Top products from r/telescopes

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u/HenryV1598 · 4 pointsr/telescopes

Some people like this scope, but IMHO, this isn't a telescope I'd recommend: you pay too much for too little telescope and too much for mediocre electronic and mechanical mount components. If it's not too late, my first recommendation would be to return it and purchase an 8" Dob.

BUT, if you're not able or willing to do that, and this is the scope you have, then that's that.

My next recommendation is to join an astronomy club in your area. There most likely is one, and it's the BEST place to learn more about how to use your telescope and what to see. Membership in most clubs in the US costs $50 or less per year. If you let us know where you're located, I can try looking up clubs that are local to you.

Now, as for add-ons and other accessories... the first thing I'd recommend is a copy of Turn Left at Orion. It's a great introduction to using a telescope, and very user friendly.

Next, camera mounts: none. There's plenty available, but this isn't really a telescope designed for or good for astrophotography. You could possibly capture some decent images of the moon, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. But that's about it. This telescope has an alt-az mount, which is not anywhere near accurate enough for the long-exposure photography required for deep sky objects (nebulae, galaxies, clusters, etc...). If you're limited to 4 targets, then it seems a bit of a waste to me to buy an adapter. Also, using a DSLR would not be recommended, as the mount isn't designed to add a lot of additional weight to the back end, and it will likely decrease the tracking accuracy, and, depending on the weight of the camera and adapting components, could potentially damage the mount's components (unlikely, but possible). Since these mounts aren't well-constructed anyway, I wouldn't recommend this. If you really badly want to try imaging planets or the moon, I'd pick up a cheap webcam and modify it (there's plenty of tutorials online for this) to use with the telescope. There's also some low-cost planetary imaging cams (basically glorified webcams) on the market. They would be a better choice than trying to connect a DSLR.

For eyepieces... that's a bit more tricky. You get a couple lower-end 25 mm and 9 mm
plossl eyepieces. Plossl is a type of eyepiece design that is fairly common these days. They tend to provide pretty decent views, depending on the specific design, for a fairly affordable price. To determine your magnification, you take the telescope's focal length (1,500 mm in your case) and divide it by that of the eyepiece. For your eyepieces, this gives you a magnification of 60x with the 25 mm eyepiece and 167x with the 9mm.

Magnification is a funny thing, however. You can, in theory, magnify an image as much as you like. However, the telescope can only produce so much useful magnification, depending on a number of factors. The key factors are the telescope aperture, the steadiness of the air, and the transparency of the air. When light enters the telescope, it begins to diffract, which manifests itself in blurring of the image. At lower magnifications, it is far less noticeable than at higher magnifications, and the larger the aperture, the more you can magnify before the diffraction creates so much blurring as to be useless. I created this example to show what happens. While this is photographic, and has a slightly different cause, the overall effect is similar. As you continue to magnify, you lose sharpness of detail until the image becomes so blurry as to be useless. In the case of your telescope, under fairly good atmospheric conditions, you might get as high as about 250x magnification before blurring is too severe. Under normal conditions, however, 150x is a more reasonable limit (the rule of thumb is to multiple the aperture in inches by 30x for normal viewing and 50 or 60x for ideal atmospheric conditions).

Thus a higher magnification eyepiece probably won't do much for you except on very good nights, in which case a 6 mm eyepiece would really be pushing your limits. On the other hand, with the 25 mm eyepiece, you don't have a very wide field of view, so you might consider something like a 30 mm, maybe a 35 mm, eyepiece to get a wider field of view (though the 35 might be too long for this scope to use effectively).

Whatever you do, do NOT buy one of those inexpensive eyepiece kits that have 3 or more eyepieces and filters. The eyepieces are usually very low in quality and you really don't need all of them. You can buy separate filter kits for less, and a Barlow lens will not be particularly useful at all to you.

This telescope will be best for planetary observation. A set of basic filters might be useful. With planetary observation, these help to increase contrast to pull out specific details. This site and this one have some pretty good information concerning which filters are best for what. For lunar observation, a neutral density filter (aka moon filter) is also helpful to cut down the brightness and glare of the moon (essentially it's sunglasses for your telescope). For deep sky objects, colored filters are not desirable, though there are some filters that do help with observing particular types of objects. In particular "nebula" filters, which are combinations of narrowband filters to allow common wavelengths of light specific to different kinds of nebula emissions to pass through. An OIII (Doubly-ionized Oxygen) filter can also be helpful for certain nebulae. I wouldn't rush out to buy one right away, however, until you get a bit more experience. This is another good reason to join an astronomy club: going to star parties will give you a chance to talk to other people about what they use and see how filters can help you.

Another filter you might come across is what we call a Light Pollution Reduction (LPR) filter. These are a mixed bag, and more of a personal choice. They do not make viewing from a light-polluted area like viewing from a dark site. They do, however, for some objects, help increase contrast to make them more visible. This is another place I'd experiment before buying.

If you're interested in solar viewing, you do have some options, but proceed with caution. You can get a white-light solar filter (or make one yourself) for simple solar viewing. These will only show you the disc of the sun, sunspots, and, every few years, a transit of Mercury (the next transit of Venus isn't for another 100 years or so). These will not show you the solar granulation (the texture of the sun), nor solar flares/prominences. For those, you would need a dedicated solar Hydrogen Alpha kit (which is NOT the same as an Hydrogen Alpha filter for deep-sky observing). The white light filters can be made for under $30 and purchased for around $100 or less. The Hydrogen Alpha solar equipment would be several hundred dollars for your telescope. Whatever you do, do NOT use an eyepiece filter for solar observation. Some companies have produced these (I don't know if anyone still is), but they are NOT a safe option.

Ok, lastly, you asked about software. There's not much you'd need. One option is Stellarium. I believe Stellarium has drivers for Celestron telescopes, so you only need the cable connection equipment (sold separately, of course) from Celestron. However, I don't see much need for this. The hand control on your mount is just fine for finding objects, assuming you're properly aligned. A good phone or tablet app for determining what's above you right now would be helpful, but you don't need a computer connection unless you're doing imaging, and, as I said above, that's not highly recommended.

In the long run, I'd still recommend an 8" Dob instead - the 8" aperture is capable of showing you quite a bit more and doesn't require power (nor is there much to break down). But if you intend to keep this scope, you can make the most of it.

