View Full Version : Buying First Telescope

2003-Aug-20, 10:39 PM
Hi everyone, I want to ask about telescopes. Yup, highly anticipating the August 27th viewing of Mars in our skies, I am deciding to take the plunge and purchase my first 'scope.
I have whittled it down to 3 that really attract me and are in my price range.

The Meade ETX-70AT

Pros: Motorised mount plus computer, Good for viewing planets in as it is a refractor, extremely portable
Cons: Lowest aperture/magnification of the three, no Barlow lens or additional accessories come with model, Worst focal length/primary mirror diameter of the three


Pros: Cheapest of the three, great aperture/magnification, comes with a 3x Barlow lens, still pretty portable, comes with lots of accessories
Cons: No fancy software (but that isn't essential), ugliest model! Least stable-looking tripod of the three

Helios Explorer 150

Pros: excellent aperture and magnification here too, plus lots of accessories too (2x Barlow)
Cons: Not sure about quality of this make (but then, I am a novice...) and most expensive of the three.

Well, to me they all seem tempting in different ways, but I really want a telescope that allows me to see planetary objects AND nebulae/galexies well - for this I am told a reflector that comes with filters is best - so that would make the second two more desirable.

Well, which is best guys?

2003-Aug-25, 07:26 AM
Hi galileo:

while I am not sure about the other two scopes you mentioned there are a fair few review on the ETX 70 AT on the net..the Amazon.com site carries these reviews in case you haven't seen already

the bottom line seems to be it's a great toy but....

also the general view appears to be that you need to buy a Barlow.

a Dob without tracking and "go to" may be low frills but will probably get you more for the same money....

I saw a review for the new Orion Skyblaster(?) in Sky and Telecope I think June issue and this 4 and a half inch scope though sold as a kids scope look pretty neat and its half the cost of the ETX?????

2003-Aug-26, 08:58 AM
Thanks for replying, but I've decided on the Helios Explorer 150 - and hopefully it'll arrive tomorrow morning (Wed.) just in time for Mars!

2003-Aug-26, 10:57 PM
After you have had it for a month or so, why don't you let us know how it worked out?