Buying a first telescope?

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Main Question or Discussion Point

Hello!
I want to buy a telescope so I can get into astronomy but I have no idea what to look for. I done a bit of research but none of it has been very helpful :(. My budget is a maximum of £100. Does anyone know some good beginner telescopes I could get? I'm also interested in astro-photography but I know my budget may not stretch to it.
Thanks!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Hi, Zoiona, and welcome to Physics Forums!

Have you seen this sticky thread we have (4 pages)? : https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/planning-to-buy-a-first-telescope.391086/

By the way, I recently bought a really cheap ($35) telescope and posted about it in that thread (my post is here). I am a beginner when it comes to telescopes, so I will not come with any advice to you, but there are other experienced people on this forum which may have some good suggestions.
 
  • #3
sophiecentaur
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The best solution for you will depend on what you want to do with the scope, where you live or can use it and how big a load you can conveniently carry about.
The best advice I can give you is that you must not buy anything in haste. Read a lot of posts which ask the same question, on this (see above link) and other forums and you will gradually find out the questions that you really should be asking and have the best chance of fitting your real requirements. Boring and you probably want to buy something tomorrow but use a little patience. Change your mind several times before you actually buy something.
There is some excellent second hand stuff available. Only last year I bought (eBay) an 8inch Dobsonian Skywatcher which cost me £150. That may be a bit above your price but it was really good value.
You could always choose to buy Binoculars and a sturdy camera tripod with adaptor. Very portable, easy to use and great for learning what's what and where, up there.
 
  • #4
stefan r
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I bought a cheap telescope for my niece. Binoculars work better and are easier. I personally do not have one. We have too much light pollution here. Also we have an astronomy club on a mountain 20 minutes away and they have two 30cm and a few smaller.

If the telescope is better than binoculars then you need to worry about a good tripod. It is frustrating if you think you saw something and then can not find it.
 
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Please give a short answer. Simple question, hoping simple answer. Sky Watcher Virtuoso Mak 90 or Orion StarBlast 4.5. Avoid lectures please.Thanks.
 
  • #6
russ_watters
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Please give a short answer. Simple question, hoping simple answer. Sky Watcher Virtuoso Mak 90 or Orion StarBlast 4.5. Avoid lectures please.Thanks.
Orion StarBlast 4.5.
 
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  • #7
sophiecentaur
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Avoid lectures please.Thanks.
You need to read around a lot if you don't want useful advice from PF. There is no simple answer because it depends on where and when you plan to use it. If you are a beginner then you don't know what you will want to look at. The difference between 4.5 and 3.5 inch apertures will affect how much light gets in (small one will let 60% light in - ball park figure and could be relevant)
Did you consider the second hand market? Many people sell scopes after finding they never use them and you can get good deals.
Sorry but the list of things to think about is endless.
 
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  • #8
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Given your current equipment as on your web link I can't see why you are asking this without some additional context. Might as well toss a coin.
Regards Andrew

PS I messed up I some how thought russ was asking and I looked at his site thinking it was JerryDobe. My basic reaction still stands.
 
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  • #9
russ_watters
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You need to read around a lot if you don't want useful advice from PF. There is no simple answer because it depends on where and when you plan to use it...
Sorry but the list of things to think about is endless.
Agreed; I gave the simple answer asked for, but I don't endorse just taking the simple answer and running with it.
 
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  • #10
HankDorsett
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Hello!
I want to buy a telescope so I can get into astronomy but I have no idea what to look for. I done a bit of research but none of it has been very helpful :(. My budget is a maximum of £100. Does anyone know some good beginner telescopes I could get? I'm also interested in astro-photography but I know my budget may not stretch to it.
Thanks!
To stretch your budget go used. A five to 10-year old top-of-the-line model is better than something new at that price point.
 
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  • #11
sophiecentaur
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To stretch your budget go used. A five to 10-year old top-of-the-line model is better than something new at that price point.
If it's humanly possible, avoid buying anything from a non-specialist store. There is all sorts of rubbish on sale in department stores which has more money spent on the shiny plastic 'chrome' decorations than on the eyepiece optics. Those scopes usually find themselves at the back of a cupboard or in the attic, having been used once or twice and then been forgotten.
It may be unsatisfactory to contemplate the alternative of a pair of binoculars but binoculars are produced in large numbers and, for equivalent prices, give much better performance and value. You can get a really not bad pair of binos for enough under £100 to allow you also to buy a basic camera tripod.
If you are still set on a telescope then auction items on eBay can be great value. Don't be in a hurry and 'watch' a few items to find how much they go for and go for something within driving distance. Get to recognise the manufacturer's names and look at the new prices on dealers' sites.
 
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