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Hi all 

The next thing in my list to upgrade is my finderscope. The one that came with my scope is barely functional. I just wondered what people's opinions are when choosing between red dot and finderscopes. 

I'm still quite new to astronomy and am slowly getting there with locating some harder to find things. I have been struggling a bit with the finderscope that I have. Could it be the quality of it making it much harder to use, or maybe I would get on better with a red dot? As I understand it an RD is simple to use but the magnification of a finderscooe can help with locating some of the harder to find objects. Please correct me if I'm wrong there lol. 

Thanks in advance 

Mike

 

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I use both an illuminated reticule (IR) finder and a 9x50 right angle correct image (RACI) optical finder on my 12 inch dobsonian. I tend to use mostly the optical RACI  finders on my refractors but I

Both . They help  you find stuff in slightly different ways, and I need all the help I can get : RACI plus Rigel Quickfinder plus little £10 (probably £15 now ) electronic level to use with an al

The point is that you have circles of known size  (two on the Rigel at 0.5 of a degree and 2 degrees , three on the Telrad, which has an additional outer circle, 4 degrees if I recall correctly ? )

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Posted (edited)

sorry. Text was missing.  But i prefer in the end the reddotfinder over a larger finderscope.   Maybe it depends on the scope you will use it for.  For me, sitting behind my eyepiece, and approximately 30 cm behind the point where the reddot or finderscope is attached, its easy to use the rdf from that distance and not get out of the chair
 

 

 

7EFFF786-6D39-498E-9E64-1C57324FC282.png

Edited by Robindonne
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I use both an illuminated reticule (IR) finder and a 9x50 right angle correct image (RACI) optical finder on my 12 inch dobsonian. I tend to use mostly the optical RACI  finders on my refractors but I do occasionally use an RDF on those.

When using the dobsonian I find that the IR finder (similar to an RDF) gets close to the target area then the optical finder achieves more precise positioning. For really challenging targets the final finding stage takes place through the scope with a low power / wide angle eyepiece.

I much prefer RACI optical finders to avoid the neck / back ache that the straight through type can cause.

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3 minutes ago, John said:

I much prefer RACI optical finders to avoid the neck / back ache that the straight through type can cause.

Thanks for your reply. If I go for a scope over and RD/IR, I had already decided that I would go for a  RACI style one. I'd already worked out it would save my neck some strain over the course of the evening. Still quite tempted with the simplicity of an RD/IR. Like I say I, can't be sure if it's the terrible one that came with my scope that is colouring my opinion on finderscopes. 

I know what I'm like l, so over time I'm sure that I will end up with both. Just nice to get some different opinions from those with more experience than myself.  

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Both .

They help  you find stuff in slightly different ways, and I need all the help I can get : RACI plus Rigel Quickfinder plus little £10 (probably £15 now ) electronic level to use with an alt. measurement taken from Stellarium .

Heather

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1 minute ago, Tiny Clanger said:

Both .

They help  you find stuff in slightly different ways, and I need all the help I can get : RACI plus Rigel Quickfinder plus little £10 (probably £15 now ) electronic level to use with an alt. measurement taken from Stellarium .

Heather

Problem with that is I currently only have a 4.5" newt. Can't really justify the real estate on the OTA for a 2nd finder. 

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I use both red dot and optical finders on my small scopes.  On a larger scope it helps to have both, as it can be maddening trying to get a stubby SCT and its 9x50 RACI finder aimed acurately enough so that one can see the target in the finder.

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21 minutes ago, Broadymike said:

Problem with that is I currently only have a 4.5" newt. Can't really justify the real estate on the OTA for a 2nd finder. 

Is that a Celestron Astromaster by any chance ?

The RDF's on the Astromaster scopes are pretty poor in my opinion. Something like a Rigel Quikfinder illuminated reticule finder would be much better:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/finders/rigel-quikfinder-compact-reflex-sight.html

With a low power eyepiece in the scope you might be able to get by quite well with just a decent IR finder on the scope. They can be adjusted quite accurately to match the direction of view through the main scope, which is more than can be said of the stock Astromaster finder.

 

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36 minutes ago, Broadymike said:

Problem with that is I currently only have a 4.5" newt. Can't really justify the real estate on the OTA for a 2nd finder. 

