Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.


Recommended Posts

Hi everyone.

sorry I know this has been asked and I've tried getting ideas from other posts but any advice would be greatly received. My husband has always had an interest in the skies and I would love to get him a telescope for Christmas. I really had no idea how confusing it would be! I'm hugely struggling with all the types of telescopes and different peoples views. 

From searching through lots of sites and reviews the skywatcher explorer and skywatcher star travel seem to be good beginner scopes. Can any advise on these or other suggestions? I don't want to spend too much more than £100 (appreciate these are both more) and I was hoping for something he can add to over time if he wishes (other lenses, phone connector etc). I would prefer it to have its own tripod though read that many of these are flimsy. We live outside of London so sky's not always great but my parents are in cornwall so hoping to view there too. 

Thank you for any help 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


Staying with the star travel the 80mm one comes on a az3 tripod and is portable and would show great wide field views, whilst very high power magnification is not it's strong point none the less it can be used on the Moon and planets as well. Due to the construction it does show some chromatic aberration on really bright objects like the Moon or say Venus and Jupiter I'm not personally phased by that but if you anticipate your husband might be then the heritage 100p (in budget) won't show CA as it is a different telescope design. 

You can obtain additional eyepieces as the hobby grows but both come with two to get you started.

Stellarium is free to install and is a brilliant planetarium software.

If the hobby really grows the ST80 can be used as a finder scope of a guiding scope, or a quick grab and go.

If spending about £140 the heritage 130p is very capable.

No question is too small.

Edited by happy-kat
  • Like 3

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally would go for the small Dobsonian design of the Heritage 100p or if possible the 130p. They are both quite easy to transport to dark locations, and I find the image better than that of the ST80. On the down side, they need to be collimated from time to time, but that is not very hard.

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi , and welcome to SGL.

I also suggest the Heritage 130p.


You get a lot of aperture for your money. Many members who now own much more expensive scopes have kept their Heritage 130p, and still use it.

Whatever scope you buy a celestial guidebook like Turn Left at Orion will greatly enhance your enjoyment.


  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much everyone. I'm going to look the 130p. Also thank you lenscap for the recommendation of the book. Hubbys birthday is right before Christmas so I'm always stuck for gift ideas. This will be a great addition to get him started. 

  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, DD4 said:

I'm hugely struggling with all the types of telescopes and different peoples views. 

It's never going to be easy, even those in the know deliberate  for ages on this one, that one?

A pair of binoculars is also a good birthday option, and these can effectively be used day or night.  Again so many choices but not more than 10 times magnification making them easier to hand hold for longer periods of time. Something like 10x50  or an 8x40 ( has a wider view ) might even  get used more than a poorly chosen scope, after all, hubby isn't going to tell you he doesn't like the scope!

If hubby is capable/able my suggestion is to go straight in for a 8" reflector telescope mounted on a Dobsonian mount, like mine, the Skywatcher Skyliner 200P. It's not the easiest scope to lug around between homes, but the results are pretty good.  A similar tabletop version,  the 100P would give an idea of how the 200P works, only the 200P will provide better detail when the conditions allow. There's also a 150P variant of the Skyliner, just as easy to use.

Don't forget some aftershave, incase all this astronomy stuff messes with your mind and the birthday arrives before any scope!!!!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't go out and buy one from a camera shop, or Argos, or Jessops or a National geographic one and don't be seduced by the pictures on the sides of the boxes or in their blurb .

Also, get a hold of your husband's and your own expectations.  Before buying it is well worth taking a look at this thread:

Even if you don't read all the text scroll down and look at the pictures - the tiny ones were taken with a 4" telescope. 

Edited by JOC

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By sprouty
      I'm a complete beginner and have a similar question.  I'm thinking of buying a Celestron astro fi 130mm newtonian telescope what would I expect to see and what clarity? https://www.celestron.com/products/astro-fi-130mm-newtonian-telescope
      Can't wait to get a telescope and explore the skies.
      Thanks loads
    • By masjstovel
      I am looking at buying one of these, and need some guidance.
      Celestron Nexstar 4 SE
      Sky-Watcher Explorer-130P Synscan AZ GOTO
      Celestron Nexstar 127 SLT MAK
      I ended up With these 3 Choices mostly because of the cost I am willing to do the first time, and it seems like they have some abilities (motorized with GoTo-options)
      Priority 1: I want to observe nebulas, and galaxies (i.e. Andromeda)  on a decent "zoom" and focus.
      Priority 2: I want to do astrophotography.

      I've read elsewhere on the forum than its preferable to have an equatorial mount for astrophotography. As far as i can see none of the above have that, even if Celestron Nexstar 4SE is promoting astrophotography on the product info. Or have i misunderstood here and one of the above has an equatorial mount?
      The Product info on the Celestron Nexstar 4 SE says it has Alt-Az, EQ North & EQ South. Does this mean it has both options, az-al and equatorial mount?.
      I think should add that i consider myself at least an "above beginner"-photographer, and Photoshop user. I use NIKON D810 - is this even mountable on one of the telescopes mentioned here?
      I also have the Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer mini. Can i setup one of the telescopes mentioned with this and call it a telescope with equatorial mount? 

      I guess some of these questions might seem stupid to you, but I just dont know alot regarding telescopes yet:)

      Thanks in advance for any replies.
    • By Kronos831
      Hey guys! It's me ,kronos 
      Yesterday my 8" dob arrived and i had some lovely views with it! I also bought an astroessential t ring for my nikon Dslr.
      Im looking towards planetary imaging (not serious, just for the fun) what else do i need?(btw my cam is a nikon D7100)
    • By Cam1988
      Hi all, 
      First post on here looking for some telescope buying advise. I've searched and seen some similar topics which have been very useful but thought i'd summarise and see what the experts think.
      I'm looking at getting myself and my girlfriend a telescope as an anniversary gift. She's not scientifically minded at all but she really likes the aesthetic of the moon. The house is filled with 3D printed moon lamps, jewelry, cushion covers etc.. We're about to move into a new house in Forest Hill in SE London and the new house has a really large garden backing onto more gardens so quite sheltered from all street lights. We both said to eachother a telescope might be a nice thing to have in the new house and something we can enjoy together in the new garden. 
      I've got a budget of up to £200 but by no means want to spend that much if I'm paying for features we don't need or will use. 
      I've got some experience with a reflector scope that was my brothers. He got it years ago and we both obsessed over it for about a month and then once we'd seen the big planets and a few blurry distant clusters we got bored and it never got touched again. That was a 130mm DIA reflector (skywatcher I think). After the initial excitement, my overriding feeling towards it was it was not worth the faff! This was in dark Northumberland as well, not London. 
      I've tried to explain this to my girlfriend when we've talked about it and said if we don't want the faff we might have to invest in a Go to electric telescope. The logic being if its quicker and easier to see stuff, we'll use it more. I did get then quite excited reading reviews and trying to find second-hand goto scopes and it seems like something in my budget (or slightly pushed budget) is something like a Celestron SLT 127. (have seen second hand ones go for £250).
      However having then done a bit of reading on here I think i've worked out that those cheaper Go-to's are still not that quick and simple to use, ultimately i'm I'm still only going to see fairly blurry planets and smudges of deep space clusters. I honestly don't think the girlfriend will be impressed and I'll probably get bored after a while too.  
      So I think I've come to the conclusion that I want to get a much smaller refractor that would be much more accessible for viewing the moon and would allow us to see a smudgy Saturn and Jupiter on clear nights. A smartphone camera holder would be a bonus too as it adds a simple feature that would keep us entertained for longer. 
      Do you think that's a fair approach or am I being a little too pessimistic about what I'm going to see? If so then what scopes could anyone recommend? Stepping down to a slightly lower budget there are so many more options and it's a bit bewildering. 
    • By Adaaam75
      Hi guys,
      Having had difficulty in aligning and never actually managing to get my AVX to track to the standard I know it can, is the Celestron StarSense gadget the answer? 
      I know I can align my scope accurately if I put the effort in and having moved last year I’ve been unable to have my mount fixed on a pier so I’m seriously considering this piece of kit as an easier way to align and to motivate me to get out more often.
      Please share your thoughts.....
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.