Tripod Total

What is the best Telescope to buy for a first timer?

Looking for a good Telescope for amateur astronomy, with a price range not surpassing $300. Want to be able to see Saturn's Rings and distant galaxys as well as craters in the moon. Not so much for terrestrial viewing.
Tried Binoculars last night and needless to say I am not a surgeon, the stars came in great but they looked like squiggly lines. I either need something to rest the binos on or cut out the caffeine. I was able to see stars that weren’t visible to the naked eye, so it left me wanting more.

I was in your shoes about 4 years ago, although I only had $100 to spend. I purchased a Meade NG series 60mm refractor (I think the NG stands for No Good). Over the first year I wound up ditching the tripod (way too flimsy and wobbly) and finder (plastic lens and totally useless). With a new, sturdy mount and 8 x 25mm right angle finder from an ETX, now I could actually find stuff!

My local astronomy club has a loaner scope program for members. I was able to check out several larger 8" telescopes for 3+ months (one at a time). That was the best way to go. In fact I was able to keep using the scopes until someone else wanted to "check out" the scope. I had an 8" dob for 9 months and then an 8" SCT for 7 months.

Looking back, the 60mm was really a waste of money. Although it's a good scope now and I still use it when I do community observing sessions/presentations, it's really only good for lunar and planetary observing.

Everything I've read has always said to start with binoculars. However don't get larger than 10x 50mm, they too heavy to keep holding up. A 7 x35mm provides a nice wide field and they are fairly light. However I found views from binos left me wanting more!

All things being equal (which in reality they never are), what you can see and how much detail you can see depends on the aperture of the scope. The more light you can capture the more faint fuzzies you can see. Which is why the views from binos never really satisfied me. However I've seen through some 80mm binos that gave an awesome view but those were mounted on a special tripod (total cost well over $400)

Check out the classified sections of www.astromart.com and www.cloudynights.com. They both have good used stuff. Stay away from scopes on ebay until you become more familiar with scope brands and know how to judge quality. With www.astromart.com, they have a ratings system for sellers.

As for what kind of scope to go for, there is no right answer. However you will get the most aperture for your money with a dobsonian. Dobs have the simplest design; a tube, 2 mirrors, a focuser and a simple alt/azm mount (up/down and right/left)....basically all your money is going into the optics and not a fancy tripod or more expense lens (lens are more expensive per inch as compared to mirrors). You can get a nice, used, fairly portable 6" or even 8" dob in your budget.

However dobs are not without there drawbacks. They need more frequent colmination (aligning the optics) than compared to refractors and catadioptics. Also dobs can not track objects. You constantly have to move the scope to view an object an object due to the rotation of the earth.

In summary, see if there are any local astronomy clubs (mine is $25 for yearly dues), they are great source of advise and they may have a loaner program. Really research want you want and don't be afraid to buy used. Folks are constantly upgrading scopes to go bigger. Just make sure you talk to the owner to find out how well it's been cared for. Lastly, stay away from the old department store 60mm scope, 99% of them are just pure junk. Go with a minimum 90mm (3.5 inches) aperture scope regardless of what you buy, but if you can go larger.

Here is a link to an article my club published on buying scopes… http://www.raleighastro.org/rac/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=27&Itemid=180

Clear Skies!!!!
-Mike

Find Tripod Total On eBay Below:

NEW Sokkia Wood Fiberglass TripodTotal Station laser level or GPS 724282
NEW Sokkia Wood Fiberglass TripodTotal Station laser level or GPS 724282
$124.00
TOTAL STATION Heavy Duty Fiber Glass Tripod Screw Lock GPSTOTAL STATIONSURVEY
TOTAL STATION Heavy Duty Fiber Glass Tripod Screw Lock GPSTOTAL STATIONSURVEY
$99.25
Topcon Tripod Aluminum Tripod Head Tripod for total station BI
Topcon Tripod Aluminum Tripod Head Tripod for total station BI
$133.99
Leica GST20 9 Wooden Tripod for Total Station Theodolite Level  Laser
Leica GST20 9 Wooden Tripod for Total Station Theodolite Level Laser
$288.00
Leica GST20 9 Wooden Tripod for Total Station Theodolite Level  Laser S
Leica GST20 9 Wooden Tripod for Total Station Theodolite Level Laser S
$284.00
Leica GST20 9 Wooden Tripod for Total Station Theodolite Level  Laser t
Leica GST20 9 Wooden Tripod for Total Station Theodolite Level Laser t
$285.00
New Heavy LEICA Wooden Tripod for Survey Instrument Total Station Level
New Heavy LEICA Wooden Tripod for Survey Instrument Total Station Level
$360.00
Topcon Tripod Aluminum Tripod Head Tripod for total station
Topcon Tripod Aluminum Tripod Head Tripod for total station
$134.20
TOTAL STATION ALUMINIUM TRIPOD FOR TOPCON AUTO LEVEL SOKKIA TOTAL STATION LEICA
TOTAL STATION ALUMINIUM TRIPOD FOR TOPCON AUTO LEVEL SOKKIA TOTAL STATION LEICA
$85.00
New Original Topcon Wooden Tripod Head Tripod for total station
New Original Topcon Wooden Tripod Head Tripod for total station
$216.72
BRAND NEW for leica Wooden Tripod Total Station or GPS
BRAND NEW for leica Wooden Tripod Total Station or GPS
$252.00
BRAND NEW topcon Wooden Tripod for Total Station or GPS
BRAND NEW topcon Wooden Tripod for Total Station or GPS
$148.00
New Topcon Aluminum Tripod Head Tripod for total station
New Topcon Aluminum Tripod Head Tripod for total station
$90.72
CRAIN TRI MAX TRIPOD FOR TOPCON LEICA TOTAL STATION
CRAIN TRI MAX TRIPOD FOR TOPCON LEICA TOTAL STATION
$199.95
NEW Topcon Tripod Aluminum Tripod Head Tripod for total station
NEW Topcon Tripod Aluminum Tripod Head Tripod for total station
$150.00
Aluminum Tripod Head Tripod for total station
Aluminum Tripod Head Tripod for total station
$160.00
New Crain Tri Max Tri Dolly Fiberglass Tripod Dolly For Total Station Survey
New Crain Tri Max Tri Dolly Fiberglass Tripod Dolly For Total Station Survey
$1,498.35
AdirPro Thumb Release Yellow Prism Pole Tripod Surveying Total Station Topcon
AdirPro Thumb Release Yellow Prism Pole Tripod Surveying Total Station Topcon
$99.99
CST Total Station Basic Starter Kit A Tripod Prism Tribrach Adapter
CST Total Station Basic Starter Kit A Tripod Prism Tribrach Adapter
$399.95
CST Total Station Basic Starter Kit B Tripod Prism Prism Pole Pole Tripod
CST Total Station Basic Starter Kit B Tripod Prism Prism Pole Pole Tripod
$450.00
Leica GST20 9 Wooden Tripod for Total Station Theodolite Level  Laser e
Leica GST20 9 Wooden Tripod for Total Station Theodolite Level Laser e
$288.00
Topcon Tripod Aluminum Tripod Head Tripod for total station E
Topcon Tripod Aluminum Tripod Head Tripod for total station E
$133.99
TRIPOD HOLDING FOR PRISM POLE FOR SURVEYINGTOTAL STATION SOKKIATOPCONTRIMBLE
TRIPOD HOLDING FOR PRISM POLE FOR SURVEYINGTOTAL STATION SOKKIATOPCONTRIMBLE
$65.50
BI POD TRIPOD PRISM POLEFOR SURVEYING TOTAL STATION SOKKIATOPCONNIKON
BI POD TRIPOD PRISM POLEFOR SURVEYING TOTAL STATION SOKKIATOPCONNIKON
$89.00
Leica GST20 9 Wooden Tripod for Total Station Theodolite Level  Laser A
Leica GST20 9 Wooden Tripod for Total Station Theodolite Level Laser A
$285.00
Total Station Starter Set Kit Prism  8ft 26m Prism Pole Bipod Tripod
Total Station Starter Set Kit Prism 8ft 26m Prism Pole Bipod Tripod
$399.95
Total Station Starter Set Kit Prism  8ft 26m Prism Pole Bipod Tripod
Total Station Starter Set Kit Prism 8ft 26m Prism Pole Bipod Tripod
$389.56
Leica GST101 Wooden Tripod 726831 for total station auto level theodolite
Leica GST101 Wooden Tripod 726831 for total station auto level theodolite
$109.00
Professional ball tripod for prism + soft case theodolites total station
Professional ball tripod for prism + soft case theodolites total station
$90.37
Total Station Starter Set Prism Reflector Prism Pole Tripod
Total Station Starter Set Prism Reflector Prism Pole Tripod
$399.95
Heavy Duty Dual Clamp Fiberglass Tripod Screw Quick Total Station Theodolite
Heavy Duty Dual Clamp Fiberglass Tripod Screw Quick Total Station Theodolite
$108.67
GeoMax Heavy Duty Fiberglass Tripod Screw Clamp GPSTOTAL STATIONSURVEY
GeoMax Heavy Duty Fiberglass Tripod Screw Clamp GPSTOTAL STATIONSURVEY
$134.50


