In part 1 of my kit review I introduced my telescopes and binoculars. In part 2 I’ll take you through the contents of my eyepiece case. Not because it’s anything special – quite the opposite: it’s a typical selection for a cost-conscious stargazer. It’s also a work in progress.
In this post I’ll introduce you to the astro kit I use – you’ll get an idea of what is available, what it all costs, and what you can do with it.
I’m lucky enough to own some reasonable equipment to help me find my way around the sky; the emergence of China as a manufacturer of good quality optics has transformed the market in recent years. When I was growing up 30 years ago the standard advice was to save hard and get a 3″ refractor or a 6″ reflector – scopes which would have cost around £400. Now the same cash amount buys you a bigger and better scope, despite inflation.
I’m a big fan of simplicity and grab-and-go: I don’t get on with equatorial mounts*, I can’t be bothered with polar alignment or charging up powerpacks, and I don’t do astro-imaging. My kit is a reflection of my observing philosophy: get set up quickly, maximise your observing time, then get back in the warm.