6x30 RACI and Rigel Quickfinder on my 127mm mak, , (that's 5" in old money) only very slightly bigger than your 'scope.

https://stargazerslounge.com/uploads/monthly_2021_03/mak2ffinders.jpg.ffa3807cc5a5a13de3a161d2224f1966.jpg

In the background is my little ST80 refractor,  which is thriftily using the stock RDF which came with  the mak , the little 'frac has such a low magnification that it is its own optical finder ( people actually do use ST80s as finders on really big 'scopes )  A 32mm plossl produces 12.5x magnification in the ST80, not much more than I get with my binoculars ...

I used to have a celestron 114 (I inherited it) ,the RDF on that was held on by a couple of bolts, and I had to pack some paper or card between RDF base & 'scope tube to get it aligned. I think the bolts might have been spaced so  you could use the same holes for one of the finder shoes with slots like this (it is upside-down in the photos !) for adding  a RACI, or an RDF with a standard base.  The Rigel Quickfinder comes with a base you stick on with supplied sticky foam pads.

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55 minutes ago, John said:

Is that a Celestron Astromaster by any chance ?

Not the astromaster. I have the powerseeker basically has a longer focal length. Found it on fb marketplace for only £35 in perfect condition so was worth a punt. Especially as I'm unfortunately on a rather tight budget at the moment. Have to say that it's certainly an absolute bargain for what I paid. 

The finder that comes with it is an all plastic finderscope. I've seen better optics on the bottom of milk bottles lol. I'm quite tempted to go for the IR rather than RD. Looking into them the rigel quickfinder is looking top of the pile at present. I certainly like the idea of the different circles in the reticle being used to help with star hopping to find slightly more obscure targets. 

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2 minutes ago, Broadymike said:

Not the astromaster. I have the powerseeker basically has a longer focal length. Found it on fb marketplace for only £35 in perfect condition so was worth a punt. Especially as I'm unfortunately on a rather tight budget at the moment. Have to say that it's certainly an absolute bargain for what I paid. 

The finder that comes with it is an all plastic finderscope. I've seen better optics on the bottom of milk bottles lol. I'm quite tempted to go for the IR rather than RD. Looking into them the rigel quickfinder is looking top of the pile at present. I certainly like the idea of the different circles in the reticle being used to help with star hopping to find slightly more obscure targets. 

When you can find the patience, just keep an eye open here and there(abs) for used ones.   35,- for a complete scope is not much but dont fall for the “too expensive in relation to” mistake.  Some accessories are just worth the extra money, even if the accessories are more expensive than the scope.  

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21 minutes ago, Tiny Clanger said:

6x30 RACI and Rigel Quickfinder on my 127mm mak, , (that's 5" in old money) only very slightly bigger than your 'scope.

I spose the difference is with a mak your focuser is coming from the rear of the OTA. So you only have the 2 finders coming from the side of the tube. The focuser on the newt also protruding from the side makes things a bit busier. 

What I may well do is buy something like the rigel and just offer it up and see how it works. If I feel there's enough space I can then get an erecting finderscope to compliment each other. 

I have to say that it didn't occur to me to use both. 

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1 minute ago, Robindonne said:

When you can find the patience, just keep an eye open here and there(abs) for used ones.   35,- for a complete scope is not much but dont fall for the “too expensive in relation to” mistake.  Some accessories are just worth the extra money, even if the accessories are more expensive than the scope.  

I completely get what you're saying. My intention is to upgrade at some point when cash flow allows. I'm already with any accessories going to be avoiding the pitfalls of buying cheap as the scope was cheap. I did already have some reasonable plossl EPs that I was given with a small refractor a few months ago. Any accessories I get now will get used on any future scopes I end up owning. 

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Just now, Broadymike said:

I spose the difference is with a mak your focuser is coming from the rear of the OTA. So you only have the 2 finders coming from the side of the tube. The focuser on the newt also protruding from the side makes things a bit busier. 

What I may well do is buy something like the rigel and just offer it up and see how it works. If I feel there's enough space I can then get an erecting finderscope to compliment each other. 

I have to say that it didn't occur to me to use both. 

I have a RACI and a stock RDF on my heritage dob ( i.e. a newt on a dob base) too 🙂 , as i said, I need all the help  I can get !

