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Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Optics, Not for Beginners The telescope was easy to assemble with well written instructions. Our sons (9) and (11) were able to help with the assembly. The optics for viewing large objects such as the moon are great. We were able to easily view craters on the moon in detail. The first time we used the telescope we were in Yosemite and had to move it from our cabin to an open meadow for a clear space. The calibration did not hold. Once the finder scope and eyepiece are synchronized, relocating the telescope causes the two viewers to lose their calibration due to the unstable tripod. We had an excellent view of the moon and its craters! Unfortunately we were not able to locate any stars. On later attempts at home, we found it is difficult to synchronize the finder scope with the telescope's eyepiece, which makes it a challenge to locate and view stars. In conclusion, this telescope is very good for general use, but not recommended for beginners.
Date published: 2014-05-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Surprising Viewing Power Packed in! When the package first arrived, I was a little skeptical because I've never owned a telescope before, and I wasn't sure whether I would be able to see much with this one, but I was pleasantly surprised! Putting the telescope together was not difficult because I had a friend help me, but it did take quite some time (30 minutes or so). The instructions that were included were not the most thorough, but I think the average person who has had any experience reading Ikea furniture diagrams should be able to put it together just fine. Once it's assembled, it becomes a little difficult to move around, and the legs do not fold up, so make sure you choose a good spot! I set up my telescope on a night with a full moon and used it to look at the giant bright orb like I've never seen it before. The lenses and the reflector telescope itself is great quality, and clarity of the image is breathtaking. The telescope also comes with 3 different magnifications, I haven't tried the highest magnification yet, but I'm excited to see its power! The one imperfection is that calibrating the telescope is rather difficult for someone who has never had any training or experience. I had some trouble aligning the "finder" scope with my main scope, but I think if I had some more practice or someone more experienced to guide me, the process would have gone a little more smoothly. I think they should create a simple, informative, and possibly cartoony (for the kids) new-users' pamphlet to help give suggestions about what things to look at, how the different magnification lenses are used, and other tips. Overall, I'd highly recommend this product. It's sturdy, good quality, and would be fun for kids and adults alike. As a high school earth and planetary science teacher, this is an incredible asset to have, and I will plan an astronomy night for my students and their parents soon once I get a better hang of calibrating my telescope!
Date published: 2014-05-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Worth the time to set it up We were really excited about getting the GeoSafari Omega Reflector Telescope and using it. On opening the box, we realized it would take more time to assemble than anticipated. For background, I got this telescope for a nine year-old and an eleven year-old. I am very handy and have put together everything I've purchased for 25+ years. That said, this set up is not for kids to figure out on their own. My advice is DO NOT throw out the box until you're done setting it up! We ended up using the big images on the box as a reference for how to put it together more than the actual directions. It would be helpful if a color copy of what is on the box were included inside. The included directions are not as clear as they can be, and the accompanying pictures are small and in black and white, so I wasn't sure if I was doing it correctly. I am sure that if I had a background using telescopes, the set-up would be easier. Once the telescope was actually set up, we had to align the finding scope with the telescope, which took me considerable time. Once I got the hang of it, it wasn't so bad, which is good because I've fiddled with it every time we've used it. Be patient with aligning it. It's not the most difficult thing you'll ever do, but not fun either, and it's necessary for using the telescope successfully. PROS: It's really cool. Really. If this is for your kids (which I'm assuming it is), then the frustration and ranting is worth it when you see how excited they get to use it. They are more curious than they've ever been to see things up close and do not just accept what their naked eye can detect. Kids aside, I haven't seen anyone else pass up the chance to look through a telescope either. CONS: the directions assume a basic familiarity with telescopes, which I do not have. The terminology is not intuitive. The instructions are a little confusing, and the pictures are not big or clear enough to actually give reassurance you are putting it together correctly. This is NOT the kind of thing you buy, open up, and use with excitement immediately. Also, the storage tray it comes with is not really for storage. The lenses need to be removed from their cases to sit in the tray, which is only good I guess for when I must switch them out in the excitement of the moment. Other than when we are actively using the telescope, I've kept all the pieces (including the covers which have no place to be stored anyway) in the original box. Bottom line: I recommend it. it's a bit of a pain to put together, but I feel it was worth it. This is a telescope, not a happy meal toy. It is an investment for your kids to learn from and grow with, and it takes patience to set up properly. If I had understood that in the beginning, I wouldn't have been so frustrated. I am glad I didn't write a review immediately, because it wouldn't have been favorable or include the fun we've had with it since. In hindsight, if it were super easy to put together it would have likely been an inferior quality product.
Date published: 2014-05-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fantastic & Educational We received this telescope as a gift, just in time for our boy scouts camping trip in Santa Barbara. My husband assembled the telescope for a den of 8 very excited scouts. Assembly took a little bit of time, make sure to read instructions. Also try not to have 8 very excited boys standing around waiting patiently while trying to get the telescope ready. Once this telescope was positioned and ready to go, the line of boys waiting for their turn to look at the beautiful night sky was never ending. Everyone including the parents got a look and all were amazed at how many details could be seen through the lens. The moon, planets, and several constellations were all spotted by the boys, some of them seeing these amazing wonders of the sky for the first time through a high profile telescope like this one. Our telescope was absolutely the highlight of our trip. We had many request by other dens to join us the next night for another viewing party. This telescope was very portable and easy to travel with after assembly. I would recommend getting out of the city to really enjoy all the details you can view.
Date published: 2014-04-29
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