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#1 Toddhom

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 05:28 AM

I've been thinking about getting a telescope to bring camping.  I know nothing about them.  I would want something with decent optics but also something that you can breakdown and store away and a telescope that can handle the rigors of the road.  Something in the vicinity of $200 give or take a few dollars more. 

 

Todd


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#2 BrianG

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 06:46 AM

Hi Todd,

 

I worked in an observatory for 8 years and have helped amateurs for many years. I’ve observed through and owned many amazing telescopes. For $200 this would be an excellent choice:

 

Orion 10015 Starblast 4.5” Reflector  $199 on Amazon

 

With this telescope you’ll be able to see the rings of Saturn and you’ll see some definition on Jupiter, plus lots of other bright Messier objects. But, keep in mind it’s only a 4.5” telescope. Finding objects in the night sky won’t be easy and the optics in this price range will not be optimum. 

 

A telescope in this price range would only be a first step to something much better in the future. Getting hooked on astronomy is hard to avoid when boondocking in the middle of nowhere without any city lights!

 

A good set of binoculars is also a good way to start for the brightest objects, like the moon and some Messier objects. 

 

Good luck,

Brian


Edited by BrianG, 23 February 2021 - 06:49 AM.

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#3 Happyjax

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 02:05 PM

For the money you want to invest another option could be a good pair of binoculars or a decent spotting scope. That way you will have a multi-purpose item. In dark skies binos work great, easy to carry, easy to use. 

 

Just my 2 cents:)


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#4 Beach

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 03:08 PM

I use my spotting scope when we are on the road, it works well (mostly checking out the moon)and it's very compact. You'll get performance based on dollars spent, bigger, better lenses cost more but you'll get better light transmission for viewing distant planets. I use a old telescope at home I bought from LL Bean(made by Celestron I think) for about $125 twenty + years ago, it's just to big to lug around in the camper. A reflector type might be easier to pack. 


Edited by Beach, 23 February 2021 - 03:16 PM.

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#5 Toddhom

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 03:30 PM

Brian G.  I would be willing to spend up to $300.00  Would that get me something a lot better?  I am also wondering if a tripod mounted base would be better.  If I'm camping out in the desert with no table or good place to put a telescope with that kind of mount

 

Todd


Edited by Toddhom, 23 February 2021 - 03:47 PM.

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#6 wicked1

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 03:47 PM

Not quite the same, but has anyone done long exposure night shots?  I use my telephoto lens.  Long exposure.  Then can zoom in on the final pic since cameras have such high pixel counts these days, and see some incredible details you'd never see otherwise.   It helps my camera has a star tracker feature, which compensates for rotation of the earth for a couple minutes.   Uses the image stabilization system to do it. 


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#7 Happyjax

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 06:17 PM

The Horsehead/Flame Nebula was shot with my camera gear piggybacked on a telescope tracking mount. I have a Star Adventurer Tracker, Ioptron makes the Sky Guider Pro tracker.

There are others but those are the only 2 I have tried and I own the Star Adventurer. The trick with them is finding what you want to shoot.... Neowise was pretty easy when it was visible to the eye. Was pretty tricky on some of the later days....

 

horsehead overlay web.jpg

 

Here is Neowise. 30 second shot Nikon D500 80-400 @220 on a Start Adventurer

 

Neowise 500_1851 sm.jpg


Edited by Happyjax, 23 February 2021 - 06:33 PM.

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#8 Vic Harder

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 08:46 PM

I too am wondering about this... and what to look for if considering:

 

1) Used reflector scopes

2) "Good" spotting scopes

 

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#9 BrianG

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 09:07 PM

Todd,

 

Moving from a tabletop Dobsonian (refers to type of stand) like the Orion Starblast 4.5 to the same telescope on an equatorial mount with a tripod complicates things considerably. Set up time in the field will take a bit longer with the tripod, may be more comfortable to use, but not quite as stable.

 

If you really want to explore the night sky a telescope is the way to go, but you'll need to find room for the equipment. 

 

Orion StarBlast II 4.5 EQ Reflector Telescope Kit (will learn what telescope tracting is)

 

Orion StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope Max Kit (a little 2x2' table will work well with this)

 

Telescopes are ergonomically designed for looking at the night sky, spotting scopes and binoculars will put you in some neck straining positions that will get old very quickly and will not be particularly stable to look thru.

 

I have nothing to due with Orion, these telescopes just caught my eye as good beginner telescopes.

 

My first telescope book was "Night Watch" by Terence Dickinson, tells you everything you need to know about this hobby. as a beginner.

 

Happy observing!


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#10 buckland

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 09:42 PM

BrianG  Where would you step by step to the next levels... any suggestions in  the packable but more powerful scopes?


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