Author Topic: Telescope & binoculars for a newbie :)  (Read 452 times)

Aaron Maggot

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Telescope & binoculars for a newbie :)
« on: December 29, 2017, 06:02:32 AM »
Hello!

I´m newbie in the telescope/binocular world, but really interested in starting in this awesome hobby to observe planets, nebulae, galaxies and star clusters. Been searching info and trying to learn as much as I can but there are a lot of options, so I need your advice. From what I´ve read, seems like a good idea to have both a telescope and binoculars, but I have a budget of spending maximum $400. What do you think, should I get both or for now just a good telescope? Binoculars seem like a really good extra to start learning more about the constellations and I can take them everywhere more easily.

Haven´t found yet which binoculars could be best for my use & budget but for telescopes, been looking at these options:

- Meade Lightbridge Mini 130
- Orion Starblast 6
- Meade Polaris 130 f/5 EQ
- Celestron Astromaster 130EQ

Prefer a telescope with no GoTo mount, it´s going to be harder to use but will help me learn more about the position of the celestial objects, the satisfaction of finding them and well, they´re mostly more expensive.

The telescopes with the dobsonian mount look very simple, grab & go, but doesn´t seem very practical, probably I´ll always need a table or flat surface to put it at a higher level (than ground) that´s more comfortable. What are your opinions on the dobsonian mounts?

And just to add, I go as often as I can camping, on average 1 weekend per month and sometimes just a quick 1 day trip out of town to get away from the light pollution and watch the night sky (With the telescope and/or binoculars I´ll go more often out of town).

If there´s any other info I could share that could be helpful for your advice/recommendation, let me know!

Thanks in advance for your help,

Juan



therpomercu

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Re: Telescope & binoculars for a newbie :)
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2017, 05:06:47 AM »
Hello, and welcome.

I'd bypass binoculars for now, and get those later. Get a telescope. You can get a very good telescope for $400, and you can change the magnifications, too. You can't do that with binoculars, and that's no fun.

Instead of these two...

Meade Polaris 130 f/5 EQ
Celestron Astromaster 130EQ

...I'd recommend this instead, and if you'd like the experience with an equatorial mount...

http://www.telescope.../341/p/9007.uts

That kit would be portable, and with a better Newtonian optical-tube and mount than the Meade or Celestron. You can also motorise the mount for automatic hands-free tracking.

Instead of this one...

Meade Lightbridge Mini 130

...I'd get this one instead... https://www.telescop..._yO8aAgqZ8P8HAQ

For the same price, it has tube rings, and for rotating the focusser to a more comfortable position.

Hmm...

Orion Starblast 6

I have that one myself...
It's larger and heavier than the Zhumell Z130, and when I say heavier I'm referring to the base. The telescope itself, a 6" f/5 Newtonian, is brighter, and you would enjoy it a lot; as I have, and still do.


Keith Pennington

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Re: Telescope & binoculars for a newbie :)
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2017, 07:27:54 AM »
I'd get a 6" dob like this:

http://www.telescope...13/p/102004.uts

6" is enough to see the brighter DSO, and a dobsonian is just so easy and intuitive - no muss and no fuss. Then, spend $100 for a pair of 10x50 (or 7x35 if your arms tire easily) like these:

https://www.bhphotov...2,&Q=&A=details

That puts you right at your budget. I say YES to binoculars emphatically. 10x50's give you a nice wide field of view, are extremely easy to use, and they are a good investment even if you stop using them for astronomy purposes.

Edit: regarding dob mount - the height isnt a big deal - trust me when I say no matter what scope/mount you get you WILL want an adjustable chair, which will cover you for the entire range of motion (other than very close to the horizon).

