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#11 Happyjax

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 10:59 PM

Maybe this would fill the bill for not much more money:) Tough to get much in the sub $400 range that is computerized.....

 

https://www.highpoin...udiostar-205002

 


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#12 wicked1

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 11:29 PM


 

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

 

attachicon.gifNeowise 500_1851 sm.jpg

I have basically that same shot.. Got it completely blind..  I just knew where in the sky it was, set it for a long exposure and hoped for the best.  It turned out great!
 

I'll post one from my last trip out, which happens to be on this computer...

Sorry again for slightly OT, but seems a good place to post a pic of the night sky.

Didn't have my zoom lens or a tripod, so not the best..  But amazing compared to what you see in urban areas.

 

Really difficult to get a shot w/out a plane or satellite in view....

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Edited by wicked1, 23 February 2021 - 11:30 PM.

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#13 RicoV

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 11:29 PM

Vic, near-space stuff (moon, venus, mars, comets, etc.) can be seen quite well with something basic like a Tasco 20-20x60 angled spotting scope (~$100 usd, 3.5-lbs), and does double duty for wildlife viewing in fine form.  For enhanced viewing, prices (and quality) go up exponentially from there;  as Sagebrush is known to remark: watch your wallet,  heh heh.

Rico.  


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#14 Vic Harder

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 12:30 AM

And tripods... started looking at those... seems like they cost MORE than a beginner scope?


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#15 Hoopy

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 05:52 AM

i travel with binos and spotting scope hope works well for me hoopy


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#16 Toddhom

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 06:18 PM

The idea of a telescope that is portable and can be used for both viewing the night sky and during the day for viewing wildlife appeals to me. Am I to assume that the night sky viewing suffers when you also want a scope that you can use during the day?


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#17 buckland

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 06:36 PM

I have an old (25 year) Bushnell zoom spotting birding scope which I have used to see the moons of Jupiter etc... I need to find an eye cup for it so in the low light my eye will be covered. Everything is a compromise in a camper weight/space/ ease.... It will do.


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#18 ckent323

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 08:49 PM

I have been designing and building telescopes for spaceborne instruments for 45 years.  I have been involved in amateur astronomy on and off for decades.  

There are a lot of telescopes of various sizes collecting dust in peoples garages because many telescopes are not very portable and are a bit too specialized to use for much else besides stargzing. After the viewing of the panets and the moon and a couple of galaxies wears off they tend to get used rarely due to that lack of versatility and portability.

If you do not aleady have a good pair of 8 x 50 or 10 x 50 binoculars I recommend starting there.  Portability, ease of use and versatility are maximized in that range and they can be hand held (anything with more magification must be supported by a tripod).  Either of these sizes would give sufficeint light gathering capability to do some star gazing as well as be handy for use on a boat, while hiking bird watching, wildlife viewing, etc..

I recommend buying a good quality pair with at least 15mm eye relief (more if you want to wear your glasses while using them).   You will pay over $200 but you will be happier with the preformance than a cheap pair.  Canon and Nikon are good brands,  Steiner and Bosch & Lomb, even the higher priced Bushnells, are good enough.  I see Vortex popping up on a lot of lists as a top pick - I am not familiar with that brand so don't know about the quality.  Do some research on quality and shop around.

For a step up from there my recommendation is to get a decent pair of 15x - 20x binoculars and a sturdy tripod (if it is light enough to take hiking it is probably not sturdy enough) that is at least 72" tall (better if 80 " to use while standing).  High power binoculars are more versitile than a telescope and can also be used for viewing distant landscapes and wildlife, etc.  You can also buy adapters so you can take pictures through your binoculars.

You can buy a decent pair of astronomical binoculars new for under $400 and used for $200 - $300.  Like anything else there is a broad range of prices and quality.  The cheaper models (under $700 models) will probably have plastic parts (particularly for the eye piece focus) and because they are relatively heavy you will need to handle them carefully but the Optics should be good enough.

Check ebay for used Zuhmell, Celestron, Meade, Orion, and Oberwerk to name a few.

 

If you decide skygazing and astronomy is your thing you can always buy an astronomical telescope later.  You will probably have a better idea of what you want too.

Aperture size and field of view for telescopes are an important consideration depending on what you intend to do. 

There are entire web pages devoted to helping beginners get started in the hobby.  Below are links to a few of the many sites out there.
 

 

https://www.aaa.org/...ur-astronomers/

 

https://www.planetar...y-for-beginners

 

https://www.space.co...nomy-guide.html


 

In all events opinions will, of course, vary.  ;-)

 

 

I hope this is helpful,

 

Craig


Edited by ckent323, 24 February 2021 - 09:08 PM.

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#19 buckland

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 09:07 PM

Wow Craig great information... thanks.


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#20 Fishyhead

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 03:25 PM

I bring a Kowa spotting scope that I also use for High Power rifle matches.  All of my cameras, lenses, scopes, and tripods have an Arca-Swiss compatible base so its easy to move gear between disciplines.  The eye pieces on the Kowa can be changed for different magnifications so the 25X I use on the High Power line is plenty for moon gazing and can make out the rings of Saturn but magnification is needed to get any definition.  This setup is light and versatile enough for bird and other wildlife viewing that it's worth bringing along.


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