Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
Like Tree2Likes

Thread: Ready to buy first telescope but no idea what i'm looking for

  1. #1
    jimwise68's Avatar
    jimwise68 is offline White Dwarf
    Points: 51, Level: 1
    Level completed: 2%, Points required for next Level: 49
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    2 Posts Achievement
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Chelmsford
    Posts
    4
    Points
    51
    Level
    1
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0x 0 Posts

    Default Ready to buy first telescope but no idea what i'm looking for



    Hi all,

    here is a question no doubt you have heard a million times before.

    I could search through all existing posts but I'm too lazy and that's not the best way to get to know the people on the forum.

    Im basically looking to buy my first telescope (bit of a lie as i bought a Celestron PS1000 from Argos but promptly took it back), now i need to do a bit of research so i get something that i can actually use.

    It will be backyard use and I want it to be stable and clear. I want to view all the wonders that the night sky offers (to a degree) and at some stage I may get into astrophotography. I don't want to buy a "cheap" telescope to get me started as i see this as a false economy. Would rather buy mid range and have more than I need to start with so I can grow into the telescope as my experience increases.

    I've gazed at the stars, moon, planets and constellations for many years but never had a telescope, I'm also introducing my 5 year to the wonders of the night sky too.

    But, I have absolutely no idea about different mounts (Azimuth, Equatorial, Dobson), no idea about reflectors/refractors and no idea about the computer driven ones. There are far too many acronyms to the virgin telescope user. haha

    Would love to hear some expert points of view, all input and points of view greatly received.

    thanks

    Jim

  2. #2
    KathyNS's Avatar
    KathyNS is offline Super Moderator
    Points: 173,440, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 62.0%
    Achievements:
    200+ Posts Achievement!Ghost Achievement! Averaging 5+ posts a day!First 1000 Experience Points400+ Posts AchievementGot three Friends
    Awards:
    Reply Award
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Posts
    25,192
    Points
    173,440
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    6,660
    Thanked 14,988x 9,544 Posts
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Ready to buy first telescope but no idea what i'm looking for

    Welcome to the forum.

    Probably the best all-round beginner's telescope is a 6" or 8" Dobsonian. The simple design means that you can afford a larger scope than with other designs. The simple design also makes it easy to set up, learn, and use.

    The time to think about a scope for astrophotography is some time later, when you are ready to get into that. It is quite normal to have a different scope for visual viewing and for astrophotography, because the requirements of each are different.
    Heavenly Gazer and Raymondhow like this.

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.


    DSO AP:
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    Newtonian Astrograph; ATIK 383L+; EFW2 filter wheel; Astrodon Ha,LRGB filters; KWIQ/QHY5 guide
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    ; Planetary AP: Celestron C-11; ZWO ASI120MC; Portable: Celestron C-8 on
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    pro; C-90 on wedge; 20x80 binos; Etc: Canon 350D; Various EPs, etc. Obs: 8' Exploradome;
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    (pier);
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    .

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

  3. #3
    Bob327's Avatar
    Bob327 is offline HYPER GIANT
    Points: 41,366, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    10 Days registered200+ Posts Achievement!First 1000 Experience PointsGot three Friends365 Days+ Registered Achievement!
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Frederick Maryland
    Posts
    9,247
    Points
    41,366
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    19
    Thanked 4,039x 3,068 Posts

    Default Re: Ready to buy first telescope but no idea what i'm looking for

    I am NOT a DOB guy...been there and done that BUT I have to agree with Keith...get yourself a nice 6 or 8 inch Dob and after a YEAR you can start to think about AP and what equipment you will have to BUY to do even Semi Serious AP...
    Visual and AP are honestly 2 completely different hobbies..star slow and with a "relatively" cheap investment in a Visual scope

    Bob G
    CPC1100 housed in a slotted domed observatory (Exploradome) 4 and 5 inch refractors for use from the lawn, a 8" Sct (NS 8i) for star parties...
    I Hate the winter so I use heated Motorcycle clothing to stay warm while observing in winter
    Retired, also have 2 other hobbies
    1. tinker with older Corvettes (6 in garage)
    2. make a heck of a lot of sawdust in my wood shop.

