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Celestron Telescopes: Computerized Telescope (114LCM) $205.01, AstroMaster 114 EQ Reflector (31042) $128.99 & More + Free Shipping via Amazon

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#2
Any telescope experts want to weigh in on the quality and specs for these and if they're worth it?
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#3
Quote from gtasmy
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Any telescope experts want to weigh in on the quality and specs for these and if they're worth it?
I'd like to hear that as well. I've been contemplating this purchase all day.
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#4
Lots of negative reviews on Amazon.
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#5
These are what I'd consider a step up from your chain store telescope. Not bad, but not great. Although in part that's due to poor/misleading marketing by lower end telescope manufacturers and the expectations consumers have when buying one of these. Something this size/quality, you're highlights are some decent images of the moon, the 4 large moons of Jupiter, and maybe a hint of Saturn's rings. Except for the moon nothing will be spectacularly clear/sharp like you may think.

The best bang for your buck at an entry level price is a Dobsonian - get an 8" if at all possible. And buy from a reputable store, like Orion, not Walmart. Another way to go is buy used, again if possible from a reputable site (there's several used astronomy classifieds/forums online). You can try FB or Craigslist, but I'd ask the seller if you can try it out first before committing - if they're not an amateur astronomer and familiar with the telescope you would be buying, see if you can find someone to take with you that does know a thing or two about telescopes to check it out and help you decide if it's a good buy.

Before buying though, you may want to get in touch with a local astronomy club. Most have stargazing nights for their club or open viewing nights for the public, and you can go look through their telescopes. That way you'd get a feel for what you can see with different telescopes, and the members can offer advice about buying. There's a lot of good info/reviews online, and definitely take advantage of that before spending a couple hundred on a telescope.
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#6
Quote from jevoyager
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Before buying though, you may want to get in touch with a local astronomy club. Most have stargazing nights for their club or open viewing nights for the public, and you can go look through their telescopes. That way you'd get a feel for what you can see with different telescopes, and the members can offer advice about buying. There's a lot of good info/reviews online, and definitely take advantage of that before spending a couple hundred on a telescope.
Excellent advice. Our club has loaner scopes for members. Invaluable tool. Had I followed your advice several years ago I wouldn't be schlepping an 11" Celestron Edge SCT right now. I definitely need something smaller for on-the-go or a quick night out.
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#7
Quote from jevoyager
:
These are what I'd consider a step up from your chain store telescope. Not bad, but not great. Although in part that's due to poor/misleading marketing by lower end telescope manufacturers and the expectations consumers have when buying one of these. Something this size/quality, you're highlights are some decent images of the moon, the 4 large moons of Jupiter, and maybe a hint of Saturn's rings. Except for the moon nothing will be spectacularly clear/sharp like you may think.

The best bang for your buck at an entry level price is a Dobsonian - get an 8" if at all possible. And buy from a reputable store, like Orion, not Walmart. Another way to go is buy used, again if possible from a reputable site (there's several used astronomy classifieds/forums online). You can try FB or Craigslist, but I'd ask the seller if you can try it out first before committing - if they're not an amateur astronomer and familiar with the telescope you would be buying, see if you can find someone to take with you that does know a thing or two about telescopes to check it out and help you decide if it's a good buy.

Before buying though, you may want to get in touch with a local astronomy club. Most have stargazing nights for their club or open viewing nights for the public, and you can go look through their telescopes. That way you'd get a feel for what you can see with different telescopes, and the members can offer advice about buying. There's a lot of good info/reviews online, and definitely take advantage of that before spending a couple hundred on a telescope.
That's really helpful. My little one wants a telescope and I know it's a waste of money for a cheap one, or big box store one. But I have no clue what's good and what's not. The recommendation to look into local astronomy clubs is great. Thanks, repped.
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#8
Good deal. 114mm is a great size if you have decently dark skies. Cheaper one is great it has Equatorial mount, so after setting it up to your latitude side to side follows the path of the stars. Not sure if I would spend extra on automated mount. It is fine, but it is a lot of fun star hopping and looking at random stuff.
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#9
Is there any telescope in the $200 and under range that is enjoyable for backyard, patio use on dark nights?

Does it take a much more significant investment to see anything clearly or close enough other than the moon?
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#10
What's with all the telescope deals lately?? Not complaining. Keep em coming
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#11
Quote from FearAndLoathing
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Is there any telescope in the $200 and under range that is enjoyable for backyard, patio use on dark nights?

Does it take a much more significant investment to see anything clearly or close enough other than the moon?
I would just show up to an astronomy club gathering, and get some recommendations, and get interested. Clubs really help the hobby grow.
Anyways, Mars is pretty close right now.
Closest that's is been since 2003...And closest on July 31st.
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Our community has rated this post as helpful. If you agree, why not rep Knightshade?
#12
Quote from FearAndLoathing
:
Is there any telescope in the $200 and under range that is enjoyable for backyard, patio use on dark nights?

Does it take a much more significant investment to see anything clearly or close enough other than the moon?
You can see Jupiter (and its 4 largest moons), saturn and its rings, and venus (which is pretty featureless), plus Mars (to varying degrees based on distance) in even relatively small/inexpensive scopes, and even in areas of significant light pollution (which is where most of the US lives these days.

That said you really do get more the more you spend.

I definitely agree hitting up a local club to try different types/sizes of scopes if a great idea...


cross-posting most of this from my post in the other scope thread going now-

Dobs are best bang/buck as far as size... they're not always ideal to move around though....viewing position isn't always ideal either depending on height but you can work around that with your seating/step/whatever.

Telescopes are a tradeoff of a number of things- price, portability, ease of use, quality, and how much and in what detail they can see

If you don't plan to move it around much and are happy to learn to manually find stuff in the sky get the biggest dob you can afford (and some good lenses and such for it)

If you want best size while remaining very portable some kind of SCT is the way to go...they'll cost more though... (and you can get em anywhere from totally manual, all the way up to push a button and it'll calibrate itself and then find whatever object in the sky you tell it to on its own- again price dependent)....personally I like the Celestron Evolution series as a good bang/buck on size/portability/lazy-astronomer-tech but it's not super cheap...the Nextstar SE series is the same tubes and cheaper if you don't mind supplying your own power and having a little less sturdy mount


You should also have realistic expectations...large scopes will collect more light to let you see more....but as I said if you live someplace with a lot of light pollution (which is where most people in the US live anymore) you're not going to be seeing tons of spectacular nebula and such... you're gonna basically be able to see the moon, the few planets I mention... and... some stars/star clusters... and that's about it. Even the brightest deep sky objects like nebula/galaxies will be either invisible or a gray smudge in heavy light pollution.


Even if you live someplace dark, or within reasonable travel range of someplace dark, you can see a lot more.... but you're still not going to get hubble-quality views with your eye of most DSOs.... the spectacular detail and color in most astro shots comes from long exposures and/or stacking a lot of shots on top of each other.

this is a pretty good site for giving you some realistic expectations based on scope size and also a bit on light/dark skies

http://www.deepskywatch.com/Artic...scope.html
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#13
Deal is dead. Back up to $272.
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