2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 May 2015
My wife has just started her astronomy adventure and we took quite a while choosing which telescope to buy. This one came out very high in many reviews and on many websites, and although I was a little reluctant to start off with a £600+ telescope, I wanted to make sure we could have a good experience so opted for this one.
Firstly there's no doubt this is a quality telescope. The tripod itself would set you back a couple of hundred Im sure if you just wanted a good one for professional level photography or a replacement. Perhaps a pro photographer would disagree but without doubt it's a strong and sturdy set up. The tripod also comes with an equatorial alignment wedge. Now at this stage I don't know very much about what that is, but on reading many other reviews related to the other Nexstar SE series telescopes, it's clear that the others don't appear to have that option oddly. (Im sure someone will correct me if Im wrong). But at least it is there as and when you need it.
The telescope itself is fairly impressive, particularly if you are not accustomed to telescopes as a rule. It comes with the basics you need to get going (also bought a lens & filter kit to compliment further). There are a number of tutorial videos for this telescope available online to assist you in setting it up and to be honest we found it quite a doddle to get the whole thing erected.
Using the GoTo computer attachment for the alignment process was another experience however. I quickly realised that the software needed to be updated as the alignment process did ask me for global co-ordinates. I know these are easily obtained from most smartphones, but I had noticed on a couple of aforementioned tutorial videos that this wasn't requested by the handset, instead simply asking you to select your country and city.
So the first issue in updating the software was of course connecting it to your PC. Trouble is it comes with an RS-232 (serial adapter) and not a USB. Who uses those anymore? This prompted me to think: how long as this product been around? I haven't used a serial adapter since I last owned a dial-up modem over 10 years ago. So I purchased a separate adapter and after a bit of fiddling about with serial port issues, finally managed to update the software.
It took us a couple of frustrating evenings getting the telescope aligned properly, but this was of course due to our inexperience and the required learning curve, but was eventually rewarded with amazing views of the Moon, Jupiter & Saturn on the same evening. (if you do buy this I advise you to get a 2x Barlow lens as well. It really makes a huge difference when coupled with the 25mm Plossl lens that comes with the telescope as standard. More experienced stargazers will no doubt offer better advice but I at least discovered that was the case very quickly).
Once you get the hang of the alignment process you're off. The GoTo computer and auto alignment motor does all the hard work from there.
Overall I think this is a great telescope, and especially for beginners. The price might make some people think twice for a first scope, however there are a number of other viable options if you take your time and some advice from experienced stargazers.
So far I'm very happy. I would have given this the full five stars had it come with a USB connection option.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 1 May 2012
I am a beginner to Astronomy and this is the perfect scope to get started. I found it very easy to set up with very little knowledge of Astronomy.
As a suggestion to get started, use the 3 star alignment, its really simple. Within 10 minutes I was up and running with a whole queue of people wanting to have a look. Great fun! The presets work great too.
Downside is that is weighs around 16kg including the tripod, but it fits nicely into my large rucksack, and I can tie the tripod onto the back of my Bike and cycle off somewhere with it.
To do astro photography with it, you will need the universal T Ring adaptor and T-Ring for your dslr camera, then learn how to do a polar alignment. I've not yet worked out how to do that properly because I am a noob, and the weathers not been so great either, but I think drift align is what you need to do, and maybe interface with a laptop to get spot on accuracy.
I've now gone on to buy the Eye piece and filter kit for it for better magnification and viewing pleasure..
Really happy with it all.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 15 February 2013
A good powerful telescope on a solid tripod. Found the finder scope a bit cheap and nasty and not very secure. Overall, with a few good lenses, this is an excellent telescope.