#1  
Old 09-12-2019, 10:00 PM
mhealy (Mike)
Registered User

mhealy is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2
Telescope for around $400

Hello,
I'm looking to get into astronomy and have about $400 to purchase a telescope. Does anyone have recommendations on the best bang for buck?
Thanks
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-12-2019, 11:20 PM
Outcast's Avatar
Outcast (Carlton)
Always gonna be a NOOB...

Outcast is online now
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cairns, Qld
Posts: 1,082
Hi Mike

Welcome to the forum; you are going to get a lot of advice from folk on here on what you can get for $400... all of it good advice, some will tell you that you need to work out what you want to do with it, others will chime in with how a dobsonian represents best bang for buck, all of this advice is right & wrong... IMHO

The best bang for buck is the telescope you actually use, the one that won't sit in the corner because you don't want to lug it outside, the one you can happily fit in your car, along with your family (if you have one) & one that is simple to use...

So, when considering all the very good advice that the many very knowledgeable & generous natured people on the forum will offer you in the form of guidance... remember to question in your mind 'will I actually use it'.. the best way to figure this out after everyone chimes in with the varying types of telescopes you might buy with your $400 is to go to a shop & physically look at their size and weight or even better if you can, go to an astro club night & see what people are using, how long it takes them to setup & packup, what are the views like...

I started my astro journey with a set of binoculars, I then bought a refractor... I now own more types of telescopes than I know what to do with but, over time, they all have one major, major thing in common.. they all get used, regularly...

So, please listen to all the advice that people will proffer, go and physically checkout what these various scopes look like, their bulk, their weight, etc.. & then figure out which one suits you the best as a first scope... remember, you can always buy more when your interest increases & your budget allows... there is no ONE perfect scope but, there is always the one that suits you best, is within your allotted budget & will actually be used... that is the perfect first scope, nothing more, nothing less...
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-12-2019, 11:37 PM
Outcast's Avatar
Outcast (Carlton)
Always gonna be a NOOB...

Outcast is online now
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cairns, Qld
Posts: 1,082
Sorry,

I will add a couple of suggestions to look at around your budget..

80mm Short tube refractor on simple az/alt mount - https://skywatcheraustralia.com.au/p...az3-refractor/ AZ3 not the greatest mount ever made but, you could talk to BINTEL about the scope coupled with a better mount & still come close to your budget.
6" full size dobsonian - https://skywatcheraustralia.com.au/p...sic-dobsonian/ these are somewhat bigger & bulkier but, will deliver exceptional views, I acknowledge, a little above your budget not including eyepieces.
4 - 5" table top dobsonian - don't for one minute underestimate what you can see with a 5" newtonian.. I own a vixen 5" it is an absolute stunner of a scope.

These will all pretty much be in the ball park of your budget but, they vary in size & weight. Coupled with 3 reasonable quality plossl eyepieces in a low/medium/high power focal length & you are up & running...

Noting your are in Sydney, go and see the guys at BINTEL... be firm about your budget & check out what they have for you to physically see & at least play with in the store. The Bintel branded plossls are not a bad starting point for eyepieces & are considerably better than the cheap rubbish packaged with most mass produced scopes...

None of these have goto capability unless you want to add considerable funds to the equation so, you will need to learn your way around the sky...

Most importantly, stay away from stores like Australian Geographic, whilst they do stock some excellent scopes, the ones in your price bracket are cheap junk & will only serve to disappoint. Also, to be honest, stay away from EQ mounts to start with.. you will have enough challenges just getting going & learning the sky without having to figure out the mechanics of an EQ mount...

There are other equally good quality brands, I only picked these because they were simple for me to find & link to this post.. stay away from the celestron astromasters & skywatcher cheapie scopes, there are other quality brands producing equally garbage scopes too but, these companies also produce some little gems...

That's it... haven't really got anything more to say at this point... just remember, the best scope is the one you will actually use....

Last edited by Outcast; 09-12-2019 at 11:49 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-12-2019, 05:49 AM
Allan_L's Avatar
Allan_L (Allan)
Member > 10year club

Allan_L is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Central Coast NSW
Posts: 3,218
Hi Mike,
Welcome to IceInSpace

What part of Sydney are you in?
As mentioned by Carlton, it would be ideal to turn up at a local observing session to have a look at options and chat. Most are very friendly and love sharing information and experiences. We all started somewhere.

People will ask you what you intend to do with it, so as to recommend the best setup for that. However, if you are like me and most people sticking their toe in the hobby, you may not know.

Don't make the mistake of saying mainly observing but may want to take photos too. As this will generally end up with you being sold a Newtonian on an EQ mount. (that is an equatorial mount). As Carlton mentioned, these are problematic to use for several reasons, but essential for quality long exposure photography.

A Newtonian on a Dobsonian mount is simple to use, best bang for buck as far as what you can see for your dollar and most recommended beginner scope. And they are resellable. Note from y signature, I still use one as my main scope.

Happy to discus further with you or chat one on one if you are near the Central Coast.

Also, as you'd imagine, this is a very common question. So if you do a search you should find lots of previously delivered advice on the subject.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-12-2019, 06:23 AM
Malcolm
Registered User

Malcolm is offline
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Lismore NSW Australia
Posts: 230
https://www.ozscopes.com.au/skywatch...telescope.html


This could do the job. $354 including postage from Melbourne. With a WiFi dongle can be full GOTO with the SkyWatcher Synscan app and SkySafari on a smartphone. I bought one as a travel-scope.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-12-2019, 06:43 AM
Startrek (Martin)
Registered User

Startrek is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,761
Hi Mike
Welcome to IIS
The best bang for buck visual telescope is definitely a “dobsonian” ( Newtonian reflector telescope on a dobsonian mount )
Bintel have the Skywatcher 6” for around $450 and comes with some Plössl eye pieces to get you started. For some people a 6” is a scope for life but that not to say it will be your only telescope. If you want to image ( long exposure astrophotography) at some stage in the future that’s a whole different ball game.
If you go for the 6” dob , later on you can buy an iPhone holder which fits on the focuser through an eye piece and you can take great photos of the moon and bright stars.With some skill and luck later you can snag a planet or 2. A dob can be an entry point into “Astrophotography on the cheap” as well as being your prime visual telescope
The guys at Bintel are of great help , but if you want to speak to someone I admire there because of his 40years experience in the hobby , it’s definitely Don. He got me started in the hobby nearly 4 years ago with a Dobsonian
telescope and was hooked from the start. Took some great moon shots with my old iPhone as well , no holder bracket , just holding the iPhone against an eye piece
I’m sure others will offer some great advice as well
Good Luck with your Astro journey
Cheers
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-12-2019, 09:54 AM
mhealy (Mike)
Registered User

mhealy is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2
Hi Carlton, Malcolm, Allan and Martin.
Thanks very much for the replies and the excellent advice. I'm in Sydney, but plan to use the scope out west, where the skies are much darker. After considering your comments and doing a lot of Googling, and also chatting to a guy at Bintel, I think I'll go for the full size 6" dobsonian. Once again, thanks very much for the help.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-12-2019, 11:52 AM
Outcast's Avatar
Outcast (Carlton)
Always gonna be a NOOB...

Outcast is online now
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cairns, Qld
Posts: 1,082
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +10. The time is now 02:45 PM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.7 | Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Advertisement
Bintel
Advertisement
Testar
Advertisement
NexDome Observatories
Advertisement
Limpet Controller
Advertisement
Astronomy and Electronics Centre
Advertisement