Anyone know about Telescopes? Shopping for wife?

Sludig

<Donors Crew>
3,115
8d 6h 30m
Reactions
1,445 311 0 0
#1
Looking for an entry telescope better than a $100 garbage costco special. (I know for example anything advertising it's 40x 20x etc magnification is shit) More about length/diameter of light intake (collimator or that the bit inside) and quality of eyepeices etc.


Don't want to jump super high end right off the back either. I've tried to talk her out of it because my dollar is on it hardly getting used especially after getting frustrated trying to use it. She's never been the technical type or one to put a lot of time into learning anything complicated. (Fancy $350 camera? Learn about Fstop etc? Nope big point and shoot on auto it is.)

EDIT: Found it. What I was concerned about is how critical the accessory package would be or buying anything highly needed like different eye peices. Because at $450 it's tolerable, but jumps to $800 with the extra bits.

Amazon.com : Celestron NexStar 4 SE Telescope : Catadioptric Telescopes : Camera & Photo
 

Crisco

A greasy jar
<Donors Crew>
111
4d 8h 57m
Reactions
135 46 0 0
#2
Not going to get into specifics, but I used to make/manufacture telescopes. That one isn't bad for a main stream model. Longer F ratio usually males up for low quality optics, and eyepiece are small enough its generally hard to mess those up, especially with a 4" mirror. Good for saying you can see Jupiter etch, but you wont be looking at nebula and things like that.
 

Sludig

<Donors Crew>
3,115
8d 6h 30m
Reactions
1,445 311 0 0
#3
Ya, I always tried to dissuade her pointing out the cooler stuff I think she's better off just browsing enhanced hubble imagery.

I'm torn between a full manual $120 one like recently linked in astronomy thread (ie I imagine much harder for her as a non technical person to manage, but see that she isnt excited looking at moon or something else simple and big) vs just doing this $500 one for ease of use even if it ends up used 3 times and done.

Need to hunt CL but worry about damage/missing bits etc.
 

Crisco

A greasy jar
<Donors Crew>
111
4d 8h 57m
Reactions
135 46 0 0
#4
If you get one with a auto-tracker, you have to be able to track the 20 brightest stars to align it (needing 3-4 to get it to work). If she isn't willing to do even that much effort, buy her a nice book with the images as they will be layered (in multiple colors) and have long exposures so it all pops out. When you see it first hand it doesn't have the same impression unless it is a planet to the casual eye.

Don't want to talk down getting one, but you really have to like it to get value out of the purchase or else it collects dust.
 

Sludig

<Donors Crew>
3,115
8d 6h 30m
Reactions
1,445 311 0 0
#5
Oh, I'm on board with you, just winning that argument with her.....
 

Crisco

A greasy jar
<Donors Crew>
111
4d 8h 57m
Reactions
135 46 0 0
#6
Sounds like it will either be a big "I told you so" or she loves astronomy. Very worst, give it to a teenage kid to spy on neighbors or something.
 

Sludig

<Donors Crew>
3,115
8d 6h 30m
Reactions
1,445 311 0 0
#7

Crisco

A greasy jar
<Donors Crew>
111
4d 8h 57m
Reactions
135 46 0 0
#8
As far as performance, the Skyprodigy will have better resolution. A 5" mirror will gather more light and the f/5 ratio will make up for flaws the optics may have, although it is hard to miss-figure a sub 6" optic so it should be good no matter what. Seems like the price is right with the better images it will produce.

The thing I would look at are the tracking for it as people say it doesn't track automatically after a few tries, but many astronomers are idiots and likely dropped it or something then blame the product. If you treat it nice I bet it can last for years easy, and with 2 year warranty just keep asking for a new one if it has issues. Celestron typically are good to deal with. I like them better than Meade telescopes.