Skip to comments.Need of Freeper help to buy telescope
Posted on 03/18/2012 3:18:14 PM PDT by w4women
I am looking to buy my husband a telescope for his birthday and would appreciate any guidance from Freeper Friends. I want to spend less than $500 - he is a novice so looking for ease of set-up and use. Thanks in advance!
Ping me if you get some good answers, I like telescopes........
What would he use it for? There’s a big difference between a telescope that would be used for amateur astronomy and one that would be used for terrestrial viewing (bird watching, etc.).
Maybe swampsniper has some thoughts.......
Edmund Scientific is good.
A pair of binoculars would be better at that price point.
I just bought an Orion for my stepfather for XMas. It was over $1k, but one thing I learned is that a lot of scopes these days come with computer/iPad control. Calibrate, and then you can use an app like SkySafari to punch in what you want to look at. Don’t know if motorized scopes are in that price range. Also, auto-tracking is good, it’s amazing how fast objects move and it’s a pain to have to manually adjust the scope as you’re viewing. My 1.5 cents.
Anyone on the APOD list who can assist this nice freeper?
He will use it for astronomy - star and planet gazing. Thanks for all comments so far!
This is perfect for stargazing as well as terrestrial use: http://shop.usa.canon.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10051_10051_172516_-1
Shop around and you can get it for less than the retail price.
I bought an inexpensive telescope about 10 years ago. It had a lot of features, but the glass was not great. It could show me a lot of things, but never in focus or without distortion.
It got so frustrating that I just gave up the hobby before it was really born. Motor drives and computers and all the gadgets in the world aren’t worth as much as some good glass.
Unfortunately, glass is expensive.
they make several in the $199-$300 range,
but if you can go to $570 this is a great entry/mid level scope that's pretty much all he could ever need/want
Celestron 127mm Computer Controlled Advanced Cassegrain Telescope
"Celestron designed this telescope to be the perfect entry level to mid-level telescope. The Celestron 127mm Computer Controlled Advanced Cassegrain Telescope is designed to give you a sophisticated telescope in an easy to use package. Celestron patented SkyAlign system makes aligning this telescope as easy as looking up into the night sky. Just point the telescope at any three bright objects and you're ready to go. And where are you going? Well, anywhere you want really. The built-in computer has an object database of 4000 space objects. That includes all the planets and popular deep-space celestial bodies, like galaxies and nebulae. You'll se more objects with this telescope in one night than Galileo saw in his lifetime."
The Celestron 127mm Computer Controlled Advanced Cassegrain Telescope
This is a nice scope around $500.
One bit of advice I would give is that the quality of the mount is just as important as the telescope itself. If you can get something with a sturdy equatorial mount that has a computer drive, it would be worth the money you pay for it. In the link above, the equatorial mounts are those where the telescope doesn't sit directly on the tripod but instead is fixed to a small arm with counterweights at the other end. Without getting too complicated ... this arrangement allows the "arm" of the mount to be pointed at a single point in the sky around which the telescope can rotate to maintain its focus on an object as the earth turns.
I'm not sure what the circumstances of this gift are, but is it possible for your husband should be involved in selecting it? I don't want to ruin a surprise gift, but with this kind of thing I'd want him to be comfortable with what he's getting before you spend the $500 on it.
You can see a very good offering of scopes at Orion Telescope and Binocular http://www.telescope.com/
Long focal ratio refractors are the best for planetary viewing, shorter focal ratio reflectors and refractors for deep sky. Whatever you pick out, get a really solid mount. The stuff at Walmart, etc. is junk. A bad mount will spoil any desire to pursue star gazing further. I’d go for a manual mount rather than an automated one. You will learn to locate stuff (not that hard) and it takes time to set up the auto mounts. Also, get a mount with slow motion controls. Not sure if you can squeeze this into $500 but you might come close. Feel free to Freepmail me with any questions. I have about 8 small scopes - all refractors.
$499.00 with free shipping at B&H Photo.
If you’re husband hasn’t first spent a fair amount of time stargazing with the naked eye, then with some 7 x 50 binoculars, a telescope is pretty useless.
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