Astromony learning curve 1, Kimbo 0

Ooooook. So I have a bit of advice for you fledgling astrophotographers out there: know what you want to do with your scope before you buy it and make sure it can do that.

So I bought a telescope, the Celestron First Scope, because it looked like it had what I needed. Light weight, okay magnification, portable, simple Dobsonian design, finder scope and moon filter included, and able to see enough to be worth taking pictures with. What I didn’t consider, however, was the eyepiece. The thing is, I don’t want to just look at stuff, I want to take pictures of stuff and it couldn’t do that.

If you have a fancy-pants camera with a removable lens, there is an attachment you can buy that fits the First Scope (so says the sales woman at the store), but I have a point-and-shoot. The eyepiece of the First Scope was a typical design, about 2-3 inches high with the focus knobs on the base of it, but the problem was that the available mounts for a point-and-shoot didn’t have room to attach to an eyepiece that size — the focus knobs were in the way and there was no extra space.

Balls.

So I traded it in for a new scope. It was a great scope for someone who just wants to look (for all those reasons above, most notably the wicked portability), but if you want to take pictures it’s really not for you. Now I have a Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ. Still relatively inexpensive (although still twice the price of the First Scope plus accessory kit — sigh), more clear and powerful (the primary mirror is 5 inches instead of 3), and most importantly room for a point-and-shoot camera mount.

The lesson is, never try. I mean, no wait… The lesson is, leave very specific feedback on items you buy so that people (i.e., me) will know better when they try to get the same thing. And don’t be discouraged. Just be very, very clear on your store’s return policy.

And of course it’s cloudy again for the next few days much like when I bought my first telescope. The Earth hates me. I’ll see you this weekend, Saturn.

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