Review of a beginners telescope the Celestron Firstscope
4 December 2015 | Admin
I retired a few years ago on medical grounds with Chronic Osteoarthritis and was looking on the internet for something interesting to fill my days. Whilst surfing the net I came across Picstop.co.uk and was amazed at the low prices and wide range of goods they sold. They also claimed next day delivery on their easy to follow and use web site. Their range of telescopes is impressive and so are the prices. For the first time I didn't take that short intake of breath when you see the price. I used my head instead of my heart and ordered the cheapest beginners telescope called a Celestron Firstscope the online information was good and for less than £40 I could get sky watching.
The next day a knock at the door surprised me a little, and there stood with a parcel was a little ginger headed courier, next day they said and next day it was which is fantastic because I am very impatient waiting for online purchases . I was like a Kid at Christmas very excited and couldn't wait to get into the well packaged box. The box had good photos of the scope on and I remember thinking if it is as good as it looks on the box I will be happy.
The instruction manual is something most men don't read but I thought this is a technical piece of optics so I better read them. I opened the manual and apart from a few easy instructions in English the rest of the manual was in different languages. The first thought I had was "here we go a few simple instructions means it's a cheap bit of tat and it will take forever to put together." To my great surprise on removing the scope it looked exactly like the picture on the web and on the photos on the box, call me cynical but I was expecting the scope to be, well, how can I say is "all that shines is not gold", they also say "the camera does not lie" but Photoshop makes it possible. All the other beginners telescopes I have looked at were great big things on tripods and I was under the impression that the bigger the better.
This scope has a 3inch reflector in it. It's all to do with the amount of light going to the scope and hitting the mirror that reflects the light into the lens. The scope comes with a 4mm and 20mm Lens's basically this means you get 15x stronger view and a massive 75 x .These Lens are simple to change and allow you to see things very far away, and in great detail. There is a smooth simple focus wheel for use with either hand. I literally was using the scope to look at objects in the daylight within 5 minutes of opening the box and putting a lens in. I had the scope on the kitchen table and was looking out through the window of the door. The base is a turntable and with a simple push with your finger the scope moved smoothly. I have binoculars but when I am looking through them there is always a blur like camera shake.
The beauty of this beginners telescope is that you can sit it anywhere there is a flat surface and there is no shake. Later that night I was eager to see the stars, sadly though the sky was not clear and was a bit naffed off, but as the night went on the sky cleared on and off and a quarter moon kept popping out from behind the clouds almost teasing me. The great thing was I was able to pick up my new scope rush out and sit it on the top of the car and fought 10 minutes looking at the moon in great detail before the sky's clouded over again for the rest of the night. That is the only problem with this hobby it is weather dependent, however the upside is you can throw the scope in the car and head for the coast or the hills without all the hassle of setting up a huge complicated telescope.
We used to have a motor home and we would spend many hours under clear starry nights wishing I had something to look up with, in more detail, my daughter when she was young would have loved this. As it is simple to use you wouldn't worry about other kids having a play. It's very sturdy, a great design and cheap but not cheap and nasty. It's great for beginners, kids, adults and even more enthusiastic sky gazers who just want a quick, simple set up for quick viewing. There are a few accessories you can buy separately likes of a laser finder. This is needed for finding and locking onto distance named stars or planets if you get into it, like I have done. Time to look at Picstop's web site again and see what other bargains I can get. Keep looking up you never know what you will see :-).
Just one final bit of info across from our house there is an old majestic tree covered in Ivy, and for years a pair of wood pigeons have raised a number of young in the same nest I can now get a closer look at them without disturbing them so this beginners telescope is not just for the skies, there is plenty to look at out there.