Re: any telescope people out there?
I started my astronomy hobby about 20 years ago when my wife surprised me with a Meade ETX-70 for Christmas. A few years later I upgraded to a Meade LX90 8" SCT which I enjoyed for about 10 years. I then sold it and purchased an Obsession 12.5 Dob, and added a Stellarvue 105 refractor. My wife and I attend the Golden State Star Party every year, and the Oregon Star Party every 3 or 4 years. I agree with what ZZ69chevelle said about cheap department store telescopes. In our astronomy club we refer to those as "hobby killers". With their cheap wobbly mounts they can be very frustrating to use. Starting with good binoculars is wise advice.
The 5" SCT I have to me is a tease. It is just good enough to be usefull, and make you wanting more. It does have a pretty solid tripod, which is a MUST. Also it has a tracking motor (no computer/finder thing) so objects don't move out of view in seconds.
I could see spending the money on an 8" but would I wish I went bigger? All I really want to see and do is photograph some nebulas and galaxies. Maybe get better pics of Jupiter and Saturn.
That night when I first saw Saturn's ring was amazing to me, I still remember it.
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