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Buying a telescope?

UnknownSaintUnknownSaint KasynRegistered User regular
edited May 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
So. I'm looking for a good reflector telescope under or around the $300 range. Can anyone make any recommendations? Hopefully something semi-compact, but I still want the most powerful telescope for my money.

UnknownSaint on


  • wmelonwmelon Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I'm a fan of Orion telescopes. You should be able to get a pretty nice one for the amount you're looking to spend. I've got a 4.5" made by them and it's powerful enough to see individual craters on the moon.

    wmelon on
  • UnknownSaintUnknownSaint Kasyn Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Can you make out any deep sky objects with 'em? I'd be more interested in looking for those, rather than staring at the moon.

    Also, I wouldn't mind something that takes the proper mounts so I can possibly get some astrophotography going.

    UnknownSaint on
  • HorizonXPHorizonXP Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    It's been a while since I've been looking to buy a telescope, but I don't think prices have dropped that much. In $300, you're not going to be able to get a very large-sized reflector unless you go with a Dobsonian mount. These are great for casual viewing, but terrible for astrophotography. In my experience, the telescope is actually relatively cheap. It's the mount that kills you.

    HorizonXP on
  • UnknownSaintUnknownSaint Kasyn Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Any recommendations then? I could go a bit higher on the cash, but probably under $500 for sure.

    UnknownSaint on
  • spacerobotspacerobot Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I too, have a 4.5 inch Orion reflector (short tube). I bought it six years ago, and used it pretty regularly for maybe 2 or three years, but I havent used it recently. It's very good telescope thats great for the moon or stars. I am (was) able to identify some Messier objects with it, but it certainly is nothing like you see in pictures. Things that arent stars just kind of look like a faint cotton ball, but it's still very cool.

    I bought a solar filter with mine, and that is definitely one of my favorite aspects of it. I do recommend Orion, and if you plan on using it casually 4.5 inches should suit your needs. I think I got my telescope, extra eye piece, solar filter and lunar filter for around $300.00

    Another thing you might want to think about is where you live... I'm currently living in a Chicago suburb and can only see the brightest stars, so the telescope is fairly useless for the stars. When I go home (small rural town) I can see everything perfect and the telescope works great for stars and other objects.

    Hmmm, now I really want to get the telescope out again and use it more!

    edit: oh yeah, when I'm at home I can actually see the moons around Jupiter with it. Six years ago I was able to hold my 2 megapixel camera up to the lens and good a decent shot of jupiter and maybe 3 or 4 moons... so that size does have the power to do that!

    spacerobot on
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