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Telescope Talk: recommend one for $200ish if you're in the know
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: November 24, 2020 10:47AM
I'm in the market for something that would be used on occasion, doesn't need to be moved much (although brought indoors during winter months), has a sturdy tripod or can be mounted on a camera tripod. Not sure on type but strictly to use for "big event" peeping. Thanks.
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Re: Telescope Talk: recommend one for $200ish if you're in the know
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: November 24, 2020 11:00AM
Don't. Just don't. Cheap telescopes will drive you batty. Expensive telescopes require major commitment in terms of cash and level of observation time.

A good pair of binoculars will be best for events. And lots easier to use for everyone.

That said.. a reflector is better than a refractor. Celestron still is highly rated.

Best of luck, and may you enjoy the infinite dance of the stars.
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Re: Telescope Talk: recommend one for $200ish if you're in the know
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: November 24, 2020 11:08AM
Ok. Binoculars would also work. Recommendations on that, too, are welcome.
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Re: Telescope Talk: recommend one for $200ish if you're in the know
Posted by: Ken Sp.
Date: November 24, 2020 11:51AM
After seeing the deal yesterday, today pops up on the Costco special this telescope. I may cancel my order on the less than $100 one and pick this one up.
[www.costco.com]
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Re: Telescope Talk: recommend one for $200ish if you're in the know
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: November 24, 2020 12:14PM
.....the longer......the better......??



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Telescope Talk: recommend one for $200ish if you're in the know
Posted by: michaelb
Date: November 24, 2020 02:22PM
This can be tricky, and I don't have one, but at minimum, you want an equatorial mount or for it to be motor controlled (using an app even). It is amazing how fast objects move out of view, even at modest magnification, so keeping the image in view while you focus and look is the ever changing challenge. So the mount/tripod is more important or at last as important as the optics at that price point.
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Re: Telescope Talk: recommend one for $200ish if you're in the know
Posted by: mikebw
Date: November 24, 2020 03:07PM
I have fond memories of looking through a telescope with my Dad.

"OK son look now"
"hmm, I don't see anything"
He adjusts the aim
"OK try again"
"Ahh, I see it, but now it's gone again"

etc...

I eventually learned to turn the right knobs.

Best memory was of him setting it up during full sun and burning a hole in a pad of paper- DO NOT LOOK INSIDE!
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Re: Telescope Talk: recommend one for $200ish if you're in the know
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: November 24, 2020 03:36PM
$200 is a tough bar to meet for decent optics...
The biggest hurdles for a "cheap" telescope are stability, and aperture size.

For both, the best "bang for the buck" is a dobsonian mounted reflector telescope - but $200 is still tough to do!

I just stumbled on this searching for what a small 'dob' costs these days (looks like the old "standby" beginners size of 8" is closer to $450).

[optcorp.com]

They're out of stock, but from my quick glance, it looks like it would be a nice stable mount, and a 5" aperature, which isn't bad! That for $210.

Shop around and look for the biggest aperture Dobsonian-style mounted 'scope you can find.
IMHO...



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Telescope Talk: recommend one for $200ish if you're in the know
Posted by: davester
Date: November 24, 2020 05:50PM
What exactly do you mean by "big event" peeping? Are we talking eclipses and planets, or are we talking about "the neighbor lady left her curtains open again"?

One of my best telescope evenings was when I took Astronomy 1 at UC Berkeley. They had a very large telescope in a dome on the roof of the Astronomy building. After looking at stars for several hours one calm evening we trained it on San Francisco (about 10 miles away) and were amazed at the detail that we could see inside people's offices and apartments at that distance.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Telescope Talk: recommend one for $200ish if you're in the know
Posted by: pdq
Date: November 25, 2020 10:19AM
So, ever since I was a kid growing up during the space race, I’ve had an itch to get a telescope. Built a 6” reflector as a teen, but on the cheap, which made the field of view unsteady, and it had no clock drive. Kind of underwhelming.

These days, being less short of money, I wonder about buying a nice (Celestron?) Schmidt-Cassegrain with a go-to motorized mount with a fairly large mirror, yet still compact. My theory is that if you bought a good used one, and took care of it, you could then resell it in the future for nearly what you paid for it, making the cost of (temporary) ownership low.

True?
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