Which Telescope to buy - Please Help!

Status
Not open for further replies.
A

amythacker

Guest
I am looking into buying our first telescope. Can someone tell me which is the best to buy out of the below 3 (these are within my price range):<br />1. Meade 114EQ-AR Telescope<br />2. Galileo 720mm x 80mm Astronomical/Terrestrial Refractor Telescope<br />3. Galileo 1100mm x 102mm Catadioptric Telescope<br /><br />Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.<br />Thanks!
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
Welcome to Space.com!<br /><br />What do you intend to use it for?<br />Need to know that before we can attempt to answer your question.<br /><br />Wayne <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
A

amythacker

Guest
It's just a present for my husband and daughter. They love looking at the stars, etc. together and he's always wanted a telescope. Just want it for pleasure and to learn.
 
A

adrenalynn

Guest
Are you really attached to that list, or may we make recommendations in the same price range outside of it?<br /><br /> Sorry to answer your question (at first) with more questions, but we all want to make sure you get the best possible first scope!<br /><br />What kind of environment do you live in? In other words, how are your skies? Still in other words: City/urban, suburban, out in the boonies with nice dark skies (drool). Believe it or not, it does make a difference! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
A

amythacker

Guest
Thanks for your prompt reply and I don't mind the questions. We live out in the boon docks with nice dark skies. The views are amazing. I would take all of your suggestions on what telescope to get, but I only have so much mula. Are there any of the 3 that you think would be better than the other? Please also suggest other scopes as well =)
 
A

adrenalynn

Guest
Of that list, the Meade is by far and away the better scope, even though the last is larger.<br /><br />The Galileo scopes are what many "in the know" would refer to as "Toy scopes". Very poor quality optics in my experiences helping new observers with their scopes.<br /><br />The Meade will be more difficult to learn to set-up since it's on a special kind of mount known as an "equatorial mount". That's good and bad. Good since it's a great performing mount when you learn how to polar align it. Bad since it takes longer and takes longer to learn.<br /><br />It appears that your budget is around $200, and you're looking at 'scopes sold locally.<br /><br />In your apparent price range (right at the limit, I would guess, if I didn't miss the mark with a great sale or some such), I would suggest the Orion StarBlast 4.5 EQ Reflector.<br /><br />I've bought many of these for first-timers as gifts. An awesome little 'scope, it comes with a copy of Starry Night (a planetarium software to help you locate what's up in the sky and where. Highly recommended! ((although I can suggest free alternatives if you go with a different scope))), and with two eyepieces, each worth more than the Galileo complete.<br /><br />Orion is an excellent alternative to what you'll find in the toy stores, department stores, and sporting-goods stores (rarely where you'd want to find a telescope - trust me!). They have always had great service and great people working there. I used to live a few blocks from their first store, and knew everyone by name...<br /><br />The StarBlast 4.5EQ is listing in the catalog for $199. Shipping tends towards $10.<br /><br />Don't underestimate what just a few dollars more (literally) can buy. The toy scopes come with really garbage optics that will really frustrate a beginner, and won't grow with you. A real red-dot finderscope, and two Expanse eyepieces come with the StarBlast. I have several of those Expanse eyepieces that I use in a $7,000 telescope! They're not as <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
A

amythacker

Guest
Thank you so much for all of this information. I am definitely going to check into all of the telescopes that you have recommended. I really appreciate your help with this!!!
 
A

adrenalynn

Guest
My pleasure! Others will be along with their recommendations too. "Crazyeddie" is also very knowledgeable here, I've noticed, on this subject. (For his attention: Yes. It's an f/4.6 OTA, but it drives like an f/10.)<br /><br />Another couple of points: Look at the quality of the mount differences just from the pictures. Don't underestimate the tripod and mount either. Stability, especially when looking at planets, is every bit as important as the telescope itself. The more you magnify, the more any vibration becomes magnified too. Any shake at all and detail becomes invisible).<br /><br />I suggest giving Orion a call on the phone. It's a free call, and I bet you find them ready to answer any questions, top to bottom, and help you choose the right telescope. They carry some Meade, their own Orion brand, and some Celestron (more Celestron than Meade). I've never been a big fan of Meade, live and die Celestron for 25 years. But these days, I really can't say that the mass-produced Celestrons (or Meades) come near the average quality of the Orions.<br /><br />*I'm not associated with any of these companies in any way, other than as a customer. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
A

