Beginners telescope

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Boomstick
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Beginners telescope

#1

Post by Boomstick » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:17 am

Hello,

Not sure if this is the tread I post to. Please move me if needed.

My question, which is I'm sure a very popular and annoying question that is asked all the time but what is the best beginners telescope for clear planetary and deep object viewing?

I have been considering Celestron 4se, or the Nexstar 130 SLT, or possibly the Orion 130. But those are just a couple I have been gazing at but not really putting a serious look into them until I get better direction. Price point is a concern of mine but for the sake of researching a potential telescope and information, I'm open to anything.

I can drive deeper and give my needs and wants once I get a firm grasp on a direction I want to go regarding telescope.
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#2

Post by JayTee » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:05 am

Hello and this is the right place for this post.

You have given us a rough idea of your budget which certainly helps, but what would also help us is how portable does this scope need to be and at what point is it too big for you to consider? To provide food for thought, look into an 8 inch Dobsonian mounted Newtonian reflecting telescope. These are great entry-level scopes for someone who's considering the serious side of this hobby. Also they are not very expensive so they typically give you the best bang for the buck. If you think an 8" reflecting telescope is too big then that would be good to know.

Cheers,
JT
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#3

Post by gregl » Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:29 am

I've always been a little hesitant about the idea of "beginner's" anything. My dad used to buy "beginner's" stuff and it was always disappointing. I feel that the best route is to buy something that will do a journeyman's job for a long time. The 8-inch dob mentioned above is one. In our club, the 8-inch SCT is the most popular scope. I think it's a good compromise between portability and size. If you want to observe deep space objects, I would seriously consider something in at least the 8-inch range. Yes, you can see DSOs with smaller scopes, but there is a significant difference as aperture goes up. In the end, there is no perfect scope, but I would advise you to get as much light gathering ability as you can afford.

I'm reminded of a sig line used by a member of another forum I visit: "I can't afford to buy cheap tools." Think about that for a minute. Do it right and do it once and you'll have years of fun. Cut corners and you'll be frustrated and end up going through all this again too soon.
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#4

Post by Sky Tinker » Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:12 pm

Boomstick wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:17 am
Hello,

Not sure if this is the tread I post to. Please move me if needed.

My question, which is I'm sure a very popular and annoying question that is asked all the time but what is the best beginners telescope for clear planetary and deep object viewing?

I have been considering Celestron 4se, or the Nexstar 130 SLT, or possibly the Orion 130. But those are just a couple I have been gazing at but not really putting a serious look into them until I get better direction. Price point is a concern of mine but for the sake of researching a potential telescope and information, I'm open to anything.

I can drive deeper and give my needs and wants once I get a firm grasp on a direction I want to go regarding telescope.
Given the three kits you've mentioned, I assume you're wanting a go-to mount. The Celestron 4SE is a Maksutov-Cassegrain. It has a rather long focal-length, the longest among all other 4" designs that are commonly available. The longer the focal-length, the narrower the view, even at the lowest power with a 32mm Plossl. The telescope will not provide low-power, wide-field views; those binocular-like. On the plus side, a Maksutov is excellent for the planets, to see them up close, and the majority of deep-sky objects are small enough to be seen with a Maksutov, true. I have a Maksutov myself, a 127mm. Instead of the 4SE, I'd want the 127SLT...

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... scope.html

However, a Maksutov is more of a specialty, high-power telescope. It's like a microscope, but for the sky, to see things up close. It's not really what one thinks of as a beginner telescope, but quite a few beginners do choose the design.

The majority of deep-sky objects are dim. DSOs also outnumber the brighter and brightest objects many times over. DSOs also require aperture, the larger the better for the dimmer of DSOs. That is why some might suggest getting an 8" "Dobsonian"; again, the more aperture, the better for DSOs.

With the Celestron 130SLT and the Orion "StarSeeker IV" 130mm kits, the telescope of either is a 130mm f/5 Newtonian; 5" of aperture. Newtonians are the most difficult of all designs to collimate. An 8" "Dobsonian" is a Newtonian attached to a simple, Dobson, alt-azimuth mount, hence the moniker "Dobsonian". Dobsonians give the beginner the "biggest bang for the buck", a larger aperture for about the same price as the go-to kits. The larger Newtonians, 8" and up in size, are ideal for observing the dimmer DSOs. They also perform quite well for the planets.