Good luck and clear skies.

u/orlet · 2 pointsr/telescopes

> Can you recommend some eyepieces which I should get?

Well, for starters you'll want to replace that 9mm with something better, and you'll want a planetary eyepiece. For planetary a 5-6mm eyepiece will work nicely. As for which one in particular -- whichever you can afford from what I linked :)

5-6mm planetaries:

  • TS 5mm HR Planetary
  • Omegon 5mm ED Flatfield
  • Celestron X-Cel LX 5mm
  • Omegon Ultrawide 6mm

    9mm replacements:

  • William Optics SWAN 9mm
  • Omegon Ultrawide 9mm

    Later on you might want to get something in the mid range, like 15-20 mm, but honestly, pretty much anything will work here. Higher AFoV (degrees) is preferred over longer focal length in most cases.

    And finally at some point you'll want to replace the 30mm 2" one. I would highly recommend the Explore Scientific 30mm 82° one, but it's definitely nowhere near being important purchase, your kit 30mm will serve you well. Alternatively, a William Optics SWAN 33mm eyepiece is another good choice, but it's barely different from your current one, though the FoV is still larger. But for your scope 30-35mm eyepiece is the limit, don't go with larger ones, you'll be losing light from too large exit pupil.

    As it is with most astronomy stuff, higher quality stuff will cost you more.

    > Where should I spend more money? and what sort of filters should I get? I need one for the Moon atleast dont I?

    Priority list:

  1. Telescope -- you cannot upgrade aperture, everything else can be changed later. But the 10" you chose will be a superb starting instrument, congratulations :)
  2. "Turn Left at Orion" or "Nightwatch" -- your essential night sky guides! Stellarium for the cloudy nights and lazy days :)
  3. Missing eyepiece ranges -- as I have mentioned above. Planetary is a must-have if you want to view planets (you do want, trust me). Then look into either mid-range plug, or the 9mm replacement, depending on how well the kit 9mm performs for you. If you're happy with it, stick with it. I'd order the planetary of choice along with scope, and wait for the rest until you've got chance to field test the setup a couple of times.
  4. Filters -- Yes, Moon filter is a must with this telescope, however I would highly recommend a much more versatile Variable Polarizing Filter instead. The 2" is more expensive, however, the low-magnification is where you need it the most. And 2" filters should be able to be mounted on the 2"-to-1.25" adapters to work with 1.25" eyepieces. Alternative is to wear your sunglasses at night. Another great choice is a narrowband UHC filter, like this one from Baader. It will also help out against the light pollution. On the other hand, I would recommend against spending money on a wideband "light pollution" filter, as in my experience I haven't found them to be of any use whatsoever.
  5. Telrad/Rigel QuickFinder -- I've already covered those in my previous post.
  6. Dew heaters -- self-explanatory. If dewing up of eyepieces and/or mirrors becomes a problem, and you have no hairdryer at hand, there's your more portable (but more expensive) solution.
  7. Binoculars -- surprisingly good accessory to telescope, and on their own! Wide field of view and super high portability makes them excellent tool for quick stargazing, observing of objects otherwise too large to fit into telescope's view, and useful for finding a good star-hopping route to the next faint fuzzy of your choice! Also useful for travelling, birdwatching, and other daytime activities. A simple but good set of 7x50/10x50/8x42 binoculars will set you back like 80-150€ tops, unless you want something of highest quality. But once again, entirely optional!
u/Deadhead7889 · 1 pointr/telescopes

No worries, busy time for sure! I'm pretty new to Telescopes myself, my family got me my XT8 for my First Father's day this year. I've done a ton of research since then, and am always excited to share knowledge. Not a lot of people I know share my hobbies, so you can private message me anytime and I'll have fun giving advice or discussing it.

If you don't buy the XT8 off Craigslist, I'd recommend from their [Clearance page]( It's mostly returns that they've thoroughly inspected and come with a 1 year warranty. That's how I got mine and it was in New Condition, usually around 25% off.

Planets like Jupiter and Saturn are easy, they are typically the brightest objects in the sky so you really only need a phone app to tell you what days they will be in the night sky. I really like the Stellarium app, I paid for the full version but I think the free is still really good. Deep space objects (called DSOs) are things like Nebula, Galaxies and Star Clusters. Finding these can be like finding a needle in a haystack with how big our night sky is. For this I would highly recommend the book [Turn Left at Orion]( ). Apps can help find these things, but looking at a phone can make you lose your night vision and you don't pick up as much detail in these DSOs. It is recommended to only use red light when using a telescope which doesn't hurt your night vision, eventually you'll want a red flashlight, [I use this one]( ) which works best if you put opaque tape over the clear window in front to diffuse the light.

As far as finding objects goes you'll use a couple of things. Every telescope has a finder scope of some sort. The XT8 has a red dot finder scope, which is a little window you look through on the outside of the scope and it superimposes a red dot on the object you're looking for. So if you put the red dot on the moon say, and then look through your actual eyepiece you should be looking at the moon. It's similar to a rifle scope. For DSOs you will do what is called Star Hopping. You find a bright star that is near by what you are looking for. Then you find dimmer stars that you can still see with the naked eye. Usually I find two stars that are on either side of the object then estimate where the object should be, put my red dot here and then do a little scanning with the telescope until I find what I'm looking for. Use a low magnification lens (like the 25mm) to search. There's more scientific ways to do it, but it works for me every time. Takes some practice. It's also confusing in that if you move the scope one way, it might make the image in the scope move the opposite direction. It takes practice and patience, but with time it becomes 2nd nature.

The included 10mm and 25mm are pretty good for planets and the moon, but will fall short for DSOs. If you're willing to spend another ~$100 dollars right out the gate on accessories I'd buy a [zoom lens]( that allows you to change the magnification and an [eyepiece that provides higher magnification]( (get the 6 mm option) than the zoom or the provided lenses. Later, if you want to spend another ~$130 on more options at eyepiece I'd by the 9mm option from the 2nd link there and a [wide angle lens]( that makes it easier to find objects by showing more of the night sky. When in comes to eyepieces, make sure you know the math of magnification. You take the Focal Length of the scope, 1200mm for the XT8, and divide it by the number in mm on an eyepiece. I.e. a 12 mm eyepiece would be 1200/12 = 100x magnification. Don't bother with Barlows, a Zoom takes care of that by giving you an infinite spectrum between 50 - 150x and the 6 mm gives your 200x. That is plenty for basically all viewing conditions.

