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Old 12-19-2017, 07:52 PM
 
Location: 60630
11,381 posts, read 16,553,804 times
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I am buying a first time telescope for my 12 year old son. He is into space, like many kids his age. I want to get him a telescope for Christmas. They have a local science store close to our house and they have a few telescopes to chose between. I am thinking of buying him a Polaris 127 EQ Reflector Telescope.
https://www.amazon.com/Meade-Instrum...ct_top?ie=UTF8

They have the same on Amazon.

I don't know much about this things but what do you guys think ? Is this a good telescope for a beginner?
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Old 12-19-2017, 09:32 PM
 
19,764 posts, read 15,131,438 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glass_of_merlot View Post
I am buying a first time telescope for my 12 year old son. He is into space, like many kids his age. I want to get him a telescope for Christmas. They have a local science store close to our house and they have a few telescopes to chose between. I am thinking of buying him a Polaris 127 EQ Reflector Telescope.
https://www.amazon.com/Meade-Instrum...ct_top?ie=UTF8

They have the same on Amazon.

I don't know much about this things but what do you guys think ? Is this a good telescope for a beginner?
Personally, I can't say. But look at the reviews on Amazon if you haven't already. There are 76 reviews, both good and not so good.

https://www.amazon.com/Meade-Instrum...pe=all_reviews

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
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Old 12-20-2017, 07:27 AM
 
4,129 posts, read 2,292,448 times
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My $0.02 -

Both Meade and Celestron provide solid choices at a wide variety of prices.

Having said that, some thoughts on this particular scope....

GOOD

5" aperture with a F/7.9 focal ratio is decent enough to see Jupiter's moons and Saturn's rings, that Mars is red, and some other major constellations.

Comes with 3 eyepieces that are probably at least decent quality.

Equatorial mount means that tracking is possible once you "dial in" what you're looking at.

NOT SO GOOD

The "red dot" viewfinder is, if it's like others I've used, VERY frustrating and difficult to use. Especially with the high magnification eyepiece.

Equatorial mounts take some getting used to and they have to be aligned properly to work.

The mount doesn't look too substantial, which means it'll probably vibrate/shake a lot.


Basically you get what you pay for in the $150 range. Acceptable optics with a few major weaknesses.


Is your son serious about the hobby, or just curious about what's up in the sky? If he's serious and willing to overcome the limitations in the telescope (you can get anti-vibration pads which in itself helps a lot, plus adding weight to the tripod), then I would go for it.

Otherwise, if he's more casual, consider a couple of alternatives.

https://www.amazon.com/Celestron-Sky...omy+binoculars and add a tripod. Also get a book on the constellations and nebulae.

The bonus is that these binoculars are inexpensive ($55 right now), plus they can be used as regular binoculars, albeit heavy ones.

https://www.amazon.com/Celestron-114...king+telescope

A tracking telescope, more than you're looking at for the other ($250 deal right now), but no complex alignment is needed, and he can track to whatever he wants to see. If you can see the moon you can apparently align this telescope, which will be much less frustrating to a 12 year old.

Just my thoughts. Good luck!
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Old 12-20-2017, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Near Luxembourg
1,645 posts, read 645,479 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glass_of_merlot View Post
I am buying a first time telescope for my 12 year old son. He is into space, like many kids his age. I want to get him a telescope for Christmas. They have a local science store close to our house and they have a few telescopes to chose between. I am thinking of buying him a Polaris 127 EQ Reflector Telescope.
https://www.amazon.com/Meade-Instrum...ct_top?ie=UTF8

They have the same on Amazon.

I don't know much about this things but what do you guys think ? Is this a good telescope for a beginner?
Imo

Never, never, never
A catadioptric telescope, it has a spherical primary mirror, corrected by a lense before the eyepiece... Bad quality of images (or buy a takashi, but add a 0 to the price) and I don't even know how to collimate this (cheshire/laser)

No, definitely no, not a 127/1000!

What is your budget? How dark is your sky? Do you have space? Will you move with your son to watch stars (=place in the car)?
These are already important questions =)
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Old 12-20-2017, 12:07 PM
 
4,129 posts, read 2,292,448 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pokitobounto View Post
Imo

Never, never, never
A catadioptric telescope, it has a spherical primary mirror, corrected by a lense before the eyepiece... Bad quality of images (or buy a takashi, but add a 0 to the price) and I don't even know how to collimate this (cheshire/laser)

No, definitely no, not a 127/1000!

What is your budget? How dark is your sky? Do you have space? Will you move with your son to watch stars (=place in the car)?
These are already important questions =)
If his location is 60630 zip code (as it says in his profile) it's near Chicago. A lot of light pollution, so anything faint is out of the question. Even if he were to travel 20-30 miles it still won't be truly dark.