  4. #4
    CamelHat's Avatar
    CamelHat is offline Bronze Supporter
    Points: 52,475, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 21.0%
    Achievements:
    50 Posts Achievement!5 Threads Achievement!First 1000 Experience Points2 Posts Achievement20 Posts Achievement!
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Posts
    5,809
    Points
    52,475
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    1,170
    Thanked 1,720x 1,388 Posts

    Default Re: Ready to buy first telescope but no idea what i'm looking for

    I suggest you buy nothing yet. Visit your local astronomy club first and read/learn more. You already returned the first scope you bought, you want your 5 year old to enjoy it (a simple 6" Dob might work), view planets (long focal length needed), probably DSOs (short to mid range focal length), and do AP (tracking EQ mount required). An AP rig can serve for visual observing just as well though it will be impossible to use by your 5 yr old. There is not one scope that does all. Here's a good introduction about AP scopes by a reputable author: Telescopes for Astrophotography . Keep in mind that setting these systems up takes significant effort. If you just want to plunk a telescope down in your backyard that works right away albeit not for AP, consider a Dob (from what you mentioned that's not what you are looking for).
    ... Henk. Telescopes: 6" Mak-Newt (Comet Hunter), ES ED127CF, ES ED80, Zhumell Z12, Coulter Odyssey 10, AT6RC, Venture RX-7, Celestron Skymaster 20x80, Mounts and tripod: Losmandy G11S, AVX, LXD55, Tiltall, Cameras: Fuji X-a1, Canon SX40, Xt, XSi, T6, ELPH 100HS, DIY: Dob and camera barndoor trackers, afocal adapter, Dob with foldable base and Az/Alt setting circles, Accessories: SSAG, Plossls, Barlows, Telrad, laser collimators (Seben LK1, Z12, Howie Glatter), Cheshire, 2 Orion RACIs 8x50, Software: DSS, ImageMagick, PHD, Nebulosity, Photo Gallery, Gimp, CHDK

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

  5. #5
    segalvez's Avatar
    segalvez is offline Main Sequence
    Points: 4,887, Level: 47
    Level completed: 69%, Points required for next Level: 63
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    365 Days+ Registered Achievement!2 Posts Achievement20 Posts Achievement!750 Days+ Registered Achievement!First 1000 Experience Points
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Santiago, Chile
    Posts
    67
    Points
    4,887
    Level
    47
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 13x 12 Posts

    Default Re: Ready to buy first telescope but no idea what i'm looking for

    From what I've read (not personal experience) 8 inches seems like a good place to start in terms of visual. For astrophotography, you will most likely need an equatorial mount. So maybe a good starting point could be an 8 inch reflector on a EQ mount. You'll need to do some research into which mounts offer a good compromise in terms of price/quality.

    Whatever mount you decide to go with, if you really decide to get into AP later that will probably require aditional investments (an autoguider to begin with).

    And, also bear in mind that with reflectors, the tube itself may require some modding if you want to connect a DSLR camera directly to the scope.
    Sebastian
    Scopes: Sky-Watcher Explorer 150P NEQ3 (Omni XLT 150 clone), Omni XLT AZ 102, PowerSeeker 60AZ
    Eyepieces: X-Cel LX 25mm, X-Cel LX 9mm,
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    3.0mm Edge-On Planetary EP
    Camera: Canon EOS 600D/Rebel T3i

  6. #6
    stepping beyond's Avatar
    stepping beyond is offline HYPER GIANT
    Points: 32,065, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 3.0%
    Achievements:
    2 Posts Achievement20 Posts Achievement!50 Posts Achievement!5 Threads Achievement!Blogger Achievement!
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    NC,USA
    Posts
    3,281
    Points
    32,065
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    221
    Thanked 608x 588 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12

