My niece is looking for telescope for her husband for Christmas. He's going through an astronomy fad.

    Any site recommendations, on Earth, preferably?


    maybe not what your looking for but i was watching bid up tv the other day and they where selling 1 and it went for £30. Not that i know anything about telescopes:-(

    But just thought i would mention it.:)

    Any site recommendations, on Earth, preferably?

    :giggle: i'm easily amused

    £11,999.99 FOR A TELESCOPE - BARGAIN !!!

    I'm sure we all have a spare twleve grand laying about so we look a bit closer at those little lights in the sky - I'm shocked and stunned !!!


    Original Poster


    £11,999.99 FOR A TELESCOPE - BARGAIN !!!

    That's an astronomical amount of money but you'd easily see where it went!

    Thanks all.

    not sure if its anygood but there is one from tescos. check it out…spx

    Hi. It's a few years since I was seriously into astronomy so I'm not up with prices, but this should help.

    Most "department store" telescopes are outrageously over marketed with claims that are simply misleading at best and outright dishonest at worst. First of all the claims for magnification are true, but not of any value. These telescopes will not produce anything but a blur for any magnification larger than about 150X. Secondly, the mounts are usually so wobbly that the view through the scope is at best unstable. Thirdly, the finder scopes are usually worthless for actually finding anything in the main scope. The fancy digital scopes that find everything for you are no better either. Ignore the pretty pictures on the box, the images through a small telescope will never look like a professional astrophotograph! Many a person has become very disappointed and discouraged after struggling with a department store telescope. This includes shops like Argos. Avoid these at all costs.

    When I was looking to buy my first telescope most serious astronomers recommended a good pair of binoculars instead. Don't rush to buy a telescope -- learn your way around the sky first. You will be surprised what you can see with binoculars. With a pair of 10X50's You can see craters on the Moon, the rapidly orbiting moons of Jupiter, great gas clouds in Orion (in which new stars are being born), the Andromeda Galaxy, clouds of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy, double stars, etc. Many people fancy using a telescope, but often the reality of standing outside for long periods in the cold hits home. At least you can use binoculars for other things if the astronomy bug goes. (Astronomical telescopes turn the image upside down, so they are no good for terrestial viewing without an adapter)

    If push comes to shove and you really want a recommendation, I'd suggest a 6 to 8 inch Dobsonian reflector. These look like small cannons, but give the brightest view for the money and are easy for adults and children to use. When I was looking the Europa range from Orion Optics were always highly recommended and good value for money. Their website is ]http//ww….uk They start at around £400, slightly more if you go for the same telescope on a mount. There are plenty of other manufacturers as well as lots of advice available on the net and forums happy to help newcomers.

    I am an astronomer (partly retired due to disability) and I can thoroughly recommend an 80mm f6.2 refractor on an EQ3-2 mount with single drive as a minimum spec.

    I wrote several reviews on such, one of which is at, search for me as g8ina and you'll find a lot of info on what is what with scopes.

    I still have my Revelation 80mm f6.2, but only use it as a telephoto lens for my Nikon D70 now.

    I'd be happy to help further with a yes/no on anything you find but first you need to set a budget. My system above can be had for about £300 ish.

    Here is a good start, a list of the Startravel scopes :…htm

    Original Poster

    Thanks very much for your kind help. I'll need to chat to my neice to see what the logistics and budget are.

    Original Poster

    I've gone cross-eyed looking at telescopes. Can I have your thought on the Meade DS-2070AT which Telescope Planet boasts to be down from £300 to £200 but which Telescope House has at £150?



    Personally I wouldn't touch it. You can get a good 70mm refractor for way less than that. You are paying plenty here for the computer controls that come with it which are at best unreliable and, at worst, useless. The mount is poor and likely to be unsteady. Meades tend to be more expensive than many makes over here due to the price fixing and restricted suppliers from the USA.

    I wouldn't recommend a 70mm refractor anyway, but that's not so say that the earlier poster is wrong. It's a matter of opinion based on personal experience and both of our opinions might be wrong for you!

    I have a 80mm refractor and it's o.k. for the moon, but hopeless for planets and star clusters (excellent for the ospreys and geese on the loch, though!). To me it's not a lot better than binoculars and nowhere near the image of a larger refractor (I have a 150mm) or a decent 150/200mm reflector, but it might be o.k. for you. I have no light pollution living in the middle of nowhere, but if I did, that would affect my choice as well.

    Plenty of local astronomy clubs have star parties where beginners can try out different telescopes and binoculars. That might help avoid a costly mistake. Astronomers tend to be a friendly bunch, just don't expect a consensus of opinion about what to get!

    Of course, one alternative *is* binoculars !

    The Strathspey 15x70s are extremely good VFM at under a ton and give a very wide field of view. All you need is a decent tripod and clamp and you're off.

    John at Strathspey is also very approachable and knowledgeable, but mind he doesnt talk your ears off

    I concur with the idea of findiing a local astro club, and see if they have loan scopes to try out. Also, try asking in…php - you'll have to join (free, no spam), but it's full of astronomers with more ideas than you can shake a stick at.

    Oh, and I also say NO to that Meade (sorry Meade).

    Original Poster

    Thanks again comrades! There seems to be very few tripods catering for 6-footers like me!

    You could build your own. It's not that difficult and I'm no craftsman. I had a similar problem from the other perspective, being 5'3"......A good solid wood tripod with the supplied mount on top is much heavier, and therefore more stable, than most supplied ones. I can send you a photo of mine, if that helps.

    Many commercial tripods will extend quite high, but, of course, the higher you extend it, the more shaky it will become, as a rule.


    Thanks again comrades! There seems to be very few tripods catering for … Thanks again comrades! There seems to be very few tripods catering for 6-footers like me!

    Im also tall at 6'3", and have used a surveyors tripod for many years. Available at ebay for around £30-£100, well worth a look. You will need an adaptor for the scope mount, but that's easy enough if you have a metal basher handy.

    example :…502

    £30 BIN.
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