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Yet another which telescope thread

Need our opinion on a telescope Optics Planet has on sale, go ahead and ask! Post some hints and tips on various telescope brands and configuration.

Yet another which telescope thread

Postby mlheppl on Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:43 pm

I'm looking at getting my wife a new telescope for Christmas. We've got a small beginners telescope that we bought for our kids when they were young, and though we enjoy using it, we just cannot get much detail on planets, and deep space items are just a bright blur.

We live in the country at 6500 ft elevation. Great conditions for viewing the night sky. Little or no light polution, "thin air", and low humidity and no smog to have to penetrate through. This being said, portability and weight aren't real important. Great viewing is just outside the back door.

What I'm looking for in a telescope is detail! My budget is around $700-$800 for the scope. Then I've got a couple hundred to spend on accessories. Looking to be in the $1000 neighborhood when done shopping. (is there ever such a thing as done shopping when it comes to our hobbies?) LOL

I'm leaning towards a Schmidt-Cassegrain as I would like to gat into astrophotography down the road. See I told you that we're never done shopping for our hobbies! is this the right choice in optical design? The motorized, programmed mounts sound intriguing as we are not real familiar with location of deep space objects, however this is not a must have as we will learn to find these objects eventually with a good astro map.

I'm not real ly brand aware, but the Celestron and Meade scopes look like they get good reviews. But don't let this influence your reccomendation. I will also be getting a set of plossil eyepieces. I saw that you recommended the Meade 07678 over the Celestron kit. The Meade kit does not have the filters that the Celestron kit does. Could you recommend a good filter kit, if I were to go the Meade route over the Celestron kit?

This is all the background info I could think of to give you. could you recommend a couple of telescopes that will meet my needs and be in my budget? What other acessories do you recommend that I look into?

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:55 pm

Postby Jne_K on Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:03 am


A Schmidt-Cassegrain in an 8" on a fork mount has traditionally been the world's most popular ticket into the serious side of amateur astronomy for good reason. An 8" or larger Schmidt-Cassegrian is a good choice for any type of observing - may not be the very best for any specific type of observing, but always a good choice. To some extent this is due to the wealth of accessories available for an SCT. Be awfully hard to beat a Meade LX90 or Celestron CPC as a do everything scope. Really too close to call on these two.

Put your money into quality eyepieces rather than a kit with inexpensive eyepieces and a lot of accessories. You really don't need color filters - they can help with some planets, but are by no means essential. If you have dark skies and get into deep-sky objects (and you will) your money will be better spent on nebulae filters. Those can wait, however. Good eyepieces, first.
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