Top critical review
23 people found this helpful
A Good Place to Start for the Money
on June 14, 2015
After having several inexpensive scopes over the years I decided it was time to take a small step up and get one with an equatorial mount. After using it for the first time I have to agree with some of the other reviewers. This scope has some definite pros and cons.
First the pros:
- The optics are pretty good. They are very clear compared to what I have used in the past.
- The eyepieces are also quite good for the price. There are 10mm and 20mm eyepieces that are perfect for beginners.
- The tube is made of sturdy, rolled sheet metal, with good quality heavy duty plastic at either end.
Now the cons:
- The tripod is actually made of light steel tube and it's not very stable with all the weight on top of it.
- The mount is not so good. The RA adjustment is relatively smooth, and adding a little silicon grease helped a lot, the Declination adjustment is very rough.
I have read several reviews about the spotter scope being "useless" , but I had no trouble with it. I used the top of a distant radio tower to align it and it worked perfectly. On the first try I was able to pick out Venus, Saturn and Jupiter with no trouble, and some dimmer objects with a little effort. Once you have the scope on an object you have to focus carefully and not touch the scope so the vibration settles down, which takes a few seconds. I was able to keep objects in view with the RA adjustment, but again, you have to let it settle after each adjustment, which takes a few seconds.
Overall this is a good starter scope for a child who is not into instant gratification, or someone like me, who isn't expecting to discover a comet, but just likes looking up there every now and again. Reviewer's problems with the mount are well founded until you Google them and see how much good ones cost. That said, if you are a parent willing to learn and work with an interested child, this scope is a good place to start. If they show real interest in astronomy, then you can look at better scopes later.