Telescopes.... for beginners

11
Posted 20th Nov
Okay, so I have done a bit of research, and THINK I want a Celestron PowerSeeker 70 EQ.

The scope will be my first telescope since a poor quality one as a child. So want to learn the basics again.

I know several people say just go for binoculars, I have those, I'd like a scope now.

I did wonder if it was worth getting the 80EQ? much better / worse?

Any good places to buy from, or is it a case of wherever is cheapest will be fine?

I do ideally want a refractor telescope as I intend to look at a few terrestrial objects as well.

Thank you as always for your help.

Rob
Community Updates
Ask
Top comments
Telescopes (I have a few)

There is no one telescope that does it all. Whilst when all things are equal, aperture is king, factors like light pollution, preferred targets, size and of course budget play leading roles.
As i'm sure you know, a reflector often offers the best bang for buck. You will often get many times the aperture in a reflector per given budget as you will a refractor. That in itself can be a caveat if size is an issue, along with tube/mirror cooling times often needed. These can be considerable with designs such as Maks.
A doublet refractor tends to require very little cool down (minutes), and your specified 70 will be light enough to be considered grab and go.
A few points of note are, the mount (tripod) is as important as the scope. It is no fun trying to use a manual Alt AZ type mount with high mag EP's on a poor tripod. Vibration will soon start to wear thin. With an aperture of 70mm you really are limiting your views to lunar, planetary and bright double stars. Unless you have really dark skies, you're going to struggle with anything deep sky. Even with the darkest skies, at F10 your FOV will be quite narrow, so some targets will not fit in the EP.

Hope this helps
Edited by: "steveex" 20th Nov
11 Comments
Telescopes (I have a few)

There is no one telescope that does it all. Whilst when all things are equal, aperture is king, factors like light pollution, preferred targets, size and of course budget play leading roles.
As i'm sure you know, a reflector often offers the best bang for buck. You will often get many times the aperture in a reflector per given budget as you will a refractor. That in itself can be a caveat if size is an issue, along with tube/mirror cooling times often needed. These can be considerable with designs such as Maks.
A doublet refractor tends to require very little cool down (minutes), and your specified 70 will be light enough to be considered grab and go.
A few points of note are, the mount (tripod) is as important as the scope. It is no fun trying to use a manual Alt AZ type mount with high mag EP's on a poor tripod. Vibration will soon start to wear thin. With an aperture of 70mm you really are limiting your views to lunar, planetary and bright double stars. Unless you have really dark skies, you're going to struggle with anything deep sky. Even with the darkest skies, at F10 your FOV will be quite narrow, so some targets will not fit in the EP.

Hope this helps
Edited by: "steveex" 20th Nov
I spend my money with FLO (First Light Optics) I doubt you'd find a bad word said against them. Their CS is the very definition of exemplary.
steveex20/11/2019 20:28

Telescopes (I have a few)There is no one telescope that does it all. …Telescopes (I have a few)There is no one telescope that does it all. Whilst when all things are equal, aperture is king, factors like light pollution, preferred targets, size and of course budget play leading roles.As i'm sure you know, a reflector often offers the best bang for buck. You will often get many times the aperture in a reflector per given budget as you will a refractor. That in itself can caveat if size is an issue, along with tube/mirror cooling times often needed. These can be considerable with designs such as Maks.A doublet refractor tends to require very little cool down (minutes), and your specified 70 will be light enough to be considered grab and go.A few points of note are, the mount (tripod) is as important as the scope. It is no fun trying to use a manual Alt AZ type mount with high mag EP's on a poor tripod. Vibration will soon start to wear thin. With aperture of an 70mm you really are limiting your views to lunar, planetary and bright double stars. Unless you have really dark skies, you're going to struggle with anything deep sky. Even with the darkest skies, at F10 your FOV will be quite narrow, so some targets will not fit in the EP.Hope this helps


That really help!

My sky's are not the darkest, I am in a rural area by the sea, but only 10 miles from Liverpool, so light pollution could well be a limiting factor.

I was going to go for the EQ mount to help follow objects if possible.

Do you have any experience of the powerseeker 70 versus the 80. The 80 looks better to me in all areas except aperture - which again could be limiting due to the light pollution.

Thanks again
Rob
Can i say that the secondhand market is always worth considering. UKAstroBuySell and Stargazers Lounge are generally populated by genuine enthusiasts. I don't wish to speak out of turn, and of course if your budget is £150, then thats what it is.
A short tube 80mm would probably be my recommendation. Something like a Star Travel 80mm or even better a 102mm if you are set on a refractor. These are light, short tubes. They are fast, at F5 you will get some false colour (fringing) on very bright objects. This doesnt bother some people, others find in entirely irksome. As they are fast you will lose high magnification, but they will have a wide FOV, and so in good viewing conditions will allow sweeping wide views of targets.

Put your postcode into a site called Clear Outside. This will give you a Bortle rating, and further investigation will tell you what magnitude of targets you are likely to see.

Aperture is king, and realistic expectations of what you will see. If you want Hubble views (dont we all) buy a book of Hubble shots.
This page will show you typically what you will see under good viewing conditions with a 100mm refractor.

stargazerslounge.com/top…ee/
Edited by: "steveex" 20th Nov
Is it me or is anyone else finding this discussion intriguing, love the amazing hobbies people have , wow!
With reference to the secondhand market, if you're in no rush, you can occasionally find a Skywatcher EvoStar 80ED (sometimes suffixed Pro) for circa £250. This would be a fantastic first scope. A bit heavier so mounting will require attention. This is a short tube, fast(ish) refractor but uses an ED element in the objective so false colour is minimal. This is a quality scope which will stand up to serious magnification with serious EP's and is also often used by imagers. The thing with quality is that you can buy an 8 year old 80ED for £250 (circa £500 new) and sell it in 5 years with very little (£20) or no loss whatsoever. As with anything, a budget model will have very little resell value indeed.
Edited by: "steveex" 20th Nov
Thank you again for all your help, I am reading, googling, going to the websites you recommended.... So much to learn.

My bortle is class 5, so a fair amount of light pollution as suspected in my previous posts.

I will certainly consider second hand, but with scopes I'd prefer to get from an enthusiast rather than ebay if going that route.

Can't thank you enough for all this advice and information, thank you!
Anytime
I want a telescope now
Not much else to add to the above - some excellent advice there, I'd advise 2nd hand.

My first scope was a celestron 114 on an EQ mount, found it fiddly and I didn't really know what I was doing with the EQ mount (this was before I bothered with the internet much). I wished I went for something on an alt AZ mount instead.


Personally if I was starting out I'd be looking at a reflector on a dobsonian mount. Plonk down and get viewing.

Warning - at some point you will want to start taking photos of what you observe. Happens to everyone and is when things start getting expensive (although I get some passable results on my SLT mount)
Post a comment
Avatar
@
    Text

    Discussions

    Top Merchants