Recently Purchased Tripod Total:


sokkia wood fiberglass tripod 724282 for rotary lasers total station or gps, adirpro thumb release yellow prism pole tripod surveying total station topcon, tripod holding for prism pole for surveyingtotal station sokkiatopcontrimble, crain trimax tripod for topcon leica total station, total station aluminium tripod for topcon auto level sokkia total station leica, leica style fiberglass tripodfor total stationlaser leveltopcontrimble, heavy duty wood tripod dual clamp screwquick wtool kit total station, bipod tripod prism polefor surveying total station sokkiatopconnikon, leica gst101 wooden tripod 726831 for total station auto level theodolite, base plate for total station theodolite level tripod surveying device, topcon tripod aluminum tripod head tripod for total station a, topcon tripod aluminum tripod head tripod for total station, leica gst209 wooden tripod for total station theodolite level amp; laser a, brand new aluminium tripod for topcon auto level sokkia total station leica, topcon tripod aluminum tripod head tripod for total station e, leica gst209 wooden tripod for total station theodolite level amp; laser e, new topcon aluminum tripod head tripod for total station, brand new topcon wooden tripod for total station or gps, brand new for leica wooden tripod total station or gps, new original topcon wooden tripod head tripod for total station, geomax heavy duty wood tripod dual clamp screwquick wtool kit total station, heavy duty fiberglass tripod quick clamp gpstotal stationsurvey, geomax heavy duty fiberglass tripod screw clamp gpstotal stationsurvey, heavy duty dual clamp fiberglass tripod screwquick total station theodolite, new crain trimax tridolly fiberglass tripod dolly for total station survey, bipod tripod prism polefor surveying total station sokkiatopcontrimble, prism pole yellow tripod for surveying total station sokkiatopcontrimble, cst total station basic starter kit b tripod prism prism pole pole tripod, cst total station basic starter kit a tripod prism tribrach adapter , new heavy leica wooden tripod for survey instrument total station level, leica gst209 wooden tripod for total station theodolite level amp; laser , topcon tripod aluminum tripod head tripod for total station bi, leica gst209 wooden tripod for total station theodolite level amp; laser t, leica gst209 wooden tripod for total station theodolite level amp; laser s, topcon tripod aluminum tripod head tripod for total station t, topcon tripod aluminum tripod head tripod for total station m, new heavy leica wooden tripod for survey instrument total station level m, leica gst209 wooden tripod for total station theodolite level amp; laser m, total station basic starter kit prism tribrach tribrach adapter tripod, total station starter set kit prism 8ft26m prism pole bipod tripod, new seco trimax tripod standard screw clamp works with total stati, new seco trimax tripod standard quick clamp works with total stations 90550, total station starter set prism reflector prism pole tripod, total station starter set kit prism reflector 8ft26m prism pole tripod, heavy duty total station fiberglass tripod quick clamp theodolite auto level, ats2 wooden tripod for auto level total staion theodolite, professional ball tripod for prism soft case theodolites total station, total station heavy duty aluminum tripod screw lock gpstotal stationsurvey, total station heavy duty fiber glass tripod screw lock gpstotal stationsurvey, fiberglass tripodfor surveyingtotal stationgpslaser leveltopcontrimble, aluminum tripod head tripod for total station, new topcon tripod aluminum tripod head tripod for total station, new sokkia wood fiberglass tripodtotal station laser level or gps 724282, leica gst1209 tripod wooden tripod for total station theodolite level , adirpro thumb release yellow prism pole tripod surveying total station topcon , adirpro thumb release surveying red prism pole tripod total stationgpstopcon, surveying prism pole tripodfor total stationgpssecotopcontrimbleleicarod



Comments are closed.