advive please

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advive please

Postby Sir John Maguire » Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:10 pm

I am considering buying my first scope and admit to being a novice.
Believe it or not my local Lidl supermarket is advertising this. A Bresser Skylux 70mm refractor, 700mm focal length with tripod, eyepieces etc. This is £50.
Will it be any use at all for planetary observation?
I would appreciate any comments, Peter
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RE: advive please

Postby keithmorris » Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:43 pm

As the old saying goes, you pays your money and takes your chances. I have bought a few of these cheapies and later on wished I had waited and bought something better! But seriuosly, it really all depends on what you want to view and if you intend to do any imaging. Take a look at ebay, there is a bloke on there from Felixstowe (I think) called uk-direct. These are quite cheap but are very usable telescopes, you can even add a RA drive to them. I bought one about a year ago (I was using a Tasco Galaxy see 114mm reflector at that time) and this one I bought on ebay was at least 6 times better. The only complaint I have is the supplied eyepieces do not have the usual universal threads to take filters, but you can over come this by removing thr chrome barrel on them and replacing them with different ones. But all in all this is a pretty good scope for a starter scope. Even though I now have a Meade LXD75 10" Schmitt Newtonian telescope I still use this one from time to time.
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RE: advive please

Postby andyrawlins » Fri Dec 09, 2005 8:50 pm

You really want to avoid the cheep stuff. 70mm single lense refractor isn't going to be very good. The larger the diameter, the more you will see. Many scopes also have bafles which restrict the actual apature, so check that the actual internal diameter of the tube is not blocked by anything. I would recommend at least 80mm if you intend to enjoy observing the solor system and beyond. Aslo spare some cash for accessories such as filters, extra eyepieces, barlow lenses etc. Have a good look around online before you rush into buying anything. At the same time, don't spend too much on your first scope - save that for your second scope by which time you will have a better idea what you need, but avoid the cheep stuff which will only serve to put you off and lose interest!
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RE: advive please

Postby nozzmoking » Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:40 pm

Hi Peter,

I too own a scope bought from the ebay dealer (around the £130 mark), and also agree it is a very good starter scope. Nice views of Saturn and its rings, Jupiter's belts + 4 moons, Mars with some detail, if you're lucky, and great views of our Moon. Some local galaxies are also viewable.

There are 2 supplied lenses (pl25mm + pl6.5mm) however, the 6.5 is quite poor. Also included is 2 X Barlow, and an Erecting Eyepiece (for flipping the viewing image the correct way up) although this seriously degrades the image, so not much use. A Moon filter is also supplied.

I would consider this a great starter scope for someone on a budget. It will give you many hours of enjoyment.

What I would definately recommend, before you decide on your purchase, is checking out your nearest astronomy club. They will probably have at least 6 different scopes set up and, if it's a clear night, you will be able to try out all the scopes and also get to chat with the owner and find out how the scope is to live with. Some clubs even operated a lending service. So you can try before you buy!

As the previous posters indicated, I would steer clear of the real cheapie stuff, as you will probably end up being very disappointed. Really just toys.

Noz.

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RE: advive please

Postby jsc248 » Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:56 pm

Hi Petermartin5,
Th rule of thumb in these matters is 3" for refractors and 6" for reflectors if you want to get significantly good observation results. This telescope whilst may bea good quality scope is really too small for any good results.
Hope this helps.
jsc248.
To me astronomy is looking up and thinking "What the heck is going on up there!!"
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RE: advive please

Postby nozzmoking » Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:56 pm

[color=#0000ff][i]M42 says:[/i] Even though I now have a Meade LXD75 10" Schmitt Newtonian telescope I still use this one from time to time.[/color]
[color=#0000ff][/color]
[color=#ffffff][color=#ffffff]M42,[/color] I don't want to hijack Peter's thread but I'd like to ask you about your choice of 2nd scope; what were your main considerations, price?, features?, make? etc., and what are the biggest differences between a hi-quality precision instrument, and a £130 ebay scope. (I've been seriously considering the LXD 8" version). I'll start a new thread, about 2nd scope choice etc. Hope you can post. [/color]


Noz.
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RE: advive please

Postby andyrawlins » Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:56 pm

Nozzmoking, that 6.5mm eyepiece sounds way too overpowered for the scope assuming the scope is around 70mm. May I suggest you get a 32mm and a 10mm (maximum) to add to your setup. Combined with your existing 26mm and 2x barlow, that should give you the best results. The 32mm will give you great, bright wide views, and the 10mm will get you about as close as you can go to brighter objects such as Mars ans Saturn as well as close observation of the moon.
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RE: advive please

