Jump to content


Looking for advice on buying first telescope!

Recommended Posts

Hi there! I would really like some help to buy my first telescope I was thinking of getting one second hand if possible and I just wondered what is thought to be a good beginners telescope! I really like the look of the Orion StarBlast 4.5 EQ Reflector - Telescope but it looks like Orion telescopes are hard to come by in the UK and the suppliers I have seen seem to over charge for them compared to the U.S.A. I am a complete beginner and would love some guidance on which type of telescope to get which is easy to get to grips with!


Also I would like to get into astro imaging once I am all set up and confident using the telescope so any advice on this aspect would be great!



Edited by Lana
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Lana

First of buying things from the USA some times works out cheaper than here

you must remember to add on import duty and Tax duty when you import goods

some time you win and some time you lose a bit

as for the scope ,it will depend on light pollution in you garden or site

I was told by my club when I joined that in a light polluted area to get a 8" = 200mm

scope to help to cut through pollution I took there advise and was very happy with the results, 8" scopes are not small so join a club and have a look at the members scope they will be pleased to show them off.

Clear skies



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Lana,

Welcome. There are two kinds of imaging;

- planetary. You use a fast frame camera like a webcam and stack the individual frames to make a finished image.

-Deep sky, where exposures are very long and need accurate tracking, very accurate.

Planetary is quite cheap, deep sky very expensive and requiring, above all, a mount like the HEQ5. I would remove DS imaging from the equation for starters.

In the UK the Skywatcher range are the equivalent of Orion in the USA and are excellent value. See FLO's ad at the top of the page.

There are two main types of mount, equatorial and Dobsonian. The latter are simpler, more intuitive and cheaper, meaning more money left to choose better optics. They have no DS imaging potential but neither, really, do the budget equqtorial mounts though in theory they have what is needed. In reality they won't do DS imaging.


ollypenrice's Photos

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replys guys, they have been most helpful! I will look into the Skywatcher range I think, is there any in particular that anyone would like to recommend? I guess I would need one that I could transport around as I am thinking of taking it to the lake district in the summer also so that will be a consideration I guess.... and the information on imaging was really useful! :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I too am still looking to buy my first scope. A Skywatcher for sure. Basically the bigger the aperture the more you will see so it will depend on your budget.

I am considering the 130P or 150P Skywatcher reflector. Reflectors you get more aperture for your money. There is then the route of the scopes mount. your can have EQ mounts (tripod) and Dobsonians (stand) the Dobs you will get more aperture for your money they are more a point and observe, imaging will not work on those.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi lana,

i'm new to the game myself, i bought a SW 250pds probably a bit big to be taking on holiday with you lol

but as for astrophotography for the beginer here's my first attempt


just thought i'd put that on so you can see what is acheiavable when you havn't a clue what your doing.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good point Olly.

i never thought of it in that context, i just wanted to give the OP an example of what you can do when you dont know what your doing if that makes sense.

so yes Lana if you could give a budget then you'll get lot's of helpfull advice of everyone on here, i'm glad i came across SGL befor i bought my first proper scope. the advice i've had is priceless.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow Mark that's awesome! I was thinking around £200 to spend on my first telescope something around that mark, I would love to get something worth a bit more second hand if I can find anything also! :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

£200 is a good budget for a secondhand scope capable of doing the things you are after. If you are lucky you may pickup a Skywatcher Explorer 150P with an EQ3 mount and a possibly a drive(s). That setup will give you an excellent starting point for visual and a bit of light imaging. The 150P is a very capable scope, while the EQ3 is adequate until the budget allows for something more capable. But it's certainly enough while your interest in the hobby grows.

Edited by russ
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.