The [Moon Brightness Filter]( is nice if the Moon hurts your eyes to look at, but it might be worth just looking at the moon first before spending the $20. You can't actually hurt your eyes looking, but it can definitely shock your eye. Also, higher magnification always means dimmer so zooming in can naturally act as a filter. I wouldn't bother with other filters. Most are crap and don't contribute much.

In summary: To really feel prepared when going out for the first time you should have a book that you studied ahead of time for what you want to look for (The book is broken down by Season and what is viewable during that time) and a red light to see the book. The provided 25mm will be okay to search with, and the 10mm will let you see more of it, but you will want something better soon like the zoom or the 6mm Svbony lens. Make sure your Telescope is [collimated]( and your finder scope is lined up with your scope (the Telescope manual walks through this, do it during the day). Bring chairs and warm clothing. Lastly bring your patience. Hope this was helpful with how long it was, and I hope you and your kiddo have a ball!

u/schorhr · 1 pointr/telescopes

Glad I could help :-)

> deep space photos

Oh, that's a whole different topic :-)

Imaging is complex, expensive and more sources for headaches when getting started.

See - Great resource to chose the right gear.

While the 127 SLT works fine for some planetary imaging and some snapshots of other bright targets, it's not a good set for DSO imaging.

For serious deep-sky imaging, you need a mount that doesn't only track, but also counters field-rotation, e.g. an equatorial mount.

The SLT mount is a simple AltAz (Altitude Azimuth, Updownleftright) mount and not suited for long exposures due to field rotation and the (relatively) low precision.

The Maksutov has a "slow" aperture ratio, long focal length, and isn't exactly the first choice for deep-sky imaging.

While cheaper equatorial mounted and motorized sets are available, stability is key. E.g. a Celestron 130EQ-MD makes no sense. A NEQ3/CG4 is better suited, but does not really make sense long-term. E.g. Orion Sirius, (H)EQ5. The Orion Sirius wih GoTo costs well over $1000. Without a telescope. The manual CG4/NEQ3 costs $250-$300.

Combining terrestrial, stargazing AND imaging will result in a major headache. :-) In this case a decent apochromatic refractor might be the only thing that can cover all bases to some extend, but for visual, you really need aperture.


If you are unsure what route to take, get something smaller/cheaper first. Observe, get to know the do's and dont's of observing and imaging. Find out what you really need beyond what sounds good on paperont the screen :-)


> deep space photos

As you already seem to have a DSLR or similar, you can actually do some nice wide-field without even using a telescope.


  • Longer focal lengths require guiding etc.

  • Of course it's possible with the 127SLT to take some snapshots of brighter deep-sky objects, but not nearly as great as something like a 130pds/150pds reflector on a EQ5/EQ6 type of mount.

  • For imaging questions aside the basics I am probably not the ideal person to ask, also see /r/astrophotography for advice.


    > eyepieces

    For a 127/1500 Maksutov, there are several choices.

    A zoom-eyepiece is great for day-time use, but as with many zoom-binoculars/spotting-scopes, dedicated eyepieces tend to give you better contrast. Also zoom eyepieces have a narrow apparent field of view at the lower magnification, only 40° or so, making them poor overview eyepieces.

    Short version:

    Kit eyepieces 10mm & 25mm for now, consider a 7-8mm^1 2 for planets and a 15mm^123 to fill the gap. A 32mm for a bit move overview.

    Zoom eyepieces are usually available in 8-24 or 7-21mm 1 2, but only the Baader Zoom offered a bit more field of view on the lower magnification. For day-time use a zoom is nice sometimes, but you can usually get 2-3 better fixed-focal-length eyepieces for the same price that perform better in the long run.

    Long version:

  • 32mm Plössl,

  • $20-$30: The largest field of view with a 1.25" focuser.

  • Some other 5" Maksutovs offer a 2" focuser/diagonal allowing some more field of view. Even simpler 2" eyepieces cost $70 and up though.

  • A 40mm Plössl is available too, but has a narrow apparent field of view, effectively not showing more than a 32mm Plössl.

  • A 7mm will give you a bit over 200x. So perfect for observing moon, planets, double stars, ships - under decent conditions.

  • 7mm Plössl already have very short eye-relief. Plössl are the type of eyepieces included in the eyepiece kits. The longer ones >10mm are OK. Are you wearing glasses?

  • The HR Planetary clones, e.g. $49 7mm 58° afov are decent. Better are the BST Explorer and dual-ed eyepieces - But for a bit more you can also get a larger apparent field of view.

  • If you want to spend a bit more, you can get a 7mm Luminos ultra-wide-angle (82° apparent field of view)

  • A 6mm can work, but things will already get pretty dim, and 250x magnification only works if atmospheric seeing is great (which it usually isn't).

  • One or two in-between.

  • Either just use the kit eyepieces,

  • Get a 15mm Plössl or wide-angle eyepiece, 123

  • or get some of "gold-line"^Link for example. These no-name eyepieces are sold by several names and the brand name Orion expanse. The whole set probably makes little sense. 15mm to fill the gap of the kit eyepieces. 9 and 20mm if you want to replace the cheap kit eyepieces. 6mm is a bit too much already.

  • At Aliexpress you can get a long eye-relief "gold-line" 6mm eyepiece for $18, at Amazon $40 or so.


    Here is an overview for eyepiece stats at 127/1500. The magnification, true field of view, and the exit pupil

    (True field of view: Extend your arm, extend your index finger. It covers a width of 1° in the sky: Twice the full moon- even if it seems larger when over the horizon. At higher magnification, you just see a fragment of that in the eyepiece)

    (Exit pupil = amount of light exiting the eyepiece, under 0.5-0.6mm it gets too dim. 2-3mm is ideal for many deep-sky objects; 1-2mm for some of the smaller nebulae)

    25mm: 60x Magnification / 0.86° field of view / 2.1mm exit-pupil

    10mm: 150x / 0.33° fov / 0.8mm EP

    32mm: 46x / 1.1° / 2.7mm

    15mm: 100x / 0.5°-0.81° depending on the eyepiece / 1.2mm

    7mm: 214x / 0.26°-0.33° / 0.59mm

    More magnification is always tempting, but it will make things dimmer. Crude simulation. So usually you can see more details with less magnification, even if the planet isn't view-filling.

