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General Gskyer Telescope FAQ
Many years ago Gskyer was a German optics company. It seems they went out of business for some reason and their name has since been taken over by some Chinese people and companies. Doing a little research into entities that have registered the Gskyer name shows close to 20 Chinese registrations.
Name aside, they are one of many Chinese companies that purchase pre-made telescopes and have them branded with their names. This is why you see so many entry-level telescopes on places like Amazon's best-selling telescope section that all look the same and have many of the same accessories.
A year ago or so I would have said they absolutely are not worth the money. My guess is they were trying to capitalize on the German heritage in the name Gskyer. Since then their prices have dropped dramatically and now I would say that they are worth what they are asking for them, for the most part.
Over the past year not only has their price dropped, but the quality of their construction has increased. In some cases you can find better "bang for your buck" with a different brand, and they still do some things like have a camera adapter that only works with their eyepieces (I am talking specifically about their 130EQ here), but overall as long as you can't find something similar for substantially less money, then yeah, they are pretty good for the money.
From what I have seen, they really do not have any technical support (if I am wrong, please use the contact me link at the top of any page to let me know and I will correct this) other than maybe a little through their Amazon store. They also have some contact information on their website at http://gskyer.com/news.html. Yes, I realize that links to a page titled "news.html" but that is their contact page, guess someone wasn't paying attention over there.
I have heard that any replies people have gotten from the company are from salespeople more than support people which makes sense. I highly doubt they have any actual astronomers or astrophotographers working there. That is one of the main reasons I started this website.
You are welcome to leave a comment on any page here, or to use the Contact Me link at the top of any page to ask me a question. I am
No. While they are threaded, I have attempted to put everything from a generic moon filter to a Baader Moon & Skyglow filter on them and they do not thread in. If you want to use filters, you will need to replace your eyepieces.
If you want to go that route, you can get a very inexpensive eyepiece that would be a step up from what is included with the telescope by getting the SVBONY 25mm. You could also really step up your game with the Celestron Xcel LX 25mm. Before you get sticker shock, remember that quality eyepieces will work in any telescope, and if taken care of, will last long enough to be handed down to your grandchildren.
Gskyer Sky Explorer 130EQ FAQ
"Have to" is a relative term. If all you want to do is take it outside and point it at something you can clearly see without a telescope such as the moon, and you do not intend to track that object across the sky with the slow-motion controls, then no, not really.
If you want to use the telescope the way it was meant to be used, then yes. The setting dials that are used to navigate the night sky will not work unless these things are done.
One huge advantage if you do spend the time to do all of this is that if you decide to upgrade to a more serious telescope, or actually become an astronomer, then these skills will put you far ahead of the game.
If you want the best views you can get, yes. Unless the telescope is horribly out of collimation like after being hit by a car, you could technically use the scope without collimation but the experience will be a fraction of what it could be if you collimate it.
Besides, once you purchase a laser collimator you will only spend a couple of minutes at most adjusting the collimation every now and then so it isn't really a big deal.
I have heard everything from "do it every time you move it" to "once a year". My personal opinion is that once you have a laser collimator the job is so fast and easy, I suggest you check it every time you set up to observe. If you do this, then the odds are you will only really adjust it every few times and the adjustments will be extremely fast and easy.
Think of it like washing your car. If you do it every weekend, then the job is fast and easy because the car rarely gets that dirty. If, on the other hand, you wash your car once a year, the job becomes much harder and time-consuming. With a laser collimator, I can check my collimation in about five seconds, and make minor adjustments in another ten.
Absolutely! It comes with a phone adapter so you can take pictures using your phone. For a larger camera you can see this video on how to connect it to a telescope:
No. Long exposure astrophotography is taking pictures of things with exposures longer than 30 seconds. Since this telescope does not have a motor to automatically track the objects in the sky, you can not do long exposure astrophotography.
That depends largely on where you will be observing from. If you are out in the desert, on an uninhabited island, or on top of a very tall mountain then you can see a LOT! Unfortunately, most of us do not live in places like that so that isn't very realistic.
If you are not in a large metropolitan area then you can see more, and the further out you are, away from the lights, the more you can see. To see what I mean, watch this short video:
So once you take the skies into account, what can you see with this telescope? A lot actually including all of the Messier objects, the moon, good views of Saturn and Jupiter, and lots of widefield stuff like clusters and nebulae.
Temper your expectations though, views of the planets, galaxies, and many other objects are not going to look like they do in pictures. Cameras are just more capable at capturing faint light and "stacking it" so that it can see much more than the naked eye will, regardless of the telescope you use.
Still, it is absolutely breathtaking the first time you make out the rings of Saturn or the bands around Jupiter.
Yes! Hold the small end you look through still and twist the large end, that changes the focus. I had to twist a lot to get mine into focus but it did work just fine. Be sure to do this with a really far away object or on the stars or when you point it at the stars they will be blurry.
No, it does not have motors and does not automatically track objects. Once set up correctly you can use the slow-motion controls to manually track objects across the sky easily.
No, it only comes with a quick setup guide.
Gskyer AZ70400/AZ80400/AZ90600 70/80/90mm Refractors FAQ
No, refractor-style telescopes are not usually collimated by the end-user. Since they have no mirrors to get knocked around, that usually is not a problem.
Can you see them? Yes. They will be pretty much little dots that are indistinguishable from the stars. The exception is Saturn which with a good enough dark and clear sky, and correct eyepieces, you should be able to see the rings reasonably well.
These are typically called "widefield" scopes and excel at seeing larger objects. Examples include star clusters, the Andromeda galaxy, the Orion nebula, and of course, the moon. They can also be wonderful at viewing the sun with appropriate solar filters.
The AZ80400 has an 80mm aperture, meaning it is bigger and collects more light. In addition to the size difference, the AZ80400 has a nicer mount and usually includes more accessories such as an extra eyepiece and phone adapter.
Will this be a better choice for you? To be honest, you are not going to be able to see anything with the AZ80400 that you can not see with the AZ70400, but the 80 will be a nicer telescope to use due to the improved mount. The views on dim objects might be slightly better with the 80 as well, but the difference will be minor.
The phone mounts are nice, and I really like the little remote they send to take a picture with your phone. These make the telescope a lot of fun to use so I would highly recommend you get a package that included this. If you don't, phone mounts are pretty cheap like this SVBONY model.
Don't worry about kits that add eyepieces or a Barlow as the Barlow is junk and the high-power eyepieces such as the 5mm are all but worthless.
Some of the kits include a carry case and I like that option. It keeps everything in one small bag I can grab and throw in the back of the car if I think I might be somewhere where I can get good views in the evening.
No. The only documentation is a quick setup guide.
No. There are no filters and the eyepieces do not take standard screw-on filters.
Yes. The diagonal that is included has an erect image prism built in so things are right-side-up.
This is normal for inexpensive refractor telescopes and is caused by different wavelengths of light focusing at different distances causing the ghostly glow around very bright objects. The only solutions are a minus-violet filter (which would require a new eyepiece because the Gskyer eyepieces will not accept screw-in filters) or a much more expensive telescope.
To start with it is a 90mm aperture scope meaning it collects more light than either the AZ70400 or AZ80400. It also has a longer focal length at 600mm instead of 400mm. This makes it much more capable of viewing a far larger catalog of objects and gives superior views of any object.
The finderscope uses a standard mount so getting a different finderscope (I prefer red-dot finders) is easy and simple to install.