Weight of Telescopes

Don't be shy! If you're just starting out, here's the place to ask that first question

Moderators: joe, Brian, Guy Fennimore

Post Reply
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:03 pm

Weight of Telescopes

Post by chrispldexe »

My daughter is buying me a telescope for my 65th birthday at the end of October.I have chosen the Skywatcher Evostar 90mm refractor( F/!0) in view of the light pollution from my backgarden.
However looking at the telescope in the shop it seems quite bulky and heavy .Is it fairly easy to lift the tube onto the mount and tripod on ones own or is it a 2 man job, as I have no one to help me ( my son is not interested) and I have weak arms.
Any advice would be appreciated.

Chris P
David Frydman
Posts: 5363
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:25 am

Re: Weight of Telescopes

Post by David Frydman »

. Dear Chris,
this is an important point, which is often overlooked.
Firstly, the best telescope is the one you use the most. So if you can't lift it it is not much use, and as you get older they get a little more difficult.
One can always do gentle upper body exercises perhaps after consulting a physiotherapist.

However, to be practical, would it be possible to leave the tripod and mount outside protected by a good cover. Then you would only need to carry the Tube about and attach it.
Me, I prefer altazimuth mounts rather than an equatorial mount as it is much simpler.
What about a 80 mm or 100 mm F/5 refractor on the AZ3 mount. They are available as a package may be from Sherwood's photo or your local dealer.
Again, may be leave the tripod and mount outside.
look at the optical vision Ltd site.

Another possibility is a sky watcher Maksutov such as the 127 mm or maybe 102 mm on a heavy photographic tripod or the AZ3 again.

A strange solution may be the Yukon six times to 25 times to 100×100 mm folding refractor spotting scope on a heavy duty photographic tripod. This is very light and maybe not that robust but if you treat it well it should be okay.

I think that if you are able to keep the tripod and mount outside then the 90 mm F/10 refractor should be okay but if it is windy it might move around so maybe locate it near a windbreak or fence.

Some people also use telescopes from indoors but of course you then have the problem of looking through glass and a maximum magnification is about 100 times for a 90 mm scope and only if you are looking perpendicularly to the glass. And of course you also get ghost images from the window glass.

I have used my PST solar scope from indoors for almost 10 years and have observed probably on more than 1600 days. I use it at 32 times although I can go up to 65 times.

Regards David
Barry B
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 11:32 am
Location: se london

Re: Weight of Telescopes

Post by Barry B »


I am a few years older than you and not blessed with great strength, I have a 100mm f13 refractor on an alt azimuth Gibralter mount. Whilst the tube weight is not particually high, the main problem with a longish refractor is that for comfortable viewing they need to be mounted at least 5' from the ground. Lifting the tube to this height and securing it to the mount can be tiring and fiddly, especially with frozen fingers when dismounting it.

I also use an Orion GB 10"f6.3 Dobsonian mounted Newtonian reflector. Although much heavier than the refractor I find mounting/dismounting much easier because no extended arm lifting is required, the tube is merely lowered onto the mount with no attachment required. I think that a smaller version, perhaps a 6", might suit you very well. Orion Optical UK's website shows the unique design of their mount, which for the last 5 years I have found rock steady and faultless in its simplicity.

In spite of what I have written I prefer useing the refractor, but that is partly due to the aesthetics of using a beautiful instrument.


Barry B
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:01 pm
Location: South London UK

Re: Weight of Telescopes

Post by Cepheus42 »

Might also be worth looking at the Meade ETX range. I'm not hugely technically minded but they are very good scopes and they appear to punch above their weight. They are also very easy to use and have little weight. I use one myself when I'm out and about and don't want to use my big scope. You can get them up to 6". Take a look at the Meade web site. Hope that's useful.
Peter Hutton.
Scopes Owned :
Meade LX50 10", Skywatcher Skymax 180Pro, Meade ETX 90, Skywatcher ST80(guidescope),
Skywatcher ED80 Pro, Skywatcher Equinox ED100 Pro, Coronado PST.
Mounts: HEQ5 Pro Synscan, NEQ6 Synscan
Cameras': Orion StarShoot 5MP, Orion G3 CCD, Canon 1100D (DSLR), DMK21.
Keeper of the Sacred Knitted Fingerless Gloves of Darkess and sometime comedy writer and stand up performer.
Posts: 205
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 2:59 pm
Location: Cambs

Re: Weight of Telescopes

Post by M54 »

Chris I doubt you will have a problem. The Evostar 90 is a nice sized scope and I would be surprised in it gave you any real problems. They all look big for some reason, having said that my 90mm is the most manageable scope I have, somehow the 80mm looks worse. Not sure why. :roll:

The one situation when it might is if you are setting it up at night, totally dark and cannot for some reason get the scope into place on the mount. If it just won't go into place, go have a coffee. :D

Make sure you don't rush things. Get familiar with it all first inside, don't go trying it all for the first time outside in the dark, when it is freezing and you are trying to show others the whole lot and how to operate it. If possible have some light around you to see things, set up before it gets dark if possible. Makes things a lot easier.
Post Reply