Many years ago, before digital photography revolutionized the medium, taking a beautiful shot of the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), or even a detailed image of the moon, showing its many craters, rilles and mountains would only be possible if you had a large wallet and access to highly specialized equipment and techniques. For the average amateur astronomer it was entirely out of reach.
With high-end telescopes now being mass produced, new optical designs and most importantly, the digital camera in combination with brilliant new software solutions that dramatically increase the quality of the images, the popularity of astrophotography has increased exponentially over the past two decades. What was virtually impossible twenty years ago is now available to anybody with a passionate interest and willingness to spend long hours perfecting the art of celestial imaging.
If you are looking at purchasing your first telescope or just researching what is available in the market, here are some simple considerations and rules to help you along the way.
Optical equipment and terminology can quickly become a very complicated subject so we have tried to strip away the jargon and give you a framework to make sure you get the right first telescope.
Decide what you want from your telescope Since there are many models and kinds of telescopes, the best thing is to ask yourself what you need your telescopes for. Are you going to use it just for astronomy, land/sea viewing, bird watching, looking at the view from you deck or some sort of combination? Are you a beginner and want to learn on a smaller model or buy a larger one to grow in to over time? Is it going to be in one place or do you want to transport it around? How much room have you got to store it? Will it fit with the style of the house you have? These are some of the questions you may need to consider.
What is your budget? Telescopes are expensive. Identifying your budget helps in choosing just the right ones for you. However, like any other products, the higher the price is the better quality the product has. For example, you can’t compare the quality of the results of a fifty-dollar camera to a ten thousand dollar camera. The same thing applies with telescopes. Read More…
Buying a telescope for a total beginner with little or no knowledge about space, the stars or telescopes? Not a problem. Best thing you can do is try a GPS controlled telescope or a fully-automatic telescope. These telescopes are a great way to introduce a novice to backyard astronomy. The fully-automatic telescopes take out the work. Simply take one to your viewing location, turn it on, and the easy-to-use computer will automatically point to incredible celestial bodies that would otherwise take hours to find.
If you’re working within a budget, then we’ve got the absolute best Beginner Bundles in the biz. These packages give you complete space and astronomy with the basic accessories you’ll need — like a copy of the book Astronomy for Dummies — that you’ll need to get started. With a few more bucks, you may try upgrading to a Deluxe Bundle or even an Ultimate Bundle for all the bells and whistles. Read More…