 8 inch :thumbsup:

Maybe i'll discover i need something different as time goes on. That's fair enough. Everything i've ever been interested in has kinda progressed that way. But damn, it sure does feel good actually being on the road although unlike you, i've yet to experience clear skies. The cloud gods are still punishing me for my indulgence :clouds1:

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I've got an upgrade (from 5" to 10" Dob) coming this week, so I can feel the excitement :-)

Even on upgrades (which you won't need for quite some time I think) there is still that same indecision, although I knew I would be staying with the Dob mob :-)

Hope you have years of fun with it, sounds like you, it and the missus are off to a dream start in your astronomy adventure. 

Edited by BeerMe

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What, only 3 months??! :D Great advice.

Took me 12 months to decide my 2nd telescope purchase!

Congrats + enjoy!

-Niall

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I spent about 18 solid months researching before I made my first scope purchase.  I bought a SW BKP 130 on a porta ll mount with a zoom ep.  The scope on the planets and moon is ok, but from my backyard anything else is a big let down.  The scope is light enough but not what I would call a great g&g scope.  I know now that I am a quick look guy would have been better served with a refractor.

 

I am going to keep the 130 for a ccd to do eaa with but as a visual scope in a light polluted back yard forget it.  For visual I am going to stick to the moon and planets until I can afford a tracking mount and a camera.

 

Mike

Edited by rml63

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Great choice of scope. I too spent weeks researching all the options and considered the 8" Celestron SCT but it was a bit out of my price range. I eventually settled on the Skywatcher Explorer 200p on the EQ5 mount mainly due to a revue in the Sky At Night magazine and an endorsement from the late great Sir Patrick Moore. Since then I have upgraded the mount to Synscan GoTo and bought a Skywatcher Maksutov Cassegrain Skymax 127 as a portable option. Love em both.

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