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Budget Astonomy


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What is the cheapest telescope available where you can modify it as you need to?

Or maybe just a powerful set of binoculars? I like to do photography too mainly birding so binoculars would come into use for that too.

Edited by Briggsy
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What sort of budget were you thinking of? And what kind of mods are you thinking you'll need to do?

If you're on a tight budget, then a planisphere and a pair of binoculars is about as cheap as it gets. :D

A worthwhile starter 'scope can set you back a hundred and fifty quid(ish) and upwards. They're cheaper second hand and, usually, well looked after. First Light Optics, linked at the top of the page, does a good selection of competitively priced 'scopes. They're friendly, happy to provide unbiased advice and give good service.

Astro-photography can be a quite expensive part of the hobby. If you want to give it a go, a good place to start is with the book Making Every Photon Count by Steve Richards (steppenwolf here on the forum). It'll take you through imaging from the start, covering everything from kit to techniques, helping you choose the right equipment and tools, whilst avoiding costly mistakes.

And there's loads of skilled imagers here on SGL too, willing to share their tips 'n' tricks.

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What sort of budget were you thinking of? And what kind of mods are you thinking you'll need to do?

If you're on a tight budget, then a planisphere and a pair of binoculars is about as cheap as it gets. :D

A worthwhile starter 'scope can set you back a hundred and fifty quid(ish) and upwards. They're cheaper second hand and, usually, well looked after. First Light Optics, linked at the top of the page, does a good selection of competitively priced 'scopes. They're friendly, happy to provide unbiased advice and give good service.

Astro-photography can be a quite expensive part of the hobby. If you want to give it a go, a good place to start is with the book Making Every Photon Count by Steve Richards (steppenwolf here on the forum). It'll take you through imaging from the start, covering everything from kit to techniques, helping you choose the right equipment and tools, whilst avoiding costly mistakes.

And there's loads of skilled imagers here on SGL too, willing to share their tips 'n' tricks.

He says with photography he sticks to birding aka nature. :D

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There's some really good budget binoculars available. The Bresser 10x50 and Revelation 15x70 both work well with decent enough optics. Their construction is not the best and they won't take kindly to any sort of knocks. But providing you are careful they are both excellent.

If you have £150 (ish), then the best scope for the money has to be the Skyliner 150P dobsonian. It can be 'modified' for use on different mounts at a later date. But easily gives the most bang for buck.

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I know everyone always says this, but as another recent beginner myself it really is true that you can keep yourself amused with binoculars for ages before you genuinely need a scope.

Now naturally I didn't do this either, instead starting with an excellent 2nd hand bargain scope, but rapidly found I needed binoculars anyway to scan the sky for interesting stuff (it's surprising how much more you see in 10x50s, really). If I was starting again, I'd buy some 10x50s and wait for a suitable scope to come up in the For Sale section that's accessibly close to you.

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Be wary on ebay is my advice. If you want a cheap astro scope keep an eye out for a TAL-1 - usually go on ebay for about £50 and so long as its been looked after it will be as good as it gets for that kind of money. Solid optics and even more importantly a solid mount. They dont look glitzy but they are good. Be wary of scopes being sold by people who claim 'I dont know anything about telescopes' or 'I am selling it for a friend' they are more often than not selling a pile of ill cared for junk - they often DO know enough to know its a bad deal but just dont have the minerals to admit to knowing in case you come back for a refund.

Stay with the main brands like Celestron, SkyWatcher, Meade etc and avoid no name scopes like the plague no matter how good they look on ebay.

You can always ask on here and people will give you solid advice.

Edited by Astro_Baby
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