Author Topic: Beginner scope for quick viewing  (Read 437 times)

hajars

  • New Astronomer
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Beginner scope for quick viewing
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2018, 05:04:03 AM »
Hi guys, newbie here. interested to join and see the stars. All the option seems quite pricey for me, maybe anyone could recommend any Chinese / copy products that could be acceptable enough too gauge? thanks
« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 06:49:53 PM by pbncontr_daily »

Mike Khan

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 111
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Beginner scope for quick viewing
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2018, 04:34:32 PM »
Refractors do need to cool down. They just are good enough faster since the light path is half the length for the same objective length and does not hug the tube wall. Newtonians can have their walls insulated to get a lot of the same benefits. Waves are also less noticed at the lower power these smaller scopes operate at.

I agree though that for quick looks, you want a smaller scope. Lugging out the big one won't be fun. Some people will do the work, and others need everything to be right or they won't go out.

settmagganen

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 110
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Beginner scope for quick viewing
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2018, 05:56:18 AM »
Quote
Everyone needs an ST80, lol. It would be a step up from your binos, mounts easily on a photo tripod or small alt-az mount, is inexpensive, and gives nice wide field views. It may whet your appetite for more/bigger/better, but would always be a nice grabby scope to have around. They come up on the classifieds all the time, and your local craigslist could be a source for a Bogen 30xx type tripod. That would leave a nice hunk of change for a couple eyepieces.

A phototripod, although very convenient, will not support the ST80 anywhere near the zenith. If you buy the Celestron Firstscope for $30 shipped, you can use its minidob base on top of the photo tripod. Then it will stay balanced and be able to show you the zenith. You can give away the Firstscope OTA to your next door neighbor's kids.

For $200 there is the AWB Onesky (Skyone?) 130mm f5 newtonian. I don't like the eyepiece tube being on top instead of 45 degrees to the side.
For a $400 budget, I got a Starblast 6 OTA for $185 shipped used and am building a better minidob base for it with handle and folding legs. Like others said, you need to budget for eyepieces. I say just start with a 25mm Plossl.

Corey Howell

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 127
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Beginner scope for quick viewing
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2018, 06:57:56 AM »

Jermaine Conner

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 111
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Beginner scope for quick viewing
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2018, 07:49:33 PM »
Actually, the st80 mounted sidesaddle on a Bogen tripod head works very well. I learned this excellent trick from the one and only Jon Isaacs. It's a nice light setup. That Antares posted above looks great, better accessories, 2" focuser. So many choices....

pensranbafarc

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 121
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Beginner scope for quick viewing
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2018, 04:13:59 AM »
The ever-popular Zhumell Z8 is available once again... http://www.telescope...ector-telescope

...albeit with a 9-day shipping delay.

fronenfiten

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 125
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Beginner scope for quick viewing
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2018, 06:26:19 PM »
Quote
See my above reply to a similar comment. I plan to store the scope in a large closet. I plan to use it alone. On the bortle scale.....ehh, 7.1-7.5 on a good night, perhaps better on an excellent night. Size and weight are a concern only due to time and hassle of setup. Similarly with reflectors, as the time the tube takes to cool is longer than I stargaze sometimes (I was interested 6-8 inch dobsonians but I don't see an hour of cooldown time as something that's worth dealing with- it may just become an excuse to leave it behind) takes away from my relatively short viewing time. I would visit an astronomy club, but the closest one is more than an hour and a half away(location dubuque, iowa, zip 52001). I can find a few nearby planets fairly easily, but at the moment I don't really know the names of what I'm looking at, as I'm trying to memorize the sky before consulting charts. I'm not sure about computer assists. It would be nice, but would either be over budget or compromise the quality of the scope and make it harder to actually 'know' where things are.


The cooling down time is mainly a consequence of the difference between storage site temperature and observing site temperature (large telescope may have trouble also because of temperature changes across the night), if such difference is only a few degrees, then the time required is very short.
In any case, larger the telescope, longer the time required.
Open tube designs (e.g. Newtonians, Cassegrains/sub-aperture corrector Cassegrains) are faster than closed tube ones (e.g. Maksutov-Newton, Maksutov Cassegrain, Schmidt-Cassegrain), but the latter may offer better low-power views during the cooling down because internal thermal currents are less strong.
Small refractors are fast to cool down because they are small, not because some mysterious virtue; and usually can be employed for low power views while cooling down.

nasapehe

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Beginner scope for quick viewing
« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2018, 09:57:03 PM »
Quote
Everyone needs an ST80, lol. It would be a step up from your binos, mounts easily on a photo tripod or small alt-az mount, is inexpensive, and gives nice wide field views. It may whet your appetite for more/bigger/better, but would always be a nice grabby scope to have around. They come up on the classifieds all the time, and your local craigslist could be a source for a Bogen 30xx type tripod. That would leave a nice hunk of change for a couple eyepieces.


