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Posted by Bob Sal on November 24, 2001 00:40:54 UTC

Hi Forest;
There are a few schools of thought here. Most agree thet a goto feature is a bad idea on a first scope. It's best to get a manual scope and learn the sky. Learn to point it your self. You can get more scope for you money that way. I've seen a few people with very expensive goto telescopes standing there saying, "So do we look at?" Knowing the sky is important even if you have a goto telescope. In your price range, the biggest scvope you could get would be a Dobsonian. You could gat an 8" maybe even a 10" for a little more. This will show you the most for your money but it's completly manual and you can't add a motor drive. Photography is almost complete out with this type of scope. Next a 4 1/2 to 6" Newtonian on an EQ mount is in your price range. You can add motor drive and take pictures. I always recommend the refractor on an EQ mount for new observers. It's easy to use and the images are great. If you check in the Orion catalog they sell a 4.7" refractor in the $500 price range. I understand the mount could be a little better, but you can add the motor drive if you like also. I've seen the scope and it's pretty good. There are also nice small Maksutovs from Orion to. There's a very nice 4" about $500, they have a 5" also. They are small and light and come on the EQ mount , again you can add the Motor drive and since they are small the mount should be no proble. I recommend the 4.7" refractor, that's a great scope for the money. They have a short tube and a long tube. Meade and Celestron also have good refractors in the price range also. Meade just relesed a 5" with the autostar controll, it's a little more but that looks like a wonderful scope.
I don't really like those 4 1/2 reflector. I've seen them, they don't do anything for me.
That's it;
BOB SAL

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