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Explore Scientific FirstLight 70mm f/10 Alt-Az Refractor Telescope with Alt/AZ "U" Yoke Mount $70 + free s/h at Adorama

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#2
Very cool! Had this alert up for a while and not many hits.

Can anyone who knows telescope comment on its capabilities? I would like to have Saturn-rings resolution and I feel like that might put me more in the $150-200 range than $70.
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#3
I know this was mentioned in a previous thread, but if you'd like to get your first experience with a telescope, you can check one out from your local library. Ours is called a "Library of Things." Not surprisingly, the telescope had a long waiting list, but I put in a hold and will get to borrow it in July. Just something to keep in mind if you want to see if you'd like to have a telescope in your home as a future purchase.
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#4
Been waiting for a telescope deal, but I have no clue what specs to look for. This item apparently includes an adapter that allows you to use your smartphone to easily capture photos through it, which sounds like an awesome feature.

SD PLEASE GUIDE ME!
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#5
Don't look up! Smilie
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#6
This will let you see the moon in close detail and barely see the banding of Jupiter and the Jupiter's moons as bright pin prick. I have not try looking at nebula and such. Generally these are starter/toy telescope. You want something at least 4.5 inch parabolic (instead of spherical) mirror type if you want decent one. The smart phone adapter is probably not as useful as you think, any jolt can get the scope of of position for like Jupiter.... Hard to reposition it back

this forum have lots of resources

https://www.cloudynights.com/foru...otography/

note serious astrophotography need a different spec of telescope than you optical viewing telescope
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Last edited by bitslizer January 20, 2022 at 09:12 AM.
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#7
This is a highly recommended very solid and affordable just past beginner telescope, if you can wait

https://shop.astronomerswithoutbo...-telescope
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#8
Quote from ekuest :
Very cool! Had this alert up for a while and not many hits.

Can anyone who knows telescope comment on its capabilities? I would like to have Saturn-rings resolution and I feel like that might put me more in the $150-200 range than $70.
I can't speak for this scope and am by no means an expert. But the key thing is aperture with scopes. Larger aperture means more light and better resolution. That said, with 70mm you should be able to see Saturns rings. I'd personally opt for something larger though.
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Joined Aug 2011
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#9
Quote from bitslizer :
This is a highly recommended very solid and affordable just past beginner telescope, if you can wait

https://shop.astronomerswithoutbo...-telescope
Amateur astronomer here, and I agree with this, it should be much better.

A word of caution. If you rush into the hobby and buy garbage, you will be disappointed and move on. Take your time, learn what you need, talk with experienced people, and then make a decision. If possible, spend some time with your local astronomy club, I promise they will be excited to teach you all you need to know, and over time you will get to look through all kinds of great equipment!
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#10
Quote from bitslizer :
This is a highly recommended very solid and affordable just past beginner telescope, if you can wait

https://shop.astronomerswithoutbo...-telescope

Astrophotographer. I am going to 2nd this recommendation. Imaging is a hobby sink, so you'll end up buying something you may not use after the day of box opening. As the same suggestion above, go to a star party or astronomy club. Many of the Astronomers love to see new people interested in the hobby and would love to share their scope for viewing. This scope is too small but you can still see the moon and Jupite (barely). The larger scopes are the way to go and will allow you to see Jupiter and Saturn's rings, but also consider that bigger means it may not be used more often because it's too big to setup.
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#11
Quote from ekuest :
Very cool! Had this alert up for a while and not many hits.

Can anyone who knows telescope comment on its capabilities? I would like to have Saturn-rings resolution and I feel like that might put me more in the $150-200 range than $70.
This would be considered a fairly entry level scope for beginners or kids just getting started. If your objective is to see Saturn's rings, you'll need to spend a little more than this to get that. Your best bet may be to get a Reflector or an SCT telescope with a long high focal ratio (like F10 or more).

Although I don't have this particular scope, based on my experience the best you can do with this one is look at lunar surface (which is a beautiful thing to look at), some terrestrial viewing in good light, you maybe able to see Saturn as a blurry oval blob and should be able to see Jupiter + 4 moons (they'll appear as dots or blobs with little to no surface detail).

I wouldn't discourage anyone from getting this of course as long as you have realistic expectations and it would be a good way to dip your toes into this hobby without breaking the bank. Cheers!
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#12
I'd recommend a ~130mm tabletop dobsonian for a beginner. This will be good for looking at the brighter objects in the sky, but not the fainter ones. A wider reflector telescope won't limit you like that. Can't argue with the price, but it won't be a scope that you can "go all the way" with.
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#13
This is not a particularly great telescope, but for the price this is about the best you can get/expect for refractor telescopes which is NOT an endorsement. I tend to recommend a really good pair of astronomy binoculars at this price point, but those do demand a steadier hand than is required for something like a telescope with its own tripod.

A cheap refractor telescope like the one in this deal can be usable for someone like a young kid (or anyone less interested in handling more precious binoculars or storing a larger telescope) to get a better peek at the moon, but I'd typically argue in favor of even cheaper reflector telescopes for that kind of application. Comparable models are smaller, even cheaper, and can often be improved upon if/when that becomes an interest.

Despite any arguments in favor of or against cheap refractor or reflector telescopes, at the $70 price the only thing you'd be buying of any quality really is a pair of binoculars.

My own take modifies one that I would reinforce from a popular review site, so consider my opinions below with some context from the linked site:
  1. At this price point, maybe think about binoculars
  2. A reflector telescope at this price point can often be made better with modifications/accessories (See even just the top paragraph in this article)
  3. A refractor telescope at this price point (like the one in this deal) is usually hopeless garbage despite some of the functional advantages that get cited by advocates for them (Compare and contrast a review from the same site as the one above for the Celestron 114AZ which also does not recommend [telescopicwatch.com] the Celestron 70AZ)
For the money I'd note that binoculars have many of the advantages a refractor would provide without being garbage at the given $70 price point. I'm not dismissing the arguments in favor of refractor telescopes, I'm just dismissing the quality argument when shopping $70 telescopes. No $70 telescope is going to be great out of the box, period. If you're lucky, they'll do the basics without being too frustrating to diminish the experience for the (usually) enthusiastic users.

Good luck!
Jon
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#14
Skip this telescope and use the money to buy a pair of 10x50 binoculars. This U mount is almost useless to keep any object in view, and very hard to line up on objects in the sky.
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#15
Would this scope be of any use for terrestrial photography? I regularly have alligators in my backyard that I would love to get closer to. My wife is taking an issue with that
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