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Customer Review

on 4 February 2011
Ideal beginner telescope, the SkyWatcher 130P comes with a fairly robust EQ-2 tripod mount, a 10 and 25mm objective lenses (relatively good quality), a red-dot finder and a good operating manual. The "P" stands for parabolic mirror which offers better views than the convex mirrors traditionally used in Newtonian telescopes. (The 130PM is the same 'scope but with the addition of an RA motor drive!)
The whole package arrives in a single well packed box; spend a bit of time reading the assembly instructions before decanting the parts! The tripod goes together easily enough but would benefit from the application of some Lithium grease to all sliding faces, especially the RA and DEC swivvles on the "head".
The 'scope is of the Newtonian design, so you look into the side of the top of the tube and not the end. The mirrors are of excellent quality and the tube virtually free of internal reflections but the secondary mirror spider is close to the opening of the tube and will reflect street light and moonlight into the optical path if they are too close to the field of view (a simple cardboard "hood" can be made to elliminate this). I found the scope arrived fully collimated so it was ready to use as soon as it was assembled.
Set up the red-dot finder in daylight as per instructions using the 25mm lens, aim it at a distant landmark and adjust till the landmark appears (upside down and centred) in the lens (NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN)
All you need now is a dark night and clear sky to enjoy a whole new world. This design of 'scope is designed to direct the maximum amount of light to the eyepiece: the tube dust cap has a second (small) cap in it: remove only the small cap to allow the observation of the moon without being "blinded" (or use a moon filter).
To complete the ensemble the beginner might consider adding a Planisphere Philip's Planisphere: Northern 51.5 Degrees - British Isles, Northern Europe Northern USA and Canada (Philip's Astronomy), a red light torch OVL Dual Beam Astronomers Torch a moon filter Celestron Moon Filter, a barlow lens Telescope 2x Barlow For Increasing your magnification, and a guide to the night sky Guide to Stars and Planets (Philip's Astronomy) or Universe: The Definitive Visual Guide (Astronomy)
Note: this is a "small" scope; so the moon will be spectacular but planets will be just small discs with moons and rings, however the light gathering power of the 'scope will bring nebulae and galaxies into view (when you know where to look!) and more stars than you could imagine!! Open your eyes and enjoy!!!
O.V.L (Optical Vision Ltd who import Skyatcher Telescopes) often run offers for any-one who buys one of these 'scopes. I bought a superb filter and eyepiece kit for £69 (saving about £130). They don't sell 'scopes direct but offer an excellent back-up service (spares etc.)
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Product Details

4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars