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Thread: cedar falls, iowa

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    Default cedar falls, iowa



    Hey guys. I bought my 8yr old daughter a cheapo funscope last October for her birthday. It has been pretty fun looking at the moon and the shimmer of Venus. Now we are looking at upgrading.

    Anyone have any recommendations for the next step up? I was sort of thinking of the Meade Polaris 127.

    On a secondary note I would love it if anyone in NE Iowa wouldn't mind teaching a novice a little bit or giving a demo on some better scopes sometime.

    Thanks,

    Scott
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    Default Re: cedar falls, iowa

    Welcome and glad to hear you're getting the "young'uns" involved in this hobby. As for the next scope that's a tough decision- depends on what you want to do with astronomy as there's a ton of great scopes out there. If you're ever in the Twin Cities area (Mall of America trip maybe) send me a PM and I'd be more than happy to set up my rigs, if it's not cloudy or snowing....
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    Default Re: cedar falls, iowa

    Thanks for the reply. I would like to take some photos with my Nikon d5100 at some point as well. Checking out planets and looking at nebs would be cool eventually.

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    Default Re: cedar falls, iowa

    If you are planning to ever get into astrophotography I would suggest you get an equatorial mount. The smallest of these are still too small really for AP so you should look for at least a medium sized mount (possibly like the CG4) that you can attach a tracking motor to, the larger the mount the better. As for a scope I really like faster refractors for their wide field and many are pretty good planetary scopes plus they are usually easier to image with. For a very good planetary scope you could look at a small Mak Cassegrain, lots of magnification but a much narrower field of view than the refractor. If astrophotography isn't a priority and you would just like to really get a much better view without spending a lot of money then you should seriously consider a Dobsonian. They are very easy to use and provide the best bang for your buck when it comes to just visually observing. I really, really like my Apertura AD12 Dob and so does my eight year old son, he's getting pretty good at finding DSOs on his own.

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    Default Re: cedar falls, iowa

    Welcome to the forum !!!
    Neil
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    Default Re: cedar falls, iowa

    Hi and Welcome. Another suggestion for you would be to attend a local star party held by whichever amateur astronomy club is nearby. Then you will be exposed to a wide variety of scopes and eyepieces, giving you a better idea of which one you may want to buy. Good luck on your scope choice!
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    Default Re: cedar falls, iowa

    I've been very happy with my local astronomy club for getting beginner's (and much more advanced) information. It doesn't look like there is a club in Cedar Falls but there is a "Black Hawk" Astronomy club that seems to be associated with Waterloo Grout Museum (in Waterloo) and there is a club in Cedar Rapids, though that would be a bit of a drive. Maybe contacting the museum could put you in touch with some club members that could show you different telescope options in person and help you with your decision. There is also a lot of great information on this and other sites.

    Regarding the next scope upgrade, I was in a very similar boat in that I wanted to get a nice telescope and dip my toes in astrophotography as well with a Nikon D5300, which is very similar to yours. What I found was that attempting to get a scope that would do well at visual astronomy (nebulas and galaxies) and astrophotography would be incredibly expensive (3k+, really) and I would still only have one scope and would have to choose if I wanted to look or if I wanted to photograph. I have decided instead to get a 10 inch AD10 dobsonian (actually the little brother to Ozman13's scope) and if I am still interested in trying astrophotography a year from now I would buy a high quality 80mm refractor on a really nice mount at that time. In the meantime, I strongly recommend getting a very sturdy tripod and trying your hand at some wide-field astrophotography to try it out. You can still get some very impressive images from a dark sky using even the 18-55mm lens that many of those cameras come with and you will be able to begin learning the photo processing skills necessary to really make any astro photos come to life.

    Best of luck and I hope you and your family are able to enjoy this hobby together.
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    Default Re: cedar falls, iowa

    Thanks. I will check with the Grout about their club. I might need to get 2 scopes then so we can have one for photography and one for viewing. My kids wouldn't want to sit there for a couple hours being extra bored waiting for shutter clicks/video.

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    Default Re: cedar falls, iowa

    I have a friend in Iowa City, not far from where you live, who knows a lot about telescopes. He worked at a telescopes store when he was young and since then I think he has tested dozens and dozens of different telescopes and binaculars. I'm sure he would love to help you.

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    Default Re: cedar falls, iowa

    Hi Sweston,

    Welcome to the forum...!!!

    Glad to see that you and your daughter are getting into the hobbie... enjoy it...!!!


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