The Cat telescopes ARE cheap, but I wouldn't say "never, never, never". I've used them and you get usable images for a beginner. And are you talking about Takahashi when you say "Takashi"? He's not going to spend thousands for a starter scope. A 127/1000 does have a long focal ratio, but that's why it's better suited for objects in the solar system. I've seen photos out of this telescope and they are acceptable for a first scope.

As to collimation, I'd say the answer is "don't". Either it's OK out of the box or it should be returned for another.
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Old 12-21-2017, 03:34 AM
 
Location: Near Luxembourg
1,645 posts, read 645,479 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markjames68 View Post
If his location is 60630 zip code (as it says in his profile) it's near Chicago. A lot of light pollution, so anything faint is out of the question. Even if he were to travel 20-30 miles it still won't be truly dark.

The Cat telescopes ARE cheap, but I wouldn't say "never, never, never". I've used them and you get usable images for a beginner. And are you talking about Takahashi when you say "Takashi"? He's not going to spend thousands for a starter scope. A 127/1000 does have a long focal ratio, but that's why it's better suited for objects in the solar system. I've seen photos out of this telescope and they are acceptable for a first scope.

As to collimation, I'd say the answer is "don't". Either it's OK out of the box or it should be returned for another.
I guess if no deep sky (unless he buys a 12'' or more), a refractor is a very good deal for a beginner.
Yes there' s these green and purple colors if the object is very bright (venus...) but usually it's totally acceptable...
A 90mm refractor is in the same category than a Newton with 114 or 127mm aperture (due to the shadow of the secondary mirror on the primary)
No need to collimate a refractor, images are stable, for a little guy that is 12, you look behind the telescope so the height is lower =more comfy.

Cat are a real lottery, and if you lose, it's forever so yes, back to store. Annoying when you buy online. Ofc a 100% beginner will be fine with the image, he never saw anything else... But when you look through a classical newton or refractor, you understand that the image wasn't that pure...in the best case.

Yes I was referring to Takahashi lol, yes I would buy a cat' from them, but I would be in debt for 2 generations lol.

A simple 90/900 refractor for planets since probably 99.9% of the deep sky will be squeezed, easy to zoom compare to an open telescope...
They aren't that expensive, solid, easy to clean, no collimation (in theory), pretty too, definitely better (IMO) for a young beginner...

Meade, Celestron, Skywatcher... All of them are building their ref' in China in Synta factory, all of them are acceptable with an honest quality

Jupiter through a 114/900 or a 90/900 is very cute!! M42 too, Saturn is always a dream...

My opinion for having a old Paralux 114/900, a 90/900 on a eq2, a skywtacher flextube 12":

A 90/900 achromat' with an eq3 or a Newton 130/900 with an eq3
Eyepieces delivered with them are usually extremely basic, but enough to start....
Eq2 if the budget is tight.... But only if it's tight, because it's quite light and vibrates easily!

I recommend an equatorial mout, it's sooo much better...!


Last edited by Pokitobounto; 12-21-2017 at 04:13 AM..
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Old 12-21-2017, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
5,916 posts, read 3,154,208 times
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Here's another option to consider: The Astronomers without Borders OneSky Newtonian Reflector: https://www.astronomerswithoutborder...mitsp4pjd1vi77

It has a reputation for excellent optics, and the Vixen dovetail on the scope means it can be taken off of the tabletop mount it comes with and placed on a wide variety of other, more advanced mounts later as your son's interest in the hobby expands.

There's a highly informative thread on this scope over at the Cloudy Nights forum I recommend checking out: https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/4...thout-borders/
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Old 12-22-2017, 06:02 AM
 
4,129 posts, read 2,292,448 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aredhel View Post
Here's another option to consider: The Astronomers without Borders OneSky Newtonian Reflector: https://www.astronomerswithoutborder...mitsp4pjd1vi77

It has a reputation for excellent optics, and the Vixen dovetail on the scope means it can be taken off of the tabletop mount it comes with and placed on a wide variety of other, more advanced mounts later as your son's interest in the hobby expands.

There's a highly informative thread on this scope over at the Cloudy Nights forum I recommend checking out: https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/4...thout-borders/
Looks like a great value for $199.
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Old 12-22-2017, 06:31 AM
 
Location: Near Luxembourg
1,645 posts, read 645,479 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markjames68 View Post
Looks like a great value for $199.
It is, movements are smooth and the image is cool, I played a little with it in a store.
It doesn't escape to collimation tho (nothing incredible once you know the process), and double axis tracking with hands, due to the dobson mount

I would buy it too for a beginner
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Old 12-22-2017, 08:23 AM
 
Location: 60630
11,381 posts, read 16,553,804 times
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We live 9 miles from the city center, and yes we do have City Lights. But we are planning on going out in the country where there are no city lights. But I was told that you can get good views of the Moon. Anyways, my son turns 12 in May and this hobby is new to him so I didn't want to spend too much money on a telescope. But if he loves it I would be happy to invest in it further.
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