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Hello from cloudy Cranleigh in Surrey.

Hoping to get some help from you all to chose my first scope. I have always wanted a telescope and have been researching YouTube and FLO and this forum for 3 weeks now and have managed to narrow it down to about 300 different options 😂 ...seriously...the amount of flip flopping between:  Reflector for contrast and sharp image - Refractor for cheap aperture size - Maksutov for compact package.....and the amount of times my budget has grown?! I NEED HELP!

Cant wait to get stuck in

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Hi and a warm welcome to SGL. 

I was in your situation a few months ago so I feel your pain. With a little more detail, we can start to whittle down your choices.

Have you any preferences as to what you want to observe (moon, planets, double stars, deep space objects like nebulae and galaxies....)?

How important to you is portability / ease of storage? Will you have  to carry the scope up and down stairs, etc?

An approximate idea of budget?

 

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Welcome aboard SGL. Good to have you with us.

Lots of choices, although stocks are limited at the moment across the board. Cajen2 asked some good questions which will help people narrow it down. I'd also ask what the skies are like where you're likely to observe?  Is it inner city back garden, dark countryside, or somewhere in between?

 

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Hi from Orpington, Kent

I started up again late October early November so I've been through the same process, from looking at £5k+ of kit to the used Skymax 127 and Allview I actually bought used for under £300. Of course I then bought more eyepieces, dew mask, a 102mm refractor and last weekend a new (used) mount.

My approach ended up as-

Decided to go with visual and leave imaging etc. alone - for a while at least.
Something easily portable, I'm in a Bortle 7 with restricted field of view so going for a drive to a darker bit of countryside or taking on holiday is a definite need.
Mak or refractor as no collimation and low F not needed for visual.
Goto so I could learn the sky without getting frustrated trying to find things - also read lazy!
If I really enjoyed it buy more kit as I worked I what I wanted - that can prove expensive :)
 

Check astrobuysell and ebay for used setups.

Do you have a local astronomy society? Mine has monthly observing evenings and are happy for new people to come along and see what it is all about, look through some telescopes and chat about what they might want to buy. Or indeed bring their new telescope down and get some setup advice.

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Hey all, thanks for the replies.

So, I do like photography but think this could be a whole other rabbit hole when you start attaching cameras. Plus my Olympus m4/3 might not be that useful.

Visual observing of Saturn - Moon - Jupiter will be priority 

A reasonably flexible budget of £500

Ease of storage is very important. I do have my own back garden and secure garage, but don't want bulky equipment to kill the motivation to get set up.

Light pollution wise... possible street lamps in the immediate vicinity but the possibility to head up the highest hill i n Surrey (Leith Hill) only 20mins away. (back to that portability requirement) 

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Hi an welcome.

Only piece of advice I would give is: Take your time, there is no rush and far better to make no costly mistakes. Buy second hand too, to start with, less risk of loss of money. :smiley:

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13 hours ago, Greymouser said:

Hi an welcome.

Only piece of advice I would give is: Take your time, there is no rush and far better to make no costly mistakes. Buy second hand too, to start with, less risk of loss of money. :smiley:

Great advice thanks. Looking up the charts for Saturn and Jupiter, they aren't really observable (especially for a newbie) until August/September anyway... so plenty of time to find a deal or save just a little bit more budget. 

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