Author Topic: ultimate sub 100$ gift telescope  (Read 656 times)

John Jankowski

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Re: ultimate sub 100$ gift telescope
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2018, 11:45:04 PM »
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Low cost Telescopes

http://www.skyandtel...ost-telescopes/
http://www.scoperevi.../page1af.html#2

Starblast 70 - Not a bad choice - I would not mind having one of these.
http://www.telescope...28/p/103110.uts

Close - I considered buying this one at one time.
http://www.telescope...28/p/102008.utsCelestron Travel Scope - Not a bad choice if you want portability.I wouldn't mind having one of these.
http://www.telescope...pe-70-telescope


You have 214 posts and I know you are not a newbie.I presume this is for someone else but I have not idea what their background would be. Let me share some thought about telescopes when it comes to newbies.

* Start with your eyes. There is so much you can see with your eyes except at the most light polluted sites. I am in a very light polluted location and I can still see the brighter stars of the major constellations. Get to know their names.

* Telescopes - it is not about the magnification it is about the aperture. Telescopes gather light. The more light they gather the better you can see the dimmer objects and the more you can magnify the image. A 50 mm telescope that shows 500X on the box simply can't gather enough night time light to be useful at 500X. Maybe during the day, maybe. I do a lot of my observations at 120X or less.

* The advantage of binoculars is that they are quick to use and provide wide fields of view. 10X50s commonly provide a 6 degree field of view. You see a lot of sky which means you see and learn in context. Even 50 mm binoculars can show you a lot that you can't see with the naked eye. But it can be hard to hold them steady. Anything over 10X really needs a tripod.

* One of the advantages of a telescope over binoculars is that it is mounted. Another is that they usually have interchangeable eyepieces so you can select different magnificaitons. And any telescope that uses a 1.25" eyepiece can share eyepieces with any other telescope. The 1.25" eyepiece is pretty much standard. Avoid telescopes using the older .965 eyepiece size.

* Focal Length of telescopes.The lower the focal length, FL,number the wider the field of view for any given eyepiece. Since I started with binoculars and LOVE that wide field of view my first telescope was a short focal length, 400 mm scope, with an 80 mm aperture. With at 26 mm eyepiece it gives me 15X and 3.4 degree field of view. Wonderful! a 2000 mm FL telescope, using the same eyepiece would provide 77X but only a .65degree field of view. You get more of a "looking through a tunnel"effect. So things are more magnified but you see them in less context of the stars around them.

* All telescopes can be used to view all celestial objects but some are better for planets, typically longer FL scopes, and some are better for deep sky, typically shorter FL scopes. Some celestial objects, such as the Pleiades or the Andromeda Galaxy will not fit in a narrow field of view.

All telescopes are compromises so whatever you get there will be another option. If you look at people's listed equipment in their signatures you will see that many have binoculars, a short FL scope and a longer FL scope.

Likewise people will have smaller scopes which they like for quick set-up or grab-and-go in addition to a large aperture telescope for those dimmer objects.

So, whatever you get as your first scope, consider it your introductory scope. And figure what role it will fulfill later. Assuming you stay with the hobby you will likely get another scope at some time in the future. What role will that one fill.

My progression was 10X50 binoculars first. Then I added a400 mm FL/80 mm aperture goto scope which is now my grab and go scope. Then I added an 8" reflector on a dobsonian mount which is my big scope.

You can start anywhere but don't be concerned that you are going to make a serious mistake and fail. Just look at your first scope in this context. Since your budget is limited I recommended 70 to 90 mm short FL scopes as your first scope. Others have followed different paths and will make different suggestions. This has been my journey and the basis of my recommendations.You will get differing opinions about where is the best place to start.

retpoiwerround

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Re: ultimate sub 100$ gift telescope
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2018, 01:16:40 PM »
Celestron Powerseeker 114mm AZ, f8 Newtonian, $60 shipped. Leaves enough money for 1 good eyepiece or two used ones. At least glue some black velvet opposite the focuser.

Good deals on craigslist. Do an online price check. If they ask more than 2/3 the scope price new, give them a counter offer. Inspect it. If anything is wrong, drop your offer.

teoknoxparli

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Re: ultimate sub 100$ gift telescope
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2018, 02:09:04 PM »
almost under 100 dollars. http://www.bhphotovi..._Refractor.html

I am actually wanting to get one of these for a solar scope to use on my CG4 and to use the alt-az mount for binoculars somehow.

ryepittimy

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Re: ultimate sub 100$ gift telescope
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2018, 12:23:44 AM »
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Celestron Powerseeker 114mm AZ, f8 Newtonian, $60 shipped. Leaves enough money for 1 good eyepiece or two used ones. At least glue some black velvet opposite the focuser.

