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Are there telescopes where the finder scope is mounted on the (upper) right of the body? Are they common? If not, are there any ways around this (e.g. can I mount a lightweight telescope "sideways")?

Background: I cannot close my left eyelid alone (without closing both). I can close my right eye just fine, leaving the left one open, but not the other way around.

Last year, I briefly owned a simple ~100€ refractor (which I returned because one of the eyepieces came in pieces and was not usable, but I still tried out the other) and only after assembling did the problem occur to me: to use the finder scope, which was on the upper left of the main body, I had to use the right eye and thus either use a hand to cover my left eye or leave both eyes open. I found both options rather inconvenient.

I am now looking for a telescope again (willing to spend a bit more, 200-400€), but product images I found so far do not clearly indicate on which side of the body the finder scope is located, or clearly indicate that it is also to the left. Are there any specific terms I need to look for?

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  • $\begingroup$ You should practise keeping both eyes open: you'll see more if your eyes are relaxed. I use the finder with both eyes open and cover my other eye while looking through the eyepiece: either with one hand or by wearing an eyepatch $\endgroup$
    – Aaron F
    Jul 12 '21 at 23:18
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My first telescope was a Unitron 2.4 inch (60 mm) refractor. I bought it well-used and it served me very nicely for quite a long time also. I'd recommend looking searching high and low for used scopes if it's an option for you, and if possible visiting the owner or have them bring it to you if necessary. That way you can 1) communicate with them what your needs are and 2) try it out before buying it.

In the case of my Unitron the telescope tube was placed in a felt-lined cradle and clamped into place. It was very nicely built and applied pressure uniformly around the metal tube.

If you moved from one part of the sky to another and found that the finder scope was now in an awkward position, you only needed to slightly loosen the clamps and then rotate the tube to put the finder wherever you wanted.

This feature was also useful when I removed the finder scope from its two sets of three alignment screws and put in a metal tube from which I could support a screen for eyepiece projection or a camera.

Spend some time and look for used quality and ignore the cheap modern knock-off scopes masquerading as useful that have flooded the market today!


From this answer to Using a refractor telescope 5" aperture, 900mm focal length for terrestrial viewing

Unitron telescope in box, cropped, sharpened & annotated from https://astromart.com/classifieds/astromart-classifieds/telescope-refractor/show/unitron-model-114-60mm-f-900mm-pending-to-jerry

cropped, sharpened & annotated from image below:

Unitron telescope in box, from https://astromart.com/classifieds/astromart-classifieds/telescope-refractor/show/unitron-model-114-60mm-f-900mm-pending-to-jerry

From Unitron Model 114 60MM F 900MM)

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