    Atmospheric seeing^YoutubeExample often limits magnification to <=200x. The image wobbles, the higher you magnify, the blurrier and more apparent it becomes. For day-time over the horizon, this might be way more apparent, restricting you to 100-150x. You have probably seen the effect of heat-haze/heat-shimmer over a hot road or field, and that moving air is exactly what makes day-time observing at high magnification problematic.
u/phpdevster · 2 pointsr/telescopes
  1. An 8" dob is definitely a bit much for a 7 year-old, but as long as it's for both of you, it's a good purchase. The most complicated part of owning a dob is collimating the optics (just making sure they're all aligned properly). There are plenty of tutorials on how to do this online. It will take a tiny bit of practice, but once you do it a couple of times, it's easy.

  2. Get this eyepiece set. Don't bother with a barlow. The 9mm that comes with that set will replace the 9mm Plossl that comes with the telescope. It's much, much easier to look through and offers a wider field of view. That set is a good spread of focal lengths for that scope, and will compliment the 30mm nicely.

  3. Does that even matter? Yes. You will be fighting condensation on the finder scope like crazy. I recommend buying a pack of those chemical handwarmers and just strapping one to the underside of the viewfinder with an elastic band, and maybe also one to the eyepiece of the view finder as well. That will keep it above ambient and keep the condensation off it.

  4. Yes, several things to know:

  • Obviously, never ever point the thing at the sun unless you have a visual rated solar filter that sits over the FRONT of the scope. You cannot put a solar filter at the eyepiece, it must block the light before it enters the scope.

  • The biggest limiting factor to seeing lunar and planetary detail is the atmosphere. It bends and distorts light just like water in a swimming pool does when trying to view items on the bottom. Some nights are steady and planets are super crisp with tons of detail, other nights are abysmal and the planet looks like an amoeba. It takes patience and some luck to get a night of good atmospheric "seeing" as it's called.

  • You also need to make sure the telescope is thermally acclimated to ambient temperatures. If the mirror is warmer than the outside air temps for whatever reason (e.g. stored in a hot un-insulated shed all day), then the heat coming off the mirror will distort light on the way to the mirror, and again bouncing off of it. If you store the scope in a cool air conditioned space, when you bring it outside in the hot humid air, the mirrors will instantly fog up and the scope will be unusable.

  • It's best to view the planets when they are the highest in the sky. This is known as their transit time - when they cross the southern meridian in the sky. If you try to view them when they're low on the horizon, atmospheric seeing will be worse, and the atmosphere will act like a prism and badly scramble the light, obscuring fine details.

  • The full moon is the least interesting phase to view because lighting is very flat. Best to view near 1st or 3rd quarter so you can see the moon illuminated from the side, where you will see deep shadows on craters, mountain ranges etc.

  • If you buy the eyepiece set I linked to, the 9mm and the 6mm will be your planetary and lunar eyepieces. The 9mm is at the low-end range of planetary magnification and can be used when the atmosphere is very turbulent. The 6mm will be useful when the atmosphere is steady. Eventually you can get something between 3mm and 4mm for very high magnification, but it will only be useful on very rare nights unless you have particularly stable air.

  • I recommend getting the book Turn Left at Orion, which is a good guide to get familiar with the night sky and using the telescope.
u/Senno_Ecto_Gammat · 2 pointsr/telescopes

Lots of people are going to say 8" dob, Z8 specifically, and I have nothing but good to say about that. For a lot of people that's the only answer necessary.

However, let me offer an alternative case in favor of OneSky telescope by Astronomers Without Borders.

Three reasons for this recommendation:

SIZE The OneSky is a collapsible tabletop reflector. It is quite modestly sized when collapsed. It will fit in the front seat or trunk of a car and can easily be carried by even a child. Size ultimately is the thing that keeps a telescope indoors. There have been several nights this year where I've had 20 minutes to sneak a peek out at a beautiful crescent moon or something, but haven't, because I knew it would take me 20 minutes to set up my telescope and I would have no observing time. Plus all the work of lugging the heavy parts from my shed to my front yard. With a tabletop scope there's none of that. It takes 2 minutes to set up and requires no heavy lifting.

You will never miss an observing session due to the work of setting up the telescope, and you will never have to leave the telescope at home on a trip. An 8" Dob is going to show more simply because it's a larger scope, but the OneSky is going to show more than an 8" scope in the shed.

COST With a budget of $400, you will be able to afford some killer accessories after getting the $200 OneSky. Turn Left At Orion is the ideal book for a new telescope owner. A wide-field eyepiece like this one will give really good views of clusters like the pleiades and large nebulae like the Great Orion Nebula. A 6mm, 66 degree eyepiece will allow excellent, comfortable viewing of planets and smaller objects like binary stars. In addition you will be able to afford a comfortable stool to place the scope on, and a nice chair to sit on.

If you buy an 8" scope you will not be able to get all that stuff and stay in your $400 budget.

COMMUNITY The OneSky is well reviewed (review 1, review 2 under the Heritage 130 name) and has an active community of fans who have a lot of ideas about how to improve the performance of the scope for very little money/effort.

Troubleshooting this telescope is a breeze and the community is favorable. Even among seasoned enthusiasts the OneSky is popular.

u/CyberPlatypus · 3 pointsr/telescopes

The telescope is definitely going to come with a collimating device of some sort. I've only ever used a laser collimator, so I'm not sure how hard other collimating devices are to use. It never takes me more than 5 minutes to collimate my dob though.

I would get a 2x barlow (this one is pretty nice and also cheap), and some gold-line eyepieces. They're recommneded often on here because they're not too expensive but still pretty good. I would maybe get maybe the 15 mm and 6 mm. Those combined with the scope eyepieces and the barlow should give you all the magnifications you could want.

Whether a solar filter is worth it is entirely up to you. However, just note that if you don't want to put in $100s of dollars, you're pretty much limited to something made with Solar Filter Film or a basic glass filter. The views you get from that are definitely nice, but it might not be what you're expecting. You'll see something like this with those filters.

