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Red dot finder, worth it?

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As AP is something relatively new I'm slowly getting into, I'm thinking about equipment over a long term goal. I was wandering if red dot finders are good for finding targets easily enough? I'm not on a go-to and still trying to learn the stars as much as I can but when trying to find certain targets I do struggle a bit. I realise the are pretty cheap but still don't want to waste some monies if I don't have to.


Edited by Astro Waves
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  • Astro Waves changed the title to Red dot finder, worth it?

Hi mate depends on how much you want to spend baader sky surfer is ment to be top notch but has price tag to match 


I use a telrad that's about the best for its money or the rigel if it's a small scope also it does not block the target like some , they do not magnify like a finder scope , but they will dew up so your need to think of a dew heater for it 



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As far as I can tell you are using the DSLR, right?

The frequently overseen option is using the own DSLR optics for pointing by classic star hopping. To make it really work you need a viewfinder loupe. e.g.: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1132360-REG/ziv_ravf_right_angle_viewfinder.html/


Better yet would be to get a beam splitter. But that's already way more serious expense compared to a $20 RDF or $40 Viewfinder (easy enough to make a slide-in one though).

An RDF would work with the scoped DSLR only if you have enough stars in the close vicinity of your target. I estimate your typical FOV at ~4 degrees. So it seems to be viable for typical beginner targets to point with an RDF. Just get a decent digital star chat app to aid with hopping and dot placing (in the void between stars pattern).


Edited by AlexK
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