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- Altazimuth mount with slow-motion control
- Easy 1x Red Dot finderscope
- Tripod's accessory tray accepts eyepieces
- Images are rendered at 90° via included mirror diagonal
- Includes instructional DVD which gives simple tips upon guiding scope
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Meade NG60-SM Altazimuth Refractor Telescope Meade's value priced NG60-SM Altazimuth Refractor is an affordable entry level telescope that features an easy to use Altazimuth mount with slow motion controls for precise tracking. The complete package includes a sturdy metal tripod, a red dot viewfinder, two 1.25 inch eyepieces and a star diagonal, and a software DVD with instructional video. The NG60-SM Refractor Telescope comes disassembled in a compact box, but the instructional DVD video guides you through all the steps required for assembly. Go ahead and try it out in the daytime, that's the best time to align the red-dot finder scope while looking at a distant tree or telephone pole. The optics of Meade's NG60-SM produce an image that is right side up but the diagonal mirror reverses the image left-to-right. That's no problem most of the time, but an optional correct image diagonal is available. The low power 25mm eyepiece produces a magnification 28X which is just right for spotting the Moon or the planets, while the 9mm eyepiece (78X magnification) can be used to zoom in for more detail. The MH25 eyepiece at 28X shows a lovely view of the Lunar disk in a dark sky, while the MH9 eyepiece at 78X shows literally hundreds of craters on the Moon and begins to show the rings of Saturn and the cloud bands of Jupiter. For even better views it's easy to add better eyepieces. My best view of Saturn, for example, came with an optional 6.4mm Super Plossl eyepiece, about 110X magnification. The Altazimuth mount included with Meade's NG60-SM is lighter and easier to use than an Equatorial mount, yet the slow motion knobs make it easy to keep objects in view. The rotation of the Earth causes the Moon or planets to appear to drift out of the eyepiece, but the slow motion knobs make it easy to keep the telescope on target, even with a high power eyepiece. The telescope is sensitive to vibration, however, so a high power eyepiece can be difficult to focus.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Back to this alt-az model, it is a great little scope that - in my experience and opinion - should be priced at $49.95, not $79. It is the reason I only rated it at 4 stars instead of 5. However, if you prefer an alt-az mount, then this is very good for you, it is easy to zero in on your target for looking at distant scenery like boats or mountains & buildings, etc. The eyepieces are ok - but for not too much money you can find a wider field ep or 2 that you will enjoy even more. Also, if you can budget a bit more, get a better 90 degree diagonal. This scope is good for seeing lots of scenery on the Moon at powers up to possibly 100x. But you will get better results with lower powers - unless it is very calm, no heat shimmer, called 'seeing' conditions. This is a good deal right here at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Celestron-93230-24mm-1-25-Eyepiece/dp/B0007UQNV8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1399407479&sr=8-1&keywords=telescope+eyepiece+1.25 At the high end you get 87.5x and at low end 29x. The field of view isn't as wide at low power but still is ok, and at high power 87.5 the view is fairly wide: 60 degrees. This would save buying several eyepieces and it is much easier to find your target at low power and then rotate ep to zoom in at higher and higher power.
Don't expect to see Nebula or deep space objects with a starting telescope. Starts will just look like stars but slightly bigger and brighter. I have only used on the outside of the city but as soon as I hit the beach or better conditions I will come back and update the review.
I rated the construction quality with 3 stars because 2 plastic pieces broke when I accidentally dropped them onto the grass! The metal pieces seem fine. The tripod is kind of wobbly but once you set it up it does not move that much.
Read the manual and play the dvd, they contain a lot of useful tips for beginners, too many to list in here.