Jack Jefferson

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Re: Telescope & binoculars for a newbie :)
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2017, 07:47:56 PM »
I agree that getting a telescope and a pair of binoculars is best

You don't have to spend much on binoculars to get started

Under $80
https://www.amazon.c...ding=UTF8&psc=1Under $60
https://www.amazon.c...HP1NCHZN9DADWJRUnder $40
https://www.amazon.c...GYEYVFV64RHY51Y

Aoptimus Berhane

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Re: Telescope & binoculars for a newbie :)
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2017, 08:23:59 PM »
Welcome juan. Have a look through the sketches forum for a good example of what to reasonably expect from a telescope. Some folks see the bright colourful 'pictures' of dso and nebular and are expecting to see the same thing in a scope.

After you have seen what dso's look like in sketches as opposed to pictures taken with cameras, maybe give 'video astronomy' some research. It will see right through that light pollution from home. Less time driving means more time observing. Essentially we use a video camera instead of an eyepiece and the camera stacks frames on the fly, giving you colour and detail more like the long exposure photography but in Seconds.

It is well worth a look before you purchase a scope, i will be forever grateful it was mentioned to me days Before i brought a dobsonian as opposed to days After. Lots of scopes can be used for video astronomy, but a fast refractor has the upperhand i feel, and is also one of the Cheapest to purchase initially so win/win. Gives amazing views of starfields and clusters with an eyepiece too.

Clear skies, xTripodx

loraderclot

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Re: Telescope & binoculars for a newbie :)
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2018, 06:08:21 PM »
Dob mounts ARE very simple. For that reason you can usually get a bigger scope for your money than with an equatorial mount. The equatorial mounts have a learning curve too. In order for it to work correctly, you will have to learn polar alignment. It's not all that difficult, but it needs to be done. Dobs are great for visual astronomy. If it's a little low, it's easy to fix. Build a plywood box to put it on. With just a little planning, you can put the mount inside the box for transport. I have the opposite problem- I have to go up 1 or 2 steps on a ladder to reach the eyepiece when my scope is up near the zenith. Either way, height adjustments are easy to make- don't let that be a problem.

Gandza Startley

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Re: Telescope & binoculars for a newbie :)
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2018, 12:34:45 PM »
Quote
The telescopes with the dobsonian mount look very simple, grab & go, but doesn´t seem very practical, probably I´ll always need a table or flat surface to put it at a higher level (than ground) that´s more comfortable. What are your opinions on the dobsonian mounts?
Yes, the tabletop one-arm pseudo-Dobsonians are extremely simple -- I love them. The ideal solution is to build a table to support them, like the one in the attached photo, which I built for the Zhumell 130. It's designed to be at the perfect height when I'm sitting in a standard chair. The telescope nests inside the table for storage and transportation.

The Meade LightBridge Mini 130 has an extremely small base that fits on a standard chair. This turns out to put it at almost exactly the right height when you're sitting in an identical chair. The base of the 6-inch StarBlast is too big to fit on any normal chair.Attached Thumbnails

unamprodce

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Re: Telescope & binoculars for a newbie :)
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 07:23:37 AM »
Hello!

Thanks a lot for all the recommendations and advice!!

Regarding the dobsonian mount, if I get one I´ll make a box so I can transport it safely and also use it as a base like you mentioned so it´s at a more comfortable level.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

@Sky Muse: Now I´m between the “Orion Spaceprobe 130ST” or the “Orion Starblast 6”, and due to the price being $300-$340 I can afford some good binoculars for less than $100 like the ones recommended in the thread.

How´s the quality of the tripod and EQ mount in the spaceprobe?

Which one would you recommend for a beginner?

How did you mount the Starblast on the tripod? That´s cool!

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@dgoldb: The Skyquest XT6 looks like a very good option but it´s too big (for my situation) to take it on camping trips. But I´m leaning more towards Dobsonian mount than Equatorial, to start in the hobby.

I´ll buy first the telescope but definitely interested in those binoculars!

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@tony_spina: Thanks for the options suggested, is there a lot of difference between them? Which one would you recommend?

