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Yep, you guessed it, First Telescope Advice!

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When I was starting to get back into astronomy about 12/13  years back I used to use a Celestron 70 mm travel scope for a couple of years before I splurged out on a better scope(s). Yes, the tripod that came with it was pants, so I used a photographic tripod for better stability, and whilst I couldn’t do all but the brightest DS0’s it was very nice to use even with the limited 140x maginification that was its limit. Got some great views of the moon, and decent ones of the major planets too, along with double star observations too etc. The point of telling you that is that whatever scope you get if you get a passion for astronomy you will enjoy whatever views you get with it. So starting off with an achromatic refractor is not a deal breaker, and you can still have great fun observing the heavens with it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My opinion is focus on the mount and tripod. A mediocre scope on a stable mount is enjoyable, a good scope on a wobbly mount is frustrating. That's a big part of why dobs are so popular I think. You don't mention what sort of mounts the scopes you're considering have.

Regarding Barlows, for visual use a Barlow lets you get two (or sometimes three magnifications) out of each eyepiece. It can work well with a smartly-chosen range of eyepiece focal lengths. Personally I'd buy an additional eyepiece or two first though, because the ones supplied with cheap scopes tend to be pretty average.

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Hi @allworlds and welcome to SGL. :hello2:

I agree to that an eyepiece of a 'fixed' focal length is a better investment too!
If you do a lot of travelling then 'yes!' a Barlow lens and/or zoom eyepiece helps keep the weight to a minimum.

With my ETX105, (as shown in one of my earlier replies), my equipment usually comprises of a zoom, a wide angle e/p or two, a barlow lens, photo/camera
tripod [Mantrotto PROB] and ball head or alt-az mount if I am going to be away from home and stored/packed in a backpack/rucksack... also 'airline-friendly'!   

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Member @Tangoringo  is offering a Meade 8" SCT WITH Eq Wedge, Fork and Tripod for the absurdly low price of 395 quid! Now THAT is a bargain. The older LX80 fork drive can be converted/upgraded, best of all Made in USA 🙂 

PS Make that a 'was' as someone saw what I wrote above and jumped at the low price asked 🙂 

Edited by SthBohemia
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