Friday, April 10, 2009

Your Life Long Scope

People always said that we have different telescopes for different reasons, let me list the most common types:

1. Your grab-and-go scope, which is usually a small refractor which requires little cool down and setup time

2. Your light bucket, which is usually a dobsonian or maybe a SCT, that would be the biggest scope that you could afford both financially and in terms of portability

3. Your astrograph, which is usually a fast refractor, a fast telephoto prime lens, or something similar

Today, I think of another important type of scope, it's your life long partner.

Believe it or not, if you're spending more than ten years of time in amateur astronomy, you're going to buy and sell telescopes during the process. Good telescope is not what you need, maybe just like your wife, she's not going to be the best girl in the world, but she's definitely the one who's the most suitable for you. Telescope could be similar, you won't need the biggest or the best one, but you need one which you can use most, suitable for your purpose, budget, portability, etc. The only exception maybe that you could always own more than one telescope but you could only have a single wife. (Of course, your single wife could prohibit you to own more than one telescope, too)

Okay, let's go back to the topic.

A life long telescope is one which you:

1. will never sell for some reason

2. can use it no matter where you go, and no matter how you change your observation habbit/style

For me, this is definitely my Tele Vue Ranger. Yes, it's not a very good telescope in terms of the standard today. Any small Chinese APO refractor which is both cheaper and more portable could out perform it. However, for reason (1) above, this will be my life long scope. Why? This is my first telescope which I really actively used (my physically first telescope is a Celestron C90, but that one rarely get used enough), and I spent so many hours in the night sky (and day sky) with it, and I've so many good memories with it (together with my lovely wife). And it probably has a very low resale value now, and that means that the motivation for me to sell it should be surprising low, but the reasons to keep it is exceedingly strong.

Secondly, this scope fits criteria number (2) very well, too. For some reasons that I know I'm going to sell my Orion 100ED, my C5, my Borg 45ED II, and I had sold my C8, my half Sky90, my C90... I know all of them will need to go one day, since I will not be able to keep them and use them enough. But my Ranger, will continue to serve me and I can take it along with me to whatever places.

Which one is your life long partner?

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