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@xxTRIPODxx: Didn´t knew about that option (Very interesting) but I´ll need more equipment to do that (More things to buy +$), and I like a lot driving, getting out of town is like meditation jaja so I´ll enjoy more the telescope somewhere out of town . And I prefer viewing it for now with my eyes than a computer or tv.

A couple years ago I used a telescope, and at that time I thought it would look bright & colorful, but the real image it´s pretty amazing, just being able to find & see such awesome celestial objects it´s incredible. Someday in the future I´ll get into astrophotography.

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@RayD: Started yesterday searching more about dobsonian mounts and ideas, and I´m leaning more towards them to start. Like you said, I like that they´re very simple. Saw that equatorial mounts are perfect for astrophotography, but that would be someday when I´m ready to advance towards it, so maybe I´ll leave the EQ for the next telescope.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

@>Dave Mitsky: The thing with the Skywatcher 6” f/8 Dob, is that it´s a big telescope, doesn’t seems very portable (for my situation) like the Skyquest XT6 recommended by dgoldb. But thanks a lot for the accessories that can help in improving the experience, will get them when I buy the telescope.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

@Tony Flanders: What do you think about the Zhumell 130? Recommended also by Sky Muse, looks like a really nice option to start.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks again, and really excited to buy my first telescope !!

Juan

Eric Hayes

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Re: Telescope & binoculars for a newbie :)
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2018, 03:13:26 AM »
Juan,
In response to your question regarding binoculars I like and have the Bushnell Legacy WP for $77. IMO they are the best 10x50 at this price point

The next step up are the Nikon Extreme AE at 2x the price

smalmonica

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Re: Telescope & binoculars for a newbie :)
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2018, 04:57:14 AM »
Quote
Hello!

I´m newbie in the telescope/binocular world, but really interested in starting in this awesome hobby to observe planets, nebulae, galaxies and star clusters. Been searching info and trying to learn as much as I can but there are a lot of options, so I need your advice. From what I´ve read, seems like a good idea to have both a telescope and binoculars, but I have a budget of spending maximum $400. What do you think, should I get both or for now just a good telescope? Binoculars seem like a really good extra to start learning more about the constellations and I can take them everywhere more easily.

Haven´t found yet which binoculars could be best for my use & budget but for telescopes, been looking at these options:

- Meade Lightbridge Mini 130
- Orion Starblast 6
- Meade Polaris 130 f/5 EQ
- Celestron Astromaster 130EQ

Prefer a telescope with no GoTo mount, it´s going to be harder to use but will help me learn more about the position of the celestial objects, the satisfaction of finding them and well, they´re mostly more expensive.

The telescopes with the dobsonian mount look very simple, grab & go, but doesn´t seem very practical, probably I´ll always need a table or flat surface to put it at a higher level (than ground) that´s more comfortable. What are your opinions on the dobsonian mounts?

And just to add, I go as often as I can camping, on average 1 weekend per month and sometimes just a quick 1 day trip out of town to get away from the light pollution and watch the night sky (With the telescope and/or binoculars I´ll go more often out of town).

If there´s any other info I could share that could be helpful for your advice/recommendation, let me know!

Thanks in advance for your help,

Juan


Welcome to the fun Juan.  Everyone has a different point of view so I will give you mine.  I got into this about 15 months ago and having a ball.

I started with a $20 pair of binoculars that I purchased at Harbor Freight.  I learned a lot before I purchased my first telescope.  Not saying you have to go that route but it worked for me.  I now have 4 pair of binoculars and 2 actively used telescopes.  Both of my scopes are computer assisted.  One is full GoTO and one is a PushTo ( no motors). And any future scopes will be computer assisted as well. I received strong recommendation to stay away from low end equatorial mounts. And, from talking to people who have them it seems I received excellent advice.  I was at an astronomy club meeting last night.  There was a new guy there talking about getting his first scope and the advice was to avoid low end EQ mounts.  You do with that what you wish.  But until I can afford or have need for a $500 or higher cost EQ mount, I will be staying away from them.Now, questions for you.

How much experience do you have with astronomy?  Friends? Club?  Do you look up at the sky and know the local stars and constellations?
Where will you keep this telescope?  3rd floor walk up apartment?  Unheated garage?  Living room?
how dark are your skies?  Find your location on the map and tell us the color.  I am in a dark white area, the second worst.http://darksitefinde...maps/world.html
Where will you be observing?  home? park?  Vacation?
Are you prepared to get to know charts and maps in order to learn star hopping? Sounds like you are.

These are questions I ask everyone. Let's me know more about you to help me advise you.

I would suggest you by, or pick up at the library, "Turn Left at Orion".  A wonderful book that will teach you about telescopes and what you can REALLY expect to see in the eyepiece.  Too many enter this thinking the are going to see sights like the photos in books only to discover that that is not what we see.Now some suggestions.

Get a pair of binoculars. Something between $25 and $75. 8X40 or 10X50s.  Here are some suggestions. These should all be better then the ones I started with. Mine were from Harbor Freight and cost $20.  Got me started. These should be better than my first pair..

https://www.amazon.c...inoculars&psc=1
https://www.amazon.c...inoculars&psc=1
https://www.amazon.c...bak4 binoculars

Combine these with Turn Let at Orion
https://www.amazon.c...n left at orion

Go explore the sky for 30 to 60 days.  You will be amazed by what is up there that you could not see, especially if your skies are darker than mine.Continue to study telescopes.  Build up some more cash.  Meanwhile, learn the sky. You said you wanted to learn the sky. This is a great way to get started.Find a local astronomy club.  Go to a couple of meetings. Talk to the members.  Attend one of their public observation events.  See the scopes.  Look through the eyepieces. Have a ball.  Bring your binoculars.If you just have to buy a telescope today then:Zhumel Z8 Dosonian - This is about the most scope you can get for $400
Good optics, eyepieces and finder scope.  But perhaps bigger than you want for camping.
https://www.telescop...ector-telescopeTracking Table Top Dob - Smaller, more portable and will track your targets  Starblast 114 autotracker
http://www.telescope...21/p/106875.uts

The two tabletop dobs you mentioned are good choices but some people find table top Dobs to be very inconvenient to use. Refractors are great travel scopes as well as good in general especially for planets.

90 mm
http://www.telescope...21/p/103111.uts

102 mm computerized refractor
https://www.amazon.c...actor telescopeAnd a Catadioptic that is close to your price

127mm Computerized Mak
https://www.amazon.c...actor+telescopeIf you have no astronomy experience, Binos, book, club, learn, then buy the scope.

Greg Fleming

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Re: Telescope & binoculars for a newbie :)
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2018, 01:29:46 AM »
"How´s the quality of the tripod and EQ mount in the spaceprobe?"

Some complain of vibrations, but most of the user-reviews are favourable towards the kit overall. Always read the user-reviews within the listing, throughout the internet within this site and that, and before deciding. Read what the actual users have to say.

"Which one would you recommend for a beginner?"

This one has the best focusser, which is very important, but it also has a very basic primary-mirror cell, and like that of the Zhumell Z130 mentioned earlier...

https://www.telescop...czDnRoCvj3w_wcB

How did you mount the Starblast on the tripod? That´s cool!"

The optical-tube of the StarBlast 6 comes with tube-rings, so all I had to do was to add a Vixen-type dovetail bar in order to attach it to a tripod-type mount...
I even added a portion of a leather belt as a strap with which to carry it, which also helps in positioning the tube when attaching it to the mount.

Pros and cons, decisions decisions...


Zeek Letter

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Re: Telescope & binoculars for a newbie :)
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2018, 09:26:59 PM »
Quote
Hello!

I´m newbie in the telescope/binocular world, but really interested in starting in this awesome hobby to observe planets, nebulae, galaxies and star clusters. Been searching info and trying to learn as much as I can but there are a lot of options, so I need your advice. From what I´ve read, seems like a good idea to have both a telescope and binoculars, but I have a budget of spending maximum $400. What do you think, should I get both or for now just a good telescope? Binoculars seem like a really good extra to start learning more about the constellations and I can take them everywhere more easily.

Haven´t found yet which binoculars could be best for my use & budget but for telescopes, been looking at these options:

- Meade Lightbridge Mini 130
- Orion Starblast 6
- Meade Polaris 130 f/5 EQ
- Celestron Astromaster 130EQ

Prefer a telescope with no GoTo mount, it´s going to be harder to use but will help me learn more about the position of the celestial objects, the satisfaction of finding them and well, they´re mostly more expensive.

The telescopes with the dobsonian mount look very simple, grab & go, but doesn´t seem very practical, probably I´ll always need a table or flat surface to put it at a higher level (than ground) that´s more comfortable. What are your opinions on the dobsonian mounts?

And just to add, I go as often as I can camping, on average 1 weekend per month and sometimes just a quick 1 day trip out of town to get away from the light pollution and watch the night sky (With the telescope and/or binoculars I´ll go more often out of town).

If there´s any other info I could share that could be helpful for your advice/recommendation, let me know!

Thanks in advance for your help,

Juan

Oh my god, the amount of resources people want you to spend is amazing. What you should do is ignore all of it for the moment. By now your head’s spinning as you are not only confused, but dreaming of all the possibilities. I’ve been at this decades and I’m confused. All the brands, models and specifications, for crying out loud, STOP. And I guarantee your new interest won’t survive one or two years, if that. The telescope will end up for sale on line or in a closet only to be damaged.
The first question should be, “What do you have now?” Binoculars? Yes, are they good quality? Yes? At least 40mm objectives? Yes. Good, get a used copy of Nortons Star Atlas, Amazon.com for a buck, and read the sections about using binoculars. Skip the next paragraph, it does not apply to you.
No binoculars? Go to Orion.com and order nothing less than 50mm at 8x. 7x is too low, the exit pupils, the images you look at, at the eyepieces are too big and you’ll only use about 40 or 45mm of the objectives. Any comments? I’ve done the math, that’s final. There are 56mm, but anything bigger is too heavy, and too expensive, for first timers. Stay out of sporting good stores, though they used to have good ones, and department stores. They’re junk. You notice I didn’t mention a brand. Very simple, it does not matter, all the binos at Orion are decent quality. Just stay away from high power and zoom types. Nothing but frustration here. While you’re at it order that Nortons from Amazon.
Finally, get a red LED observing light or put some red tail light repair tape over a small white LED flashlight. Why LED? Simple, they last hours and only the cheapest won’t survive a drop on pavement, and you will drop it. Get out under the stars and learn star hopping. Make your first project the stars of the Dig Dipper, Cygnus, etc. Lay down and just spend a half hour, or so, practicing, jumping from one star to the next. And in Cygnus, the star clouds through good binoculars are not to be missed. If, after a couple months of using them you think it’s for you, you’ve got equipment you will use a whole lot, even long after you have a telescope. And they will many times be your only means to see some objects. Don’t believe me? Try to find the North America Nebula with a comparative light bucket 8” f/6. But through good quality 50x8 binoculars even at a moderately dark site it pops into view. It’s still warm enough and the Milky Way is still positioned well, so get the atlas and binos ordered. While you’re at it, pay a visit to star parties. Ask the owners of a couple of scopes if they could let you practice with theirs. If they’re decent people, they’ll elmer you, an Amateur Radio term, on the proper use of it and selection of eyepieces, for example. And, if this is not your thing, you got a dandy set if good binoculars out of the deal.
Okay, so, you really want to know what your first scope should be? After a couple months, at least, with binoculars, try for something light and portable. But you really should have aperture. For example, those pretty Questars and Prontos are, shall we say, really cool. But at over $1200 for 90mm, in the case of the Questar, they’re not that cool. Try for at least 5 inches/127mm. Like performance car hobbies, the only substitute for cubic inches is cubic money, and it’s no different with telescopes as far as area of aperture. Except in this case, no amount of money can make a 70 or 90mm objective perform like 200. Used is okay, but you must be able to try it out. Join a club and ask around. Someone has or knows someone who has a nice scope they’re looking to get out of storage and replace with money. I suggest around 4 to 6 inches and self contained. Something like a Meade or Celestron of about 5”. If it has GOTO and you honestly wish to learn "Old School", and you should, just don't use it. It can be handy in light polluted skys and when you're the one showing the sky at public star parties. Like the binoculars it’s a step, and it’s perfect for vacations/holidays when you’ve got a pile of other stuff not related going and you can’t take your “main equipment”. It fits in it’s own suitcase. This is not going to happen with an 8 inch or larger Dobson mounted scope.
No, I don’t own one, in fact, everything I have is home made. And they are all on equatorial mounts. In the past I might have suggested older designs or building your own like I do, but times have changed and you must adapt. There's plenty of time to build a main instrument or rebuild and bring back to life and older one. How long have I been at this? 40 years, so I know what I’m talking about. Feel free to private message me, I don’t have a dog in this fight other than seeing to it you aren’t “confused out” of this pursuit.
Chuck

