Widely regarded as the best reflector telescope in it’s price range, the Orion Spaceprobe 3 telescope comes in two versions, is affordable, powerful, and made of high quality materials.
It’s a 3-inch (76mm) aperture, 700mm focal length telescope with an excellent Altazimuth or Equatorial mount which allow easy tracking of objects. Orion are among the most respected telescope manufacturers, along with Celestron and Meade. In fact you will find most reviews here are for telescopes produced by these three manufacturers, as they make the best.
This telescope comes with a great set of accessories, and in the supplied kit you will find the following easily assembled items.
– Telescope tube made of aluminum, in an attractive blue color. The tube has the focusing gear attached, and focusing is done using a simple but smooth and effective rack and pinion system. An attached collimation cap allows adjustment of the primary mirror to ensure pin sharp images, although it is pre-set at the factory and should not need adjustment unless it get knocked out of alignment. The mirror is coated with Aluminum and Silicone Dioxide for long life and clarity.
– Two Explorer 2 eyepieces. A 25mm eyepiece with 28x magnification, and a 10mm eyepiece with 70x magnification. Combined with the tube, this gives a maximum theoretical magnification of 152x, although about 95x is the highest practical magnification for a clear image. This will enable you to see details such as Saturn’s rings, bands of clouds on Jupiter as well as its’ larger moons, galaxies like M110, and the Orion Nebula.
– The basic model features an Altazimuth Mount, allowing simple up/down, and left/right movements, with a micro-adjustable control rod for altitude, and hand adjustment for left and right. This is a great way for beginners to learn how to track objects, as there is no complicated equipment to control. The only tricky bit is, in common with all reflector telescopes, the images are upside down, so you have to move the telescope in the opposite way you would expect to centralize the images.
For just a few dollars more, you can upgrade to an equatorial mount, which is a far more sophisticated way of tracking objects. Here, the mount can be finely adjusted using an effective set of cables, gears, and a counterweight, (all pre-assembled.)
Following some easy instructions, you set the Equatorial mount up, and it mimics the rotation of the Earth, and the operator can precisely track whatever they want.
– EZ Finderscope. This attaches to the telescope tube and you just need to align a red dot with the object you wish to view.
– Adjustable height tripod made of Aluminum, with a central accessory tray, giving you a stable platform to view objects from.
For around $100 for the Altazimuth model, and $130 for the Equatorial model, you are getting a lot of telescope for your money, and these are among the most popular types on the market today.
In my opinion, you really can’t go wrong with such an affordable telescope from such a well regarded manufacturer, and Amazon carry these items in stock at some fantastic prices.