Friday, May 8, 2009

Mini Telescope

After spending some time with my friend Bob of Blackholes and Astrostuff, I got to check out his new telescope. It is a Celestron FirstScope. The FirstScope pays tribute to Galileo Galilei and many of history's most notable astronomers and scientists by displaying their names around the optical tube.

It is a small Dobsonian type reflector telescope that has been named Official Product of International Year of Astronomy 2009. It features a 76 mm aperture and 300 mm focal length, yet only weighs about two pounds and stand about 18" high. I will be the first, actually the second after Bob, to admit that this little scope surprised me a lot. It is surprisingly clear, easy to use, yet sturdy and well made with smooth actions all around. It comes with a 4 mm eyepiece. All of this for only $62.49 CAD, if bought from Celestron. The only downside of ordering from Celestron is the shipping tends to be high. The FirstScope is also carried by Khan Telescope for $69.00 and cheaper shipping than Celestron.

The other neat thing about this is there is a FirstScope accessory kit for only $24.94 CAD. It features a 12.5 mm and a 6 mm eyepiece, a Moon filter, a 5x24" spotting scope, a CD-ROM explaining the basics of astronomy, and a tote bag to carry the telescope and accessories in.

I have ordered the above scope and accessory kit and am anxious to get my camera mounted to it and take some photos, but that's a topic for a future post.


  1. Great post Colin, finally got my camera to work with the scope, took a 3x, not 2x barlow to make it work, but the Moon looks beautiful in it, takes up the full size of the chip, just perfect.

  2. Thanks, and good about the camera. I'll have to check it out and see how it all works so I order the right parts for my camera. I'd like to see the picture quality through the scope from a good DSLR like yours.

  3. Nice review! I would be curious to see how you mounted up a camera also. I am very interested in this little scope and would love to hook up my cam. I have a Nikon D90 and a smaller canon powershot A710. Thanks!

  4. I've had to add this to my wishlist. It would be absolutely perfect for us.

  5. Sorry I didn't get back to you all sooner. I missed your comments for some reason. Anyway, this is a great little scope to get started with. Fairly good quality. You won't quite see the remnants of the Lunar lander, but close. As far as how I mounted it, I will post some photos of the setup soon so you can see how it's done. The scope is actually well built and will support a DSLR camera, such as my Nikon D80 and D90, plus adapters. Thanks for stopping by.