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On 09/10/2017 at 08:14, Beulah said:

It's the fact that telescopes are now 'cheaply' available to the masses that amazes me. We have a lot to thank the much maligned Chinese mirror manufacturers for...

For sure!  And a certain John Dobson (RIP) who was a real pioneer in opening up astronomy to the masses.  Such simplicity, and yet had he not discovered his diy mount would this hobby be as accessible and widespread as it is today?  Someone eventually would have designed something similar, but I can't help but feel it'd still be in its infancy and out of my reach.

 

On 09/10/2017 at 08:16, davyludo said:

I must admit, I was scared to buy second hand astro stuff at the start. Feeling that with it being optics you were buying, if the person before hadn't taken care of it then you could easily end up with a lemon that you didn't like and couldn't sell on.

Ive purchased 2nd hand mounts before because they can be easily tinkered with. Recently I've bought a few second hand optical bits (mak 127, 2" revelation diagonal, aero ED 30mm) and my opinion has completely changed. I think in general astro hobbyists tend to look after their stuff.

 

On 09/10/2017 at 12:59, AstroKerr said:

It says something positive about the community, on a large scale, that you can find good quality gear and not have to worry much. And add to that the huge benefit of SGL (and the other) forums and local clubs - ya save time and munny with that advice-driven ability to focus your search, set your 'goal' pieces, avoid duds and dead-ends.

 

 

I didn't even think there'd be a big market for 2nd hand optical equipment for exactly the reasons you've described @davyludo.  I was extremely apprehensive before I took the plunge on my 10".  There is such conflicting information about how much dust is acceptable on mirrors, etc and you can only see so much from photos.  I then started hearing about people who use mirrors with cracks and chips that they simply black out with Matt tape and I had the realisation of how simply the optical train works in Newts - if it can show you a reflection then it can show you a DSO, basically.  It'd need a helluva lot of grime before I'd go near the optics now.

Us amateurs tend to be very careful with our equipment.  I'm not the most careful person in general if truth be told but even my wife remarks about how I treat even my most basic astro equipment like a precious China doll.  These days, I'd have absolutely no qualms about buying 2nd hand from a member on here :-)

 

 

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Second hand makes this hobby so affordable as you can still sell for what you paid, but swaps work really well too. I swapped my 127 sw mak for a very nice 80mm f6 achro which is now my most used ota. Very happy. All my purchases have been optically perfect.

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