I really wanted an ST80, but I'm on a low budget. So I picked up used Meade 70 AZ, similar to this one for $50 on eBay.

http://www.amazon.co...uct_top?ie=UTF8

I was using it last night and had great views of the Pleiades and M36. The 70mm aperture limits me to about 100x magnification, but most of the time I use 35x. For a cheap used budget scope, it works much better than I expected. It's definitely a big step up from 7x or 10x binoculars without breaking the bank.

John Fimbres

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 125
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Beginner scope for quick viewing
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2018, 10:40:48 PM »
Quote
Celestron 102XLT (4" f9.8 achro) on a CG4 mount....Just over $400. Very little CA, and the CG4 mounts it well.

Good scope, but may think about an AZ mount vs the CG4 for ease of use?

trigitsipo

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 136
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Beginner scope for quick viewing
« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2018, 05:56:01 AM »
BlazingAK, keeping your budget figure in mind I have a recommendation. Its a 7x50 binocular with neck strap and bag with shoulder strap, stainless steel legged alt/az tripod with metal mount, 102mm f4.5 acromatic refactor, 20mm/70 degree fov eyepiece, with back pack, combo. Reviews are almost non existent, but I'll give a short one. Given your skies are a magnitude or so darker than mine at home I suspect you might enjoy using it as much as I do. It is the Bresser/Explore Scientific Comet Series scope package for $249 shipping included, and can be ordered from the ES website direct. Some description of my experience follows. An all metal scope tube and screw on metal dewshield with first class finish. Optics excellent fully multi coated, and show to be diffraction limited. After quick cool down of scope, AND eyepieces I get beautiful widefield views of star clusters, nebulae and split double stars easily too. So optical and scope build quality are very nice. The focuser body is a heavy polymer, rack and pinion that has a four screw rack plate and adjusts to very smooth function, with metal draw tube and compression band eyepiece holder.
My included fully multi coated 7x50 binocs arrived collimated spot on and give great views. The scope required collimation tweak and is now amazing. Mount is lightweight but smooth as butter with metal arm and base, plastic cover trim looks nice, and extremely portable with tension on each axis being adjustable. The cordura pack is very well executed not unfinished nylon inside, but plushlike to softly hold the mount arm and scope with a padded divider between them. The collapsed tripod sits into a pocket and straps alongside. Some may knock the plastic eyepiece tray and tripod tray/leg articulation joints but they seem heavy and should last years with proper care. The eyepiece tray rotates into the locking postion, rather uniquely. The internal diagonal is collimatable and rotatable for complete collimation/alignment capability using four recessed hex screws, three as typical 120 degree spaced and a fourth one recessed in the middle of the knurled brass finger nut in the center of the rear cell. An Allen wrench placed in there allows diagonal mirror rotation/alignment to the focuser tube. Let me add how much easier to be able to collimate and view simultaneously right at the rear of a scope. I have had stunning high power views of nebulae, and split stars (Castor - 2") both at powers to over 210x. The low power wide field views with included 20mm eyepiece (over 3 degrees) is beautiful.

Lifetime warranty through Explore Scientific and their cust. svc. is said to be great. This is a true grab and go setup (one handed I might add) that is worth its price, and would occupy a useful place for any level stargazer even with many years experience. I spot something in the binoculars then train the scope on it. With a 3 degree field of view, the scope is its own finder! This has become my most used, easiest to grab and go anywhere scope I have ever owned, and stupid simple and fast. Enjoy your choice and the hobby.
Wayne

unverjacea

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 121
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Beginner scope for quick viewing
« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2018, 10:46:54 AM »
Wanted to add that I considered an ST80 for a long while, at approx. $180 for the Astro package. Then looking at alt/az mount add anywhere from $80--$200+. Total=$260--380. I had sold all my binocs during a decade plus away from astronomy. So I needed them as well. I took a gamble given the lack of any reviews. Couldn't be happier with this package. Really. Oh and you'll have cash left for decent 12 or 15mm, 10, and 4mm eyepieces. Let me recommend Orion's Expanse 15 and 6 mm eyepieces. Along with the provided 20 you'd cover a lot of viewing ground AND have about $50 left in your wallet.
Wayne

Lauro Mason

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 139
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Beginner scope for quick viewing
« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2018, 01:41:02 PM »
http://www.telescope...ector-telescope

Small and portable... Not bad for $200!

Eric Ayyagari

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 124
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Beginner scope for quick viewing
« Reply #27 on: February 02, 2018, 03:29:52 PM »
If you have access to a local dealer, I would suggest stopping in and asking a few questions there as well. Take a look at the floor models so you can see how large and complicated they are and also how they work. If not, the recommendation to seek out a club may be a good one.

Also, if you prefer a refractor, I think there is merit to finding one with an aperture of at least 80 mm; however the 60 mm refractor I used after graduating from binoculars was no slouch. It served me very well for years, and encouraged me to continue to bigger and better things, which I did in good time. Hopefully, the same is in store for you!

