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Help with Buying a Telescope

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posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 12:48 PM
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Hi

My husband is an astro geek and I want to get him an excellent telescope that isn't going to cost me the Nasa budget.

Are there telescopes that can also film and photograph really well?

Any advice is welcome as I am hopeless on the tech side of things!




posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 12:54 PM
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it has to be a reflector....8 inch is cool....they're the short stubby ones.....way better....good prices on 4 inch tracking automatic ones.....but 4 or 5 inches is just a tad small...
they were building their own in the Dobson era in california....making up to 20 inch sidewalk scopes...I saw a used one for 600 dollars two years ago on craigs....it was a 15 inch.....oohhhh cool
edit on 26-7-2015 by GBP/JPY because: our new King.....He comes right after a nicely done fake one
etadd...ebay is cool for building one....but the 6 inch mirrors are not the focal length stated....if that happens ya get your money back pronto...
edit on 26-7-2015 by GBP/JPY because: our new King.....He comes right after a nicely done fake one



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 01:21 PM
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Probably the best thing is to define how much you're willing to spend and also your rough location as someone may know a place down the road etc

Theres all sorts of stuff out there last time i looked which pretty much you can launch and leave so to speak and then wake up the next morning and review the entire nights events as it'll be recorded to a hard drive or similar

or as a treat some of the "big" telescopes rent out time for the less professional end when they're not doing anything of note so perhaps an evenings worth of studying some cluster might be a good present



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 01:30 PM
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a reply to: zazzafrazz

I don't know much about them, but I did a lot of research on them a few years ago. Like the other poster said, I'd go with at least an 8 inch size.

I'd also suggest making sure that your "astro geek" husband is as interested as you think he is, otherwise it will be a giant waste of money. I bought my husband one and he has used it like twice in several years' time.



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 01:50 PM
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a reply to: MojaveBurning

He already has one and he will defn not stop using it, I quite enjoy the "quiet time" I get when he is star gazing!



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 01:50 PM
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Not sure what happened to the images. My guess they got lost in one of the many server migrations and upgrades in the years since that thread was made. But it could help give you some information.

Astronomy: Telescopes

Edit to add:

Learn the sky and get to know the stars and how your scope works before investing in photography. Also, more expensive does not always equate to best. And the scope is the cheap part; they get you on the eyepieces.

Start with a good star guide. If you can find all three volumes of Burnham's Celestial Handbook you should pick it up. Still the best thing out there.
edit on 7/26/2015 by cmdrkeenkid because: Added additional response.


Edit to add again:

Here are a couple other good books. I'm sure there are newer versions out there, but gives you an idea. The first two are incredibly helpful for field guides.



edit on 7/26/2015 by cmdrkeenkid because: Added additional response. Again.


Edit to add again, again:

Try finding a local astronomy club or observatory. They often have public viewing/awareness events called "star parties" where you can ask oads of questions and see what you're most comfortable with. Sky and Telescope magazine can help you find one near you.
edit on 7/26/2015 by cmdrkeenkid because: Added additional response. Again, again.



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 01:52 PM
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a reply to: Maxatoria

What a great idea! I will look into that, however I still think a good telescope is needed by him.
I'm not clued in to pricing at all, thought I'd get some advice on really good instruments then go away and start pricing what people recommend.

Cheers Z



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 02:04 PM
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a reply to: zazzafrazz

My advice? (which isn't worth much)
Go middle of the road price wise.
Research research research what the best one does and than find one in the middle of the road pricewise that does the same for cheaper.
Never buy the most expensive (you are just paying for the name) and never buy the cheapest as you get what you pay for most times.

Look at what a really good one does and than look at one that does the same thing for cheaper....middle of the road is the way to go IMO but I know nothing on telescopes.....I'm just cheap.




posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 02:21 PM
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a reply to: zazzafrazz

Always buy something big enough and adaptable enough that you can mount a good camera to it, so it should also have tracking. When you see something seriously cool, you want to have a record.

Cheers - Dave



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 02:35 PM
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a reply to: zazzafrazz

pm jade star i think it is or something like that...she seems like a guru in astronomy and by the way.....you may have the greatest avatar I have ever encountered on ATS....well played sir...well played.



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 03:45 PM
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a reply to: zazzafrazz

You can get a type of telescope which connects via a USB cable to a laptop. The scope mount is comprised of the mounting for the scope, and this sits upon a rotating, motorised base, controlled from the computer. This means that one can set the computerised base to find stars, planets, and other celestial objects, using star maps from the internet.

Look up Nexremote by Celestron.



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 04:02 PM
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a reply to: zazzafrazz

It's actually quite tough to suggest a scope for someone because no single scope is "the best" for anyone and everyone. It really depends on what it is you want to do with that scope, what sort of star-gazing you plan to do with it, where you plan on doing your star-gazing, and so on.


So all I will do is try to get you off on the right foot to start your research (and there's a LOT of research you need to do !)... Keep in mind I'm no whiz kid when it comes to scope technologies, I just know what I'm familiar with based on the scopes that I've used over the years.