    Default Re: Ready to buy first telescope but no idea what i'm looking for

    The dobsonian telescopes are great for visual use , aperture is "KING" in astronomy. Some members have used barndoor trackers and eq platforms for AP, with remarkable results with their dobs. Quick and easy setups but, AP is like Keith and Bob said it's a whole different monster with a steep learning curve. I use my Z10 dob {alt/az} for visual and AP of the moon and I'm going to start trying to image planets once Jupiter gets in position. I've got a eq80 on a german equatorial goto mount for planetary and long exposure and xmas I'll have my autoguider , be all set for long exposures. I just take my time and try to retain all this information that I get from the forum. Alt/az move up, down , left , right and they're the easier of mounts to operate: German equatorial mounts move with the sky on dual axis {2}RA and DEC and both axis are used to track an object it has a learning curve referred for AP.
    poman imagng gear: 8 in
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    astrograph called "The Black Widow" w/Meade lxd55{ modified}sitting atop a
    standard field tripod{
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    } Meade Autostar# 497/ Qhy5-ll M Orion mini 50mm deluxe guidescope / Zwo asi`174MM cooled, zwo mini 5 efw , processing
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    : Pscs2/ astronomy tools /Aip4win / Capture software Sgp and Sharpcap 3.1.5
    Teamviewer 12 remote control w/ 100 ft wifi Booster. Z10 dob {grab n go} and gear to boot.

  7. #7
    terrytheunhigned's Avatar
    terrytheunhigned is offline Bright Giants
    Points: 4,612, Level: 46
    Level completed: 31%, Points required for next Level: 138
    Overall activity: 2.0%
    Achievements:
    2 Posts Achievement20 Posts Achievement!5 Threads Achievement!50 Posts Achievement!200+ Posts Achievement!
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Alexandria, KY
    Posts
    273
    Points
    4,612
    Level
    46
    Thanks
    72
    Thanked 94x 67 Posts

    Default Re: Ready to buy first telescope but no idea what i'm looking for

    Quote Originally Posted by CamelHat View Post
    I suggest you buy nothing yet. Visit your local astronomy club first and read/learn more. You already returned the first scope you bought, you want your 5 year old to enjoy it (a simple 6" Dob might work), view planets (long focal length needed), probably DSOs (short to mid range focal length), and do AP (tracking EQ mount required). An AP rig can serve for visual observing just as well though it will be impossible to use by your 5 yr old. There is not one scope that does all. Here's a good introduction about AP scopes by a reputable author: Telescopes for Astrophotography . Keep in mind that setting these systems up takes significant effort. If you just want to plunk a telescope down in your backyard that works right away albeit not for AP, consider a Dob (from what you mentioned that's not what you are looking for).
    I second that. In addition, if you can, attend any star parties in the area. This will give a chance to look through different telescopes and get a feel for their advantages and disadvantage. My experience is that the folks are only too happy to let you look through their scopes and talk about their equipment.

    If you aren't able to find a local group, I agree that a 6" or 8" DOB will offer you the best bang-for-the-buck. If you do decide to take up AP later , then a possible option could be to buy a suitable GEM at that time, and mount the existing optical tube on that platform. The older (maybe) and wiser (definitely) folks out there may correct me, but I would think that converting the OTA would not be a major undertaking.
    Clear Skies, Terry

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    : C9.25 SCT w/AVX mount, Explore Scientific ED80 APO Refractor w/SkyView Pro mount
    Binos: 10 x 50, 10 x 60, 20x80
    Camera: ZWO ASI120MC

  8. #8
    Davesellars's Avatar
    Davesellars is offline HYPER GIANT
    Points: 27,721, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    2 Posts Achievement20 Posts Achievement!5 Threads Achievement!50 Posts Achievement!200+ Posts Achievement!
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Belper
    Posts
    4,701
    Points
    27,721
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    911
    Thanked 1,570x 1,197 Posts

    Default Re: Ready to buy first telescope but no idea what i'm looking for

    Forget about astrophotography for the moment and as one poster stated if you can get to a astronomy club it would be useful. I think you should take in to consideration the amount of time it takes to set up a particular scope as well as find particular objects - after all you have a 5 year old that will quite possibly grow impatient as you attempt to find the Andromeda Galaxy for 30 minutes if you are not particularly adept already at star-hopping...