Troy Furlong

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 109
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Beginner scope for quick viewing
« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2018, 12:57:48 PM »
Quote
Quote

Quote

<p class="citation">theblazingak, on 05 Dec 2015 - 11:20 AM, said:<a href="https://www.cloudynights.com/index.php?app=forums&amp;module=forums&amp;section=findpost&amp;pid=6927006" rel="citation">[/url]<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote built" data-author="theblazingak" data-cid="6927006" data-time="1449307239">
I've been viewing the sky with 7x50 astronomy binoculars for a while now and may eventually move up to a telescope. I spend 30 minutes to two hours, generally under an hour, stargazing so I doubt I would get the full benefit of a reflector telescope. I'm considering refractor telescopes for a quick grab-and-go setup, no cooldown needed. My budget is $400, what are my best choices? [this is a beginner question, but if need be, mods please move this up to the equipment forums]

I too started with binoculars. Love them. You will continue to actively use them even after you get your telescope.

I want to know more about you before I suggest a scope.

Are you a member of a club? Is there one in the area? Have you visited them? Often clubs have public viewing events where you can go and meet the members, talk about their experiences and get a chance to see a lot of different telescopes. If you have not done this I highly recommend you do before you buy a telescope. If you tell us where you live we may be able to help you find a club.

How much light pollution are you dealing with? Are there lots of stars in your sky or very few? Take a look at this article on the Bortel scale. Give us an estimate of your sky.https://en.wikipedia...ki/Bortle_scale. I live in a Bortel 7 area.

Are you able to star hop to find your targets or do you want computer assist in finding targets.Both of my scopes are computer assisted so I am biased that way but what is your interest?Do you knowwhat I am talking about ?

Where will you store the scope and where will you use it? Will size and weight be a concern?

All scopes can be used to view all celestial objects but some are better for planets an some are better for DSOs.

You seem to have a concern about reflectors. I have 2 reflectors and a refractor. They all live in my garage. Set-up time between them is about the same.

Is this scope for you or will you be sharing it with someone? Spouse? Child? Friend?

Once I know a little more about you and your situation I will be more comfortable making a suggestion.

See my above reply to a similar comment. I plan to store the scope in a large closet. I plan to use it alone. On the bortle scale.....ehh, 7.1-7.5 on a good night, perhaps better on an excellent night. Size and weight are a concern only due to time and hassle of setup. Similarly with reflectors, as the time the tube takes to cool is longer than I stargaze sometimes (I was interested 6-8 inch dobsonians but I don't see an hour of cooldown time as something that's worth dealing with- it may just become an excuse to leave it behind) takes away from my relatively short viewing time. I would visit an astronomy club, but the closest one is more than an hour and a half away(location dubuque, iowa, zip 52001). I can find a few nearby planets fairly easily, but at the moment I don't really know the names of what I'm looking at, as I'm trying to memorize the sky before consulting charts. I'm not sure about computer assists. It would be nice, but would either be over budget or compromise the quality of the scope and make it harder to actually 'know' where things are.

theblazingak,

It has been about a month since you posted in this discussion. I presume you found a scope, Santa brought you a scope, or you have lost interest. How about an update?A few comments on your last post. Bortel 7 is very light polluted. That means you have very few stars in your sky. That is about the same as mine.

If that is the case then star hopping is going to be a real challenge for many of the targets you will see. Some sections of my sky are blank. I can see almost nothing in Gemini other than Caster and Pollex.

Therefore I am going to recommend a GoTo or a PushTo scope. And I like your thinking around a refractor as the first scope. I did the same thing. Light, easy to move, easy to set-up.

Here are some thoughts in the neighborhood of your $400 budget. If I was looking for my first scope today, with your budget,I would give this serious consideration.Meade Starnavigator 102 Goto - This uses the same Audiostar system which is similar to the Meade Autostar that I use.
https://www.astronom...ope_p19385.aspx
Overview and demo - Notice that he was able to move the scope manually in addition to having it move by motor. I consider that a very positive feature.
This is similar to the set-up of my ETX 80 which is very easy.
https://www.youtube....h?v=VhZTuBIFNDIOrion StarSeeker 102 - a similar scope type GoTo scope but a little shorter FL.
This will provide wider views from the same eyepieces. As a binocular person you might like that.
http://www.telescope...15/p/102783.utsGive me your feedback on these.

If you continue your journey to the stars this will become your grab and go scope. Light, quick to set up and easy to use. After this you will probably be looking at an 8" Dob or something like that.I have the Orioni XT8i Intelliscope. Love it!

But that can be years off. This one should serve you for a long time.

precaregmo

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 123
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Beginner scope for quick viewing
« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2018, 07:16:39 PM »
+1 for the Zhumell 8" dob, laser collimator, finder, 2 eyepieces, 2 speed 2" focuser @ $399.

Get as much aperture as you can afford because the greater the aperture the greater the detail you can see .