Telescopes this time

Subject: Telescopes this time
From: "Peter Ewin" <>
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 2004 12:57:00 +1100
A few years ago I asked for information from birding-aus on binoculars and had spectacular success (and am still stoked with the final pair that I purchased). This time I am after information on telescopes and tripods as my lovely wife is putting some money aside to help me purchase a set fr Christmas.

Having only used various friends and acquaintances scopes briefly I know very little about this type of equipment and was hoping that the vast resources of birding-aus would be able to make some suggestions. The following are some points I have briefly considered:

Size: I guess that the size has influence on both magnification and weight. The main usage I would probably have is for scanning large areas, particularly for waders and so would need to be reasonably strength. However, I would alse intead on taking it on trips overseas so would hopefully be light enough to be carried within hand luggage (safer than in carry-on).

Robustness: My biggest problem is that things tend to have a hard life. Can anyone suggest a scope that is robust enough to travel within a vehicle, or alternately brands that come with a solid case at added expense.

View angle: At just over six feet one of the problems I have faced previously is getting a sore neck from hunching over a scope for an extended period. Is there any difference in obtaining a straight or angled view?

Magnification: Some scopes (older?) changed magnification by placing different eye pieces into the lens. Is this still the cases, or do most scopes now offer different magnifications? What are considered the optimum magnifications with a scope?

Price: I guess this is the big question, the more you spend the better the product. However, do people have any comments on scopes that they believe are the best value for money.

Tripods: Once again weight vs strength I guess is the major issue. Any suggestions on brands that people have been happy with. Does the height I buy depend on the type of scope or should they be flexible enough to accomodate any scope type (for example can the same tripod be used standing and seated in a chair?)

Apologies if my terminology is incorrect, but I guess the main point is what do people use and recommend (or alternately not recommend) in terms of telescopes for bird-watching. At this stage I am not interested in digi-scoping (I don't have the patience for photography). Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated and like last time I am happy to post a summary of the responses back to birding-aus to help other people in the future.


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