    One thing I will mention is please don't use Argos / Jessops / Amazon as there is a plethora of very good astronomy shops that will not only give very good advice for free (and if you can get to one physically to see the scopes even better!) as well as have great after-service. Here is a thread for the UK suppliers reviews which is most definitely worth a read... Most often these shops are also cheaper.

    UK Scope supplier?
    Scopes etc:
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    12" Dob; Skywatcher 80ED & 120ST; EQ5; Grab and Go Alt/Az; 60mm RACI & Rigel Quickfinder.
    Eyepieces: Tele Vue Panoptic 24mm, Delos 10/14/17.3mm; Pentax XW 5/7mm; ES Maxvision 28mm; Baader Classic 10/32mm
    Filters: Astronomik UHC and OIII; Baader OIII; ES H-Beta
    Herschel 400 (H1) Count: 162

  9. #9
    DeanD's Avatar
    DeanD is online now HYPER GIANT
    Points: 16,762, Level: 89
    Level completed: 47%, Points required for next Level: 188
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    365 Days+ Registered Achievement!2 Posts Achievement20 Posts Achievement!50 Posts Achievement!750 Days+ Registered Achievement!
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    2,375
    Points
    16,762
    Level
    89
    Thanks
    280
    Thanked 734x 598 Posts

    Default Re: Ready to buy first telescope but no idea what i'm looking for

    I agree that it is good to start with a 8" dob and get to know the hobby first- also it is a great idea to visit local groups to see what they are using and what appeals.

    I note that you said you don't want to get a cheapie that you will regret- this is another reason to shop through a specialist store. The basic 6" and 8" dobs that are surprisingly cheap generally have good optics- and will serve you well for many years. Sometimes their eyepieces leave a bit to be desired: but the basic "plossl" eyepieces that come with a lot of scopes aren't bad at all.

    5yo children take a while normally to learn how to look through a telescope- so start off with bright objects like the moon and planets.

    Have fun looking around!

    - Dean

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    :
    12" home-made dob, Celestron 150 f5, Tak TSA102, TV 76, Celestron 800CPC, ETX 125
    Mounts:
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    MiniTower, HEQ5Pro
    Binos: 25x100FB, Carton 11x80, Vanguard Endeavour 1045, Takahashi 22x60, Swarovski Habicht 8x30
    Eyepieces: My favourites are my Televue 32mm plossl, Nagler 13mm T6, Nagler 3-6mm

  10. #10
    jimwise68's Avatar
    jimwise68 is offline White Dwarf
    Points: 51, Level: 1
    Level completed: 2%, Points required for next Level: 49
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    2 Posts Achievement
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Chelmsford
    Posts
    4
    Points
    51
    Level
    1
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0x 0 Posts

    Default Re: Ready to buy first telescope but no idea what i'm looking for

    Thanks for all the sound advice, help and links. I have checked out where my local astronomy club is and will be paying them a visit at their next get together. Will also be checking out my nearest telescope shop.

    Annoyingly there used to be a great shop just round the corner from where I work in Farringdon London, but they have since moved to Kent.

 

 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Getting ready to buy my first telescope...
    By Zedwardson in forum Telescope Forum
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 12-01-2013, 06:34 PM
  2. Re: Getting ready to buy my first telescope...
    By delubiod in forum Astronomy Beginners Forum
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 12-01-2013, 04:07 AM
  3. Getting ready for my first telescope...
    By JoeCanada in forum Astronomy Beginners Forum
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-25-2013, 11:30 PM
  4. What do you think about this idea for a telescope?
    By water_skipper in forum Telescope Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-14-2009, 09:50 PM
  5. PLEASE HELP Ready to Buy New Telescope
    By Gordon Gekko IDCC on the Nasdaq in forum Amateur Astronomy Forum
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 08-30-2003, 03:24 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Powered by vBulletin« Version 4.2.0
Powered by vBulletin«
All times are GMT. The time now is 01:44 AM.