Darkz Tousa

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Re: Telescope & binoculars for a newbie :)
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2018, 04:25:20 AM »
Quote
@Tony Flanders: What do you think about the Zhumell 130? Recommended also by Sky Muse, looks like a really nice option to start.
I thought I had answered this, but apparently the answer didn't "take." So here it is again.

The Zhumell 130 is an outstanding telescope for its price, as are the Meade LightBridge Mini 130 and the Astronomers Without Borders OneSky. All three scopes have essentially identical optics, and their optics very good indeed. I don't think you can do better for $200.

rankkozical

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Re: Telescope & binoculars for a newbie :)
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2018, 07:48:53 PM »
Hello!

@tony_spina: Thank you Tony, I´ll keep the Bushnell Legacy WP as the #1 option for binocular.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

@aeajr: Thanks a lot for the elaborate response, appreciate your point of view as you said, everyone has different opinions but it´s important to look for as many POV as possible to try to find the one that´s more similar to my own.

Regarding your questions..

- Experience with astronomy?: I don´t have a lot of experience, I like reading magazines & on the internet, but for now I know very little. I recently bought the book “Astronomy 101: From the sun and moon to wormholes and warp drive, key theories, discoveries, and facts about the universe”, but just started reading it (So far I´ve liked it a lot).

- Friends & club?: To be honest, I don´t have friends that are very interested in astronomy. And I don´t belong to club, but found out there´s one in Tijuana, that´s just 2 hours from where I´m from so I´ll try to meet them.

- Know the local stars & constellations?: About 3 weeks ago, bought a “Guide to the stars” planisphere, so whenever I get out of town, I´m trying to learn & know as much as I can of the stars and constellations.

- Where will you keep your telescope?: I want to keep it in my room.

- How dark are your skies?: Seems like I´m at the brightest part of the color, I attached a screenshot of the map. The positive side is that I don´t have to go too far to get away from the light pollution. (Where the white star is located in the map is the San Pedro Martir Observatory).

- Where will you be observing?: I don´t know how much I´ll be able to see in the city, but will do it mostly out of town. Trying to go camping or 1 day trip to somewhere out of the city, minimum 1 time a month.

- Are you prepared to get to know the charts and maps in order to learn start hoping?: Yes I am, as I mentioned above, I´m trying to use as much as I can the planisphere to know where the local starts and constellations are.