So with that in mind, here's my suggestions:

If your husband is more into viewing deep-sky objects instead of just the moon and planets, then I would suggest looking into a schmidt-cassegrain refractor scope... and as others have mentioned, 8" is most definately a fantastic size for deep-sky viewing with clear beautiful imagery of even the faintest of nebulas - not only because it's big enough to catch faint objects, but it's also small enough for easy portability and setup (which is an important thing to take into consideration).

They're also great for astrophotography with tracking and ready-to-mount ccd abilities, if that's what your hubby wants to get into.

Speaking for myself personally, I'm a loyal fan to schmidt-cassegrain because I've had my 8" Celestron for close to a decade now and have been nothing but pleased with it... My girl has never let me down.




However... keep in mind that you will pay more for a schmidt-cassegrain price per inch.

So if price is a big stickler for you, then a newtonian reflector scope would also be just as good as an 'all-around scope' to purchase with a lower price tag on it.

Also keep in mind that aperture (light gathering) is far far more important than magnifying power. Without good light capture, magnification means nothing. So if someone is trying to sell you a scope based on its 'magnifying power', walk away... they're a snake-oil salesman.



So in a nutshell: If your husband just likes to look at the solar system, then just about any scope will do. But if he prefers to view deep-sky objects, then you need to take into consideration refractor vs reflector, aperture vs magnifying power, tracking and ccd capabilities, city vs country viewing (light pollution), etc etc.



But the single most important aspect to any scope ?

The mount !!

Without a strong stable mount, no scope is good no matter how much you pay for it ! I strongly suggest you do not scrimp when it comes to buying a top-quality mount for whatever scope you decide on.




posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 04:09 PM
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a reply to: TrueBrit




You can get a type of telescope which connects via a USB cable to a laptop. The scope mount is comprised of the mounting for the scope, and this sits upon a rotating, motorised base, controlled from the computer. This means that one can set the computerised base to find stars, planets, and other celestial objects, using star maps from the internet.

Look up Nexremote by Celestron.



Yep, my Celestron has the "Go-To" feature and the usb connection, but I've never actually used either of them in all the years I've had it. Albeit, that's just my own personal taste because I prefer to manually search the cosmos myself and look directly at everything with my eyes rather than a computer screen.

But the go-to feature is definitely an added bonus for when you want to quickly find something... especially for astrophotography purposes.




posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 04:39 PM
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a reply to: CranialSponge

Excellent! He has looked at our planets but I believe he is interested in space now so your suggestion is helpful!

Thanks everyone else you are all gold in my books!



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 05:42 PM
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a reply to: CranialSponge

The only reason I mentioned the automatic features on the Nexremote or any similar system, is because it makes taking snapshots so much easier, especially since you can place them directly in the print queue and have a copy of them to put on a wall or in a frame.

Personally, all I have is a wooden tripod with a simple mount on top, and a crappy Bushnell 76mm diameter reflector scope. I say crappy, because the elevator arm on the side has somehow worn away at the hole through which it bolts up onto the scope itself, and so it never stays true when you lock it in. You have to steady the scope by hand, and I have not got the money to fix it, and do not want to go prodding around in it myself.

I looked into replacing my rig with something a little more user friendly a while back, and found the price to be a little prohibitive, in that I haven't any money, and telescopes cost a fair bit.



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 07:07 PM
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Just get him one that sees stuff far away.

those are my favorites..



posted on Jul, 27 2015 @ 10:50 AM
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If he is in to astrophotography then you should look at a scope that comes with an German Equatorial style mount with motor drives.
Also when it comes to deep sky stuff (galaxies, star clusters, nebula's) size is everything so the larges aperture you can afford the better. This will provide you brighter, higher contrast images.
The most common scope for this application would be in the Cassegrain family (Schmidt-Cassegrain or Maksutov-Cassegrain) These will allow a better balance to the rig as the optical tubes will be shorter and easier to maneuver around. You can get bigger aperture for your dollar with a reflector but the rig gets more cumbersome with the addition to a heavy DSLR at the focuser. Refractors provide nice images as well but the cost of even a modest aperture made of ED glass is much greater than that of Cass. or reflectors of equivalent size.

I've owned and modified almost all types of common scopes and built several reflectors and refactors from scratch. If I had the funds and wanted to get back into astrophotography I would invest in a large aperture Cassegrain on a good solid GEM.

Check out HERE for a good selection of scopes for beginner to advanced. THey also have a good resource library to help out.



posted on Mar, 20 2016 @ 02:25 PM
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a reply to: zazzafrazz


Ohhhh, I see. This is really a gift for you.....Good thinking. I believe my wife does the same thing. With that said, don't get him anything he didn't ask for or mention as something he desires . Good Luck.

I forgot to mention. My Wife and Daughters just got me a FLIR One, infrared camera for my Iphone. It's awesome.

FLIR One for Iphone
edit on 10 27 2013 by donktheclown because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 20 2016 @ 03:03 PM
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a reply to: zazzafrazz
Are you sure you don't want it for peeping on the neighbors? Sorry. I couldn't help it.



posted on Mar, 20 2016 @ 06:04 PM
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a reply to: Skid Mark

Haha defn not.

It's coming up to his birthday in T-minus 1 month, I still haven't found the right one!



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