If the scope doesn't come with a 0 magnification red-dot finder scope, you might want to get one. Telrads are considered one of the best one's on the market (and I love mine to death), but they can be a bit pricey. A cheaper red dot finder scope (like this one) should also serve you just fine.

Besides that, I would definitely recommend getting the book Turn Left at Orion. It's essentially the complete beginners guide to all things Amateur Astronomy. It's absolutely fantastic.

One small other thing I can think of is a red-light flashlight (like this). It's definitely not necessary, but it's nice to be able to look at things in the dark without losing your night vision too much.

u/The_Dead_See · 5 pointsr/telescopes

It's not a terrible scope but it's not really a good one either as you might expect given the low retail price. The good news is that you might have an okay time with it being as you're under dark skies. Dark skies and a cheap scope trumps light pollution and an expensive scope any day and twice on Tuesdays.

The best thing through it will, of course, be the moon.

You should be able to see Jupiter as a bright white disc with the 4 main moons visible as tiny stars beside it. If you're really really lucky, you might see the two highest contrast belts through this scope, but I wouldn't bank on it with this scope.

Saturn will be visible as a small disc with a blurry line representing the rings... something a bit like this

You'll be able to make out the brightest deep sky objects such as the great nebula in Orion, and the Andromeda galaxy as fuzzy gray "clouds". Clusters such as the Pleiades will look great, because they look great through just about anything :-)

I'd recommend you grab a copy of Turn Left at Orion, it's your indispensable guide to viewing and to your next telescope upgrade.

Just to note the 4mm eyepiece that comes with the scope is way too powerful for its aperture, not worth using really, but stick to the 20mm and you'll see some stuff.

Happy viewing!

u/famguy07 · 3 pointsr/telescopes

Not a problem. I'm not an expert on that type of scope either, which is why I linked and mentioned the other sub, but the general consensus is that they are decent entry level scopes that will give you a good start in the hobby, but leave you wanting more over time, and it seems $50 is about what they are generally worth, so I think you made the right call to get into the hobby and figure out if you like it or not.

You didn't mention anything about eyepieces, but I would assume it came with 1 or 2 plossl or kelners, likely around 25mm for 40x magnification. I would recommend getting one of the "gold line" eyepieces this sun always praises. They have great eye relief and about the same FOV as a plossl, so they are great for higher mag when plossls force you to damn near touch your eye to the eyepiece.

I generally wouldn't recommend an eyepiece kit, as they are generally not that great with overlap of ranges and being bundled with other useless filters and stuff, but this one is a bit better, though I would suggest getting only 1 or 2 of the eyepieces in the kit anyway (the 6mm for sure, maybe the 9 or 15 as well):

The 6mm will give you 166x, 9mm 111x, 15mm 66x, and 20mm 50x. I'm getting these values by dividing your focal length (1000m) with the eyepiece focal length. Again, I'm assuming you already have a low power eyepiece around 25mm, so a 20 won't be much different. The 15mm or 9mm will be medium mag, which I like to use on larger objects like the Orion nebula, and the 6mm will let you zoom in on small objects, which based on your pic of Jupiter is probably something you are interested in.

In general, the mag limit of a telescope is about 2x the aperture in mm, but with the spherical mirror, you have have focusing issues before getting to that point, so I wouldn't recommend going further than the 6mm.

Eyepieces will transfer well from scope to scope, so if you are at all interested in continuing the hobby, I think it's well worth it to start getting slightly better eyepieces early.

u/Darthnomster · 3 pointsr/telescopes

I bought an XT8 last fall as a first scope and have really enjoyed it. I live in an outer suburb of Cincinnati. I have a never ending skyglow to my west, but reasonably dark skies overhead and to the east. I've had excellent views of M31, M32, M110, M42, M27, Jupiter, Mars, the Moon, owl cluster/asterism, Pleiades and other sights that I'm forgetting to mention here. Just last weekend I got my best view of Jupiter so far. I was able to see the color bands more clearly than ever before, the shadow of a moon on it's surface, two other moons in line with the planet, and could just make out the red spot (I think). The telescope is easy to setup, stays pretty well collimated even after gentle transport, and isn't too much of a beast to move around.

I'd recommend as your first accessory a viewing chair like this one:

You'll be tempted to get eyepieces, filters, and laser collimators, but that chair is the single item that has enhanced my viewing most. It's adjustable height lets you sit comfortably with the eyepiece at eye level for extended viewing sessions.

Best of luck!

EDIT : Spelling

u/Marcus_Maximus · 0 pointsr/telescopes

Thanks for the detailed response! Your other posts on this subreddit have been super helpful for me with researching and starting out! :)

> How much for each? Where are you from? No local offers?

It's 600$ for the XT8 and 630$ for the SkyWatcher, so around 200$ in shipping for each. I'm from Lebanon and sadly there's no local offers. The only scopes sold here are Celestrons, and they're priced quite high mostly due to their electronics.

Another poster mentioned that the SkyWatcher is pretty much the same as the AD8, does it have the same optics, construction, etc?

> About the mirror review: Got a link? That sounds odd.

The 'fatal flaw' comes from the 4th paragraph of 1st review on the amazon page:

I did some searching on Cloudy Nights, but there doesn't seem to be anything on it. The reviewer might be mistaken.

As for astigmatism, I don't mind having to take my glasses off and on. However, I think I read about people who have certain diopter values (unsure of mine and almost have no knowledge of eyepieces, exit pupil, etc.) who can't really see well through eyepieces without glasses.

I'm not really concerned about myself when it comes to observing with or without glasses as I'll probably be fine, but I'd like my mom to look through this scope as well. She has worst astigmatism than me, so I'd rather err on the side of caution and go with at least some eye relief if possible.

You mentioned high magnification helps for viewing without glasses, so wouldn't a barlow be worth it in that case? The only thing I know about them comes from this video from the stickied post:

He mentions they're a worthwhile investment since they can essentially double the amount of eyepieces you own. Also, would they offer good eye relief?

>Else, you'd have to try if you can live with ~13-15mm eye-relief (e.g. the $20-$40 gold-line, HR Planetary clones) or if you need eyepieces with 20mm ($80-$130+++) eye-relief.