Postby nozzmoking » Fri Dec 09, 2005 10:30 pm

Hi Al,

You must be a mind reader! I've been looking at a bunch of write-ups over the last couple of weeks as I am sure this scope could perform better with some half-decent optics. Many thanks for the suggestions. In your experience, and bearing in mind this is a budget scope, how much do you think I should spend on each eyepiece? I will certainly not go for the cheapest (as that is what I have now), but wondered at what level, quality-wise, you think I should be pitching at? I get a bit miffed when viewing the Moon, due to the image flipping, and my Erecting Eyepiece is useless. Are there some decent ones around, and do you think it's worth spending money on?

Cheers in advance for any more thoughts!

Noz
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RE: advive please

Postby andyrawlins » Sat Dec 10, 2005 4:03 am

[quote]ORIGINAL: nozzmoking

Hi Al,

You must be a mind reader! I've been looking at a bunch of write-ups over the last couple of weeks as I am sure this scope could perform better with some half-decent optics. Many thanks for the suggestions. In your experience, and bearing in mind this is a budget scope, how much do you think I should spend on each eyepiece? I will certainly not go for the cheapest (as that is what I have now), but wondered at what level, quality-wise, you think I should be pitching at? I get a bit miffed when viewing the Moon, due to the image flipping, and my Erecting Eyepiece is useless. Are there some decent ones around, and do you think it's worth spending money on?

Cheers in advance for any more thoughts!

Noz
[/quote]

OK I will try to help, but please bear in mind that I am not an expert, and you should back this up with advice from a reliable dealer.

Eyepieces - quality wise, go for the best you can afford. They will last you a life time and can be transfered to your second, third etc scope. By using a barlow lens you can effectively turn one eyepiece into two. So for example, a 32mm eyepiece used with a 2x barlow will give you 16mm. This can be handy to get by on while you build up your collection of eyepieces, but ultimately you want to have as fewer lenses between your eye and the heavens as possible as each one can be an obstacle to the light - this is more of a factor with cheaper lenses especially. In other words I think a 10mm lens will give you better, brighter results than a 20mm lens through a 2x barlow.

Eyepieces come in various styles too. Most eyepieces that are supplied with new scopes tend to be basic, and have a narrow field of view. The wider the field of view, the more expensive the eyepiece will be, but there are in-betweens available. If you wear glasses you may want to think about long eye relief eyepieces. Again that pushes the cost up.

It really depends if you are into this for the long term, or if you suspect that your telescope is going to end up gathering dust on a shelf after you've used it a few times (* my first one did for quite a while). Catch 22 is that people often give up due to frustration which is often caused by substandard equipment (* that's why!). However, no one wants to spend too much money on a new hobby which may not last. If you imagine that you will be here for the long term, then investing in good quality eyepieces now is not a bad plan. You may upgrade your scope in a year or two, but you will still have your extra eyepieces!

Erecting diagonal - Personally I have never bothered with one. I should imagine most of us here view the heavens upside-down, and it's something you quite easily get used to after a while. Again these accessories come in low cost forms and expensive forms - the more you spend, generally the better it will be. Once again I would view an erecting diagonal as an extra obstacle for the light to get through. With a smaller aperture scope, and for that matter any size scope, the more light you can squeeze through it, the better. So, do you really need one? There are many who say that a mirror is better than a prism, and I think they might be right in as far as I think you will get more light through a good mirror.

Based on all that, I would personally say, if you don't want to spend too much just yet, go for a good quality 32mm wide angle eyepiece. Combined with your existing eyepiece and 2x barlow, that will give you 32mm + 16mm and 25mm + 12.5mm which is a good range to start with. Put the 6.5mm eyepiece and erecting diagonal away in a box somewhere, and stick with a mirror diagonal and see how that goes.
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RE: advive please

Postby nozzmoking » Sun Dec 11, 2005 1:43 am

Thanks Al, really useful advice!

I'm certainly in this hobby for life, it's only now that the kids are pretty much grown up, I can justify spending a bit more money on myself for a change!

The eyepiece information was a real tutorial. I see what you mean about covering all the bases with your choice of lenses.

I now have a clear impression of what I need to buy. I'd been hanging back from getting more lenses as I'm thinking of a second scope, but now you've pointed out the fact that I can use these on any future scopes then it makes sense to get some now.

Cheers as always Al !

Noz
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