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Is it worth it?

  1. Mar 3, 2004 #1
    I've been thinking of getting a telescope. At first I was looking at the cheaper models that weren't too impresive but then I found the Knous 500. It's a 4.5" f5 telescope that comes with mount, tripod, RA motor with hand control, sight scope, polar scope, moon filters and two eye pieces for $159.00. It isn't capable of working with any goto technology unless you get a mount that has goto. But then I was looking at the 8" Konussky 200, which is an f5, RA and Dec motor controls, tripod , two eye pieces, a camera adaptor for digital cameras, sight scope, polar scope, and moon filters for $519.00. But then I saw the Mead LDX55 8" for $699 with no goto. It has only one eye piece, mount, RA and Dec motor with hand control.

    So I think for just starting out the Konus 500 is a great deal, but is it worth it to get the larger scopes, I mean is it all that much fun?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 3, 2004 #2


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    What's your experience level? If you're just starting out, then don't get a telescope. Get large aperature binoculars instead. They'll show less but they'll be fun, educational, easier, cheaper, and more mobile.

    A 4.5" scope will get you some good basic sights. I'm kind of guessing, but it seems that 8" to 12" is a good range for a serious/experienced stargazer.

    Fun? Certainly, if you love astronomy.
  4. Mar 3, 2004 #3


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    Forget the Chinese achromatic refractors. Most are not worth owning for any price. Particularly, try to stay away from the short-focus (low f-ratio) achromats, because they will show a lot of false color.

    Also, forget equatorial mounts - they are expensive and unnecessary unless you're doing photography (and a Chinese achromat won't be useful for any photography anyway).

    What you want to start with is a fairly large aperture, high-quality Dobsonian reflector, like the Orion SkyQuest series, seen here:


    They're the ultimate in ease-of-use. You plop them on the ground, and point at things. You can even buy an optional computer that will help you find targets. You will not find as much aperture for as low a price anywhere else. Orion manufacturers some killer scopes for people just getting started.

    If space is tight and you don't want a large refractor, you might want to consider the Orion ShortTube 80. It's a popular grab-and-go scope. It *is* a short-focus achromat, so it has drawbacks. If you buy an achromat, consider buying a minus-violet filter to cut down on the false color. The Sirius MV20 is my minus-violet filter of choice.

    Don't forget to pick up a unity-gain finder like a Telrad or a Rigel QuickPoint to go along with your new scope.

    If you didn't understand a word I just said, please ask for a clarification.

    - Warren
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2004
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