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Old 10-04-2015, 06:28 PM
shelbyrtraynor
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Beginners Telescope

I'm looking for a telescope but don't want to spend too much - about $150. I'm going between the SkyWatch 76mm Dobsonian Telescope or the National Geographic 76/350 Compact Dobsonian Telescope (cheaper option between the two). I really want it to be easy to move around so I can take it camping and what not. I'd love to hear from people who've tried either of these telescopes or who know which one would be better.

Also, does Australian Geographic often have the Skywatch in stock? The online store says it's out of stock, but I know a lot of stores will order in stock if you're going to buy.

Thanks!
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Old 10-04-2015, 08:28 PM
Wavytone
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ZKeep your pennies in your pocket - the scopes you mention are simply rubbish.

The best option is to join a local astro society and attend their observing nights - you'll get to use some good telescopes and almost certainly someone will show you what's worth looking at. Once you know more about it and what your interests are, only then consider buying a decent telescope.

By that time, if you are still determined to own one - even secondhand - you really need to look for a 100mm refractor or 150 mm reflector of some sort. The snag is that these cost $500-$1000 secondhand - and then there is the question of eyepieces which are north of $50 apiece.

Many here spend more than your whole budget on just one good eyepiece.
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Old 10-04-2015, 09:08 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Yep, I'd agree with that assessment. Those 76mm dobs are pretty much designed to put people off astronomy. Best bet, join a local society and start saving the pennies. If looking for a good visual starter scope an 8" dob is usually the best bet IMHO. Here in the Vic the ASV has a loan scheme, not sure if there is an equivalent in WA.

Cheers
Malcolm
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Old 10-04-2015, 10:26 PM
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CJ (Chris)
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These are a bit higher than your budget but a few of us here have started with one of these, me included. Quite good in terms of quality, and portable, but a bit quirky in use. There are several threads about them on this forum.
http://www.ozscopes.com.au/skywatche...telescope.html
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Old 11-04-2015, 07:16 AM
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Slawomir (Suavi)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelbyrtraynor View Post
I really want it to be easy to move around so I can take it camping and what not.
You could get nice binoculars, 8x42 or 10x50 would be ideal. I will dare to say that binos for $150 would give you much clearer views of the nightsky than a telescope for $150 (let's not forget you would also need to get a mount and an eyepiece).

In addition, binoculars are super easy to move around
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Old 14-04-2015, 02:53 PM
shelbyrtraynor
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Thanks everyone. Unfortunately I don't really have the time to join an astro society - I'm a student, journalism at that, so a lot of my free time is spent either writing or on campus in the studio.

I think my best option is to consider buying later on, even though I'm keen to now. It might be better to leave it till I have the money to spend however much I need to. Binoculars could be the safest option at this point!

Like everyone I would love to be able to spend tonnes on a telescope! Ah, I really hope I'll have that luxury in the future
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Old 14-04-2015, 03:04 PM
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rustigsmed (Russell)
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Originally Posted by Slawomir View Post
You could get nice binoculars, 8x42 or 10x50 would be ideal. I will dare to say that binos for $150 would give you much clearer views of the nightsky than a telescope for $150 (let's not forget you would also need to get a mount and an eyepiece).

In addition, binoculars are super easy to move around
Yep for that budget I too would recommend binoculars
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Old 15-04-2015, 05:29 PM
shelbyrtraynor
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I'm going with binoculars - I've heard that a lot of people do start with them first as well and now that I think about it I know I will for sure get a lot of use out of them because they are so much more portable.

I want to get a 10x50 but have also seen good reviews for one other. Anyone have any recommendations? (keep in mind, if I can get a good look at the moon then I'll be appeased for now )

So far:
http://shop.australiangeographic.com...ars-10x50.html

http://store.space.com/index.php/skywatching/binoculars/celestron-cometron-7x50-binoculars.html?&ICID=SPACE-best-binoculars-2014-10-23

(Also, has anyone got a clue where I can buy the celestron cometron 7x50 in Aus? I'm having real trouble online, and international shipping is insane)

Last edited by shelbyrtraynor; 15-04-2015 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 15-04-2015, 06:02 PM
croweater (Richard)
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G,day, I would recommend the pentax xcf 10x50's on Bintel's site. Currently $40 dollars off at $139. I now have some larger Vixen binos but once owned the pentax(were stolen). They are very nice and will be keepers.(If not ripped off!) The good quality will be appreciated for years and you will tend to use them more. Great in daytime too.Cheers, Richard
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Old 15-04-2015, 07:03 PM
SkyWatch (Dean)
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Originally Posted by croweater View Post
G,day, I would recommend the pentax xcf 10x50's on Bintel's site. Currently $40 dollars off at $139. I now have some larger Vixen binos but once owned the pentax(were stolen). They are very nice and will be keepers.(If not ripped off!) The good quality will be appreciated for years and you will tend to use them more. Great in daytime too.Cheers, Richard
I agree: nice binos for the price, and can't really go wrong with them. However, the Olympus DPS I are also excellent, and you can get them at Ted's or Diamond's for around $125. I would equate these a bit closer to the Pentax PCF's, which are a step up from the XCF's and about $100 dearer.

All the best,

Dean

PS: the Orion SkyScanner 100 dob (see http://www.bintel.com.au/Telescopes/...oductview.aspx ) has had a lot of positive reviews as a beginners' scope. The 4" aperture makes a big difference- and both Sky&Telescope and Sky at Night rated it well. A bit over budget at $200. The other (better?) option is to keep an eye on the classifieds on this site and see if a 6" or 8" dob comes up in the near future.
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Old 15-04-2015, 09:04 PM
croweater (Richard)
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Yeah Dean, Olympus make good gear too. On reflection I believe it was pcf that I used to have. Anyway the point I meant to make is don't buy too cheap as it is false economy. Binos are something you tend to keep so buy a good pair (Don't have to go overboard on price) and those extra few dollars spent are quickly forgotten about.Cheers, Richard
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Old 16-04-2015, 02:20 PM
SkyWatch (Dean)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by croweater View Post
Yeah Dean, Olympus make good gear too. On reflection I believe it was pcf that I used to have. Anyway the point I meant to make is don't buy too cheap as it is false economy. Binos are something you tend to keep so buy a good pair (Don't have to go overboard on price) and those extra few dollars spent are quickly forgotten about.Cheers, Richard
I agree with your point totally. I reckon it is a bit of a lottery if you go under the $100-$150 mark for astro-binos: you could well end up with something that you wont be happy with down the track. Suppression of false-colour, edge sharpness (and size of the central sharp field), light throughput and general feel and build quality deteriorate considerably under that price point. And steer clear of binos with the red-coated lenses!
Personally I think it is a good idea to get them from a specialist dealer if you can as well: at least they know what they are talking about, and are more likely to have good after-sales service if there is something wrong.
- Dean
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