13-15mm eye relief doesn't sound bad for those prices. Do you recommend any specific ones for planetary viewing, as well as clusters and some DSOs in case I get the SkyWatcher?

>Finder's included, but a Telrad is great for DSO if you have a dark sky and can see enough stars.

I'm in a Bortle 7 zone and will be doing most if not all my observing there so the sky isn't very dark. From what I've read, the SkyWatcher's finder is serviceable. Do you have any experience with it?

u/wintyfresh · 1 pointr/telescopes

8SE owner for over eight years, let me see if I can tackle some of these questions.

  1. I found the foam the OTA came with fit perfectly into an igloo cooler. I used this to store and transport it before finally upgrading to a JMI case.

  2. You can defocus a star to see if it needs collimation.

  3. It really shouldn't require much in the way of maintenance.

  4. No clue, but feel free to ask me if you have specific questions.

  5. Humidity can promote fungal growth, probably not a bad idea to throw a silica packet or two in your case. I've taken mine 4-wheeling, left it out overnight in the desert, etc and never had any issues.

  6. I absolutely love my Hand Control Mounting Bracket, it makes it much more pleasant to use. My JMI Motofocus takes care of any vibrations during focusing, and a Telrad made alignment much easier. I did eventually upgrade to a 50mm RACI finder as well. You'll probably want to pick up a dew shield and/or dew heater strips depending on where you live.

    Enjoy and clear skies, there's no need to be nervous about your new telescope!
u/morpheus2n2 · 2 pointsr/telescopes

Thanks so much for the reply, yeah the scope is normally set up about an hour before I want to use it :)
Yes using the focus dose help sharpen the image or make it worse but compared to some of the Pics I have seen people post of the sky from there scope (the same one or next moble down) the images always look a lot clearer and always seem to be of objects at a far greater distance than good old Jupiter lmao.

Am I right in thinking that a 2x barlow will help with this a bit?

Is this set worth getting or is it a bit OTT for this budget scope?

Again thanks so much for getting back to me so quick and thanks for the help and advice :)

u/DaulPirac · 1 pointr/telescopes

I have a common 700x76 so its fine if I cant really see much detail (of course I would like to upgrade but right now my only option for sky viewing is hiking). As long as I dont downgrade from there Im fine. I got a plossl 25mm lens which improved the quality a lot but it's still hard to distinguish much detail.

My current budget would be around a 100 dollars. Where I live (Argentina) things are pretty rough with inflation and basically anything like this costs almost twice as much when you make the conversions. I have a relative travelling to the US and they could pick up a scope like this for me. Of course I could simply hold on and save for the next occassion.

Nebulae is something I would love to see but I could never do it, probably due to the light pollution. I basically gave up on them thinking its impossible. Would I be able to see them with a refractor? Clusters and panning scross the sky also sounds good and kind of what I want to do.

Maybe I should get some binoculars instead but I would really like a telescope I can take on hikes and take some beginner pics with my phone, sorry for the link but something like this is what I had in mind:

u/petpetfood · 3 pointsr/telescopes

Jupiter and especially Saturn looked underwhelming for me in my telescope, but after cleaning up my eyepieces's lens and secondary mirror with just a wet and dry paper towel my quality was greatly increased. Weather conditions like heavy wind and humidity can also affect the view pretty badly. Collimating your telescope properly is something you probably hear all the time, but it really does make a big difference. As for eyepieces, the Celestron Omni has served me well but I've upgraded to a "Baader Planetarium 8-24mm Hyperion Clickstop Zoom Mark IV Eyepiece" (what a mouthful). The views are noticably better and the zoom feature is so, so, soooo convenient. It's especially handy for showing friends and family who are not into the hobby, as you don't have to change the eyepieces constantly for them. It runs for about 300 dollars which is a big asking point, but there are cheaper alternatives like the Celestron zoom eyepiece ( which are only 65 dollars. I would recommend getting one of those, a decent 2x barlow (shouldn't be more than 40 dollars), and a dedicated large eyepiece (in the 30-40mm range). That's all you really need for casual observing by yourself or to show friends and family.

u/ArtDSellers · 2 pointsr/telescopes

The Z10 would be a great scope. I have the Z12, and I love it. It's a lot to handle though. The Z10 would give you some more mobility and wouldn't take up too much space. A 10 is still a great light bucket and will give you wonderful views of lots of fun objects.

There are myriad resources to get you going on what to see and when to see it. You can check out for a day-by-day update on what's happening in the sky. Telescopius is another great resource. Also, grab yourself a copy of Turn Left at Orion. It'll help you get acquainted with the night sky.

The Bahamian sky should treat you quite nicely. Just be patient with the equipment and the hobby. Learning takes time.

u/Iamnotasexrobot · 3 pointsr/telescopes

Holy Batman this is an amazing response!
The 4 year old has used a telescope before, he's just absolutely fascinated by space right now. If it was just him, I'd definitely be getting the £50 type scopes. Due to my interest, I really don't believe any model I get will be a waste of money.

I had the Heritage in mind, but had never looked at that Skyliner 150p, which has lead me to the 200p....I'm sure you know the feeling!

Already purchased Turn Left at Orion, definitely want a moon filter/scope as well as a planetary one.
Finder scope is essential from what I've read.

I think I'm settled on either the Heritage 130p or the Skyliner 150p. Is there any justifiable reason to even consider the 200p? I'm fairly certain I'll go in the middle for the 150p, but always welcome opinions!
Yet this Orion StarMax and this Orion SkyQuest keep appearing in my research. It will be between those 4 for sure, if you have any specific advice on those along with any accessories I need I would be eternally grateful.

u/812many · 1 pointr/telescopes

I use printouts and books much more than apps. Printouts especially are great because you can mark them up and plan what you want to look for.

I mostly use to get the map of what's up this month, and it includes locations of the planets. Easy two page printout. Of course, planets are bright enough that you don't even need dark skies to find them, so you can try pointing your funscope at them right now.

Currently, the planets are coming up later at night, with Jupiter coming up after mindight, mars after 2:00am, and venus at 4:00am. So if you want to see them, I'd recommend getting up early in the morning. I'd recommending practicing finding them in the sky with an App before you leave. They are super easy to find once you've done it a couple of times, and follow the path of the sun.

