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Hello

my partner would like a telescope for Christmas. He has never used one before but I believe that once he start he might like to be able to take pictures as he enjoys photography.  
There are so many to choose from I have no idea where to start. 
My budget is 0-200 please could someone help me as I have no idea 🙈

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200 quid isn’t very much for a telescope. Let alone one suitable for astrophotography.  You’d get a good pair of binoculars suitable for astronomy though. 

I’m going to say something else which I suspect you won’t want to hear and some others here will disagree with. I don’t think it’s a good idea to buy a specialised item for someone else. Better for him to be involved with the research into finding suitable equipment. Then for him to decide what he wants and you give him 200 quid towards it. I know that’s not very Christmassy but better a piece of kit suitable for the job and that he uses than a toy that sits in a spare bedroom gathering dust. 

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A good starting point : https://www.firstlightoptics.com/beginner-telescopes.html

But ... whilst your budget would get you a  telescope, it would not be one well suited to astro photography , which is an expensive pursuit.

And (as you can see from many recent threads asking for similar advice on here) telescopes are difficult to buy at the moment, deliveries have been badly affected by the current situation, and it may be difficult to buy any worthwhile instrument (i.e. one which is not a toy)  before Christmas. Maybe think about

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/first-light-optics-gift-vouchers/first-light-optics-gift-voucher.html

 

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There's photography and there's photography. I am not going to kill your dreams though. For £200 I picked up nearly £400 worth of scope used just 6 times. It's capable of giving me excellent pictures. Second hand could be an option to explore. OK at the top tier you are looking at thousands but don't think you can't drive because you can't afford a Ferrari. 

Before buying do your research ,ask around and to be honest waiting won't hurt. My guess is come the New Year many disillusioned Christmas telescope owners sell up.

He's never going to see things as the Hubble telescope sees them. ( I've been delighted to pick out Saturn's rings and seeing even our own moon in detail is breathtaking. But since purchase in September the weather has given just 3 windows to view in.) Good luck in your search 

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Hi @Kris123jack & partner and welcome to SGL.

+1 for the comments as above.

There is photography, astronomy... then there is astro-photography/imaging.

My advice would be to start off visual only and ignore online warehouses, online auction sites and high street stores... (unless they have staff they have someone highly knowledgeable, about ‘scopes and astro-imaging). Add another zero to the two hundred GBP and multiply by two will get you started in astro-imaging with results to be proud of. It does not come cheap.

If looking at secondhand equipment you can look here in the classifieds/for sale section or UKAB&S.

Edited by Philip R
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Assuming that you're in the UK and your budget is £200, I think it is best to look at a visual-only setup. If/when your partner decides he wants to start astrophotography a lot of prior reading and another 0 on the end of the budget will be the order of the day. Usually, the best option in my mind around the £200 mark would be the Skywatcher Skyliner 150p, but the estimated time for it to be in stock is 15-20 working days, which is pretty tight given that it is only an estimate and until the container is opened, no-one knows how many of each model have actually been sent. This is pretty much the story for every telescope so if you see something that you are interested in, I think it is worth emailing whichever shop you choose to find out how far down the queue you are in terms of back orders if you do make an order. 

FLO have added a Telescopes in stock page, which as you will see has pretty slim pickings. However, it looks like this page is only periodically updated so some telescopes listed here may have already sold out, but also you may be able to find a telescope that is in stock on its individual product page before it appears on the in stock page.

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What a great idea for a present!

I'll echo a little what others have said, it's a tough time to be trying to buy a telescope and as you've seen there are hundreds of different options (and most of them out of stock!).

I know it's not what you're thinking of, but what you could do is get a voucher (as suggested here) for the £200, FLO (First Light Optics) are highly recommended on here by everyone, and also get the book 'Turn Left at Orion'. That way you have something to give him on the day, and it's something that will pique his interest, and he can also be involved with the decision on what scope he wants with £200 in his pocket to help! And hopefully some stock will be in over Christmas/New Year so he'll have more of a choice/less time to wait.

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Welcome to SGL,

I'm going to throw a spanner in the works here,  if your husband in into photography and has some decent lenses, then why not get him a mount that is designed to take a camera and lens and track the night sky objects.  Something like this

https://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/skywatcher-star-adventurer-astro-imaging-mount.html

£205, takes a 5kg payload and is currently in stock (although I would call to confirm)

Or there's a this package for £239 

https://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/skywatcher-star-adventurer-mini-wifi-pro-pack.html

Slightly less payload, but has lots of extras.

Granted he won't be able to do any observing in the same way as a conventional telescope, but  it would give him another branch in his photography and produce some excellent wide field images of the night sky.

As others have mentioned, £200 won't really get a telescope that ticks all the boxes.  It will get a scope that will give him (you?) acceptable results for visual but not suitable should he wish to combine his photography with astronomy. Entry level telescopes and mounts that are used for imaging really start around the £1000 mark.  But they are often large and bulky which then adds another drawback.

The idea of a gift voucher is great as it will give him an amount to put towards something that he wants, However it would seem that FLO only have £5 vouchers listed on their site (come on FLO !!) which would be impractical to get and use !  Rother Valley optics are also another excellent retailer, and they do have vouchers of higher value £100 vouchers can be had here https://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/rvo-100-gift-voucher.html

 

 

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22 minutes ago, malc-c said:

...

The idea of a gift voucher is great as it will give him an amount to put towards something that he wants, However it would seem that FLO only have £5 vouchers listed on their site (come on FLO !!) which would be impractical to get and use !  Rother Valley optics are also another excellent retailer, and they do have vouchers of higher value £100 vouchers can be had here https://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/rvo-100-gift-voucher.html

 

 

Actually, if you go to the FLO gift voucher page and click the V by the £5 box, the drop down menu has lots of options up to £200

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26 minutes ago, Tiny Clanger said:

Actually, if you go to the FLO gift voucher page and click the V by the £5 box, the drop down menu has lots of options up to £200

Ahh I just searched for "gift voucher" on their site and it only listed the one for a fiver !

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I bought a very basic Celestron Newtonian reflector telescope from Argos two months ago, costing £150 . It's fairly good although the eyepieces ( the little lens you look through) didn't give a sharp image so I spent a further £75 buying two better quality eyepieces.

https://www.argos.co.uk/product/5067718

Because of the lockdown, the nearest Astronomy shop to me was closed. I got the Argos telescope after I saw a couple of vids of it on Youtube. I believe supplies of astronomy equipment are scarce just now.

Finding the stars and planets in the skies needs lots of practice, and it's easier in my view for a beginner (such as me) to use binoculars. Using a telescope ideally needs some experience. To buy one as a beginner and then immediately trying to take photos may be challenging. I believe you can take photos of stars and planets without using a telescope.

https://astrobackyard.com/how-to-photograph-planets/

Edited by keora
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