Have you actually used this scope? Looking at the picture, there are several things that make me very, very worried. First and most important, the tripod looks inadequate for a scope that size. Also, the focuser is set into the tube horizontally. It's startling how much worse that is than setting it in halfway between vertical and horizontal. Does not give me a warm fuzzy feeling about the attention to detail.

curnarenche

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Re: ultimate sub 100$ gift telescope
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2018, 05:23:48 AM »
I like the bino idea over a shaky mount cheap scope. Now if one of Tony's scopes in that report, then scope wins out. If you can't see the moon in a pair of 8x42 or 10x50, you got more issues than an underperforming instrument....

There are a bunch of clusters that are amazing in binos. Andromeda is available to view in light grey or better LP zone. I can spot it and I'm near white zone. Planets are a big wow factor unless you can't get the view steady at all. Then planets are not so amazing. They are amazing if you can see features. Binos can also be used in the daytime for terrestrial objects or even at night for terrestrial objects if in a brightly lit city with some lit up landmarks. 10x50's and 8x42's enough to see four moons around Jupiter.

If the budget can be upped enough to get the AWB OneSky, then all will be golden.

Robert Spencer

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Re: ultimate sub 100$ gift telescope
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2018, 01:10:17 PM »
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Quote

Celestron Powerseeker 114mm AZ, f8 Newtonian, $60 shipped. Leaves enough money for 1 good eyepiece or two used ones. At least glue some black velvet opposite the focuser.

Have you actually used this scope? Looking at the picture, there are several things that make me very, very worried. First and most important, the tripod looks inadequate for a scope that size. Also, the focuser is set into the tube horizontally. It's startling how much worse that is than setting it in halfway between vertical and horizontal. Does not give me a warm fuzzy feeling about the attention to detail.

Tony:

I think that Aaron (Stargazer 193857) has one of these and has spent a fair amount of time working with it, struggling with it.

But I agree with you, like most inexpensive scopes, the tripod is woefully inadequate, this one more so because of the longer and heavier tube. The only saving grace is that it's a Newtonian so the tripod legs can be kept short. The horizontal focuser is a real problem too, it makes viewing most of the sky awkward and uncomfortable, even with an an adjustable chair it's literally a pain in the neck. As you say, angled focusers are just so much better.

The undersized tripod and the horizontal focuser are a particularly undesirable combination because to view comfortably, it is necessary to raise the tripod height which makes it even more shaky and vibration prone.

As far as the Ultimate Under $100 gift telescope, I have go with Tony's recommendations. Tony has been on this since the days before he was with Sky and Telescope. One scope that he has continuously recommended over the past 15 years or so is the Orion SpaceProbe 76mm, I believe he recommends the Equatorial version which is $120 rather than the Alt-Az version which is $100.

I have never owned one these but I have spent some time with a couple of them, they are surprisingly competent telescopes. Nice clean views.. A 76mm Newtonian with a 700mm focal length is capable of a 2.2 degree TFoV, plenty for the Pleiades and for starhopping. The F/9.3 focal ratio is very forgiving. One advantage of the Equatorial version is that it can be used in the ALT-AZ mode by simply pointing the polar axis at the Zenith. That capability alone makes it worth the extra $20.. Instead of a rather limited alt-az mount, you have an Alt-AZ mount with slow motion controls...
One thing I respect Orion for: Even the simplest Orion scope will have decent eyepieces, 3 element Kellners. Many inexpensive telescopes come with 2 element Huygenian and Ramsden eyepieces, Kellner's are just so much better, they're real eyepieces.
Jon

Marlin Riewer

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Re: ultimate sub 100$ gift telescope
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2018, 06:20:05 PM »
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Quote

Quote

Celestron Powerseeker 114mm AZ, f8 Newtonian, $60 shipped. Leaves enough money for 1 good eyepiece or two used ones. At least glue some black velvet opposite the focuser.

Have you actually used this scope? Looking at the picture, there are several things that make me very, very worried. First and most important, the tripod looks inadequate for a scope that size. Also, the focuser is set into the tube horizontally. It's startling how much worse that is than setting it in halfway between vertical and horizontal. Does not give me a warm fuzzy feeling about the attention to detail.

Tony:

I think that Aaron (Stargazer 193857) has one of these and has spent a fair amount of time working with it, struggling with it.

But I agree with you, like most inexpensive scopes, the tripod is woefully inadequate, this one more so because of the longer and heavier tube. The only saving grace is that it's a Newtonian so the tripod legs can be kept short. The horizontal focuser is a real problem too, it makes viewing most of the sky awkward and uncomfortable, even with an an adjustable chair it's literally a pain in the neck. As you say, angled focusers are just so much better.

The undersized tripod and the horizontal focuser are a particularly undesirable combination because to view comfortably, it is necessary to raise the tripod height which makes it even more shaky and vibration prone.

Jon
Mount looks like the EQ 1
Not a great or even good mount.
The 100 dollar price range is tuff. Almost all the scopes have less than desirable mounts.
Said many time before a bad tripod can make the scope unusable or very difficult and then it gathers dust not photons.

Trendsetters Branch

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Re: ultimate sub 100$ gift telescope
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2018, 08:58:42 PM »
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It is an EQ-1. In my experience, the eq-1 itself is a decent mount if it is not overloaded with too much scope. The Spaceprobe 76 only weighs 4 pounds so it's a reasonable match considering the price.