We see that live here in the U.S., but we don't know anything about the skies above you at night. Do you live within a city, a suburb, a semi-rural area, or in the deep, dark countryside? I live in a semi-rural area myself. Also, are you set upon having a go-to mount?

Getting your first telescope requires some planning and thought, and we can help you choose just the right kit. But we'll need some more input from you. We'll be here.
"Look, son! Up there!" His son shouted back, "I see it! What is it?" The father regaled, "The galaxy! Andromeda! Our origin, our destiny!" And so the boy was hooked, and for the rest of his natural life.

Alan

Apochromat: Takahashi FS-102 f/8 - Achromats: Meade "Polaris" 90mm f/10(flocked & blackened), Antares(GSO) 805 80mm f/6(flocked & blackened), Celestron(Synta) "AstroMaster" 70mm f/13(flocked & blackened), Sears(Towa) #4-6340 50mm f/12(flocked & blackened) - Newtonians: Orion(Synta) 6" f/5(flocked & blackened), Meade "Polaris" 114mm f/8, Zhumell(GSO) Z100 100mm f/4 - Catadioptrics: Explore Scientific(JOC) 127mm f/15 Maksutov-Cassegrain, Celestron "PowerSeeker" 127mm f/8 "Bird Jones" reflector(modified, flocked, blackened...& collimated!)...and mounts, eyepieces, barlows and diagonals.
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#5

Post by Tailspin45 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:21 pm

gregl wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:29 am
Do it right and do it once and you'll have years of fun. Cut corners and you'll be frustrated and end up going through all this again too soon.
Totally agree. Love is better the second time around according to the song, but I decide to try to go the cheap route the second time around and I’m definite frustrated. The EQ-1 mount is the main problem—it just not precise enough. To much slop.

Another problem, and it’s a personality flaw, is I always want to do better and in this business that means more expensive equipment. My own Hubble is simply out of the question.
Tailspin Tommy (aka Clever Clogs)
Author of the One Day At A Time series for beginners
Astronomers, like burglars and jazz musicians, operate best at night.
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#6

Post by helicon » Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:25 pm

I agree with JT on the 8" Dob. They are tremendous all-around scopes suitable for both deep sky and planetary/lunar viewing. Not too hard to move around either.
-Michael
Various scopes, 10" Zhumell Dob, ES AR152, AWB 5.1" Onesky newt, Oberwerk 25x100 binos, two eyeballs
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#7

Post by gregl » Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:35 pm

helicon wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:25 pm
I agree with JT on the 8" Dob. They are tremendous all-around scopes suitable for both deep sky and planetary/lunar viewing. Not too hard to move around either.

It seems to be the Ford F150 of the skies. I haven't seen one but folks say the Zhumell is a great buy.
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#8

Post by helicon » Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:38 pm

Either Zhumell or Apertura are fine. Basically the same scope with a different logo on the side.
-Michael
Various scopes, 10" Zhumell Dob, ES AR152, AWB 5.1" Onesky newt, Oberwerk 25x100 binos, two eyeballs
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#9

Post by Dragonsfire » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:02 pm

8" dob is the best bang for the Buck, the GoldyLox Scope :)
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#10

Post by Sky Tinker » Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:55 am

Are those who are rushing to recommend an 8" Newtonian-Dobson doing so per their light-polluted conditions? Not everyone dwells underneath an illuminated dome.

Smaller telescope kits engender regular usage much more than a behemoth, for one.

Patience, temperance, please, and whilst we wait upon the OP to engage with us further.
"Look, son! Up there!" His son shouted back, "I see it! What is it?" The father regaled, "The galaxy! Andromeda! Our origin, our destiny!" And so the boy was hooked, and for the rest of his natural life.

Alan

Apochromat: Takahashi FS-102 f/8 - Achromats: Meade "Polaris" 90mm f/10(flocked & blackened), Antares(GSO) 805 80mm f/6(flocked & blackened), Celestron(Synta) "AstroMaster" 70mm f/13(flocked & blackened), Sears(Towa) #4-6340 50mm f/12(flocked & blackened) - Newtonians: Orion(Synta) 6" f/5(flocked & blackened), Meade "Polaris" 114mm f/8, Zhumell(GSO) Z100 100mm f/4 - Catadioptrics: Explore Scientific(JOC) 127mm f/15 Maksutov-Cassegrain, Celestron "PowerSeeker" 127mm f/8 "Bird Jones" reflector(modified, flocked, blackened...& collimated!)...and mounts, eyepieces, barlows and diagonals.
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