Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
good for the price - but didn't last long
on January 4, 2013
***EDIT Spring 2013***
This scope lasted about 3 months before the insides of the eye-piece fell apart. Email to the company (BARSKA) about a warranty got no response. I haven't tried calling yet to see if I can get through to them that way... I had expected it to last a lot longer than this, even for the price. I had only used it about a dozen times before it broke... I'm not sure that I'm really going to pursue a warranty - I might just save up for a scope closer to $1,000...
I was nervous buying a scope that was not more than a tenth the price of most I see in reviews of birding scopes. I was pleasantly surprised that it works quite nicely.
I wish the eyepiece had more forgiving eye-relief - I have to take off my glasses to use it. That was expected, but was a detail I had a hard time finding in reviews. As long as I take off my glasses and put my eye right to it, it works great.
I still haven't figured out how to take decent digiscoped pictures through it - I don't know if that's just me, or if that's something about how this scope is constructed.
It works decently well, but having the focus control be the entire wide ring at the end of the whole scope is a bit inconvenient. Until I got used to it, it felt like I was going to end up disassembling the scope when I turned it.
It's definitely not a $3k scope, but I don't think I feel like the ones that are a few thousand are enough better to pay that much more, at this point anyway.
By the way, get a real tripod. The one it comes with is just a tiny little table-top thing that really doesn't work well at all. I got "Celestron Heavy-Duty Altazimuth Tripod" - it's definitely overkill, but feels stable, and the controls to rotate and tip it are very sensitive, i.e. you can move it very small amounts. Other tripods I've touched, it's very hard to control it precisely.