I already ordered the book “Turn left on Orion”, thanks for the recommendation.

Binoculars:

Yesterday an uncle lent me the binoculars he had from a long time ago, they´re the “Tasco sonoma 7-21x40”, tried them at night but couldn´t see much more than with my eyes. Probably not useful for this use. But regarding the options you mention, I´m leaning towards the “Bushnell Legacy WP”, as tony_spina also recommended.

This weekend I´ll try to go out of town with my planisphere and start learning about the sky. Meanwhile, like you said, I´ll keep learning more about telescopes and getting into an astronomy club or finding local people with experience.

The Zhumell Z8 Dobsonian it´s definitely bigger than what I´m looking for, but will keep it as possible option. Like the Tracking Table Top Dob, but I´m looking for a manual telescope, I know it will be harder but can help me learn more about where the celestial objects are located.

About the two Dobs I mentioned, I´m leaning more towards the Orion Starblast 6, and I can also mount it to a tripod. But like some mentioned, I can make a box to transport it and use it to position the Dob higher at a more comfortable level. Thanks for the recommendations in refractors and catadioptic.

I´ll start for now with your recommendation “If you have no astronomy experience, Binos, books, club, learns, then buy scope”.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

@sky_muse: Thank you! I´ll keep the EQ in mind but maybe save it for later when I know more about telescopes and buy a computerized one.

Leaning towards a dobsonian, so I´ll look for one that has tube rings so I can add the Vixen-type dovetail and tripod.

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@palomarjack: Hello Chuck and thanks a lot for the response!

My head is totally spinning, super confused of all the options and possibilities available jajaja thanks for the advice of stopping to analyze how serious I am about entering this hobby. I´ve wanted for a while to get a telescope, but it wasn´t until I went to the Palomar Observatory (3 weeks ago), got really motivated and bought there the planisphere. I want this interest to be a lifelong activity, I´ll try to keep it that way and won´t be selling the telescope, maybe just getting a better one in the future and lending the first one to fellow beginner astronomers (But that´s just going way ahead).

No binoculars, leaning towards the Bushnell Legacy WP.

I already have a red LED headlamp, and this weekend I´ll go out of the city to start learning star hoping. Haven´t found astronomy parties where I live, but found one in a city nearby, so I´ll visit them soon.

I´d like to use the scope the “old school” way, but while I´m learning more about the sky with my planisphere and binos, I´ll save more and maybe get a GoTo.

My options for the moment are:

- Zhumell z130
- Orion Starblast 6

Thanks again and will do my best to not get confused out of the pursuit!

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@Tony Flanders: I wanted to know more about your opinion of the scope, in the previous post you mentioned Dobs were simple and you loved them, but not much about the Zhumell.

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Where the arrow is pointing is where I live, Mexicali. And the San Pedro Martir Observatory is located where the white star is. bbcodeImage-js (do not remove or edit this tag)

Paul Kasilowski

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Re: Telescope & binoculars for a newbie :)
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2018, 05:21:51 AM »
Selected specifications for the two telescopes:

Sky-Watcher 6" Dobsonian Telescope
Diameter 153mm
Focal Length 1200mm (~48 inches)
F/Ratio F/7.8
Weight 5.78Kgs (12.7 lbs)

Orion SkyQuest XT6 Classic Dobsonian Telescope
Optical diameter 150mm
Focal length1200mm (~48 inches)
Focal ratiof/8.0
Length of optical tube 45.5 in.
Weight, optical tube 13.5 lbs.
Weight, mount/tripod 20.9 lbs.
Weight, fully assembled 34.4 lbs.

The lengths and weights (12.7 lbs for the Sky-Watcher vs. 13.5 lbs for the Orion) of the optical tube assemblies of the two telescopes are practically the same. The Sky-Watcher's mount is a bit heavier than the Orion's.

There's a user review athttp://www.cloudynig...-dobsonian-r471

Dave Mitsky