This was a gift for my mother, who in the last couple years has increasing interest in celestial events. After doing my research as to what to buy, I chose to go with the PowerSeeker 127EQ. I chose it because it is a Newtonian reflector (127EQ) vs. a refracting telescope because. It had the largest aperture (diameter of tube) and research showed larger aperture gathered more light thus providing better images. I also considered reflector over refractor because of eyepiece location and who would be using it most. The 127EQ's eyepiece is located near top of tube, so common sense would indicate it would be more comfortable to stand and look straight on vs bending over and looking through eyepiece near the bottom of telescope. Research also indicated the best viewing times are when object is when it is in the highest point. A rule of thumb, and advice most given is buy a telescope bigger than you think you need, but set a budget and stay in it. (buyers remorse, most wish that had gone bigger from the start) I chose the 127EQ because it was in my budget, and not knowing what I know now, it was and is the right choice. If you research this telescope you will read how it is obsolete, but at the same time seasoned stargazers will say it is a very good scope to start and learn with. I am a beginner, as my mother at this hobby and have only taking it out a couple times because of the weather. It is super cold but we endured it to view the super moon on 2 Jan. and weather permitting will view the Blue moon on 30 Jan. That being said, out of the box is everything you need. There are all kinds of u-tube vids out there and I recommend watch a few before opening the box...some are funny because the directions aren't the best on the scope, but even those will give an idea as to what and where parts go. Like i said everything is in the box: tripod with accessory tray, german EQ mount, scope, counter weights, slow motion knobs, spotting scope, 20 mm erecting eyepiece, 4 mm and 3 X barlow. The barlow turns your 2 eyepices into 4. Example your all set up, you have your spotting scope aligned so that what you see through the spotting scope is what you see through the eyepiece. (spotting scope, image is inverted) You point it at the easiest to find object in the sky, the moon with your 20mm eyepiece in the focuser. (Focuser is like a microscope where you rotate the knobs in and out until image come into view) You then take the 20 mm out, put it in the barlow and put them back into the focuser and you are now zoomed in. The barlow turned the 20 into roughly 7mm eyepiece. The 4 mm does work but is difficult to bring into focus through the barlow. It is basically a peep sight that can zoom in on a specific crater. There are lots of upgrades for this scope and like the rule says, buy bigger than you think you need...with that being said, anything you put into this scope will likely be compatible with larger scope down the road. It doesn't require anything and can be used as is. If you upgrade an eyepiece it will always be useful and the barlow makes it 2 for 1. Use the scope before upgrading so you know what you want out of an upgraded eyepiece beforehand. Any 1.25 eyepiece will fit this, it is not brand specific. Same with finder scopes and star pointers. If you are looking into astroimaging the term digiscoping is most helpful in setting this scope up for taking pictures. U-tube is helpful and one of best tips I came across, was adding weight to the tripod to make it more stable. I used a bungee cord to hang a shopping bag with a weight approx. 8 lbs from the accessory tray, but a plastic bag will work. Also with this scope your are entitled to download free software, which is beneficial to help learn where and when to look plus more. I use it is a simulator that shows in real time the sky 360 at your location. Lastly I chose to purchase this scope from overstock because I felt it would arrive in one piece and contain everything listed in description. With coupon I paid about $20 more than I would from amazon but overstock listed everything that came in box. Amazon listed same item but description was vague and left you to wonder if it would come with everything...The box it came in is big,bulky awkward heavy and overstock shipped it fed-ex. I didn't want to take chance, that amazon would expect my mail man to deliver which has been their trend for prime delivery. *picture took free hand with point and shoot digital camera (no adapter) through 15mm eyepiece with screw on blue filter from add on eyepiece accessory set.
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