Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does Bushnell have any hints for beginners on viewing through a telescope?

A: Certainly, here is an excerpt from one of our publications:

For beginners it is best to put in some practice by viewing terrestrial objects during the day. Initial experience can be gained during this time of the operation and use of your telescope. If your telescope is equipped with a moon filter, be sure to remove it from the ocular, do this before viewing objects and only use the filter(s) for their intended use.

Never mount more than one accessory (except moon filter) with your ocular lens. This shifts your focal length and prevents you from getting a proper focus, (Example: Barlow and Star Diagonal, 2Omm ocular lens.

Let's talk about POWER: It's a natural tendency for all of us to want to magnify the moon, planets and stars as much as possible so as to be able to see it as closely as we can. Wouldn't it be wonderful to see the "canals" on Mars or the ice cap on Jupiter or the Apollo landing sights on the moon?

Yet, the pure and simple physics of light transmission, refraction and magnification through optical lenses make this a very challenging task. As one seeks to increase magnification of an image, more and more of the light is lost or reflected. And as more magnification is achieved, the more interference occurs from ambient or casual light sources, as well as from the atmosphere itself. That is why the more experienced telescope user knows that viewing is generally more enjoyable at lower powers.

That is why we suggest you begin learning about your new telescope by starting at the lower powers. After you gain some skill and practice at low powers, you can carefully move up when viewing conditions are best.

By starting with the lowest powered ocular lens, this allows you to focus in and find objects prior to using the higher powered oculars (5mm, 6mm, 4mm or 2x Barlow) produces a smaller field of view. If the image is fuzzy at higher magnification, drop down to a lower magnification as the atmospheric conditions are not sufficient to support the high magnification at observation time. Remember, the higher the number on the ocular, the lower the power. To figure the power of an ocular lens you divide the number on the ocular into in to the focal length of the telescope. (Example: 700mm/20mm=35x). Avoid touching or jarring the scope while viewing. This results in vibration that causes the image to shimmy or move. Also make sure that all assembly screws are secured as tightly as possible. When viewing at night, allow at least 15 minutes for your eyes to become adapted to the dark. If you wear glasses, remove them when viewing through your scope unless you have an astigmatism. 

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