Buying a Telescope as a Present

A telescope is a popular present for Christmas or birthdays, but buying one can prove problematic for purchasers. Normally, the person buying the present is not an astronomer so they are unsure as to what qualities to look for in a telescope. The problem is that new telescopes look very nice and shiny, but the appearance will give little idea to how good it is and how well it may perform.

Toys
Avoid buying telescopes which are predominately made of plastic as they are usually little more than toys. The really cheap ones may even have plastic lenses that will give poor views of anything it is supposed to observe. If a child is serious about astronomy, a toy telescope that disappoints could be enough to put them off their new hobby and the cheap present will simply end up in its box, gathering dust.

Stability
A cheap telescope will also come with only a very simple, unstable tripod which makes the telescope wobble when touched. The slightest tremble will be magnified greatly while looking through the telescope, making it practically impossible to view anything properly.

Alternative
If unsure about a child’s level of interest in astronomy and suspect it may be something of a passing fad, then why not buy a pair of binoculars instead. Binoculars are usually pretty good value and can be bought relatively cheaply. This way, if the child discovers that stargazing is not for them, they can use the binoculars for other activities.

Quality
When buying a telescope, it makes sense to purchase a respected brand who specialise in making telescopes which include those at the less expensive end of the market. For more advice and a look at a comprehensive range of telescopes, visit www.sherwoods-photographic.com, a family owned company who specialise in telescopes and binoculars.

Leave a Comment