adrenalynn

Guest
Speak of the CrazyEddie - <br /><br />[ Amy - please don't read this. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> This is technical gobbledygook for Eddie. You don't need to know this yet. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" />]<br /><br />Just a quick correction, CE - the 4.5 EQ comes on a full GEM tripod and mount. No table viewing necessary. It's $199 instead of $179, but the GEM on it will actually support an 8" tube, dual-ring dove-tail with slow motion controls and adjustable counterweights.)<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
A

amythacker

Guest
what are your thoughts on the Celstron Astro Master 90 AZ? I has someone on another site suggest this one.
 
A

adrenalynn

Guest
<font color="yellow">I was referring to the Orion Starblast when I wrote that</font><br /><br />Me too. The Starblast 4.5 EQ is the same OTA as the table top model you're referring to. The tabletop is $179, the GEM/EQ is $199. Frankly, the mount and tripod are worth $200 by itself without the OTA, imho... <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
A

adrenalynn

Guest
I'm with Crazyeddie here too, Amy.<br /><br />No slow-motion controls, and build quality is even more important in a refractor than it is a reflector. I recommended Celestron for more than two decades, but at the lower end their QA for their Chinese-made scopes has gone so far downhill it's like recommending Meade - a total hit-and-miss.<br /><br />I still like their reflectors (with reservations), but I just can't recommend their low-end refractors for astronomy. Without slow-motion controls, it's near useless. I really just still have to give the nod to Orion in the $200 pricepoint.<br /><br />Only other scope I can think of in that price range that I'd think about buying would be the Zhumell Eclipse 114. But that said - I've never failed to be disappointed by the Zhumell. Some people have great luck with them though - I just never have. I've bought and returned half a dozen of their Dobs and Cats. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
A

adrenalynn

Guest
Actually, they've upgraded the EPs over the last year or so. They come with the Expanse EPs. The Expanse sell for $55 each, and they come with two. So you're getting $110 worth of EP's, a true GEM mount that's overbuilt, AND the OTA for $200. Gotta admit that's a screaming deal. The inner lenses are fully coated, the outters are multicoated. They used to include the $30 Explorer II, which I believe is what you're talking about...<br /><br />Sure, some TV's would be nice. But [new] each costs more than the scope, EPs, and mount combined. Even used, a single TV is going to run near what her whole budget is. I just have trouble getting behind spending more on EPs than a scope costs. My TVs stay with my big scope. I use Orion Sirius (which aren't as nice as the Expanse, btw) in my 5" scope (f/10) or the aging Celestron Ultima. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
A

adrenalynn

Guest
I'm not entirely in disagreement with you, but if her budget is $200, and she spends $150 in EPs, that leaves $50 for her OTA, tripod, mount, and locater. $50 wouldn't get you a lot of scope! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
A

adrenalynn

Guest
There ya go! That's a nice step up!<br /><br />If you decide you want to add motorized tracking to the scope later, it can be done very very reasonably too.<br /><br />A bit over a 5" scope, f/5, with the EQ2 mount.<br /><br />I don't really like the mounts gearing straight from the factory, but when you get more serious, you can stop by and we can tell you how to tear it apart, polish and regrease it up, and then motorize it. <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /><br />Welcome to the wonderful world of astronomy! Congrats on buying a *real* first telescope instead of a toy! Major kudos to you for doing your research - that scope can provide your family with lifetimes of learning and fun. My primary day-to-day 'scope isn't much better than that, and in some ways, not as good. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
A

amythacker

Guest
I have one more question for you...what is the difference between the SpaceProbe 130ST EQ and the 130EQ? <br /><br />Thanks!<br />Amy
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY