Finders

9x50 (Celestron)

Excellent. Came with the NGT-18.  Focuses easily, image is crisp, very usable field-of-view (FOV), narrow crosshairs and good eye relief.  Only improvement I could wish for is illuminated crosshairs.  JMI mounted it with Orion's mounting rings, another excellent piece of hardware, alignment stays put through repeated mount/dismounts.

6x30(Orion)

Original equipment on my ST-80 and I added a second one to the Celestron 114.  Neither is the "correct image" version (see remarks below about "correct image" and 90 degree finders). A 6x30 is generally include with lower cost scopes, and a lot of the newer GOTO SCTs (guess they figure with the GOTO you won't use the finder much - WRONG - the finders on our GOTO and digital setting circle scopes still get a heavy workout). Works well on small scopes, weight and balance is lower.

5x??

Original equipment on my Celestron 114, found on most trash scopes and some low cost Meade/Celestron items. Extremely narrow field-of-view (FOV), very dim, can't focus, huge crosshairs, etc... Toss them out, pretty much useless.  Better stuff used to come in Cracker Jack boxes.

Telrad

Add-on for a couple of my scopes. Love it, great for star hopping. Most planetarium programs support Telrad field-of-view (FOV) indicators. Many charts and books include Telrad overlays. A dew shield is a must in damp areas, I got one from Asto-Systems and it works very well.

Rigel Quick Finder

Very similar to the Telrad. Includes built-in blink, nice feature. Smaller FOV makes hopping marginally more difficult. Smaller recessed view window makes it much more difficult to align your eye to see through, more resistant to dew than the Telrad. Lower weight makes balancing smaller scope easier. (Problem - mine mysteriously died at WUTS '01.  Worked fine on Friday night, totally dead on Saturday.  Was approx. one year old.  Never dropped or otherwise abused.  I have not heard of anyone else having a problem with them.)

Orion EZ Finder & EZ Finder II

Basic red-dot finder, no FOV rings. Small and light, works very well on small scopes. I mounted an original version on the Celestron 114 and the II version is riding the ST-80, replacing the dead Rigel.  I ordered the II expressly because it comes with a mount that fits the finder scope dovetails on the Synta/Orion scopes.  Other differences on the II include a larger switch/dimmer knob and the attachment screws use knobs instead of Phillips screws.  The II also sits higher, I had to put a 1/2" shim under the original on the 114 to be able to see through it.

Even if you are using a 1x finder (Telrad, Rigel, red-dot, etc.) you will still need a good quality optical finder on all but extremely wide field setups. The 1x finders rarely put you exactly on the target. Donít worry about having a correct-image finder, this is mostly a marketing gimmick, go with whatever is on the scope as long as it is a decent item. Right-angle finders are MUCH harder to use. Learn to use both eyes with an optical finder Ė one eye through it, one eye acting as a 1x finder. Move the scope until the images in both eyes merge together (a lot easier than it sounds, with a little practice).

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