Jon

Lance Soto

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Re: ultimate sub 100$ gift telescope
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2018, 09:02:22 PM »
I don't have a Powerseeker scope but I have read so many poor reviews of the line, primarily due to the weak mount, that I don't recommend them to people. I can't try every scope personally so I do follow reports and this remark has been pretty consistent on the Powerseeker line.

I have seen several suggestions for the Orion Spaceprobe.
http://www.telescope...39/p/102295.utsAgain, never used one but I have an old Tasco 3"/76mm that is very very similar. The Tasco works fine even though it has the old .965 eyepieces. The Spaceprobe uses standard 1.25 eyepieces. I have had Saturn in the eyepiece at 112X and it looked pretty good.

Major issue with that mount is that, while the fine adjustment wheel on the side works OK for tracking you also have to swing the scope to keep the targets in view and there is no manual control for that, you have to grab the mount to move it. Works but it is not as smooth as a mount that has slow motion wheels. Still, as a first scope it works with the Tasco so I imagine it will work with the Spaceprobe.

Jason Meyer

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Re: ultimate sub 100$ gift telescope
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2018, 03:26:44 PM »
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As far as the Ultimate Under $100 gift telescope, I have go with Tony's recommendations. Tony has been on this since the days before he was with Sky and Telescope. One scope that he has continuously recommended over the past 15 years or so is the Orion SpaceProbe 76mm, I believe he recommends the Equatorial version which is $120 rather than the Alt-Az version which is $100.

No, I have only reviewed the alt-az version. It's startlingly smooth and stable -- something that you would never guess just from looking at the pictures. Many very wobbly scopes are put on mounts that look almost identical.
I'm reluctant to recommend the equatorial version of this scope because the tube is bolted directly to the mount, rather than being in rings. That means that it can't be rotated, which makes it essentially unuseable over much of the sky when used in equatorial mode. It's true that it probably works just fine in alt-azimuth mode. But since the native alt-az mount is cheaper, lighter, and simpler, and works just fine, why not go with that instead?

<p class="citation">Quote
One thing I respect Orion for: Even the simplest Orion scope will have decent eyepieces, 3 element Kellners. Many inexpensive telescopes come with 2 element Huygenian and Ramsden eyepieces, Kellner's are just so much better, they're real eyepieces.
[/quote]
Absolutely. And it's not just the eyepieces. Many other manufacturers or vendors sell good beginner scopes, but it always seems a little hit or miss. You'll get a highly respectable scope listed right next to one that's pretty bad. Attention to details is often missing, as in the horizontal focuser of the Celestron 114 alt-az reflector -- something that would cost precisely zero extra to do correctly.

Orion, by contrast, clearly cares about its beginner scopes. They don't always get it right, but they make a sincere effort. Some of their beginner scopes are better than others, but I've never seen one that was terrible.

tranasrixpans

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Re: ultimate sub 100$ gift telescope
« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2018, 12:17:35 PM »
In general I think 76mm reflectors are a bad idea. Even if they're well executed, 70mm refractors are too close in price and would certainly be better. 114mm reflectors suffer a bit from this as well, except the dobs (because a dob will have a good, stable mounting and are ultra-portable, while a 90mm refractor is starting to really need a good mount).

neukascome

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Re: ultimate sub 100$ gift telescope
« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2018, 03:21:58 PM »
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In general I think 76mm reflectors are a bad idea. Even if they're well executed, 70mm refractors are too close in price and would certainly be better. 114mm reflectors suffer a bit from this as well, except the dobs (because a dob will have a good, stable mounting and are ultra-portable, while a 90mm refractor is starting to really need a good mount).

I have compared the SpaceProbe 3 alt-az (76-mm reflector) side by side with the Orion 70-mm Observer Atl-Az refractor. The refractor is superior optically, but the reflector is much more stable and easier to use.

veworltonuc

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Re: ultimate sub 100$ gift telescope
« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2018, 01:00:19 AM »
The Orion SpaceProbe 3 alt-az is the refractive-simulation of this...

http://www.telescope...yCategoryId=331

Pablo Abreu

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Re: ultimate sub 100$ gift telescope
« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2018, 05:06:04 AM »
Look for a gently used 114mm F8 ( long tube) on an EQ2 from a decent name. I bet you can find a good one for about 50 bills. Craigslist and Ebay are your friends.

Michael Shen

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Re: ultimate sub 100$ gift telescope
« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2018, 05:54:20 AM »
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In general I think 76mm reflectors are a bad idea. Even if they're well executed, 76mm refractors are too close in price and would certainly be better. 114mm reflectors suffer a bit from this as well, except the dobs (because a dob will have a good, stable mounting and are ultra-portable, while a 90mm refractor is starting to really need a good mount).
Long tube (f9 or f10) 76mm Newtons are BETTER than cheap 70mm f10 refractors.I have used both.