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Your First Telescope
"Which one should I buy?"

Ed Ting

So, which one should I buy?

Depends. The "right" telescope depends on you, your observing habits, and your financial situation. Picking a telescope used to be a simple matter. You started out with a 60 mm refractor (probably from a department store), then you upgraded to a 6" f/8 reflector from either Criterion or Meade, and if you stuck with it long enough, you eventually bought an 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain from Celestron.

My, how things have changed. Throughout the 1960 and 1970's, the Newtonian reflector ruled the amateur roost. From about the 1980's onward, astronomers flocked to the portability of Schmidt-Cassegrains as both Meade and Celestron duked it out to try and out-do one another on features. Then, the refractor, long given up for dead, came roaring back with the advent of ED and fluorite glass. Now, you see all three designs in use regularly.

The advantages/disadvantages of each design are well-documented elsewhere, so I'll attempt to give you some "other" information which may be useful to you.

OK, Ed -- You still haven't answered the question:
Which one would you buy, if you could only get one?

[Beginning] - [Next Page - The Choice]

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