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4.0 out of 5 stars interesting and useful
the book is showing it's age now - things are happening very quickly in this field. That said, it's still a useful guide and well worth reading.
Published 5 months ago by P. STEVENS

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not enough on the basics, and far too much on the bizarre.
A book evaluating and comparing the wide variety of equipment available to amateur astronomers is a very good idea. Sadly, for the ordinary amateur astronomer, this book simply fails to deliver.
For some reason, the author has decided to allocate most of the pages to pieces of equipment or techniques that ninety, probably ninety-nine, percent of amatuers will never...
Published on 18 Jun 2001


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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not enough on the basics, and far too much on the bizarre., 18 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Astronomical Equipment for Amateurs (The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series) (Paperback)
A book evaluating and comparing the wide variety of equipment available to amateur astronomers is a very good idea. Sadly, for the ordinary amateur astronomer, this book simply fails to deliver.
For some reason, the author has decided to allocate most of the pages to pieces of equipment or techniques that ninety, probably ninety-nine, percent of amatuers will never use. To take one example, Plossl eyepieces, the _de facto_ standard for most hobbysists, barely get a paragraph, the different types and brands are not commented on, and no advice at all is offered on how to choose among them. But on the other hand, a couple of extremely rare eyepieces, the Tolles and the Monocentric, which only the most dedicated specialist would even have heard of, let alone use, gets a full page and a diagram each!
The same sort of problem exists with the account of basic telescope types: ordinary long focus newtonians and cheap refractors, which dominate the entry and intermediate levels of the market, are dealt with far too briskly. In contrast, the author spends a great deal of time on amateur telescope making and 'schiefspieglers', interesting but extremely specialised parts of the hobby.
Again, about a third of the book is taken up by astrophotography, particularly with film but also video and CCD. A strange decision, since very few amateur astronomers take up astrophotography.
The basic impression is that while the author is unquestionably an expert at what he does, he seems to have no idea about what beginners or intermediate hobbyists want to learn, and instead decides to show off how skilled he is -- with plenty of gratuitous photographs of giant telescopes in his possession that few amateurs will ever see, let alone own.
In short: maybe check this book out from a library if you have a schiefspiegler. Otherwise, leave it alone.
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4.0 out of 5 stars interesting and useful, 10 Feb 2014
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P. STEVENS (Kent) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Astronomical Equipment for Amateurs (The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series) (Paperback)
the book is showing it's age now - things are happening very quickly in this field. That said, it's still a useful guide and well worth reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad at all, 15 Feb 2013
This review is from: Astronomical Equipment for Amateurs (The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series) (Paperback)
Read the first review of this book by Martin Mobberley and felt it was unfair. Its a pretty useful book covering a lot of ground. Lots of books cover the simple nuts and bolts. This covers rather more and is perhaps for the reader who is comfortable at a telescope and wants to hear more detail.

As for the complaint about information on Plossl eyepieces: how long does it take to say "Don't use them if you have any other choice". Similarly, the bold assertion that few take up astrophotography: a high proportion of those now joining the hobby have that as their prime aim.

That said, the book was an interesting read when I had a go at it. It may be starting to age a little, but it was a good snapshot of what was around at the time and while some details will have moved on the principles remain the same: good eyepieces are worth having, get a good mount, avoid long focal length refractors. Mobberley is a lively writer and doesnt mince words. Worth reading.
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