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can anyone give some advice on telescopes?

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posted on Mar, 1 2009 @ 11:59 AM
Can anyone maybe give some telescope shopping advice?

Within the next week or two i plan on purchasing a telescope somewhere between 300 and 400 dollars. I don't know to much about shopping for telescopes as this would be my first time buying one but I am familiar with using them a bit.

Currently the Meade DS-2130LNT Reflector Telescope with LNT AutoAlign Technology has caught my eye and ive been looking at it more and more but wanted advice from maybe someone who knows. If anyone can give advice that would be awesome.

Thank you.

posted on Mar, 1 2009 @ 12:08 PM
reply to post by seangkt
Get a big expensive one...
The one one you mention would be a nice start!

posted on Mar, 1 2009 @ 12:50 PM
I have one that gives me an upside down image. You might want to avoid these.

Make sure the tripod is at least made of good quality metal that you can set up easily and move the telescope around on its axis easily.

posted on Mar, 1 2009 @ 02:33 PM
The best answer to your question is "it depends".

For some basic astronomical observing (moon, planets in our solar system, and some basic Deep Space Object (DSO) viewing), the Meade you have listed should be fine. You will get more "bang for the buck" with a Dobsonian telescope. When it comes to astronomy, the basic rule is aperture is king. The more light you can gather the better.

If you are into more terrestrial viewing (birds, planes etc), I would recommend a spotting scope or a good pair of binoculars, you will be able to track objects much faster.

Check out Orion's site, they have a lot of good buying info. No financial interest here, just a satisfied customer.

A couple of good books I recommend on the subject:

Star Ware: The Amateur Astronomer's Guide to Choosing, Buying, and Using Telescopes and Accessories by Philip S. Harrington

Astronomy Hacks by Robert Bruce Thompson

posted on Mar, 1 2009 @ 04:55 PM
I just got a 5" Celestron reflector for about $200 and I love it but I think I'm going to get another one soon to see some more detail. For a little more you can get a 8" Dobsonian like this one:

Orion SkyQuest XT8

It doesn't have the same equitorial mount but it's the biggest bang for the buck.

I would also invest in a couple good eyepieces or get a set that has a litte better quality eyepieces and also a Barlows lens that will double the magnication of an eyepiece.

I would stay away from any bells and whistles at this price range because it's not worth it for a smaller scope like this, and you're going to sacrifice a quality scope for useless features. It's more fun to search for an object in the sky than to have it automatically just go there using a motor.

I think others would agree a Dobsonian is the perfect beginner scope for $300 or so that will show good detail of planets and galaxies. If you want to snap pics however, this wouln't be a good choice as it's mount isn't meant for that.

posted on Mar, 1 2009 @ 11:32 PM
I have one, a reflector 3" or 3.5", that was similar or the same
as a scope on the roof of a college Physics building.

I never set up mine but I saw a fields of stars like pinheads of light,
some nebula's as clouds of light and some bright stars on the roof top

I found out that the pictures in magazines needed time exposures
and went on to other adventures.

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 11:02 AM
I am in the market for a telescope as well, so will be keeping an eye on this thread.

I've never owned one myself, so opinions are much appreciated.

I'll be looking for one up to at least $1000, if anyone can help.

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 11:20 AM
I sent a U2U to ngchunter and made him aware of this thread.
I think he can give some good advice about this when he comes online.

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 11:22 AM
I got a Stellarvue SV809/D 80mm refractor last year for $399. Fantastic optics and great customer service. I now own 2 Stellarvue's and I couldn't be happier.

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 10:39 PM
reply to post by ziggystar60

Thanks for the heads-up. Been busy with too many mice (my job) the last few days so I haven't been able to come here as often as I normally would. Anyway, for my 2 cents I say get a dobsonian and learn how to navigate the sky by hand. It takes time and patience, but it's quite rewarding (as long as you aren't expecting to see full color spiral galaxies like in the magazines with just your eye) and in the long run you'll be glad you learned how to "star hop." Here are my favorites in the price range:
Alternatively, if you're not completely sure that visual observational astronomy is for you, you could dip your toe in the water with this very fine but cheaper, smaller scope:
or even cheaper and smaller

If you buy this last one and find you like it, you could always invest the rest of your budget in a premium eyepiece; you won't ever regret a good 1.25" Nagler or Panoptic since you can always take it with you onto your next telescope.

[edit on 2-3-2009 by ngchunter]

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