Since your scope and binoculars are relative low on magnification, you'll probably want to look for big bright nebula's, star clusters, and galaxies. If you've never seen any of them before, look for the bright ones: the Orion Nebula and Andromeda galaxy are huge and going to be high in the sky in the evening. They are both bright enough to see a little bit of even in light polluted skies, so I'd practice finding them before you leave on vacation.

For traveling recently, I just brought binoculars and a tripod. I have cheap sets of 7x50 and 15x70. Your funscope has a 76mm mirror, about the size of my big binoculars.

Personally, I think it's a great idea to bring both the scope and the binoculars. You'll get a feel for what you like to look through more once you're out there.

I am not an expert on taking pictures through telescopes, but I do know that if you don't have a tracking equatorial mount, it's really tough to get anything in the sky because you have to take brief pictures. And the funscope doesn't have a parabolic mirror, which makes goop pictures very difficult, too.

If you're just starting out and want to get into the hobby, I really recommend the book Left Turn at Orion. Truly a great guide to getting started when you have no idea where to start in this hobby. And it's the best guide for finding stuff for the first time.

u/GreenFlash87 · 2 pointsr/telescopes

I believe Bresser is synonymous with ES just like Orion is to skywatcher.

The finder scope looks like it could be a bit better but it should get the job done. It also looks like it makes up in the design area for what it slightly lacks in the finder scope area.

Welcome to the dob world. Let everyone know what you think but I’m sure you’ll love it.

Do yourself a favor and order the 6 mm in something like this

SVBONY Telescope Eyepiece Fully Mutil Coated 1.25 inches Telescope Accessories Set 66 Degree Ultra Wide Angle HD 6mm for Astronomy Telescope

The planets are getting low and setting very early but if you get a good eyepiece soon you should be able to catch them before they’re gone.

u/Twistys_Pisacandy · 3 pointsr/telescopes

The best book I’ve found for locating things in Sky is Turn Left at Orion. Has illustrations for where to look for different objects, what they should look like so you know when you’re there, as well as ease of seeing based on type of telescope.
As for collimating, there are a few ways to, and plenty of YouTube videos on how to. Easiest is with a laser collimator. But unless you know someone who has one, cost money. Another involves lining up with a bright star, usually Polaris as it doesn’t move, moving your focus out until the star looks like a donut, then adjusting your collation into the “hole” is in the center.
Another option is to look up any local astronomy clubs to you and see if they have any public outreach events. The purpose of these events is for the general public to come out and view. Those with new gear are always welcome to come out to be helped with their new stuff as we (as amateur astronomers) would rather have someone with an interest know how to use their gear and enjoy the experience than get frustrated and give up the hobby altogether.
Hope this helped.

u/tLoKMJ · 2 pointsr/telescopes

As u/schorhr mentioned... Field of View (FOV) can play a big role in this. Wide field eyepieces are usually advertised for nebulae and star fields and stuff like that, but they improved even planetary viewing for us immensely since it was easier to locate the object to begin with, a more enjoyable view (better overall opening on the EP), and an easier task to keep it centered in view.

Assuming a dob with a focal length of ~1,200mm (like Orion, Apertura, etc.) you'd want a ~6mm EP to hit a magnification of 200x:

u/A40 · 2 pointsr/telescopes

I know they're poor telescopes, astronomically-speaking, but a Celestron travel scope, or one like it, might be a good option.

The eyepiece provides an upright image (so aiming it is intuitive) and is set at a 45 degree angle, which might be easier to use on a table or tray.

It's light, has a tripod mount (which can be secured or stabilized in several ways) and can be operated with one hand - both aiming and focusing.

Again, not a premium scope, optically, but it might be what you're looking for. I've used one and enjoyed the experience.

u/reddit_from_me · 1 pointr/telescopes

Thank you so much for your time. I think I'm going to to go with the Onesky. I really meets nearly all of my needs right now.

I don't know how I haven't seen the Onesky before, it never came up on my google searches. Also I guess while reading through this subreddit I ignored ABW because I didn't recognize the acronym, and had never heard of the maker. I think the mobility of the Onesky is really right up my alley, and the aperture is better than most of the other mobile scopes in this range. I think the 8" or 10" dobs will be a bit too big for my liking, and I'd probably use them a little less often because of that. Also, the dobs are much harder to store in my apartment (which is definitely a factor).

From most of the review I have read, a Barlow is strongly recommended for the Onesky. As the scope is a great value, and I have some wiggle room, is there a eyepiece set or any other accessories that you think would really enhance this kind of scope?

I was looking at the Celestron and came upon this Gosky set. Any thoughts/experience with either of these?

u/CharacterUse · 1 pointr/telescopes

It's a very capable scope for the price, better than any refractor you could get for that money.

Edit because I'm being modded down: *at the price* it is the best telescope to buy (unless buying used). Yes, it would be better to save up and buy the Orion SkyScanner for 100 GBP (more than twice the price) or even better to get the SkyWatcher Heritage 130p u/phpdevster named for 162 GBP ... but that is almost 4 times the price. Good for OP if they have (and want to spend) that kind of money, but in the 45-50GBP price range the Firstscope *is* a good scope.

u/GrassNinja139 · 4 pointsr/telescopes

For eyepieces, I'd consider this goldline set...

SVBONY Telescope Eyepiece Fully Mutil Coated 1.25" Telescope Accessories Set 66 Degree Ultra Wide Angle HD 6mm 9mm 15mm 20mm for Astronomy Telescope

This sub often recommends goldlines to beginners because they are very solid with pretty good views for the price range. The entire set is a nice range of focal lengths. If someone breaks or damages an eyepiece, a replacement wouldn't cost too much.

And maybe a telrad finder?

I don't believe hooking it up to a monitor is a real option. The options that do exist would be relatively expensive and the results would still be pretty poor.

Have you looked for a local astronomy club that would be willing to help? Most clubs love doing public outreach projects and events. Or a local college/university that might have an astronomy department?

u/Spazmodo · 1 pointr/telescopes
  1. Get the collimator

  2. Get the collimator

  3. Get the collimator

    See the pattern?

