It is currently Sun Sep 21, 2014 6:05 pm


Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 24 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:59 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:47 pm
Posts: 11
Hi all,

I hope you can help. I'm looking to buy my 10 year old son his 1st telescope for christmas but just getting confused the more i read.

Here are a few questions -

Q1 - Will he be able to view the planets through his window or do the telescopes need an uninterupted view?

Q2 - I have seen some cracking pics of the moon etc people have been saying have been taking using their telescopes. How do you do this? Do you need a special type of telescope to connect a digital camera to?

Q3 - How much does it cost for a motorised tracking telescope?

Q4 - I've heard great reports of the Bresser Skylux 70mm scope from Lidl. Is this any good and have you heard if it is still available from Lidl?

and finally

Q5 - What scope should I buy him bearing in mind my budget is £100.

Many thanks in advance for your answers,

Martin.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 11:42 am
Posts: 548
Location: STAMFORD, United Kingdom
Martybhoy wrote:
Q4 - I've heard great reports of the Bresser Skylux 70mm scope from Lidl. Is this any good and have you heard if it is still available from Lidl?

Except for one forum user who received a faulty Lidl scope but chose not to return it, everyone else has been very pleased with their Lidl scopes (myself included).

Lidl have for many years sold the Bressers around the end of November and should be doing so again. The decline of the pound against the euro will probably make it a little more expensive than last year but it should still come in at around £65-£75. Last year Aldi also sold telescopes - but I've not seen any reports about them on these forums.

This leaves enough to get a good astro book for children - I suggest H.A Rey 'Find the Constellations' or 'The stars a new way to see them'. Patrick Moore's 'The Observer's Year' is also a good buy because it lists events for each day of the year - encouraging observers to get out into the garden and look for his suggestions.

You might also look at getting a reasonable quality zoom eyepiece, this will give far better views than the Bresser supplied kelner lenses. This will probably take you over your budget - perhaps a pressie from an Aunt or Uncle?

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES buy a telescope from Toys 'r' Us, Science Museum, National Geographic - these are little more than toys and will probably kill any childs interest in the sky.

Edit 2009-11-28: Please note that further on in this thread I have a revised, favourable, view on scopes from Science Museum / National Geographic(US)

_________________
Cheers,
--
Neale
Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children


Last edited by nealeh on Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:03 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:20 pm
Posts: 60
Location: Norfolk, UK
www.firstlightoptics.com/proddetail.php?prod=st80eq1

The link above is to the Skywatcher Startravel 80 (EQ1) - a small refractor (of good repute) on an equatorial mount (which is, to be perfectly honest, only just man enough to take the 'scope - but it does work - I use one at the moment whilst setting up my observatory).

A large number of folk use the 'scope as a guide scope and seem to have nothing but praise for it - I also am very happy with its performance. You get two eyepieces and a barlow lens with it. As a starter or "grab and go" it is excellent. The "SLR" connection is a bolt on one of the mount rings that you can mount your camera on NOT a mount to take pics through the scope. You would have to buy an adapter to do this.

The bad news is that its £15 +p&p over your budget! :x

_________________
Bizibilder
Norfolk UK

Blog: http://bizibilder.blogspot.com/


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 12:15 pm
Posts: 264
Location: Zwolle, The Netherlands
Martybhoy wrote:
Hi all,

Q1 - Will he be able to view the planets through his window or do the telescopes need an uninterupted view?



Hi Martin,

He would certainly be able to see the brighter planets (and stars) through his window; the views however would be nowhere as good as they would be if seen from outside. Much of the joy with observing planets (apart from simply being able to locate and identify them) is to tease out some detail - the rings on saturn and the cloud belts on Jupiter for example (both possible I think with a 70mm refractor). Outside this won't be a problem, but the distortion through a window, possible double images if double glazed, thermal currents / drafts (to name only a few of the problems) would cause most of the detail to be washed away.

I'd say that the advantage of being warm inside is far outweighed by the superior views when observing outside, and besides, he can alway dress up michelin man style to keep warm when outside!

As an aside from your questions, I note this will be a Christmas present. At this time of year the Orion Nebula will be visible (again in a 70mm scope) and is fairly easy to locate. Best seen from outside, and almost a sure way to get your son hooked in this amazing hobby!

Hope this helps,

Paul

_________________
Paul
70mm refractor (f10), 12x50 bincies, pair of brown eyes, 1 woolly hat


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:51 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:47 pm
Posts: 11
nealeh wrote:
Martybhoy wrote:
Q4 - I've heard great reports of the Bresser Skylux 70mm scope from Lidl. Is this any good and have you heard if it is still available from Lidl?

Except for one forum user who received a faulty Lidl scope but chose not to return it, everyone else has been very pleased with their Lidl scopes (myself included).

Lidl have for many years sold the Bressers around the end of November and should be doing so again. The decline of the pound against the euro will probably make it a little more expensive than last year but it should still come in at around £65-£75. Last year Aldi also sold telescopes - but I've not seen any reports about them on these forums.

This leaves enough to get a good astro book for children - I suggest H.A Rey 'Find the Constellations' or 'The stars a new way to see them'. Patrick Moore's 'The Observer's Year' is also a good buy because it lists events for each day of the year - encouraging observers to get out into the garden and look for his suggestions.

You might also look at getting a reasonable quality zoom eyepiece, this will give far better views than the Bresser supplied kelner lenses. This will probably take you over your budget - perhaps a pressie from an Aunt or Uncle?

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES buy a telescope from Toys 'r' Us, Science Museum, National Geographic - these are little more than toys and will probably kill any childs interest in the sky.


Thanks nealeh. That's given me more confidence to go for the Lidl deal when it appears. Will also check out a quality eyepiece too. A big thank you for the national geographic comment as it was one of these my wife was going to buy before i suggested checking out this forum.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:54 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:47 pm
Posts: 11
Bizibilder wrote:
www.firstlightoptics.com/proddetail.php?prod=st80eq1

The link above is to the Skywatcher Startravel 80 (EQ1) - a small refractor (of good repute) on an equatorial mount (which is, to be perfectly honest, only just man enough to take the 'scope - but it does work - I use one at the moment whilst setting up my observatory).

A large number of folk use the 'scope as a guide scope and seem to have nothing but praise for it - I also am very happy with its performance. You get two eyepieces and a barlow lens with it. As a starter or "grab and go" it is excellent. The "SLR" connection is a bolt on one of the mount rings that you can mount your camera on NOT a mount to take pics through the scope. You would have to buy an adapter to do this.

The bad news is that its £15 +p&p over your budget! :x


Thanks bizibilder. If i can't get the one from Lidl in next couple of weeks or so(purely because of the price difference) I will check out this scope you mentioned. My feeling is the Lidl scope is a great starter scope and if he really gets into astronomy then will progress onto a better one in due course.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:02 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:47 pm
Posts: 11
paulestar wrote:
Martybhoy wrote:
Hi all,

Q1 - Will he be able to view the planets through his window or do the telescopes need an uninterupted view?



Hi Martin,

He would certainly be able to see the brighter planets (and stars) through his window; the views however would be nowhere as good as they would be if seen from outside. Much of the joy with observing planets (apart from simply being able to locate and identify them) is to tease out some detail - the rings on saturn and the cloud belts on Jupiter for example (both possible I think with a 70mm refractor). Outside this won't be a problem, but the distortion through a window, possible double images if double glazed, thermal currents / drafts (to name only a few of the problems) would cause most of the detail to be washed away.

I'd say that the advantage of being warm inside is far outweighed by the superior views when observing outside, and besides, he can alway dress up michelin man style to keep warm when outside!

As an aside from your questions, I note this will be a Christmas present. At this time of year the Orion Nebula will be visible (again in a 70mm scope) and is fairly easy to locate. Best seen from outside, and almost a sure way to get your son hooked in this amazing hobby!

Hope this helps,

Paul


Thanks Paul. Great reply. Very helpful info about window viewing. I can see how getting wrapped up and sitting outside will add to the enjoyment. Thanks also for info regarding the Orion Nebula.

Martin.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 11:42 am
Posts: 548
Location: STAMFORD, United Kingdom
Martin, something else to bear in mind is that telescopes need assembly. While this is not too onerous you do need to be careful. My first telescope I dropped the counterweight onto the tray that held the tripod legs together! I had to fashion a new joint out of wood.

So, whatever telescope you get, practice setting it up after your son is in the land of nod! You really do not want to be deciphering assembly instructions on Christmas morning. Actually, for a ten year old you'll probably get a much better 'wow' factor by wrapping it up assembled. Also plan out some daytime objects he can view (using the erecting lens).

Here is a review of the Christmas 2005 Lidl scope. It includes some of the photographic possibilities.

Finally, you do not say whereabouts you live, try and find a local astronomy club - they will be pleased to chat to you about equipment before you buy and, after Christmas, they wil love to have your son as a new member (perhaps you as well!).

_________________
Cheers,
--
Neale
Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:45 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 11:42 am
Posts: 548
Location: STAMFORD, United Kingdom
Martybhoy wrote:
If i can't get the one from Lidl in next couple of weeks or so(purely because of the price difference) I will check out this scope you mentioned.

Looking back on these forums for 'Lidl' I see that in 2005 it was not until the start of the second week of December that my local Lidl stocked them.

_________________
Cheers,
--
Neale
Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:47 pm
Posts: 11
nealeh wrote:
Martin, something else to bear in mind is that telescopes need assembly. While this is not too onerous you do need to be careful. My first telescope I dropped the counterweight onto the tray that held the tripod legs together! I had to fashion a new joint out of wood.

So, whatever telescope you get, practice setting it up after your son is in the land of nod! You really do not want to be deciphering assembly instructions on Christmas morning. Actually, for a ten year old you'll probably get a much better 'wow' factor by wrapping it up assembled. Also plan out some daytime objects he can view (using the erecting lens).

Here is a review of the Christmas 2005 Lidl scope. It includes some of the photographic possibilities.

Finally, you do not say whereabouts you live, try and find a local astronomy club - they will be pleased to chat to you about equipment before you buy and, after Christmas, they wil love to have your son as a new member (perhaps you as well!).


Hi Neale,

Yeah I plan to build it up for him, oops i mean i'm going to get santa to build it up for him, so that it's ready to be used on christmas day.
Thanks for the review, defo sounds like an excellent starter scope.

My location is Wemyss Bay, on the west coast of Scotland, 25 miles west of Glasgow. Do you know of any astronomy clubs in my region? What's the best way to find a club in my area?

Martin.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:47 pm
Posts: 11
nealeh wrote:
Martybhoy wrote:
If i can't get the one from Lidl in next couple of weeks or so(purely because of the price difference) I will check out this scope you mentioned.

Looking back on these forums for 'Lidl' I see that in 2005 it was not until the start of the second week of December that my local Lidl stocked them.


Yeah, i phoned my local Lidl and they reckon it will be mid-December this year. If I can't get one by about 18th of December i'll be going for another scope like the one mentioned earlier in this post.

Martin.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:31 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 11:42 am
Posts: 548
Location: STAMFORD, United Kingdom
Martybhoy wrote:
My location is Wemyss Bay, on the west coast of Scotland, 25 miles west of Glasgow. Do you know of any astronomy clubs in my region? What's the best way to find a club in my area?

There is a list here: http://fedastro.org.uk/fas/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=8.

_________________
Cheers,
--
Neale
Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:25 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2004 8:18 pm
Posts: 5899
Location: Manchester
Dear Martybhoy
I got a Lidl 70mm refractor the first year they were available - I thought it a very good buy then for £80. Since then the price dropped year by year till eventually I think as little as £50.
My main critiscm of it was (and presumably still is) rubbish eyepieces provided with the Lidl telescope. If you do get one I recommend you buy one or two reasonable eyepieces - they need not be exceptionally high quality expensive ones though.
Another concern is the stability of the Lidl telescope tripod mount - but there are several simple ways of improving the Lidl without expense.
The 70mm Lidl scope will provide some interesting views of the Moon and planets. Indeed now Pluto has been relegated you could view all the major planets including Neptune with the Lidl scope (but do not expect to see any detail on that, but you will see some detail on Jupiter and Saturn. If I remember correctly I recall Syrtis Major on Mars but not easy.
You should see the phases of Venus as well. The Rings of Saturn and the main belts of Jupiter. But seeing these things may take you quite a while and some persistence. Making sure the mount is good and stable and decent eyepices will help (as will properly aligning the finder scope)
Indeed if you and your son are complete beginners initially you may have difficulty in seeing much detail on any planets.
Given good observing conditions you should be able to use the 70mm Lidl refractor up to about X 150 magnification. It should handle X100 easily.
I have a Zoom eyepiece providing a range of magnifications from about X30 up to X100 magnification, I like using it with the Lidl refractor but that eyepiece costs about £50.
The Lidl 70mm refractor has a focal length of 700mm: a 10mm focal length eyepiece would provide X70 magnification: a 6mm eyepiece X116. The eyepieces might cost £20 each cheaper if you are lucky but be careful if very cheap they might be no better than those provided with the scope.
Incidentally I took an image of Jupiter using a webcam through my Lidl scope and it shows Jupiters two main belts.
Oh! by the way last year I got a Aldi 60mm aperture spotting scope which has a built in zoom lens giving a range of X20 to X60 magnifications.
It only cost £25 but I must admit when mounted on a photographic tripod I find it is quite tricky pointing it at astronomical objects. That said it will reveal Saturn's rings and Jupiter's two main belts in decent conditions.
Not bad for £25 - but a decent tripod or other mount is also desirable.
Best of luck from Cliff


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:48 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 12:12 pm
Posts: 1007
Location: Flackwell Heath, Bucks, UK
I bought a Lidl Bresser refractor a few years ago when my local astrosoc needed a cheap equatorial mount. I went along to the store in Slough on the morning they were due in, about 9.30. I eventually found a bin containing three scopes, and chose one.

Someone else (from another astrosoc) then turned up and got another, and as we were on the way out someone asked us where we had seen them as he had come in specially to get one. I found that they had had a delivery of four, so all had been sold by 10 am on the day they went on sale.

So the message is, get down there on the day they start selling them! It may be that these items (and probably others) are sold at or below cost price in order to attract people into the store.

Also, don't believe that the Skylux is a perfect telescope. It isn't, and some of the worst instruments I have ever seen have had the Bresser name on them! But it is good value for the money if you want to spend under £100.

In answer to your other questions:

* Motorised tracking scopes start at about £180 for the SkyWatcher Evostar 80 refractor, or about £200 for their Go To 70 mm refractor. These are sold by several outlets, including those who give discounts to SPA members! As already mentioned, I would be cautious of 'catalogue' telescopes from places that should know better, such as the Science Museum and indeed Argos. I suspect that their buyers do not know what they are buying, unfortunately.

* You can take pictures of the Moon through virtually any telescope by pointing a camera (even a phone camera) into the low-power eyepiece. There are also adapters for linking cameras to scopes so as to avoid using the eyepiece (thus using the scope as a telephoto lens), but many scopes, particularly reflectors, don't have the focus range to bring cameras to focus. A DSLR camera is also much heavier than the scope and it can be hard to get it to balance.

Robin


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 3:33 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 11:42 am
Posts: 548
Location: STAMFORD, United Kingdom
Robin Scagell wrote:
I bought a Lidl Bresser refractor a few years ago when my local astrosoc needed a cheap equatorial mount.

If I recall correctly the mount supplied with last year's Lidl offering was a rather flimsy looking (in the pictures) Alt-Az mount. Perhaps anyone who bought at Christmas 2008 could give their views on the mount.

_________________
Cheers,
--
Neale
Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 24 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group