Old 13-10-2023, 12:06 PM
Rod-AR127 (Rod)
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Rod-AR127 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 204
Binoculars V's Telescope

Being a relative newbie to astronomy I'd like to share with others my experiences with my equipment.
Not having used telescopes or binoculars to view the night sky and not having access to anyone or any club that does, l have gone down the same path as a lot of you and done as much research as l could and not bought from a department store.
Eventually you have to spend dollars.

1st. About 5 or 10 yrs ago l bought a 5in(127mm)/1200fl achromatic refractor on eq mount. Looks impresive, works ok, big and heavy with a non-goto mount. Not that portable without a big car or van. Needs better eye pieces. After 5yrs of bumbling around l plan to put it on an alt azimuth mount because the slow mo cables are out of reach half the time and slewing around the sky is cumbersome.
I did manage to view Uranus which was not easy,so many jokes there.

2nd. 10x50 binoculars. Great for finding objects like Octans quickly, and super portable for camping. They take 10 seconds to get out of their case so any clear sky can be interrogated instantly. Everyone should have some 10x50 binoculars, you'll be outside every night if only for 10mins.

3rd. About 18 months ago l bought a Star adventurer gti with Evo 72mm/400fl refractor. Yay a goto mount at last!
I can't see Octans from my backyard so still not able to polar align, too inexperienced/ lazy or busy to drift align so not astro photography for me yet. I do have a very good idea of where true south is due to marking the Solar noon shadow on my pavers.
Love knowing what I'm actually looking at, has helped to learn a bit about the sky. Nothing beats time on the job looking up though. Got me back outside and enjoying this hobby. Noticeably less magnification from my 5" frac but better glass means it's still a great view.

4th. My new Celestron Skymaster 20x80 binoculars.
First use was in bortle 2 (possibly1) sky and l could see hundreds of stars in the one viewing area.
Was completely lost in the night sky until l got my 10x50's out and had a wider field of view and half the magnification.
Had them out in bortle 6 sky here in Perth and saw 10 stars in the view. Brighter start clusters, colour in some variable stars and a small field of view about the size of my thumb nail at arms length. 15mm square.
Definitely need a reasonable tripod for extended steady viewing and comfort. A 2m tall one also.

I did have a 5in newtonion a long time ago, far easier and cheaper than the 5in frac but a lot more fragile and with open optics, dust on the mirror was a thing.

I would have to say my favorite piece of equipment is the Star adv with the 72mm, using 2" Star diagonal and 2" 30mm eyepiece. Big clear view and then go for higher magnification if needed. Light enough to carry all set up, 10mins to 3 star align. It does get lost once in a while but quickly rectified with another star alignment
I have a 2.5 x barlow lens, l rarely use it.

Followed by the 10x50 binoculars used as a spotting scope or when travelling.

The 5" refractor is specific to planets and some brighter deeper space objects.

The 20x80 binoculars l see as dark sky travelling buddies, maybe spotters for dimmer objects, ships at see and spotting foxes on the neighbouring farms at dusk. Only had them for a week now the jury is out for use in light polluted skies.

Too answer my opening statement, Binoculars or Telescope...
10x50's for a tight budget as they are multi use. If you don't get outside and look up with them, you will never get a larger telescope out to use.
Small refractor like a 72mm evo for just astronomy.
Bigger telescope when you've learnt what your doing and have a proper budget.

Lastly, it's true what they say that the quality of a tripod and mount needed to enjoy this hobby will cost as much, if not more, than the optical device you put on it.

That's my 2 1/2 cents worth, all common sense really.
Clear skies to all.
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Old 26-02-2024, 02:33 PM
humner (Rob)
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humner is offline
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 5
I agree with all of this.

While i have had a lot of fun with a 100mm reflector telescope, I feel like I'm wanting to go in the reverse and simplify the setup now.

I have a nice pair of Nikon binoculars already and want to pair it with a nice tripod.
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