    Ok more info. Your telescope is a reflector just like mine. There are two mirrors, one at each end of the tube. Your eyepiece has to be lined up correctly with the front mirror, and the front mirror and back mirror have to be lined up properly. The collimator (Celstron calls it the collimation eyepiece) helps you to line up these optics. Without doing this first your experience is going to be like mine was, very disappointing. Unless you're incredibly lucky most everything will be blurry, or smeared to some degree. Once you have collimated the scope properly everything becomes much much sharper. The effect is kind of like shining a flashlight on a wall. If the flashlight is lined up properly the light is sharp and round, if the flashlight is at an angle to the wall the light becomes distorted, stretched out and oval shaped. This is similar to what I experienced with my scope. It's well worth the extra 30 bucks.

    Get yourself a set of eyepieces of various sizes. Celestron has a decent entry level one for about 130 bucks I think. This will allow you to really get the best use of your scope once it's collimated.

    Have fun!

    Edit 2: Here is the collimation eyepiece and here is the eyepiece kit
u/quantumFroth · 1 pointr/telescopes

This is exactly what I was looking for. Seriously, thank you for taking the time to write this out.

I think I'm going to get a decent 8-24x zoom eyepiece so that I can get an "o.k" look at everything on different magnifications on a budget.

But I'm going to get one nice eyepiece along with that for ideally planet viewing. So I'm looking at either a 5mm or a 9mm Celestron LX (I'm not a die hard Celestron customer, they're just easiest for me to get online here in Canada). I thought I read that really low focal length eye pieces aren't good for shorter focal length telescopes.

I'll be getting a decent barlow eventually (when the budget allows). So I'm kind of torn on the 5mm or 9mm, since I'll have the 8mm option on the zoom piece. Do you think the 9mm Celestron LX will be a much better view than the 8mm on the zoom? If it's barely noticeable, I'll get the 5mm. But I like the idea of having a nice eye piece in the magnification I'll be spending 90% of my time in.

I'm probably over complicating things... I'm a student with a low paying job though. I've gotta get bang for my buck and buy smart.

u/Silmarils_Light · 2 pointsr/telescopes

Appreciate the response! Those do seem like very good recommendations. I believe I have decided on this one: I already have a mount that the poster who suggested this one said would work with it.

Think I will be adding on these two lenses as well, unless you have a better suggestion?


And you're right, I know I will eventually get the "bug," and I will eventually get something that would be considered higher end, but that would be for me and me alone. This is something I want to share with people, and if I'm at a music festival and someone on LSD knocks it over, I won't be out thousands, just a couple hundred, but it would be well spent it to blow some peoples minds.

u/Red-Fawn · 1 pointr/telescopes

Try the Apertura AD8 instead. The AD8 has a far better finder, and the dual-speed focuser will make your life much easier. The eyepieces are of much better quality as well.


Turn Left at Orion is the best book you can get right now. There isn't a single person in this subreddit that would speak poorly of it. It'll get you through the learning portion of using your scope, and show you some top features of the night sky along the way.

u/_Conan · 1 pointr/telescopes

Thanks for the reply. My parents got this scope for our oldest son (22 now). I used it more then he did. I was amazed by how much I could see of Jupiter. Yeah it was fuzzy but I could make out the cloud bands and the red dot.

And thanks for saying that the gold line is the SVBONY brand. I see it was mentioned in the faq but when I searched it it brought up SVBONY. I thought that was some boot leg china stuff, well I guess it kind of is, you didn't touch with a 10 foot pole. So would this be a good "kit" to start with?

u/BlackflagsSFE · 1 pointr/telescopes

Thank you for the reply. I was looking at getting the goldline eyepieces(which are the ultra wide I think?). I'd like to get a kit if possible. Would These Eyepieces be sufficient or would you recommend something else? I didn't see any kits with the ones you linked me. I'm just trying to make sure I buy the ones that will be right for me because it seems I wasted money with the plossl set from Celestron, so I'm just going to sell it on eBay. Any kit suggestions would be great so I can view everything I'm wanting to ASAP (I go to Nags Head the last week of August and want to have them by then). Thank you for any replies and suggestions. I greatly do appreciate it!

u/anethma · 1 pointr/telescopes

If I were to order from the site the scope came from I dont see the "gold line" ones people are recommending and that is in your sources.

They have the Orion eyepieces. The Expenase and the bit more expensive "Edge On".

I don't mind splurging a bit more for the 6mm since I imagine that will be a lot of my initial viewing.

Then they have the Q70 for the wider field. Says "pre order" but I'll see if they have it.

They don't seem to sell the Telrad but has it. I assume I would also need to buy some kind of base?

Thanks for all your help!

EDIT: For the 6mm would it also be better to pay a bit more and go 2" on that as well? I dont mind the bit of extra money but sometimes more isn't always better I imagine. Thanks!

u/zeeblecroid · 1 pointr/telescopes

Leaving aside all the "read the sticky" responses, one thing I'd recommend is, if you see one that interests you on Amazon, check prices at a few other places like the manufacturer's website, other vendors, and any photography/etc stores in your neck of the woods. Prices can vary, often in breathtakingly silly ways.

Depending on your location it can be worth looking at used stuff on Kijiji as well; every now and then I'll see people local offloading one telescope or another for whatever reason at "you're kidding, right?" prices.

Past that, if you're mainly interested in lunar/planetary observation from an urban environment, you've got some pretty forgiving targets - if you had a 16" Dobsonian with high-grade eyepieces it wouldn't hurt your viewing of the moon by any stretch, but you definitely wouldn't need that kind of gear.

u/ManamiVixen · 3 pointsr/telescopes

Do not buy Celestron's cheaper Newtonian telescopes! They have really bad mirrors that they try to hide by using a "Corrector Lens" in front of the Secondary Mirror to "Correct" the bad mirror. That "Corrector Lens" though is really bad too and dosen't correct anything!

The images are really blurry even at lower magnifications and the lens makes collimation a nightmare. Both the Astromaster and Power Seeker lines have these bad Newts. The Omni XLT Family and the Celestron Cometron 114 AZ happen to have good optics. The Cometron 114 AZ might actually what you are looking for.

Here It has good optics and a decent mount. It's also in you budget. Probably should get new eyepieces though, the ones it comes with are ok, but you could do better.

Edit: Some good high power eyepieces will allow you to see the planets. One like this would be a good investment.