First telescope...what you wish you'd known

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First telescope...what you wish you'd known

Postby 4thpage » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:22 pm

I've read through forums, and I don't think I've seen this question asked exactly this way before, so...

I'm just considering buying my first telescope, and I'm not really looking for advice on which specific one to get. I'm really wondering more what you've learned that you wish you'd known before buying your first. At the moment, I think I want to be able to see it all: planets, the Moon, DSOs; but I'm assuming after I've been at it a while, I might gravitate further one way or another and I'll find the things I thought were important, I don't think are important anymore.

In all your own personal experiences, what has become most important to you and how does that translate into what you value more now in a particular telescope and mount design than you thought you did when you were shopping for your first one (ex. do you wish you'd gotten something more portable, do you wish you'd gotten the biggest aperture for your money, do you wish you'd gone altazimuth or EQ or tracking or GOTO, do you wish you'd gotten something to make planets and moon show better contrast and detail, etc.?)?

I live in about a 4 sky and have only as low as 3 within driving distance, but not close enough that I'd realistically go to the 3 sky more than once a month. Storage and vehicle transport aren't really a problem. I'm not looking to spend more than $700 to get started.

And feel free to suggest actual models if you want. :-)
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Re: First telescope...what you wish you'd known

Postby The Man with the Corrugated Iron Roof » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:05 pm

Funny, as I'm writing a book on the subject!

I'd go for a small, short tube refractor. If you can push your budget a bit, you could get a Startravel 80 ED. ED is higher quality. It will show you the Moon, a bit of the planets but great views of deep sky objects. You will find that your interests evolve with time but your the telescope I described would be great for astrophotography.
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Re: First telescope...what you wish you'd known

Postby dave.b » Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:21 pm

If I'd known that I'd stick at it then spending more first time round would have helped.

Whilst I've gone as big as an 8" SCT that gets used in my light polluted yard, what's driving me now is compact portability because the available space in my car for my stuff on family holidays is very limited.

There's now a trend in short focal length apo triplet refractors that would be a good choice. An ultra portable mount that's capable of astrophotography is the other canundrum!
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