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    Lightbulb Buying A Telescope For a Christmas Gift? For You Wife Dad Kids Astronomy Buying Guide



    Buying A Telescope For a Christmas Gift? For You Wife Dad Kids Astronomy Buying Guide

    First word of warning - Do NOT buy an Ebay telescope! the vast majority of these are junk telescopes, or very expensive!! You will do better buying from a dedicated astronomy store such as ORION:

    Orion Telescopes which stocks only quality gear and beginner, advanced telescopes. You can't really go wrong with any choice there, and reading the reviews will make sure you get a better one.

    There are a lot of decent telescopes with good optics, however the Christmas Telescope suffers often due to popular picks such as Equatorial tripods which are too shaky for kids, or even adults to view through at any reasonable magnification to see details of lunar craters or planets (these are magnifications above 100X).

    For this reason we recommend telescope gifts for kids, and beginner telescopes for adults to be at the least tabletop (when the cost is below $300), and to be of aperture of at least 4 inches or 100mm.

    Anything below an aperture of 4 inches or 100mm is large binocular size which binoculars are much easier to use, cheaper and often have a wider view. The Celestron Firstscope is better than nothing but is a binocular size 76mm along with the Heritage P76 dob, binoculars of 70mm will be easier to use, cheaper, and will show similar brightness.

    Telescopes should come with a finderscope, a barlow and at least 2 eyepieces so you will have 4 magnifications and with the finder will be able to point to objects and find them in the sky.

    Most astronomy packages however often are missing the barlow, or come without eyepieces (the Celestron Firstscope does not even come with a finderscope which is vital!).


    For Children (small children i.e less than 10 years old), these scopes are recommended as small/shorter children may have trouble seeing while the parents or their larger siblings are viewing! so a tabletop telescope would be best (especially if you have a table setup setup in the patio, balcony, or in the garden/backyard). These telescopes are also great for lounging in the garden to peek at the sky with friends and family over a meal, bbq etc. A great talking piece and stirs some amazing conversation when viewing the moon, planets and stars!

    These telescopes are great for smaller/younger children as e.g Christmas, or birthday gifts / or casual viewing by adults and only cost between less than $100 to less than $200 but are very well built optically and structurally, this means no money is put into a shaky tripod - but the cost mostly goes into the optics:

    BUDGET $79-$199

    In the USA or Canada we recommend the following starter telescopes:

    For only $199 w FREE SHIPPING is the Orion StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope



    Stable mount, awesome optics, and plenty of light gathering power for the budding astronomer. Comes with: Collimation cap, Eyepiece rack, Integrated carrying handle. We highly recommend that you buy a barlow with it:

    2X barlow - which doubles magnification (the Starblast does not come with one)

    Orion Shorty 1.25" 2x Barlow Lens | Orion Telescopes: Barlows


    A bit cheaper at only $99 with free Starry Night Software, but maybe not as good mount wise (in turning the scope etc as the starblast above):



    BUY 100mm SkyScanner Orion only $99



    In Australia we recommend the 102mm KSON Dobsonian Tabletop telescope or the SkyWatcher P130 Heritage dob both sold at Australia Telescopes.

    The KSON 102mm Table-Top Dobsonian which is now on sale for $139 (including GST! however very limited stock!) which is simply the best priced kids/children's telescope, but also the best beginners portable scope out in OZ.



    BUY KSON Table-top Dobsonian Telescope 102mm
    (includes finder, 2 eyepieces, barlow and moon filter!)

    Above $199 we recommend a Dobs where most of the money goes towards quality construction and high quality optics (instead of fancy mounts and electronics):

    Spending a bit more money in astronomy however goes a long way, as you can get bigger aperture (larger scopes) which have much nicer views and are generally better built than their lower priced cousins.

    For the more serious beginner, there are many Dobsonian Telescopes we recommend listed here as a dobsonian telescope provides the most aperture for the money:
    Recommended Dobs Dobsonian Telescopes

    Current pricing from Orion shows their Limited Edition XT8 which is a steal at $399


    BUY Orion Limited Edition XT8 which comes complete with barlow, eyepieces, smooth 2" Crayford focuser that accepts 1.25" and 2" telescope eyepieces, and includes a 25mm Sirius Plossl eyepiece, EZ Finder II sight, collimation cap, Starry Night software, and more! We only recommend a 10mm eyepiece here to get higher magnifications with the LE ORION XT8:

    10mm Eyepiece



    From Orion, the Orion XT8 - 8 inch quite portable and good value for the price Dob scope for $399 usd but comes with:

    • Included Orion 2x Shorty Barlow Lens doubles the magnification of virtually any 1.25" eyepiece, adding magnification options to your telescope
    • The included Beginning Stargazers Toolkit provides plentiful reference material for nighttime observing and a handy red LED light to see them with





    We recommend the following eyepieces to fit in your budget (10mm and 25mm):
    http://www.telescope.com/Accessories...?ensembleId=51

    http://www.telescope.com/Accessories...?ensembleId=51

    In Australia, there is the 5 inch KSON Dobsonian which is a steal at $219!

    and the 6 and 8 inch Saxon Dobs which include Starry Night Software and star charts!:

    8 Inch Dob $483.99

    8 Inch Collapsible Saxon Dob
    Name: Gus OTAs: ED 100 PRO refractor, Orion ST80 (not the CF), 8" Dob stuck in Canada Mounts:HEQ5PRO Synscan mount, Manfrotto Tripod CAMS: Guidecam Philips SPC900 webcams (4), Canon unmodded-450D DSLR

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    Default Re: Buying A Telescope For a Christmas Gift? For You Wife Dad Kids Astronomy Buying G

    Note on iOptron's website the actual retail price of the iOptron is $420 NOT $690 as Hayneedle mentions (you are NOT getting an amazing deal actually of over $270 off in actual fact)

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    Last edited by admin; 10-17-2012 at 03:40 PM.

 

 

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