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Re: Beginner Scope & Tasco Scopes

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Posted by Aen Peterson on February 5, 2001 02:48:41 UTC

I discourage the purchase of telescopes carrying either Tasco or the Bushnell brand names. They are not worth it regardless of their very low prices.

If I was buying my first scope and did not want to invest a lot of money, I would either buy a Dobsonian reflector (preferably a 6" aperature model (Orion, Discovery, Celestron are very good) or a refractor (80mm-102mm, check out the Orion, Meade and Celestron lines), The advantage of a reflector is that you gain a lot more aperature for the dollar (very important, more light gathering power - you see more) and the advantage of a refractor is that you gain more detail in the image. A reflector is more versatile in relation to what you view whereas a refractor is better for planetary viewing although it is also used for other viewing. Expect to spend $175-$275 for the refractors referred to in a previous sentence (Orion, Celestron, Meade) and about $350-$450 for the Dobsonian reflectors that were mentioned. There are three basic types of mounts for a reflector : Dobson, Alt-Azimuth and German Equatorial. The latter is the most difficult for a beginner - the other two are easier to master and the Dobson (i.e. Dobsonian is the simplest and least expensive.

One other advantage of a refractor over a reflector - you don't have to align the optics; i.e. collimate the telescope. Collimating the optics is one task that you learn with experience; some scopes hold collimation rather well and others require collimating every time you use the scope.

Hope this helps and you receive additional responses.

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