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This is your beginners guide to getting a telescope! You can learn what to do and what not to do, and you will learn what to consider when buying a telescope. The last thing you want is a telescope to collect dust because they were bought in haste.

Avoid the Department Stores! 

Experienced telescope users will tell you that nearly all telescopes that you see in a department store are “trash telescopes.”

Sure, we can appreciate the sentimental thought. Often times, these telescopes are found in toy stores, sporting good stores, or are on sale at big brand stores; thus they are spotted by generous relatives and think, “hey, {so and so} is into space stuff, this would make a great present!”

The packaging makes them seem too good to be true, with emphasis on super high magnification power and pictures on the box that are taken straight from the Hubble. But don’t let the packaging and price fool you!

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These telescopes that you can find in department stores are usually made of cheap materials with poor optics, and a horrible mount that’s so shaky it’s near impossible to keep the tube steady to observe anything!

While there is a slight chance your little astronomer may already have a “trash telescope” and still loves to use it, usually these telescopes end up being given away at yard sales. I wouldn’t be surprised if the seller PAID YOU to take it off their hands!

Buy from Trusted Stores or Websites Only! 

My first telescope was bought from a camera store in 1997 long before online shopping became a thing. Physical stores that specialize in optical equipment and telescopes still do exist, but that requires some research on your part.

Sites like EBay, Craigslist, and even Amazon are always a gamble. You never know if what you ordered is going to match what arrives on your door step.

Thankfully, all it takes are simple internet searches, such as if you specify “6 inch telescope,”you will get directed to the trusted online vendors. These online shops will have a wide selection of the best brands and specific types of telescopes you’re looking for, thus you are sure to get exactly what you have ordered!

You Don’t Need to Spend Crazy Money!

It’s not uncommon for good beginner telescopes that are in the $150-200 price range. If your budget is less than $100, I would personally consider investing in binoculars instead! You don’t need to go super crazy with the spending, but you want your first telescope to be decent and reliable enough.

Even a good small beginner level telescope can get you craters on the Moon, the phases of Venus, the cloud bands and moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, and even some popular deep sky objects. That’s not bad for such an instrument!

But if you have seen my raw pictures and videos and think, “But I want my views to look like that!,” Then you need to understand that it will cost more, and there will also be other accessories to consider such as tracking drives and Barlow lenses  – but we won’t go over those things until part 3.

Part 2 discusses the types of telescopes and the pros and cons of each. It also gives the beginner a guide towards getting the most bang for their buck! 
CLICK HERE to READ PART 2
CLICK HERE to READ PART 3
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One comment on “So You Want to Get a Telescope – Part 1

  1. Simon says:

    Much better!!!!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

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