Re: (IAAC) FWD: What should I buy? (rich field scopes)

Firstly, welcome to astronomy!!  I think our discussion about these 
telescopes originated from another newcomer asking for advice and the 
ensuing discussion seemed to take everything well beyond the scope of a 
I did not mean to worry you by my comments about the 4.5" Tasco.  I was 
merely comparing it to the telescope I use today, and saying that it, 
like any other scope, had its problems.  Whilst a 'frustrating 
instrument' in the sense that it took a long time to find objects due to 
the poor finder and wobbly mount, once an object was found it did 
provide very nice views for an instrument of its size and cost.  For 
example, I remember being thrilled when I located Comet McNaught-Russell 
a few years ago and was able to track its progress over a few nights.  I 
think these Tasco telescopes provide a challenge, but they can be really 
satisfying once objects are actually found.
You mention that your scope has a 'maximum 750x magnification'.  I would 
certainly not use this.  Unfortunately some of the starter telescopes on 
the market often claim to possess such high magnifying powers for the 
purposes of marketing; these powers are possible in theory if there were 
no faults in the optics whatsoever and the mount was rock steady, which 
of course NEVER happens, even in the best professional scopes.  With a 
4.5" scope though, you should be able to get reasonable good views with 
powers of around 250x on a clear, steady night, away from a city and 
with little wind. 
When you are looking for deep sky objects with a scope like yours, 
definitely use 50x: this provides the greatest field of view and so the 
greatest margin of error when you are sweeping the skies, and so you are 
more likely to pick up and object.  Do not be put off with a Tasco:  it 
got me hooked, and its is still a useful instrument to have.  
Wishing you clear skies, and every observing success,
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