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Need help selecting telescope

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.

Need help selecting telescope

Postby AZ_stargazer on Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:49 pm

Ok, here is my situation. My b/f and I live out in SE Arizona in a very good location for using a telescope. Neither one of us has much experience using a telescope, but we have talked about getting one several times. We can see the milky way very well on moonless nights and are interested in seeing the planets.

I did read the FAQ on telescopes, and that just made me more confused than ever. The ones that sound really good at a reasonable price seem to require more maintenance and I don't know if we will have the time to deal with that sort of thing. However, with that being said, I want one that will allow us to see lots of things and that is flexible enough to grow with our skills/knowledge. (I saw that eyepieces are very important, so I want on that has options for expansion with regard to that.) Also, I don't really want a huge one due to storage issues, but since we can use it from our yard, it doesn't need to be super portable.

Can you please suggest some for me to look at that might be good starters for us. I am undecided on whether or not we need one with a computer and my budget is around $250 at this time.

I am sorry to ask such a general question, but there are so many variables with different cost/benefits that I am just not even sure where to start. Thank you very much for your time.

Re: Need help selecting telescope

Postby PhilR. on Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:22 pm

If you want a basic non-motorized scope, then an inexpensive reflector such as the Meade 114EQ-ASTR would do fine. It's inexpensive, and will allow some room in your budget to get a nicer eyepiece, a beginner's stargazing book, and a star map (planisphere).

If you want something computerized/motorized, then you might consider the Meade ETX-80. It's a few bucks over your budget, but it would suit you well. These are popular scopes that have been purchased by many, so there is a lot of extra information out there about how to use this scope.

Both of these, and most others as well, can take accessory eyepieces if you decide to upgrade.
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