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What telescope do I go for?


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Hi! I’m new here and pretty much a beginner but I’m looking to buy a telescope as a special birthday gift but no idea what I’m really looking at. My budget isn’t huge so I know I’ll have to go for a semi basic one, just looking for some advice to get started looking?

I’ve seen a national geographic one that allows you to link to a phone which I love the idea of if there’s a way to capture what you can see but doing some research in some other forums on here the one I’ve seen hasn’t got very good reviews. I would love one which allows you to see a bit more than just the moon but as I said before I really have no idea at the specs you need etc so would be so grateful for some advice! 

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Hi and welcome to the forum.

An idea of what your budget actually is would help a lot - the choice these days is huge and prices vary widely as well.

As "food for thought" here are a selection of decent starter scopes from the forum sponsor First Light Optics:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/beginner-telescopes.html

One piece of advice straight away is to discount the National Geographic scopes. They are really pretty poor.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, John said:

Hi and welcome to the forum.

An idea of what your budget actually is would help a lot - the choice these days is huge and prices vary widely as well.

As "food for thought" here are a selection of decent starter scopes from the forum sponsor First Light Optics:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/beginner-telescopes.html

One piece of advice straight away is to discount the National Geographic scopes. They are really pretty poor.

 

 

Hi and thanks, also thanks for the reply.

Oh I should have added that. I would say around £100 preferably, up to £150.

Thanks for the link seems like a great site easy to see what you get with each option. I will have more of a thorough look through in a moment but I like the look of the Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ Refractor Telescope seems a good option to start with? 
I did think that, it seemed like a good option at first glance but none of them seem to have good reviews at all.

 

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I think you can do better than the AstroMaster 70AZ for a budget of £100-£150. Much better.

Take your time and see what suggestions come forward from others.

 

 

 

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Astronomy has never been so varied to the beginner as there is vast range of scopes to choose from the refractor would be a good starting point and are very easy to use and mostly maintenance free.At the higher end of your budget consider the skywatcher Evostar 90mm AZ3 refractor telescope this consists of a simple Azimuth mount basically up,down left to right kind of motion.for an extra £10 this will give you an additional 20mm of aperture very user friendly aslo great for the moon and planets and larger enough aperture for more detailed views of deep sky ie star clusters,nebula etc.you also have the function of useing slow motion controls which allows you to track objects in the eyepiece.

this scope retails for £156 or there abouts 😀

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One of the most important things about a telescope in the aperture. IE the size of the actual telescope tube mirror or lens. 

Generally the bigger the aperture, the better your results in viewing night sky objects is likely to be.  It viewing terms it really is a case of bigger is better. 

So for your budget of up to £150, I would go for the heritage 130p flextube. heritage

Comes with basic eyepieces and is very portable too as a bonus.

 As an example a  70 mm aperture telescope gives about 15400 sq mm of aperture but a 130 one gives 53000. That is more than 3 times as much light gathering power. 

This translates that you will see planets, the moon and other objects in far more detail though the 130p.

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A budget of £100-£150 does not go far when buying astronomical kit. A lot of the telescopes in this price range, even some from leading brands, can be of poor quality and be difficult to use. The Americans call these "hobby killers".  So you should pay careful attention to the advice given above.

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I would definitely go for the Heritage 130p on that budget. I have one and it is optically very capable, and there are quite a few very experienced members on here who enjoy using them.

The two most important things are optics and mount. This scope has a good solid Dobsonian Mount, albeit that it needs to be put on a table or other raised surface to use it more conveniently. At a later date you can also take it off the base and use it on another tripod mount like the AZ4 which is more convenient.

I am sure you will have better results with this than one of the small refractors which tend to be on less stable mounts and have smaller apertures so will show less.

The focuser can be a little fiddly, but a few wraps of plumbers tape tighten it up nicely and it is surprisingly capable then.

Good luck with your choice, and let us know how you get on.

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Hello and welcome to SGL

 

For around £150 you are on a tight budget , so I would not buy new and look on the second hand market.

The best bang for buck out there in my opinion is a 200mm reflector. I would therefore keep a eye on the SGL for sale section for a SW 200 dob

I hope this helps 

 

 

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Sorry for the late reply but thank you all for your responses.

I saw the heritage 130p but was unsure as it doesn’t have a mount but being able to see more definitely sounds better to me than having it on a mount. I know it’s a bit of a tight budget to be on but for a beginner and the current budget I have I’ll have a little search around for what I can get for the money. 
Thanks again. 

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Hi @Jem789 and welcome to SGL. :hello2:

Good advice from fellow SGL'ers above.

Apologies in advance for being negative; but forget the 'National Geographic' one, (and any 'Seben' telescope), you have/maybe looking at. Both brands, (and a few others), have extremely poor reviews.

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36 minutes ago, Jem789 said:

Sorry for the late reply but thank you all for your responses.

I saw the heritage 130p but was unsure as it doesn’t have a mount but being able to see more definitely sounds better to me than having it on a mount. I know it’s a bit of a tight budget to be on but for a beginner and the current budget I have I’ll have a little search around for what I can get for the money. 
Thanks again. 

It does have a mount but you need a stable table top or other flat surface to stand it on.

http://www.waloszek.de/Dobson_travel/R0020392a_sm.jpg

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3 hours ago, John said:

It does have a mount but you need a stable table top or other flat surface to stand it on.

http://www.waloszek.de/Dobson_travel/R0020392a_sm.jpg

An alternative option is if you have a stable photo/camera tripod and a ball-head, (makes 'cheap & cheerful' alt-az mount), can also be used and raise it to a more comfortable height. You will need to take the OTA off the supplied base. Another SGL'er has done it with his/her SkyWatcher Heritage, (the 'scope as shown in the image).

Edited by Philip R
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I have a Skywatcher 130P which I have taken off its GOTO mount and put on a altazimuth mount. This has become my pick up, plonk down andobserve scope. The optics are good on my copy.

One additional thing to consider is where you will keep the scope and observe from. The best telescope is one that gets used.

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