Is the Refracting Telescope on the top of this webpage good for a novice to casually peruse the night sky?

http://www.telescopesa.za.org/tsa_optics_refractor...

I mostly want to see the moon, mars, perhaps some other fascinating features :)

For this I am thinking of getting the first refractor on the page above.

Optical Tube 80mm(3.1") F=640mm (f/8) 2 elements 1 group achromatic

Focuser 1.25" Rack & Pinion

Diagonal 1.25" 90deg

Finder scope 6x30

Eye pieces K9mm, RK20mm

Motor Drive Single Axis (Optional)

Mount JE 100A

Tripod 1.25" Stainless Steel

Accessories Red LED; Moon Filter; 1.5x Erect Image Lens; 3x Barlow Lens

5 Answers

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  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    No, I would not recommend this telescope. It has too small an aperture (80 mm) to show much detail, and is on a very shaky and hard to use mount. You would be very disappointed with it. All the telescopes on this web page are from a second rate Chinese manufacturer, mostly poor copies of the better scopes (also made in China) sold under the SkyWatcher, Celestron, and Orion brand names.

    Here are a few web pages with good information on beginner's telescopes:

    http://www.gaherty.ca/tme/TME0702_Buying_a_Telesco...

    http://www.scopereviews.com/begin.html

    http://observers.org/beginner/j.r.f.beginner.html

    For more advanced information, read Phil Harrington's Star Ware, 4th edition (Wiley).

    You'll get the greatest value for your money with a Newtonian reflector on a Dobsonian mount, such as these:

    http://www.telescope.com/control/category/~categor...

    http://www.skywatchertelescope.net/swtinc/product....

    Buy from a store which specializes in telescopes and astronomy, either locally or online; don't buy from department stores, discount stores or eBay as mostly what they sell is junk. Find your local astronomy club and try out different telescopes at one of their star parties:

    http://www.skyandtelescope.com/community/organizat...

    I strongly recommend that beginners steer clear of astrophotography until they have learned their way around the sky. Astrophotography is by far the most expensive and difficult area of amateur astronomy.

    Many people who buy telescopes have no idea how to find interesting things to observe. A good introduction to finding things is NightWatch by Terence Dickinson (Firefly). A more advanced book is Star Watch by Phil Harrington (Wiley).

  • 1 decade ago

    There's always a lot of anti-refractor, anti-equatorial sentiment on this group. It doesn't actually strike me as being a particularly bad scope if I have got the currency conversion right (around £70 sterling). 80mm is tiny for a reflector but it is reasonable for a refractor such as this. I use an 80mm reflector myself (admittedly a higher quality one) and often find you can see as much or more than reflectors in the 150mm range. An aperture for aperture comparison is not a valid one between reflectors and refractors.

    However, I've never even heard of that company. I wouldn't be too concerned about its optical performance (f/8 achromats are fairly lenient things) but I would be concerned as to how sturdy the mount is. It may be perfectly fine but it may be unusably shaky. I would strongly recommend asking in a local group somewhere for first hand experiences of using this scope. One thing we can be sure of straight away is that this is not a top quality scope, but that does not necessarily make it completely useless. If your budget is constrained then it may be a reasonable option but make sure you get some first hand reviews of it first.

  • 1 decade ago

    The mount is equatorial so you will need to polar align it to use it. I never recommend an EQ mounted scope for a beginner. The mount also looks a little too small for the telescope which will make it shaky at high magnification.

    Every scope on that web site has an EQ mount.

    Take a look at a DOBSONIAN mounted reflector like this one-

    http://www.telescope.com/control/product/~category...

    You can also buy these with a pushto hand controller which will help you find objects in the sky. Especially useful from a light polluted viewing site.

    Like this one:

    http://www.telescope.com/control/product/~category...

  • Will
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It doesn't look like a bad scope per se, but I'm not a big fan of refractors. The fact that 99.9% of the telescopes built by hobbyists in astronomy are reflectors should tell you something. The design of reflectors have some definite advantages.

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  • Roger
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Before you get a telescope learn your way around the night sky. Can you find Orion, Canis Major, Taurus, Gemini, and Hyades star cluster? A good telescope is fairly expensive and to get the most benefit out of it, learn the constellations.

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