My son and I were walking through the Brea Mall and I spotted the Discovery Store had a sale. We entered and found out that the store was closing down in a few months. The company was retreating to Internet sales only. By August the stores expected to close their doors. Immediately, I took a look at the Meade telescopes. I had always wanted a good telescope but could not afford one. They were marked down 30%. I jotted down the model numbers and prices. When I got home I went on the Internet. I found three telescopes that I wanted. My family talked me out of the $1,400 one, a Meade LX90 LNT. I looked at the ETX-125 PE and it was my next choice. I went to the store again and it was sold. I wrote an e-mail to one of the Orange County (California) Astronomers guru’s to ask for some advice and here is part of his reply:
“Big question on what telescope to buy…..
As a general rule one should not buy a telescope without knowing a lot about it., especially if you are interested in photography. The Orange County Astronomy has a beginner’s class to deal with these types of questions, unfortunately we have just completed the sessions regarding telescopes and that doesn’t help you if you must decide in the next few days…. first decision is whether you want to do photography and then what type of photography (in other words what kind of camera you will be using?)
If you want to do top quality photography with a CCD specialized camera, then you should probably go with a Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope
of no less than 8 inch aperture with a very stable mount…..cost $1800-$2000 and above without camera, or eyepieces. If you just want to take a picture using your digital camera or web camera then about any telescope with a motor drive can be used to take a picture of moon & planets. If you don’t want to take pictures then the Dobsonian type telescopes offer larger aperture for less money. Once this decision is made than you want to purchase the largest aperture telescope you can afford, store, lift and transport.
I wouldn’t purchase your first scope to take pictures (8inch or larger scope)……I would recommend spending a lot less money to get a 3-5 inch aperture Go-to-scope first…..if you stay interested then upgrade to a telescope to do good quality photography at a later time.
The Meade ETX -90 would be a good first choice…….the ETX-70 is a little small unless you plan on backpacking with it and want a lighter scope or the ETX-90 is more money than you wanted to spend. I would not recommend anything less than a 70 mm aperture (ETX-70).”
Good advice. I went back to the Brea store and purchased the ETX-90PE for $527.22. I was later to discover that this purchase gave me credit to help pay for some lenses in a few days.