 

https://stargazerslounge.com/uploads/monthly_2021_03/DSC_8845.JPG.c359c5f5df17341678d1b5a9f93854d8.JPG

 

Because only half of the heritage is solid tube and the stock  RDF is on a non standard mount out at the front on the extending part, I've left the RDF as it is, and the fairly heavy 9x50 RACI I got for it has to be on the solid tube,  some way from the eyepiece. Which is a bit awkward.

 

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Thanks all for your answers. Think its looking like I'll end up with both  lol. 

Think it will be the rigel quickfinder that seems to fit the bill as far as price and quality goes. Just now need to start looking for a RACI. So any recommendations there would be appreciated. I'll keep an eye out on the for sale ads on here too. Don't want anything cheap and nasty but do have to consider budget. 

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3 hours ago, Broadymike said:

Thanks all for your answers. Think its looking like I'll end up with both  lol. 

Think it will be the rigel quickfinder that seems to fit the bill as far as price and quality goes. Just now need to start looking for a RACI. So any recommendations there would be appreciated. I'll keep an eye out on the for sale ads on here too. Don't want anything cheap and nasty but do have to consider budget. 

The GSO made 9x50 RACI is probably the most recommended one out there.  It's surprisingly well made for the price.  I think I paid $50 shipped for my used copy last summer.

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On 09/06/2021 at 23:26, Broadymike said:

I have the powerseeker basically has a longer focal length. Found it on fb marketplace for only £35 in perfect condition so was worth a punt. Especially as I'm unfortunately on a rather tight budget at the moment.

I would say go for something like the Telrad/Rigel. These are a boon for quickly pointing your scope in right direction. But for objects that are not easily visible with your naked eyes, you would benefit from a finderscope with a bit of magnification.

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45 minutes ago, AstroMuni said:

I would say go for something like the Telrad/Rigel. These are a boon for quickly pointing your scope in right direction. But for objects that are not easily visible with your naked eyes, you would benefit from a finderscope with a bit of magnification.

That's the conclusion I have come to. My plan is to get the rigel next payday. I think initially ease of use getting the scope in the right direction is number one priority.

Then payday after that will be a 9x50 RACI. As my main targets at the moment are doubles due to lack of proper darkness the 9x50 can wait a little longer. 

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I tend to use both on my C6/SCT.

I have also used a 4x20 air-rifle telescopic sight on my TV Ranger and ETX105 before the 're-mod'.

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The FLO Astro Essentials on is pretty good, apparently. It look just like the SW one, so could well be made by the same factory.

But put a wanted ad up on this site, you might get lucky.

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I’m new to most of this only having a 4.5 inch Newtonian since the end of December and more recently a 8 inch which I’m renovating. Mind, not strictly true because as a young boy back in the mid-1970’s to early 1980’s I had a small refractor. And finders are a very personal thing with no right or wrong way, but this is how I see things….

A magnified finderscope is a small telescope.

A simple red dot finder is just a modern version of a traditional gunsight. 

A Telrad/Rigal is a more advanced red dot finder as they also have concentric circles at set degrees.

As a kid with my little refractor red dot finders didn’t exist. And I jokingly viewed magnified finderscopes for amateurs. After all, if you need a small telescope on your big telescope then surely you don’t know what you are doing :) The finder I used then was homemade and like an old gunsight (sometimes called a peep sight) which consisted of two bits of wood with a hole, placed at each end of the telescope. Took some practice but worked surprisingly well.

Magnified finderscopes can take practice as although it’s easier to find your target area you are still left with the need to get your small telescope in the approximate location. Unless you are good at “shooting from the hip” some sort of sight like a red dot finder can help. If, like me, you are in an urban area and suffer from light pollution a magnified finderscope will also bring out stars you cannot see. 

If I use a simple red dot finder on its own I’m using it like a traditional gunsight. And because I can’t see a whole lot of stars there’s usually nothing at all in the viewfinder. So much so that I don’t care if the viewfinder is covered in dew. To get on target I’ll use the stars that I can see outside and some distance away from the viewfinder. Then use a low power eyepiece much like a magnified finderscope in order to home in on target. Although I haven’t used a Telrad/Rigel I can’t see the point as most of the time I wouldn’t see anything in the viewfinder. At a darker site then I can see how they’d be very handy. 

One other issue I have with magnified finderscopes - I find them difficult and awkward when wearing glasses. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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